Podengo Central

Podengo Central

A place for Podengo owners and fanciers to share information and research the breed in a topical manner. Supported by the APPMGC & APPPC


    herding and nipping when anxious

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    james ensor

    Posts : 126
    Join date : 2012-02-01
    Location : London, England

    Re: herding and nipping when anxious

    Post  james ensor on Fri Oct 26, 2012 11:59 am

    Most Podengos in Portugal live wild until some kind, usually northern European, takes tham into their homes. During this time as puppies they are generally abused, almost always by men but sometimes by children also. This can range from hitting them with stcks, or spades to throwing stones at them or just screaming at them in the case of children.

    We have now rescued three Podengo types from the Cape Verde islands, a former Portuguese colony, with similar cultural characteristics to Portugal. Although they look like small Labradors they have the spirit and soul of Podengos of medium build. All have exhibited the behaviour which you decribe. That is to say they will run at, circle and bark at people whose smell they dislike. None of them have bitten but they have learned to rip trousers without breaking skin. which is supposed to serve as a warning but does cause offence.

    They are very specific in their dislikes. The first is drug dealers. Brando would knock over an outdoor table in a cafe to get at and menace the Senegales peddlers who spoil so many Portuguese holiday cities. He would react so fast that often we did not perceive the threat until he had struck out.It would seem that all three dogs recognise the smell of cocaine, for they circled drug importers and their boat one night on a Devon beach, and the next day found the female smuggler looking out to sea with tiny binoculars, awaiting the next offshore drop. In this case they did not bite and there was no complaint to the police.

    Two dogs are now living happily in Germany and one in England, where the problems are much reduced. They focus more on chasing squirrels and urban foxes than people. When they do this on the loose, they can be very difficult to recover on a lead, because of their natural speed and agility. It seems that their targets were very specifically Portuguese-speaking workmen and drug dealers. We believe that they select by both smell and sound rather than sight.

    The therapy has been to find target individuals, such as police and traffic wardens and invite them to provide the dog with a food treat,gingerly of course and on a tight lead. After a while this reduces their paranoia. The other solution is to wear a muzzle, which you must use on Portuguese trains and buses, by law.
    They will object but a brushing of marmite inside the muzzle works wonders.

    Portugal is very harsh towards dog incidents and a report to the police will, if proven to have resulted in a serious nuisance or bite, lead to the loss of your dog. Better to suffer the muzzle and a long period of training to induce positive responses to the former threats, which can be dissipated in time

    E collars are banned in most European countries.
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    Brokenhalterfarm

    Posts : 37
    Join date : 2010-12-30
    Age : 30
    Location : Dillsburg , PA

    Re: herding and nipping when anxious

    Post  Brokenhalterfarm on Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:15 pm

    In your situation I would suggest using an E-collar but I'm fairly certain they are illegal in your country.
    Do they have vibration/Tone collars? Ones that are remote controled but they just have a tone or vibrate no shock?

    With the dog dragging a piece of rope , it also acts as a reminder that you have a bolter , its easy to get lazy and comfortable about it.

    My new dog just tried bolting this morning after not doing so for a few days.

    diane

    Posts : 2
    Join date : 2011-09-27

    Re: herding and nipping when anxious

    Post  diane on Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:48 am

    Thanks for the advice. We have always stopped bad behaviour as soon as it starts when Foxy is still contained. The problem is the occasions when he is running free or escaped from the house. It's a good idea to have a piece of rope dangling from his collar at all times so that,if he manages to slip out of the back door as someone comes in, or starts going wild while out on a walk, there is a chance of grabbing the rope if not the dog. Fortunately this only happens rarely but when it does, as happened last week when he rounded up a neighbour on his moped, things get unpleasant

    When we let him free by design it is always somewhere familiar with hardly anyone about. He generally ignores other people though he is sociable with other dogs, plays with them happily. But he occasionally takes a dislike to a person, always a man or adolescent boy, and starts to circle round. We spot this change in behaviour and call him back before he gets 'wild'. If this fails for any reason his anxiety quickly builds up and he starts herding in earnest. Our other dog is always sociable with people and dogs but Foxy doesn't seem to learn by example. I no longer take Foxy out for walks unless my son can come with me to help in case of difficulties with Foxy.

    I wonder if his early experience with humans has scarred him for life.

    Diane
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    Brokenhalterfarm

    Posts : 37
    Join date : 2010-12-30
    Age : 30
    Location : Dillsburg , PA

    Re: herding and nipping when anxious

    Post  Brokenhalterfarm on Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:58 pm

    I would start off with have this dog drag a piece of rope anytime he isnt safely contained. This way you have the possibility of stepping on/grabbing the rope before the dog bolts free.

    Second , I wouldnt allow the behaviors you don't like at all. If he starts nipping/herding , then you stop him immedietly or never allow it to get to that point.
    Say you have a friend over , the very second the dog gets behind them you either shoo the dog away or leash him and remove him.

    Don't allow behavior you don't like , and thats go for any dog.

    diane

    Posts : 2
    Join date : 2011-09-27

    herding and nipping when anxious

    Post  diane on Tue Sep 27, 2011 10:56 am

    I live in the Algarve. I have 2 dogs - a 6 year old perdiguero (pointer)who is a rescue dog we got at 4 months old and a 3 to 4 year old podengo. The perdigueiro is sweet natured, obedient and never causes any concerns but the podengo is fine when he's with people he knows but unpredictable with strangers. We took him on (he's called Foxy) as a rescue dog at approx 1 year of age. He had been treated brutally by British standards, tied up for long periods alone where he would go frantic and knock over his water. His owner, a drunkard, would often leave him unattended for days and the dog only survived because of people in the village who untangled him and re-filled his water bowl daily. He was also 'trained' by being kicked and slapped. Eventually the owner was persuaded to give the dog up and we eventually got him.

    When on a lead he is obedient, will sit on command etc. Also when we take him for walks where he is used to going we can take him off his lead, he runs around for a few minutes with our other dog, then comes back on command to be re-leashed. Around the house he is affectionate. But if a stranger calls and he's outside in the garden he barks and tries to run behind them as if herding them up, and has been known to nip at ankles. This can be controlled. But he also will run off if the door is left open although he generally keeps within sight and sound of his human owners. If no-one is about he's ok and eventually comes back (maybe 2 hours later) at which point it is possible to order him to come 'aqui'. But if he's free and someone goes by walking, on a bike or moped he chases them, nipping at the legs. In this state he will not respond to commands.

    A few days ago he gave me the slip in the evening and went wild, apparently he tried rounding up and biting a neighbour who was going by on his moped. Foxy was away for 4 hours, eventually coming back at 1 in the morning, knocking the door to come in. Today the neighbour saw me working in the garden and complained and said if it happened again he would call the police.

    Has anyone out there any experience of this sort of behaviour. Must I keep him chained up or permanently enclosed behind a fence?

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