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Canine Behavior/dog behavior


We have a 2 year old peruvian inca orchid. He generally is well behaved. We do have a difficult time controlling him when he is in public. When he sees a person or other animal he goes from 0 to 60. We can typically get him to stop barking but the incessant whining is uncontrollable. The same behavior is exhibited when someone passes the house but more controllable since we can move him away from the window. When we have visitors, keeping him on a leash till he settles helps.  

We have tried several things to try a curb this behavior:
redirecting by walking in opposite direction till calmer
redirecting with strong smelling treat
rewarding when calm
using gentle guide collar
using a weighted vest
exercising before going out
unpleasant noise to startle
sonic sound
He is a very lovable, energetic and athletic dog.
His breed is typically high strung and unsure of new situations.  We would love to be able to find a way to calm him so taking a walk would be enjoyable and not so stressful. We do make sure he gets exercise by walking him on a treadmill 20 to 30 minutes a day.  We also try to spend 10 to 15 minutes several times a week training.

Any insight you may have would be very appreciated.

This is an extremely rare breed and is a sight hound of high caliber and a wonderful and brave hunter.  Much like its look-alike, the Ibizan, this breed requires extremely heavy socialization from a young age and continuing throughout life.  I had an Ibizan Hound - best dog I ever had (and I've had quite a few, having done rescue and having taken dogs into the breed ring).  She was strong willed but bidable.  She was high ranking (under me lol) and ruled the roost with great kindness but firm and non-violent insistence.  She was a superb guard dog and was not at all "happy" with people approaching my house UNLESS I shushed her and she then accepted them.

Your dog may not have been socialized properly.  Whining (as you describe it) is a reaction to confusion and stress and is also a very juvenile behavior.  The dog most likely has great confusion regarding what he is seeing (this is called approach/avoidance).  Redirection (circling, not going in opposite direction which actually rewards his anxiety by removing him from the stimulus) until he is giving you ATTENTION, then asking for "sit" with high value food reward, is the ideal way to redirect.  Slowly, (very slowly and sometimes not at all) this desensitizes the dog to approaching stimuli (desensitization is extremely difficult).  Redirecting with strong juicy treat is an error: dog is being rewarded for his fight/flight or fearful response.  Gentle leader can be used ONLY if the dog is NOT BEING LED BY THE NOSE, otherwise it is coercive and punishing and dog associates this highly anxious experience WITH the approaching stimuli.  "Sonic sound" and "unpleasant noise to startle" is totally OUT of the question.  This is further escalating the fight/flight response: this "correction" tells the dog that what he is reacting to REALLY SHOULD BE FEARED.

Totally ignore the whining.  Make windows inaccessible (the aim here is to minimize what he is "learning" about his own reactions).  Have all visitors totally ignore this dog at all times (this will control his place in social hierarchy and very slowly desensitize him, or at least truncate his alarm response, to their presence).

You need two things: a visit with a veterinary behaviorist who has an understanding of rare breeds such as this.  You may be able to find one at the following sites:

A short course of propanolol (beta blocker) will help to truncate the rush of adrenaline while he is in rehabilitation.

You also need a certified applied animal behaviorist who can observe the dog in "action" and assist to identify the stimuli that provoke his fight/flight reaction.  Such a professional should have a working knowledge of rare breeds.  If the dog is on a beta blocker, he will be more accessible to counter conditioning.  Over time and with patience and consistency, you can change the behaviors you describe as he matures.  At age 2, he is not yet emotionally mature; this occurs between ages 3 and 5 in the domestic dog.  Such a professional might also know where you can participate in a "growl class" where dogs with on-leash problem behaviors are brought together and taught to "meet and greet" without fight/flight, such as is seen here:

Of course, it goes without saying that you must audit such a class at least three times to be certain there are NO "out of control" dogs (especially dog to dog aggression) and that the person conducting the class knows what s/he is doing.

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Jill Connor, Ph.D.


I have spent my entire professional life rehabilitating the behavior of the domestic dog and I can answer any question regarding any behavior problem in any breed dog. I have answered more than 5,000 QUESTIONS on this site in the past (almost) eight years. If you are a caring, committed owner and need advice, I'm here for you. I am personally acquainted with my colleagues (Turid Rugaas, Ian Dunbar, etc.) who were members of an elite group in EGroups that I founded: K9Shrinks. THERE ARE NO QUICK FIXES for serious behavioral issues; not only is it unprofessional to offer same, it is also unethical. IF I ASK YOU SUBSEQUENT QUESTIONS, I NEED YOU TO INTERACT WITH ME. More information equals more credible answers and a more successful outcome. If you want ANSWERS THAT WORK, participate in any way I request. I'm quite committed to working on this site for YOUR benefit and the benefit of YOUR DOG. Help me in any way you can.


30 years of solving serious behavior problems in domestic dogs; expert in dog to human aggression; Internet columnist for for 5 years; former radio talk show host, WHPC.FM, Garden City, NY "Bite Back" (1995 through 2000). List owner, international animal behavior experts, Seminar leader: "Operant Conditioning and Learning"; "Aggression in The Domestic Dog"; "Solving Problem Behaviors" -- conducted for various training facilities on Long Island from 1993 through 2000. Former clinical director of "Behavioral Abnormalities" in conjunction with Mark Beckerman, DVM, Hempstead, New York.

Member, APDT (UK); Psychologists in Ethical Treatment with Animals

Harcourt Brace Learning Direct: "The Business of Dog Training" "The Fail Safe Dog: Brain Training, not Pain Training"

Ph.D., UC Berkeley

Past/Present Clients
Board of Directors: Northeast Dog Rescue Connection; The Dog Project; Sav-A-Dog Foundation; etc. Pro Bono counselor: Little Shelter Humane Society My practice is presently limited to forensics. I diagnose cause of dog bite, based upon testimony before the Court, for attorneys and insurance companies litigating dog bites, including fatal injuries. I also do pro bono work for bona fide rescue organizations, humane societies, et al, regarding such analysis in an effort to obtain release for dogs being held for death in municipal shelters in the US.

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