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#165199 - 04/23/12 12:44 AM dogs and road crossings
Lively or Not Offline
newbie

Registered: 04/23/12
Posts: 1
Loc: NE Oklahoma
I currently have a fantastic hiking partner in my 8 year-old "black lab mix," meaning there's no telling what's in there other than lab. She displays all the great lab traits in the woods - energetic, cheerful, attentive to me, doesn't get too far out of sight, etc.

She's gone on many weekend hikes with me, but now I'm wanting to take her on a longer expedition. But I'm afraid her enthusiasm could cause her to run into a forest service road just as a vehicle comes upon the trail crossing. This hasn't been a concern in the past because I've typically hiked in federal wilderness areas, where no roads or vehicles are permitted.

If I were within sight of the road, I have no doubt she'd come to my call rather than enter the roadway. But on a longer excursion I won't always know exactly when to expect the next road crossing, and I may be hidden behind a bend in the trail when she's at the roadway.

Has anyone ever tried to train their dog to ALWAYS stop and wait for direction when encountering a road? I can see how it might be a bit much to expect, but my dog's pretty sharp. Any other ideas would be greatly appreciated.


Edited by Lively or Not (04/23/12 12:45 AM)

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#165217 - 04/23/12 03:41 PM Re: dogs and road crossings [Re: Lively or Not]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6372
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Yes, you can do it. The beginning obedience training class that Hysson (see my avatar) and I took included teaching the command "wait" (which, unlike "stay," is a temporary command). We especially used it for going through doors (so the dog won't dash out the door when it's opened), but it's also useful in these circumstances. We also learned using "down" while walking, which was the start of teaching the dog to obey "down" remotely. More advanced classes teach "down on recall" which is a difficult command to teach but can save your dog's life.

I don't let my dog run ahead except in open spaces where I can see what's ahead. If I can't see ahead, I don't know what's around the corner--might be someone who's afraid of dogs, might be a horse party with skittish horses (most horses are skittish!), might be a porcupine, might be a bear or elk or moose, might be a road. Besides, when Hysson is in front of me he loves to stop dead without warning a few inches in front of me when encountering an interesting smell. It's both annoying and a danger to both of us--I've narrowly avoided falling on him a couple of times! Hysson has been trained to "walk behind" me, even when off leash, to avoid such problems.

If your dog won't either respond to "down" or come to you when called, regardless of distractions, he really shouldn't be off-leash. Hysson unfortunately regards "come" as an optional command, but "heel" brings him to my side every time! Needless to say, he is rewarded every time, too! We also practice the "down on recall" routine at every feeding! Isn't it amazing how obedient dogs are at feeding time?



Edited by OregonMouse (04/23/12 03:48 PM)
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#165424 - 04/28/12 12:29 PM Re: dogs and road crossings [Re: Lively or Not]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Where mouse's dog is highly trained, he is an exceptional animal bred for the task of being a service dog and obeying his master. he is a cross, I believe of golden R. and white lab.

Most hunting breed dogs, when "hunting" are not sensitive to things like "gee theres a road maybe I better sit". Certainly not MY LAB!!!!! crazy If a lab comes when called while hunting, thats pretty good. Most hunting type dogs will range out around their master lloking for game - they were bred to do that. Walking along politely with someone in the woods IS NOT NATURAL for a dog. I ALWAYS carry a leash and watch for 4wd vehicles and leash her when I hear an engine aproaching.

Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#165537 - 05/01/12 08:31 PM Re: dogs and road crossings [Re: Jimshaw]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6372
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
There are two varieties of Labs, the English and the American. The English Lab has a much mellower disposition and is more easily trainable. The American Lab is exemplified by "Marley and Me." Both are good hunters, but the American strain can be more difficult to train. That may have a lot to do with the English custom of keeping sporting dogs in the house while most American hunting dogs are kept in kennels. If you're looking for a Lab, look for the English variety! Of course if you get a rescue dog, you take potluck, and you're far more likely to be getting the American version.

A series of good obedience classes can work wonders, though! The woman who runs the obedience school Hysson and I attended works with pit bull rescues. It's amazing what could be done with them!

The dog isn't going to stop at a road unless you tell him to, regardless of breed. That's only one reason why it's best to keep the dog close to you or on leash, as suggested in my previous posts.

Hysson is 3/4 Lab and 1/4 Golden; his sire (100% Lab) was jet black! Half the litter was black and half was gold. Hysson actually looks more like a Golden (longer hair and darker color) than his mother, who was half and half.

And Hysson is not perfect! I was at my son#3's place over the weekend. They were having some landscaping done yesterday and removed a fence panel to get in and out. Hysson took one look and was out that opening like a shot, despite my best obedience school voice! Also, I've mentioned before that he's a traitor to his genetics--he won't swim (although he likes to wade) and he won't retrieve!



Edited by OregonMouse (05/01/12 08:33 PM)
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#165539 - 05/01/12 09:02 PM Re: dogs and road crossings [Re: OregonMouse]
skcreidc Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
Quote:
The dog isn't going to stop at a road unless you tell him to, regardless of breed.


Amen to that! You have to work with the dog and probably not just a few minutes a week so that you two are communicating. Bad habits can be hard to break though. And some dogs are either strong willed, or thick, or strongly motivated by instinct. A guy I know raises bloodhounds; claims they are dumb as bricks. Heck if I know...but they are cool looking!

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#165552 - 05/02/12 12:34 AM Re: dogs and road crossings [Re: skcreidc]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6372
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I once had neighbors who had two bloodhounds; it was so cool to hear them bay!

Hounds are notorious for being undistractable when they are following a scent. I once had a couple of beagles. Some beagles obedience train quite well, but these didn't! They also were real escape artists!
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#165590 - 05/02/12 08:25 PM Re: dogs and road crossings [Re: OregonMouse]
skcreidc Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
I've always wanted a dog that bays! Coon hounds are among my favorites, but it is nice to have a dog that will come back without having to shock collar them. Luckly, Tica does bay from time to time. wink

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#165594 - 05/02/12 09:57 PM Re: dogs and road crossings [Re: OregonMouse]
mccallum Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/11
Posts: 23
Loc: Kansas
Originally Posted By OregonMouse
There are two varieties of Labs, the English and the American. The English Lab has a much mellower disposition and is more easily trainable. The American Lab is exemplified by "Marley and Me." Both are good hunters, but the American strain can be more difficult to train. That may have a lot to do with the English custom of keeping sporting dogs in the house while most American hunting dogs are kept in kennels.


I wonder if any keeping a dog in the house aids in an dog being more trainable? Both of my Lab mixes (Ok they were a mix) were very trainable. Both were/are house dogs.

I would also say keep the dog in sight off lead if for the only reason not having a dog with eaud'da skunk perfume! Quills would bea close second!!

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#165595 - 05/02/12 10:02 PM Re: dogs and road crossings [Re: skcreidc]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6372
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
The best bloodhound story I've ever heard/read was in a book for teenagers about the Civil War called "Rifles for Watie." The hero (a Union sympathizer basically spying on Confederate sympathizers in Oklahoma) was being chased by a group of said Confederates with a bloodhound. The bloodhound got so far ahead of its handler that when it caught up with the hero, the two became fast friends and escaped north together!
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#165596 - 05/02/12 10:04 PM Re: dogs and road crossings [Re: mccallum]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6372
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Yes, the "perfume" and quills are definite hazards. To say nothing of rattling snakes and the possible bear!
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#165624 - 05/03/12 12:41 PM Re: dogs and road crossings [Re: mccallum]
skcreidc Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
Quote:
I would also say keep the dog in sight off lead if for the only reason not having a dog with eaud'da skunk perfume! Quills would bea close second!!


I have not yet run into porcupines with Tica yet. But having her well trained to the "leave it" command is worth its weight shampoo. We have run into skunks!! But the leave it command has prevailed! Only once did she even have a slight scent on her. That one WAS close, but she was only 7 months old and still a stinker in her own right at the time.

On rattlesnakes. In the south west, there are rattlesnake aversion classes you can take your dog to. Depending upon the dogs history and who is teaching them, they can be very effective.

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#165745 - 05/08/12 10:22 PM Re: dogs and road crossings [Re: OregonMouse]
mccallum Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/11
Posts: 23
Loc: Kansas
Smell and quills are the biggest issues for me; the only Bear in the woods here is a Lab mix that would be hiking with me! Rattlers are possible I guess but I have never seen/heard one while hiking or deer hunting. In fact I lived in Southwest KS for five years and the only snake I saw out there was a Bull Snake laying at the foot of soomeones steps.

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#165748 - 05/08/12 10:26 PM Re: dogs and road crossings [Re: skcreidc]
mccallum Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/11
Posts: 23
Loc: Kansas
Originally Posted By skcreidc

On rattlesnakes. In the south west, there are rattlesnake aversion classes you can take your dog to. Depending upon the dogs history and who is teaching them, they can be very effective.


I have heard of these on the Yahoo list those there who have done them highly recommend them andhave said they havepaid off in real life for them; the dog's reaction of going wide made them take notice and not get bit.


Edited by mccallum (05/08/12 10:27 PM)

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#165751 - 05/08/12 10:51 PM Re: dogs and road crossings [Re: OregonMouse]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Huh
my labra-pit loves to wade, but so far hasn't gome swimming. I am rebuilding my deck to include a new "dog pond" and I assumed that she would swim if it was a few feet deep and I pushed her in it, but she might just hop over it - the terrier in the pit part has incredibly strong short legs. maybe it should all be 6" deep, that would make it easier to dig.
Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#166456 - 06/04/12 06:12 PM Re: dogs and road crossings [Re: OregonMouse]
OldScout Offline
member

Registered: 03/17/03
Posts: 501
Loc: Puget Sound, Washington
Off-topic BUT my wife and boys loved Rifles for Watie as a book on tape for long road trips.

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#166878 - 06/14/12 01:35 PM Re: dogs and road crossings [Re: mccallum]
ndsol Offline
member

Registered: 04/16/02
Posts: 673
Loc: Houston, Texas
Originally Posted By mccallum
Originally Posted By skcreidc

On rattlesnakes. In the south west, there are rattlesnake aversion classes you can take your dog to. Depending upon the dogs history and who is teaching them, they can be very effective.


I have heard of these on the Yahoo list those there who have done them highly recommend them andhave said they havepaid off in real life for them; the dog's reaction of going wide made them take notice and not get bit.


Not only pays off for the dog, but also alerts me if my dog decides to want to take a wide berth around an area.

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#166934 - 06/15/12 07:04 PM Re: dogs and road crossings [Re: ndsol]
mccallum Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/11
Posts: 23
Loc: Kansas
That is what hasbeen said on the Yahoo list; if the dog moves off the trail then good chance the human ought to also. The thing I would like is that it is not just rattlers it is copperheads and other deadly snakes that, unlike the rattler, do not warn of their presence!!!!

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