Hawk's Schedule

8/4 Lake Mills
8/12 CCSDA Training

October 4, 2011

Project Monte

Now that Monte is back in our lives, we are overjoyed.  However, let's be honest; Monte does not meet all the criteria that we had established for a forever dog: well-behaved, friendly, focused, relaxed, obedient, cuddly, ...  Don't get me wrong he is very close to perfect, but he has a couple flaws.  He is not the most affectionate nor relaxed.  I can live without cuddly, but he needs to be relaxed.  Every walk around the neighborhood or through the park is filled with bouts of excitability and frenzy when experiencing critters.

Maybe we are ignorant, but we think that we were the best place for Monte because we know his issues, love him, and are willing to work to correct them. However, we have had sixteen months to figure it out.  We tried avoidance and we tried immersion with no success. We have sought advice and assistance from a number of trainers and have not seen any noticeable improvement.    I believe that his behavior has been getting progressively worse.  After his month long stressful excursion, things seem to have gotten worse.

The analysis from supposed experts has ranged from anxious, high prey drive, excited, stressed, high-energy, and just plain crazy.  I am not sure if any one tells the whole complicated story.  I do not think that he will mature out of this issue.

Yesterday we officially began Project Monte.  Our plan is to take the time necessary using every possible means to work through his demons. Step one will be to reread every book that Cesar Milan has written and watch old episodes of the Dog Whisperer to find something to try.  Step two will be a consult with a behaviorist at The Dog Den to identify the cause.

All I know is that we need to help him.  Any and all advice is appreciated.


Ally and Eclipse said...

I'm not a trainer but my cc'ed golden is dog reactive and has high prey drive when stressed. We tried corrections which only escalated the issues. We only saw improvement when adopted more positive methods. I know you like cesar but after 16 months of harsher techniques getting nowhere I'd suggest consulting a clicker trainer. Truly, I was a sceptic of clicker training and a cesar fan, until I researched clicker training and started using it.

Marlene said...

The dog needs to do what he was bred to do and his blood is saying, Hunt :) He will love it and burn energy and learn manners all the same time. I know of 3 trainers who have worked with my friends dogs and even titled them. Trying to suppress all that God given talent in him will only make him worse, square peg's in round hole's don't work well. Can't hurt to check it out :)

A Caes said...

When you figure Monte out, let me know so I can fix Hailey of her little motorcycle issue.

Kelly said...

I have one of Monte's litter mates and they are identical in almost every way. I don't hunt or do hunt test etc with mine because there aren't decent trainers in my area but I did get him involved in tracking. It has done wonders for him. Good luck in finding an outlet for Monte!

Anonymous said...

I also have one of Monte's litter mates who has the same zest for life that it sounds like Monte has. Most likely their enthusiasm is a product of breeding and not raising. I had to laugh when I read your other post about wanting to name your new puppy Radar. My puppy and Monte's brother is named Radar (aka Sesame Street Big Bird's teddy bear; we have kids). Radar and I compete in Rally Obedience to help keep him challenged and focused. It's a lot of fun and not very difficult to learn.

browndogcbr said...

Hi Y'all,

Everybody is on the right track. Some retrievers need a retrieving job...tracking...tons of exercise...

I've always had retrievers. Many of them require more exercise than the average person is able or willing to give them. Walking is good, but for the ones I've had that wasn't enough.

Hawk still spends time training in obedience every day. (He's 5 yrs)
We do retriever exercises, like finding hidden bumpers, Plus, when the weather allows it, we hope everyday, we take him where he can run off leash. We walk at least 3 miles and he must run at least 30. Hiking and walks are in addition to the regular training. Indoor training sessions have to suffice if the weather is really bad outdoors.

Hope this helps.

BrownDog's Human