Glad it passed through.
You think they would learn. Carter my Golden would actively find porcupines. He had on his vet notes "repeat offender". Lol.
I couldn't get how he would not associate the instant pain with leave them alone. The vet said they either learn or get worse. Which Carter did, each encounter was worse. He ended up needing to be leashed when out on the prairie. Apart from the heavy vet bills, I was really worried he was going to lose and eye or a quill would break off and migrate to brain. He did have a quill break off up his nose, in his last encounter.
Quirky, your vets opinion kind of supports the idea that this becomes an OCD behaviour, that which they simply can't resist even with negative consequences. I would also have been really concerned about this porcupine quills, could lose an eye so easily. Ouch, up the nose !
I think it is also getting worse in a way with Max. Although the frequency of episodes is less, the number of rocks is increasing. I mean 5 rocks all up this time. Last night we hatched a plan to do some fencing around the area where the landscape gravel has ever been used. Although we have removed so much of it, there are nooks and cranny's amongst large rocks used in retaining walls that we just can't get to but Max can. Also spaces under decking where it has been used. We can't get in there but Max can. Haha, we are going to have fences within fences.
I hate e-collars, but this is an instance where I would seriously think about using one.
Gotta love 'em.
I hate them also however I can understand your reasoning. I have put so much time into training him with this problem however what I have achieved is a situation in which he knows he is not supposed to touch rocks and I never see him at it. He has become somewhat of a stealth rock eater and will take advantage of that tiny moment when you are distracted. To be honest it seems not unlike a human eating disorder in which a lot of secret eating goes on. I tried a period of 6 months confined to the house unless actually walking, training or playing with me, thinking this might break the habit. Such a shame to keep him confined as our climate and huge secure house yard is perfect for outside freedom. The boys play beautifully together with chasing games in which they swap possession of the item being used for the chase.
In any event e-collars are very regulated in Australia. Completely outlawed in several states and in those state where you can purchase them they can only be purchased by and used under the supervision of professional trainers. Many in the IPO sport use them but then many of them are also pro trainers. Those that are not obtain them through colleagues who are.
I think in the bigger picture, going to the trouble of fencing off these few areas in which we can't remove the rocks, is perhaps the way to achieve peace of mind. It's going to be a pain in the butt to do it and stretch the purse strings but he is a young dog and will hopefully be around for a long time, si it is worth the effort for sure. Meanwhile they are again confined to the house unless I am out there with them.
Trifan and GM
There was a great trainer in the UK called John Fisher. Sadly he is no longer with us.
He introduced into the dog training world. Training Disc
Basically they have to be trained in correctly. So where a clicker is trained in to tell a dog yes, feels good. It has a positive conditioned emotional response. Positive (CER)
The disc are trained in for the dog to have an avoidance CER. They are very effective if trained in correctly.
They are trained in without any cruelty. The sound is associated with avoidance.
If you are interested I can tell you how to train them
I am interested in learning anything that might help this problem. My concern is the fact that training opportunities never present themselves. Once upon a time I would catch him either with a rock or about to pick one up so there was opportunity to train and I thought we had been successful, until it happens again.I never even see him showing interest in rocks these days. His last episode was 23rd December and since then I have watched him like a hawk when outside and there has been no interest in the remaining rocks. When these rocks came up on 25th Jan I was dumbfounded as to when he had the opportunity to swallow them. We had been in the garden working and keeping an eye on his whereabouts. There could only have been moments when he wasn't under direct observation i.e.: when pushing a barrow of rubbish out of a gate and loading onto the truck. I was so shocked that he had swallowed 5 of them and think he must have scoffed them in an awful hurry. This is the new dilemma now, actually catching him in the act in order to keep proofing the training. He absolutely knows he is no supposed to do it.
This is what also causes me to lean towards it being an OCD behaviour, in that his desire to do it seems to override his knowledge that he should not do it.
I read an article that suggested some pups once having done it, like the feeling of fulness in their tummy and this causes them to repeat it. To this end I broke his meals into 6 per day but no that made no difference either.
The disc idea sounds interesting. Are the discs placed so as to cause the dog to avoid an area ? Always, always keen to lean new methods. Don't worry Quirky, my BC's are never going to see an e-collar, if push came to shove Max would spend the rest of his life tethered to me before I did that, not that I want that for him either. The dogs have a fabulous secure yard in which they have so much fun and I want him to safely enjoy that freedom.
I am not sure it would help in this situation, but I will explain the theory and how it is done. I used it successfully on my GSD to stop him barking at dogs when he was in my vehicle.
Just give me a few days, I am just getting ready to go for a seminar this weekend
That would be great Quirky, no hurry. Even if it doesn't help with Max, I'm sure it will be a very valuable tool to add to the box. I can only try and grateful for any advice and further education. Enjoy your seminar.
Quirkydog, I'm really interested too. Tasha has a couple of habits that I would like to extinguish but don't know how.
QD can you share the info as a new thread and stick in in the training forum? That way it won't get lost.
One Border Collie Is Never Enough