ringcratf class

Posted by lyn-treasure
May 18, 2008
Pleeease help, Zak is a 12 stone 18 mth old great dane that I show, hes doing very well in the ring, he runs loose in the park every day plays with loads of different dogs no problems if they bark at him he runs away, good on recall a pleasure to go out with BUT hes like a demon possessed as soon as we walk into ringcraft class. Hes been going about 13 mth every week and was great untill 6 weeks ago when a husky growled at him on the left then a malumute did the same on the right with us in the middle, now as soon as we go through the doors all hell breaks loose, and I have to put him back in the car, I was wandering whether to take a water spray to shock him when he barks and lunges or do you think that would make him worse. I would be gratefull for your advise.
Thanks Lyn
Posted by Todd
May 20, 2008
Hi there and thanks for the post.

I think the issue is not a aggression issue as such so don't be tempted to tell him off. I think it is definately a fear issue based around the bad incident he had.

So i think we need to socialise him slowly and get him back to being confident in the ring.

So some basics. Firstly don't be tempted to dump him back in the ring or drag him in. This will only freak him out and make things far worse...so take things slow. Secondly he may need some sort of medication to help soothe him and take away his fear of the situation. There are a couple of natural medications that may help like DAP but talk to your vet about how and what you can use.

Lets get started -

I think taking him to the ring outside of training times may be a good idea. This will get him used to the building and the ring without the fear of other dogs and people scaring him.
Fixing the problem will take a huge amount of time and patience. When you get him out of the car you need to start some reinforcement.

When he is being calm and confident he needs to be praised. Give him lots of attention, petting and praise. The more good experiences you can help him with the better.

On the other hand if he gets fearful completely ignore him. This means not looking at him, not talking to him and not petting him. But the second he starts showing confidence again praise him as much as possible.

For a few days just get him used to the car park and the entrance. When he is confident here move slowly over a few days into the main arena. Play some games and help build up his confidence. Food treats are a great way to help.

It will be hard to transition to having dogs in the arena. SO i think you should take him early when there are only a few dogs there. Let him go at his own pace and leave before things get to hectic. He can meet other dogs but only calm and gentle dogs, let the owners know what you are doing.

As he gets more and more confident introduce him to more dogs and keep him longer.

Remember to take things slow, ignore and reinforce, and most importantly be patient. Good luck and i will be here if you have anymore questions