when ignoring doesn't work...

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danabanana
Posts: 203
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2007 9:21 am
Location: NE England

when ignoring doesn't work...

Post by danabanana » Sun Dec 30, 2007 2:31 pm

Ok been here asking a few questions already but here's another (sorry)!

Clicker training going well, toilet training fine now, raw diet going well too so far.

But. She's going through a bitey stage - well I hope it's a stage anyway.

She'll bite hands, even when madly waving around her favourite toy in the other hand to get her to bite that instead. She bites sleeves when she can get hold of them. She bites my hair when she can. She bites feet. She bites socks. She bites trousers if we get up and walk away. She hangs on.

It's getting really hard to ignore! For one, she's starting to hurt now - and second if we do ignore her she gets hold of trouser legs. Then if we continue to ignore her she plays her own little game of tuggy so makes her own reward. I tend to ignore her long enough to make myself a coffee or something then throw a toy a few feet away, she does usually chase it but she's getting wise to that trick now and would rather hang on to my trouser legs.

She's also getting bigger and trying to jump up on our sofa. We've both been clear in that we don't want her up there, she has plenty of comfy bedding and mats on the floor - and the cat needs somewhere to escape!

She can't quite manage to get fully on but she can get front paws up and she is very persistent. I'm sure she knows she will be big enough to fully make it one day! I usually put a hand on her chest and push gently off, then play a game or give a nice treat when she is on the floor (gets a click when all 4 feet are down) - but then she jumps up again and again and again so this can't be the right thing to do?

I do get up and walk off sometimes too and she usually follows so at least she's on the floor - but - oh look - there's those really fun flappy trouser legs again!

I don't want to give an out of proportion image of her though. I think generally for her age she is doing very very well. It's just I know how to teach a dog to sit, down etc with treats and a clicker - and she's doing great. But I don't know how to make her think her mat is more interesting than our sofa, or that our trouser legs are really boring?

emmabeth
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Post by emmabeth » Sun Dec 30, 2007 3:00 pm

Ok..

Some behaviours you cant ignore, ie painful ones, ones likely to end up in a bad accident etc.

For these behaviours, pre-empt them. Distract her as she thinks of doing that thing, but before she actually does. This is where a lot of people fall down because many dont really pay attention to their dog until its doing something they dislike!

Make it less likely that she will want to do these things, so tuck trousers into socks, dont wear flappy sleeves etc.

If you are ignoring her so she calms down, this needs to be for just a few seconds. Longer than this and she will no longer make the connection that it is her behaviour that stopped the fun.

THat latter is an extremely common mistake, we can remember that we may be making a coffee, eating a bag of crisps but we were originally ignoring the dog who needed to calm down.

The dog does not, after a few seconds, he's found something else to do, then you let him back in/come back into the room and the chances are he sees 'ooooooooooh peoples feet, waheyyyyy' and leaps straight back into doing the thing you were ignoring him for.

Sometimes it does feel like no matter what you do, she finds some reward in something youd rather she didnt. Without getting too hippy-ish on you.. calm down and look for positive solutions to each little part of the behaviour (ie tuck socks into trousers, tie hair back, sit on your feet!), instea dof thinking 'arrrrrgh the whole situation is toooo muuuuuuuch'.

Easier said than done though i know - this week we had Kelda going back to 'smell food, snatch at food', which when she was 9 weeks old was easy to deal with.... now shes 5 months and shes 25" at the shoulder, she CAN reach my plate very easily!

Ocelot0411
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Post by Ocelot0411 » Sun Dec 30, 2007 3:16 pm

Don't worry, it will pass. I had a hell of a time with my Dobie pup who I thought at one stage was a shark cross-breed :lol:. They do get the hint eventually, it just takes, time patience and consistancy. Hang in there!! :wink:

As for the clambering on the sofa thing, I found pushing her off counter-productive. I think the shove away is seen as a playful thing by some pups and just makes them more persistant as once you have pushed them off then you have started a game with them (in some puppy's eyes). With Ellie, the attraction of the sofa seems to be the fact that I am on it. So, when she clambers up and I am on it, I don't shove her off her even speak to her, I just get up and walk away. She then pops off too. As with anything else, you will probably have to do this about a hundred times before the penny drops but it does work if you persist. Good luck!!

danabanana
Posts: 203
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2007 9:21 am
Location: NE England

Post by danabanana » Sun Dec 30, 2007 3:32 pm

Thanks guys - haha can't wait til OH gets home and I tell him to tuck his trousers into his socks!

I guess it's just watching her - we know from watching her when she needs the loo, so we get her outside - same principle right?

As for the sofas I'm sure we will get there but I don't think the attraction is us sitting on it - she also jumps up to the other sofa and I've seen her doing it from the next room when noone is sat there. No cat, no us, not even any cushions!

At least I can inform OH now that we don't have a vicious dog and she will be able to go out in public without a muzzle.

emmabeth
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Post by emmabeth » Sun Dec 30, 2007 4:21 pm

In all honesty.. if she has access to the sofas when you are not in the room, and when you are out of teh house, I think you are better in the long run teaching her she may sit on the sofa with a throw rug on it, than attempting to teach her not to get on the sofa at all.

You simply cannot keep them off sofas without the ability to shut them out of the room and its a loosing battle youd be fighting, which only ends up with you being annoyed, and the dog confused.

danabanana
Posts: 203
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2007 9:21 am
Location: NE England

Post by danabanana » Sun Dec 30, 2007 4:40 pm

I can see what you're saying Emmabeth but we have a living room then a kind of open kitchen-diner. The one door between them stays open, we can see her at all times downstairs wherever she is and wherever we are. Hall and upstairs are behind a closed door to her. She is crated when completely unsupervised.

So she doesn't have access to sofas when we are not there - have been closing the living room/kitchen door when I am making coffee/food etc, so she is in there with me rather than me watching her in the living room while I am in the kitchen.

She tends to do it mostly when she has just woken up and been to the loo and is ready to play so am gonna try calling her in from the garden and go straight to a bit of clicker training and playing with some toys - that way I *hope* she will stay on the floor without even realising.

danabanana
Posts: 203
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2007 9:21 am
Location: NE England

Post by danabanana » Sun Dec 30, 2007 5:49 pm

hmmm.

Writing that out and reading it back to myself - I can't stop her jumping on the sofas from the next room even though I can see her doing it!
Will keep her closer to me the next few days and see how that goes, also will be training and playing games on the floor - not tuggy though while she's too excited.

Actually today hasn't been *too* bad - not sure whether to attribute that to new diet or visiting my parents 2 labs. Their 12 yr old boy told her off good and proper when he'd had enough of her jumping on his head and running through his legs (Good ol' bark and nudge with his muzzle - he didn't bite or anything, I wouldn't introduce her to a dog I thought may attack her)!

Maybe a bit of both?

danabanana
Posts: 203
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2007 9:21 am
Location: NE England

Post by danabanana » Sun Jan 20, 2008 6:01 am

Just to update this post, possibly a lot of this was boredom? Only been out on walks outside a couple of days now but she's not bothered about trouser legs anymore, still has a playbite at fingers but this has also reduced alot. :D

Sofas - she's getting a bit bigger now and doesn't have to jump up to see what's going on, she does still jump when excited but this is calming down too - and she has a new bed which is much better than our old sofas anyway :D

emma-louise
Posts: 66
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2007 8:09 am

Post by emma-louise » Sun Jan 20, 2008 8:16 am

hey hun
i had the same type of problem with jack and ive found that as hes gotten older hes calmed down but hes also a lot better after a good run and instead of waiting for him to attack me in the house now we have a game of fetch instead to tire him out
touch wood ive now got a lot calmer and happier pup
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