Christmas Day mishap.

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runlip
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Dec 22, 2010 7:48 pm

Christmas Day mishap.

Post by runlip » Tue Dec 28, 2010 2:08 pm

Our dog duke a 2 yr old male rescue terrier mix is not very good with unfamilar people in the house. It has been a problem that has plagued us from the start. We got him at 4 months old and growled at some people from day 1. I had one trainer that I thought was good but he was using negitive training. I switched to another trainer who helped a great deal with basic commands but never really addressed his ( and mine at this point) fears. She used +R.
I walk him for an hour the morn and short walk in the afternoon and a session of ball play outside. In the winter I have to be honest and say he gets more like 20mins in the morn if it is freezing out. We also throw the ball in the house for him. ... Anyway a friend had to drop something off on Christms afternoon. I was upstairs getting dressed when he came. the dog was with me. My husband let him our friend in and I went downstairs and the dog went ahead of me. He jump on Derek. Derek began to pet him under the chin in a rather non threating way. Well I guess it threatened Duke. I should have told Derek not to touch the dog and ignore him like my sign outside says. He never bit Derek but he growled and nipped his pants as he walked in. What should I have done at that point. I was feeling very nervous at this point which I know is not good for the dog.
Later my family came which the dog is familiar. My neice had her boyfriend who is a dog person. he got duke to be comfortable by giving commands to the dog and treating. I was happy. Then the end of the night . The dog was sitting with me on a chair and my nephew who's 16 came up from the basement duke began to bark and charge him. I held the dog back until he stopped.Nothing happened.I think the dog realized who it was. What should I have done there.
I have thought many times to get rid of this dog but we love him now and really want to have a good environment for all. I am going to try really hard this yr to work out his people issues so we can get back to entertaining and the kids having friends over wiht out any worries. Need suggestions.

Lis & Addy
Posts: 204
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2007 2:27 pm

Re: Christmas Day mishap.

Post by Lis & Addy » Tue Dec 28, 2010 3:39 pm

Having friends over without worries is going to depend on training the people as well as working with the dog.

Is Duke crate-trained, or does he have some other comfortable place where he can be contained temporarily? If you know someone is coming, put him there before the arrival is imminent, and bring him out only when the initial excitement of the arrival is over and things are quieter and calmer.

Teach people to Ignore The Dog, and enforce it. Nobody outside your immediate household initiates contact with Duke. People who want to pet Duke have to wait until he is calm, happy, and politely soliciting attention. That does not mean "jump on people."

When Duke is reacting inappropriately, do not punish, do not correct, just quietly remove him to his comfortable place. No one is allowed to disturb him in his comfortable place. It's his safe place, and needs to be kept his safe place. NO ONE has a need to pet your dog that exceeds his need and your need to keep him safe and protect him from making mistakes that would cause the law to step in.

You need to work on building up his confidence and giving him the skills to handle unfamiliar people and events. I'd love to recommend getting him into a good class with a good trainer, but it sounds like you have not had success with that in your area. :( OTOH, it sounds like your niece's boyfriend may have some good skills, and he has a huge advantage over anyone on this board of actually meeting your dog and working with him some. I would seriously talk to him and see if he has suggestions and/or is willing to work with you and your dog some, to teach you some of his skills.

Lis

runlip
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Dec 22, 2010 7:48 pm

Re: Christmas Day mishap.

Post by runlip » Tue Dec 28, 2010 4:07 pm

Duke sleeps in a crate at night by our bed. I would like to get him more comfortable in there during other times. I have tried gateing him in a room off the foyer but he just barks so much I can't even talk to my guests. I would really like to have him in the crate or in a room when people come but I thought that would not help get him use to people.
When we were house training him I would leave him in the crate when we were gone with a kong. I still leave him with a Kong when we leave for a longer period of time. Should he still be in the crate?
I think he likes to be by me. Maybe he is protective.
My neice and her boyfriend live a couple of states away so that won't work.

Lis & Addy
Posts: 204
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2007 2:27 pm

Re: Christmas Day mishap.

Post by Lis & Addy » Tue Dec 28, 2010 4:46 pm

He doesn't need to be in his crate when you're gone if he's comfortable, non-destructive, and doesn't get into potentially dangerous things when left alone. If you and he are comfortable with him uncrated when you're gone, there's no reason to change that. Crating is for the dog's safety and comfort, not an end in itself.

I would practice either crating him or gating him in a room for short periods while you're home--initially VERY short periods, with really yummy treats stuffed in that Kong--so that he gets used to being separated from you while you're home as a non-threatening and positive thing. When he's learned that that's an okay thing that has its benefits, then you can try working on it as a way to control his exposure to strangers and overly-exciting visitors.

Clearly your niece's boyfriend can't actively help you, but I'd still consider talking to him. Having actually met and worked a bit with your dog, he'll know more about Duke than you can convey to anyone here with just text. He may have some helpful suggestions and advice for you.

Lis

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Nettle
Posts: 10753
Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2008 1:40 pm

Re: Christmas Day mishap.

Post by Nettle » Wed Dec 29, 2010 5:27 am

Also he needs much more exercise. How cold does it get where you are? It has to be very cold indeed before it's too cold to take a dog for a walk.

A nice walk of around an hour, twice a day if you can manage, makes for a much more amenable dog.

Then when you leave him behind a barrier, he is tired, and you could try putting some of his food in a kong to occupy him. You'll have to start this without visitors first so he develops the habit of chilling out with his kong, then when you have to gate him away from visitors, make sure he is tired and has plenty to do. It doesn't come all at once but you'll get there :wink:
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog

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runlip
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Dec 22, 2010 7:48 pm

Re: Christmas Day mishap.

Post by runlip » Wed Dec 29, 2010 8:53 am

The week before christmas it was in the teens and 20's with wind. Brr for me. I agree he needs more exercise. I try to provide as much as I can being busy as we all are. He does play with his shiz-tzu friend a couple times a week. I am thinking of looking into doggie day care so he can play. It just cost alot of money. I do take him to the dog park on occasion.
I am going to try to get him use to the crate when we are home and see how that goes. One thing that confuses me..... If we keep him away from guests how will he ever get use to people in the house. Maybe the question is will he ever get comfortable.

Lis & Addy
Posts: 204
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2007 2:27 pm

Re: Christmas Day mishap.

Post by Lis & Addy » Wed Dec 29, 2010 9:40 am

The most exciting/stimulating time with guests is when they first arrive. Not exactly the same problem, but I had a dog who peed every single time if she got to greet guests at the door when they arrived. Crate her before they arrived, and then bring her in to meet them after they were settled, and she was fine. Over time, she got calmer and more confident, and we only had to crate her before guests arrived if they were people she didn't know, or if there were lots of them arriving at once.

We did always have to strictly enforce that people were not allowed to make a big fuss over her at the door when they arrived.

Don't try to solve the entire problem at once. First, work on having guests arriving being a time for him to chill rather than a time for him to be very excited and protective. Then work on having him come meet the guests after they've arrived--first with only one or two people, and with people who will follow instructions for not making a fuss or insisting on petting him. Avoid like the plague involving anyone who says "Dogs all love me!" or similar idiocies.

Build up slowly, and take the problem a piece at a time. And celebrate small victories; you and he will both deserve it.

Lis

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