I have a problem!

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by Melinda, Sep 29, 2006.

  1. Melinda

    Melinda New Member

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    Hi everyone
    My dog Porthos is a timid dog because she came from a research station so she is very socialized.
    She is friendly, but timid.
    My problem is I cannot find a way to punish her when she does something bad because she pees.
    For example, she is not allowed on the couch and when either me or my boyfriend catch her on there we cant even raise our voice to an authoritative tone because she becomes frightened, freezes up, and pees; all over the couch. This happens anywhere, carpet, floor, etc.
    You can see the issue here! lol, any ideas? I have tried time out but she continues to do things she isnt supposed to because we cannot punish her.
    any ideas?
    Also, as cute as it is she knows how to do things, sit, lie down, roll over, i was able to teach her but now if we ask her to do something it is either jump up and do nothing or go straight to roll over and skip everything else even if we say sit.
    Its getting to be quite an issue.

    I had a border collie before that was extremely smart and did everything we asked of her the second we asked her, so I dont know if i am training Portoes wrong or just not right for her...

    can anyone offer any suggestions?
     
  2. Brattina88

    Brattina88 Active Member

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    Sounds like Porthos could really benefit from positive training techniques... you might need to start with the basics and retrain the tricks that you thought she knew, but she isn't doing correctly now.
    For the couch problem I would teach her "off" Tell her off, and then toss a treat on the floor. When her feet hit the floor, praise her.
    IMO its not fair to scold a dog for something that they may not know is 'right' or 'wrong'
    Set your dog up to do something right, catch her doing something right, ignore bad behavior unless it needs correcting; then redirect her to do something right. For example, instead of scolding for her jumping up, make her sit ;) I hope that helps, I'm getting tired and I'm not sure if anything made any sense... I think I need to go to bed :lol-sign:
     
  3. Melinda

    Melinda New Member

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    *sigh*

    I am frustrated because i know that she knows she isnt allowed on the couch because whenever we arent home and come home the spot on the couch is warm and if for some freak chance we catch her on the couch then she yelps and jumps down herself when we look at her and then goes and hides. She knows she isnt supposed to do it.
    the thing is she listens to some things... she knows she isnt allowed in the office and she never goes in there!
    I am trying to teach her stay and she pees when i tell her to stay and take a step back. She is only staying because she is shaking too hard to walk. I really dont understand.
    Maybe i do have to teach her sit again.
    I am so frustrated
    the cat listens better than the dog
     
  4. Jynx

    Jynx New Member

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    How long have you had her and how old is she?
     
  5. dr2little

    dr2little Moderator

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    It is imparative that you don't acknowledge the peeing when it happens but rather set her up for success and slow down a bit. Are the couch cushions attached or can you turn them up so that she has no place to lie down.
    You can also trail a long line to her so that you don't have to approach her or scold her but instead take the end of the leash and lead her gently off and praise her when she does get off. A long line can only be used when supervised but can be a way to giver her some space while maintaining control and the ability to praise for what she does right.
    Scolding a fearful dog will make her issues worse, I know it's frustrating but if you set her up to succeed, your need for scolding will be non-existent.:)
     
  6. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    Brattina gave you good advice. She does not know it's "wrong" to get on the couch. Dogs don't think of right or wrong in a moral sense like we do, nor do they have the same values. They are not that complex. She is reinforced to get on the couch because it's comfortable. She's been reinforced for doing that for a while so that is why she gets on the couch. All behavior is contingent on reinforcement and if something is in it for the dog, they'll repeat it. So you have to prevent her from getting a payoff for getting on the couch and experiencing that comfortable place.

    When you come home, she jumps off and looks guilty, pees etc....because your coming home has become a predictor of scary things (scolding). In her mind (a dog's mind, not a human's) it is safe to be on the couch when you're gone and unsafe to be on the couch when you are present. That's it. That's as far as it goes.

    Like dr.2little said, you need to manage the situation. Put cardboard boxes or something on the couches when you're gone and give her an alternative...a comfy bed of her own on the floor in that room, even cushier than the couch if possible. When you are home, you can show her that she can lie on that instead. Give her lots of treats and good toys to make that place the place where she is reinforced for lying. Instead of looking for ways to punish, think of it in terms of what you'd like her to do instead. Show her. Distract her from things you don't want her to do, give her alternatives and reward (reinforce) for those things which you do want her to do. Look for behavior you like which she displays and praise her, give her something she loves...special treats. And manage... prevent reinforcement for behaviors you don't want. Look at everything your dog does that you don't like and think....what is it about this behavior that is giving her some kind of payoff. Then remove that possibility. You can train a dog very nicely with gentle, calm methods and without scolding or frightening a dog. It builds trust and makes your bond much better with your dog. Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2006

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