Really annoying behavior - any ideas how to stop it?

Discussion in 'Puppy Forum' started by coripc33, Jan 22, 2006.

  1. coripc33

    coripc33 New Member

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    So... again about my almost 6 mos old Westie. She is very good (well, except for when it comes to eating kibble, but we are fixing that with cooked food :)) and a happy little creature.
    However, she has this really obnoxious habit where she grabs on to my shoes and hangs on. It is usually when she doesn't want to come back inside from outside, but not only then. We would be walking towards her play area, and midway between the apartment and the final stop she starts grabbing my shoe with her mouth and hanging on really tight. She hasn't punctured any shoe yet (it's not just one particular pair of shoes, it's whatever I am wearing at the time), but it's getting to be really annoying, not to mention that it's behavior that is very undesired. She does that whenever she feels like it, and I tried saying NO, I tried stopping and waiting for her to let go (which she does, but then the second I start moving again, she's at it again), I tried once just turning around and going back home - I don't know what to do! We used to take a puppy class (she got injured, then she got spayed and we had to drop out, so we'll probably take it again), and the trainer there told me to have her watch me to get her attention - which she does, but then she's right back doing it.

    I seriously don't know what to do about this at all. The problem is that it's outside and away from the house when this happens, so I can't really put her in some sort of timeout or just ignore her. What do I do, any ideas on how to stop this?

    Thanks in advance,
    Corina
     
  2. Here is what I would do.

    Keep a very close eye out at the time she is likely to do this. JUST BEFORE she grabs your shoe, turn towards her and high step march, stamping your feet, telling her to get back. You have to time this JUST RIGHT, because you have to start JUST as she make the move to go for your shoe.

    As she is moving away from you, pull a treat out of your pocket, put it on her nose, and ask her to sit. Praise. Reward. Repeat as necessary.

    :D
     
  3. coripc33

    coripc33 New Member

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    Thank you - this might just work. :) I know exactly when she is going to do it because I can hear her running from behind me with a certain step, I can't explain it, but I know it. I think she'll like the rewards a lot! :)

    Problem that I see coming - she'll do it just so she can stop it and get rewards. :) She does this already when she is trying to get stuff off the coffee table - I say OFF, she gets off, then she sits and waits for the treat. Once she gets it, she's back to trying to get the remote. LOL I've always wondered about this side of the reward-based training - aren't they smart enough to figure out that, when they stop bad behaviour, they'll get rewarded, therefore they perform that bad behavior just to get treats? I'd love to hear an explanation about how this reasoning can be prevented. LOL

    In the mean time, I'll try what you suggested - I really have to get this stopped somehow, and it sounds like a grand idea - thanks again! :)
     
  4. keller

    keller New Member

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    I don't know how you're doing it, but you shouldn't give her a reward everytime she gets off. Now that she knows the command, it's time to start giving treats and praise sometimes, and just praise at other times.
     
  5. coripc33

    coripc33 New Member

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    Thanks for checking up on this, I was wondering about giving an update in case some other dog is nutty like this. :) Well, we tried this, and she's pretty good at getting off but then she sits right away and looks at my hand for a treat. I suspect that she does it on purpose now because she wants a treat. Problem is that she does not give up on this - I still have to watch her for this all the time. Not to mention that I tried running a little with her so she can run beside me - no way; as soon as she sees my feet moving like I'm running (I'm pretending, so I'm running in place), she'll aim for my shoes right away (with a little growling, but I think she's just playing really, it doesn't seem like she's angry or anything).

    So, does anyone have any other suggestions? I'll take anything... LOL

    FYI, I'm still doing what was suggested, it just seems that now she'll do it for treats too, not only because she thinks it's fun. :)
     
  6. Tinaweena

    Tinaweena New Member

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    Try bitterapple spray, makes it taste really gross. It doesn't work for all dogs, but it does for some. With Boone, who chewed my hair whenever it wasn't in a ponytail, it worked wonders. I sprayed it in my hair for a few days, and after he chomped it two or three times, I guess he figured it would always taste nasty and stopped. I didn't have to get mad at him or anything, he just didn't like the taste.
     
  7. coripc33

    coripc33 New Member

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    This is what I started doing - with some other spray, I just have to remember doing it. This one smells funky too, so it helps curbing her chewing of certain spots in the house.

    Thanks for confirming that this is one way to go. :)

    On the funny side: I bought a bottle of bitterapple spray and left it with her when I had to take a trip, trying to make sure that the sitters will use it. I came back and they told me that she licked and ate that spray right up! LOL Luckily I found something else that seems to work, but I just thought it was funny how she will eat the bitter spray, but good quality kibble? Not for her... :)
     
  8. Tinaweena

    Tinaweena New Member

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    Oh god...did you ever try the bitter apple spray? I did, just to makes sure it didn't burn or anything (hows that for love?!) and it is just horrible!
     
  9. coripc33

    coripc33 New Member

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    LOL This adds to my conviction that Rory is just going for the wrong things to eat (and enjoy) - she will happily eat some dog's poop, but not the good kibble I beg her to eat - go figure... :)
     

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