Willful pup... Any advice?

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by Dizzy, Oct 28, 2005.

  1. Dizzy

    Dizzy Sit! Good dog.

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    My little Bodhi, while she is a sweetheart, does try to get her own way quite alot.

    We do have her under control, and we are trying to make sure she knows who is boss. I think she will turn out just fine, but want everything done right! She has already learnt sit, bed, no (sort of - she tries to push it occasionally), dinner, and we are working on lie down!

    We have rules and methods in place, and with out listing them all here, what tips can you give me to ensure we stay boss? We eat first, pretend to eat out of her bowl before we feed her, make her sit before food, cuddles, going through the door etc.. We have just introduced her to a crate (last night) and I think she will be ready to sleep in there in a week. She picks stuff up really quickly, and is totally comfortable with it already. Fed brekkie in there, and her bed is already in there (leave the door open for her). BF is at home and has said she is already happy to stay in there for a few mins, no crying, stress, just sits happily.

    Also how can we discourage mouthing? From day 1 we have not let her chew our hands, or us in general, but she does try quite often. Is this something she will just grow out of?
     
  2. Gempress

    Gempress Walks into Mordor

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    It sounds like you're doing everything great. Another thing I would start doing is taking her food from her while she's eating, inserting a yummy treat, then giving it back to her. That will keep her from getting any food aggression problems later. The mouthing will stop eventually, it's a puppy thing. As long as you make it clear that mouthing will not be allowed or tolerated, she'll eventually stop trying.
     
  3. Dizzy

    Dizzy Sit! Good dog.

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    Thanks :D

    Good idea! ta!
     
  4. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    Good advice from Gempress. It does sound like you're letting her know that she has to earn most of the things she likes and needs and that's good. Obedience training like you're doing helps solidify the fact that you're her leader. Sticking a piece cheese or some goodie into her bowl with your hand is good too. You can play the give and take game with toys, retrieve...so she learns to "give" you things and learns that you'll give them back or give a treat in exchange will prevent possession guarding. (you know...dogs who growl when someone tries to take something from them)

    As far as mouthing or biting on you goes, I prefer to allow some of it as long as there is NO pressure. If it's very, very gentle, fine, but when you say "enough" she should stop. That's tricky to teach but say it firmly, (not harshly) (she won't know what the word means for a while) and replace with something else...a chew toy. If she bites too roughly, get up, walk away....play time over. The reason I like to show the pup that extreme gentle mouthing is OK is that it teaches bite inhibition. But the second it hurts, yelp and ignore, end all attention. She'll catch on.
     
  5. CanadianK9

    CanadianK9 Active Member

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    Sounds like everything is covered, You may want to enter her into a basic obedience class also, though its not required it helps alot
     
  6. oriondw

    oriondw user not active

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    I think your going overboard with trying to be the boss thing...

    Pretending to eat from her bowl? Sorry that made me chuckle... :D

    mouthing, few things:
    Either yelp everytime she bites you. Or you can try putting something bitter on your hands. Or you can roll up her lip when she bites so she bites herself.
     
  7. skyhigh

    skyhigh New Member

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    I think she isn't. Thats how i did it with my dogs too. I've heard of lots of people around here who do that too. I did it with Maddy from day 1. Well, ok, week 1. Just so she knows that Im the boss and in charge of her food ect. She eats when i tell her too....

    Say if you've got her on a leash to walk around the house, get her to sit before a door, and YOU walk through first. No matter what. Then ask her to come through.

    When you put her leash on, get her to sit for it.

    A mistake I made with Maddy is to get her to sit for everything. Now im trying to teach her to stand for grooming and shows ect. If i hold a treat for her she'll sit for it. So i have to unteach that bit and teach stand. Im getting her to stand for food, grooming ect. I realise Bodhi isn't a show dog. But just be aware that if you teach say sit for evereything, thats mostly what you'll get.


    Hope this helps
    Sandra
     
  8. oriondw

    oriondw user not active

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    What I meant is that you dont need to do that :p
     
  9. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    I agree. You don't need to eat from her bowl or eat first or go out the door first or any other ritual as long as you have a plan, structure for the dog's day, obedience practice, rules which are enforced through motivation and reward. You control the dog's resources by means of a partnership with your dog. The dog does a trick or obedience command and a treat or the food bowl, a toy or something else the dog likes, is earned. But the dog doesn't have to earn absolutely everything. Some things in life are free. LOL. (unless you're having an aggression issue which you shouldn't have if you are a clear, fair leader.) It's a give and take relationship, not a dictatorship. Domestic dog and man have always had a synergistic, working relationship. They have helped man work, track and hunt. Dogs make many of the decisions in a working relationship. Man has provided for dog. You call the shots for the most part, but you don't have to be obsessive about everything you do as long as you have the right attitude with your dog, as a good leader should.

    I prefer to let my dogs out ahead of me as I have two doors to contend with. But they do sit/wait until I give them the "OK." I started out having my Dobe sit/wait till I set his food bowl down. But I don't do that anymore because he just stands there politely and doesn't rush or knock me down to get his food anyhow....not obsessed with food. He isn't always hungry when I give him his food so I pick it up for later. If he tells me he's hungry a few hours later, I give him his food. So, he's telling me he wants something in his tummy and I'm answering his wants. I'm not telling HIM when HE will eat. My Doberman is a lovely boy with good manners and tons of respect for the rules and me and I am not some super domineering person worried about a lot of rituals with my dogs, but I am assertive.

    Sitting and waiting before going out the door is simply good manners and who wouldn't like a dog with good manners? There is not some big conspiracy going on within the dog's head to take over your world. They are not like that. They like that you are their provider and that you take care of them confidently. Don't be wishy washy about your decisions when you want something from your dog. Stick to the rules. Be fair, motivate and reward your dog for wanted behavior. Be consistant and eveything will be just fine.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2005

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