Advice For Correcting Behavioral Issues

Discussion in 'Dog Behavior Problems' started by lizzyrd, Feb 18, 2011.

  1. lizzyrd Experienced Member

    Thanks all for the tips :)

  2. Jean Cote Administrator

    I can't really help with the first two, but for the third, how long does it take for him to eliminate on the floor? I'm thinking you could set up a scenario where you put a baby camera with video and sound and watch from outside the house and catch him in the act. But of course that involves spending money if you don't already have the equipment. Maybe others will have better solutions. :)
  3. reveuse Well-Known Member

    I'm definetly not super trainer but I can try to help with the jumping on people portion (or at least tell you what worked for me). When my guy was still actually a friendly little fluffy thing (instead of the man-eater he mostly is at the moment) he used to jump A LOT - super excited frenzy over people who might pet him mode. And people would tell me the same thing that he was cute and little and it didnt bother them at all.

    If he runs over to someone and jumps all over them they shouldn't pet him because the petting is basically rewarding the behavior. Also a ton of negative attention like saying "stop, get down , etc..... a bunch of times (not saying you are but in case you are) is still attention....... Its better for whoever is getting jumped on to just completly ignore the dog , no eye contact , Zero attention. - If your dog is being very persistent its also good to have a "leave it" command or "off" - leave it for before hand so that He just doesn't run over , or off he he manages to jump.

    Any time he starts to pull you over towards someone he wants to meet (ie, jump up upon). Make a little circle and have him sit - reward him with something tasty (if he is food motivated like mine) or a toy or petting him yourself. and then try again. Keep stopping and circling and such as needed until you can calmy and nicely get to where you need to go (or to the person if you want to)....... - I had to do this every night for a week straight because my guy decided to develop a dive bomb to the register at Petsmart because thats where the employees usually give him a treat on our way out of the store. Eventually he got the point that the only way I was going to let him near the register was if he walked properly.

    After he can calmly stop and sit when he sees people you can start to work on actually "saying hello" ... but not everyone you see should be a "say hi"..... some should be a "leave it" or just a walk on by without actually interacting.... this way he will eventually get to the point where he waits for your permission to politely go over and get petted , etc

    Im postively sure i've mucked up this explanation in one place or several or another so Whichever more experienced person wants to fix what i've missed out on please feel free ..........
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  4. reveuse Well-Known Member

    oh i did think of something with the eliminating on the floor bit .........

    Have you tried something in between crating him and not crating him ? - I'm sure you have but just in case - maybe babygating him or something similar in an increasingly larger area as he gets more and more successful?

    Also when you leave him out of the crate how long are you gone for? Does it matter if its 5 minutes or 5 hours ? When I started leaving mine i did it in 15 minutes then 30 , then an hour, 1.5. 2, 3 , 4 ....... over the course of the summer til I got up to leaving him free for the duration of the day ..... (but I know that he's a little guy (only 7 pounds) so if i'm going to be gone longer than 7 hours or so I still drop him off to play at camp (even tho he would hold it til I came back its not fair to him)?!? Im sure you've tried everything tho i'm just trying to brainstorm...

    also maybe if you have carpet there is still some residual "potty" scent to it that can only be detected by doggie noses? depending on what kind of cleaning products have been used?

    Im sure someone else will have better ideas... kind of like the babycam one. I've wanted to use that before just to see what mine does all day when I'm not there LOL
    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  5. rouen Experienced Member

    Thats a big yorkie, almost as big as my beagle mix(23lbs). You can break jumping fairly easy with a combination of classical conditioning, positive reinforcement and negative punishment. Start at home, you can work him in a low distraction area, call him to you and right before he gets to you and jumps, mark it either with a clicker or a marker word and reward him with a treat dropped on the floor(this can also be applied to strangers). You will slowly increase the distractions. If you go out for a while, when arrive home if he jumps on you, turn around and leave again, wait 1-2 minutes and come back. repeat until he keeps 4 on the floor. For strangers (aside from what I mentioned above) you have to be more rewarding than them, or they have to make him work for the attention. To be more rewarding you can carry treats and when someone comes along that he might be interested in greeting, load the dog(rapidly dispensed, high value treats). If he should break his sit, either tell the people he's in training and ask them not to pay attention to him, or ask them to help by making him sit before they give him attention.

    If you really dont want him up there you'll either have to set him up (usually done with mouse traps under a blanket, there is potential for him to be injured), or you'll have to manage him by making it so he has no access to get on the furniture when you cannot supervise. I reccomend the latter.
    I am assuming he doesn't have SA and he was mainly house broken by use of positive punishment, this is typical a dog who sees human presence as dangerous while eliminating will often have accidents in the abscence of a human. Dogs dont know as much as we'd like to think, they have no idea about right and wrong. They do understand consequences and dangerous circumstances though. Management is the key, if the only way to set him up to succeed is in his crate, then thats an obvious solution.
    lizzyrd, tigerlily46514 and Jean like this.
  6. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    Great posts. I don't like the mousetraps under blankets idea for a dog home alone, at all....or even if human was home, i don't like that part, nope, dog feet are full of tiny lil bones...... but great ideas otherwise..

    I suppose possibley, one could rig up some noise maker that the dog dislikes, when he jumped on furniture, no idea really how to do that, but that'd be good only if it is not a fearful-ish dog, that might be something to mull over.

    Otherwise, option 2, drape all furniture with sheets til you get home, or, til dog learns to stay off furniture? (Funny, i worked hard to GET my dog ONTO the furniture, ha ha, is true, he was afraid of us for too long, we wanted him up there WITH us. I just put on latex gloves and rub the furniture, that picks up all dog hair right off)

    (i am mostly posting to find out how to solve that potty when home alone problem...have no idea myself, interested to see what is the cure...)
  7. reveuse Well-Known Member

    I just remembered an episode of Its me or the dog where they used a sort of remote walkie talkie type thing and a nanny cam and the told this counter surfing lab?golden? cant quite remember which to "leave it" to a bunch of tasty cupcakes on a plate (of course this was after they established an in person leave it while the owner was in with the dog)........

    Kind of reminds me of Jeans post a bit .......
  8. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    i remember that episode! wasn't a golden, it was an Aussie, and THAT DOG did make the most remarkable stare!!!



    Ha, that dog became an internet sensation, they even sell cups and teeshirts with THAT FACE he made!!

    wonder IF IF IF a similar thing could be done to get the home-alone pooper to stop pooping...? set up some cue word that means "don't even think about it" and have the dog on camera and have the voice play....sounds like she'll need a techno-team to rig up the house, though....
    reveuse likes this.
  9. reveuse Well-Known Member

    OH OH OH YESSSSSSSSS! Thats who it was !!!!!!!! and dunno how I forgot AUSSIE (considering thats one of the breeds i was originally considering for dog #2 (now i'm torn between another yorkie mix of proper temperment but in a different sort of color (temperment first and foremost color secondary but I don't want like totally matching dogs hence the color mention(tho they can never match since Ro has one ear that goes up yorkie style and one that stays down like a maltese 95% of the time) AND something larger and more agility friendly )

    Kind of an anti "go pee" command....... like maybe "hold it" !?! or just a really strong version of "ah-ah"?....
    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  10. jackienmutts Honored Member

    Addressing the jumping issue... I'm currently working with a friend and her 3 yr old dog, who is going thru a similar jumping issue. I know we (as people) tend to try to be polite, and love when people like our dogs and want to pet them. I think in this case, you need to be firm with the *potentially* offending people, and when your little yorkie goes running up to someone and jumps on them (and you know the next thing coming is "it's ok" then the pet-fest begins), you need to say (and mean it) please ignore my dog if he jumps on you - he's in training and is not to be petted unless all 4 are on the floor. And don't take no for an answer. Really mean it, and enforce it. If the petting has already begun, then take Buddha away, and approach again - this time, with people being forwarned. When Buddha realizes he gets nothing out of jumping on people, just no reward at all, it will stop. Ask the people (and you too) to not look at him, not to talk to him, and don't pet him. And when all 4 stay on the floor, let the pet-fest begin. And if the jumping starts - immediately withdraw all attention - meaning, don't talk to him, don't even look at him. Wait him out, til again, all 4 are on the floor and he's calm. He's jumping because he's being rewarded for it every single time. Dogs do what works for them. If the rewards cease, so will the jumping - what would be the point? He'll get it, and most likely, he'll get it quickly. Dogs are masters of body language. When there's no payoff for jumping anymore, but the big payoff comes when he sits and looks up with those adorable eyes, bingo!

    As for the furniture - is he allowed on the furniture when you are home? You didn't say, so I'm wondering if he is. And, does he try to get on furniture you don't want him on when you're home - and if so, how do you handle it then? Since you didn't say (and pardon me, because I don't know what training he's had) he might just need some basic training, basic rules: one being "off". He jumps up on the couch, you actually reward him for getting "off" - goooood boy!! He jumps back up, OFF - (throw reward on floor), gooood boy!! About a zillion times - and he learns good stuff happens when I'm on the floor, not the furniture - I'll stay on the floor.

    And as for the potty issue, that's a tough one. First question - are you being very diligent about cleaning up all his potty with an enzymatic cleaner, such as Nature's Miracle? If it's being cleaned up, but the smell is still around, he'll continue to go - forever. If there's any question, I'd start there, get some enzymatic cleaner, and clean anywhere he possibly could have gone, really really good. Then, I'd start him all over just like a puppy - take him out to potty, ask him to go (whatever word you choose) and make a HUGE deal when he goes, throw a party, treats, make it just so much fun! I'd do that every single time you take him out for a while, weeks, and I'd take him out every hour or two, so he catches on to the whole "potty outside" idea. I'd also rethink how long you're leaving him at home. I'd do like Reveuse suggested above - leave him for 30 min, then 1 hour - see if he goes inside. If that's ok, then try 90 min - if that's too long, then step back. Set him up for success - find out what his "potty threshold" is - at least for now (and apparently it's different while you're gone, than in the middle of the night). Give him time to work up. Also, are you sure he's pottying before you leave? Do you ever take him out for a long walk and let him "empty out" before you leave? Asking a male dog to go out and potty can be tricky - he might quickly mark, then come inside and once you're gone, and he's trapped inside, really have to go. I'm only asking some of these questions, because I know sometimes when we get caught in the middle of dog issues, we get so entrenched in trying to solve them, we can overlook obvious things. Forgive me if I've asked questions or made suggestions that seem ridiculous. Patricia McConnell has a booklet entitled "Way to Go! How to Housetrain a Dog of Any Age" - you may find some hints in it that could help you, as it's not geared strictly for puppies.

    I'm sure someone else will chime in with more suggestions. Good luck, keep us posted!
    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  11. reveuse Well-Known Member

    I also didnt just leave him 15min once 30 min once an hour once etc....... I did several (in varying numbers) of each time increment *just as an edit to what i wrote earlier*
  12. jackienmutts Honored Member

    After reading your response, it sounds like your poor Buddha doesn't really have just a housetraining problem at all, but most likely suffers from separation anxiety - what tipped me off immediatly was that he poops in the car when you get out to pay for gas, and that his poop is smeared everywhere at home. When you leave him, he freaks out. I'm posting a link to an online article you may find helpful. It's very long, but full of good info. You may also want to order (from Amazon or dogwise) Patricia McConnell's booklet: "I'll Be Home Soon - How to Prevent and Treat Separation Anxiety". I don't have a lot of time right now, but will post more later. You have a long road in front of you, but with loads of work, I'm sure Buddha will be just fine. For now, one of the first things you may want to do, is start taking him out for a long walk before you leave (and make your trips very short) - he does need to get out and experience the world and burn off a lot of nervous energy. Also, give him something like a stuffed kong or really tasty chew to occupy his time while you're gone. I will post more later, I really must go right now, more later, but try to absorb some of this article, and perhaps order Patricia's book, she's wonderful, too. Oh, also, if you look back on some older threads, Fickla had an old thread when she was working thru SA with her dog - it was a great thread and she was posting progress, what she was doing, etc - it was packed full of info!! Truly must run out the door - more later....
    http://www.paw-rescue.org/PAW/PETTIPS/SeparationAnxiety.php
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  13. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    Jackienmutts, such great advice, kudos.
    One thing, LIzzyrd, maybe you could begin working on, with the car thing, is, stepping out of car, staying beside it, clicking and treating for calm behavior. Maybe through window..
    Dog can still see you are right there. For first few tries, only a one second wait time is plenty...don't wanna give dog chance to mess this up.

    then Get back in.
    Drive around. Repeat.
    Over time, wait a bit longer, still in view of dog inside the car, til you click and treat.

    Over time, maybe some time, depending on your assessment of dog's comfort level, not going faster than your dog can handle, begin to take a few steps away from car, c&t after few seconds, slowly desensitizing the dog to this, a few seconds at a time...taking care to never c/t when dog is whining, if he whines, c/t during calm moment.

    next time--- sloooowly advancing along to more seconds, a minute, two minutes, slowly advancing along, so dog becomes to think it is okay afterall.

    this method might take a while, with goal of being able to step away from car, returning after 5 minutes, to a calm dog...then 10 minutes...and so on. And someday, even 20 or 30 minutes.

    might be worht a try. Maybe others have better ideas. I can imagine that is exasperating situation:confused: for you Lizzy, but, do hang in there, this seems solvable. Your dog IS doing the best he can do, :doghuh:with his current understanding:dogwacko: of things.

    But, we can help him gain a better understanding :dogbiggrin:of things...and he can get better, hang in there!!
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  14. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    I would recommend abandoning the Dog Whisperer. The only things I ever learned from him that I still agree with today is dog body language. The rest, in my opinion, is crap. You can get soooo much more out of your dog with positive methods.
    As for jumping on the furniture, ditto on the methods already mentioned.
    I agree with Jackie, it doesn't sound like a potty training issue. Good tips there.

    As for jumping on people, great things already mentioned. Here's what I personally have done, so see which of all these methods works best for you and stick with it. But you really have to be strict, with both Buddha and the visitors.
    Enlist some helpers, or even see if someone is willing to help for just a few minutes when you're out. Have him sitting at your side, and have someone walk towards you. If he breaks his sit, have the person immediately turn around and walk away. Repeat repeat repeat. When he does get it and stays planted, you give him treats. Then progress to person walks up to you, and reaches toward him. If he breaks his sit, the person turns around and walks away. What he'll learn is that nothing will get him attention except sitting nicely. If the person is in the middle of petting him and he jumps, petting stops, person walks away. NO attention for being jumpy and excited.
    You'll have to be really strict with this and with people who want to pet him. And make sure he gets really great treats for being good and not jumping on people. Find other places that allow pets too, that might not be quite as busy as Petsmart. Some hunting stores, some hardware stores, and some livestock supply stores allow pets. Just do some checking. If there are any dog parks in your area, you might try there too, as other dog owners might be more understanding and respectful of you wanting Buddha to be well-behaved.

    Personally, I do not believe that small dog=small exercise. They still need regimented exercise, i.e. WALKS. Structured walks, not just running around the house and yard. Physically, yes, they may be able to move as much as they need to, but mentally, there is no way for a dog of any size to be mentally stimulated in the same house, in the same yard, every single day of his life. A structured walk meets both their physical needs and their mental needs.
    Just my two cents.
    Good luck!
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  15. reveuse Well-Known Member


    I definetly agree with this!....
  16. jackienmutts Honored Member

    I finally got to come back to this thread and get caught up. I wanted to address a couple things.

    I absolutely agree with what tx-cowgirl said above. All dogs, regardless of size, need exercise. Think about yourself, if you never got out of the house, only having the same 4 walls to look at all the time. You have room to walk around - but how boring! They need to get out, experience the world, sniff the sidewalk, the grass, bushes, etc - see who's peed where, who's walked around the neighborhood, what new dog's been around, etc. A good long walk will also help Buddha release some of that nervous energy he's got all pent up (and is currently using to focus soley on you).

    Personally, I wouldn't try to leash train 2 dogs at the same time - both need your individual attention, and I'm sure each dog will have different issues to work on. I have 2 Germ Shepherds, one is dog-aggressive. I've been walking mine separately for 3 years. Do I like it? No. But it's best for both of the dogs. I can devote my full attention to my girl when we're together, and this has enabled us to make huge progress. Because of this, I'm finally just now, after 3 yrs, able to start walking both of my dogs together. Walk - and work with - each of your dogs individually. Yes, it will take up extra time. But two things happen here. First, you can work on each one's issues (pulling, etc), and second, that alone time helps strengthen the bond you have with each dog. It's really good to spend time alone with each of them. Once they both are walking well on the leash, start doing short walks together - it won't take long before you're only doing one good walk with both of them.

    I'm not sure if you've had any time to look at the link I gave above, addressing Sep Anx, what it is, and steps you can take to start working with Buddha. You mentioned above that you were hoping that Chimera being home with him would help with his S/A. Unfortunately, a whole house full of dogs won't help Buddha. He doesn't care about other dogs, he only focuses on you, and only wants you, and panics til you get home. There are loads of good suggestions in the article, such as totally changing your routine - putting on your coat and picking up your keys and sitting down and watching tv. HUH? Dogs are masters of body language, totally changing every single thing you do takes some of the edge off, because dogs with S/A see you put on a certain pair of shoes (or ?? ) and know right off you're leaving - the panic already starts setting in, and just builds from there. All that poop you've been finding smeared everywhere - it's a physical response to a flood of emotional panic. If they're tired from a loooong walk, and given something to do right as you're heading out the door (such as a frozen stuffed kong or a really good chew) - and you're then only gone for 5 min and back (cuz you're now working on building up the dog's confidence level - he has to grow to realize you ARE coming home again), he'll be much more relaxed. Come home in 5 min, pick up that chew or kong - and you still have a dog who's relaxed from that long walk - and who might do better next time (when you're gone for 6 min). Then 10 min - then 15 min - then 10 min - then 20 min, then 15 min - then 25 min, then 10 min, then 15 min, then 40 min, then 5 min - do you see how to keep varying your trips? And every time, go thru the same routine - a good walk (so he can potty and exercise, not just a potty break), then something really great to occupy his time - then the second you come home, that great chew goes away. He only gets it when you're gone. And oh man, he was just gettin' into it! Oh well ... you get it again the next time I leave.

    You have a big job ahead, but with a lot of consistent work, I know Buddha will be ok.
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