Fun Concept For Problem Behaviour

Discussion in 'Dog Behavior Problems' started by threenorns, Feb 9, 2013.

  1. threenorns Well-Known Member

    my dog used to be a mad jumper. seriously - he'd do essentially a box turn off my stomach (felt like a karate kick). got him to stop that so he settled for pogo-sticking.

    he's way better now but some ppl and some behaviours still trigger it.

    i've already been teaching him to lie down when someone acts afraid: i, like many idiot new dog owners, had had a lot of fun dangling treats just above the puppy and making him jump for it. didn't think that when ppl are afraid, they pull their hands up and and back - so of course dandy goes jumping all over them looking for the treat.

    so now when someone does that, he lies down (going to extend it to covering his eyes, lol).

    once i'm done, he'll also lie down for:

    stupid babbling baby talk ("EEEE!!!! oosa woodgie goo' bwoi!!!? oo's a goo' bwoi, den!!!")

    encouraging him to jump up by patting their chest (YES, there are idiot ppl here who do that bec apparently everybody likes having a giant hairy black dog doing the "wax on/wax off" all over them)

    patting their thighs while bending forward making kissy-noises

    blowing in his face
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  2. southerngirl Honored Member

    That's a great idea. My nephews are scared of dogs so this would be great to teach Missy.
    MaryK likes this.
  3. threenorns Well-Known Member

    oh, absolutely - i think kids'd get a kick out of a dog that as "scared" as they are and has to hide her eyes, lol
    MaryK likes this.
  4. Amateur Experienced Member

    How many times have we all had dogs that dont jump on us but are encouraged byt others - oh its ok ... NO ITS NOT!

    awesome concept - teach the dog the opposite to the expected command - brilliant
    MissyBC, MaryK and Mutt like this.
  5. curls139 Well-Known Member

    Had a thought about this for Russell and read about it in Jean Donaldson's Culture Clash - that basically people's cue for jumping up (patting their legs, saying hello, babytalk) is the command to sit/lie down/something that is not mutually exclusive with jumping up. Russell gets sooooooooooo exited that after 3 seconds of hellohellohellocan'thear anythingiloveyouyourthemostfunpersoneverrrrr that he's not interested in the person anymore so the split second time for training is lost. Any ideas?
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  6. Mutt Experienced Member

    I think we all know what you mean!

    When I'm walking the dogs I want them to leave other people alone (which goes very well). When I see M/B making an attempt of going towards people I tell them 'walk on' and then there are people who respond to that by making noises to encourage them to come (and when they do, be like stay away dog...).
    Or when I'm walking them on leash and the dogs are just minding their own business and people start making those kootsjiekootsjiekoe sounds and then get startled when the dogs quickly go towards them... (thankfully there are still people that than realise that it's their own fault).

    @curls, i think you could start training it by just making the patting on the leg is the hand signal for lie down. So without the actual people. If this is a habit I think he will offer it when in 'real' situations (when is my reward coming?)l
    MaryK likes this.
  7. MaryK Honored Member

    We all deal with this problem. I make the people stop by saying very politely but firmly, he has to SIT before you can stroke him. I also use 'leave' when we pass people, especially those who make all those strange baby talk noises, and now he just walks on past them. If we do stop, he now waits politely (bot on the ground or standing if there are ants around which bite) until I ALLOW the person to pat him.

    We have to watch our dog's backs all the time!

    Curls: I agree with Mutt, use the pat the leg cue for sit/lie down. Then reward and LOL it may just teach people NOT to do that as it doesn't get the response they're waiting for!
  8. threenorns Well-Known Member

    curls: you can't train this around other ppl - i trained dandy in the basement of the house to lie down when someone acts afraid. trust me, it is not possible to find people who really are afraid of dogs to help you train this one, lol. he's border collie mix so i know exactly what you meant about his excitement level going ZINNNNG! before you can blink!

    start by going over some tricks that your dog knows well - sit, lie down, spin around, roll over, etc. this gets him in the training mode and also has him at a high self-esteem level.

    like mutt said, start with something fairly low excitement like patting your thigh or bending forward (if you go with the baby talk, he'll rocket up into the stratosphere). make the patting or bending movement and *at the same time*, give the "lie down" or "sit" or "leave it" command. never get angry, frustrated, exasperated, etc, bec then you're just broadcasting opposing commands all over the place and trick training is no place for negative emotions (after all, nobody's going to get hurt if he gets the trick wrong; it's not as if he's chasing after sheep or jumping up to snap at ppl's hair). this could take a long time because you have to overcome not only his innate instinct to follow your body language (as opposed to your verbal command) but you have his entire lifetime to counter-condition. it will probably last maybe a minute or two - i mean that: 60 to 120 seconds - before one or the other or both of you are done with it for now.

    do this 4 - 5 times a day and have on hand some *amazing* reward - whatever it is that he would moonwalk for. for dandy, it's gravlax. if i have gravlax in my pocket, i don't need a leash to walk him - i do, however, need a steady supply of kleenex to wipe boogers off the outside of my pants pocket.

    the first time he gets it, even just a little bit, break out the brass band: treats!!!!! praise!!!!!! hurray!!!!! you're the smartest dog EVER!!!!! and end the session there. it's always important to end the session on a high note bec that's the first thing he's going to remember when you do it again a little while later and you don't want to dilute his success with something prosaic like sit, stay, or roll over.
    Mutt likes this.
  9. curls139 Well-Known Member

    Thanks to everyone - really good to get some DETAILED advice from people who have actually trained this. Usually there is only a one-line: only give attention when they have four paws on the floor. Has anybody had any success with this one? The experience that we have had is that most people find it difficult to follow this rule and often *to them* ignoring (well meaning as it is) goes something like "Russell, no, stop jumping up, no Russell, sit, sit etc." which will inadvertantly reward Russ.

    The main time when Russell's jumping up is at its worst is when people come to the house, which is also the main time he meets people...as most people don't want to stroke him or walk anywhere near him in the street. This means that often Russell's jumping is an unprovoked greeting -people get an exited jump from Russell before anything, people rarely invite him to play with them.

    Would this technique work for that? I'm thinking perhaps the only way it might work is train as a cue to lie down whenever someone comes through the door or if there is someone new in the house that Russell would like attention from?

    We really want to get this right for the sake of his breed and him - as a family member has commented that it is a little intimidating even though Russell is super friendly and super soft.
    Thanks again
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  10. threenorns Well-Known Member

    the house is *hard*. i've been working on dandy for over a year and although now i can stop him rushing down the stairs, he still barks like mad and at the first opportunity he's rushing them and flomping on the floor on his back and waving all four paws madly to get attention. i haven't done it as a dedicated session, though; i guess i'll have to add that to the fix-it list.

    one thing i found worked great for stopping him from crossing the bridge where i used to live (small house deep in the bush, dirt road out front crossing a one-lane wooden bridge, pack of unfriendly dogs on the other side) was to draw a line across the road with garlic and onion scented oil and trained him to back off from that smell. it also worked to keep him out of the garage (where all the garbage was) and to stop peeing on mom's rosebush (way too delicate for the gardening zone anyway).

    you could try putting scent markers well back from the door or entryway and teaching him in formal session to stay back of the line.

    another way that i've *heard* is supposed to work is ignoring your dog when you get home [honestly, i tried this for a month to no effect but that could be a breed thing or it could very well be i just didn't do it right] - just walk right in as if they don't exist. this avoids rewarding them for acting like a lunatic at the door. keep ignoring them until they settle down and relax - this could take 10min, 15min, half an hour, or even longer at the start but the time quickly drops once you've been consistent with it long enough.

    i can see the strategy: by responding with "hey!!! no!!!! down!!! get -- get down! DOWN!!!!", you're adding "YAP YAP YAP YAP YAP" to the already frenzied barking. they don't hear you - they've gone through the roof and are functionally deaf (similar to how a dog can get when he sees a squirrel - if you don't break the focus the moment he locks eyes on it, you've just made the job 900x harder to get him to stop chasing that squirrel). you're also giving them your undivided attention and that basically is telling them that them rushing you at the door is the bestest thing in the whole wide world.

    by coming in and ignoring them - come in... get your shoes and coat off (ignore the dog pogo-sticking in front of you).... put the groceries in the kitchen (ignore the dog squirreling around your legs).... put the kettle on (ignore the dog humping your foot).... sort the mail (ignore the dog on his back frantically flailing and begging for a belly rub).... and okay, *now* we will quietly greet the dog who is quiet with all four paws on the ground (or better yet, sitting politely or has left the room and is lying down) - you tell the dog that you coming in has nothing to do with them; whether or not they're there, you're coming in, and that their calm behaviour is more rewarding than their insane barkezoidness.

    once you, yourself, can come in without impedance, it's easy to extend it: when someone comes over, you go to the door then turn your back to it. effectively, now you are the one coming in and they will back off.
  11. 648117 Honored Member

    Holly puts her paws on people at the park, but I've given up trying to stop her because people always encourage it because she is little. She is easier to pat if she reaches up.
    And I don't bother telling her off even if she has dirty feet because the person she's doing it to usually has a much larger dog that has just put its muddy paws all over me, at least Holly can't reach very high :rolleyes:
  12. threenorns Well-Known Member

    that was the thinking here at my sister's - there's bitty little chi mix and a massive goldendoodle. nobody minds the hysterically yapping chi-mix putting her paws all over ppl but then it really does a number on loosey when she does exactly the same thing and everybody yells at her.

    a dog is a dog, large or small, same rules apply to all.
  13. 648117 Honored Member

    Don't get me wrong, I don't like it when she puts here paws up.
    She doesn't generally do it to me, even when I first get home.
    She does not rush up to strangers, they have to make an effort for her to go over and say "hello" but when she does they always encourage her to put her paws up so now she just does it if they just try to call her over.
    But like I said, the other persons large (often lab or lab cross) has often just covered me in mud or nearly knocked me over.


    But generally I agree that "a dog is a dog no matter the size" that's why Holly's size is not much of a barrier to me and we still do so much stuff that larger dogs usually do.

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