Our Puppy Is Outsmarting Us! Help.

Discussion in 'General Dog Training' started by Ruanda, Mar 22, 2013.

  1. Ruanda Member

    We have a beautiful 8-month old puppy. We've started training her using positive reinforcement but she is now starting to outsmart us! I have a 3 year old daughter that the puppy adore! She gets terribly excited around my daughter and we are now trying to teach the pup to leave my daughter alone (my daughter doesn't always feel like playing and isn't particular fond of the doggy licks in the face at 7am in the morning!). We've started to say 'leave it' when the puppy goes up to my daughter, then we reward her when she backs away from her. But miss Labrador has now figured out that everytime she walks up to my daughter and she correctly responds to 'leave it', she gets a treat. So what does she do? She keeps walking up to my daughter and then backs off to get the treat! And if I don't treat, then she just continues to hassle my daughter. Does anyone have any advice? I desperately want to reach a point where I can have both my daughter and the puppy in the same room without the pup being all over my daughter. Ideas?
    Evie likes this.

  2. Amateur Experienced Member

    *laughing* love it ! oh sorry .. not much help there am I

    How about rewards of a different kind interspersed with the treats. sometime she gets a treat sometimes its a pat on the head sometimes its a toy. With directing her attention away from your daughter with the reward i.e. go play with this toy instead it might take the focus off the kid.
    Dogster, southerngirl, Mutt and 2 others like this.
  3. DevonW Well-Known Member

    Thor does this too so whenever he starts say "hey if I do this action and then stop" I get a treat I start increasing the criteria of what I'm having him do. Perhaps instead of just backing away have her lie down or actually leave the room before rewarding. Changing up rewards is also a great way to make sure they do the behaviour all the time and not just when treats are available.
    Dogster, southerngirl and MissyBC like this.
  4. MissyBC Experienced Member

    Here's something you could try:

    Step 1. If your puppy goes up to your daughter... tell her "leave it".

    Step 2. Once she does... "good leave it" and reward but...

    Step 3. Now instead of stopping at the "leave it" ritual... tell her to lay "down" and reward reward reward.

    I hope this is helpful.

    Good luck!!
  5. 648117 Honored Member

    If your puppy is crate trained then when she gets too excited and starts this ritual I would put her in her crate for 5 minutes to calm down.
    Don't tell her off or anything, you want the crate to remain a positive place, but you could put her in there to break the behaviour pattern and for her to calm down a bit before being let out again.
  6. blacknym Experienced Member

    This is a good idea for Deja as well. I will tell her leave it and she listens but...

    three seconds later she is back at the object of her desire. lol It drives me nuts. Ive had to hide the recycling and the garbage can because she started to dumpster dive. :/ She never used to but I think she figured they where interesting.

    So i guess from now on she will be told Leave it and then redirected to something else.
  7. ackerleynelson Well-Known Member

    You thought you were over the biggest hurdle once your dog accepted your baby as part of the family. Now, however, things are changing again. One of the best ways to protect your child from your dog and vice versa is to use baby gates to keep them separate. Baby gates across doorways allow the dog and your toddler to see each other, but they also allow them both the freedom to play and nap without interference from each other.
  8. kcmetric Well-Known Member

    I'd try to avoid using the crate as any form of punishment. It may not be intended as punishment but the puppy could very easily view it that way and we want the crate to always be a place of happiness. I would start only giving treats 1/2 or 1/4 of the time for responding when he gets in her face.

    If you're worried about ruining his recall or leave it just do more training sessions to reinforce or more "real life" instances. You could also go about it as in "Nope, if you don't do that you don't get anything" back to the time out premise but put him in a bathroom or something other than his crate or whatever his happy place is, be sure you don't use the command, just walk over and lead him to the time out.
  9. moetrout Guest

    Teach your daughter to command the dog. Instead of you telling the dog to leave it, have your daughter give a down or sit command and give a treat when correct. This would halt the dog in front of your daughter (then no lick in the face) and it shoud teach your dog she is the boss and also a giver of treats. My dog Copper use to be agressive towards my daughter. I signed him up for a basic obedience class and had my daughter do all of the training. I of course also train him at home, but all class training is done by Caitlin. The two of them are now on their second class (companion 1) and they are also starting a agility foundation class tonight. The reason for 2 classes is we were told at our second companion 1 class that Copper is already doing everything they teach in companion 1 and 2. So we will finish up companion 1 since it is as much about training the person as it is about training the dog. Agility has been a goal since the end of the first class.

    Anyway, Copper and Caitlin have a much different relationship now and he sure seems to like to please the girl with the treats! Depending on your daughters age, she might like it if she get to be "The Boss". It might also cause her to be more interested in a dog that she can nthen control.

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