Looking for some tips

Tricks, obedience, behavior, and more.
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BabyReba
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Re: Looking for some tips

Postby BabyReba » Sun Dec 08, 2013 12:21 pm

she sounds like she might need more than just petsmart obedience classes. you might need to find a food trainer in your area who can help you work on problems at your home. especially to assess what she is thinking when people come to visit.

how old is she? and where are you located?

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Amie
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Re: Looking for some tips

Postby Amie » Sun Dec 08, 2013 7:13 pm

Hi, Cathy! Yes, an experienced trainer will help. That's a lot of questions - let me see if I can give you a little bit of help.

cathyd wrote:- possessiveness... All of a sudden when we have people come over to our house Matilda starts to growl and scare our guests. How can we limit this behavior? SHe has no problem with people or dogs when we go for walks.


I'd keep her separate in another room when people first come over. Give her something yummy to keep her occupied in that room for just a few minutes, and then when all the people in the house have settled down, let her come out and meet them if she likes. When she sees the new people, give her little treats that she loves. They don't have to come from the new scary people (which makes them get closer to her, which is scarier, and also puts them in bite range...) but they should happen in the presence of the new people. So, she sees the person in the home, she gets a bit of hot dog or cheese. Before long, she says 'hey, new people! you make the hot dog happen!'

cathyd wrote:- nipping... When she wants our attention or wants to play and we do not, she will nip or pinch our arms or feet. This is very annoying and hurts. How can we stop this?


This is frequently a tough one. Many people will recommend you make a yipping "Ouch!" sound - I generally don't recommend this, because most of the time when dogs do this it's because they're too amped up to begin with, and sounding like a squeaky toy doesn't exactly mellow that out. The rule should be teeth on skin ends all interaction - no bending on that. Make sure she's getting plenty of exercise and mental stimulation, and if she comes towards you, ask her to sit, then reward her with attention/game. Teach her the way to get your attention is to sit and be polite, and the way to lose that attention is to be rude.

cathyd wrote:- jumping on tables and counters... She just will not take no or down for an answer. Will this cease at some point?


Make sure there's nothing up there that's worth getting. Once she's learned there is food and goodies up there, it's very hard to convince her it's not. Give her something appropriate to do across the room when there is food in those places, and keep a close eye on her. Don't let her get close enough to get up there to check things out herself.

cathyd wrote:- picking up cues from our other dog... Unfortunately our other dog also does not like guests visiting us and for the first few minutes will bark her head off all the while her tail is wagging, but will eventually stop. Matilda picks up on this and starts barking and growling which has us worried. Matilda is 78 pounds....


The same advice for getting better with guests will help both dogs, but they will likely always feed off of each other. Keep them out of situations that they find uncomfortable, keep them separate if they're likely to feed off of each other inappropriately, and try to give all those uncomfortable experiences a positive twist by adding in yummy treats and fun.

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BabyReba
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Re: Looking for some tips

Postby BabyReba » Mon Dec 09, 2013 7:49 pm

gosh, so she has been in a shelter for the majority of her life. poor girl is lucky you got her out. i am sure she has really been lacking in direction and socialization all that time. hopefully consistent training and lots of patience will help her out. i had a dog that i got as an adult, who had been bounced around quite a bit before he got to me. i found that he really thrived when he got plenty of exercise and a really good daily routine, as well as lots of mental exertion (training, trips to new places, games/challenges). in addition to amie's advice, if you search the archives here, you will probably find a lot of info on how others have helped shelter dogs acclimate to their new homes.


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