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Dog

Gottagetthrough posted 9/25/2020 10:13 AM

We got my dog as a little puppy. And he was so cute and sweet and playful and nice back then. But over the last almost 3 years hes kind of grown to be mean. I wouldnt say exactly mean, but a brat? He steals other peoples things like the babies toys or hair brushes or other things that he can chew on.

And he is constantly trying to escape the house!

He is sweet to the baby and licks him and gets excited to see him. He sleeps at the foot of my bed or my kids beds. He loves to snuggle and get belly rubs.

But damnit he can be a spoiled brat! He gets a good treat when he steals something (like a baby toy) so he will drop it to give it back. I know, thats awful. But how do you discipline a dog?

Superesse posted 9/25/2020 10:27 AM

Oh, does this sound like our girl! She is a police dog, bred to do search and rescue, and stealing my stuff started about the time she turned 1. Tomorrow will be her 7th birthday...This morning I put my sheepskin slippers that she really loves to steal into my bedside trash can, which is a kitchen height - 2 feet tall. So, what did she do? She stuck her nose down in the trash can, retrieved that furry "critter" and down the hall she galloped. This goes on every day.

With her eccentric ball she loves to have us throw, one of her favorite moves is to drop it in a half-full 5 gallon bucket of water, and see if she can plunge her face down far enough to get it, without getting water in her ears. If the water is too deep, she uses her paw to tip the bucket a bit and spill it out.

Sounds like you have a "working dog" breed! We learned what that really means: it's a nice way of saying they make their own jobs up as they go through life...and we don't always like the work they do...but they think they must!

With our dog, it's habit now, and no matter how hard we work her, she will go for my slippers. It's a sure-fire way to get me to interact with her - her real goal. I need to get them away from her, so I don't lose them to her jaws like she did already...one has been stitched back together.

Also, your reward for releasing the thing has become associated with the whole ritual, sorry about that.

Edited to add something about dog personalities: if you can get some of Cesar Milan's books, he has been able to help people redirect their dog's behaviors. Lot of it is just what you said: they get spoiled, or they worm their way into privileges we permit them, and to them getting those privileges (belly rubs, etc.) is how they express their "pack dominance." Different dogs have different degrees of natural drive to be the leader of the family pack, and when we get a strong-headed dog, oye, they never stop testing us. This is where my H caved in to her wily ways, early on...and now we have a cute but very spoiled German Shepherd dog.

[This message edited by Superesse at 10:52 AM, September 25th (Friday)]

tushnurse posted 9/25/2020 11:46 AM

Gotta -what is the breed(s) of said dog.
Honestly this sounds like nuisance behavior that stems out of boredom and lack of enough exercise.

I have labs that are trained to hunt/retrieve. They require TONS of exercise. We have a saying in our home. "A tired lab is a good lab". So the first thing I would recommend is to get those older kids outside w/ that dog everyday. At least for 15 min 2-3 times a day. If he/she fetches, then you got it made. If not then figure out some other games to get him to run, jump and play.

Catwoman posted 9/25/2020 12:32 PM

I always suggest a strong dose of "Nothing In Life Is Free" (you can google it). It is a non-aggressive way of asserting your dominance over the dog. However, EVERYONE in the family must fully participate 100% for it to work.

Secondly, you need to dog-proof your house so that accessible contraband is at a minimum. I assume he has his own toys and such to play with? It is not a bad thing to get him to trade for a treat when he does get contraband, but the goal is for him to give it to you on command no treat involved. Use a command like "Give" or "Out" for this purpose.

I echo Tushnurse's call on the exercise. Both physical and mental stimulation are needed for working breeds. I have a Chesapeake, and this is vital for him.

Finally, is he crate trained? I would use the crate when he cannot be directly supervised.

Cat

PS: Chessies are notorious social climbers, so it is recommended they not be allowed on the bed or furniture. Again, allowed where the humans are is like telling them they are equal to the humans. Bad idea, especially with a working breed.

Superesse posted 9/25/2020 12:53 PM

Smart dogs soon learn that if a behavior gets them a reward, well....more of the same should get them more treats!

I agree with Catwoman that the next step is to get the object back without the treat, but if yours is anything like ours, commands tend to fall on deaf ears....she is rotten spoiled, and yes, in most respects she thinks she is people.

We suspect that the breeder bottle fed her, since she was the runt of a litter of 12 and momma could only nurse 10 pups! So she thought she was people from the get-go.

[This message edited by Superesse at 12:55 PM, September 25th (Friday)]

Catwoman posted 9/25/2020 12:55 PM

I had a friend with a Chessie pup that rewarded her little one with a treat every time she delivered her toy to hand. Soon, the devil-dog was bringing her all sorts of things and expecting a treat. The coup de grace was a discarded laser printer cartridge she retrieved from the trash.

Cat

Gottagetthrough posted 9/26/2020 06:34 AM

He is part Maltese and part Shih-tzu. We have thought that hes bored, and will take him in walks, we are also thinking about getting a fence so that we can just let him run and play.

Funny thing is, on walks sometimes he sees a very good, unleashed dog. This dog wants to play and will be very nice to my dog and roll on to his back , my dog has meanly chased and barked at this dog (my daughter let the leash slip out of her hand once) and just is a jerk to this dog who is way bigger than my 10 lb tiny dog!

My dog also likes to sit on people. He does it when we are in bed or in a chair, and it seems like an Im the leader of the pack thing.

He also jumped on our bed and peed on my WH once. Just lifted his leg and peed. Im not complaining about that though

DragnHeart posted 9/26/2020 08:45 AM

And this is why reptiles are the best pets. No shedding, barking, and definitely dont sleep with you lol

Little dogs tend to be more snappy and nasty I find. I hate labs thanks to my fil lab that was vicious!

My chihuahua can be nasty but only to the St Bernard. And it's usually over food. The St.bernard is a sweety most of the time until someone outside of the family makes any move towards the kids. When fil visited he ran towards the kids and SB totally took him out just by body checking him. When my father was wrestling with the kids SB gently took my dads arm and pulled him away from the kids. I pity the person who actually tries to hurt my kids with that dog around.

I agree about crate training, dog proofing your house and suggest no more lap dog. Need to assert that you are leader of the pack.


He also jumped on our bed and peed on my WH once. Just lifted his leg and peed. Im not complaining about that though


Ok I admit I laughed at this. I'd be praising the dog for doing that if it was on my wh hahaha.

StillLivin posted 9/27/2020 21:06 PM

By exchanging a treat, you are giving him positive feedback to continue the behavior. Would you reward a child for stealing?
Take the item away and put him in a time out. Be consistent. Ensure he has access to his own chew toys so he'll be less tempted to take others.
What type of training and exercise do you do with him daily and how often per day? Some breeds have to be stimulated both physically and mentally constantly. Never get a high drive breed if you're a low drive person and vice versa.
And never forget that they never grow up cognitively past the age of about 10. So keep things out of reach that you know can't be trained out of him. For example. I take out the trash every single morning before I leave. If my dog gets into the trash because I didn't have the basic sense to take it with me when I left, that's MY fault. A dog is still a dog. Just like a child is still a child. You wouldn't leave candy out, especially not your child's favorite at the age of 8 and expect him not to sneak a few pieces. Same with the chew items your dog likes to take.
ETA, never make his crate a punishment. Make him go in a corner away from others. Dogs are social. This will bother him. When his time put is over, give him his own chew toys and praise him for playing with THEM instead. Over time, he'll learn through positive reinforcement that he gets praised for playing with his stuff.
We used to have a professional dog trainer on here. Ill reach out and see if she has better advice.

[This message edited by StillLivin at 9:08 PM, September 27th (Sunday)]

StillLivin posted 9/28/2020 01:05 AM

My dog peed all over xhole's pile of clothes. He then walked to the other side of the pile and peed some more. He was very well rewarded for such exemplary loyalty. And he's never peed on anything else in the house again.

tushnurse posted 9/28/2020 09:48 AM

Gotta - I would encourage you to have your older kiddos research tricks on youtube to train the dog to do.
Play dead, shake, dance, etc. I would assign each kid a trick. When they accomplish this, and the dog learns it, then give them a new one to work on. There are ton of cute things you can teach a small dog to do, and it will give the kids a sense of accomplishment, and be good for both. Stimulating the dogs brain, and getting some exercise.

Catwoman posted 9/28/2020 09:55 AM

By exchanging a treat, you are giving him positive feedback to continue the behavior.

The treat is for giving up the contraband. The goal is to get the dog to give up contraband without a treat. The family needs to dog-proof the house so that contraband is not accessible to the dog. That means putting away shoes and socks and such.

Teaching the dog to drop or leave it is an important command. I would recommend this be taught immediately.

My dog also likes to sit on people. He does it when we are in bed or in a chair, and it seems like an Im the leader of the pack thing.

Absolutely dominance behavior, and it should be curtailed immediately.

Funny thing is, on walks sometimes he sees a very good, unleashed dog. This dog wants to play and will be very nice to my dog and roll on to his back , my dog has meanly chased and barked at this dog (my daughter let the leash slip out of her hand once) and just is a jerk to this dog who is way bigger than my 10 lb tiny dog!

I am not a fan about letting dogs I don't know play with my dog. I am also very concerned about a small dog who would run up and challenge a larger dog. This can end up in a very tragic situation. I have a neighbor with a teacup Yorkie that is an absolute asshole to my 65-pound Chesapeake. My dog is under my direct control at all times, but another dog might decide to teach the Yorkie a lesson. Teach your dog to ignore other dogs while on a leashed walk. It may save his life.

Cat

tushnurse posted 9/28/2020 12:28 PM

I absolutely agree 110% w/ everything Cat has said.

My MIL has a Westie that is just vile. She is aggressive, and she will dominate every situation she is allowed to, in addition she will own every toy, chew, etc around. We kept her and the other 2 dogs my MIL had when her spouse was dying (about 6 weeks). She went after my old lab 3 times. The 3rd time I put her down, and kept her down until she submitted and stayed submissive. I do NOT trust her around my young male (intact) lab. If he decides he isn't going to take her bs that would be it. One head shake.

Warning soapbox moment: Too many people w/ small dogs do not train them to behave, to be submissive, to follow commands, to do what you would expect of any larger dog. That is why the incidence of dog human bites are so much higher in small breeds. It is also why most kids that get bit by a dog is from a small breed.

Drop it.
Leave it.
Back Up.
Sit/Stay - at the door until released.
Down.
No.

Essential commands to keep your dog safe, and healthy.

zebra25 posted 9/28/2020 13:30 PM

Agree with Tush and Cat.

Small breed dogs don't have to be brats. I always had medium or large dogs. I now have two small dogs that are very well behaved and friendly but know their place. Little dogs get a bad rap but it is usually the owners fault for not training them.

I like to train my dogs to sit at the door and not let them out until I give permission to go. This solves the bolting out the door problem. It also reinforces that you are in charge.

They are aloud to sit with us or on our laps but we invite them. They will happily chose their beds or their crates also.

One of my boys would take shoes when he was young. I taught him give and go get a toy and then rewarded him with play time. He quickly figured out that grabbing a toy was more rewarding.

I also make sure they get walks every day. A tired dog is a good dog.

Training takes a lot of time but is so worth it to have calm happy well behaved companions.

sunwillshine posted 9/28/2020 13:40 PM

I don't know anything about dogs. However, could you hide things the dog is supposed to have and reward for him finding the appropriate toys? Dog proof, socks, slippers, etc. And if tye dog brings something he isn't supposed to have, he does not get a treat and is met with your disapproval. Just a thought, again I don't know anything about dogs. When my cat uses his claws or nips at me, he gets put out of the room. Seems to help some. Of course, he's a cat.

crazyblindsided posted 9/28/2020 14:05 PM

My dog peed all over xhole's pile of clothes. He then walked to the other side of the pile and peed some more. He was very well rewarded for such exemplary loyalty. And he's never peed on anything else in the house again.

Now that is a finely trained dog

Gottagetthrough posted 9/29/2020 17:40 PM

You are all right- I HATE giving him a treat to get my stuff back. Once Wh and I were in bed and he actually came to the door, shook WHs shoe infront of us, and ran away. Knew hed get a treat to drop the expensive shoe


He gets walks to pee every day. I am hesitant to do neighborhood walks because there are three unleashed dogs in my neighborhood. One is nice and two are not. I have picked up my dog and walked the other way several times . (My neighborhood is a small circle)

Would a fence so he can run a lot in an enclosed space be a good idea?

I love my dog. He can be very sweet . If I dont feel well he snuggles next to me and licks me. But I just think I am so ignorant about dogs Im not bringing out the best in him

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