Ok, I have some trust issues and a question or 2 :)...

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Ok, I have some trust issues and a question or 2 :)...

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Old 07-10-2013, 09:32 AM
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Ok, I have some trust issues and a question or 2 :)...

So I've been working with Tessa solo. No puppy class since the incident and so far she's doing really well; nipping is down to a minimum (even with teething), she's going for a toy now instead of my face, can be trusted to sleep with me, eating well, etc. Yet I have a couple questions...

1. The park I was taking Tessa and our neighbour's dog was nice and fully fenced in so I didn't mind letting Tessa off leash. Problem is, since a new sub-development has been built, they've disallowed dogs. Before it was a dog and people friendly park for 30 years; but apparently the new house owners don't care for the impromptu 'dog park' behind their houses and have gotten it rezoned. So now what can I do? Tessa loves being off leash, but I have trust issues. I was ok letting her off in a fully fenced (with gates) area, but our zoned dog parks only have those rope fences. Tessa's recall isn't too bad, but the dog parks are in the coulees with wild life and water from the Old Man (so far more dangerous if she doesn't come 100% of the time; though I'd settle for 95%). How do I practice off leash training? Suggestions? Do I just go to these parks with a REALLY long leash? Ugh why does off leash training for everyone but me seem so effortless/thoughtless; just unclip your dog and off they go, yell and they come back.

2. Tessa has become a wee bit barky. It's not too bad, but the neighbours are complaining they can't enjoy their back yards because every time they talk, Tessa begins to bark for attention from them. She also enjoys laying on the back of the sofa and barking out the window when something or someone walks by. How do I control the barking? I've been trying to reward her for being quite, but I think she's begun to make a game of it.

3. Our 'trainer' kept saying Tessa was afraid of people and other dogs, so she would have us greet her while letting her jump on people because she said if people tried to get her to stay down she'd lose more trust in us and stranger. All this has created a monster!! well not a monster, more like an overly excitable, greeting, jumpy 40 lb puppy. I can her to focus on me on our walks, but the second someone comes into view, it's like she HAS to greet them. I've been working on rewarding her when she avoids, but not sure if this is the right thing to do?

Also how do you tell people to not pet your puppy till she settles and sits? because NO ONE seems to listen to me! Though each one is more than happy to tell me, as they're petting her in her excited/jumping state (rewarding her) that "you really need to work on that because she could really hurt someone; you should be teaching her to sit to be greeted"
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Old 07-10-2013, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KayWilson View Post
1. The park I was taking Tessa and our neighbour's dog was nice and fully fenced in so I didn't mind letting Tessa off leash. Problem is, since a new sub-development has been built, they've disallowed dogs. Before it was a dog and people friendly park for 30 years; but apparently the new house owners don't care for the impromptu 'dog park' behind their houses and have gotten it rezoned. So now what can I do? Tessa loves being off leash, but I have trust issues. I was ok letting her off in a fully fenced (with gates) area, but our zoned dog parks only have those rope fences. Tessa's recall isn't too bad, but the dog parks are in the coulees with wild life and water from the Old Man (so far more dangerous if she doesn't come 100% of the time; though I'd settle for 95%). How do I practice off leash training? Suggestions? Do I just go to these parks with a REALLY long leash? Ugh why does off leash training for everyone but me seem so effortless/thoughtless; just unclip your dog and off they go, yell and they come back.
Do you have any fenced in sports fields or courts in the area?
Training on a long line is also another option.

Quote:
2. Tessa has become a wee bit barky. It's not too bad, but the neighbours are complaining they can't enjoy their back yards because every time they talk, Tessa begins to bark for attention from them. She also enjoys laying on the back of the sofa and barking out the window when something or someone walks by. How do I control the barking? I've been trying to reward her for being quite, but I think she's begun to make a game of it.
You can play the "Listen to That" Game to teach her to be quiet when she hears your neighbors.

Otherwise, I would redirect her to a more appropriate activity. If she continues, then it's time to go inside.

As for the window, get yourself some window cling.
Something like this:
Get the Artscape Window Film at an always low price from Walmart.com. Save money. Live better.
Comes in all sorts of colors and patterns and you can get it from Target, Walmart, Lowes, etc. It will let light in but block Tessa's view. Should really cut down on her barking at passing people.

Quote:
3. Our 'trainer' kept saying Tessa was afraid of people and other dogs, so she would have us greet her while letting her jump on people because she said if people tried to get her to stay down she'd lose more trust in us and stranger. All this has created a monster!! well not a monster, more like an overly excitable, greeting, jumpy 40 lb puppy. I can her to focus on me on our walks, but the second someone comes into view, it's like she HAS to greet them. I've been working on rewarding her when she avoids, but not sure if this is the right thing to do?
Are you familiar with the "Look at That" game? It's often recommended here on the forum for fearful/reactive dogs but it also works with dogs that are excitable.

Quote:
Also how do you tell people to not pet your puppy till she settles and sits? because NO ONE seems to listen to me! Though each one is more than happy to tell me, as they're petting her in her excited/jumping state (rewarding her) that "you really need to work on that because she could really hurt someone; you should be teaching her to sit to be greeted"
lol
Such a common problem! Don't be afraid to tell people no when asking to pet Tessa or tell them she's in training so if they do want to greet it has to be on your terms. Just be direct!

To teach her a polite greeting you can try these methods:

I've used this with several puppy classes now. Works extremely well!
Teach your puppy appropriate greetings on leash | Dogmantics Dog Training

Another method that works very well with excitable pups! Just a tip: feeding on/near the ground is key! Keeps all four on the floor!

I know this is directed more towards fearful/shy dogs, but this is a great alternative to teaching a dog to sit for a greeting. IME it's easier for an excitable dog to go over and target a hand than it is for them to maintain a sit!This is also wonderful because it teaches the dog to go say Hi (target a hand) and then return to the handler, thus no real opportunity to jump if taught properly.

Last, because Tessa has been reinforced for jumping in the past it's likely she will jump in the future. You definitely do want to focus on teaching her what you do want her to do (the above methods) but if she does jump, then just remove her. Give her a brief "time out" and then try again. The ideal time to remove her would be when she crouches right before jumping. But if you miss the crouch, still remove her.

Last edited by kmes; 07-10-2013 at 11:32 AM.
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Old 07-10-2013, 01:34 PM
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Thanks, you're always so full of good info kmes!! I've been teaching her LAT and she is getting better, but sometimes new people are just too exciting. I noticed on our walk today that she stays down toward the knees (sort of leaning in, showing her belly) and then the people bend down, causing their faces to go down toward Tessa and that's when she starts jumping. I wonder if that could be the problem, hmmm

Also we have a Tennis ball court that I was thinking of using, but I'm not sure if it's allowed (I see no signs telling me other wise). So I might try that. If not, I'll be going shopping for a longer lead
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