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I'm going to echo Red, Dale should get some counseling for his anger management, impulse control issues. I do get venting, I used to be really bad about doing so, but owning a noise sensitive dog in the past, and now having another one I've learned to regulate my voice and actions so I know it can be done.

YOU cannot help Dale unless he wants to be helped. The questions you need to ask yourself is does he want help and is he willing to change. If he doesn't then the questions you need to ask is, is the situation getting worse or staying the same, and just how much you are willing to live with and subject Henry to.

No you are not babying your dog to much.

Trash raiding, litter box raiding, counter surfing, etc are all highly self rewarding for the dog, that means that the dog is rewarded every time they preform the behavior. Because it's such a self rewarding behavior it's nearly impossible to teach most dogs to not do the behavior and it's much easier to simply manage the situation so that the dog gets no reward for performing the behavior. That means the you keep the litterbox either out of reach of the dog or as clean as possible, you keep the garbage where the dog cannot get to it, you keep counters cleared of all food. Henry never learned to not get in the trash or raid the litter box, he learned that it was unsafe to do so while you are around, but safe to do so when you aren't. The behavior you see him do, rolling over, groaning, guilty look is appeasement gestures, in dog language they mean I'm harmless please don't hurt me please don't be mad at me. What they do not mean is he feels guilty for his behavior. Spanking him, punishing him while he's garbage raiding or even worse after he has, doesn't teach him anything but to not get in the trash while you are there, so basically you are spanking him for nothing. Keep the trash out of reach.

Unless you are working on heeling, or have a very specific purpose there is really no reason for him not to walk ahead of you. Personally I prefer it since if my dog is in front of me I can see what he's getting into. If you want him at your side reinforce him being there by randomly offering him treats and praising him when he's where you want him to be. Basically make walking at your side the best thing ever.

6-16 yr olds:
It sounds like he might have a bit of barrier frustration going on, or he might just be afraid of people in that age group. Check out this sticky

Do you like every person you meet and want to go up and greet them? I'm guessing no. Your dog doesn't like everyone either, and I wouldn't make him go greet someone he doesn't want to greet. You can tell the person something like, "Oh, hes feeling shy today. Sometimes he gets like that." and just let him hang back.

Get him checked out by a vet.

Check out that reactivity sticky I linked to.

Training: Commands:
I'm not sure what treats you have tried, but something like Zuke's Minis might work for him, it has limited ingredients in it. You can also try home made treats like boiled chicken, cooked lean beef, and you can mix some of the treats with his daily kibble ration and stash it in the refrigerator overnight so that the kibble picks up the scent of the treats. I know you said that you are having a problem with training and treats, and with him not always listening. What you need to remember is that training is usually the dogs job so it's no big deal to "pay" them, but you don't have to "pay" them every time they do something, and their "pay" doesn't always have to be treats. Once they know the command you can randomly pay them. Pay them a few times in a row, then skip a time or two. I also will randomly ask my dog to do a known command when we are playing. He does the command and we get back to playing. You should be proofing the commands. By that I mean that you need to practice them everywhere and with ever increasing distractions. Each time you move to a new location go back to basics and heavily reward the dog for doing the command before tapering off the reward. Check out this sticky Please remember dogs don't generalize, they may not realize that sit in the house also means sit outside.

With such a soft dog I recommend that you don't discipline him like you've been doing. Hard dogs blow off discipline, soft dogs tend to shut down, or become even more nervous and fearful. Another thing about the type of discipline you are using is that dogs learn to ignore it, they become desensitized to it so ever increasing force must be used to get the desired result. You can also end up causing what's known as fallout, unintended consequences of the discipline What you should be doing is preventing unwanted behavior like the garbage can raiding, and rewarding good behavior. For some things you can teach a different behavior that the dog can use to get what he wants, so if a dog jumps on people for attention teach him that jumping gets him ignored (ignore him when he jumps) and that having all 4 on the floor gets him lots of attention (only give him attention when he is not jumping). If he's not obeying commands you need to work on the command not discipline the dog. Check out the sticky I linked about training with treats!

· Premium Member
10,779 Posts
Hey Rain!
I really liked those kikopup videos!
I got new garbage cans today for the kitchen and bathroom- I did modify a door on one of my bathrooms so that it has a small-dog door on it, only big enough for the kitties to climb through, so the poop-issue has been solved.

If I used store bought processed treats- the amount given in the kikopup video will make his tummy pretty gross feeling if he doesn't puke. He also doesn't like peanutbutter or milkbones, chicken is yummy but not his favorite, but i think trying it dried might make it more interesting to him. bread and dry cat food that I feed the cats everyday are favorites so I like to use those for when he's just been good while hanging around the house and such.
He is really good about waiting on the treats or giving them up. I can take steak from his mouth with no hesitations. I use commands like wait, be gentle, slow down or leave it so he will walk around and do other things until I give him the go for getting the treat.

walking: I don't like him to walk in front because he has a tendency to slow down or stop randomly (he sniffs flowers) and he ends up getting stepped on or tripped over. I dont make him stay behind me- just to the side with the leash loose. He pulls forward when other people walk him. Is that just going to always happen?

I'm not a fan of the clicker because I'm afraid to lose it if we're not at home. His confidence in facing a fear about things seems to be "if mom can do it, I can do it". so often times things like jumping up on tall rocks, climbing high places, baths, swimming- we do it together, with lots of praise for progress in doing and also in completion and then we turn it into a game so it's a positive experience.
as for the barking at kids; it's ONLY behind the fence of a house he has been sleeping at, towards that specific age group. in every other situation he's more than happy to just walk up to them and hang out or play with them. so I'm not sure if he's afraid of them or it's about 'protecting' the house he is sleeping at?
I DO praise him for guarding/guard-barking in regards to the house, myself and cats, so that protecting is seen as a good behavior and is rewarded. I know it is a natural behaviour as he's LGD mix and I want to work with his natural tendancies so his LGD side can still feel fufilled. Do you think this might have contributed?

Dale has a head injury from when he was younger that causes some of the lack of control on emotions and that was stated by the doc when it happened, and it will probably be a lifelong thing. I don't know if he is aware of that (his mom told me) and I don't think he's ever seen anyone for help with dealing with it; or wants to because it is just a 'bad temper' thing to him.
that being said, Dale IS interested in changing things so that Henry is more comfortable with him- but he has mentioned that he doesn't like having to curb this behavior for an extended period. He does try to, but it ends up frustrating him and contributing to an episode.

I don't make henry see any one he doesn't want to because I wouldn't want anyone to make me do that. he was socialised pretty well with all the traveling and in general he is very excited to meet and greet folks +dogs. but you're right- he is not too interested in affection from Dale anymore and is now nervous about the interactions. I told dale just today "I think he's still nervous and doesn't want to come to you still" (henry was obviously making a point to not go to dale when he called him and was sticking to my legs) but Dale continued to call him over anyways and rub his belly when he did his submissive flop.. I felt a little undermined by Dale with that response, but henry went over by himself with no coaxing on my part and Dale didn't force him to come or intimidate him in any way and he used a happy voice the whole time he called him over. I feel like henry went over because he felt guilty he was 'ignoring' the command given, but Dale seems to feel like this was a positive interaction. Henry will take treats from Dale, play fetch with him, and he gets his little pyr smile when Dale gives him lots of loves all day..
I'm hesitant to go through the treat idea of Dale giving him treats when they have positive interactions for fear that Henry might go to him on his own according expecting happy Dale, only to have him shout about something or shoo him away making the interactions confusing to him again.. our 'episodes' are every couple days to a week&half and completely unpredicatable as far as because of what or when.
I think this unpredictability is really the biggest issue as he will do this regardless of who is around (some times this can be pushed back to later in the day if he lets me know he is feeling really irritated).
Dale is also intermittant about the times he wants to give affection to mamma kitty and Henry, so here and there Henry will put his head on Dale's leg with a tail wag for pets just be shooed away. Mamma kitty ignores him completely from being shooed the most often but Henry still tries to seek affection here and there..When Dale drinks he becomes highly affectionate for everyone and seeks out all the critters to give them tons of love. I think this makes it way too confusing for henry and the entire situation more complicated. I've told Dale he can't play favorites and I do call him out on it, but things like this are still happening.
Is there a way your wife let's you know when you are "in your mood" or being unfair in unconditionally loving your pets?

I'm glad you like the videos and hope that they can help you.

It's great that you put up the trash and hid the litter box! That's going to help so much with how frustrated he makes you:D

Instead of the clicker have you tried a marker word? It works on the same principal as the clicker and is used to tell the dog exactly when he's done what you wanted. You'd pick a special word, it's recommended that it's one you don't say often, like right, or yay, you can use a tongue click,, really whatever you want, and you load it like you would a clicker then use it like a clicker.

With the treats be sure to break them into little pieces around the size of your fingernail. You can mix and match the treats and like I said mix some into some kibble so it's not a bunch of rich treats. Also it doesn't matter what you use so long as your dog loves it, is willing to work for it, and it isn't making him ill. I usually save the really high value treats for teaching new behaviors, working on my dogs fears, or when we are in distracting places.

It's so sweet that he trust you to lead him over obstacles. It sounds like he trust you a lot.

I'm not sure exactly why he would be barking at the kids only if he's at a place he spent the night. It could be LGD behavior, and he wants them to move along, it could be barrier frustration because he wants to go see them. Whatever the reason the tips in the sticky should help if you want to work with him to stop the behavior. If not just let him be so long as the yard is secure and he's not acting like he wants to attack.

With Dale and the outburst you can try working with Henry when Dale has an outburst, by YOU, not Dale, giving Henry really high value treats when Dale is upset and ranting. If Henry has a room he likes to hide in while the behavior is happening then lead him there and give him a treat, pet and praise him, give him another treat, pet and praise him, over and over. That'll hopefully lessen the fear and teach Henry to go to his safe room while the behavior is going on. The idea is to teach Henry this room is safe, and good stuff happens in here when Dale has his outburst. Once you get Henry to the point that he's no longer anxious about it you can switch to giving him a nice chew or something rather then the treats. Just make sure to periodically do the treats, pets, and praise, to reinforce the lesson.
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