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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So my 2yr old Pyranees mix just started doing excessive submissive pees to my boyfriend after he had a week-long drama-queen meltdown about random insignificant garbage and his constant problem with the fact that other people exist and are retarded. (red-flag I know) We'll call him Dale for now.

so my dog, Henry, has a history with men in which I've had to work with him on not being nervous around men and not doing submissive pees when any man reached down to pet him. Thankfully good progress was made and he has been doing great on that.... until recently. (understandable from my perspective)

So my new BF has ... outbursts. He has outbursts here and there where something insignificant will just ruin his entire day and so he'll cuss loudly and say something like "GREAT, I guess just won't have a ****ing straw to drink my soda with!" if the drive-thru window forgot to put one in the to go bag. his mood will fluxuate from happy and lovey to an outburst like this within seconds and he will be sulky for a lengthy time until somehow I can get dale to be more cheerful for a brief period of time before something else insignificant ruins his day of (unmade) plans (to do nothing). Obviously I don't enjoy this, and I'll be damned if Henry thinks they're super-fun too. I've discussed this issue with Dale, stating that having a temper and being upset or mad about something is NOT uncommon or bad- HOWEVER, it is the outburst that is the issue. (he would say that it's his temper- as if that is a reasonable explanation for his behavior. I think it is due to childishness in lack of self-control but he has been working on this and doing much better for the most part.

Henry is about the size of a golden lab with floppy ears but lean with a double downy coat like a pyr. (63lbs) he's a very "soft" dog (from what I can tell that's how its called) and he is naturally low key, submissive and hates conflict between just about anything. people, cats, the psycho drunk neighbors screaming at eachother. if he can't interject himself into the conflict to separate the individuals he gets a sad worried look on his face and patiently waits for it to end or tries to bark at whoever is involved in the conflict. He loves my two cats (a fat one and an annoyingly affectionate momma kitty) and I do my best to give them all equal affection, and still meet Henry's doggy needs of slightly more attention and loves.

So my boyfriend moved in with me and a few weeks (and outbursts) later henry started doing submissive pees here and there after dale had his outbursts in the house. Originally I was okay with Dale moving in because he claimed to be a dog-person, and was really great with Henry and there weren't really any outbursts before he moved in.
Well, it turns out Dale is a cat-guy.... blatantly obviously wrapped around the paw of my obese orange tabby...and the outbursts became more frequent with work-related stress.

So about two weeks ago Dale had the most awesome melt-down we've seen Dale have yet. During his week of dramatic-amazingness, obviously, I got stressed out and a little anxious/nervous which in turn I think made Henry even more upset and nervous. Being a Heeler, I am his main 'person' and it bothers him a lot when I am upset to the point where if I am arguing with some one and there are a lot of negative emotions between us he will try to pull me away by the edge of my pants.
After our week of self-inflicted drama, Dale didn't seem to understand why Henry was nervous around him, tried to evade him/evade his commands. So now Henry rolls over and gives him submissive pees almost every time he goes to pet him, which is frustrating to Dale- but he's been good at trying to reassure Henry he's a good dog, we had to have a discussion about submissive pees being different than peeing in the house on purpose a while back, so I reminded him that this is a similar thing.
Interestingly, if I am home and standing there with them talking to dale about whatever, and he goes to pet him, he will roll over but there are no submissive pees (henry watches me the whole time though). if Henry is in another area with Dale, like the kitchen and I'm in the bedroom, he will pee... He has started to guiltily sidestep Dale when he seeks affection and hide next to me while giving a nervous tail wag if Dale tells him to come (even in a nice happy tone). Dale hasn't ever beat him or kicked him or whatever- so I'm pretty sure it's all related to the shouting... We've discussed needing to use happy tones or a higher tone of voice, and reassurances...
Well... the other day Dale basically said all this self-control over trying not to be 'grumpy' is really getting frustrating... so obviously he's going to be gone sometimes soon if that is the case.

Dale's transfer into Fat-cat-man has also hindered his relationship with Henry in my eyes.
Fat-cat is Dale's favorite of the two kitties and all three furry babies, and so he recieves the most affection and blatant pandering to. He will let fat-cat our 4-5 times a day, find him and snuggle with him on the bed or while he plays video games. Momma kitty gets some attention because she's pregnant about to burst into a million kittens any day now; so she gets to stay inside or get a few in-outs out of the house too. Dale finds momma kitty annoying in her relentless happy-claws affection and so after a while momma kitty kind of stopped caring about Dale's affection and just homes in on me. Dale has recently observed this and seemed kind of hurt by her return of lack of affection even though it's been going on for quite some time now. henry stays in the yard most of the day when I'm not home, or Dale with go play fetch with him for a while, but he still stays outside until I'm home... Dale think's I baby Henry too much because when it's gusty, rainy or below 56 outside I bring him in. my back porch is covered but I dont have anything other than a dog bed outside for him, and he's been shaved for the summer so I feel like these are justified.

How do I help train Dale?
Am I 'babying' my dog too much?

Other training advice I would appreciate any help on:

Garbage:
if there's a lid on it, he won't get into the trash, the bathroom garbage is another story; Tampons will be ingested with every effort as soon as possible. (gross) if it's just trash from the week, I can give it up to three days of him being in the house most of the day before he gets into it. the twist? He only takes out the used tissues and places them all on the floor near the garbage can.... is this organizational boredom? I bring him to the trash, holding one of the tissues to him and tell him no and give him a spank, every time. so I'm not sure why this behavior is still continuing at 2.... He is easily shamed/guilted, but all he does is roll over with a groan and look guilty and apologetic. I tried doing positive reinforcement for a while when he didn't get into the trash but that ended quickly as (several times) he took it as an invitation to do so first thing next day.

Walking:
He is a good walker, we're still working on not walking ahead/light pulling, but he's doing really well at it. Off leash he is also great (within earshot of course). When walking with other people he is very polite according to them but if I am walking with them and the leash is not in my hands he gets very wishy-washy about the whole thing and will pull forward more or just walk in the way or off to the side for no reason. if it's a kid, he will take the leash in his mouth and gently pull it out of their hands to drop it at the feet of the nearest nice-person adult. if I'm indirectly giving him input (ie giving the person directions on how to walk him the way he is trained to- even if they walk him that way alone) he is fine, or if I directly tell him to slow down etc... he's fine.
I'm not sure why he needs this type of input from me if I am there?

6-16yr olds:
they make him nervous. No bad experiences that I know of. if he's in a fenced yard he will bark at them very aggressively until they stop lingering around or finish walking by. if he's not fenced in, he will (self-initiated)nervous-wag and walk up to them in a friendly submissive manner to be pet and sit down very nicely near their feet while they croon over him.

Permission:
because I did a lot of traveling for work Henry was always with me and I had to train him to ask for permission to go and 'see' people. (folks at gas stations would just call him over to them to pet him and not look if there were and vehicles pulling around)
But sometimes when I give him permission to go see some one he seems unsure and needs to be reassured about it. It's more of an intermittant thing, and seems to vary based on the person. I'm not really sure why he acts this way

Shaking:
his front legs will shake much like a chihuahua's do; it's only one that will do it, and usually it's the left leg. sometimes his haunches shake/twitch like this when he's sleeping (not like a 'running' dream). Is this a muscle/bone issue? Or possibly something else?

Barking:
he really doesn't bark much unless it's at strange men walking around the house/fence. (the mailman and various pizzamen are ok, but not really anyone else) I'm okay with this as I think of it as a protective measure on his part, I think it makes him feel important to our family dynamic as our house and kitty protector :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
That being said, we just moved into this house and our neighbors have two dogs that bark incessantly when they receive any reaction or anyone is near any of the fence-lines. Henry has taken up trotting up to the fenc-line and after staring at them for a while (as they bark at him angrily lunging towards the fence) he just starts barking at them loudly in their faces. Like he's blabbing. You can tell by his expression he doesn't understand it really because he just kind of gives this wiggly eyebrow look of "this is kind of entertaining, and I like that it's annoying them" kind of look. aggressive dogs bother him and barky dogs tend to annoy him.
I'm not sure what to do about this other than a privacy fence. I think he does this out of boredom, and I would like to foster so he has a friend to be a dog with, but the household isn't totally settled and Dale wouldn't be... well. you know.

Training:
I like to use positive reinforcement and treats for training, but Henry has a sensitive stomache so I can't really do a lot of treats or it has to be tortilla chips. We do praises and lots of pets as well, and I just do a "nope" and corrections if he doesn't get it quite right

Training games:
He loves to play training games! learning is super interesting and fun for him, We play a "find it game" because I think his sense of smell is kind of bad. I'll put a chip in an open spot in another room and have him 'find it', most times he finds it with some searching, but every once in a while he will pass by it repeatedly until you point it out to him. Is there a good sniffing game we can play to help him out on this?
We also like working; moving rocks in our doggy backpack, helping with the horses or herding goats (he has good instincts but gets nippy at goats. The horses he has a newfound respect for after a mini-pony decided he would return the nipping favor and chase him down to try and bite him... we decided mom could play with the horses and he would 'supervise' from afar) :) unfortunately our fun jobs went away when we moved into the suburbs...
I think he would enjoy actually learning to herd, or hunt- he has good instincts for both (deer, squirrel, robins and pheasant are favorites to pinpoint) but I don't even know how to help him learn this type of stuff unless we went to a pro.- (which I dont want to pay big bucks for since its recreational learning for him)

Fetch: We're still working on fetch, but Dale has done a really good job of getting Henry to bring the ball within 3 feet of us now. however, sometimes he decides to just laydown in the grass after two throws and sit there instead.. tips?


Commands:
We know hand signals for jump, sit, stay and laydown (he responds to these best), a specific whistle tune for 'come' (responds to this best), he is okay at left, right and straight, and sometimes forgets 'go around' but over all is pretty good about them. "Find it", 'get the kitty', '(let's) go potty' (sometimes he has to be told!), 'free puppy' (post naughty recovery!', 'get the stick', 'no', 'bring it', 'drop it' (working on this one), and 'go say hi' (permission phrase for greeting unknown dogs and people) are all commands he knows. I try not to give him commands repeatedly (especially sit) or for no reason as he is intelligent and knows when it's for no reason. I think it makes the command less 'strong' or meaningful as well. (Please let me know if I'm wrong!) Dale seemed to think a dog being trained to listen to a command was awesome and was a reason to use it..for no other reason than to use it. so for a while I would often find Henry just laying somewhere waiting to be released by Dales command (or mine).
Dale got annoyed when he would do this and Henry started ignoring him and would get up and walk away after a few minutes upon realising it was again, for no reason. I discussed this issue with Dale and he agreed to seeing some of that reasoning but I think he chalked it up to me being a pushover about my 'baby'.

Discipline:
I used to be bad at disciplining because I was in a bad marriage when I first got henry and I think sometimes I took it out on him when he was naughty. nothing insane but I will admit there was some pretty harsh spankings at times. I really didn't like this and it seemed to occur almost only when we were at home and my husband was there- otherwise not so, luckily I'm divorced now... I still spank him on the occasion but it's light and more of a "you know that you know better", otherwise we get put in time-out and have to lay down on the floor with our head down. I would like to get away from spanking altogether but I don't know how to do this. On the occasion he can be rather obstinate about his disregard of a command to the point where saying his name, snapping and tapping his haunches with my finger don't get his attention and I have to give him a tap on the butt- but he'll try to side-step it. If he gets spanked in this situation where he completely intentionally disregards a command then he is rather good about it until the next occasion a few months later. I can't do too much treats because he is old enough and smart enough that he will do every command on a dime for a chip and ignore the other times when there are none so he can try to get more treats for his 'work'- (a problem that has occurred a few times when people think they're helping me out....)
How do I work on this with him? Is this just a toddler/naughty phase, blueheeler stubborn streak, or because of what I have done? Do you think he associates Men with punishment because he received the most punishment when we were at home (with a man)?

Any other tips or advice would be greatly appreciated, especially about both breeds. I know a little information about both as I intentionally got him as a Pyr-baby, but any personal experiences with either would be awesom!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Also; he is very sneaky about couch-time.
since we moved into the new house the couches are now off limits to doggies. He knows this so he sneaks onto the couch and right before I get home from work he will jump off so I can't "catch him" being naughty- I see him do this through my bay window when I'm in the driveway parking...
right now I have couch-blockers, but I'd like to get rid of them all together...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Don't have time to answer in full, but for goodness sake don't EVER ''spank" your dog. You are hitting an animal who is defenceless and frightened.
yeah, I would like to give him the possibility of him getting his shiz figured out...but agreed on the man..

to the other part... well.. it's kind of hard to consider him "defenseless and frightened" when he's super busy inhaling bloody tampons from the garbage or eating cat poop from the litter box and attempts to scarf them down even faster while staring at you when you yell a mortified "no".... towards my boyfriend yes, no reason for discipline...but not to ...those other things...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Okay- I am not yelling at him and there are no screaming matches at my home. Nobody is hitting anybody or screaming at anyone or any of the animals.
My BOYFRIEND will shout a random pissed off phrases to no one in specific, not even at the dog. however, HEARING him shout seeme to be an issue for Henry and I stated that.
I went to doggy training at a place and asked the gal not to give him too many treats and she did anyways and he threw up everything all over the training floor, the throwing up thing with treats happened enough times it was a problem and had to be changed. The tortilla chips are baked (not fried) and unsalted... Chicken bits is a good idea- thankyou
I do not beat my dog and I said quite clearly I wanted to get away from spanking as a discipline. and I DO NOT SPANK MY DOG during training sessions. I'm not a ****-head. I wrote specifically that when training I correct him by saying 'nope' and having him re-do the command or put him in the position of the command. I'm not beating my dog for not knowing how to do something.

I don't need RE-iteration that I WAS a bad owner.
I asked for advice on how to become a better one.

My dog is NOT afraid of ME, he is afraid of my boyfriend. my dog hides behind ME to evade my boyfriend.
I am not forcing my dog to hang out by the fence where there are scary kids- he go to the fence himself to bark at them until they go away and this was at my BF's house not mine. My yard has flowered bushes that adorn the fenceline and 63 year old neighbors... it's the neighbor dogs that are annoying.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
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?

Red:
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?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Sounds to me like most of your dog's problems/insecurities are down to Dale's inconsistent behaviour.
I have only one question.....do Dale's outbursts happen everywhere and anywhere; with his friends, down the pub, in social situations, or only in your home?

Sorry if I seem to be spending more time on Dale than the dog but I think it's obvious why.
This is why I asked for people training too!
they happen at home, in the car and at work. Not at the pub (because he drinks and becomes happy and relaxed). grocery stores and public places bother him a lot (when they do) but the outburst is delayed until we get back into the car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Good idea!
I usually say "good job!" or "yay!" but they aren't special 'clicker' words.

He doesn't attack the fence or anything he just barks his loud 'protector' bark and he isn't interested in really going to see them (part of my confusion, and why i dont think it's barrier frustration). It's usually towards boy kids or mid to large groups of kids. Just one or if they walk far apart he seems more like he's in 'I want to play with them" mode and no barking happens and he's happy.- if there's a group he's upset about I'll come outside and he'll stop barking if I use my acknowledgement phrase "I see it" or he'll keep barking but he's very meek about the whole thing like he isn't sure about something.

so... Dale drank quite a bit last night and has been throwing up and feeling sick all day.. so just this morning he had Henry lay on the couch with him. I talked to him about this because the house rule has been no dogs on the couch since we moved and Henry has been told no and put in time out before for being caught on the couch and now he's saying "well if he's invited on the couch it's okay"
I thought permission to be on a couch was confusing to a dog and it was all or nothing really. I didn't tell Henry no or discipline him because I think it would be unfair for him to get in trouble for being permitted AND invited on the couch by one of the people.

What can I say to Dale to make him understand? it seems like we're not communicating effectively about being a team in keeping the rules. And the rule bending is happening when Dale wants lots of affection or feels down/sick and I'm not around to enforce it. (the no dogs on the couch was Dales idea)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I also don't want to bend on this rule since it has been 3 months of not being allowed on the couch and being 'punished'.

Isn't this unfair to Henry? It makes me feel like if I were to change that rule now, then the previous 3 months were A) for no reason B) confusing to Henry (but awesome because he loves the couch) and C) perceived as punishiment must be had for xx time to get xx privilege

all of these are wrong to me. and I definitely don;t want C to be the option perceived.
I've always been okay with henry being on the couch but I was okay with this new rule coming into effect because my brothers dog has a habit of being on the couch cushions and they're new couches. I don't think household rules should very per dog, because then you run into issues like 'my dog can't get on the couch but xx's dog can' I think this also is confusing because you dog wouldn't know why xxdog IS and they aren't...
 
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