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post #1 of (permalink) Old 12-20-2012, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 12
Reinforcing On-The-Bed Etiquette?

We started letting Kaiser sleep at the foot of the bed at about 4 months to round out his housebreaking. He wouldn't jump off the bed and would wake us up 100% when he needed to go out, instead of copping out and going on the floor. He knew how to wake us up at night, but a couple times a week he'd just lose his puppy mind and get lazy. Forcing him to have to wake us up solved the problem.

He's 7 months now, and he's been the perfect little footwarmer. He waits to get on the bed until he's invited up. He asks permission by resting his chin or a paw on the bed. Once he jumps up he has a snuggle and goes to lay at the end of the bed for the night. Every once in a while he tries to settle on our pillows, but it's never taken more than a quick "ah ah" and a finger point to send him back where he belongs. In the mornings when we get up, he's off the bed until that night. Never shown any interest otherwise.

Enter the teenage butthead phase, I guess, because for the past two mornings he's decided to go back to bed, right after his last pee break before I leave for work, with wet muddy paws on our mostly white pillowcases (we now have the cleanest sheets in the neighborhood, washing every day!). He doesn't listen to the "off" command, he digs in and resists when I try to drag him off by the collar, etc. There's no growling, barking, dominance, whatever. This morning he did a play bow and his excited happy pre-zoomies jump when I tried to move him. IMO he's trying to see what he can get away with.

We start formal obedience classes at a regional training club in two weeks, but until then how should we reinforce bed manners? Treats when he gets off, good dog, have a party vs "Get the crap off the bed, you little monster..." because he knows better vs puppy sleeps in his kennel or on the floor until he stops being a butthead?

We've only used positive reinforcement to train him so far, but he figured out super fast to fake having to pee to get a treat. i.e.: Whine whine, paw at the door, pace...we let him down the steps, jump in the grass, run up the steps, go sit by the fridge for a treat, attempt to repeat 400 times a day. Pretty sure he'll purposefully start jumping on the bed MORE, so he can jump off, so he can get a treat, if we go the treat-praise-party route. Will he still get the message with just plain "No, off the bed." with no reward for doing so?
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