|09-25-2013 10:37 PM|
BUT, I could also just as readily exploit that food drive by teaching her that the way to get the food was to ignore the food and focus on me instead. The more the dog wants whatever you have, whether it's food or a toy, the easier it is to teach them impulse control around it. She learned very quickly that she could stare at food all day, and she'd never get it. But eye contact, no matter if I was holding the food right in front of her nose - THAT worked!
|09-25-2013 07:45 PM|
She's already an awesome dog. She has issues (just like we do) but people have literally stopped their cars in the middle of the road, more than once, to ask questions about her. She's something special, at least to us. We just have to keep working with her.
Morgan has never met a treat or meal she didn't want. But you're right, there's a difference when she's hungry. When she's hungry, she'll do what you ask, but it's ... jittery, if that makes sense. For example, she'll sit, but she'll just barely touch her but to the ground and then pop back up. It's funny, and adorable, but it doesn't get her the reward. If she's not hungry and you have a treat, she's much better about it. I've just noticed in the last couple of days that she's figured out what to do at doors and street corners. We always have her sit before going through a door and before crossing a street. She's about 50/50 on the street corner, but about 90% at the doors now, without being given a command. It's just fun to watch their brain connect the dots, sometimes while you don't even notice. It wasn't my intent to train her to do it automatically, I just wanted her to do it when I told her to. Guess she figured she'd go ahead and save me the trouble!
|09-25-2013 07:30 PM|
You have the difficult job of figuring out what works for your pup. Take everyone's advice and use it...but don't go in expecting it to work because it worked for another dog. Tweak what you have. See what works for your pup.
An example would be using treats for training. Most folks say the best time to train is when the pup is hungry. But - use treats for a hungry high food drive pup and that pup is going to be like a World War Z Zombie. Only focus it'll have is the source of the treat - nothing you say or do is going to matter. So a high food drive pup is easier to work with AFTER it's meal. When it's little belly isn't screaming over it's little brain.
Here's the good part - you keep working hard, when your dog matures it is going to be an AWESOME dog. I promise it will be worth all your hard work. You'll be so bonded that it will seem like all you have to do is THINK of a command and your pup will comply...happily.
|09-25-2013 05:49 PM|
|WendyM||Thanks Lilie, I totally agree. She's so big and so "aware", for lack of a better word, in some situations, that we tend to forget she's still so young until she acts her age. Someone had a thread in the last day or two that maybe he should make a t-shirt for his dog that said "I'm only five months old" so he would remember and not expect too much from him. I know the feeling! We do remember she's just a puppy, but when she does something well multiple times in a row, we get lulled into thinking that now she's perfect at that thing. But in reality, she's just a pup and may be perfect three times in a row and then imperfect for the next 10. If I've learned nothing else with this dog, it's that progress is not linear. For her or for us.|
|09-25-2013 03:56 PM|
Please remember she is a puppy. She may be getting big, but in her head, she's still immature.
When playing games with a high drive pup, it takes them a bit longer to switch off. If it were me, I'd 'out' the flirt pole and then give the pup a little time to 'de-energize' before I attempted any type of OB. As the pup matures, you can change the game plan.
|09-25-2013 02:31 PM|
|WendyM||Thanks Mary Beth, you recommended both of those books to me on a prior thread and I did get (and read) them both. I'll definitely put the picture of my calm pup walking with me away from my husband in my head. I've now been asked TWICE by security guards (at different places) whether everything's ok because my pup is acting like she's about to die when we've left my husband. They give me very concerned looks like they don't believe me and my dog must be very injured, until she gets distracted by them and tries to maul them ... with her tongue.|
|09-25-2013 02:12 PM|
|Mary Beth||You are right, your pup does sense your worrying and that makes her anxious. If it will help, I suggest you repeat to yourself as a mantra when you are worried, the quote from the trainer Turid Rugaas "dogs are forgiving". That means that a mistake, big or small, is not going to harm or ruin the dog forever. If you are not familiar with her books, you may want to start with "On Talking Terms with Dogs: Calming Signals" and "Barking: the sound of a language". The books are short and there are also dvds and YouTube has videos. Also try to keep a positive image in your mind. This sounds far fetched, and I thought it was also, but dogs learn by pictures that you think of. When I want my Sting to sit, if I first put the picture in my mind of him sitting, then say the command - he sits promptly. Okay, for an example in your situation. Now, that your pup has nipped when you reached for her bowl, it is normal to be leery and think of that, say when you reach again to touch her. Instead replace that picture with a positive one of reaching for her and she is just looking at you and enjoying her petting. When you and your husband walk her and your husband is going to go off in a different direction and you and your pup are going to continue to walk alone. Put the picture in you mind, your husband going one way, you and your pup going another and she getting a reward for going with you, and that you will both have fun and later on you will all be together again.|
|09-25-2013 11:15 AM|
|WendyM||Thanks Mary Beth, I do know we are way too focused on her on how she's doing at any given moment. I think it's because we're so inexperienced and we're worried about making a significant mistake. But that worrying is probably a mistake in and of itself, because it gets translated to her in our interactions. I'll work on it. And then I'll worry that I'm not working on it hard enough.|
|09-24-2013 10:56 PM|
[QUOTE=WendyM;4265394]So can I get her a dictionary so learns the word "relaxed"? I don't mind her being high energy. I just worry about things like tail chasing or barking that indicate to me she's not at ease.>>
That is just normal puppy behavior. It becomes abnormal (obsessive compulsive behavior) if it goes on too long.
>> But she IS at ease when we're actively engaged in an activity ... provided neither of her people walk away. I just want her to feel safe and happy. She's a ton of work, but then we get moments like this morning when my husband and I are both in the kitchen doing things and she flops down on the floor and stretches so that her head touches my foot and her back paw touches his. Much too adorable for words.>>
Yes, she is at ease when you are not concentrating on her and being worried about her.
>> I don't mind how much work she is now, I just want to come out on the other side with a confident, happy, trustworthy dog. I don't want my lack of knowledge to turn her into something less than she should have been, or to cause her to be insecure or guarded. And that's really the crux of why this issue was so concerning to us - WE caused her to feel this way, unintentionally, and we want to make sure we do what we can to correct that. Not just the action, but the feeling behind it.[/QUOTE>>
This is imo, and please don't take it the wrong way, overreacting. I think you are reading way too much into the incidents. Also I think you are trying too hard to be perfect and expect your pup to be. Honestly, if I had fed my Sting when he was a pup like you did, I would have been snapped at. At mealtimes as a pup he was always hungry. I did and still do feed 3x a day. I put the food down and that was it. If I had gotten him all worked up with his tug toy and then put it down and decided to switch gears into the petting/inspection mode (and why several times a day? that is too much. I can see doing it once a day when the pup is brushed and that is it) he would have growled and lunged at me. He would not have acted out of any hurt, or insecure feelings, but because he was a pup. When he was 9 months old, and in his teens, he would get a glint in his eye - turn and come right me (he was 100 lbs) - it was winter - I had thick parka on. I didn't think for one minute he was unhappy or I had failed him, or he was becoming aggressive. I knew he was trying a new behavior, which I put a stop to and did work on alternative behavior - I taught him to come for the treat in my hand. If you ever watched dogs or pups play, they are vocal, they bite, they mouth each other, and so on. That is being a dog. What is so refreshing about dogs and other animals, is that they live in the moment, they react to the moment, they don't obsessive deeply about incidents like us humans can do. Let it go, put it out of your mind, enjoy your pup.
|09-24-2013 02:50 PM|
Delgado never learned to truly relax in the house until about 6 months. Even then it was another 3 months before he did it without being told Patience and consistency were key
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