pawing & attention issues - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-11-2011, 02:24 PM Thread Starter
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pawing & attention issues

i have a 5yr old (approximately) rescue dog that i've had since February. Now that he's finally opened up and comfortable around here he has several behaviors that need to be changed and i cant figure out how to do it!! he doesnt respond to NO!

when you're sitting down or even standing up, he constantly paws at you. I'll remove his paw and tell him no! but he continues to do it over and over and over. Also, he get almost obsessive in trying to get your attention, even after you've petted and talked to him and shown him attention.

one more odd thing, he always goes into my bathroom and pees on the floor?!? doesnt do it anywhere else ( that i've found anyway)

he stays outside most of the day because i work from home and he's practically on top of me all day if he's inside and i cant work, but i find that he's outside later and later now because its so irritating trying to fight him off of everyone all the time! he refuses to just lay down by you!!

any help would be greatly appreciated, i know I'M the one doing something wrong, he's just trying to tell me what he wants!
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-11-2011, 02:28 PM
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What's his exercise like, both physical and mental? Does he go on walks/runs? Do you do any mental exercise/training with him? I'm wondering if he's bored which is why I'm asking.

Jazz, Shiloh Shepherd, 5 yrs old, CGC HIC
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-11-2011, 02:32 PM
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How much exercise and attention is he getting when you do have time to pay attention to him? It sounds like he just wants you to pay attention to him.

In regards to the pawing, he keeps doing it because it gets a reaction and gets what he wants - your attention. Dogs like any attention and don't differentiate between positive and negative attention. I've taught my foster pup (in just a week) that if she wants my attention, she needs to sit and look at me and THEN I acknowledge her. If she jumps on me, I ignore her and walk away without saying anything. Sure, I'm covered in bruises and scratches while I taught her that but it was worth it.

The best way to stop a behavior is to replace it with a new one. Pawing means ignoring, sitting means I get the attention I want.

For helping him settle in the house, can you get up earlier to walk and mentally exercise him so that he is tired while you try to work? Have you tried things like a kong stuff with PB and frozen to keep him occupied?

Have you cleaned the bathroom floor with an enzyme cleaner? He likely can still smell some urine there and so he thinks it's his spot. Simple solution: close the door. Is it possible he is telling you that he has to go but you are missing the signals to take him out?

Jamie

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-11-2011, 02:39 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsdraven View Post
How much exercise and attention is he getting when you do have time to pay attention to him? It sounds like he just wants you to pay attention to him.

In regards to the pawing, he keeps doing it because it gets a reaction and gets what he wants - your attention. Dogs like any attention and don't differentiate between positive and negative attention. I've taught my foster pup (in just a week) that if she wants my attention, she needs to sit and look at me and THEN I acknowledge her. If she jumps on me, I ignore her and walk away without saying anything. Sure, I'm covered in bruises and scratches while I taught her that but it was worth it.

The best way to stop a behavior is to replace it with a new one. Pawing means ignoring, sitting means I get the attention I want.

For helping him settle in the house, can you get up earlier to walk and mentally exercise him so that he is tired while you try to work? Have you tried things like a kong stuff with PB and frozen to keep him occupied?

Have you cleaned the bathroom floor with an enzyme cleaner? He likely can still smell some urine there and so he thinks it's his spot. Simple solution: close the door. Is it possible he is telling you that he has to go but you are missing the signals to take him out?
he is undoubtedly NOT getting the attention he needs from me. I keep meaning to do the morning walk but when its as hot as it is here, even in the morning, its not easy!! but i will work on that.

he doesnt play with toys, ANY kind of toys, doesnt eat dog treats (i've tried several kinds, only lunch meat works)

its a ceramic tile floor, ive used bleach but not an enzyme cleaner, also he does it the moment he comes in from outside, i dont always remember to close the door, nor does anyone else
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-11-2011, 02:42 PM Thread Starter
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as far as excercise, he has a large back yard thats entirely shaded with trees and a chain link fence so he can atleast see whats going on, but when it's 100+ degrees outside taking a walk isn't a great option for any of us
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-11-2011, 02:48 PM
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Is it any cooler in the evening after the sun goes down? I know it's freakin' hot during the daytime! I just noticed where you're from

Jazz, Shiloh Shepherd, 5 yrs old, CGC HIC
Bunny, GSD X, 7.5 years old
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-11-2011, 02:56 PM Thread Starter
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unfortunately no, it was well into the 90's, low 100's still at 9:00 the other night
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-11-2011, 03:02 PM
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There's nothing like clicker training when you want to teach new/appropriate behaviors.

Owned by Nini and McKinley.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-11-2011, 04:05 PM
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You might want to try early morning walks. I think the early morning is better because everything has cooled down overnight compared to going out in the early evening when everything is still hot from the days sun. This time of year I won't take the dogs out past 7am unless it's cool.

Carolyn
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-11-2011, 05:16 PM
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Terrabella, I'm not sure where you're from in Tx because it's in the 90's-100's everywhere now. I'm in Houston, averaging 100oF from about 12 to 5 every day. I'll take Liesl out for morning training at 645 (she's hungry, fresh, responds well) and then a walk for about a half hour. She stays outside until noon, but we have a small inexpensive child's plastic wading pool full of water for her in the shade and she def uses it. Either I, my wife or son will then crate her inside from 1-5. She's outside again until I get home and feed her at about 6:30, then train/walk again when it cools off a little around 8-9. She spends the rest of the evening inside for family evening time. That is the only way we've found to deal with this oppressive heat and humidity and "do right" by our dog.

Congrats on getting a rescue GSD! The two organizations here in Houston are great. If the biggest problems you have with a rescue are those you mentioned you can consider yourself lucky. I agree with the previous posts about you needing to give your dog what it wants (attention) only when it does what you want. However, I've found that a firm "no" lets them know that the behavior is not wanted, and once they get that, replacing it with a reward-reinforced good behavior is easier. I get MUCH better results when I do this before feeding, as I have Liesl's undivided attention and her threshold for a "high-value treat' is significantly lowered!

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