Help with NILIF/Social Isolation - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 11:49 AM Thread Starter
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Help with NILIF/Social Isolation

When doing the initial 48hr social isolation part how does it worl with others in the household? Does everyone have to ignore the dog or only the one establishing leadership?

Does it matter if there are other dogs in the house that are not treated this way on a day to day basis?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 12:44 PM
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Are you having specific problems with your dog? I've only done the social isolation phase of NILIF with one dog. For most dogs it's probably not necessary, but Cassidy was almost 5 months old when we got her and had no training or manners. She'd listen to my husband but treated me like a littermate, lol! Jumping on the bed and grabbing my clothes and running off with them while I was trying to get dressed in the morning, nipping at my sleeve if I tried to grab her, etc. Nothing aggressive about her, but she was having a wonderful time and thought we were playing. I was NOT having a wonderful time, I was ready to tear my hair out in frustration. So I tried social isolation for 2 days, which was very hard. She was so sweet and cute, but wild and crazy too, and I needed her to take me seriously. I literally pretended she didn't exist.

Since she was our only dog at the time, I can't comment on doing it with one dog and not others. In our case, I was the only one who ignored her, my husband continued treating her normally. By the end of the second day she was about ready to do backflips to get my attention, she was desperate! It totally turned her attitude around, and if I had another similar dog I wouldn't hesitate to try it again. But since then I've gotten puppies at 9 or 10 weeks old, and just using NILIF as a routine way of life from the time they came home was plenty.

BTW, welcome to the board - what part of the Bay Area are you in?

-Debbie-
Cava 1/6/18
Keefer 8/25/05-4/24/19 ~ The sweetest boy
Halo 11/9/08-6/17/18 ~ You left pawprints on our hearts
Dena 9/12/04-10/4/08 ~ Forever would have been too short
Cassidy 6/8/00-10/4/04
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 01:00 PM
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The social isolation is key. Everyone (every human one that is) needs to participate. Other animals in the house are treated normally (not isolated). It got good attention from a "butt head phase" puppy very quickly.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 01:33 PM Thread Starter
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There are some specific things I want to fix. This is the first dog I ever own, he is 6 months and i adopted him from my sis-inlaw at 5 months

When I take him out for a walk just him and I, after his initial 5 minutes of OMG excitement he does very well, hardly pulls, doesnt bark at people/ other dogs and for the most part listens when I stop for something like a shoe coming untied and I ask him to sit and wait.

Yesterday we took him on a small hike with my familys Doberman which he hangs out quite often, and he acted up in the worst way.

He was pulling hard, trying to wander off, we ran into a friend of mine who had his dog also and after sniffing eachother he started yelp-barking and yelping so loud we couldnt hold a convo. He barked at a little girl walking by us for no apparent reason which ive never had him do before, At some points on the hike the path was only wide enough for 1 person to walk so my wife and the Doberman went first and we followed and my boy kept barking/crying and pulling and by this time I was very frustrated and had lost my patience.

I have been ignoring him since we got home from the hike and I can tell he knows Im upset with him by the way he looks at me and comes up to me and licks my hand etc, but my wife is still giving him attention

Last edited by ArkAngel; 01-23-2011 at 01:35 PM.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 01:54 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry I did that from my phone.

Thanks for the welcome, I am in Fremont, East bay

I know I have got ALOT to learn...


continuing on, My wife is still giving him attention, and he comes up to me alot and is trying to get my attention, Im starting to feel bad but Im thinking well Ive ignored him now for almost a day, maybe this is a good time to continue this way and put the NILIF into FULL effect, if it would work in the current state of affairs LOL and I say FULL because I do some things from it like making him sit before he goes in/out of a room with me, or before I throw the ball or give him his food/treat. I started that before I even knew about NILIF

I REALLY want to get into Schutzhund esp since he is a pup that came from Kraftwerks Kennel in WA but dont know if I have the time to commit at this moment, and I dont want to be a flakey member

Last edited by ArkAngel; 01-23-2011 at 02:04 PM.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 02:06 PM
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Sounds like normal excited 6 month old behavior. I'd get a prong instead of ignoring him since he isn't going to make the connection otherwise anyway and use it. When he pulls, barks, and jumps give him a small correction followed immediately by a yummy treat the moment he stops the unwanted behavior. He'll get that connection. Social isolation is more for a dog who is not listening to you because they think they are your equal- not poor leash behavior they all have that at 6 months,lol
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 02:17 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoeys mom View Post
Sounds like normal excited 6 month old behavior. I'd get a prong instead of ignoring him since he isn't going to make the connection otherwise anyway and use it. When he pulls, barks, and jumps give him a small correction followed immediately by a yummy treat the moment he stops the unwanted behavior. He'll get that connection. Social isolation is more for a dog who is not listening to you because they think they are your equal- not poor leash behavior they all have that at 6 months,lol

I was using a prong, tried correcting him, didnt work but I didnt have treats

Ok well glad to hear his behavior is normal, I thought since he wanted to be lead he thinks hes alpha, and comparing his behavior yesterday to his behavior when its just is is a complete 180

Thanks for the help
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 02:29 PM
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I think he's actually doing pretty well since you've only had him a short time and he was older when you got him. I don't know if I'd do the social isolation step with him if he were mine. It doesn't sound like he has rank issues or is blowing you off.

I think for me the first step would be to start marking and rewarding the behavior you like that he offers up freely, without worrying too much about adding commands at this point. With a new puppy I either mark behavior verbally (yes!) or with a clicker and then give a treat any time he looks at me, comes to me, lays down on the floor, etc. Pretty soon they're doing these things more often because they've been heavily rewarded. Make the good behavior "work" for him and the bad behavior not work. Ignore the bratty behavior that you can (obviously there is some behavior that cannot be ignored, but things like attention barking would be an example of something that is ideal for ignoring), and manage his environment to reduce his opportunity to practice the kind of bad behavior that can't be ignored and needs to be nipped in the bud.

I'm in the East Bay too. Have you signed him up for any classes, or are you interested in a trainer referral?

-Debbie-
Cava 1/6/18
Keefer 8/25/05-4/24/19 ~ The sweetest boy
Halo 11/9/08-6/17/18 ~ You left pawprints on our hearts
Dena 9/12/04-10/4/08 ~ Forever would have been too short
Cassidy 6/8/00-10/4/04
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 02:35 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassidy's Mom View Post
I think he's actually doing pretty well since you've only had him a short time and he was older when you got him. I don't know if I'd do the social isolation step with him if he were mine. It doesn't sound like he has rank issues or is blowing you off.

I think for me the first step would be to start marking and rewarding the behavior you like that he offers up freely, without worrying too much about adding commands at this point. With a new puppy I either mark behavior verbally (yes!) or with a clicker and then give a treat any time he looks at me, comes to me, lays down on the floor, etc. Pretty soon they're doing these things more often because they've been heavily rewarded. Make the good behavior "work" for him and the bad behavior not work. Ignore the bratty behavior that you can (obviously there is some behavior that cannot be ignored, but things like attention barking would be an example of something that is ideal for ignoring), and manage his environment to reduce his opportunity to practice the kind of bad behavior that can't be ignored and needs to be nipped in the bud.

I'm in the East Bay too. Have you signed him up for any classes, or are you interested in a trainer referral?

Thanks Debbie

I haven't signed him up for anything, I was planning on visiting the Menlo Park and SJ Schutzhund clubs and checking it out before signing up for that but like I said havent had the time, def would be interested in a trainer referral and your experience with them.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 02:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArkAngel View Post
, I thought since he wanted to be lead he thinks hes alpha,
Thanks Cesar Millan. Something else Cesar has contributed to society- the notion that every dog who wants to walk ahead of you is trying to dominate you. No Cesar, dogs walk faster than people.

A dog has to be trained to walk beside or behind you. Otherwise they'll always walk ahead because they walk faster than we do naturally and-- let's face it-- the walk is the most exciting part of their day.


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