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need help with training basics-sorry it's long!!

March 3rd, 2005, 02:39 PM
Ok..this is going to be hard to explain.

If you dog is doing something it shouldn't, say....jumping up, in my case, he is looking for attention. when he jumps, I look away, don't pat, and wait for him to get down. When he does, he usually sits quietly, I count to five, and then give him attention. Makes sense right? I am removing a reward by not giving him attention.

Now..this is where I get confused. Will he learn that if he must jump first to get to the sitting for attention?

We have a similar problem with Odin jumping on the couch. He likes to get up there and chew his kong... We want to deter this behaviour, as chewing his kong results in copious amounts of guk and slobber on the couch which is hard to clean. If he jumps on the couch, we first make a loud noise to try and distract him from doing it in the first place, which works about 50% of the time, but if he actually gets on it, we have to stop what we are doing, get up, walk across the room, and practically beg him to get off. Usually he jumps up there when we are eating dinner or watching tv. He just ignores us if we tell him to get off from where we are, we actually have to get up. It's us getting up that distract him. It's as though he doesn't hear us. Is he now learning that if he jumps on the couch, that we get up to play with him?

Also, if he gets off the couch, should we reward him, or will he learn that if he gets on the couch and then gets off, he gets a reward. I want to reward him for getting off, but don't want him to associated getting on first, then off for a reward. Should we distract him, get him to obey us for a second command, and reward that instead??

I'm confused.

Also, if he is being a devil dog (as I call it...when he is running and jumping and tring to nip us) how long do we have to put him in a crate so he associates the two things (acting like devil dog = time out time)? If he knows he is doing something bad, he usually lies down or sits, and is stubborn and won't move. I don't want him to think that we are putting him in his crate because he is sitting and being nice for a few seconds.

Gosh...I hope I didn't confuse you all...I just need some advice. We are rewarding the positive with treats and praise. This is working because he is now bring us his toys to show us he is a good boy. but we are also removing things like attention, treats, toys, etc if he is being bad. He needs to learn the association between us removing ourselves from the situation if he is being bad, but I'm not sure he is getting it.

I think that when he is a devil dog, he just wants to play with us, but i am at a loss as to what to play with him. he just wants to "nibble" on us (he likes to suck on our fingers...but we want to change that). He doesn't do tugowar (even for treats, as we were told that it's ok to play tug o war if you teach him the "get it" command to play and "out" to stop for a treat...he takes if for a second, drops it, and looks to me for a treat...) and he doesn't do fetch....

I have been training on and off all day for 5 to 10 min intervals, using his kibble, which was recommended.

I'm beginning to think he has a hearing problem, because he won't sit with words only, he needs me to that weird. same with "down"..I need to start to appear as if I'm about to kneel, and then he lays down...he won't go down on command. Could he be partly deaf??

March 3rd, 2005, 02:54 PM
dogs are like kids - they have 'selective hearing'

OK I'll only answer two things.

I wouldn't use the crate for discipline personally - I want that to be their 'safe' zone.

Dogs understand the 'immediate' consequences. If he's jumping - say 'off or down or whatever word you are using (and different from the command to 'lay down') and make him sit - with immediate praise. My trainer likes the word 'yes' - its much much faster to say and into their brains than good dog. So if you can immediately reward them the better.

re: the couch. Give the commmand ONCE AND ONLY ONCE, then get up and move her off physically - don't give the command again, don't beg - all you've taught her then is that she doesn't have to listen until you beg and plead. She should start to get the idea after a while and when she's gotten off an immediate 'yes' and reward.

March 3rd, 2005, 03:06 PM
I was thinking that about the crate as well, but he is already crate trained, and he loves it in there. He goes in a sleeps there all the time. His foster is a behavioural trainer, and taught him that it's not a bad place, so much as a place for him to calm down. He knows to go in there if he is tired, and knows that it's ok to go in there if he needs to calm down. I was against using it for punishment as well when I got him, but he was already taught that it isn't a punishment we are ok there.

We don't always use the crate either. If we are in a room and he is misbehaving, we give him three chances, then we leave the room and close the door. I leave him like that for 10 minutes. When I open the door he is either sleeping or sitting just where I left him. At night, we close off the kitchen with baby gates while we cook, and if he is misbehaving, we go in there and ignore him for ten minutes. Basically, whatever is conveneint at the time to seperate us. reminded me about another thing..the treats...We don't like to carry them on us, as he can smell them and he will climb all over us to get them. I keep containers of them around, but most are in the kitchen. There are some our TV and some in the computer room, and some on a table near his crate, but I never have them on me when I need them. I don't think it's working if I have get up, go get a treat, then treat that point he has forgotten what I am treating him for right? We have been told to train him that yes means he did something good that gets a treat. That way, you can delay the reward and he still undestands it. We used "down" for lay down, "Off" for getting him off things like people and couchs, and "out" for things in his mouth. "yes" for rewards and good behaviour. "Ok" for allowing something if he is being good.

Currently, if he will sit and stay, then I say ok, and he comes, I will let him on the couch then. I am making him work for everything.

March 3rd, 2005, 03:28 PM
Maybe he is deaf, or partially deaf.
I would have it checked out by the vet, or maybe you could do a few tests on your own. Stand behind him and call his name to see if he responds, go in another room and call his name to see if he comes.

When he is being a devil dog and trying to nip, I would immediately put one of his toys in his mouth, everytime he tries to chew on you do this, (I believe this is what Tenderfoot says to do) Maybe Tenderfoot will come on and explain it better :o

Keep up the good work, as it is obvious that you really love Odin, and are giving him a wonderful loving home :thumbs up

March 3rd, 2005, 04:04 PM
I'm trying to get Cider to not eat kongs, or edible bones and flavoured ice cubes on the couch, my bed, etc. I give her the treat, and follow her to see where she goes. If it's innapropriate I tell her off, and if she doesn't move I take the treat and put it on her bed or on the floor. She tends to then eat it where I put her, but she hasn't totally mastered not eating on my bed yet. I've only been workign on it for a week or so though.

March 3rd, 2005, 04:32 PM
We try the toy trade but Odin isn't interested. Unless the kong has something in it, he won't go near it.... he's not really big on the toys unless there is food involved. I think that's part of our frusteration. There is nothing we can play with him and no toy that he absolutely loves (unless it's a filled kong). And because he has food allergies, we are limited in what we can fill the kong with.

Mafia, I wish Odin would eat it where we tell him. If he goes on the couch, and I take the Kong, he thinks it is a game, and if I put it down, he snatches it up again and jumps back on the couch.

do you guys leave all your dogs toys out all the time? Maybe if we removed some of them, he would be more excited to see them?? I was also thinking of buying a few more of the same kongs, so I can have a few stuffed and ready to go at all times.

Lucky Rescue
March 3rd, 2005, 04:46 PM
Hey, you've got a bulldog!:p Determination and a never-say-die attitude!!
and practically beg him to get off. Usually he jumps up there when we are eating dinner or watching tv. He just ignores us if we tell him to get off from where we are, we actually have to get up. It's us getting up that distract him. It's as though he doesn't hear us. Is he now learning that if he jumps on the couch, that we get up to play with him?

OH, he hears you all right! (if you're sure he's not deaf?) Dogs catch on very quickly that they can get away with things if the owner is otherwise occupied - eating dinner, taking a bath, etc. and he is deliberatey ignoring you.

The main rule is: Never give a command you cannot enforce.

No "begging"! Does he understand the word "Off"? If not, each and every time he gets on the sofa, take his leash, snap it on and say "OFF" as you guide him down from the sofa. Just use the one word, and do not otherwise engage him in anything. No petting, no begging, no yelling. This way he'll learn that he has to obey so he may as well do it the first time he hears the command.

When he goes to jump up on you, just keep your feet on the floor and shuffle them INTO him. Do not say anything, or touch him. When he puts all feet on the floor - as he will have to - then you can pet him. That is enough of a reward.

March 3rd, 2005, 05:10 PM
This is something that works wonders for my pup. I know he KNOWS the OFF command. So, if he attempts to get on the couch with his toys, I tell him once "OFF" and point to the floor. If he doesn't respond immediatly I have 1 of 2 options.... 1. if i'm close enough, i reach out for his collar to enforce my command...never repeat it, or 2. reach for my handy water pistol.
Either way, he gets off pretty quick now.

Now for jumping up on people. While you're in the house with him, let him drag around a short leash. Just long enough that you can stomp on it if he's showing interest in jumping up. Don't make a big deal about it, just put your foot on it and look away from him, he will attempt to jump up, and self correct. Then he should sit and look at you as if to say "geez, not sure what happened there :confused: Do you?" Then you can praise and pet.
Good Luck :)

March 3rd, 2005, 05:44 PM
We tried the leash in the house, and he chewed it to that's not really an option. Oh well...we will just have to keep trying. We were trying to do all our training without anything physical (not even physical correction) but aparently that's not working. We usually don't have his collar on in the house, so maybe I will leave it on tonight and if he gets on the couch, pull him off.

March 3rd, 2005, 05:58 PM
As for his hearing, test it yourself. Does he like car rides? go to another room and pick up your keys. Or his leash for walks? Does he respond when someone comes in the house? Shake the cookie box from another room, does he come running?

Stay with him, and have a friend or partner go outside and knock on the door. Do his ears perk up? Does his head turn in that direction? It's really pretty easy to tell if he is hearing.

March 3rd, 2005, 06:48 PM
I wish you had our DVD - it would clear so much up for you.
The reason you are even questioning his hearing is that he is blowing you off - plain and simple. He doesn't respect you as his leader & he knows just what he can get away with. It's rather like a teenager who just doesn't seem to hear you ask him to clean his room - for the 25th time.
The reason you have to get up to get him off of the couch is because that is what you have taught him (by mistake - lots of people do this so don't take it personally). If he respected your word then you would barely have to speak to him to get him off - just a look would do. The couch is yours and he better know it's only okay to be up there when he is invited and if he sneeks up and you catch him then just a look from you should get him flying off to the floor. We teach this by teaching you how to use your energy to impress him. We don't push or pull a dog off of the couch - then he learns you have to force him off. Instead we use energy/pressure to get him to choose to get off.
Chewing on the leash is a major lack of respect - the leash is an extention of your hand. If he goes to even put his mouth on it you say 'quit' in a very firm tone and give a few rattles on the leash so that it is very uncomfortable for him to have it in his mouth. Do not make it a tug of war - just be snappy about it, but not so hard that you hurt his mouth. When he lets go, then say 'good quit' in a soft voice.
Put that leash right back on him and have him follow you around the house for an hour or two and ask him to do everything he knows during that time. Create a leader and a follower. Give him down/stays to teach patience while you read or watch TV. Also give him lots of soft praise when he does the right thing. Never give him any attention/food/rewards unless he looks at you first - getting him to check in with the leader before a decision solves most all problems.
I can PM the instructions for jumping up if you would like - I don't want to rattle on too long here.
P.S. Crates should be special comfort zones not punishment. Time-outs don't teach they just give everyone a break. Clear communication teaches.

March 3rd, 2005, 08:06 PM
Maybe I missed something--but is Odin sometimes allowed on the couch? If so, isn't this confusing for him?

I don't have a dog so I am no expert, but shouldn't it be one way or the other?

March 3rd, 2005, 08:21 PM
He's not allowed on the couch without permission. This is totally acceptable, at least that's what the behaviourist said where we are going to training. Anyway, he has only been allowed on the couch once in 4 weeks, all the other times we have asked him to come off if he went on. I really don't mind him on the couch, just not on it with toys that he can mess it up with (the couch is very old and VERY hard to clean).

So far tonight he hasn't tried.

I don't know if I agree with you tenderfoot. I'm just training the way the behaviourist we are using in classes has taught us, and she is a bulldog expert (they are very stubborn). She and the other trainer at the school have champion show dogs, and the owner of the training school has her dogs in the "super dogs" show, and a bunch of movies. I'm just training how she recommends. I'm still new at this though.

Now, Odin is a chewer, and that's probably why he went for the leash. He tries to chew off his harness if left on (we have gone through 4 in the 4 weeks we had him. He outgrew the first one, and the second one was too small, the third he chewed on the buckle and broke it, and now we are on #4).

Keep in mind, we have only had him for barely 4 weeks, he is a rescue dog, and has NO training before this (and he is about 18 months old), so things are very new to him. He is definately testing us to see what we will do. He is going to be harder work than a puppy partly because of his lack of training so far, and he is a stubborn bulldog.

This may sound odd, but I'm not sure he understands "sit" even. I don't think he was trained to sit, and therefore doesn't understand when we tell him to sit when he is standing. He just gives us a blank stare. He just sits naturally most of the time, therefore we don't need to ask him. He actually doesn't stand that often at all. He is always sitting. It's weird. We are trying to teach him something to let us know when he wants to go out when we are home, as he had a few accidents this week (may have been a submissive peeing thing...who knows, as he did it after excited play). I was hoping if he learns to sit before we open the door, he will go over and sit there when he wants to go out.

I don't think he has a hearing problem, because he does hear us when we call him within the apartment. But he doesn't recognize phraises. He doesn't react at all when I say walk time, sit, yes, down, at all. He gives great eye contact though (he's always staring at us). Maybe I will have the vet test his hearing anyway. I know great eye contact can be a sign of deafness.

March 3rd, 2005, 08:55 PM
Sorry I have not gotten the "quote" function down pat yet.

Raingirl, you were wanting something for Odin to tell you when he has to go out. Try Radio Shack, they have a doggie door bell for about $10. You can mount it inside your door, so that he rigns at the apartment door to tell you he has to go outside. If you need more info/details, pm me. A friend of mine got the doggie door bell for her golden.

March 3rd, 2005, 09:34 PM
that's the really nice thing about the OFF command, your dog will learn it means "no, for now" and that can apply to the couch (or anything else you want his grubby little paws off of).
Around here if I use NO, it means "god and all of heaven are about to come down upon you if you continue" My dogs know the difference.

I rarely have to use NO anymore...I think the tone of my voice when I call their names tells them before I have to correct now.
I also think dog training is alot like raising human children (of which I have 2) I learned early on in motherhood that empty threats would get me nowhere. If I say it, I mean it, AND I am willing to do what is neccessary to enforce it. 9 out of 10 times it's something that concerns safety, and that's too important to let slide.
With that being said, I'm also very fair. I don't ask the impossible.

If he's chewing up the leash, put just a catch handle on him. A short 'stub' of a leash that's harder for him to get in his mouth. If you lunge and grab at his collar/neck each time, he's gonna learn real quick that he can avoid you if he's quick enough. And that will create a nasty little game you don't want to play called 'keep away'(cause you wont win)

If that doesn't work, try taking a longer leash and attaching it to your belt. Where you go, he goes, when you go, he goes..and so on. If he attempts to chew the leash then, you should consider it an extension of your arm and respond like it's your arm he's trying to chew! Not acceptable!

I honestly think your bulldog has no problem hearing... he is showing you that he is the leader in your little pack.
You need to show him he's dead wrong! You control the food, toys, games, sleep, attention, etc.. trust me on this one! This is your party and if he wants to attend, he has to follow the rules!

March 3rd, 2005, 09:37 PM
If what your trainers are telling you feels right and works (& isn't harmful to Odin) then keep at it - you have to do what feels right and works for you.
We work with all breeds (bulldogs included) and we believe in our methods because its how all dogs communicate with each other. Rotties understand Yorkies and Bulldogs understand Poodles, etc. Every individual has their own unique personality but they all speak the same language. So we teach people how to communicate in a manner that all dogs understand.
Odin is looking for direction - he probably hasn't had any in his life so far. Looking at you is a form of communication and you would do well to answer him. Give him jobs to do or sometimes just say thanks for looking. If you don't answer his questions then he will stop looking - thinking that you don't want to lead the way and then he will become even more independent.
Teaching him to ring a bell to go out can be a great idea. You don't need anything fancy. Put a little peanut butter on the bell (to encourage him to touch it) and teach him when he touches it you get all happy and take him out.
Try not to overemphasize his age and lack of experience. Dogs are pack animals and highly social - this translates to a desire to get along. When Odin is given clear leadership his instincts will be to follow.
Regardless if he can hear or not (we train deaf dogs too), he can understand hand signals. Dogs pick up on body language before the verbal instructions naturally anyway.

March 3rd, 2005, 10:00 PM
you sound like you train with the same philosophy as my trainer - i think she's awesome. She's never been wrong about anything that i've asked her for help with. I'd love to know where to get your DVD - i'm still in training too LOL We are going to 'repeat' our obedience training classes again - if you know what i mean :)

March 3rd, 2005, 10:34 PM
Thanks for asking. You can order our DVD's from our website at Here's some of the info. it covers.

It is a 3 hour video that takes you from Level 1 through Level 4. In 1-3 days Your Dog Will Choose Actions According to Your Wishes!

Equivalent to 6+ hours & $300 of Private Training to review and practice in the privacy of your own home for only $59.95.

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Many of today’s popular training methods are not lasting as they rely on bribery or force. Based on Horse Whisperer training techniques that have been refined for the family dog, this 3-hour DVD set teaches you how to foster proper behavior in your dog without the use of treats or props and with non-violent training techniques. In just days, your dog will think and choose his/her actions according to your wishes – out of love, trust and respect, not force or bribery.

Becoming a wonderful leader makes all the difference in the world.
Stop unwanted behavior now – straying, pulling, jumping up, ignoring you, etc.
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enough to get results.
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Thanks again.

P.S - what does LOL mean? I thought it was 'Lots of Love' or 'Lots of Luck', but now I am thinking maybe not.

March 3rd, 2005, 11:05 PM
Which trainer do you go to Raingirl?Joan is a Bulldog lover,and involved with Superdogs,and a trainer,just made me wonder.

How long was Odin in rescue?

March 4th, 2005, 09:35 AM
Yeah, we got him from Joan Weston. He was in rescue for about 5 months I think she said. We are going to the training school that Joan works at, Scholars in Collars (in burlington). She defered us to the head trainer at the school because Odin is so stubborn. She said it would be better to train with Diane there, as she is more experienced. I was reading the bulliten board at the training school, and she has all kinds of articles posted, and a pic with Tom Hanks and Nicole Kidman when she was the dog trainer for a movie they did with dogs (can't remember the name) and there is a list of movies she worked on. I was speaking with some people in the class and they said that they pre-registered for courses before their dogs were born!!! Insane huh?

March 4th, 2005, 10:01 AM
It is a small world!Joan is great,I don't know Diane but I'm sure she'll do a great job with you guys.

March 4th, 2005, 11:02 AM
:) LOL is 'laughing out loud' but hey - if lots of love makes you feel good, that works too! :)

A dvd would be great for me as I'm not really an auditory learner so I 'forget' a lot of info that I hear in class and need it over and over to 'get it'. It was interesting because the one time my hubby came along to class, and when we got home I was trying what we learned and he immediately pointed out what I was doing 'wrong' - the little details I couldn't remember. Just a little change in how you do things can work wonders!