February 25th, 2006, 12:17 PM
Hi all -
Need some advice..
Our new rescue CANNOT stand to be away from our side when we're home - however, he's fine in his crate when we're home or away. We've had him for about 6 weeks and can't get him to even go outside to use the bathroom without one of us being outside with him at least 5 ft. away or within his view. I've been trying to back up closer and closer to the deck / back door as he's doing his business hoping eventually to not have to go out at all with him - maybe just stand in the doorway (we have a secure fenced-in yard).
When we're home - it took us 4 weeks to get him to go into the kitchen by himself to eat his meals! If we were in the other room watching TV, he wouldn't leave us to go eat. He's getting a little better, but I was just wondering if anyone had any suggestions. Following me around every inch of the house is cute and all, but get's a bit frustrating sometimes.
Thanks for any input!
February 25th, 2006, 12:35 PM
I don't have any answers for you, but I can tell you that this happened with our first dog who was arescue. We picked Joey up on a Sunday and someone was at home with hime every minute until Wednesday when I left the house for 45 minutes. Up until then he hadn't done much of anything but lie aorund and eye us all very warily. Well when I returned returned home after those 45 minutes his joy was unbounded. He must have been afraid that he'd been abandoned because he decided right then and there not to let me out of his sight.
If I got up from the table to pour a cup of coffee he would follow me to the coffe pot and back to the table. Never more than a foot away. After a few months he gradually let his guard down. He would still lift his head to see where I was going but if he could see me he was fine. He was alright if I went out but had to be coninced to go out without me. If my husband took him for a walk I would have to walk them to the door.
It reached a comfortable level. I loved having him near me and to the very end of his life he loved only me. To be honest I miss that. (I know--I'm a little needy ;) )
But anyway....my point is that he will become more comfortable and more secure as the days go on.
February 25th, 2006, 04:11 PM
This little guy needs to learn he is safe in the next room or even 2 feet away from you. We call these guys 'cling ons' or velcro dogs. :p
We have the perfect drill for him. When a dog is too independent we say you need to balance him out by keeping him close to you on the leash. When a dog is too clingy we say you need to balance him out by using the 'out' drill.
I am going to walk you through this in its most basic form.
First, choose a doorway that the dog might want to cross in order to get to you. ie the doorway into the kitchen.
The dog is on the leash and you are going to walk through the doorway but not let the dog cross over the threshold. You accomplish this by... using the leash to stop the dog. Use a hand signal like the 'stay' signal - a flat hand towards the dog. You are going to stomp your foot towards the line (pressure) - intensly enough to make your dog blink but not so much that you scare him. Then QUICKLY back your energy away from the line and the dog and stand sideways to him (release of pressure). If he goes towards the line again do it again. Think of playing goalie and the dog is the ball that can't cross the line. You have to be consistent and clear.
Your dog is going to challenge you at least 3-5 times. If you are clear and consistent then it won't happen more than that. If your dog voluntarily sits, yawns or lays down then you have earned some respect and he is submitting to your wishes. Take a step away from the dog as you let out a bit of the leash. Reminder - the leash must always be loose or your dog isn't learning a thing. You use it for a correction and then it goes back to being loose. Start to move about like you are busy in the kitchen and can't be bothered to watch the dog. Notice that he is watching you all of the time now. You have just taken charge and he is looking to your for guidance and leadership.
Yeah we are making progress. Eventualy you will be able to drop the leash and now you are getting off leash. This should be able to happen within the first 10 minutes.
Now as he is able to stay on the other side of the line (he can go anywhere in the house he wants he just can't cross the line), you get further and further away from him. This is the distance of respect. He is also learning to be seperate from you. He is learning to control his impulses. He is learning to respect your boundaries. He is looking to you for leadership. Lots of things happen in this drill and these are only a few of the many benefits.
Remember to release him when you have decided that he has been good for long enough. It could be 1 minute, 10 minutes or 30 minutes but you must release him or he will learn to release himself.
This is a boundary that you can set any time and any place. The more you use it it the better. This will help hikm to learn to be alone and still be safe. You are not abandoning him you are simply saying you have your own space and right now he's not welcome in it. Later he can come in and be with you but not rightnow.
February 25th, 2006, 09:49 PM
Thanks TenderFoot! One thing I'm confused about though - I'm not understanding the part about using the leash. Are you saying walk the dog to the "line" with the leash, then release it as I cross the line into the kitchen?
Sorry, but can you clarify.
February 25th, 2006, 11:01 PM
Thanks for asking I am never sure if I have included enough infomation in my description. Thats why the video is so great because you can just watch and learn.
Okay - so you start with him on the leash on the outside of the line (outside of the kitchen), as you walk across he must stop just before the line and you use your leash to help him stop. If he stops with just your energy and not the leash then great you don't need your leash. It usually depends on his sensitivity and stubborness. As he shows that he can control himself then you use your leash less and less, until you aren't using it at all.
The leash is to empower your word so that he understands crossing the line is not an option and the leash helps you to get that message across.
Does that help?
With your velcro dog this boundary can be anywhere. If you are sitting and watching TV and he thinks he needs to be right next to you then create a new boundary around you - perhaps 10 feet away. Be diligent about not letting him in. He will eventually relax and lie down. Now he is learning to be away from you but near enough to keep him happy. Perhaps you can let him be with you for 30 minutes and then practice being outside your boundary for 30 minutes - just so he isn't away from you all of the time.
February 26th, 2006, 11:46 AM
That makes more sense! Thank you. I'm going to give it a try. I'll have to "train" my husband, too though. He never seems to be able to stay consistent with Rudy.
Have a great day.
February 26th, 2006, 03:09 PM
he's awfully cute! does he have some Norfolk Terrier in him?
February 26th, 2006, 09:21 PM
Thanks Gomez. I'm not actually sure what cross he is. I actually have a different thread going under "Breed Discussions" you should take a look at. Maybe you'll have some good input?