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Help with reversing a bad habit

pk's mom
March 8th, 2006, 08:10 PM
We've had our 7 month cocker spaniel for almost 3 months now. When he was first with us, he was too little to jump on the bed, couch or any other furniture. However, occasionally my husband or I would let him (meaning pick him up and set him with us) get in bed with us in the mornings after we'd let him out of his bed, but before we were ready to get out of bed and fully pay attention to him. It was perfectly fine for a while. But now he's teething and chewing just about everything he can get his little mouth on. Not to mention he's now big enough to jump on the bed all by himself and does whenever he thinks we're anywhere remotely near the bed.
I discovered the other day that he has chewed several holes in my bedspread. My husband and I decided right then that this habit of being on the bed needs to stop NOW. We admit that we fostered the environment for the habit to grow, however is there now a way to reverse that? Surely if he's still very much in his puppy months we can train him the other way. Right?
Any ideas? Do you do this by forceful training (No! Get down!), or is positive reinforcement more effective?

March 8th, 2006, 08:15 PM
My doggies know "Floor" because "down" means lie down... I say it, and if they don't listen, I guide them down with their collar and once they're on the floor, I praise them. It's definitely not a bad thing to start now. Dogs should have to ask permission before climbing up on anything anyway. But be consistent.

pk's mom
March 9th, 2006, 08:50 AM
Well that certainly seems logical - great advice. So far we've been telling him to get down, but not guiding him to the floor and praising him when he gets there. I think that's definitely the missing ingredient! Thanks so much, Prin!

March 9th, 2006, 09:15 AM
I crate trained my pup, and keep a crate in our bedroom. My dog will occassionally jump on the bed uninvited, but I just snap my fingers, point to the crate and say the word "kennel" in a firm tone (no yelling) and he IMMEDIATELY gets down and lays quietly in the crate. I don't even need to shut the door anymore.

If you haven't crate trained, you might want to consider it - It would keep your dog off your bed, and from chewing anything while you're sleeping. Obviously provide bedding for him, and if he chews it, well, at least it's not YOUR bedspread.

pk's mom
March 9th, 2006, 03:22 PM
PK is crate trained. He sleeps there (it's in the living room though) during the night and then is out and about with us while we're home. I think the key now is just to get him used to the idea that he is not allowed on the bed, which after even a couple days he is starting to understand that. I need to remember the no yelling part (mom's - me - not so good at that :( )