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Is it too late for the PLACE command?

TKW
March 7th, 2008, 04:40 PM
My dog is 2 y.o. and he's only been to puppy school. Since we are not expecting a show dog, we let him got away with a lot. Don't get me wrong, he's a good boy. He'd hardly get in trouble in the house except he has selective hearing when it comes to commands.
His biggest problem is he loves people. He thinks it's his God-given right to check out anyone that come to our door. It can be intimidating to some to watch a 100# animal shooting down the stair towards them. We just learned of this PLACE command from a video. However it was only a brief introduction on the video for puppies. Any suggestion to teach a not-so-old dog this new trick?

Esaunders
March 7th, 2008, 06:20 PM
Selective hearing????

You should own a setter. I've been caught in dogparks shouting after my dog "I KNOW you can hear me, I have COPIES of the hearing test!!!" (much to the hilarity of people around me.

Try the following steps:

1) Buy a pack of hotdogs. Take them home and cut one or two up into small pieces and stick them in a sandwich bag.
2) Grab the dog bed/mat/blanket and place it on the ground in front of your sofa. If necessary
3) Sit on the sofa with the open bag o' hot dogs. Wait for your dog to notice the smell of the hotdogs.
4) When dog comes over do one of the following: a) dog walks on dog bed/mat/blanket, toss a piece of hot dog on the mat. b) Dog walks around mat, lead back onto mat and drop a piece of hotdog on the mat.
5) once dog is on mat (and sniffing where the hotdog landed) put the dog into a down-stay and drop another piece of hotdog.
6) Sit on sofa, tossing a piece of hot dog at slowly increasing intervals (5s, 10s, 15s etc) until half the bag is gone. If dog leaves mat before this, repeat steps 4-6
7) Pat dog, release from down-stay and put mat away

Repeat daily, after 7 days of repetition move the mat farther away (approx 2' farther) Repeat for 5-7 more days & start the adding the key word when the dog moves or is moved to the mat.

And continue over time... there's variations on this where you could add in clicker training to mark and shape the behavior but this is a decent basic start. The association that needs to be made is mat=good things then keyword = mat = good things.

Byrd
March 7th, 2008, 06:33 PM
It's never to late to teach a dog anything, mine's three and is still learning new tricks and behaviour modifications all the time.

However, even though you're not expecting a show dog it's really nice to have a well behaved dog and even basic manners come in handy. Part of the alpha rule is that your dog knows his place, I think his 'selective' hearing is a sign that he's alpha dog in that house, not you. You need to change this!!!

jessi76
March 7th, 2008, 09:14 PM
He thinks it's his God-given right to check out anyone that come to our door. It can be intimidating to some to watch a 100# animal shooting down the stair towards them. We just learned of this PLACE command from a video. However it was only a brief introduction on the video for puppies. Any suggestion to teach a not-so-old dog this new trick?

well, he IS the family dog, so cut him a little slack, it sorta IS his job to check out anyone at your door. What if a total psycho showed up? I bet this wouldn't be a problem then... :rolleyes: (joking!)

I do think dogs SHOULD greet visitors, but they should greet nicely. barreling down the stairs towards a visitor simply isn't good manners.

I NEVER think it's too late to teach new commands, my dog is 3yrs old and we teach him new stuff ALL the time!

Missy&Jasper
March 20th, 2008, 09:25 AM
Can I just ask what usually happens when someone (including you) comes into the house?

I've just rescued a 10 year old dog about 3 weeks ago and she was also very boisterous when anyone entered the house, (barking, jumping up nipping at fingers, scratching with claws etc - never growling though!). Whenever I rejoined the "pack" I completely ignored her until she had settled down, at first this could take up to 10-15 mins, and when she is completely calm I call her over for a stroke.

By ignoring her I'm not feeding her anxiety and I'm raising my hierarchy in the pack. When the alpha dog returns to the pack he/she doesn't greet the other dogs or ask permission to be accepted again, and neither do I.

I also told my friends visiting the house to do the same. She still barks when someone knocks at the door though, but I want this.

My other dog (mini daschund) also has selective hearing - I think because he's so close to the ground and all the scents, other distractions. I've been doing clicker training with him for a while (indoors) but I now take my clicker out on walks with me. To begin with when I called him, I would click at the slightest response (ear twitch, quick glance) and as he's know that a click = done something right = reward and he would come back to claim his prize. Now I click when he turns and begins to run.

I've also started clicker training my 10 year old dog and she is reponding very well.

Have you also tried using a whistle? This will be better for longer distances. If you condition your dog to associate a peep on the whistle with reward, he is bound to return. The key is to get their attention and be more interesting than whatever it is they are currently doing.

By using a whistle the message is always going to be clear to the dog, the only time he ever hear it is when you want him to come back. However, verbal messages are used constantly for almost ever situation and the meaning is more diluted.

Hope this helps - and if your interested in clicker traingin I found this website really useful www.clickertraining.com

TKW
March 27th, 2008, 05:07 PM
I'm sorry for not checking here often enough!

He is generally quite laidback except when excited! No kidding, he could just lie down at the top of the stair when we get home. Only wags his tail a couple of times when we step over him. Exceptions: if DW is coming home with grocery, he'd come and check out the bags just in case there're treats or toys for him. Or when our college girls coming home from the dorm in the weekends, he'd come greet them as they are his playmates. But when it comes to strangers or neighbours come knocking at our door (he can see through the glass panels), he'd come with enthusiasm. We know he won't harm a fly. He loves people. But for visitors who are afraid of getting fur on their dressy pants, we have to embarrassingly retrain him. That's why I thought the PLACE command may do him so good.

I heard of this clicker training method but hasn't look very close. I'll take another look at it. Thank you for the suggestion.

doggie
April 9th, 2008, 11:32 PM
I couldn't help but respond to your question about "Place." I have the video of the complete training along with the written instructions if you are still interested. I am happy to give them to you.

TKW
April 11th, 2008, 01:47 PM
Thank you Shannon for the offer! I pm you yesterday regarding this.