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Old August 23rd, 2008, 10:58 AM
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jealma jealma is offline
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I need help with dog trainning

She's 8 months old now, my little Abby girl. My husband and I have our little princess and she's a wonderful pup, but not so perfect.

Abby barks at people when they come in the house.

Now Abbys not a jealous or protective dog that I"ve noticed but she seems to be afraid of people somewhat, yet after my friend is in the house,, I have to keep abby on a leash or she would be jumping on their laps and licking them to the point of annoyance. She will also bark at the lady if we go through a drive through. When I take her for walks people want to pet her because I doll her all up but she barks and backs away from them.

I don't know what to do for her. I know she loves people, I see it when she is near my grandchildren, or once she settles with a new person in the house. We love her so much, and would like to make things more comfortable for her so that others will beable to pet her and see her sweet side instead of the scared or timid she's showing them

I"m in a small town and they don't have puppy classes but once in a bluemoon, and we don't have a lot of company in but I still dont want her reacting this way,, I"m sure it means that either she doesn't feel safe or something, I want her to feel safe.

Any advice would be welcomed. I know I spoil her and cuddle her alot. She gets groomed pretty much everyday,and she has her own closed in yard to run in. She doesn't bark at the traffic, ( we have a lot of cars go past) but she is always barking if she hears the slightest sound that could be a car door or a knock when she is inside. I really want to do the best job I can at being a good pet owner.
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Old August 23rd, 2008, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jealma View Post
She's 8 months old now, my little Abby girl. My husband and I have our little princess and she's a wonderful pup, but not so perfect.

Abby barks at people when they come in the house.

Now Abbys not a jealous or protective dog that I"ve noticed but she seems to be afraid of people somewhat.

We love her so much, and would like to make things more comfortable for her so that others will beable to pet her and see her sweet side instead of the scared or timid she's showing them

I"m sure it means that either she doesn't feel safe or something, I want her to feel safe.

Any advice would be welcomed. I know I spoil her and cuddle her alot.
Hi Jealma, Little Abby's growing up!!

A few things come to mind, pretty typical of small dogs to be honest:

8 month old is the "teenager" stage , she's an adolescence and its the time where she will try to reassert herself in the pack, as a leader, they are up to no good and will try anything they can to be in control. Research puppy developmental stages and you will see now is the time for you to work even harder and be firmer with her.

The barking is a way for her to control her environment, she may not be protective but she is asserting herself by barking...how are you correcting her? Do you pick her up? Do you allow her to continue to bark? Do you talk softly to her saying.."its ok, its alright:...?? or do you stop her in her track and assert yourself?

You also admit you spoil her, right there - sorry to say, is the heart of the problem...she feels entitled, and why wouldn't she? It has nothing to do with grooming or clothes or how cute she is or the cuddling - there's always a time and place for those things.....but rather how you let her have run of the house..she allowed on the bed? she allowed on the couch? does she get carried around, lots of treats? she's allowed to run up to the door and bark?

I suggest more exercise (outside the yard - to them the yard is an extension of the house, its not exercise) and socialization with other dogs - especially right now at this age and stage, I suggest setting rules, and boundaries and treat her like a dog, she may be your princess, but shes a dog...its hard, I know, trust me...but right now its crucial that you be the leader.

Practice door manners, leash her, have a friend ring the bell, you control her movement and make sure she knows you disapprove of the barking - step towards her, snap your finder, be firm with her, don't feel sorry for her, and don't assume she's scared. If you are confident, she will be too. If you have never shown her how to greet guests, how will she know?

Same goes on the street, ensure people know not to approach her - thats your job as her leader, and when they do come up, tell her to sit and be quiet, shes on leash, and shes small, you should be able to control the situation...you can practice this too, it will only take a few quiet meet and greets for her to get it.

This is all very common with little dogs, they seem to get away with behaviors like this cuz they are small and cute and people treat them like babies and give them human traits, but they are no different then a large breed, its a dog. Because she is small, its easier for you to control her movements and once she understand, it wont take long for her to fall in line.

This is how I trained my giant monster, took months, but her manners came thru eventually. You have to be consistent, you cant stop expecting the manners once she knows them, its your job to ensure she always behave this way.
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Old August 23rd, 2008, 12:23 PM
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jealma jealma is offline
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Thank you for your suggestions. I am working very hard on trying to control the barking. I will say no in a firm assertive voice and if she barks again I use my fingers towards ( sometimes tapping) her nose and say no again.

Like you said, small breeds get away with a lot because they are our babies. I don't want my dog to be one of those annoying little dogs that is why I want to get on this kind of behaviour now.

Abby is given pretty much the freedom of the house. She is allowed on the bed but actually chooses to sleep on the floor untill early morning when she will spend the rest of the time in the bed. I think she's just waiting for me to get up.

I would like to teach her how to properly greet people. Right now we put her on her leash at first sign of anyone coming in and I"ve asked people to ignore her untill she is better behaved. I"m not sure how I"m suppose to teach her to accept a persons petting her head without her getting all excited and trying to lick and chew on them..

We make her sit when we come home and don't pick her up till she gets herself under control. ( she goes a little crazy when we first come in the door)
I have taken to holding a paper up when she thinks it's time to play and I am not free to play. ( I don't hurt her , but I let her know it's there and that she must not continue her behavior). Maybe it's the teenage years too,, I know my own kids did like to test durring that time. I will work harder on making her mind her order in this house.
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Old August 23rd, 2008, 01:22 PM
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It is the teenage years, seriously, read up on it and you will go aha!!!

Keep working hard on it and it will happen for you, it takes months, she's still a pup, a teenager..she will try and try again...and if your response is firm and certain each and every time, she will eventually get it.

Use commands as often as possible, like sit and stay, sometimes they just need to be told whats expected of them...Dazy will circle and circle a new guests until they pet her, but if you ask her to sit, she'll sit - then we pet. Ignoring bad behavior is great, but they do need to be told what to do instead of the bad behavior. Direct them and they will succeed.

If you structure and control things like exercise, training, feeding, entering and exiting the house, gate, yard, it helps all unwanted behavior and reinforces you as the leader.

When she charges the door, back her up with your body posture, keep stepping towards her, ask her to sit, and when you turn to open the door, and she budges - turn back to her and repeat...she will get it. Everyone in your house needs to do this, even your visiting friends. Like I said, get a friend to help you, over and over one day - until she makes the right choice.

They are all our "babies", and we want the best for them for sure, call it tough love.
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Old August 26th, 2008, 03:09 PM
TwoLostSouls TwoLostSouls is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jealma View Post
Thank you for your suggestions. I am working very hard on trying to control the barking. I will say no in a firm assertive voice and if she barks again I use my fingers towards ( sometimes tapping) her nose and say no again.
You are correct to touch her, but not in the location. A dog will view a swat to the nose as playful or perhaps an attack. You must remain calm and emotionless when giving correction. Pretend your hand is holding a baseball. This grip also resembles teeth. If you touch her firmly on the side of the neck, firmly enough to make her stop barking and say "quiet" or "no" or "hey", then leave her until she becomes calm, that is a better correction. You can also use the same touch where her ribs and hind-quarters meet. That's always good for getting their attention

Quote:
Originally Posted by jealma View Post
I would like to teach her how to properly greet people. Right now we put her on her leash at first sign of anyone coming in and I"ve asked people to ignore her untill she is better behaved. I"m not sure how I"m suppose to teach her to accept a persons petting her head without her getting all excited and trying to lick and chew on them..
Your strategy here is somewhat correct. When you have your dog meet people, they should be instructed not to touch, have eye contact with, nor talk to your dog. They are best ignoring it. However, it is up to you to give your dog the boundaries and have her keep quiet and sit off to the side, by your direction, not expect her to do it automatically. You dog can meet people only after you, as the pack leader, invite her to meet people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jealma View Post
We make her sit when we come home and don't pick her up till she gets herself under control. ( she goes a little crazy when we first come in the door)
I have taken to holding a paper up when she thinks it's time to play and I am not free to play. ( I don't hurt her , but I let her know it's there and that she must not continue her behavior). Maybe it's the teenage years too,, I know my own kids did like to test durring that time. I will work harder on making her mind her order in this house.
Again, you are correct in waiting for her to settle down, but she should be doing it at your command, not after she feels like it. It seems she has you well-trained. Allowing your dog to get around to doing what you want her to do is a recipe for disaster.
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Old August 26th, 2008, 03:37 PM
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allymack allymack is offline
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Originally Posted by jealma View Post

Like you said, small breeds get away with a lot because they are our babies. I don't want my dog to be one of those annoying little dogs that is why I want to get on this kind of behaviour now.
I love you for saying this! sooooo many people let little dogs get away with everything, just because they are cute and small and like a baby...they are just the same as a big dog..just smalelr ( if that made sense )

For the barking, have you tried a penny can..i find it very effective, if you havent heard of it, just say and i will give you the low down on it

For greeting properly, your doing a good thing by having people ignore her, try to make sure they dont even look at her, because for dog ( and people too) it is a way of communication.

Also one way i learned at dog school for greeting is put her in a sit stay, and have a person come in to sight. if she holds her stay, give her a treat and praise. Then have the person advance towards you, again if she stay treat. if she has a solid stay they should be able to get failrly close without her trying to break it..each time the person advances and she doesnt move, treat ehr. For the first few people just have them approach, say hello to you, amke shake hands with you ( anythign where you move and your pupper doesnt) and have them walk away..ignoring the dog the whole itme. After she has learned to stay for that, move on to having people start out with one to three pats, and then ignore her. this will teach ok, i get a few pats when i stay still and then i have to stay calm. Then you can move up the amount of pats and attention, and add in talking a praise and however she would normally be greeted.
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Old August 26th, 2008, 03:59 PM
TwoLostSouls TwoLostSouls is offline
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I love you for saying this! sooooo many people let little dogs get away with everything, just because they are cute and small and like a baby...they are just the same as a big dog..just smalelr ( if that made sense )
Thank you for loving her/him for saying that! People with little dogs have to get past this "it's my baby" line of thought. At least fixing them is easier than a Rottweiler with the same problem.
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