Rocky is too smart for his own good.
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Thread: Rocky is too smart for his own good.

  1. #1
    Senior Member trumpetjock's Avatar
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    Rocky is too smart for his own good.

    Ok... so... I need some advice on this one. We've come really far in bite inhibition. I'm using the method of yelling "OW" and ignoring him for a minute or two. At first he tried barking at me, but he's figured out that doesn't get my attention. Now, whenever I ignore him, he makes a bee-line for the shoes, and starts chewing on them to get my attention. He never chews on shoes normally, he just knows it's a fool proof way to get my attention.

    Any suggestions how to get past this little hump?

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  3. #2
    Senior Member MegaMuttMom's Avatar
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    Re: Rocky is too smart for his own good.

    Put the shoes away. Cherokee still goes to get shoes, socks, underwear when he is bored or wants us to get going on his walk. The first thing out of my mouth is "Who left the bedroom door open?" He has a good "Give" and "leave it" now so we use those and ignore him after he gives us whatever. You have to save your shoe but, you don't have to make it a rewarding game by playing tug. You must work on those commands when he's not being naughty.

  4. #3
    Senior Member trumpetjock's Avatar
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    Re: Rocky is too smart for his own good.

    Quote Originally Posted by MegaMuttMom View Post
    Put the shoes away. Cherokee still goes to get shoes, socks, underwear when he is bored or wants us to get going on his walk. The first thing out of my mouth is "Who left the bedroom door open?" He has a good "Give" and "leave it" now so we use those and ignore him after he gives us whatever. You have to save your shoe but, you don't have to make it a rewarding game by playing tug. You must work on those commands when he's not being naughty.
    He's almost 100% on drop it already. It's not an issue of even wanting the shoe, it's just that he knows he'll get my attention by doing it. In fact, most of the time he just picks it up, drags it into the living room and sits with it until I react.

    If the only solution is putting away the shoes, I can do that too. Having a more permanent solution would be nice though!

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    Senior Member TooneyDogs's Avatar
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    Re: Rocky is too smart for his own good.

    As you're discovering, dogs can be very manipulative. It's all about attention. The biting, barking and chewing are some of the devices he'll use to grab your attention. You literally have to teach him that attention has to be earned using your rules. A nice sit earns petting, laying quietly by your side earns a belly rub, coming when called earns a game of fetch, walking nicely by your side earns whispered, sweet nothings/praise. Praise and pet for the quiet times/good things that he is doing. Dog comes to you looking for attention/playtime?......put him to work doing some basic obedience first...again, earning your attention.

  7. #5
    Senior Member trumpetjock's Avatar
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    Re: Rocky is too smart for his own good.

    Quote Originally Posted by TooneyDogs View Post
    As you're discovering, dogs can be very manipulative. It's all about attention. The biting, barking and chewing are some of the devices he'll use to grab your attention. You literally have to teach him that attention has to be earned using your rules. A nice sit earns petting, laying quietly by your side earns a belly rub, coming when called earns a game of fetch, walking nicely by your side earns whispered, sweet nothings/praise. Praise and pet for the quiet times/good things that he is doing. Dog comes to you looking for attention/playtime?......put him to work doing some basic obedience first...again, earning your attention.
    Aye, I understand NILIF pretty well, and have been applying it almost 100%. The catch here, is that I'm trying to teach him bite inhibition by completely ignoring him, but he is doing something that I can't just ignore - playing with shoes. Should I just let him play with the shoe until he gets bored, make him work, then praise? Sounds like bad news for the shoes. Maybe the best thing to do would be to just put the shoes in a closet at all times.

  8. #6
    Senior Member MegaMuttMom's Avatar
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    Re: Rocky is too smart for his own good.

    Just keep up with the drop it. He's not biting you which is a step in the direction you want to be going. Each time Cherokee steals something it is easier and easier to get it from him. He gets just enough attention to get it from him. I give him a polite thank you, not a lot of praise, and I go right back to what I was doing. He is still growing and learning and as long as things are going in a positive direction, I would just keep it up.
    Our shoes are in a closet at all times. Just makes it less enticing.

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    Senior Member Lonewolfblue's Avatar
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    Re: Rocky is too smart for his own good.

    Another thing you might want to try is to make a change. Break his attention, and do something different than he wants. If he wants to go outside, and is getting the shoes because he knows that works, instead of going outside, take him to another room and start going over commands, do some training. Or maybe go somewhere else and play ball. Keep changing it up. And if he nips or bites, say Ouch and just walk away.


    Shelter dogs aren't broken, they've simply experienced more life then others. Don't pity them...HELP them!

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