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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just a thought I had. Sometimes when I shout at Buddy he looks at me with those eyes and I give him a pet or let him up on the sofa just because I feel guilty. Sometimes I give him an extra treat for doing basic things that he should do anyway, but seeing as he's a rascal for chewing (and when you say 'come here!' he walks to you but keeps the toy just out of your reach) it's a miracle when he just sits there quietly with his own toys.

I wonder if sometimes I'm going waaay to easy on him, but I'm an old softie and I just can't bring myself to be strict. So, it begs the question: is it possible to be 'too nice'?

Let me know what you think!
 

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I do not think "nice" and "strict" are mutually exclusive. Your dog knows what works. If you say "no," he "pouts" until he gets his way. It's the same as if you told your kid they couldn't do something and then they cried or screamed and you relented. I think it's really important to have rules and stick to them. If you don't want your dog on the sofa, just say "no" and stick to it. Your pooch will get over it, trust me!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the reply! His pouts are so hard to ignore - and when he's in his bed he'll whine until we open the door and let him in, but I know I'll have to stick to my guns here. He's already clued in as to what makes me tick, and how to get my attention, like tipping the laundry basket, pulling things off the counter, things like that, but from now on he'll get a scolding for doing that instead of my attention. You're right, though. He'll have to learn the rules and I'll have to enforce them.
 

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"Scolding" can be a form of attention. Give your dog attention for doing something you like, rather than only yelling at him when he's bad. Wait until he's quite to open any doors. We always make our dogs sit at doors and they are not allowed to go out until I say, even when the door is open. It teaches them self control which is just as important as obedience training.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I used to do this a lot (making him wait for things, I mean) but as of late I've had piles of work to do and I don't find the time, which guilt trips me more into giving him more treats and attention. It's my fault, not the little fella's - I think it's amazing how controlled your dogs are, considering you have more than one, and they're both gorgeous by the way! I'll have to spend some time with him. My sister plays with him lots and lots but she's not the teaching kind. He is very controlled when it comes to food as in he'll sit and wait for food until I tell him to go eat it, so I hope he'll take to waiting for other things just as well!
 

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Just a thought I had. Sometimes when I shout at Buddy he looks at me with those eyes and I give him a pet or let him up on the sofa just because I feel guilty. Sometimes I give him an extra treat for doing basic things that he should do anyway, but seeing as he's a rascal for chewing (and when you say 'come here!' he walks to you but keeps the toy just out of your reach) it's a miracle when he just sits there quietly with his own toys.

I wonder if sometimes I'm going waaay to easy on him, but I'm an old softie and I just can't bring myself to be strict. So, it begs the question: is it possible to be 'too nice'?

Let me know what you think!
Huh? So you think there are things he should do for you and not get any sort of payment for? Then where's his incentive to do it? Surely you don't think dogs do things just out of "respect" for their owners? Dogs are selfish, they do things only to get a reward, or to avoid punishment. If the dog does something you don't like, it's just feedback that you haven't helped him to see the advantage in what you want him to do instead.

As for being nice, I'm always nice to my dogs. I don't yell at them, I don't hit them, I'm not unfair. I treat them the way I would treat a young child. But there's being "nice" and there's spoiling them. I don't spoil them, they have to follow my rules and they have to earn their rewards.
 

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Just a thought I had. Sometimes when I shout at Buddy he looks at me with those eyes and I give him a pet or let him up on the sofa just because I feel guilty. Sometimes I give him an extra treat for doing basic things that he should do anyway, but seeing as he's a rascal for chewing (and when you say 'come here!' he walks to you but keeps the toy just out of your reach) it's a miracle when he just sits there quietly with his own toys.

I wonder if sometimes I'm going waaay to easy on him, but I'm an old softie and I just can't bring myself to be strict. So, it begs the question: is it possible to be 'too nice'?

Let me know what you think!
Well ... is a deep subject! ... :)

Seriously ... I did the same thing with Leeo. He still followed the rules. By giving rewards for things they already know just reinforces those good behaviors IMO. Sure ... Leeo got away with a few things here and there that broke a few rules ... but not major rules ... and he had me trained very well ... but it made our bond tight knit ... and we became inseparable. Not every dog may react the same way ... but a little spoiling never killed a dog IMHO.

You just have to know "when" and when not to say "No" ... that this is not acceptable behavior. :)

As for keeping toys out of your reach ... IMO he is initiating a "Come and get it/me game!" ... or he just doesn't want to give up his toy or your property that he is shredding! You can put and end to this behavior if you really do not accept his actions ... just train him to "leave it" or to "Drop it!" ... or whatever verbal command you choose to use. :)

This is just my opinion regarding these things. I still expected Leeo and all my dogs to be good canine citizens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I know what you mean lil_fuzzy, and you're right - my dog is like my child, though, so I feel the need to give him treats for the sake of treats. He is a lab and labs are greedy dogs. I think my problem is that when he's in bed with one of his toys and I'm working on an assignment, I'll wander in to the kitchen and throw him a treat. it's stupid and I know it. It's more me than him. I don't hit my dog either, or yell at him because I don't want him to be a nervous wreck. He earns the majority of his treats and I'll just have to bite down on spoiling him for the minority. Thank you for the input.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Abbylynn, thank you for your input! I do 'drop it' a lot, but he only obeys this command if my hand is on the toy and I'm pulling it from him. Like you said, I'm doing to put an end to the 'come and get it' game - even with his own toys, I don't want him to be possessive. I want him to know that if he's bad I can take away his privileges and by running away from me he's only further getting himself into trouble. And I reckon my dog is rather like your Leeo in the sense of breaking rules but not getting away with much. It's all down to me, really, and I'll have to ask my sister to step it up to. What's the use in me trying to help him with his self control and obedience and to not do wrong when she's letting him get away with anything?
 

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Abbylynn, thank you for your input! I do 'drop it' a lot, but he only obeys this command if my hand is on the toy and I'm pulling it from him. Like you said, I'm doing to put an end to the 'come and get it' game - even with his own toys, I don't want him to be possessive. I want him to know that if he's bad I can take away his privileges and by running away from me he's only further getting himself into trouble. And I reckon my dog is rather like your Leeo in the sense of breaking rules but not getting away with much. It's all down to me, really, and I'll have to ask my sister to step it up to. What's the use in me trying to help him with his self control and obedience and to not do wrong when she's letting him get away with anything?
This is soooo true ... everyone needs to be on the same page or it will not work. The dog will become confused. They cannot reason like us humans .... they need consistency and routine. They do however know what they can get away with! lol! :D
 

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Verry true, as we speak Buddy is hiding behind the sofa with my best pair of socks! LOL
Lol! Another thing .... Mine are like children when the phone rings! XD Beware!
 

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I know what you mean lil_fuzzy, and you're right - my dog is like my child, though, so I feel the need to give him treats for the sake of treats. He is a lab and labs are greedy dogs. I think my problem is that when he's in bed with one of his toys and I'm working on an assignment, I'll wander in to the kitchen and throw him a treat. it's stupid and I know it. It's more me than him. I don't hit my dog either, or yell at him because I don't want him to be a nervous wreck. He earns the majority of his treats and I'll just have to bite down on spoiling him for the minority. Thank you for the input.
That sounds fine to me. If he's doing something you like at the time, it's not a free treat. You're rewarding him for lying quietly on his bed with his own toy :)
 

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Just a thought I had. Sometimes when I shout at Buddy he looks at me with those eyes and I give him a pet or let him up on the sofa just because I feel guilty. Sometimes I give him an extra treat for doing basic things that he should do anyway, but seeing as he's a rascal for chewing (and when you say 'come here!' he walks to you but keeps the toy just out of your reach) it's a miracle when he just sits there quietly with his own toys.

I wonder if sometimes I'm going waaay to easy on him, but I'm an old softie and I just can't bring myself to be strict. So, it begs the question: is it possible to be 'too nice'?

Let me know what you think!
I think it is more a matter of being inconsistent with your dog than being "too nice." Giving rewards to the dog should be based on HIS behavior, not yours. (And you could avoid the feelings of guilt by being clear with your dog instead of shouting at him.) Dogs like to know what the rules are. It makes them feel more secure knowing that behavior A may lead to priviledges and behavior B will not. Spoiled dogs who are treated with inconsistency are seldom as happy as dogs who know the boundaries and rules.
 

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If I had room buddy would be on thr couch lol but we live in a small travel trailer so there isn't room for two dogs out of crates lol. But when I get a big enough place, he will be allowed on thr couch to snuggle with his mom :). The reason I have changed is that I took Izze's friendship, loyalty & love for me :( :( :( :(. I think I was too strict on her (I used to use DW-like methods... Minus the kicking, choking, & stringing up) now I use more thr methods of Sophia Yin, kikopup & others like them, I have seen the light thru shaping, OC & CC.

I just wish I could have realized that sooner but I was blind :(.
 

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If I had room buddy would be on thr couch lol but we live in a small travel trailer so there isn't room for two dogs out of crates lol. But when I get a big enough place, he will be allowed on thr couch to snuggle with his mom :). The reason I have changed is that I took Izze's friendship, loyalty & love for me :( :( :( :(. I think I was too strict on her (I used to use DW-like methods... Minus the kicking, choking, & stringing up) now I use more thr methods of Sophia Yin, kikopup & others like them, I have seen the light thru shaping, OC & CC.

I just wish I could have realized that sooner but I was blind :(.
Awwwwe ... dogdragoness ... they are forgiving souls. :)
 

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Yes I think you (or anyone) can be too nice to their dog. They see those sad puppy dog eyes and give in. I know I've done it and am upset at myself later because I know it was the wrong thing to do. Dogs won't be angry at you just because you didn't reward them. Reward with praise instead; dogs live in the moment. They're not going to remember that "Mommy" or "Daddy" didn't give me this or that. Sure, they remember some things, but for small stuff I'm sure it goes right out the door.

Luke expects a treat every time he doesn't chase a truck and is disappointed when I just say, "Yipee, way-a-go Luke!!" and pet him. Then we continue walking and he forgets about it. Be in the middle, I say. Not too nice, but not too strict either. I think that works.
 

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That sounds fine to me. If he's doing something you like at the time, it's not a free treat. You're rewarding him for lying quietly on his bed with his own toy :)
So, I have been rewarding buddy (my dog's name is buddy too lol, he's a rescue dog so he came with the name but he has a few nicknames & comes to all of them lol) when he is around me sometimes with a treat sometimes with attention, which he loves, a treat or both. I want him to think that being around me is the best thing in thr woe. Also he has confidence issues so whenever he sits or comes when he is called he gets lavished with praise & treats.

Abbylynn>> i know thunare very forgiving, but I know the mistakes made & I wont make them again live & learn :/ :(
 

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Abbylynn, thank you for your input! I do 'drop it' a lot, but he only obeys this command if my hand is on the toy and I'm pulling it from him. Like you said, I'm doing to put an end to the 'come and get it' game - even with his own toys, I don't want him to be possessive. I want him to know that if he's bad I can take away his privileges and by running away from me he's only further getting himself into trouble. And I reckon my dog is rather like your Leeo in the sense of breaking rules but not getting away with much. It's all down to me, really, and I'll have to ask my sister to step it up to. What's the use in me trying to help him with his self control and obedience and to not do wrong when she's letting him get away with anything?
Dogs don't really think like that. That is a very complex cause and effect type of thought that only humans are capable of.

For one thing, dogs don't have " privileges", they have things they can do and things they can't. If you let the dog on the couch, then don't when he chews on your socks, he's not going to understand that not being on the couch was related to the socks, he's just going to think you're inconsistent and confusing.

As for running away from you, you need to train recall hardcore. Again, a dog just isn't capable of understanding the concept that "if you come to me right now, you'll be in trouble, but less trouble than if you ran away". You train recall by rewarding recall every single time. Every. Single. Time. If you punish the dog when he comes when called, he's not going to be too inclined to come when called.
 

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Surely you don't think dogs do things just out of "respect" for their owners? Dogs are selfish, they do things only to get a reward, or to avoid punishment.
I disagree. I wouldn't say this is true for all dogs.
Diesel, for example, does as he's told and I honestly can't think of a reason he'd have to fear punishment or why he'd expect a reward, unless pleasing me is his reward.
 
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