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Discussion Starter #1
I'm afraid I've spoiled my dog.

When I first got him, he was 1 1/2 years and had no training. I've worked very hard with him on the basics and the tricks over the past six months, but he's always been resistant to obeying. I've read that "capturing" behavior is best in this circumstance, and it has helped to some degree. Overall, he's gotten a lot calmer and is all in all a changed dog, albeit still incredibly high energy.

I live in a very dog friendly city (Portland), and would take him in stores regularly. He would sniff around and not make a peep: he was fine. But now he gets really impatient, jumping on me and barking and jumping at strangers. At first I just apologized and ignored the behavior (as per the protocols I've read), but now I've started with a firm "no" when he does this to other people. And now I don't bring him in stores at all. He still gets impatient and starts this when I'm talking with people on the street after about a minute. He wants my attention constantly.

Because it has become an integral part of our walks, I would *love* to be able to bring him in stores again, and certainly his behavior needs to change. He's very small and utterly cute, so most people don't mind, but that's not the point. I ignore him entirely and move my legs when he jumps on me and have trained him to sit before getting attention, but it still isn't entirely working. He's just incredibly high energy. We go on long walks, but I'm afraid even two miles isn't enough to exhaust him.

I'm about to start using so punitive measures--not physical, but enough to make clear that this isn't cool. I think he thinks we're buddies--equals--not "me in charge."

Any ideas? Thank you very much.
 

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The issue isn't that he sees you as a buddy. It's that he doesn't know what you want. "No" doesn't communicate much, even if you do speak English. You need to show him what you want him to do. I assume you want him to sit nicely? So teach him that. Sit to Say Please is a great training program. Here's another video on handling jumping.

Your dog isn't bad at obeying or becoming a bad dog. He's just more comfortable with you. He feels safe in expressing himself, and that includes jumping and impatience. You just need to show him how you would like him to behave, and he will.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, that's reassuring! I did Yin's protocol on sit to say please, but I'm afraid I haven't focused on it lately. I should go through it again; he got quite good at while in the house, but I really need to reinforce it.

Another question about his "dislike" of obeying commands: he strangely has learned behaviors where I don't give him treats BETTER than those where he is lured and rewarded. For example, he is GREAT at "wait" for opening doors and at a crosswalk (which I taught him by standing in front of him). Whereas when I command "sit" or "watch," he doesn't always obey, even though he seems to understand the command. But maybe he doesn't! I really don't know :(

The trainer at basic obedience concluded that he was mostly food-motivated, and suggested using lure/reward. But I'm finding that enthusiastic praise and petting is the best motivator, and teaching by physical means as above is the best way of training him.

What do you think about this?

Thanks again for the reassurance. I'll look at the video links, but I wish I knew other techniques than "sit and say please" to use for this. But will start there!
 

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The second link is Zak George. Some people find him too peppy, but he has great technique, so soldier through it. (I like him, personally.)

By "physical methods" what do you mean? If you mean punishments, yes, in the short term they do yield faster, more dramatic results. In the long term, however, you just end up suppressing behavior and it will bubble up somewhere else. It is far more reliable, not to mention kinder, to use rewards.

And don't worry, my dog is by far "worse behaved" than when I got him. Once he got comfortable with us, all bets were off, and the perfectly behaved dog (actually terrified into submission dog) became attention barking crazy dog. He just needed some additional training.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
No, not physical. Just strong "NO!" and eye contact. I haven't used "NO!" except when he barks or chases the cat. So want to reserve it for serious situations.

I also have a weird form of bipolar where I get really stressed out and angry and tearful when something goes wrong; the past few days I've just been ignoring him when I'm like that, but he seems so sad :(. Just get incredibly frustrated.

I've seen Zak George, and will watch more; the thing that drives me nuts is his ads for products that go on and on... but good advice.

So
 

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First off - Even two miles of *walking* isn't going to be enough to drain a highly energetic dog, physically. It's more of an 'exercise hors-d'oeuvre for most high energy pups! If he's not running, panting & calling it 'quits', he's just not tired. :)

As far as the rude behavior in public goes, I'd simply work towards controlling/managing him in those situations. If you're in a store & don't want him to be able to jump up on other shoppers, then stand on his leash closely enough that he **can not** engage in that behavior. If someone want's to approach him, then tell them in no uncertain terms, that if he isn't sitting or standing quietly they are NOT to engage him. If the other person can not or will not comply - simply say "Oops, he seems to have forgotten his manners. We must move on" And then DO SO.

This isn't about you & the dog being "equals" or not... It's simply a matter of additional training. Sometimes a dog can seem to have something down pat! And then - all of a sudden - oops!! Where did that come from??? He's about 2 years old now, right? That's still a time in a dog's life when they are changing & (sometimes) testing rules/boundaries to see if they still apply. All you have to do is show him what IS expected of him (or he doesn't get the wonderful life rewards that he so desires) and he will, typically, quickly get back with the program.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
First off - Even two miles of *walking* isn't going to be enough to drain a highly energetic dog, physically. It's more of an 'exercise hors-d'oeuvre for most high energy pups! If he's not running, panting & calling it 'quits', he's just not tired. :)

As far as the rude behavior in public goes, I'd simply work towards controlling/managing him in those situations. If you're in a store & don't want him to be able to jump up on other shoppers, then stand on his leash closely enough that he **can not** engage in that behavior. If someone want's to approach him, then tell them in no uncertain terms, that if he isn't sitting or standing quietly they are NOT to engage him. If the other person can not or will not comply - simply say "Oops, he seems to have forgotten his manners. We must move on" And then DO SO.

This isn't about you & the dog being "equals" or not... It's simply a matter of additional training. Sometimes a dog can seem to have something down pat! And then - all of a sudden - oops!! Where did that come from??? He's about 2 years old now, right? That's still a time in a dog's life when they are changing & (sometimes) testing rules/boundaries to see if they still apply. All you have to do is show him what IS expected of him (or he doesn't get the wonderful life rewards that he so desires) and he will, typically, quickly get back with the program.
Excellent suggestion about standing on the leash. And I really appreciate your hopeful outlook lol--testing boundaries and "back on track." I do think it is that--or hope so.

Just FYI: I let him up on the couch, let him snuggle with me at night, let him lick me all over the face... is that out of bounds? I think these were the behaviors he inherited from his previous home (which was a good one in the sense of caring about him, just never neutered, trained, etc.--but not abusive).
 

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It's not out of bounds if you like it. Rules only have to apply in your home and to what you deem appropriate. Being on the furniture or licking your face is a personal choice that has no right or wrong answer.
 

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He sounds like Bucky, chock a block full of energy. He ran next to my trike this afternoon for 2 miles at about 10mph and was mad that I put him in the basket for the rest of the ride. I love his energy, not sure just how I'd survive without that outlet though. He's only had 3 barking fits outside today, pretty good for him. Exercise sure helps.

See about other energy outlets, maybe he would like to chase a lure on a flirt pole? Use sit/stay/down during the game too, actually makes it more fun.

About getting impatient when you are talking to other people have you tried taking treats with you? Drop one on the floor or feed him if he is in a cued sit or down stay every so often when you note he is doing well. You could stand on the leash in this case as well.

He doesn't have to be close to other people either. It may not be excitement but rather nervousness at strangers being so close to him especially if he is barking and jumping. Bucky does the same and it is clear to me he is afraid and pushing people away. He's a little guy and people loom over him.

There is a huge difference between training and real life. Real life matters and you insist that he behave near streets and such but when you are asking him to sit just because you want to practice you don't have the same conviction. Use the sit and stay cue more often, he must sit/stay further from his dinner for longer or you start over again maybe. Use the cues during play. If he doesn't sit or down before you wiggle or toss or offer the toy to tug the toy goes on the shelf and you turn away to do something else for instance.

I want my dogs to snuggle with me and lick me and all that but I need them to accept being in their own bed and stop washing me if I ask as well. Bucky has been here 2 months now and just this week earned the privilege of being on the bed in the morning for a snuggle after first potty trip of the day. If he starts being silly like bouncing on Ginger or making his own toys out of found socks or tissues he will be put in his crate. Rules even for snuggles!
 

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Calm dogs are cool - sometimes genetics play apart in the dogs genomes or something and they are naturally driven. Or a calm genetically inherent dog was taught some not so calm behaviors in certain situations. No matter the case dogs rock and you can change behaviors with a beautiful disciple called behavioral modification.

Yet by punishing natural behaviors in a highly driven dog is a recipe for disaster in many cases causing permanent aggression or fear.

Either case before you do something stupid, get a reputable GOOD dog trainer to evaluate the situation with ya.

Peace

Blacat
 
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