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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, I've had an extremely, unusually, stressed week... Between having it out with my clients, and working for my clients, I've been busy and upset.

Upon that I've been dreading today. (The Fourth) I don't like fireworks, granted, Donatello is doing well with them, but I just don't like the noise that keeps me up until 3 am. -.-

Anyway... More to the point.

I'm weening Donatello off of one of his addictions... My father's house.

Don't get me wrong, I love Donatello to pieces, and love the fact that he's really opening up, (with the puppy), and really gets into playing... But I can't take the added upsets that come with going over there!

If no one believes that bad-behavior in dogs can rub off on other dogs, you're dead wrong! Dogs are just like kids in that matter, and if a good kid hangs out with bad kids, whether it be peer-pressure, or just bad influences, those good kids turn into bad-apples!

The more I take Donatello over there to my father's house, the worse he's becoming! Let me explain...

My step-mother's dogs can be almost unruly at times, they rarely listen when you need them to, let alone when you want them to... Not to mention they're disgraceful when it comes to begging at the dinner-table.

Begging, from any animal, especially a dog, goes through me like a knife! I can't stand it... Fortunately, by luck, Donatello has never begged... Not in the sense that you would call it "begging". He will lay beside me, glance at me once, maybe twice, if he gets nothing- He lays down and goes to sleep! I didn't even have to train him to do that! If I give him a piece of food, he takes it gingerly, and even has the sense that he appreciates it- He'll eat it, then go right back to laying down.

My step-mother's dogs don't do that... Not even close! They're the exact, obnoxious, opposite.

The more I take Donatello over there, the more bad quirks I notice he's picking up.

He refuses to come to me when I call him, no matter what it is or what he's doing... He'll even look at me, then turn and walk off to finish what he started out doing!

The puppy peed in the hallway, what did I catch Donatello doing? PEEING in the hallway! Be it, you can explain this behavior, but Donatello has not peed in any house, for any reason since DECEMBER!

My step-mother was carrying a plate of ribs, who was on his hind legs begging! You guessed it, DONATELLO! OMG! That was enough to send me into a dither... I try to call Donatello over to me to "sit" and to "stay", he'll turn around and walk off... -.-

Now, for the next three days I'm going to be engaged in a "battle of the wits" with Donatello, and heaven help me from bringing down the hammer of wrath upon him! The more I take him over there, the more time it takes him to snap out of his "rebellious" attitude...

I can't take it anymore... He's an angel at home, he knows who the boss is, but when he goes over there... There's no end to the madness and it's corrupting him! : ( I'm tired of fighting with him to listen to me... Nothing works...

The last two hours I spent over there I had to have him on his leash. : (

But get this... We go to the dog park, and he's the same there that he is at home... He listens to every word I say, he'll "sit" and "stay", he'll come when he's called, he listens if I say, "no"... I'm just tired of the headache...

He knows to listen to me... He knows...

So, until farther notice, he's not going over to my father's house... He was wonderful over there for like, the first three months... But the more I take him over there the worse he becomes, and then it takes me longer to get him back to the Donatello he is here at home.

So, he's going to the dog-park more instead, he has just as much fun, but it's also more fun for me... I don't have to constantly keep an eye glued to his butt to make sure he's not getting into trouble...

Does anyone have any suggestions, or comments they'd like to add?

Thanks!
 

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I'd venture to guess that he peed in the hallway because he smelled the puppy's pee and wanted to mark over it. Dogs don't generalize well - so because he is housetrained at your house he might not necessarily have the same level of reliability everywhere else.

All I have to say is that you know your dog and what's best for him. If the visits are really presenting issues, then end them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks MissMutt...

Yeah, like I said, I can explain and validate why he marked in the hallway; At the same time, we've spent all hours of the day over there for several weeks in a row now... Up until today he hasn't marked like that... The puppy is still being house trained, and the weeks prior Donatello would walk right through a puddle of pee and not bat an eye... But what upsets me is all the other behavior that can't really be explained...

Why does he change? Why does it seem like he turns into a brat when I take him over for visits? I'm tired of witnessing this getting worse and not knowing what to do... He won't come to me, and when he does come to me I praise him, excitedly, I try to make him "sit" and he'll run off... I'm exasperated...

Thankfully tonight he's been a doll, and he seems so wore out and placid... But I'm concerned with his behavior over the next few days...
 

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I don't want to scare you but it could just be that he's showing his true colors. As dogs get more comfortable, problem behaviors can pop up. It could be that he's very comfortable at your father's house (the presence of other dogs, people he likes) and it makes him more outgoing but also creates behaviors that you didn't think existed.

From what you said, it seems like at your house he does have some level of fear, or at lease indifference, based on your descriptions of your training sessions, etc. So if he's more comfortable at another location, it could just be that he has a reason, in a sense, to do things like beg and ignore you.

Marge did not beg when we first got her. She did not go in the litterbox and eat the cat's crap. She did not growl when people came through the front door. Those have all changed now because her comfort level has changed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That scares me MissMutt... lol! You said you didn't mean to, but you did!

: ( My lovely angel isn't an angel! Ahhh!

I completely see that Donatello loves going over there... He instantly knows where he's at the minute we pull in the driveway and he's done just about everything except fall short of scratching my eyes out to get out of the truck...

The more I take him over there, the more he opens up with the other dogs, and he acts like a dog; Like play bowing, barking and growling, wrestling and chasing the puppy until he's crapping himself. lol!

But the disobedient behavior is what throws me for a loop...

Yes, he's indifferent about living here with me... I'm sorry to have to admit this, but I don't have a calm peaceful home... (At night when people are asleep I do.) But my mother and sisters are always screaming and fighting, bickering, running, stomping, slamming doors... The works... He's gotten to the point where it doesn't phase him anymore, (visually), but he's more than likely bottling it up...

I wish I had my own place...

But at the same time... I don't, and will not accept a dog being "so comfortable" that he's disobedient and completely disrespects all the training I've instilled on him... I know he doesn't realize that he's doing that, but for my sanity's-sake, it's gotta stop...

If he can romp and have fun at a dog-park and still mind me, then he can do that at a stranger's house, and if he can't- Then he's only going to see the "fun" at dog-parks

I want him to be comfortable and let loose, be a dog, but the dogs at my father's house are terrible leaders...
 

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Honestly, if it's only at your father's house, I personally wouldn't worry about it yet. Just in my experience with Marge, and just in my opinion, the most important thing is getting the dog comfortable first.. THEN worrying about the manners. It's pretty much the same thing as a shy dog who goes to obedience class but can't do the commands. Work on the comfort first. Embrace the fact that he is being social, playing with the other dogs, etc. You worked long and hard to get him to this point.

The reason I say this is because you know how Donnie is - he screams and gets nervous when you correct him or get the least bit assertive. You don't want your father's house - a place where you've had a lot of progress - to turn into a negative place where he shuts down.
 

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Different place, different energies, different context.

You're right, he knows to listen to you, but things are different. I'm willing to bet if I took Wally to someone's house, he'd act totally different, especially if there's dogs there or he picks up the scent of other dogs. He would be more distracted, I'd probably have to give cues more than once (or twice), or give them "extra firm". The house would be different, the people would be different, the scents - the "lay of the land", all different.

What happens at the dog park and someone's house - again different contexts. The degree of difficulty mindset works to a degree, but, at least imo, it falls apart when talking about very different places.

I would work on training him at the house, all the way to the basics. Go back to capturing/shaping/teaching sits on a leash (to keep him from running off) if you have to. Even if you've done it all before.

I wouldn't have a ton of worry as, like Miss Mutt mentioned, it's a context thing. Of course, saying "no more!" makes sense too - I guess I'm too stubborn and want to crack problems as much as avoid them in the first place :)
 

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KBLover is right. In nature all dogs go by the smells of objects. By what dogs go by, a home is a pack den, and all packs in nature have differnt rules. For example, when I took Choca to my great grandma's Molly (collie breed) would rule over Choca, if Choca tried to take food from Molly's bowl Choca was stopped (she even got stepped on), there for making Choca just a dog that was not domenate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the replies everyone...

I see your point MissMutt, and had you not mentioned that, Donatello would be a hurtin' dog. (Missing out on his friends.) I'm like KBLover; I'd rather avoid things give me problem rather than continue to face them... I've tried really hard with Donatello, and I'm glad he's happy over there, but it kind of breaks my heart he isn't as happy at home... (But I don't blame him, that's for sure. I'm not even really all that happy in my own home. heh.)

I'll take your suggestion, MissMutt, and yours as well KBLover... I'll start with the basics the next time I go over there... But I can't make any promises, if it continues and I see no improvement, I'm likely to cave and stop taking him over there. He's happy and comfortable, confident and obedient at the park... So if I can't get him that way at my father's house we're going to have to cut that out of our equation together.
 

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Deege,

Just because he's more excited and livelier at dad's house doesn't mean he isn't happy at yours. It doesn't have to be black and white, shades of grey are just as useful. Your dad's house sounds like a more "dog friendly" place (as in the dogs get away with stuff just like kids at the grandparents house..) where he can let loose.

I agree that working on the basics again for a bit during each visit will help and if he still behaves well at the other usual places you go not to worry too too much while you build up his skills under these really high distractions.

As much as we say it's important for our dogs to know to behave for all our family members, in all places etc etc and that consistency among the humans is paramount for this to happen...some dogs (not all, but a small number) can learn very quickly where they can or cannot "work" the crowd without a large detriment to training.

Good luck.
 
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