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Ruby has developed her own little game... Any help in breaking this cycle would be appreciated.

She likes to jump on the sofa, which would be fine if she came up to lie down after playing (which she sometimes does), but mostly she jumps up, plays with her tail, tries to dig and growls/nips/bites/chews at the cushion covers. She also uses it as a "launch pad", which is part of stage 2 of her game.

She understands the command "down", it is a general "get off" that is used for people, chairs, jumping up to sniff at tables/surfaces. She does it perfectly in every other situation, and in the past has followed the command in this situation. But not for a while now.

If I tell her to get down, she will growl and bark, and bite at the cushions. Her tail is wagging and she is in a pouncing position looking up at me... waiting to play. She makes no movement to get off the sofa.

If I move towards her at all, no matter how small the movement, she leaps off the sofa, and starts growling and barking whilst tearing around the room. She will bounce off the sofa and chair sides, landing on the edge and springing off or over them. On several occasions this has torn holes in the sofa. She completely ignores me and my commands, except to avoid me, because she has learned that once she starts this it ends up with her in a time out while I calm down. Which is where she is now...

This won't happen if I can teach her to wait and ask before jumping up, and also if I can teach her that the sofa is a calm place and not a play area.

As a background, she is 5 months old and gets an hour walk every evening, and 30mins in the daytime if it isn't too hot. But she will do it straight after a walk or straight after being in the crate.

So, any help would be appreciated, because I can't let this last any longer.
 

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If I tell her to get down, she will growl and bark, and bite at the cushions. Her tail is wagging and she is in a pouncing position looking up at me... waiting to play. She makes no movement to get off the sofa.

If I move towards her at all, no matter how small the movement, she leaps off the sofa, and starts growling and barking whilst tearing around the room. She will bounce off the sofa and chair sides, landing on the edge and springing off or over them. On several occasions this has torn holes in the sofa. She completely ignores me and my commands, except to avoid me, because she has learned that once she starts this it ends up with her in a time out while I calm down. Which is where she is now...
Sounds like a typical untrained puppy to me! It's our job to teach our puppies house manners, and that includes boundaries. If she's misbehaving on the couch, then the couch, and perhaps the room it's in, should be off limits. I wouldn't be allowing this puppy freedom of the house, so would contain her in a "safe" room, where she couldn't do any damage, or get to the couch. Each and every time you allow her on the couch, and she does this unwanted behavior, that very behavior is being reinforced, so it will be harder and harder to stop/change.


She understands the command "down", it is a general "get off" that is used for people, chairs, jumping up to sniff at tables/surfaces. She does it perfectly in every other situation, and in the past has followed the command in this situation. But not for a while now.
If she's not responding, then she doesn't understand what you're asking of her. The "down" cue usually means to lay down. "Off" is usually used when you want them to get off something/someone. My suggestion is that you enroll in an obedience class, and learn how to train your puppy. Working with her will deepen your bond, and you'll both learn how to communicate with each other, making you BOTH happier! LOL

Hang in there!
 

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This is what I would do, and it's my opinion, only. :) I would take away couch privileges until she earns the right to have them again. However you do that is up to you, but find a way to prevent her from getting on the couch.

She understands the command "down", it is a general "get off" that is used for people, chairs, jumping up to sniff at tables/surfaces. She does it perfectly in every other situation, and in the past has followed the command in this situation. But not for a while now.
If she's not following your command that she has already positively demonstrated she knows, then it's because she doesn't have to. Five months old can be a hard age, especially for a willful dog.

If I tell her to get down, she will growl and bark, and bite at the cushions.
Since you're trying to make a break from past behavior, I would never give the command unless you can reinforce it. Don't give it from across the room and THEN approach her when she doesn't obey. Go over to her first, give the command (including a hand signal) and then if she doesn't obey, remove her from the couch. Just as you would put a dog on a long line to reinforce the "come" command, it's important that you don't give a command that you cannot reinforce.

while I calm down.
I just wanted to add here that you should ALWAYS be calm when giving a command. ALWAYS. Do whatever it takes to get all frustration, excitement, anger or whatever emotion out of your body and mind before you give the command. Give it with assertiveness (not aggressiveness!) and calm confidence.

If she's in the couch room alone, be sure to keep an eye on her and either don't let her jump up there (use your body and "eh-eh") or let her jump up, but if she starts acting out, then go to her and give your down command.

As a background, she is 5 months old and gets an hour walk every evening, and 30mins in the daytime if it isn't too hot.
This sounds like a good amount of walking for a pup this age, but what about running? I think I would find a way to play some active games with her either in the yard or on a long line. A frisbee or ball, maybe? I would take it easy at first and work up to a 20-minute play session where she's getting that energy out. Walking is great and necessary, but sometimes dogs need to run. :) Be sure not to feed her right before or after she's been running and playing hard.

An obedience class is a great idea would probably help you both a lot and you might consider a sport for this active girl.

In the meantime, I would put a cover over the couch to prevent any further accidents. Good luck!
 

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She likes to jump on the sofa.... She also uses it as a "launch pad", which is part of stage 2 of her game.
My Golden used to do that when I was sleeping on the couch (night worker). He'd get the post-beach zoomies when my wife would take him for a swim while I was napping. Good thing I have a sense of humor about a wet, 50+ lb. dog using me as a trampoline.
 

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First of all, 'down' should be the word for laying down, not getting off, use the 'off' to let her know when to get off the furniture.

Four is Company covered alot of the rest, I would add that you might need to work on Rev Up Cool Down and teach her to 'settle' as well. Rev Up/Cool Down and Doggy Zen to teach "Leave It" Doggy Zen both of which could help you to control this behavior.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the help, all of you. I know it should be "off" not down, she seemed to learn it before I was trying to teach it, so I am going to work on changing that.

I also have a trainer coming to me, because there are no group classes in the area. And she is off the sofa at all times now, until I get this sorted.

Also, just to point out, I never appear frustrated or angry when dealing with her... she goes away so I can vent to myself after, because I blame myself for letting it get to this point. She just knows how far she can go!
 

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Hi,

I have been working on the rev up/cool down with her a lot, and she is getting it really well. She loves chasing me around! I just wondered if eye contact was an important part? I have been doing it both with and without. I also keep my arms up to my chest so she is less likely to smell the cheese she gets as a treat. The less reasons I give her to jump the better, I already have enough scratch marks on my thighs! I am guessing it will also improve as we move further along with the Doggy Zen, so I am able to keep my arms down.

I have also put a cover on the sofa, and I am sitting on the floor more! I know that isn't ideal, but it gives her less reason to jump up. I work from my laptop a lot, so I can do that from the floor and be free-er (sp? lol) to to reinforce the command if she does jump up. Before she was jumping up when I was working and it was hard to reinforce. I also try to work more when she is crated, and do other stuff while she is out, cooking, cleaning etc, as she follows me around wherever I go!

And "down" is slowly becoming "off" :p

Any ideas to add to what i'm doing will be appreciated!
 
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