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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited by Moderator)
I'm just baffled and bamboozled by this shepherd mix that refuses to obey any command. Took off once Already on my watch, had to do some tedious coaxing to get him back. It was a Miracle..Anyways These are the current behaviors it currently exhibits :

1.) High Urgency to Leave Premises Any Chance it gets.
Mitigation : Gates and Doors Need to be up and locked : Knows how to open latches but not knobs (yet).
Correction : Nothing. Property not conducive for fence. Rural Area. Leash and Pole scenario for doing its business. (If other dog needs to go out It will try and sneak out (actually dart like a bolt of lightning) with the other dog so I have to use my hand on it's collar repeatedly to restrain it from leaving, otherwise it will sniff (its a bloodhound) its way to another town and be gone for good.
2.) If I sit down at a spot and return to my same spot to sit down after 30 seconds, like a bathroom break or eating a banana it will be sitting in my chair /spot. There are plenty of other chairs and couches for it to sit on but it always decides to sit in my spot instead.
Mitigation:
When I first met this dog, it would literally take my seat as I'm in the process of sitting down in my chair, at this point I would just grab by the collar and relocated it to a different spot in the living room such as another couch. No it does not respond to verbal cues or hand signaling..
3.) Randomly in my face usually late afternoon or jumping on me while I'm lying in chair watching TV. Jump on me while I'm eating, Eat my food any chance it gets if left in kitchen, want to play while I'm eating. Clawed my face just a few days ago when on couch while I was doing absolutely nothing. (I'm not a dog owner but corrected this fairly quickly) Since it is strong and just has too much raw energy, I use my hand and place it on its face and push him down to the floor, and try to remain unphased and give no attention. Maybe to some people on here that seems cruel, but I'm not being abused anymore by it that way and no longer have to straddle two chairs on either side of me while I eat at the table.
4.) Super Velcro type Dog, will not leave me be in the big house and follows me everywhere including my personal spaces like bathrooms. The stairs are most annoying because it will go up and down the stairs at the exact times I do starting from behind me and then knock into me (I believe intentionally) as I'm descending, and wondering when I will slip up because there is no railing.
Mitigation: None, tried to stop halfway at times to see what it would do and sometimes block it from descending with me, because I get frustrated with it knocking/bashing into me as I descend, as anyone else will. But this is exactly what not to do. (This is where Aversive Training is no good with these breeds) It will treat it as a game, because it thinks everything is a game apparently. Example, it will bluff me it has to go do its business by signaling me at the door and as soon as I open it with the leash, it walks away, looking at me with its head turned, with a (I got ya type look on it's face) Amazing when you think about it, because 99% of the time it just wants to escape..

And will find ways to purposely piss me off. For instance, it plays with the other older dog alot and the owner tells me I should not let them eat or drink out of each other's dishes. I go to take the dish away when it's drinking out of other dog's dish and say "No ! That's not yours" !! The Shepherd runs up the stairs and goes into my guest room, sits or lies in my bed or grabs my shoe and places it in a random spot in the house where I cannot find it. It knows when the gate is down or door is open and seems to have a remarkable capacity to remember this even long after going outside or doing other things, so If I pass it off, it just responds in kind and able to do so because I'm old and knows I'm provoked easily. So I try to remain unphased at all times but I'm human.

Conclusion:
I'm too old for this, so I just take it by the collar and say nothing because it does nothing anyways to yell at it or say No - it never listens at all whatsoever, and tries to get away with much more because I'm not its master. Don't know how it was socialized as a puppy. It's quite sad to see this because it has smarts and the wherewithal to potentially be a good dog, but it's constant insubordination, defiance, intractable behavior make it difficult to have any human company over and have any normal sort of life. Before, people comment on positive training suggestions they already were explored and the trainer was not able to continue due to pandemic.

If the Shepherd could only put half the effort into listening to instructions as it does with its abilities to play conniving games, It would be sustainable. But I can't keep volunteering for this, I'm not a Cesar Milan.

Dog is a Shepherd/Hound Mix
Approx Age ? 2 years.
Very high flight risk.
 

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OK, first please stop thinking this dog is purposely doing things to anger you. this is absolutely not happening, because dogs do not do that. this dog is NOT defiant or intractable. This is a young dog that no one has ever trained. How can he know what to do if no one has ever shown him?

Second -- how much exercise is this dog getting? This is a very high energy dog and if you are not providing enough real activity for the dog, there will be problems because the dog is too young and smart and athletic to be able to do with only a walk to go potty.

third - you do not say if you have done an actual training with this dog. If you have, please tell us what methods you have used. If you have not, then it is time to get to work. It is up to you, not the dog, to teach the dog how you want him to behave.

If a dog doesn't do what you want there are only a few reasons this would happen, and none of them are purposeful by the dog.
The dog doesn't understand what the cue is because they have not been sufficiently trained
The dog is not sufficiently motivated to do as you ask
the dog has a mental or physical issue that prevents his doing as you ask.

In this case, it is most likely the first two.

Please stop right now your yelling, because that is only making things worse. dogs do not need to be yelled at and doing this is very counter-productive because it only creates struggle and not a healthy trusting relationship which is what you need with a dog.

It sounds to me as if this dog is constantly trying to get your attention, trying to get you to play, trying to get enough activity, and not succeeding. the dog is probably as frustrated as you are.

solution: first, get this dog some serious activity. The dog needs to run, to go hiking all day, to be played with vigorously. If you cannot do this, then either get someone else to do it or consider rehoming the dog to someone who can, because unless you can use up some of that energy you won't get past the first step.

Second, start doing concentrated training with this dog. Use positive reinforcement methods only. No grabbing the collar, no yelling NO, nothing like that. Start out by watching some videos on various trainings made by KIKOPUP on YouTube. the more you train the dog the better. Training uses energy as well, and the dog needs his mind exercises as well as his body.

As for eating out of the other dog's dish, just feed them in separate places with a door between them, This is always a good idea with any dogs.

Please start looking at this dog as a dog who only needs some guidance rather than as a bad dog who is deliberately making your life hard.
Here are a couple of good places to start with the training
 

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The dog is simply untrained. That is it in a nutshell.

Why should a dog obey your verbal cues if the dog has no idea what those cues mean and there is nothing in it for the dog? Obedience requires training. It takes time. It takes commitment.

Yelling "No" or any other command is a waste of breath. You need to TRAIN this dog first by teaching him what you want and making that behavior rewarding to the dog. Simple praise is not enough. Physical reward such as food WITH praise (so praise has meaning) is how to go!

When the dog actually does something you want do you mark it with an enthusiastic YES and reward the dog? Or do you just take the behavior for granted and only tell the dog when he's wrong?
Carrying an object, such as a shoe, is how these digs often unload anxiety. I have a dog that carries. It's a good thing when training.

The frustration I am reading here is that you expect a dog to know obedience and impulse control without taking the time to train either one.
 

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So is this your dog, or are you watching the dog for somebody in your home? You said you're not a dog owner. That would be a possible reason for the dog appearing like it wants to get away so badly.

As 3GSD said, the dog is simply untrained. It's not trying to purposefully make you angry or anything of the sort. Dogs are opportunists, which means they do what works for them to get what they want and will continue doing so until they are taught differently.

Quick tips for the issues you listed:

1. Some dogs need to be on a leash whenever they aren't in a securely fenced area, and that's fine. The dog is only 2 and clearly hasn't been taught obedience skills yet. Continue keeping the dog leashed outside, and you might try putting a leash on the dog before you even open the door, because I think that's an accident waiting to happen there, just grabbing the collar. You might like this video from Kikopup on Door Manners.

2. Sounds like one of those weird things dogs do sometimes that doesn't really mean anything other than they like warm comfy spots. Teach the dog an "Off" command, which is simply luring the dog off the couch with a treat. You can also teach them a "go to bed" or a "go to place" or whatever you want to call it, so then the dog will go lay on their own bed. Simple as that!

3. Sounds like this dog needs a bit more management around food. If you're not the owner and this is a temporary setup, I would just crate him while you're eating. If this is more long-term, I would start working on impulse control exercises, "Leave it", and teaching him that it is rewarding to leave a human's food alone. Here's a video on Countersurfing (stealing food off the counter/tables), also from Kikopup.

For the obnoxious afternoon behavior, it kind of sounds like "zoomies" which is basically a release of pent up energy. You could try taking one last evening walk, playing fetch, or having a training session to help burn that energy and help the dog relax.

4. Comes with the breed. It's how they are, and it comes with the territory of along with dog hair everywhere and window nose art. For the stairs, you might try throwing a treat to the bottom/top of the stairs so the dog goes down/up first and doesn't risk knocking you over. You could also put baby gates on the stairs so the dog can't follow you. I know how dangerous that can be. My MIL has bad knees, so I taught my dog to wait at the top of the stairs until called, or to be sent down first and wait there whenever she is visiting.

Sounds like this is a great dog who just lacks basic manners and obedience skills. If this is a dog you're watching for somebody, I would inform them you won't watch him again until the dog has learned some manners or they provide you tools with which to properly manage him. All of the issues you listed cannot be fixed overnight, unfortunately, and require time and consistency.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Appreciate all the replies, Yes, a bit of frustration because I'm not with dog's all the time. Nor would I consider myself a dog person. (Doesn't mean I dislike them, just haven't been around them enough). Save for when I was young and visited my grandparents. Nonetheless, I cared enough to come on here and attempt to find some sort of answers for these various issues. The other older dog responds to verbal cues and obviously was trained etc. Have no issues with that one.

I agree with the exercise type suggestions and it does have its moments where it plays with the older dog and gets out all that raw energy but the older dog only can deal with the GSD for brief periods. Like 40 minutes of play fighting max.

I keep the normal feeding routines, and outside activities the same but will have to forward these suggestions to the master owner.

3GSD quote:
"When the dog actually does something you want do you mark it with an enthusiastic YES and reward the dog? Or do you just take the behavior for granted and only tell the dog when he's wrong?.."

Yes, it's a hit and miss type thing. I will reward the dog with a friendly pat or bone and give attention to it when it's behaving for various scenarios. I will try the "enthusiastic YES" as you said, to counterbalance the wrong doings.. Because, all the misbehaviours it was exhibiting when I first arrived were legion - so obviously makes sense that the dog would feel that I'm more of a warden than that of a homeowner it can become attached to. That's a good point ..

Appreciate all the points you addressed Lillith !

Will watch those vids in a bit.

Thanks
 

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Redirection is much more effective than yelling or scolding, which you have learned does nothing.

Stairs - I take a couple steps down, then stop and tell the dogs "go downstairs". They come around me and go down first. As I'm stopped when I give them the lead, the risk of knocking me over is minimal. Using Lillith's suggestion of tossing the treat down first would work well with this. Stand at the top of the steps, and as you toss the treat, say "downstairs". The dog will go for the treat. After several times, the dog will start to connect your cue of "downstairs" with the action. Then you can start reducing the times you toss the treat and just say the cue.

Sitting in your spot, following you around - this is often due to anxiousness. Most likely the dog is feeling anxious and trying to get your attention and some comforting. Try to spend some time just talking to him calmly and petting him gently. If he gets jumpy, etc, stop petting him and talking, give him a cue like "settle" and when he does, calmy talk to and pet him. The more you do that, the more he will feel comfortable around you.

My Tornado-dog will sometimes steal my spot. He does it because he wants attention. I simply say "move" and point to his side of the couch or the foor, etc. When he moves, I call him to me and give him the attention he wants. After several times, he now takes my spot but moves as soon as I go to sit - because he is getting the attention he wants.

I would simply ignore the following around. As he becomes more confident and secure in his role as family member, that will lessen. But I have found that trying to actively try to stop it usually ends up making it continue longer.

As said, he is bot trying to piss you off. However, he may be doing things to get your attention. In that case, make sure you give him plenty of positive attention when he is being good. When he does something good, give hime lots of praise and affection; when he does something bad, just close down emotionally and redirect him - when he redirects, open back up and give him lots of praise and affection. He will quickly figure out what gets the attention and will do those things more often. Even without formal training, this can make a huge difference in his behavior.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
As said, he is bot trying to piss you off. However, he may be doing things to get your attention. In that case, make sure you give him plenty of positive attention when he is being good. When he does something good, give hime lots of praise and affection; when he does something bad, just close down emotionally and redirect him - when he redirects, open back up and give him lots of praise and affection. He will quickly figure out what gets the attention and will do those things more often. Even without formal training, this can make a huge difference in his behavior.
Fair. I can see the validity in that.

Now one of the more critical situations that I didn't emphasize or mention earlier would be the food on counter scenarios, if I take a frozen dinner out or ANYTHING that can be deemed as human food, I turn for 10 seconds to put the stove on or grab a fork or knife - he will start eating away and chowing down on my meal. Mostly by just sniffing at first then slopping/licking, then eating. The incredible sniffer it has will wait for any crumbs on counter after while it sits in living room and then proceed to lick a fork or knife if not in sink. You can't make any small mistake with this dog or it will capitalize, which makes me feel more-or-less not someone in authority here.. which I understand, it doesn't see me very often. Lol.

What are my options ?
 

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For the counter surfing, see Lillith's #3 above. She links to a video that will show how to train that out of him.

Simply speaking, it's a matter of using praise or treats to teach a cue word to get the desired action and then using that cue word to reinforce against the negative behavior.

Tornado-dog tried to be a counter surfer. If I was in the kitchen fixing a meal, he would jump up and try to take some of the food. I worked three-fold on this. First, if he simply put his feet on the counter, I used "get off" as the cue and redirected him to all four feet on the ground. Second, if he actively tried to take food, I redirected him and used "leave it" as the cue. Third, if he actually got hold of something, I redirected him and used "drop it" as the cue. Between those three cues and redirects, I am able to teach him that the behavior is unacceptable. He responds quickly to the cues. He will still occasionally put his feet on the counter, but a simple "get off" has him back on the floor.
 
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I would recommend showing the owners your techniques when they return and encouraging them to use them. If they do, the next time you take care of the dogs, you'll see a huge change.
 
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Fair. I can see the validity in that.

Now one of the more critical situations that I didn't emphasize or mention earlier would be the food on counter scenarios, if I take a frozen dinner out or ANYTHING that can be deemed as human food, I turn for 10 seconds to put the stove on or grab a fork or knife - he will start eating away and chowing down on my meal. Mostly by just sniffing at first then slopping/licking, then eating. The incredible sniffer it has will wait for any crumbs on counter after while it sits in living room and then proceed to lick a fork or knife if not in sink. You can't make any small mistake with this dog or it will capitalize, which makes me feel more-or-less not someone in authority here.. which I understand, it doesn't see me very often. Lol.

What are my options ?
You can also simply physically prevent him from getting into the kitchen when you are cooking using baby gates, a crate, or a tether if you don't have time to train, because while you're training the dog to leave food alone it needs to be 100% supervised! I know sometimes you're just trying to cook and eat something and aren't in a place or frame of mind to worry about the dog. Preventing the dog from practicing the behavior is equally important, because the more often they do it the more ingrained the habit becomes.

Another alternative is teaching the dog to "go to bed" or "go to place" while you're cooking so the dog is well out of your way, but it takes longer, I think. I'm always afraid I'm going to spill something scalding hot on my dog because he is the velcro type who is on your heels at all times and I am the type who spills things, so I encouraged him to go someplace else while I'm cooking. Here is another video from Kikopup, because she has a video for everything: Go to Bed
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
For the counter surfing, see Lillith's #3 above. She links to a video that will show how to train that out of him.

Simply speaking, it's a matter of using praise or treats to teach a cue word to get the desired action and then using that cue word to reinforce against the negative behavior.
Ah yes, it was addressed, watching it now thanks. Like another poster mentioned this will not be an overnight thing but will give it a try for sure..

Cheers,
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Right now, doing the upstairs/downstairs training. First time on command when I said downstairs it went down halfway looked at me then to bottom after I took a first step..I thought about rewarding it, as it nearly executed it fully.
(Used same tone as owners voice)

Realizing the owners may have used this command before but my voice is different and it's wondering what to do, so ok. Let's try from a completely fresh slate..

Now, I go for the treat reinforcement. I grabbed a smaller bone treat and repeated instructions for upstairs.

Command : "Upstairs"
Response : nothing. I show treat
Looks at treat, intently.
I point with hand up this time, "Upstairs"
Response : looks up, stares back at treat.
I move treat closer to face then with treat in hand pointed up and said "Upstairs"
Response : went up halfway after I stepped up a few stairs then went up fully.
For that effort,
I broke treat in half and put it on the top floor infront of steps.. (50 points I thought.)

Not sure if that was executed properly and obviously wasn't expecting instant results..
Maybe tomorrow it will be all stairs cleared 🤔
*without me taking a step

This very condensed, in actuality I had to say "Upstairs" quite a bit lol

As good as this sounds, I'm obviously still wondering if it constantly will need cueing so it doesn't follow me from behind or run into me type thing while going upstairs or downstairs because that will be my end game goal. "To not fall" (because of massive dog) Hence why, I'm starting this tonight.

What am I trying to achieve?
Well either he goes up the stairs first (fully)
allows me to ascend or
Allows me to go first and waits at the bottom the whole time. The second one, yet more unrealistic seems alot more like advanced training and the urge for it to follow being that it is super Velcro would have it in a mental jam without some sort of extraordinary treat or reward waiting..😄
I can just imagine how many "wait" commands I may need to do at the halfway mark to pull this one off, but the owners would probably be baffled..

Thanks,
 

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First, stop referring to him as "it" - that indifference will come through and affect his behavior. I know it sounds like a minor thing, but dogs are 50 times more sensitive to non-verbal cues than people are, so the more you talk in an "I like you" manner, the more your non-verbal language will follow suit and the more the dog will respond.

Instead of keeping the treat in your hand, when you say "downstairs" or "upstairs", toss the treat to the bottom or top of the stairs where you want him to go. Right now, you're saying a word and making a gesture to go, but that treat in your hand is telling him to stay close.
 

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And yes, with this level of training, you will need to cue him. But it starts the basis of training. You can incorporate this into "sit for it", "wait", and other trainings for general manners.
 

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I just (6 days ago) got a right hip replacement. I have a 4 year old 73 pound make German Shepherd. Being knocked about is a thing I must think about.

Stairs.. the deal is this. When I am on the stairs he is not to be on the stairs. He knows to sit (if he is sitting he is also staying). I either send him up or down first and then tell him to sit OR I have him sit and wait until I have gone up or down first.

He will also counter surf and has no manners. BUT he knows to sit and to down. When I am making meals or eating he is either in a down or he is not in the same room (I can put him in a down and leave the room and he stays put until I release him).

As a result my dog appears to have manners because I give him a job to do (lie down) while I deal with my own food.

NO FOOD is ever left on the counter and I defrost everything in the refrigerator.

All that said he is highly trained and we compete so these basic trained behaviors I don't even think about.

The one think I do that is "bad" is when I cut up Broccoli I will hand him the big stem. He gently takes it and runs to the other room and eats it. The result is he hears/smells me cutting up broccoli he is underfoot and a pest. My fault but I don't care.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
First, stop referring to him as "it" - that indifference will come through and affect his behavior. I know it sounds like a minor thing, but dogs are 50 times more sensitive to non-verbal cues than people are, so the more you talk in an "I like you" manner, the more your non-verbal language will follow suit and the more the dog will respond.

Instead of keeping the treat in your hand, when you say "downstairs" or "upstairs", toss the treat to the bottom or top of the stairs where you want him to go. Right now, you're saying a word and making a gesture to go, but that treat in your hand is telling him to stay close.
Ya, it was a critical error, I corrected it fast so he wouldn't associate my hand with upstairs/downstairs commands, I ended up using "go on" "go ahead" "up" commands sternly and this seemed to work more effectively as complimentary statements with "Upstairs" but not 100%.

The final round was a success only because I said "bed-time to the other dog" so when the other dog arrived he promptly went up halfway and then I said "Upstairs" and the Shepherd completed the trip.

Upstairs Caveat:
The upstairs command will be more difficult because these aren't just ordinary stairs, they are wind-up stairs. So hurling a bone treat up to the top will require a pretty tedious curve ball or rebounding it off the right spot of the wall which I think is a bit of a "far stretch". I could carry the treat with me but this I don't see being a good thing because it will add more confusing elements and reinforce a follow/sniff my hand behavior at every ascent. As you pointed out earlier. I tried hiding in pocket trick and that also didn't work too well as the bloodhound mix prevailed and knew what I was trying to do, and sniffed my pockets etc. This has alot of "can't wins" right now lol.

I could just like I said in a previous post incessantly tell him to sit or stay while I'm ascending the stairs to thwart his attempts from accelerating up, but won't be easy by any means. Seems like you guys are alot more familiar obviously and may find my situation silly and being a novice or unfamiliar with dog behavior just adds to the level of difficulty..

It appears that the owners have got them to obey for bedtime specifically as it is much easier to get either dog up without hassle at night. During the day this is a much different story.

Appreciate the suggestion to remove "it" from the vocabulary in referring to the dog, which is completely unintentional, but understandable. If I owned a cat right now I would be using "it" some of the time with him or her, just the same. Not out of ignorance. My pet fish, it makes more sense because their sexual dimorphism is nearly impossible to distinguish with my current species that I own at the moment and being an aquarist for over 20 years I can assure you I'm not animal phobic, just lazy at times, albeit - I am a writer, and can certainly appreciate the gender misplacement error along with promoting positive behaviors being an integral component to having a successful relationship with your pet dog, if that makes any sense. Anyways I digress..

If I accidentally bring it up again do not take offense, it will be edited eventually.
No pun intended : )
 

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The treat doesn't have to go all the way up. Toss it as far as you. When he goes to get it, go up a few steps and repeat the cue and treat toss. Repeat until he reaches the top ahead of you.
 
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I'm just baffled and bamboozled by this shepherd mix that refuses to obey any command. Took off once Already on my watch, had to do some tedious coaxing to get him back. It was a Miracle..Anyways These are the current behaviors it currently exhibits :

Dog is a Shepherd/Hound Mix
Approx Age ? 2 years.
Very high flight risk.
Curious as what the hound is.

While many will disagree, if I know what the mix is, I will always research the breed characteristics researching credible sources such as owners and owner groups and getting the most info I can on the breeds. In establishing the purebreds, people went through a whole lot of effort to establish certain physical and behavioral characteristics and I like to think it wasn't all for naught. To my experience, C-BARQ with their 70,000 of database, gets a whole lotta things right., tho I can't say I agree with everything. As to your items:

1. I found a leash and pole scenario quite limiting. I also live on the border of suburbia and farm country. If ya have trees available, this is an option you might consider. The intention here is just to give you an idea of the concept, please don't buy it. It's a cheapo version and even though other kits are available that are better(and more $), personally, I just built my own running it from my front door to a tree. I can send ya a parts list if ya like. I don't like the cable dragging on the ground,that may not bother you...alternative is using a short leash ...if mounted 12' high a 15' leash will allow almost 4,000 SF of roaming area. But I don't know enough about your specific situation to tailor any advice here; if ya can supply more info this can be narrowed down.

2. It's warm and chair smells like you .. needs to be trained. Our 2nd dog has a chair ... that's hers she knows its hers... not allowed on anything else, I minored in psychology in college and there was a thing called the "skinner box" where mice and other animals were "trained " for behavioral studies . It is still taught today and though those experiments, from the time were considered OK (like animal testing of products, the negative reinforcement (shock) would be considered cruel today ...and yet many feel that shock collars are OK. "Skinner and other behaviorists advise using punishment sparingly and in combination with reinforcement. While punishment, whether positive or negative, is intended to deter unwanted behavior, reinforcement encourages good behavior, so both methods are desirable." Of course not everyone agrees but most of the objectiuons are theorized and not measureable. but it's just important for you to know what works...you get to determine what modification are warranted ... start with pure positive only training and move on if success is not forthcoming. If you can't control the dog enough to insure their safety or those around you animal and human, sometimes you can't wait the time it takes to produce results.

Of course dogs are eager to please so negative reinforcement can be as little as a disapproving look. With a new dog placed in my care,all these options are on the table ....a) physical (gently move doggie off chair) b) a stance ... look at dog and stand still c) verbal a sound that the dog will recognize as something you don't approve of, said in a normal speaking voice but sharply enunciated in that no words before or after and d) a gesture such as pointing away from the chair and e) when dog is down, a reward which involves a higher pitched "ohyoursuchagooddog " accompanying exaggerated body movements and a treat indicated how happy you are. While that's the whole gamut so to speak, success does not necessarily mean using all of them ...you can do a) and e) and only add others if the situation demands. In the end, it will be easy, when a dog jumps where not allowed verbal cue c) or a gesture d) and e) is enough ...and finally, just the gesture. Dog does what ya want, they know it pleases you, they happy. Dogs are different and methods are different ... the more you know, the better position you will be in to figure out what woks for your dog.

While we start with a set if behavioral tendencies that were the deliberate result of selective breeding, eveything from the womb environment till the dog arrives in your home contributes to behavior.

3. See Item 2

4. That's common behavior among new dogs ...where did it come from. Tire him out, come inside ...don't just depend upon old dog for exercise, with a full belly and a good bit of exercise the dog will wanna grab some zzzz's. Do a few leave / come backs ...while sitting nearby ...increase the distance ....when gets used to that,try next room where he can see you ...when he can only hear you. Start leaving the house ,,increase the time slowly... 1 minute ....3minutes .... take a break ...1 min ...5 minutes.

Ahh the shoe thief....one of mine and my son's do that time.... I think it just wants to have my smell nearby.

I use the point gesture on the stairs, ...but often have to start with a sweeping motion with my arms, placing both toward the dog and then sweeping them in the direction I want them togo ...tried it as a kid it worked, why I have no idea, the ones I have met seem to "get it" right away

Can't say no more as w/o more info, too many variables....why is this dog there ? ... who does he belong to ? Your relation with owner ? how long will he be there ? ... where is his owner ? what is gender ?
 

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Also, teaching the downstairs may be easier because momentum kicks in - both for the treat and the dog.
 
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