Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
What is the most effective way to teach a dog that what they're doing is wrong and they should NEVER do it again? I catch my dog chewing socks (which I do try to keep picked up) or her own bedding from time to time, which does make a mess.

I used a BarkBusters trainer which really did help with some behaviors, and their advice was to yell "BAH" really loud and deep, which does deter her some of the time from naughty activities like chasing the cat. She still doesn't get the idea that what she's doing is WRONG and she should not do it ever again. I know that you should train a dog to do what is RIGHT and reinforce that, but she also needs to learn that some behaviors are wrong.

So what is the most affective way to teach a dog that a behavior is wrong? Thanks in advance, I am learning so much here!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,423 Posts
The single biggest mistake that most people make in trying to 'correct' bad activity is their timing of the correction. For example: the dog jumps up on the couch...5 minutes later the owner comes in the room and says, "OFF!" That teaches the dog to get down when told but, does nothing to teach the dog that he isn't supposed to be up there in the first place.

Corrections must be applied the split second the bad activity is about to happen (before it happens)...the mouth opening up to snatch a sock; the muscles tensing up...getting ready to jump on someone, head hovering over the garbage can; starting to lift a leg to pee in the house...etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Say I catch the dog chewing on the sock. I understand that I missed the "correct" or "optimal" timing. Can I say "NO" to stop the act and then get her attention back to the sock by pointing and repeating no? Will that send the right message? Maybe it will say sock = bad?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,761 Posts
Can I say "NO" to stop the act and then get her attention back to the sock by pointing and repeating no? Will that send the right message? Maybe it will say sock = bad?
Mmmno, dogs don't wear socks, so pointing at the sock and repeating "no" is not intrinsic to the dog.

It would be preferred to teach the dog "drop" (instruction), put socks away (extinguish the behavior) and trade the sock for an approved chew (reinforcing appropriate chewing). Chewing to dogs is intrinsic, so we must teach them what is appropriate to chew.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,525 Posts
Say I catch the dog chewing on the sock. I understand that I missed the "correct" or "optimal" timing. Can I say "NO" to stop the act and then get her attention back to the sock by pointing and repeating no? Will that send the right message? Maybe it will say sock = bad?
Nope. :) Dogs don't understand pointing unless they've been trained to know what it means. And even then, they're going to learn it in one context. For example, I trained my dogs to get a treat off the floor if I point to it. So if I drop a piece of green pepper, I can point to the floor and they look down there and smell to find it. Now. If that green pepper happens to be a cherry tomato and it rolls across the floor (10 feet away) and I point to it across the room, they look at the floor right below my finger instead of following the line of my finger.

What you described above may teach the dog that holding the socks makes you angry and tense, but they're unlikely to associate THEIR behavior with it at all.

ETA: I taught my dogs as puppies that everything is mine. They have to have permission before taking anything into their mouths. That's the only way I know to teach a dog not to destroy belongings.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,997 Posts
Say I catch the dog chewing on the sock. I understand that I missed the "correct" or "optimal" timing. Can I say "NO" to stop the act and then get her attention back to the sock by pointing and repeating no? Will that send the right message? Maybe it will say sock = bad?
I take a cue from my mother who would always give us kids "the look" then follow up with an "aaaaaat" if we were too dense to grasp "the look". If we didn't grasp the verbal cue more severe corrections followed. If you catch the dog while he is chewing the sock you can certainly correct him, but be sure to re-direct him to something appropriate to chew on. If you don't, the dog could get the message that chewing is bad, not that chewing on a sock is bad.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,420 Posts
Say I catch the dog chewing on the sock. I understand that I missed the "correct" or "optimal" timing. Can I say "NO" to stop the act and then get her attention back to the sock by pointing and repeating no? Will that send the right message? Maybe it will say sock = bad?
Telling her no when she's chewing a sock could work, could go right over the dogs head though.

The best way to really link the sock with her chewing it would be to be patient and catch her just as she goes for it and correct her then.

But that might or might not be understood how you intend and she might only learn not to get or chew a sock while you're there and still do it while your gone.

Easiest with something like a sock is to just always put them away so she has no access and forgets that socks exist until the dog grows out of it.

As for the bedding that's a little tougher, but if you catch her doing it and correct her and give her something better to chew it might do it.

I usually leave at least one toy around to chew on, but I've never had a pup, even the best ones, that didn't chew up at least a few of my things growing up. They eventually got less interested in chewing up things that smelled like me though like shoes and socks.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
7,942 Posts
No. That will not get the message.
the problem with training dogs using corrections is that the dog rarely seems to associate the correction with the behavior. What most often happens is the dog finds it is dangerous to be near an object when the owner is present. The behavior persists when the owner is not present.

First of all, pick up your socks. Every time you take socks off, take them to the laundry. Don't leave them around. If your dog swallows a sock (and they can.. even little ones) you will have a blockage and a megabucks (thousands?) vet bill to remove the sock.

As Curb said.. redirect the behavior to another behavior. What do you want the dog to do instead of chewing? What can he chew on that is OK to chew on? Is he bored and does he need more walking and more training?

IOW's you need to give the dog something to do instead of what you don't want. Stopping one behavior means you need to replace it with another (more desirable) behavior.

Fact is, nail biting in teenageres is often very difficult to over come because it is self rewarding to do (releases endorphins) because it is hard to find a replacement behavior for the nail biter to go to that is better. Dog is no different. you need to give him something equally or more rewarding to do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Everytime I find her chewing on something she's not supposed to be chewing on, I say "bah" or "aaaat" really loudly, take the item away quickly and replace it with a bone or chew toy. When she begins to chew the toy, I praise her. I've done this countless times. It seems like she's just not getting it.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
7,942 Posts
The first great Secret of training a dog is consistancy.

The SECOND great Secret of Dog training is PERSISTANCE. You have to outlast the dog on this stuff. You get to be the one who doesn't give up. EVER.

IOW's do what you need to (redirect) EVERY time. And do it countless MORE times. You give up or don't follow thru EVERY time and guess what? You have just taught the dog it is OK to do whatever it is you are trying to change.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,966 Posts
The single biggest mistake that most people make in trying to 'correct' bad activity is their timing of the correction. For example: the dog jumps up on the couch...5 minutes later the owner comes in the room and says, "OFF!" That teaches the dog to get down when told but, does nothing to teach the dog that he isn't supposed to be up there in the first place.

Corrections must be applied the split second the bad activity is about to happen (before it happens)...the mouth opening up to snatch a sock; the muscles tensing up...getting ready to jump on someone, head hovering over the garbage can; starting to lift a leg to pee in the house...etc.
I agree with this wholeheartedly.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top