Author Topic: Dog training tips  (Read 24606 times)

Offline Sullivan

  • Veteran Dog Chomper
  • **
  • Posts: 102
    • View Profile
Dog training tips
« on: March 24, 2005, 01:01:40 pm »
I hope you guys aren't getting sick of me, but I have yet another question.  Seamus is typically very well behaved, but he have a couple of problems with him.  He tends to have selective hearing when we call him.  Sometimes he comes when he is called and sometimes he doesn't.  He also does this with sitting and lying down.  I've read that dogs have teenage phases and he is just testing us.  What is the best way to deal with this behavior?
Also, when he is trying to get attention or get us to play with him he will either crawl on top of me (on the couch) or crawl up onto the couch and bite the cushions.  It is way too hard to ignore such a big dog.  I know he is trying to be dominant over me, but the problem is he is so big!  He also tends to bite when he plays.  He isn't trying to hurt us, and it normally doesn't but I know this isn't appropriate behavior. 
I could definatly use training tips.  He is very well behaved, but I can tell he is always testing me, and I feel like I am failing!  Help!
« Last Edit: March 25, 2005, 06:50:41 pm by jabear »

Offline stjennifer2413

  • Gnawer
  • *
  • Posts: 11
    • View Profile
Dog training tips
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2005, 03:59:00 pm »
When we adopted Winston from a St. rescue group, he was great in the house but had some AWFUL outside habits!  He knocked me clear off of my feet and I hit my head on the sidewalk when he ran over to visit his buddy.  After nearly getting hit by a car when he slipped off his Gentle Leader and decided to go say "hi" to the dog across the street, I decided it was time for professional intervention.  I enrolled him in a basic obedience course at Petsmart.  I CANNOT EMPHASIZE ENOUGH HOW MUCH OBEDIENCE CLASS PAID OFF!!!!  We worked through his pain-in-the-butt behavior on the leash and generally made him a joy to be around.  He is an angel now.  However, we too went through the "rebellious teen" stage, even while he was enrolled in second obedience course.  Our trainer said that like kids, dogs will try to test the limits just to see what they can get away with.  Her advice was to not let him get away with any unacceptable behavior.  So we would just stop whatever we were doing until Winston decided to do it my way.  Luckily, he outgrew this stage in a few months.  You might really want to consider signing up for a class either through Petsmart, Petco or even a local continuing education program.  They aren't that expensive and I found it was a great bonding experience for us.  [In fact, my husband stopped going after the second class and it was almost a year before Winston would pay attention to anything he said.]
« Last Edit: March 25, 2005, 06:51:12 pm by jabear »

Lorrie

  • Guest
Re: Dog training tips
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2005, 06:47:14 pm »
He tends to have selective hearing when we call him.  Sometimes he comes when he is called and sometimes he doesn't.  He also does this with sitting and lying down.   
LMAO, I think they all do this!  There are times you would swear on a Bible that Sampson is stone deaf.  He's not.  But he is real good at pretending he is when he doesn't want to listen.

Also, I know the laying down thing.  Can't move him, right?  Lays there like 100+ lbs of Jello?  My husband always said that we should have named Sam Ghandi because he is the king of passive resistance.   ;D

The previous response was great, training should help.  Also, keep a collar on him.  When he pulls a Ghandi, grab the collar and start walking...fast .  He will get up and go with you.  Takes some practice on your part but it does work and when he realizes that you are consistent and will do that, he should stop that behavior.  Same thing w/ the selective deafness.  You can go get him, grab his collar, walk him back.  Or keep him on a very long lead, even a long length of clothes line and when he doesn't come when you call, you pick up the rope and pull him in, like a fish.

I wouldn't recommend letting him bite you at all, not even in a playful manner.  Believe it or not, all I ever had to tell Sam about that was "No bite!" said loudly.  I know some people use a spray bottle filled with water and spray the dog in the face when they do something like that, but I haven't had to.  But they say it works. 

Also, you should tell him the same thing whenever he bites something you don't want him to bite, like the couch.  Consistency is the key and training often helps with that.  Most areas have local kennel clubs that also provide training.  I took my German Shepherd to personal one-on-one training years ago and it did not cost any more than the group classes.  I became a master at the clothes line as a lead technique. As the dog improves, you shorten the length of clothes line.  It works, but requires work and consistency on the part of the owner.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2005, 06:51:44 pm by jabear »

Lorrie

  • Guest
Puppy training tips
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2005, 06:50:49 pm »
I feel like I am failing!  Help!
PS
You're not failing.  This is normal puppy behavior, and you're right, he's not biting to hurt you, it is to a degree normal puppy play.  But he's 10 months old now and big.  So that's just not fun for the humans.   ;D  But don't despair, you are not failing, Seamus will be a great dog. 
« Last Edit: March 25, 2005, 07:03:20 pm by jabear »

Offline Sullivan

  • Veteran Dog Chomper
  • **
  • Posts: 102
    • View Profile
Re: Puppy training tips
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2005, 01:18:05 pm »
Thanks for the responses.  I'll definately try all of them! 
« Last Edit: March 25, 2005, 07:03:40 pm by jabear »

Offline SaintMommy

  • Full Fledged Chewer
  • *
  • Posts: 64
  • Lucy and Charlie with puppy pal Bosley - 10 months
    • View Profile
Re: Dog training tips
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2005, 09:06:04 pm »
TRAIN YOUR SAINT - There is nothing more important in this giant love beasts life.  We have had Cassie since she was 8 weeks old and YES she is spoiled rotten.  My husband is a previous Saint owner (Anna) and she was trained as a therapy dog.  These dogs LOVE to please and want to be stimulated the few hours they are awake :)  I realized very quickly once Cassie hit around 100 pounds that my being the Alpha female was oooohhhh sooooo important.  I am not a small woman 5'7'' 180 pounds, and Cassie can pull me, yank me, push me and knock me over when we are playing together.  On our walks it's imperative for her well being as well as mine and the "new friends" we encounter along the way.  Saints must understand heal,stay,sit,come, and DOWN!  Although as many have mentioned Cassie is stone cold deaf when it comes to COME!  As she gets older she is getting better BUT there have been mornings I have been late to work because she WILL NOT come into the house after a playful round of "fetch the monkey" (her favorite game) Saints love to please and really do enjoy training, However they can have a stubborn streak and they are so damn smart that sometimes you think they can out maneuver you....PERSIST ENCE is key.  Cassie and I still work on heal on a daily basis, and are sitll working on COME as mentioned before.  Don't view their perceived disobedience as obstinance, they want to play and challenge their owners, Cassie does have a stinker streak but it's not out of meaness. Puppy classes helped us immensely have the keys to understanding what and how to speak "puppy"  
Thanks much,
Renee & Mark

Offline SaintMommy

  • Full Fledged Chewer
  • *
  • Posts: 64
  • Lucy and Charlie with puppy pal Bosley - 10 months
    • View Profile
Re: Dog training tips
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2005, 09:12:47 pm »
I forgot about the biting thing... Cassie still does this sometimes at 10 months old when we are playing,  if she is feeling out of sorts, very excited or wants my attention for some reason.  It is a "puppy thing"  .  I got great response from her when I said in a very sad loud voice "OWWW that hurts mommy" "Cassie OWWWW"  and I repeated it several times. She understands immediately and hangs her head down. 
Thanks much,
Renee & Mark

Offline Sullivan

  • Veteran Dog Chomper
  • **
  • Posts: 102
    • View Profile
Re: Dog training tips
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2005, 01:20:42 pm »
Thank you guys for the advice.  We just signed Seamus up for basic training courses at pet smart.  Both my fiance and I are attending.  He doesn't think Seamus needs it, and wants to go straight to the advanced class.  I insisted on the basic first.
When he was a tiny pup he picked up on things so quickly and got so much pleasure out of praise.  Now he seems to get more pleasure out of ignoring us, most of all me. 
He really does favor my fiance.  It absolutely breaks my heart.  I am his main care taker.  I feed and walk him everyday, and he spends most of his time with me.  However, when my fiance gets home he completely ignores me.  If we get home at the same time he runs to him and doesn't even notice me!  Is this b/c he thinks my fiance is the alpha?  I'm sure it is a respect thing.  The problem is, i'm with him during the day when he is napping and I have very few opportunities to punish him (with the exception of his biting thing).  And even when I do try to be the dominant one he is so not intimidated by me.  Is it my tone of voice?  What did I do to lose his respect?
I absolutely agree that these big dogs must be well trained.  A dog this size can be dangerous if he isn't obedient.  Without a gentle leader, I don't dream of taking him outside.  Soon he will weigh more than me, and I will be in so much trouble! 
Wish me luck with the training classes.  He really is a good boy, and I think with a little extra work he will be perfect.  Keep your fingers crossed!

Offline jabear

  • Moderator
  • Wizard of Wiggling & Waggling
  • *****
  • Posts: 4629
    • View Profile
Re: Dog training tips
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2005, 08:13:00 pm »
How is your handsome boy doing with the obedience classes?
Hugs,
Jaime
  Mom to one handsome black Bear.

Offline BOBI

  • Gnawer
  • *
  • Posts: 20
  • I'M NOT YOUNG ENOUGH TO KNOW EVERYTHING.
    • View Profile
Re: Dog training tips
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2005, 09:06:14 am »
have you ever seen "the dog whisperer" on animal planet? i highly recommend it.
you have to be firm, calm, and most of all.....PERSIS TANT!
if you say to a dog, you are not allowed on the couch, you have to mean it always. my dobes used to lay thier head on my knee and ask first with soulful eyes. they were allowed on one couch only and had to ask first.
i commend you for taking your baby to classes. every resposible pet owner should realize if for no other reason, even if you are an expert in training, the atmosphere is superb for socializing.
i have been owning, training for 30 some years and still go to handling, obediance classes from time to time when i have a baby to socialize them.
LIFE'S JOURNEY IS NOT TO ARRIVE AT THE GRAVE SAFELY IN A WELL PRESERVED BODY, BUT TO SKID IN SIDEWAYS, TOTALLY WORN OUT, SHOUTING....    "HOLY CRAP, WHAT A RIDE..."

Offline mastiffmommy

  • Chief "All Knowing"
  • *****
  • Posts: 2099
    • View Profile
Re: Dog training tips
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2005, 09:48:09 am »
First of all I want to say, that you are NOT failing! :-X, it is as hard to be a dog parent as it is to be a parent to our human kids. I used to do obedience with a German Shepherd, competed for a few years and I am a total fan of clicker training. And what I found very useful with one of the danes that was a little like your dog it sounds. She wanted a lot of attention, and tried to get it by doing things that were no no. Every time she did that, I totaly ignored her (hehe it is kinda hard to ignore someone who weighs in around 170 lbs though) But made it very clear, and turned my head away and my whole body, so used a lot of body language. Walked off and left her behind. She did not like that, that was not at all what she intended. Then I also made very sure I gave her plenty of attention when she didnt ask for it, so she didnt feel sad or wondered if mommy didnt love her anymore. After not long at all, she got the hint and started to try harder to listen and get attention the positiv way, because that was the only way that actually payed off for her.

Marit
what the lion is to a cat, the mastiff is to a dog

Offline Sullivan

  • Veteran Dog Chomper
  • **
  • Posts: 102
    • View Profile
Re: Dog training tips
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2005, 12:51:10 pm »
Thanks everybody for all the advice!  Seamus had his first obedience class last week.  It was mass chaos.  All the dogs were all over the place and it was so hard to get Seamus' attention b/c there was so much stimulation.  I guess that is the point though.  At the very least I am learning new things to try with him.  I'll let you all know how it goes. 

Offline Carolyn

  • Big Paws-a-holic
  • **
  • Posts: 311
    • View Profile
Re: Dog training tips
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2005, 01:00:57 pm »
If its any consolation..I still go to an open obediance class with 2yr old Apache. The diference now that he has matured is incredible. He gets so happy when we get there & we have a good time learning new things. Theres so many things to distract them & a lot of times its hard to get them to pay attention at school. Its what you do with what you learned at home that really counts. Good luck.
Carolyn
Carolyn

Offline mastiffmommy

  • Chief "All Knowing"
  • *****
  • Posts: 2099
    • View Profile
Re: Dog training tips
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2005, 02:18:46 pm »
I agree with Carolyn, nothing says you have to go to a certain level of obedience. A lot of people are happy with basic skills. I'd say the single most important thing to teach your dog is "come here" and "stay" (okay lol.... guess that was two things) These commands can save your dogs life.

You may already have tried this, but something that may help, is if you find a treat for him, that you never use unless you are training him in a class with other dogs. Something he really really loves. That way he has that special treat to look forward to, and that can make it easier to get his attention even if it is a lot of distractions. My dogs are suckers for hotdogs, I "earmark" hotdogs for when we are doing classes, or when I train them somewhere, where it is a lot of distractions.

Good Luck and please keep us posted on how you are doing,

Marit
what the lion is to a cat, the mastiff is to a dog

Offline newflvr

  • Tail Wagging Champ
  • *****
  • Posts: 3390
  • Cowboy is four years old and Chester is almost two
    • View Profile
Re: Dog training tips
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2005, 02:33:29 pm »
If he doesn't already outweigh you, one of the training tips I learned from our dog trainer was when our Newf hit his "teenage" years (at about 8 months) and tried to take the dominate role, I was to lay down on him and just pin him until he quieted down.  It was hard but I only had to do it twice.  No more biting, and he listened to me.  I had to become the Alpha bitch.  If it would only work on teenage boys!!! :D