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My 6 month puppy has attitude?

Discussion in 'Puppy Forum' started by Steve Morris, Apr 14, 2020.

  1. Steve Morris

    Steve Morris New Member Registered

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    Don't get me wrong, I know my puppy likes me, he follows me about a lot and loves it when I play fetch, hide and seek, find the food, and a host of other games with him. But . . .

    I prepare his food, call him into the utility room, ask him to sit and shake a paw and put the bowl down. He then looks at it and walks away. I know he wants it. About 2 or 3 minutes later if I sit down or do something else he sneaks in and eats it.

    Leash walking practise, he humours me for a couple of minutes and takes the treats, walks perfectly with a loose lead and then just sits and looks at me as if to say, I've had enough. No matter how delicious the treats, or how lively I try to make it, he won't comply.

    Wiping his paws after a muddy walk is always a battle. Give him treats he lets you no problem. He stands still and eats the treats out of your hand while you wipe his paws with a cloth. Without treats he leaps about and won't let you near his paws.

    Putting a lead on the same, give him a treat, he sits munching it and you can put his lead on easily. Without a treat, no matter how slowly you move he tries to gnaw your hand.

    Grrrrrrrrr
     
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  3. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    My last dog would comply with what was asked of him because he was happy to. My current dog is a terrier, and has a real ”what's in it for me” approach, so he gets rewarded for a lot of quite simple things that I know he understands. So, I use his food as rewards and the effect is that he basically earns his lunch. I didn't plan on a 'Nothing in life is Free' strategy but that is how it has turned out. So, if your dog does what you ask for rewards, can you just give him the rewards - but as I said, maybe make it from his normal food, at least sometimes.

    Another way to look at it is that when you go for a job interview, you don't expect to be told your salary will drop after so many months; in fact as you become more experienced you would expect to be paid more. Your dog probably thinks the same way.

    You may find he becomes more biddable as he matures.
     
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  4. Dibbythedog

    Dibbythedog Active Member Registered

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    The fact that he waits until you are doing something else before he eats could be he is unsure whether he can eat the food or not. perhaps give a signal that its ok for him to eat it .
    With training , you generally let the dog know the instruction e.g sit for example , has finished by saying Thats it or something similar.
     
  5. Steve Morris

    Steve Morris New Member Registered

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    Yep, wish I'd got a compliant pup. I love him but so much hard work.
     
  6. Steve Morris

    Steve Morris New Member Registered

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    I always give the 'OK' after a sit or down is finished. And he's not unsure whether he can eat food or not when he counter surfs. :cool: Been working on that for some time, but he has a mind of his own
     
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  7. Rinkydinkydo

    Rinkydinkydo Active Member Registered

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    Hes only a pup, wait until he gets to the dickhead stage. Now that can be fun and games.
     
  8. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    I just checked back to see what breed he was... eeek, you didn't make it easy for yourself, he'll probably be applying for MENSA soon! :D

    An experienced trainer said once that the aim of training wasn't getting a dog to do what you want, rather than what he wants - it's to bring what you want and what he wants closer together, so he wants to do what you want him to do. Dogs don't have a moral compass so they don't necessarily see a reason to do what you ask them to do even if they know what you want them to do - you have to make it worth their while. Some breeds have a tendency to listen to your request, consider it, and then say, 'Thanks for the suggestion. Maybe later, but actually I'd rather do this right now.'

    Feeding: There's some form of anxiety or conflict going on here. I'm not a great fan of NILIF for the sake of it - your pup knows that it's his food, so why not give it straight to him? We don't ask children to obey a random pointless command for the sake of it before feeding. If he has a tendency to dive in before it hits the floor then by all means lift the bowl and ask for a wait, but I don't see any need for that. And as for counter surfing... If there's forbidden food on the worktop my dog will make a smash & grab on it, but if it's an apple core, which he knows he's allowed, he won't steal it but will whine and whine and whine for me to give it to him, even if I'm sat down on the other room and tell him to get it himself ... because now he's a good boy!

    The only way to prevent counter surfing really is to not leave out anything he'll want to nick (I find this easy to accept as my dog is a lurcher and 'lurcher' translates as 'thieving cur' - it's in his blood!).

    Paw wiping... a battle of wills won't work. Rather than giving him treats as you do it, I'd hold a stinky treat in your hand and wipe while he's sniffing it, then release a bit. Wipe... treat... wipe... treat. Then the treat gradually becomes the reward. If you wipe and then treat, the wipe becomes the predictor of the treat and just as with Pavlov's dogs responding to the bell, pup will come to love the wipe as well as the treat. In theory... I think that to change his opinion about foot wiping, you'd need to start with very brief wiping sessions, even if it does result in muddy floors. In my opinion that will always win out on a battle of wills, but then I'm not very house proud.

    Again, with putting the lead on, I'd hold something really stinky in my hand so he can smell it but not eat it, put the lead on while he's trying to get it, and then let him have the treat.

    I'm not an expert on leash walking as my dog picked it up quickly naturally, but I didn't find treats too successful as they just distracted him. I just stopped walking as soon as he pulled, and started up the moment he released the tension - if he wanted to go somewhere, he had to stop that tension from happening.

    As a general point, I think you need to focus on avoiding conflict, but finding ways to make him want to do what you want him to do. It's much better that he has a happy 2-second foot wipe than being made to tolerate a 5-second one. If you can achieve the first, you can progress up to a happy 3-second wipe, but if you aim for the second he'll end up disappearing the moment he sees the towel.

    Teaching impulse control might also help him focus on you and see the benefits of working with you:
     
  9. Steve Morris

    Steve Morris New Member Registered

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    Yes, he's smart alright. This is my worry, he's smarter than me.:mad:

    I like your idea of sniffing the treat and only eating after the paws are wiped or the lead attached. I'll give it a go.
     
  10. Steve Morris

    Steve Morris New Member Registered

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    I've just tried the sniff method with the leash and it works well for taking a leash off. That's because you can take the leash off easily with one hand. However putting the leash on requires two hands as the ring on the collar needs to be lifted in order to clip the lead on. I'll have to think about that.
     
  11. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    You could try showing him the stinky treat, putting it on a shelf or something next to you and asking him to wait, then clipping the lead on while he's fixated on it - then say 'Good boy!' and give him the treat. Training this separately - getting him to focus on a treat for a short time while you do what you need to do - could come in handy for all sorts of other tasks, including the paw wiping. Just build up his patience gradually - he is a young adolescent after all!
     
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  12. Steve Morris

    Steve Morris New Member Registered

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    Just tried that. Put a treat on the floor and said 'wait' (he's very good at that), put the lead on and then said 'OK' and he went for the treat. That was a success, no biting. We'll see how that goes. I'll do it for a couple of weeks and go back to seeing if he'll let me put the lead in without a treat. If it works I'll be very grateful. :)
     
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  13. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    Don't worry if it doesn't work without the treat - just keep treating, though you might gradually make the treat a bit more boring. Even if he needs the treat for a full year, by then he'll be much more mature, and doing what you ask because it's a really great idea becomes a habit. Though later, you might want to make going for the walk the reward.

    I still reward my dog with treats for lots of things - e.g. leaving the kitchen when I ask - and he's 10! It's not a problem - it's just a way of saying thank you that is of actual value to him.
     

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