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What am I doing wrong?

Discussion in 'Dog Behaviour and Training' started by Featherpaw, Jul 9, 2018.

  1. Featherpaw

    Featherpaw New Member Registered

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    Hi,

    We've recently adopted an approx. 16month old collie/shepherd mix. She's great at home and on leash. However, when she wants to go and have a nap she becomes really unresponsive and stubborn.

    I'm trying to train her to go to her "place" during the day, and her "bed" at night. When she's awake and willing to learn she'll go to these places no problem, but when she's sleepy she just wants to lay in the middle of the room and sleep. If she were any other dog this would be fine, but she has this "guarding" behaviour centred around her sleeping areas which is why I want her to sleep in the places that I have given her. She gives a grumble/growl and sometimes a "yipe!". To be honest, she hasn't displayed this behaviour much at all. I've only seen it when she's really fed up and wants her space, or when she's had a nightmare and something spooks her awake. But anyway, I would like her to go to her "place" during the day to prevent her from displaying this guarding behaviour at us/anyone that has to walk past or step over her to get in/out of the living room.

    I've put her "place" only a few feet away from where she normally plonks herself and have been praising her and giving her treats when she goes to it herself. Her chew toys are there. She get's a stuffed kong and a dentastick there. But after a little while of her staying there, she gets up and lays down in the middle of the room again and refuses to budge. No amount of any level of treats can get her to move. She just ignores us completely and goes to sleep. This same thing happens in the evenings when we get ready to go to bed and want her to go to her night-time bed.

    We haven't had her for very long, so it's still very early days, but where am I going wrong? Thank you all in advance.
     
  2. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    It's early days, I suggest persevering would be the answer.
    Are you physically trying to move her when she does that? If so, and she dislikes it (fair enough, I wouldn't like to be moved when I am dozing either) I would suggest avoiding that. Either lure her back to her place with a reward, or let her sleep - there is a reason behind the saying 'let sleeping dogs lie'.

    Can you temporarily block the middle of the room with a piece of furniture?
     
  3. Pip-n-Stan

    Pip-n-Stan New Member Registered

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    That’s a tricky one! Our Stanley gets stubborn like this when it comes to being moved. If he knows you’re coming over to move him he’ll sometimes have a bit of a grumble! It’s never been much of an issue for us, because he doesn’t guard his sleeping place as such, and he is a lot smaller than a Collie.

    Is her daytime “sleeping place” just a dog bed? It sounds silly, but if you can shuffle things so that you can put the bed where she’s been choosing to lay down, and reward her then. Then she’s getting her way and (theoretically) you’re getting your way.
    Then, gradually, after a while of this working successfully, try starting to move the bed a few inches towards where you want it to ultimately end up. Hopefully she wouldn’t notice the difference, and will lay down fully on the bed as normal, when you can reward as normal. Over a few weeks (maybe months if she’s incredibly stubborn/clever!!!) maybe she’ll associate the bed itself with her comfy spot, even though it’s moved back to where you want it. Maybe if budget allows, buying a new bed would work better for this, so she’s not associating the old bed with being told to move against her will?

    Good luck with your Collie! X
     
    leashedForLife likes this.
  4. Featherpaw

    Featherpaw New Member Registered

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    No, I don't try and move her like that. I'm trying to lure her with treats. Asking her to come. Throwing treats in the bed or short distances away from her. Leaving her alone then coming back (she'll often follow us if we go elsewhere around the house). Or just waiting until she gets up... All of which used work, but she's become resistant to everything. The only time's i've heard her "yipe" was because my non-dog orientated mother in law grin-smiled at her immediately after she woke up and I guess she got startled, and then she "yiped" and growled at me later that day when I walked past her. She hasn't done it since though so I think she just got spooked. We've been giving her warning when we're going to walk over/past her which seems to be helping though. Otherwise she just does not want to budge.

    Ehhh not really, no. The middle of the room is where the living room meets with the dining room and is the exit/entrance to the living room. We don't really have anything big enough or suitable enough to block the area. Plus she tends to move to different areas (the hallway, bottom of the stairs, by the dining room table etc) throughout the day so I guess she would just go and lay down somewhere else.

    Although as I type this now, she is in her day place!! (WOO!) So I hope she's getting it. I wonder if it's just one of those things that will take a while. But her stubbornness to move is still a problem though...
     
  5. Mad Murphy

    Mad Murphy Well-Known Member Registered

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    I once had a dog who only walked behind the furniture, this was her way of avoiding kicks ( previous owner) could there be something in your dog's background/past that is making her want to sleep in the open? Im thinking clear line of sight /easy escape/ cant be blocked in or trapped.. Try to think with her , see her motivation and work from there
     
  6. Featherpaw

    Featherpaw New Member Registered

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    Everything that we've been told about her points to the opposite to be honest. The fosters said that she likes to sleep under tables and find little nooks to sleep in... which I why I put her "place" in a wall nook. She already tried the table, but got stuck and hasn't been interested in it since. I've been wondering whether to get her a crate, but then she likes to really stretch out and change position... which might be the reason why she lies in the middle of the room... but there's plenty of room in the nook for her to stretch out too.
     
    Mad Murphy likes this.
  7. Mad Murphy

    Mad Murphy Well-Known Member Registered

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    Do you have a blanket or something with the smell of the foster on it? that could help??
     
  8. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    My dog does the same, particularly at the moment - he seems to like lying across doorways, possibly because there's a draught, but he's a BIG dog and also a sprawler, and it's very inconvenient!

    Could her 'proper bed' be a bit too warm right now? My dog slept on the floor in our bedroom rather than his bed last night as his bed's just too warm. She may also be feeling particularly lethargic and not so food motivated with the high temperatures.

    If she's not being too guardy, I think I would literally 'let sleeping dogs lie' for now because each time you try to move her and she doesn't move, it's likely to reinforce her 'stubborn' behaviour (I prefer to think of it more as 'Thanks for offering, but I'm not really hungry and I'm fine here right now,' but I think it can develop into something approaching oppositional defiant disorder where the dog thinks 'Oh no, they really want me to to this so I'm going to have to dig my heels in'). Each time I have to step over her I'd drop a treat for her so she doesn't see people approaching/stepping over her as a threat. And in the meantime, when she's not flopped out on the floor, I'd work on a really good in-the-house recall where she gets the BEST THINGS EVER when she comes to you (could be a game as well as high-value treats). What you're aiming for is her response not to be 'Oh they want me to move and I don't want to' but 'Woo hoo! Yes, yes, YES!!!' and it doesn't even occur to her that you're trying to shift her - it's not a matter of obedience and making her do what you want, but bringing what you want and what she wants together.

    If she is worryingly guardy, then I'd block the area with whatever it takes - piles of books, cardboard boxes, shoes (if she doesn't eat them) and hope that this breaks the habit - it'll be inconvenient, but at least when you step over the obstacles they won't growl at you!
     
  9. merlina

    merlina Well-Known Member Registered

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    She is very new still and trying to settle. Whatever you do needs to be reward-based as I'm sure you know. But she is a mix of two herding/guarding breeds. She has an instinct to 'police' her area. In Wales I've seen Cardigan corgis lie on frozen ground in a farm yard (and drop off) rather than on nice warm straw in the open stable- all afternoon! They had a great view of the hillside I suppose. My guess is she's still anxious and very old behaviour patterns are surfacing. I know this is no help in the short term, I just wanted to assure you she's not be difficult for no reason. Sadly she can't tell us what it is.:confused:
     
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  10. Featherpaw

    Featherpaw New Member Registered

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    The blankets we are using in both night and day time beds are ones we gave her before we collected her from the foster. I think it helped with her night time bed more than the day time one.

    This is what I was thinking to be honest... it's the same with taking her for walks at the moment. We take her out really early in the morning (5:30am) and then again at whatever time it cools down in the evening. She tires out really quick and just wants to watch the world go by. It's too dang hot!!

    This is true... Maybe I am expecting too much of her if she just wants her space. Certainly don't want to cause her to develop behavioural disorders!

    She's not been guardy much at all to be honest unless i've really pushed it too fair and she gives me a little grumble, in which case I just back off and leave her as I know it's me that's the problem! When she want's to work for food she's great. She comes when called, sits, lays down, stays, and i've been starting some touch training with her. But then she either gets tired or bored and goes off to do something else. I'm wondering if that's just because she's still new so the bond isn't quite there yet. Same with play and cuddles. She'll love playing and cuddling for a little bit, but then get's bored and goes off to do something else. But then it could be this heat too. I will start dropping treats for her when we go past now. I had been meaning to do that from the start but who knows why I didn't!

    Thank you for all of the replies so far. Lot's of great advice here :)
     
  11. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    That's brilliant - so many people think they have to tell a dog off for growling rather than recognise it as a simple communication that the dog isn't happy which should be valued and respected:)


    And who can blame her?! Some dogs love training, but some can't see the point. Why would you ask them to stand up, sit down, lie down, and then stand up again? Can't you decide what you want? Who can blame them for going on strike? And similarly play and cuddles - I love my OH, but I don't want to play and cuddle with him all the time;) She may well be more into it when she's more settled and secure - and when the weather's cooler, but it's great that you can recognise her limits and when she's had enough. It's probably good to keep training sessions really short so she's in the habit of willingly doing what you ask rather than thinking 'I'll do what they say till I'm not interested, then I'll do what I want'.
     
  12. Nanny71

    Nanny71 Well-Known Member Registered

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    I have been reading all this thread with interest. Basically I let Dudley sleep where he wants. Mostly he prefers his bed in the daytime and the sofa evening and night. He is only little and easy to step over. While it has been so hot his favourite place is the kitchen floor, in front of a fan.
    I knew nothing about training puppies when we got him and he seems to have worked this out himself. When we go on holiday we take his bed and he sleeps in that whenever we are away.
     
    millymojo1 and Flobo like this.

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