Best dog training books according to redditors
We found 1,727 Reddit comments discussing the best dog training books. We ranked the 222 resulting products by number of redditors who mentioned them. Here are the top 20.
1. Mine! A Practical Guide to Resource Guarding in Dogs
Mine A Practical Guide to Resource Guarding in Dogs
2. The Other End of the Leash: Why We Do What We Do Around Dogs
3. Perfect Puppy in 7 Days: How to Start Your Puppy Off Right
4. I'll be Home Soon: How to Prevent and Treat Separation Anxiety.
Used Book in Good Condition
5. On Talking Terms With Dogs Calming Signals
training field calm aggressive behavior
6. Before and After Getting Your Puppy: The Positive Approach to Raising a Happy, Healthy, and Well-Behaved Dog
Before and After Getting Your Puppy The Positive Approach to Raising a Happy Healthy and Well Behaved Dog
8. Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know
Index supremeInterview by the author appendix#1 NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER.
9. Culture Clash: A New Way Of Understanding The Relationship Between Humans And Domestic Dogs
Used Book in Good Condition
10. When Pigs Fly!: Training Success with Impossible Dogs
Used Book in Good Condition
11. Canine Body Language: A Photographic Guide Interpreting the Native Language of the Domestic Dog
Used Book in Good Condition
12. The Cautious Canine-How to Help Dogs Conquer Their Fears
Used Book in Good Condition
13. Training the Best Dog Ever: A 5-Week Program Using the Power of Positive Reinforcement
16. Fired Up, Frantic, and Freaked Out: Training the Crazy Dog from Over the Top to Under Control
17. Behavior Adjustment Training 2.0: New Practical Techniques for Fear, Frustration, and Aggression in Dogs
19. Love Has No Age Limit-Welcoming an Adopted Dog into Your Home
Interestingly enough, the man who came up with that theory has since discredited it. His research couldn't support it, as it was only true of wolves in captivity (not even wolves in the wild). There's a really interesting book on it called Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know . It's a fascinating read about dogs and how the perceive the world, and it goes into that now-debunked theory.
Look into crate training - it will help save your stuff when you are not around. Not EVERY dog can handle being alone and absolutely free - especially if they suffer from separation anxiety.
Exercise is always a big consideration with this type of behavior. You say she is getting enough but the timing/frequency may be something to consider. If you are going to leave the house, get in a LONG run AND training before you head out. Many dogs not only need tired bodies, but tired minds in order to be content.
You should take an obedience class with her. It will help you with training her (sounds like she needs it) and help build a bond between you two. Working together builds trust, makes you more sensitive to training and physical needs and gets the ball rolling to change.
It is normal to be frustrated and want to give up - don't. Sign up for a class as your 'baby step' into training and start crate training. Try not to be frustrated. If you FEEL like you are, take a break. Put her in a puppy safe space (her crate if she is OK with it or a room with nothing for her to destroy) and take a breather - trying to train or interact with the dog while frustrated will send everyone reeling. Even if you dont think you are SHOWING frustration, your dog is very cued into your emotions and body language and is likely picking it up (which can make THEM frustrated/anxious).
Remove all things she can destroy from her reach. Put paper away, put away shoes and clothing - even stash the throw pillows and tie up the curtains if you need to. Set her up for success! REWARD her for playing with her toys and redirect her to them when she seeks out non-toy items. Get her some puzzle toys and plenty of natural chews to work through (figure out her favorites and always keep some on hand). There are TONS of things you can do in this type of situation!
If you go through one or two obedience classes and you are still struggling with separation anxiety, call on a behaviorist to help out! Obedience is great for sit/down/wait/going into your crate and being OK with it, but behaviorists (as their name implies) specialize in dog behavior and can help you with things like anxiety with specialized training or medication.
I would also recommend picking up these two books and taking them to heart:
If you don't know who to turn to/where to go for training classes - talk to the rescue you adopted her from! Many will have resources for you - some may even have access to free classes or specialized resources! Look for a club/trainer focusing in Positive Reinforcement (not Dominance theory - you should not be doing leash pops, alpha rolls, or trying to 'assert your dominance'. If you hear any of that, run away! Especially for anxious dogs, these methods can just make things much worse).
I would start with finding some local basic obedience or puppy classes. These are a fantastic place to start for a new dog owner. PetSmart and Petco classes are ok, but honestly their trainers aren't terribly experienced and while you could get a gem, you could also get a trainer than knows nothing.
Instead, try to find a trainer that is positive reinforcement based (sometimes trainers will advertise as "positive based" or "least adversive" or many other things - basically, instead of always punishing the dog, they're rewarding the dog for doing good things which is a much better system of dog training) and take some classes from them.
From that, you can get into dog sport classes. I personally, because of my location, actually do a lot of dog training classes online. Particularly through Fenzi Dog Sports Academy. They do have some disc dog classes occasionally, but also they have agility, nosework, obedience, and many other classes as well.
But certainly start with a basic obedience class as that will be a great foundation. If you need help with figuring out if a trainer might be good, try coming over to /r/dogs and asking there.
Oh, and if you're up for it, a fantastic book that I would recommend is "The Other End of the Leash" which is great in teaching people how dogs think and learn.
YTA. YTA. YTA. This post is 5 hours old but I have to comment because you and your family are such gigantic assholes, I literally want to cry right now. Puppies need near constant attention and affection. They should not be left alone for long periods of time, they should never be hit, and their tails should never be pulled. A 2-year-old might make that mistake, but a 10 year old???? Fucking unacceptable.
I can't believe you disrespected your wife so completely thoroughly and let your family treat her (and her puppy) this way.
You need to:
a) Apologize to your wife like you have never in your life apologized before. Here would be a good script:
"I'm so sorry I was such an asshole and pushed you to leave the puppy with my family when I should have listened to you and left the puppy at an experienced kennel. I'm also sorry that I sided with my family when they condoned the neglect and abuse of an animal. You were right to be upset that my brother was being too rough with the little guy, and my mom should never have called you names. Not only am I going to learn more about puppy care, I'm going to call my mom and tell her that it was unacceptable that she disrespected you. Again, I'm so sorry and I hope you can forgive me."
b) CALL YOUR MOTHER AND TELL HER THAT IF SHE EVER CALLS YOUR WIFE A BITCH AGAIN YOU WILL NEVER VISIT AGAIN. MEAN IT. (Also tell her that she needs to teach your brother that animals are living creatures and should be treated as such.)
c) Educate yourself about puppies. Purchase this book and enroll in a puppy training class with your dog. Pay for it all yourself. You owe this to your wife and your puppy.
Seriously. If my MIL ever called me a selfish bitch, and my husband didn't defend me right there on the spot, I'd divorce him within a week. YTA. YTA. Your mom is TA. And your brother is TA. Your wife did literally nothing wrong. NOTHING.
He should feed her. If he feels safe, he should hand feed her. Also have him talk in a higher pitched voice. Softly. She's 80 pounds of muscle, but to her he's pretty big himself. He might be more intimidating than either of you think. She might have been treated roughly by a man in her previous life. The hike is a great idea. If he feels safe he should sit or lay on the floor to watch TV. He shouldn't stand over her, he should approach from an arc. The link below is a good book. It helps explain how dogs communicate with each other. How they reassure each other. Maybe he can use some of these methods to let her know that he poses no threat. I felt silly, but after I found my fearful boys I'd give them play bows when I got down on the ground with them. Let her approach him? So it's on her terms. If he's still feeling unsure I'd recommend a behaviorist who can help read her and give you a plan for how to work through this. I found with my boys that I was asking too much from them too quickly. They needed things to be slower. Good luck.
This might be a novel, so I'm going to address pieces at a time.
> We removed it and she put up a small fuss but we discouraged it once and everything was fine.
What do you mean 'discouraged' it? Any sort of punishment or negative reaction on your part will make her behavior worse - not better. I'd strongly suggest getting this booklet on resource guarding so you know what you're really dealing with.
> I reached for the chocolate and of course she guards it. She's growling at my and refusing to let go. Baring teeth. Whale eye. The whole slew of warning signs telling me to back off. Obviously this is a drastic situation, so I unfortunately have to ignore these warnings.
I'm going to disagree with you here - your next actions led directly to the nip. There are other ways to handle this, and you need to be better prepared for next time.
Work both of those until they're muscle memory for the dog - as soon as you say the word her mouth pops open no matter what's in it.
A few times a week suddenly hollar "TREAT TIME!!!!" and run to the kitchen, where you stuff 5-7 chunks of hot dog at your dog one at a time - 'machine gun' treats, one right after another. Next time she's got something you don't think she'll 'drop' instead of reaching into her mouth you can hollar "TREAT TIME!" and she'll run with you (away from the person who likely dropped the thing, handily) to the fridge where you stuff her full of things - because she can't both guard whatever she has AND get the treats.
If it happens again before you have it really solid just send your SO to the fridge to get something yummy - at this point you are NOT worried about if it's healthy, you're worried about 'will she want it more than whatever she has'. Then when she drops the thing you lead her away from it with said treats and someone else retrieves the item when she's out of visual range.
> I open her mouth with both hands and she growls one last time and nips me, but as she does it I snatch my hand and the chocolate away from her.
Your dog has phenomenal bite inhibition. She could have given you a really bad bite, but didn't. Remember that. You literally took an amazing thing out of her mouth and she barely nipped you. Remember that.
This is not the dog who 'suddenly' and 'out of no where' gives a deep bite. That is a wonderful thing. Listen to her warnings, and respect them and she won't escalate.
> Her previous foster and I came to an agreement that if I decide to adopt her (which I'm still interested in doing) that my adoption fee wouldn't go to the organization, but rather a behavioralist/trainer to work out some of the guarding tendencies.
I have to say - that is fantastic. Serious kudos to this rescue group for making this offer. The only hesitation I have is what their trainer is like. Hopefully the trainer is force free and will use scientifically based positive methods to help address WHY the dog is fearful, rather than trying to 'dominate' her into submission - which will not work, but will very likely make her much worse.
Remember that guarding aggression is fear based - fear that someone will take her things away. If you feed into that by taking her things away it will get worse, if you teach her that giving you things is GREAT then it will improve.
> Should I have taken the time to try and distract her from the chocolate she was consuming?
Honestly, that's a judgement call. If you knew you were going to take her to the vet anyways based on what she had consumed...given it was chocolate I wouldn't have fought over it as they were going to pump her stomach one way or another. A bit more wouldn't have changed that.
It really depends on what she has and how much training you put in.
> Did I do the right thing by just taking the initiative to get it out of her mouth?
My personal choice would have been not to risk it - however, I regularly deal with other people's dogs, and my #1 priority is to make sure I do everything I can to keep their dog from getting a bite history. In the moment, it's a hard call to make.
> If the dog gives warnings like this one do I have to currently worry about escalation?
That depends. If you work with her on a solid drop/leave, if you practice that emergency situation response I have above, and if you respect her warnings as much as you possibly can...no. On the other hand, if you 'discourage' her from taking or guarding, punish her, routinely take things from her forcibly...yes, definitely.
The ball is in your court.
> Also, should I worry about the bite getting infected?
Probably not. You washed it and are keeping an eye on it, and it was barely a nick. Consider it a paper cut. Is it possible it gets infected? Yes, because your skin was broken it is technically possible. Is it likely if you have a normal and healthy immune system? Nope.
At this point you're still building a trusting relationship, not really training. Follow a daily routine. The better he's able to predict what comes next, the faster he'll settle in.
Assuming he's comfortable being physically close to people (which I hope is the case, if he's on your lap) then keep him on leash indoors to totally prevent the doggy parkour. He goes outside to a quiet spot (and hopefully pees...) then he comes back inside still on leash. He's either crated or leashed any time he's inside until he's more used to living indoors.
Add a second crate in the living room area so he has a safe resting/hiding spot without needing to walk down the scary hallway. Look for free/cheap secondhand crates on craigslist if price is an issue.
Practice feeding him by hand every day. If he only eats in the crate, that's fine--don't force anything. It's important that he feels safe. Just toss the food into the crate for him one piece at a time. After a few days of practicing that, he might be more comfortable with eating food from the ground near the crate, and then maybe eating from your hand. Let him set the pace. If you're nearby while he eats in his crate, take care not to use your body language to make him feel trapped. Sit off to the side, don't face him directly, and give him space.
Provide him a steady stream of sturdy chew toys. Chewing relieves stress. If you don't have a kong (hollow rubber beehive shape chew toy) yet, get one of those and stuff it with a portion of his daily food every day.
Pay attention to his body language, especially calming signals. Pay attention to your own body language (don't stare at him, bend over him, corner him. Do turn to the side, sit or stand calmly, ignore him, and let him come to you).
Play white noise indoors and limit (avoid if possible) loud startling noises or booming bass.
Try playing with non-squeaking plush furry animal toys. Ignore him (pretend he's not even there so he can watch you without pressure) and play with the toy yourself. Make it pause and move erratically on the floor like wounded prey. Pounce on it softly with your hands. Avoid big body movements, but use your hands to make the toy move, jump, scurry before you "catch" it. After a couple of minutes, walk away and ignore the toy. That gives your pup the opportunity to watch it and sniff it without pressure from you. After he has the chance to sniff it if he wants to (he doesn't have to) put the toy away. Repeat that process at the same time of day every day (build it into your daily schedule!) and he'll start to show gradually more interest in the toy.
With the hand feeding and toy play, the goal is to build up rewards that you can use as reinforcement during training later. First step is for him to be more comfortable just living with you, and then later the food/play will actually be useful in training. Right now you're still at that trust building level, don't have the typical arsenal of training rewards at your disposal yet.
Related past threads (I bet you can find more; this is just a start):
Get this book. It describes all the problems your having and how to solve them.
> Ignore bad behaviour.
(Just clarifying for the OP, because I imagine that /u/livmaj already knows what follows:) "Ignoring the bad" isn't referring to allowing the bad behaviour to happen and then just not doing anything to stop it when it happens. Actually, I much prefer how Kathy Sdao talks about this in her book Plenty In Life is Free: Reward the behaviours you want, prevent access to reinforcement for the behaviours you don't. A lot of "bad dog" behaviours are in themselves rewarding to the dog (think of all the yummy things that are in the trash!), so it's important to set up the environment in a way that prevents the dog from doing it in the first place. Put trash cans in cupboards or behind closed doors where he can't reach them, keep your shoes in a closed closet, etc.
And if the dog is in the middle of destroying your shoe, you don't just let him keep destroying it - but don't scold or punish for it either. Identify how he got the shoe, and work to rectify that gap in your management. I also found it helpful to play trading games and teach my puppy a "Can I see it cue?" so that rather than me taking things away from her, she happily carries them over them and gives them to me in exchange for a treat. Sometimes she has something that's totally fine for her to have, so I give it back to her and this is really important so that the dog learns that it won't always be taken away when they "share" with you. I also prefer this method because, once the trade behaviour is solid, it prevents the dog from either turning it into a game of keep-away or from dropping it at a distance and picking it up again unlike teaching a straight "drop it" (which was more difficult for me to train and proof than a trade anyway).
Ye ask and ye shall receive. Here are some good resources to learn more about leash/barrier reactivity:
Videos (These are mostly to techniques to help with reactivity)
Edit for formatting
I took a quick look through your previous posts. Many of these instances you're describing sound like resource guarding, or sleep startle reflex (sometimes called sleep aggression, but it's a reflex, not true aggression), or times when your dog is fearful/in pain. Of course, we can't witness these behaviours firsthand, so it's hard to say anything definitive - but I'm concerned that you may be interpreting any instance of snapping as aggression, when that's not accurate. In this post, for example, you describe three very different, but not aggressive behaviours. One is fear-driven, one is excitement-driven, and one is resource guarding.
Even normal, well-socialized, neurologically sound dogs will snap at someone in the right situation. It can be frightening and upsetting, absolutely, but it's important to remember that this is simply another way dogs communicate. I think sometimes people assume that the norm, or a "good" dog, is one that would never, ever snap at you, but I've never met such a dog. Most normal dogs will have a threshold, whether that's pain, or fear, where they will snap. It's normal. As is puppies using their mouths too roughly. My poodle was well into his teens before he finally stopped nipping when overstimulated - it hurt, it was frustrating, but it passed. He also snapped at me when we first started treating his ear infections, and he's snapped at me, and at the vet, when he's been examined while in pain. It happens.
A few times in your post history, I noticed moments where it seems like you misinterpreted her body language. You mention a wagging tail as a sign of friendliness, which is unfortunately a very bad way to judge how approachable a dog is. Dogs wag their tail for many reasons - sometimes as a warning. I highly recommend this brief book on canine body language - it might help you pick up on signs you're missing that could explain why your girl escalates to snapping.
Again, without seeing this behaviour firsthand, it's impossible to say whether there is something unusual going on here, but from your post history, I'm not convinced that the behaviour you're describing is outside the range of normal.
You have a frustration/excitement reactive dog. I have a dog with the same issue. Don't let your dog greet whilst showing that kind of behaviour. It is self rewarding. I use PREMACK for this. She starts showing the behaviour, we u-turn and walk a few paces, then u-turn again. It takes awhile, but eventually Tesla figured out that the only way to get to what she wants (the dog), is to do what I want which is to not do the lunging, barking, etc. I also found the engage, disengage game helpful. Remember if your dog won't take a food or toy reward, you are too close and need to move away.
Some other resources:
Your training methods are the kind that causes aggression like this, not removes it.
You need to stop thinking of yourself as the "alpha" today and instead recognise that resource guarding comes from a place of insecurity and fear, not "dominance" or wilfulness. You don't specify how you 'correct behaviour', but any training techniques using the outdated debunked alpha theory are likely to be highly over the top, frightening and in no way a solution to the problem.
In addition, reaching into the middle of any dog fight is a recipe for a bite. In the moment, neither dog knows that a hand reaching in isn't another immediate threat and so they will react accordingly.
Here are some books to help you with the resource guarding and understanding life from your dog's perspective, not from pseudo-science's:
You've done a fecal, right? Not just what the vet sees in office but sending it out to the lab to check for things like giardia which can be impossible to see in the vet's office. You've also done a blood panel, yes?
How long have you had her? It can take a while for a depressed dog to cheer up in a new home. The best thing is to not push yourself on the dog, don't force hugs or snuggles. Let the dog come up to you. When she's under your bed, just sit down on the floor next to the bed with a book and read. Have some dog treats and give her one every so often, and definitely reward her if she moves closer. Does she move away from you when you sit down or does she just stay in the same place? If she doesn't move, reading out loud can help. If she moves away, you need to work on her trust. PM me for advice on that, I'm not going to write it all here if there's no need.
It can take 6 months for a dog from a shelter to get used to new circumstances. This book might help https://www.amazon.com/dp/1891767143?tag=vs-pets-convert-amazon-20
Cheaper at amazon but the book description is better here http://www.patriciamcconnell.com/store/Love-Has-No-Age-Limit.html You can email her at that site, she's an amazing behaviorist. She's got a doctorate in behavior (or psychology or whatever the degree is that she learned behavior in) and she's not like Cesar Milan who uses outdated theories on dog behavior. She is usually good about writing back. Starting with "I've bought your book but my newly adopted dog is depressed and I need help" in the subject line can't hurt ;-)
Does she accept walks? Does she shy away or struggle? If she accepts walks, take her on one daily, and include time for her to just sniff and explore. It can't hurt to make sure she gets some exercise but again, don't force her to be lovey dovey with you, dont force her out from that safe spot she's found under the bed.
First, read through the sidebar and wiki on this sub and /r/Puppy101. You'll find most of the basic puppy/dog training information there, and I'll be happy to answer any residual questions you have.
I highly, highly recommend you pick up the book When Pigs Fly. It'll help both of you understand how independent dogs think and how to "get through to them."
The main thing to understand with independent dogs is that they need to see a beneficial reason to listen to you. If it won't benefit them, they won't do it.
You can train recall until you're blue in the face, but if coming back to you isn't more rewarding than chasing after squirrels, it's just not going to happen.
This is also why it's so important to avoid positive punishment. If you utilize things like prong collars, yelling, hitting, etc. the dog won't build a strong bond, and will be less likely to listen to you.
Think of a defiant teenager. You know they're going to test you, and if you resort to grounding them, taking their phone away, and taking away the car keys, they're not going to stop being defiant, they'll just become better at it.
"Dominant" is also a vague and misused term. Dogs do not try to dominate us, that theory has been debunked. Dogs with a "dominant personality" are often just very smart and strong willed. It takes patience and creative thinking to train, but it's not impossible by any means.
Just recognize that your dog is going to behave much differently than something like a Lab. A lab will often do well off leash, but your dog will likely never be allowed off leash in open environments. A lab might play fetch until he drops dead, while your dog might just want to run for miles and ignore you. Learn to pick and choose your battles, and don't set unrealistic expectations. Every breed was meant for different things, so don't aim for something yours wasn't bred to do.
One, she's probably going through a teen phase of seeing how far she can push, mine did at around that age. Two, it doesn't sound like you've been consistent enough - my GSD and I didn't 'walk' during her pulling phase. We basically moved two meters, she'd pull, I'd u-turn and we'd start again. We moved all of oh, 2-10m from my door for days. What tools are you using to make this easier for yourself? Easy walk harness? Gentle leader? Are you clicking and treating for check-ins? I frustrated the utter crap out of myself teaching it, but it worked. How often are you training? Are you letting your GSD work for food?
You also sound like your GSD has leash reactivity, which the breed seems to lean towards a little. Have you read into the CARE Protocol and worked on thresholds?
Focus wise, you have to train it. Work on focus by rewarding check ins throughout the day. Also work on focus as a training endeavour like this, and this.
Impulse control - it's yer choice and crate games, and of course impulse control games with tug/toys.
Other resources: Control Unleashed by Leslie McDevitt, Fired Up, Frantic, and Freaked Out by Laura VanArendonk Baugh, Fiesty Fiedo by Patricia B. McConnell, and Fenzi Classes.
TL;DR: This is pretty normal GSD behaviour, and may be part of a teen phase. Keep chugging.
YTA for being a bad dog owner by encouraging a dangerous behavior in your dog.
This behavior from the dog isn’t cute. It isn’t funny. It is a VERY concerning behavioral issue called “resource guarding” which can easily lead to a bite and euthanasia of the dog for aggression if left untreated.
Resource guarding is when a dog aggressively “protects” something of value (usually food or toys) from another dog or a person; occasionally a dog will resource guard their owner against other dogs and people. This behavior may be with just your sister for now but it could easily spread towards your dog aggressing at other people when they approach you. Those sorts of situations are when a dog is highly likely to bite.
> So he jumped off and proceeded to lay under my feet as if to guard me. My toes rubbing the back of his head. My sister comes near and he growls at her with his teeth bared.
> I laughed a happy laugh as she backed up and proceeded to talk shit about it and almost leave him at our house. I rubbed his butt whilst lecturing him.
You are reinforcing his dangerous behavior by petting him after he is aggressive towards a person.
You may be “lecturing” him but seeing as HE DOESN’T SPEAK ENGLISH your words are doing nothing. All he understands is “when I aggressively guard OP from Sister good things (pets and happy noises) happen to me! I should keep doing it to get more good things!” Your reaction to his aggressive behavior is actively making the problem worse.
You and your sister need to train the dog not to resource guard ASAP for her own safety. Here is a great dog training blog post The book Mine! A Practical Guide to Resource Guarding in Dogs is a good resource to use. It mainly covers food and toy aggression, but the same training methods can be used for when dog is resource guarding a person. on the subject. /r/Dogtraining and /r/reactivedogs are also good subreddits for dog training.
Train your dog before something bad happens and the dog ends up suffering the consequences.
I believe this was the spiritual book he gave klem
I highly encourage you to read The Other End of The Leash by animal behaviorist Patricia McConnell, PhD.
The book addresses this subject. The TL;DR version of her answer to your question is that while dogs form hierarchies amongst themselves, there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that dogs see humans as part of a "pack." They do not consider us a part of their social hierarchy — they only see other dogs that way.
The book really reinforced my belief in positive reinforcement training. I think you should read it.
You’ve gotten some very bad advice here, which you should ignore. Forget about being “alpha of the pack.” And do not flip your dog over on her back and say “no.” Those approaches are going to make things worse. You'll mess up your dog and mess up your relationship with her.
The common dog-jargon term for the behavior you’re describing is “resource guarding.” The best book on the subject is Jean Donaldson’s Mine! You should buy it or get it from your library (or via interlibrary loan). Also check out this blog post by Patricia McConnell.
this is it actually. Dogs can be territorial, but pissing isn't territorial.
It's explained in this book:
I’m definitely not a dog expert — literally getting my first dog as an adult in two weeks — but the tongue behavior is sited in multiple books as a immediate sign that whatever training activity you’re doing went to far, stop immediately and sooth the puppy.
Dr. Ian Dunbar’s “Before & After Getting Your Puppy” link is widely considered a top book on puppy training and specifically calls out the tongue behavior as something to look out for when socializing a puppy.
Two years old is very commonly the age when insecurity starts to crystallize into aggressive behavior. Aggression has lots of little signals along the way before this phase, but you simply didn't have the tools to recognize it. So, I suggest studying dog body language. While consulting a behaviorist to tutor you in this endeavor will certainly speed up the learning process, you can start this on your own. Long term, learning to read your dog yourself is always the most effective solution because you're the one with him/her all the time. Consider, though, that you'll also need to learn to read other dogs' body language so you can spot the personality-types and body language that make are most compatible with your own dog.
Here are some recommendations:
Hope this helps!
Honestly... there's a lot going on here. As you know, a trainer who can evaluate all of this in person would help a lot. Can you ask the shelter to see if they have any trainers on staff or partner trainers that can help you at a low cost?
Based on what you've said, your dog has separation anxiety, is reactive or outright dog aggressive, has prey drive issues, and is generally independent and stubborn.
Separation Anxiety: This guide covers the topic in a lot of depth. The Crate Games mentioned would help the crate training a lot, too. Here's the ASPCA's Weekend Crate Training guide. I'd start completely over with her crate training. Keep in mind that your dog probably has a negative association with the crate so it'll take longer than weekend.
Reactivity: /r/Dogtraining has a weekly Reactive Dog thread with a lot of resources to understand the problem and start working on it. If your dog is dog aggressive, the techniques are the same too. It's just of utmost importance to keep your dog from interacting with another dog. I own a reactive dog - a lot of my walks feel like a stealth game where I hide from other dogs.
Cats/Prey Drive: Honestly... this is the sort of thing you just manage for now. Keep them separated. Give the cats plenty of escapes like cat trees, pet gates, high shelves, etc.
Walking: I use an Easy Walk with my hard puller and it's like night and day. It helped a lot. The front clip harness turns the dog when they pull, so it reduces pulling. You can also try a Halti, but a lot of dogs really hate that without time to condition a positive response.
No Treats: This book is great for learning how to train a stubborn dog. But I'd say, start from the beginning and work on making treats fun and exciting for her. When I first got my dog, he barely ate food from a bowl, much less train for it. I did a few things to make interacting with me/food more fun. First, Finn only got his meals through training/interacting with me in some form. I kept training BASIC and treated him a lot. He walked near me? Kibble. He looked at me? YAY more kibble. He seemed to want to interact with me in any way? GREAT! Kibble party! Say his name and he looks at me? Wooo, shower of kibble. Keep your criteria for success low and build up to it. Getting a dog to drop something they value in exchange for a treat is a pretty high level concept. Make it so the dog feels like playing with you is always rewarding. I also didn't just hand him kibble to his mouth. I throw it in weird directions (helpful for prey/chase drive). I'd hide it and then release him to find it. I'd put it inside a box or something that he got to destroy. There are a lot of food games you can play to make food and yourself more interesting.
You sound well-prepared! Going with a rescue group you know and trust is a great idea.
Huskies, especially when young - require a lot of engagement to avoid the behaviors that people would associate with a bad dog/badly trained dog (chewing, using the bathroom inside, barking/howling incessantly, and other attitude problems). It's important that you give them things to do every day both physically and mentally, sticking to a schedule will help everyone involved - the dog will know something is coming and can wait instead of flipping out.
They're very smart dogs, work on obedience training (if you've never done this before, look for a local trainer and take some classes or buy a book - Training the Best Dog Ever is a decent little book by the person who trained Obama's dog among others - it focuses entirely on positive reinforcement, and then there are things like 101 dog tricks.)
Get them toys, use a puzzle feeder for meals, take them on as many walks as you feel like you can and reinforce the proper behaviors you want on every walk.
Huskies are working dogs, and like working dogs (and most all dogs) they want to know their job/role in the pack, trust you and your decisions, and do things that make you happy. They are your number one fan, and always down to ride or die.
tl;dr take it on walks a lot, play with it, positive reinforcement for behaviors you want it to continue, don't hit it or yell at it for 'bad' behaviors, make sure it has physical/mental things to engage it every day and it'll be your best friend for the rest of its life.
If you want to true and utter control you should get a Chia Pet. You can find them here; https://chia.com/ .
Your fuck-up happened with "assert dominance."
Buy this: https://www.amazon.com/Mine-Practical-Guide-Resource-Guarding/dp/0970562942
You can't bully a dog out of resource guarding, and you certainly shouldn't be trying to bully a newly adopted dog.
If you're interested in this type of research, I highly recommend the book, "Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know". It is a summary/discussion of a bunch of research studies about dogs and how they act, and things that they respond to.
There is an entire section about dogs' "guilty looks" and the conclusion of the studies/author is that the look doesn't actually show the dog knows the action he did was wrong, because the guilty look is only given once people are around. For example, (using a hidden camera) a dog doesn't have any sort of guilty look after he/she peed on the floor or ate something off of the counter. The "guilty look" only comes after the dog is anticipating that the owner is upset through the owner's body language or voice tone. Dogs don't really understand 'right' and 'wrong', only 'my owner is happy when I do this' and 'my owner is upset when I do that'.
It's more of a "please don't be mad at me" look so that you don't punish them, especially violently. This is actually a theory why (biologically) children/women cry more than men do: it's another social cue that defuses a tense situation instead of escalating to violence.
Come on over and join us at r/reactivedogs.
First off, it’s important to set some realistic expectations. You almost certainly can get this dog to a point where you can walk her around the neighborhood without her reacting to everyone and everything, but she’s probably never going to be the type of dog that is friendly and outgoing to other people or dogs she doesn’t know, or one that you can take to the dog park, crowded public places, etc. Many dogs are just not like that, and that’s okay. That would be like expecting your introverted shy anxious friend to morph into being a social butterfly and life of the party after getting her anxiety under control.
Medication can really help a lot of anxious dogs, but it is important to realize that it is not a cure- just a tool to help bring your dog to a level where training can be productive. It sounds like you are pretty committed to working with this dog, so I would certainly encourage you to talk to your vet about trying something like Prozac (which is a great one to start out with because many dogs respond well to it, and it’s very inexpensive.)
Here’s a list of resources that I’ve been compiling (pardon the copy and paste) that I’ve found very helpful with my own dog (a GSD/pit/husky mix). We’ve also been working with trainers well versed in reactivity, so I’ve included some of the skills we’ve been working on.
About Leash Reactivity and how to deal with it:
Dealing with Leash Reactivity: Best Friends Animal Society
The Reactive Dog: Your Dogs Friend Workshop (Video) It’s long, but seriously, watch it. Lots of good info.
Feisty Fido: Help for the Leash Reactive Dog - A short booklet by well-renowned behaviorist Patricia McConnell who has lots of experience dealing with reactivity.
From Crazy to Calm: A Training Plan for Leash Reactivity
The Goal: Changing Perceptions with Counterconditioning and Desensitization
Introduction to Desensitization and Counterconditioning
Helping Your Shy Dog Gain Confidence
When dealing with reactivity, being able to get your dog’s attention or employ a distraction at the right moment is really critical. These are foundation skills for dealing with reactivity.
Name game (a clicker is not essential- you can use your praise word instead.) Goal: focus.
Look at Me. Goal: Focus
It’s Your Choice. Goal: Impulse control
Leave It (Make sure you are giving a different treat, not the one they’re supposed to leave.) Goal: Impulse control
Emergency U-turn. Goal: Management- being able to get out of a situation that will cause the dog to go over threshold.
Find It Goal: Distraction/diffusion
Engage/Disengage. Goal: counterconditioning and desensitization.
Start by working on these skills in a quiet area indoors, gradually increasing distractions. Then start practicing outdoors in an area with few distractions, again gradually increasing distractions. This is the key to getting a distracted dog to pay attention to you outside. If your dog can’t focus, you need to take a step back (quite literally, in some cases). Set your dog up to succeed- try not to put them in situations where they will fail.
Yep. Check out this book on the subject. The shelter is such a weird and stressful environment. Some dogs get wound up and hyper, some get scared and withdrawn. It can take months for your shelter dog's real personality to emerge.
It's not judgment, it's pointing out that you need to take responsibility for what happened. It wasn't "unfortunate". It was your own serious fuckup when you let your toddler anywhere in reach of a KNOWN resource guarding dog while the dog had a bone. Now your kiddo has paid the price. Hopefully you will step up, and it will be the last time one way or another.
Yes there are ways to work on this with the dog. Here is one: https://www.amazon.com/Mine-Practical-Guide-Resource-Guarding/dp/0970562942 Your idea of hiring a behaviorist is good too, especially if that guide doesn't make sense or seems too complex.
In the meantime you can't let this situation happen again - follow /u/shiplesp advice.
To be honest, if she has started killing your chickens you are unlikely to be able to train her out of it. Your options are probably to either keep her separated from the chickens (assuming she doesn't become obsessed by watching them) or rehome her, as others have suggested.
There are a set of behaviours involved in the hunting instincts of dogs:
orient > eye > stalk > chase > grab-bite > kill-bite > dissect
SOME dogs have been carefully bred to keep only certain components of the chain of behaviour. E.g. border collies will orient > eye > stalk > and to some extent chase.
Your dog obviously has an instinct that includes chase > grab-bite > kill-bite > dissect, and was not introduced to chickens early enough to overcome this instinct. This is very deep seated in the dog and it would be very unfair to try to train it out of her (and pretty miserable for you).
If you want a flock guardian, you have again get a dog with exactly the right parentage and habituate the dog at under 8 weeks to the specific species (chickens) it will guard.
>I guess my question is when can she really fully learn things?
Dogs learn from birth what is 'normal' and safe vs unsafe. The sights, sounds, people, other animals, environments it encounters in its early weeks are essential to its understanding of the world. But it depends what you mean by 'things'. Some things must be learned very early or it's super hard to learn them (much like it's WAY easier for humans to learn a language while they're a baby, when it happens instinctively - learning languages after that age involves huge mental effort. ) Things which involve more complex behaviours, impulse control, or a certain amount of experience confidence (e.g. long sit and stay, or a formal heeling routine) require a fully developed brain (adulthood, 2-3yrs) a good experience of how to learn, and time to build up the foundation skills.
>I know that stock dogs and duck dogs both go to school no younger than 6mos, but service dogs are started basically from birth.
Just like babies, dogs learn many things which become a core part of their personality and outlook long before they go to preschool. You can train basic behaviours and even more complicated things like a retrieve at the age of 8-10 weeks.
There are great tips here on how to train dogs:
Gently showing them the behaviour you want, making it super easy at first and gradually making it more challenging - and rewarding with food and play (not just praise) is essential.
To learn more about how dogs think and learn, this is an excellent read.
The Other End of the Leash: Why We Do What We Do Around Dogs by Patricia B. McConnell
I have to say, I think people thus far are being kind to you. Please read the entirety of my post and the other comments and seriously reconsider if you are up to the task of owning this dog.
I know you feel bad about this incident, but it really is worth looking at virtually everything you've described to us and realizing that basically all of it is not-great. You need to find better ways to treat this dog. If you can't afford it, or if you aren't willing to take it upon yourself, please reconsider it.
Here is a book to think about - it may help.
edits throughout, some are important
Watch Simpawtico's video on bite inhibition. It is VERY helpful and that is training you want to start with right away. I prefer Simpawtico and Kikopup to Zak George. They are much more thorough regarding the reasons why you are doing what you're doing and the time/steps involved. Zak George's videos are at least 20% dog food ads.
I always recommend Before and After Getting Your Puppy by Ian Dunbar, because it really puts into perspective the responsibilities of owning a dog, and the potential long-term consequences of not meeting these responsibilities. It's also an excellent read to learn more about preventing behavior problems, because in my opinion, it's so much easier to prevent behavior problems than it is to try to resolve them later.
Looks like you may have used a training acronym. For those unfamiliar, here's some of the common ones:
BAT is Behavior Adjustment Training - a method from Grisha Stewart that involves allowing the dog to investigate the trigger on their own terms. There's a book on it.
CC is Counter Conditioning - creating a positive association with something by rewarding when your dog sees something. Think Pavlov.
DS is Desensitization - similar to counter conditioning in that you expose your dog to the trigger (while your dog is under threshold) so they can get used to it.
LAD is Look and Dismiss - Marking and rewarding when your dog sees a trigger and dismisses it.
LAT is Look at That - Marking and rewarding when your dog sees a trigger and does not react.
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Just a minor point here, but just because your rescue dog is fearful of men doesn't mean she was abused by a man. From Patricia McConnell's book on bringing home your rescue dog (Love has no Age Limit: Welcoming an Adopted Dog into Your Home)
"Many people believe that their dogs have been abused by men in the past becasue the dogs are now afraid of men. But as we noted above, the fear of strangers can be inherited. No matter what their history, shy dogs, with very few exceptions, are more afraid of men than women. We don't know why that is true, but speculate that deeper voices, bigger jaws, bigger chests, larger size, and a different way of moving through space might have something to do with it. [...] Thus, don't assume that in the past some nasty man beat your dog; it's far more likely that your dog was born a bit shy, and was not well socialized when he was younger." (emphasis added)
It's great that you're planning ahead and trying to do everything right.
> I intend to train my puppy since day one,
For information on puppy training, you'll want to check out /r/Puppy101. They've got stuff in the sidebar that you'll want to read.
>cesar millan philosophie on nose
You can skip the Cesar Millan stuff. He is a television star, not a dog expert. See our wiki page about Cesar for more info. You would rather get great information from well-qualified dog trainers. Our sidebar will lead you to some great stuff.
>What should I do? I don't want the perfect dog (submissive yeah, but not a lab), but I want to well train him, but keep him happy and me happy.
Start by reading everything in our sidebar - we put some great links there for you! Our wiki has lots more information on dog training. You might want to read a few of the books in our book list. Or follow the link to kikopup's videos (see sidebar) and watch her techniques.
>He will have at least 2 times a day intense exercise, 1 morning: he will walk with me (I fatten a little, stop running, now I'm picking the pace) 3.5 km (mountain type of track) and in the future run with me, in the same track, the 2 time on a large space where he can run free of leash, the rest is only pee on the tree, nothing fancy and play in the house. 1 or 2 times a week beach or some rustic mountain or new park for him to explore (and me).
Be careful not to do too much while your puppy is young. His joints can't take a lot of exercise while he is a baby.
>I think this will be enough to keep him soften, but the house training (housebreaking) is the thing that I am more afraid of
The Manners and Everyday Life section of our wiki includes a house training page. Start there.
> P.S. What's the name of that book that talks about training bull terriers? Well famous and I think that I saw it recommended here a lot of times.
You might be thinking of When Pigs Fly!: Training Success with Impossible Dogs by Jane Killon.
Hope this helps!
Without seeing her, it's hard to say if it's just nipping due to wanting to play, or actual aggression. If it's actual aggression--this is extremely concerning. It's far from normal for a 4 month puppy to be biting due to aggression and it would be best for you to get professional help ASAP. It's the type of thing that needs to get nipped in the bud now. A puppy this young showing aggression usually means the puppy is going to grow up with extreme aggression issues, and no one wants a dog that is going to attack people or other dogs.
If it's nipping due to play, you just need better management and you need to find a trainer that can show you what to do. Dogs will learn what they are allowed to do. If you let her jump on you, she will learn to jump on you. If you let her chew on the furniture, she will learn to chew on the furniture. You have to stop her before she even starts. Usually that means crate training, never leaving her unsupervised, or using tethers and baby gates to keep her confined.
Do not use the kennel as a punishment for bad behavior--it's not meant to be a place for time out. That's why shes running from it. Feed her her meals and throw cookies in it instead to get her to go in.
Have you taken her to any training classes? What breed is she? She sounds like she could be bored too. Dogs will also start biting and becoming destructive if they are bored.
go to /r/puppy101
You want the first book here AND at least one of the ones below it.
Find a professional trainer.
read these books
Dominance/alpha/pack leader training has been thoroughly debunked. Anyone claiming that you need to dominate your dog (including that scam artist Cesar Millan) is practicing outdated and potentially harmful methods. You can read this article for more information on that.
I would recommend reading books by Sophia Yin and Patricia McConnell. They are force-free and reputable dog trainers.
> I say possibly good news because Ive read ALOT that companion animals definitley help with Separation Anxiety dogs.
This is only true for a very small percent of SA dogs. It might mask some of the outward signs, but it is by no means a cure for SA. Further, if your dog is uncomfortable with the other dogs, I highly doubt that it would help. And even if it does seem to mask some of this dog's symptoms, what if your roommates decide to take their dogs on a walk/vacation/to the vet, and your dog needs to be left alone? He still has SA.
As far as "success stories," we've been working on desensitizing my dog to being home alone for 6 months. We're currently at 35 min max time home alone. This doesn't sound like success story unless you've lived it, but it's a pretty typical trajectory for separation anxiety treatment. I think our success story is really that I haven't gone completely insane yet...Our dog goes to daycare daily while we work, and it's not cheap. His SA has put a huge damper on my social life, we take the dog with us everywhere, and he spends a lot of time in the car.
I'm not saying that you should or shouldn't get this dog, but I would definitely think about whether or not you have the time, patience, sanity, and finances needed to help a dog with SA. If you do adopt, or even prior to adoption, I would immediately pick up a copy of Treating Separation Anxiety in Dogs, I'll Be Home Soon, and Don't leave me!
Reactivity is its own beast, and u/ASleepandAForgetting tackled that issue well in their (edited to remove gender, I apologize!) comment.
So, why is reducing the prozac necessary?
If his anxiety is lowered to the point that hes not ruining fences, jumping out windows, jumping down from the second story...all I'm seeing is a very strong argument for not weaning him off. At least not yet.
When did you adopt him? I'm getting the impression hes pretty new to you still?
If hes still within his first year then hes still very much settling in. If hes within the first few weeks or months then...he doesn't know hes staying yet. Honestly.
Waiting until hes settled would be a much better plan. Not least of which because you could be stacking stress on stress: new home, new rules, being alone (this is serious separation anxiety), AND weaning meds is a LOT to manage all at once.
In a year, when hes calmer overall and feels safe, knows the rules, knows the house, etc, you are more likely to have good luck with weaning drugs.
If THIS is him a year in and weaning drugs then you need to talk to a vet behaviorist who specializes in separation anxiety.
Also, no matter what, call your vet and tell them what weaning off the drugs is causing. This isnt normal or ok and you're extremely lucky he wasnt seriously injured or killed during this panic. If they recommend still reducing the meds you need a different vet.
I'd start with the one the rescue was using who originally prescribed the prozac, as theyll have his history and be familiar with his case.
Also, I'd seriously recommend this book: https://www.amazon.ca/Treating-Separation-Anxiety-Malena-Demartini-Price/dp/1617811432/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?keywords=separation+anxiety+dog&amp;qid=1570335464&amp;sprefix=separation+anxiety+&amp;sr=8-3
I would recommend reading a lot, as there are some things you should have before the dog comes home and you should be prepared for the first day. This book is often recommended. Too often people have the mindset of "just wait and see what happens" and that can create a lot of problems down the road.
Is somebody going to be home with the puppy? He will need to pee every two or so hours, so if you both work full time I would recommend hiring someone to come let him out so housebreaking is less difficult of a process.
People are in your situation and post about it all the time so I'm going to copy something I said to someone recently:
"If I had to pick three things: be consistent, be patient, and socialize her.
Be consistent. Don't let her get away with anything you wouldn't let an adult dog do (sleep on the bed, jump on you, bite at your hands). Don't let her up on the couch once and expect to be able to tell her "no" the next time without her being confused.
Be patient. The hardest thing for me to do was to accept the fact that the way you communicate normally often doesn't work for dogs. Yelling doesn't convey your meaning better. Saying "no!" over and over again doesn't help them understand. Remind yourself she has only been alive for three months, it's no surprise she doesn't understand how the world works!
Socialize her. Puppies need to be out exploring the world while they're young, so they don't become fearful or aggressive. This doesn't mean you take her to a dog park and plop her down in a group of dogs. It means slowly going out and meeting new people and animals and getting used to all sorts of sights and sounds - but all at her pace. Letting her get overwhelmed and fearful isn't socializing. A great way to start is in a puppy class. She's old enough to be enrolled in one. If you can, do one at a local trainer, not one of the big stores like Petsmart or Petco. If you can't find a local trainer, one of those stores is better than nothing but sometimes the trainers are really not that experienced.
I also recommend going to /r/puppy101 or /r/dogtraining and reading their sidebars and wikis."
But again, read a book written by a professional. There's no way a comment can cover everything you should know before you bring a dog home, or really, even before you buy a dog. If you plan on having your dog join you in therapy work, I hope you told this to the breeder and had them select the pup that had the best temperament for this.
Not trying to be nitpicky, but it's Beagle, not beagel.
So first thing is first - any adversive methods such as a vibrating collar with a dog that has fear or anxiety is only going to backfire and promote more fear or anxiety. I would ditch that. You're potentially causing more behavior issues when it's used. Dog learns to hide fear rather than teaching the dog confidence.
So you have a dog that is likely reactive and fearful - and a lot of anxiety. So before we can get to work mode, we need to address the causes of the anxiety and get the dog back to neutral. So first thing, you might want to try doing a two week shut down with this dog. https://www.marshmallowfoundation.org/info/file?file=20866.pdf This is to remove all the stimuli that can keep causing stress levels to be high. Adrenaline - when it spikes up during a moment of fear or panic can take over 6 days for the hormone levels to return to normal. It's great that the dog is food motivated because that is going to make things like counter conditioning to specific things much easier... but right now - stress is so high, your dog cannot focus let alone retain the cues you're training. Dog is in fight or flight mode... So give the two week shut down an effort.
Meanwhile, you want to write down all the things this dog is reacting to... if it's potentially separation anxiety, check the links I provided below. Anything else, you're going to want to work on each thing separately using desensitization and counter conditioning. Again, we're trying to bring the fearful dog to a neutral place... work on building confidence and associating the list of stimuli with positive rewards. Any negative behaviors - redirect.... either remove the stimuli or remove the dog. Reinforce calm relaxed behaviors.
https://www.reddit.com/r/dogs/comments/48sglg/discussion_separation_anxiety/ has some great info that you may find useful.
Do take a glance over at /r/reactivedogs They have lots of helpful advice on how to manage some of these behaviors.
Some books that may help:
The Cautious Canine by Patricia McConnell
I’ll be Home soon by Patricia McConnell
Don’t Leave Me by Nicole Wilde
If after that two week shut down and working a bit you still feel a bit overwhelmed, it might be a good consideration to work with a certified animal behaviorist. https://avsab.org/resources/speakers-bureau/behavior-consultants-near-you/ and https://iaabc.org/consultants are great searches for one.
All of the above in that order. The first two are on dogs in general and how to work with them with out being a dick. The other three are serious books on dog training theory. The last one especially is amazing and well worth a read once you get the other concepts down.
One other book I would highly recommend to read
The reason I recommend it once you get in to dog training you are going to her a lot pro and against Caesar Milan. And it is far better to be informed so you can speak competently about it. Honestly I don't think he is the great satan he is made out to be. People need to exercise their dogs more and take an active role in training them. More people need to preach this message. Its mostly the flooding and dominance theory that I personally to find to be bunk.
Read it and read it after you have read the above books so you can be prepared to talk with those that have him as their one and only dog training resource. Don't be a douche with them and put up your nose and shout them down but help try to steer them to other resources instead.
So now you have read books and watched DVDs what now?
Practice! How do you practice? Damn good question. If you have your own dog start there and then find yourself a local rescue or shelter in need and in most metro areas there are.
Volunteer to work with shelter dogs this has many advantages.
NOTE: My own personal bias. Clicker training is godlike. I am getting faster and better results than I ever did with yank and crank or even with lure and reward! I also do all my dog work pro bono with local shelters and rescues.
Example: Teaching a dog to walk at heel in under 45 minutes, with it being solid after only 4 training sessions, completely off lead by 6. Even with my best lure and reward this took months.
TLDR: Read up, get some skills, practice on crazy dogs in shelters, come back to us and ask again after you get a few thousand hours under your belt.
I also dealt with a dog with pretty bad separation anxiety. Here are the steps I took.
Between the crate training, kongs and the routine, we now have a very nicely behaved pup when we are out of the house. He remains very calm as we leave (he used to freak out and whine every day) and is far more relaxed when we get home.
The key thing here is time and consistency. Best of luck!
One that should be on your reading list if you haven't read it already: Patricia McConnell's The Other End of the Leash.
I think Decoding Your Dog may be pretty useful, too.
OP, your puppy is in a critical period for socialization that will close around 16 weeks. Strategic socialization now will help ensure he grows up into a well-adjusted adult. Check out this socialization checklist for ideas.
The first page of the checklist has a scale to help you grade how he responds to each stimulus, so you can determine what you might need to work on more. Don't forget things like the vacuum cleaner, umbrellas, shopping carts, strollers, different walking surfaces (hardwood, carpet, linoleum, concrete, grass, pavement, gravel), people of all ethnicities/ages, and people using canes/wheelchairs. Also be sure to take him lots of new places to have positive experiences in a variety of environments.
I highly recommend this book by Dr. Sophia Yin for helping map out your training plan. :)
p.s. you can't put a post like this up without paying a puppy tax! we want pictures! :D
My FAVORITE books - that literally saved us and that every single piece of advice I could offer would come from - are Perfect Puppy in 7 Days and Before and After Getting Your Puppy. Both books are highly recommended here and we had AMAZING success following the protocols outlined (they compliment each other well). The only regret I have is not following them longer and slacking off.
You are 100% correct that this is a horrible approach for your dog's particular issues. At absolute best, the behavior will be suppressed but your dog's fear/anxiety will worsen and is essentially a ticking time bomb that could explode and bite someone at any time. Put your foot down and refuse to see this trainer again - it's your dog, not your in-laws. I can assure them that no certified behaviorist would condone this type of training. The best approach is gradual counter-conditioning - teaching him that the things that make him react fearfully/aggressively are actually safe and good things to be around. Check out the book Feisty Fido - it's a fantastic (and relatively short) read geared toward this issue.
Congratulations! It will be exciting and tiring and overwhelming and so much fun. Don't feel bad if you ever get stressed or overwhelmed, it happens to many people and does not mean you will be a crappy owner.
For videos, I love kikopup and lots of people here watch Zak George as well.
A few overall things - physical stimulation (exercise and playtime) is important but so is mental stimulation! Things like classes, puzzles, trick training, etc... are really beneficial and can also tire out a dog. A properly exercised and stimulated dog is much likely to behave better and be easier to work with and train. Just be careful to take lots of breaks and not over exercise a puppy as it can affect their joints and development. Also, patience and consistency really is key. Be firm and consistent with your pup and as /u/mushroom_fae says, think about the kind of adult dog you want to have.
I also suggest keeping a good supply of an enzymatic cleaner such as Natures Miracle or Anti Icky Poo. Many cleaners don't really do a good job of getting rid of the mark or scent and enzymatic cleaners will deep clean pet messes so that your dog can no longer smell the residue and won't go to the same spot to mark repeatedly. Great for potty training and just to have around in general.
edit: also if you're interested in reading some books, I love Patricial McConnell! I've not read the puppy one but she has several that are great.
Sneezing is a dog behavior that I believe is in the same family as a calming signal. There are tons of them, including yawning, lip licking, and slow blinking.
Basically, they convey "Hey, things are all good here, we're just playing, no need to get aggressive." It can be when a dog is nervous, or just overly excited and playful.
If you want to learn more, check out On Talking Terms with Dogs.
You can understand a dog just about as well as you can understand another person. Second thread this week where I have recommended On Talking Terms with Dogs: Calming Signals by Turid Ragaas
I guess the main thing though, is that we get love and affection from dogs (and traditionally and even sometimes still dogs do work for us) and dogs get love, food and protection from us.
We have very similar dogs (mine's a chihmutt too, possibly chihminipin). We've had her for 7 months, and she's basically plateauing after the initial training we were able to give her for the reactivity. She also does really well at doggie daycare and adores/trusts all the attendants there. They say she's blossomed and come out of her shell and is more sociable with the other dogs too. She was found on the street, probably dumped with her leash and harness still on. She's also on clomicalm and previously dog prozac. Both of which have worked a little but nothing dramatically different.
Not sure what specific training you got, but here are the big things that made the most impact for us.
Books/podcasts/websites that I recommend:
We struggle with her every day, just like you and I know exactly how you feel. There's no going back with her.
At least your dog can be crated while you're gone. Ours has separation/isolation anxiety and is overly attached to my husband as well. So even when I'm here, she doesn't care so much because he's not. We've barely left our house because we haven't been able to find evening sitters :( We're almost $500/ month on doggie daycare so we can go do things during the day when I'm off of work. It's been a slow, uphill climb.
Hang in there, you're an amazing dog parent and he's so lucky to have both of you!
> grab the hold of his collar and get him away from this, he starts biting
My comments are always unpopular when snarky, but not like I can help myself: This is a lot like complaining about randomly getting electrocuted while licking electrical outlets. If the rest of these 'random' occurrence are nearly as random, the aggression problem is once again mostly in the handler and only mild, conditioned fear aggression in the dog.
> I'm not an inexperienced dog owner
I hate to point this one out too, but unless you've been training working dogs, statistically you're more likely to be a bad pet owner than good. My worst, most horrifying experiences with people all include the phrase "I've had dogs all my life" or some variation thereof. Just because nothing has happened until now does not mean all your previous practices have been good - it just means dogs are incredibly safe.
The only truly 'random' bite I've ever witnessed was in a dog that turned out to have a sizable tumor. And that fucker bit proper. Fear bites being silent but very extensively signaled in other ways (often signaled to the owner for months/years!) is common and so are bites that connect noticeably but don't inflict real damage. A skin break is not real damage - if you don't have to knock the dog off, you were warned, not bit (caveat lector: The standard for acceptable signaling and being out in public is much more stringent [even whale-eye or taildroop is honestly way over the line, tailtuck and stiffness is straight up dangerzone], but when deciding what the dog is liable to do in a practical sense and how safe working with him or her is, I don't really sweat a minor skinbreak at all).
> The trainer tonight told us, that we should be playing tug o war with him with a toy at times.
Yes, your trainer is on the right track.
Now to start getting constructive:
canine body language
Read this or a few of the other sidebar resources on the issue. Before you can read your dog, you really have no idea what is going on where and which of your actions are super unpleasant to the dog. Once you've watched a bunch of youtube videos, watched your dog and other people's dogs (and become slightly uncomfortable realizing how much shit dogs take), then remember: The dog is always right. If the dog doesn't like something, no matter how pointless, then you can't muscle your way through if you want it to ever improve.
This is an important change in thinking from commonly anthropomorphizing the dog: You can and should empathize (using his body language as a guide), but you should avoid making inferences as to what a human would mean by that action. For example a dog that looks away when you give a cue/command might have learned that you're a bit unpredictable and harsh and just wants to avoid confrontation because he's not sure what you want anyway - even if in human body language that move is a strong 'go fuck yourself'.
After that, go here:
Watch that stuff, read up about operant conditioning. And start forgetting any punishment-stuff, including "no" or other negative markers. Its a bit of a slog to explain why, especially since those things work well in suppressing behavior in the short term - but trust me, even though it's a pain in the ass, crossing over to +R (which does include -P/-R but more in a technical than intentional sense) is very well worth it. The biggest hurdle is going to be your own skill and way of thinking - you need to form new habits, such as redirecting behavior and asking for conflicting ones, building complex behaviors in tiny steps and counter-conditioning fears.
Specific management advice:
NILIF for food and the freedom to be more than 6 feet from you. Get an umbilical leash and a harness if you must. No reaching things to investigate until you can call off from them.
Tie outs and -P punishments such as social isolation are awful even if it's not obvious how. Only leave the dog alone when you absolutely have to and work up to the ability to be left alone in small steps (read all the separation anxiety training stuff, any method works). You are better off managing the house and the dog to be indoors than him just "having a yard". A yard without you, especially the same fucking yard over and over, is completely meaningless. If you're transitioning to an inside-dog, you're going to get a fair bit of fixation with the outside (cover up the windows or find some way he can't stare outside) - that is fine however, under NILIF you can do little impulse control exercises to earn some outside-time. Social isolation makes dogs weird as fuck, especially the more active ones - so try to minimize it.
Once you've read up on things, your first priority is probably counter-conditioning physical handling. Please do this after you've understood calming signals - if you're just feeding your dog treats while they're shut down, it won't do as much good.
After that I'd start on teaching calm and impulse control. The latter is almost a given under NILIF, while the former is just a matter of rewarding moments of un-cued calm. This counts as having 'earned' - don't worry too much about whether any task you made your dog do for food/rewards/whatever was really a task. Eating from your hand is a job. Shutting up for 10 seconds is. Looking you in the eye is. Not pissing on the rug is. Being a little less afraid of something is. Being petted is. Everything that is better than it could be is worth rewarding - only start increasing the criteria as you see improvement&learning.
The last few sentences are kind of my own fearful dog protocol (PS: You have a fearful dog). I call it "Fuck it, have a treat". The reality of taking a dog out and doing stuff is there are a lot of stimuli about and once you have any rapport at all (even if it's food-based), then just the experience of waltzing about and getting treats is self-reinforcing and builds calm, confidence and handler-focus. Eventually you'll probably find the process is neat anyway and want to fine-tine your and the dogs skills. Which is cool, but totally not necessary.
I'm by no means an expert - and I think that the behaviorist you are seeing is a great start. We did that with my pup, and while expensive, was worth every cent!
My Catahoula sounds similar to your dogs. She reacts to every dog we see on walks, sometimes people too. And there has been a few times she has been in fights with other dogs that were in her territory.
First, I would recommend getting a break stick to keep near by if you do get to the point of introducing to a new dog. Pit Bulls and other dogs tend to clamp down and not open their jaws for anything. The break stick helps you to "twist" their jaw open from the back. The ear injury is pretty common in these types of fights, especially if people are trying to pull dogs apart. I unfortunately have experience in that just like you.
Second look into Behavior Adjustment Training. It has really helped our dog. Positive reinforcement and redirection have worked wonders too. Learn how to best get your dog to redirect their attention to you- or know how to do a quick "u-turn" on a walk to avoid a potentially bad situation. Are your dogs treat motivated? Find the most delicious treat you can and always be sure to have it with you on walks! I use string cheese, personally.
We have semi-successfully introduced our dog to new dogs. We always start at a neutral place, like an empty dog park or empty tennis courts and keep the dogs on leash. Then we walk around our neighborhood together and finally into our back yard if all has gone well. But I usually always keep my dog's harness on and won't leave them unsupervised. There's always lots of treats, praise and monitoring my dog for her "warning signs" such as acting extra protective of me or stealing the toy from the other dog.
Finally, you're not alone in your anxiety. It's taken me a long time to feel comfortable and confident walking our dog and sometimes we'll have an encounter that brings all the anxiety back. Don't just train your dog but work on training yourself too. The more confident you feel the more success you will have.
Good luck and keep coming here for support!
Have you looked at Patricia McConnell's "Cautious Canine"? http://www.amazon.com/Cautious-Canine-How-Conquer-Their-Fears/dp/1891767003
It's not expensive and will give you some good insight on your fearful dog, as well as teaching you to help him overcome his fears in a positive manner.
From the wiki:
I'll Be Home Soon: How to Prevent and Treat Separation Anxiety by Patricia McConnell
Well worth the read IMO. You will quickly learn you need to take much smaller steps to ease the anxiety.
Congratulations on your new puppy, she's a cutie. You are gonna have a ball! It's practically impossible to totally screw up a puppy unless you are abusive. They all seem to survive our bumbling and inability to speak their language.
If you are new to dogs you don't yet understand that they have a language that you can learn. Please do yourself and your dog a favor and learn a bit of it with this inexpensive invaluable book. it will help you understand what your dog is trying to tell you.
Here is her web site with some quick info:
Please please throw the Purina food away. If you google the ingredients you will see that it is worse than McDonalds. It contains animal byproducts which is from dead and dying animals as well as any bit of crap they can't put in human food. It also contains corn which dogs can't readily digest and many are allergic to.
Buy a good food made without wheat or corn and with meat as its top ingredient. Here is a link to food ratings. http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/dry/
You want to choose a 5 star food if you can afford it, or a 4 star. Look at the ingredients and remember that this is the ONLY food she will get, she can't go out and buy anything else. You have to feed her the best you can. Follow the directions on the bag for amounts for the dry food.
To give her the best nutrition mix in some good quality canned food or make up a nice chicken stew, with lots of chicken and vegetables like green beans, broccoli and cauliflower to put on top. She's a baby and good nutrition is important. Besides if you love her it makes you feel good to provide good healthy food and watch her bloom.
The bath for the fleas was good. She needs to see the vet right away and he or she can advise you on what to use for her. Vet care is important. Have her microchipped if you can because rural dogs can get lost.
The crate should be big enough so that she has a place to sleep at one end and a place to go potty. If you have a secure room you could put her in there as well. Be sure to give her toys that are soft and squeak and toys that she can chew on. Gently discourage her chewing on anything but her toys. Sometimes a dab of peanut butter on a toy can make it more interesting. Don't give her rawhide chews (avoid giving Greenies at all) when you aren't home though, as they can choke on them.
There are lots of resources on the net for housebreaking. Dogs don't like to potty in their own home so after a few fits and starts she will get the idea. It will be some time before she can hold it for 8-9 hours though. Keep an eye on her after meals and take her out. Watch her and when she goes be an absolute fool about praising her and talking baby talk and anything else she finds exciting. You want her to associate it with good things. :)
Have fun reading and learning. Keep reinforcement positive. If you fuss at her make it short and forgive her immediately. Dogs don't hold grudges, they scold one another and move on. Humans could learn a lot from them.
Here All of my dogs resource guard over different things. This book has been a lifesaver and I've made it to the point that things are manageable and rarely ever interfere with how we do things.
Aside from that just take a deep breath and try to relax. This a a common issue, you can and you will over come it. It's going to take some time but it's possible. You need to keep a level head, anything aside from being calm and patient will make things much harder on you both.
Edit: Sorry forgot to add, odds are he wasn't already feeling well since he vomited and with his guarding tendencies as you described, a simple touch was what pushed him over threshold so he growled/barked as a warning.
I mentioned it in a different thread but stress stacks in dogs. They don't just unwind and everything is magically a-okay like we can go get ice cream/ a bottle of wine or beer and we're good. A lot of little things can stack up for example (including some of the things you said plus things that probably didn't happen) unfamiliar things, a routine change, upset belly, loud noises, being very hungry, then being touched while eating all stacks up into one big pile of stress so he reacted more than he would have.
I really think you should read this book https://www.amazon.com/Other-End-Leash-What-Around/dp/034544678X
I'm recommending it because you have a border collie and not just any old dog breed.
it isn't boring, it isn't a step by step training guide, it is an easy read like reading a long magazine article. it will teach you how to communicate on a deep and real level with your new dog. you are going to need to know this stuff because your smart dog is going to spend the next 15 years trying to understand what you are saying so that she can do it. she is going to be watching everything you do and trying to interpret it.
this is a breed that is going to be so hungry to understand you and the only thing that will upset her is if you dont make an effort to communicate with her outside of doing typical dog commands(sit, no, stay). she isn't going to be fighting against you. she wants to be your partner.
used copy is $2 including shipping on amazon. I'll show you how to get a free copy if you dont want to buy it.
Commenting to save but also to drop Dr. Patricia McConnell's name and recommend her books. They're 100% the best books I've ever read about communicating with and understanding dogs.
Hi! Glad to hear you’ve been able to get a Sammy!!
As you’ve only had the dog for 3 days, this isn’t surprising at all!! It’s going to take weeks and even months of repetitive training to help your infant dog learn what you expect from them.
There’s a couple of different strategies for crate training and potty training your dog.
Your puppy is naturally a pack animal, and has just been separated from their pack, and so being alone at this stage can of course leave them upset. It’s going to be a slow process of acclimatising them to the crate, and spending time away from you.
Things that might help are making sure they’re exercised and played with well before giving them crate time. How often are they at home alone? Are you at home with them all day at the moment? How often did you get up to help them potty outside overnight? At this stage it’d be normal to expect to get up 1-2 times overnight to ensure they don’t have an accident.
Some helpful resources for you would be some of the Reddit threads in positive reinforcement based training, or some books or YouTube videos. As Sammy’s are so bright, they can be a handful initially, but do respond well to training, especially incentive based and positive reinforcement training, and a well trained Sammy is a friend for life!!
A useful book is Perfect Puppy in 7 Days Perfect Puppy in 7 Days: How to Start Your Puppy Off Right https://www.amazon.com/dp/0964151871/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_CcnTAb1WQG7C4
You might find these YouTube videos useful: https://youtu.be/Y00iHQeTzdY
And a broader explanation on positive reinforcement puppy training: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL91WyqCpBlSWIn66BlXRN_gQy4hgHcqGv
There's a bunch of anthropomorphizing going on here... but your dog is not having PTSD "flashbacks," your dog is resource guarding. Dogs can resource guard food (ie kibble, treats, bones), toys, objects, people, and places (ie favorite spot on the couch).
Here are some resources to help you work on this issue with Dita:
You may be underestimating the ability of your dog to respond to positive reinforcement; you never had to purposefully, deliberately "teach" him, but showing approval through body language allows them to learn, through experience, that this behavior is wanted and rewarded. Dogs are amazingly attuned to human behavior and gestures.
There is surprisingly little research, though, on the cognitive behavior of dogs. A lot of things we just sort of take for granted. I do recommend this book, Inside Of A Dog, as a good overview of what we know about dogs and understanding how they view the world.
Genius of Dogs sounds like it might cover a lot of what you're interested in. Brian Hare researches canine cognition with a focus on social intelligence, evolution, and communication. This book is scientifically supported with recent sources throughout. Another recommend is Inside of a Dog by Alexandra Horowitz, who also studies canine cognition but focuses on play and relationships. Horowitz also has tons of references (might be slightly older).
I won't speak on the free feeding part, because there are already a lot of opinions, but I do have a book rec: The Culture Clash by Jean Donaldson. (I would link like I usually do with book recs but I'm on mobile sorry) The end of that book especially explains a lot of dos and don'ts, and has instructions for teaching basic obedience behaviors like sit, down, and stay (with positive methods, but with or without a clicker, which I like because not everyone likes to use clickers). The whole book is mostly about dog/human misunderstandings, but I think it is a good "beginner's guide" per se.
Anything by Karen Pryor is good if you are interested in clicker training. She and other trainers she works with have also published puppy raising manuals that may be with checking out.
Edit: also this book by Ian Dunbar: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1577314557/ref=cm_sw_r_udp_awd_I2vVtb0MY50191XV?ie=UTF8 Dude is like the father of positive puppy training
Ian Dunbar's "Before You Get Your Puppy" and "Before and After Getting Your Puppy".
The second one is a bit more geared towards after, so it's worth getting both.
I'll second the nod to Dr. Yin as well. She has a lot of free info on her site that is good to keep on hand.
I would recommend this book http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mine-Practical-Guide-Resource-Guarding/dp/0970562942 called Mine! A Practical Guide to Resource Guarding in Dogs by Jean Donaldson. It should help you understand why this has happened and what to do about it. If the problem escalates and you find yourself unable to cope then consult a behaviourist.
Teaching him to settle on a mat may help. Here is a video that shows one approach. He directs the dog toward the mat, whereas I used the approach in the book Fired Up, Frantic, and Freaked Out (definitely describes my dog) which involves letting the dog go to the mat at his own pace. It's helped my jumping, barking asshole be much less of an asshole when we have guests over. Doing some impulse control and focus work can also help because it will teach him to be calm when he wants something and to pay attention to you.
Leaving mom and litter mates at 6 weeks left him in a developmental lurch. From 5-8 weeks in when they really learn how to me dogs, and how and when to use those sharp teeth of theirs. I would get him into a puppy class with a good trainer ASAP so he doesn't totally miss out. Once he has his first set of shots there's no greater risk of infection from a puppy class than taking him to the vet for his next set.
You also don't know how much, and what quality, human interaction he had before you got him. He may not be comfortable snuggling, he may just be one of those not so demonstrative dogs.
I highly recommend picking up a copy of Dr. Yins Perfect Puppy in 7 Days and Dr. Dunbars Before and After Getting Your Puppy
My rescue dog had/has separation anxiety. This book helped me. Also, having another pet really helped my pup. I got a cat and he was better. Some animals just don't want to be alone.
malena demartini's treating separation anxiety in dogs is written for dog professionals but has a couple treatment plans in the back that i've (sort of) implemented with my dogs (their issues aren't nearly as great as yours--my heart goes out to you & your pup). ideally someone is with the dog at all times (daycare, dog sitter or walker, family or neighbors, etc) while you work through the plan--that takes some finagling. she also recommends a treat & train or pet tutor (i can't remember which). there's also MIA the robot -- it doesn't solve your problem right now because it's currently gathering funding via kickstarter, but part of its function is to detect when your dog is vocalizing & then begin moving around the room while dropping treats.
if you're not seeing any positive changes (or not to a great enough degree) using the adaptil, i would also encourage you to talk with your vet about meds. when this was something i wanted to discuss with my vet, i had no idea where to begin. the overview on debbie jacobs's fearful dogs website was really helpful to me.
edit: it occurred to me after i posted my reply that you were looking for something that might lessen the severity of the separation anxiety immediately, so i don't think my reply is that helpful--sorry. :\
Loved this book. Dr. McConnell had 2 or 3 border collies at the time of that book and has had them her whole adult life. she uses them on her sheep farm as herding dogs. She is also an animal/dog behaviorist.
Stanley Coren has some good ones too like this on on How Dogs Think, this one on How to Speak Dog, and this one on The Intelligence of Dogs.
Welcome to the fold, mate. You're right. Dogs evolved with us over thousands of years to take direction and integrate into the lives of us, their human caretakers. The idea that dogs are constantly vying for dominance over us is pervasive, harmful, and just incorrect. I'm not sure of how you've trained her for eight years, but for most people, dominance theory/training is physically punishing the dog (sometimes harshly) for doing something wrong without ever telling the dog how to do things right. Every thing the dog does to act out is somehow a struggle towards the top position in the pack and the owner puts the dog back in its place at the bottom.
Imagine if that's how you were treated at work, if every time you did something wrong, the boss interpreted your behavior as threatening his position and you receieved punishment without explanation why or a demonstration on how to do it right. Praise for doing something correctly would come rarely, if ever. It's depressing. You fall in line and do your job, but are fearful and confused because of the management style. That's what dominance theory/training tends to promote.
Does it work to get obedient dogs? Yes. Is it easy to do? Yes. The cost? The relationship between the trainer and the dog.
The Other End of the Leash and Don't Shoot the Dog are both very good books for someone in your position. You can begin rewarding your dog for behavior you like. You can stop physically punishing her when something goes wrong; a simple and firm "No" or "HEY" is enough of a punishment for many dogs. They want to please (mostly).
It's not important to be the alpha over your dog. You should never demand submission. The respect your dog from you should never come from fear. It is important to be your dog's leader: someone she can trust when she's unsure or scared, someone she respects not because she's afraid, someone who guides her and shows her what to do, and someone who keeps her safe. Demand obedience when it's necessary, not submission, and do so with gentle but firm methods. Begin treating your dog like partner instead of a minion or soldier and you'll begin to see some huge changes in your dog and in your relationship.
I recommend Don't Shoot the Dog! by Karen Pryor--Karen Pryor is click-training advocate who specialized in behavioral psychology and marine mammal biology ( also has a website, hosts clicker-expos around the states, and dog trainer academy.)
The second book I recommend is The Other End of the Leash: Why We do What we Do Around Dogs by Patricia B. McConnell. Patricia McConnel is a University professor of Zooology, trained ethologist, and CAAB ( Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist)
These two wonderful ladies are extremely insightful and break down different types of training. :) Good luck!
We recently adopted a puppy in and live in a condo as well and feel your pain! This book helped us out initially Training the best dog ever
To date we've specifically found the following helped:
To get our puppy to like her crate and think of it as her home we spent time using treats to lure her in, hand feeding while she was in it and giving her special toys/treats while in it. She definitely whined a lot at first if the crate door was closed and we were in sight. So we went back to basics and used treats to reward her when the door was closed, then took steps back and eventually were able to walk away (book explains this well). Now she just goes in there whenever she's tried or if we stand next to it and point, she really likes it!
Others have mentioned this before. Our puppy is a Great Dane so our crate is already massive, but has a divider so we can expand it.
We have a flexible one around the crate so we can play with her in a small area and it's where we spend most of our time. Very very rarely does she pee in this area and when she does at least it's contained to an easy to clean up spot vs whole condo. It also forces us to be near her which is easier to pick-up on her cues and can whisk her outside easier.
We had a journal the first couple of weeks and noted the time of every meal, nap and pee/poo. It really helped us learn her schedule and set a routine that worked for both of us. I know they say to take them out every hour when you first get them, the more you learn their routine the longer you can stretch those durations. She'll actually sleep 8 hrs straight if we take her out right before she goes to bed and of course immediately in the morning.
After a month with the puppy we signed up for a basics class to make sure we were doing what we could correctly. I thought we were treating her a lot, but I was so wrong. The trainer used so many treats in one session! Every tiny movement that got closer to the behavior we wanted she would treat. It helps take the guess work out of hoping they pick-up on what you want them to do. The vet also confirmed we shouldn't worry too much about over treating them, since they are growing.
Stella and Chewy are like crack to them and the trainer used the Vital Essentials Freeze-dried Duck Nibs she really likes those and it's the same protein she eats. Treat them after they go outside.
We have a small condo with only a couple of units. The other dog owners gave us advice on good spots to take them. All were pretty understanding of our growing pains and I think felt reassured when they heard the effort we put into training, so they know this less than ideal behavior is just temporary. But who knows we live in the Midwest where everyone is passive aggressive.
Anyways I hope that helps! Do share if you find anything else that works. Our puppy isn't perfect, but that first week was the hardest and can tell you it gets better!
Sophia Yin has some good books:
How to behave so your dog behaves
Calming Signals by Turid Rugaas
Don't Shoot the Dog by Karen Pryor
Subscribe to Kikopup (and her website dogmantics), and Tab289 on YouTube to cover a lot of clicker training basics and basic behavior modification exercises.
Sue Ailsby's training levels website for a puppy training to-do list.
Like most training, you need to set up practice scenarios in order to succeed. If you dive straight into real world scenarios with highly valued items, of course you'll fail. It's a bit like trying to teach recall at the dog park without practicing hundreds of times in scenarios that are easier for your dog (and then claiming treats just don't work). You're setting the dog up for failure. You always need to set up situations where it's easy for the dog to give you the response you want. In this case, you need to give the dog low value items you can trade for in a calm, safe environment. Practice with items the dog is all too willing to trade for and gradually work your way up to higher value items and extremely high value items for trade. These practice scenarios will often involve items you can give back to the dog after you've taken them away. That teaches the dog that giving an item to you doesn't necessarily mean it will be taken away, and that really helps to build trust for emergency situations in the real world.
Mine! by Jean Donaldson is a good overview of guarding behavior in dogs and some of the steps you can take to work on it while making sure that you and others remain safe.
This sounds like resource guarding to me. Especially if he's in a daycare and isn't aggressive there. He doesn't want anyone messing with his things. At daycare it's rare for there to be resources to guard, and if it's a reputable place there won't be. So it follows that he'd have no reason to be aggressive. You're also entirely right that the pup would learn from him. While he has these issues it would be unwise to introduce another dog into the situation.
A great primer for understanding resource guarding as well as protocols that can be set in place to prevent and eventually fix the issue is Mine. At his age he is still relatively young and the problem is only just now really developing, so it can be reversed. It's not your fault for not seeing the signs before it began to happen on a very obvious scale, you're not trainers or behaviorists nor have you been taught to recognize these things. It isn't your fault and you did you best with the knowledge you had.
What methods did the trainer you used in NY use if you don't mind me asking?
It you haven’t yet, check out “Mine!”. The person suggesting that hitting a resource guarding dog is appropriate is very much incorrect.
Oh, how we feel your pain! This sub will be your lifesaver--it's been mine. Here's a great place to start: http://careforreactivedogs.com/
Also, check out YouTube videos by Dr. Sophia Yin and Patricia McConnell. McConnell has a great booklet on reactive dogs, and you can get it pretty cheap used. https://www.amazon.com/Feisty-Fido-Help-Leash-Reactive-Dog/dp/1891767070/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1527001182&amp;sr=8-5&amp;keywords=patricia+mcconnell
We've also had good success with Feisty Fido and Reactive Rover classes, which were pretty inexpensive through our Animal Welfare League and Humane Society. My girl is making slow but real progress. She still reacts but she calms down much faster, and my hope is that reaction/calming time will shorten and eventually the reactions will fade away.
The people on this sub are awesome and full of support and ideas. Good luck on your journey!
Check out books by Patricia McConnell (especially The Other End of the Leash), Brenda Aloff's guide to canine body language, Stanley Coren, Jean Donaldson's Culture Clash, Jane Killion's When Pigs Fly. Dogstardaily is great and has some free e-books. Also check out NILIF as a good way to institute structure without resorting to "dominance methods" and this page has some great advice as well.
You need to learn about canine behavior cues to keep yourself safe. Most dogs you come in contact with will be nice and not a problem, but you need to learn the signs of a dog that might bite. Don't listen to anybody who talks about canine behavior on TV.
This seems like a good resource if you are willing to invest a little bit of money:
Canine Body Language: A Photographic Guide Interpreting the Native Language of the Domestic Dog https://www.amazon.com/dp/1929242352/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_aB-NBbHPWQ68H
I know the dogs are both older but it wouldn’t hurt to take them to a basic training class that uses positive reinforcement. I would maybe suggest that you take your wife’s dog and she take yours. The idea isn’t to train the dogs so much as it is to condition them to listen better, which it sounds like your wife’s dog needs, but it will help both of you learn how to handle the dogs better and improve their bonds with the person doing the training.
It’ll also give them something to do together that’s positive & that’s really the goal. Right now they have negative interactions with negative consequences. This needs to shift to positive interactions with positive consequences.
Punishment when something bad happens is hard for dogs to understand. They don’t know that the bite was wrong or the growl was wrong or the way they looked at something was wrong and so it becomes hard to remove a bad behaviour because instead of stopping an aggression they just hide or adjust how it’s displayed. This is dangerous, because you may think they’re ok when in truth they’re just showing the aggression differently.
Positive reinforcement doesn’t teach dogs to hide their reactions. Instead you reward the actions you want to see and build positive connections between action / your reaction. It takes time, especially after an attack, but with the right training and tools I think you’ll get there.
I’d also recommend seeking a registered behaviourist if it’s within your budget, and recommend the following books:
Behavior Adjustment Training 2.0
Mine! A Practical Guide to Resource Guarding in Dogs
How Dogs Learn and Culture Clash
Both great books for new and veteran dog owners.
Since you have trazadone I'm going to assume you have already talked to your veterinarian about your dog's anxiety. If that is not the case, please discuss it with your vet.
The behaviorists are pricy, but they're an excellent resource and worth the money. I'd definitely stick with either a Veterinary Behaviorist or an Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist over a regular trainer, anybody can call themselves a trainer while CAABs and VBs have tons of education and experience. They can tailor advice to your specific dog and your specific household in a way a book or video cannot.
I am by no means an expert (I'm a vet tech at a general-practice clinic) but my go-to recommendations for behavior books are Decoding Your Dog by the American College of Veterinary behaviorists, (it has a chapter on house training and a chapter on separation anxiety) and The Other End of the Leash (it's about understanding dogs and how they think rather than specific issues) by Patricia McConnell. Patricia McConnell also has books (booklets? they're short) about anxiety and separation anxiety. I've never read the booklets, but she's a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist with a Ph.D, so they're probably a better resource than random internet sites even if they're not as helpful as an in-person consultation with a behaviorist.
You could read this. She's a literal expert and while I haven't read this book yet I've read a couple others and I think she's a great resource.
You might enjoy this book: [Inside of a Dog](Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know https://www.amazon.com/dp/1416583432/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_SeV9BbGXCB905). It’s not so scientific that you’re overwhelmed but includes anecdotal info as well.
There are a few times in puppyhood where Shibas are especially big assholes, remember that after neutering the testosterone level will slowly lower over weeks/months and any behavior results you may have been expecting won't show right away.
So here are my thoughts about what might be going on.
He is walking all over you because he thinks he can get away with it, this can be because there is not consistent discipline from ALL family members. If the puppy gets away with biting one person he will do it to EVERYONE. We taught our boy the word 'gentle' when he bites too much, when he would lick our hand or give us kisses we would say 'good boy, gentle' eventually he learns that gentle means to lick your hand and stop doing the unwanted behavior of biting.
Destroying He might be bored, without enough exercise or mental stimulation puppies can become destructive. Limit the rooms in the house he is allowed to be in, crate him at night, and spray everything with bitter apple spray.
Roaming Obviously he should be supervised when outside and Shibas recall can be really hard to enforce and train. Use high value treats when he comes when you call, and keep him on a long lead while he learns.
I recommend using a behaviorist and/or trainer who is familiar with primitive breeds (Shibas/Huskies), and understand that most Shibas typically do not respond well to aggressive training techniques, instead consider a more positive approach to training check out Shibashake and Dr. Ian Dunbars Book
Do the stuff in this book! It helped me out so much. I only wish that I had done everything in this book. The only thing that I couldn't get myself to do constantly was feed him from Kong products. So I had to deal with him chewing stuff that he shouldn't. It's a really great book, that will help you avoid a lot frustration. It's little rough at times, but worth it.
This is a list of other gear that I would buy again:
best of luck!
You need to treat her accidents as your own fault because that's what they are. If she makes a mistake, it's because you have not been watching close enough etc. What you have done is most likely created negative feelings now associated with the bathroom which will only lead her to try and hide better or hold it longer. You need to take the time and read about dog behaviour and how to train properly and do like someone else suggested and start over like a puppy. I would suggest this book:
We love Jan Fennell: http://www.amazon.com/Dog-Listener-Communicate-Willing-Cooperation/dp/0060199539
And The Other End of the Leash is an invaluable book for any animal lover: http://www.amazon.com/Other-End-Leash-What-Around/dp/034544678X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1314422999&amp;sr=1-1
OH! And any Karen Pryor clicker training books!
Whew, ok, lots to unpack here.
First question: does your dad know you're about to give him a GSD puppy? You're signing him up for a pretty big 2 year commitment here (and that's just the puppy phase), so please make sure he's 100% on board with the idea of raising a landshark demon spawn before bringing it home.
Secondly, breed standard puts an adult GSD somewhere in the neighborhood of 24" tall and 60-80lb. This can vary widlly based on sex, line, and breeding quality. My poorly-bred GSD male is 29" tall and a scrawny 85lb. I've also seen some pretty petite females come through my rescue.
On the subject of lines, do you know what kind of GSD you're getting? There are various working and show lines, and the personality and structure of your GSD can come out all over the map. If you don't know the answer from talking to your breeder, run away, because you're not getting a well-bred dog. Poorly-bred GSDs are health and temperament nightmares.
Thirdly, the breed standard calls for a confident but aloof personality, but again, temperaments may vary depending on lines and breeding quality. GSDs need to be socialized thoroughly but carefully to lock in that confident-but-also-aloof sweet spot. Flooding your puppy with tons of new people and places will create a fearful adult, but so will keeping your dog locked up. I have seen lots of success using a puppy-led gentle exposure technique. Take your dog to lots of places, but don't make the novelty into a big deal. Don't force your puppy to interact with every person and dog you see, and call it a day if your puppy seems overwhelmed or scared. A puppy builds confidence by exploring on its own, you're just there to moderate the experience and make sure it's a positive one. I can't recommend a group obedience class enough for young GSDs...learning to focus in a controlled environment around other dogs is a valuable asset for future life skills. Consider finding a local trainer that does group positive reinforcement based training, or at least very positive-leaning balanced training. Avoid anyone who mentioned "alpha" or "pack leader" because that school of thought is outdated and disproven (but is holding on forever in GSD breed circles for some reason). Also avoid anyone who wants to put a prong or choke collar on your dog without evaluating their behavior first.
Honestly, if I were you I'd stop and do a little more research before bringing home a GSD. They're a little more of a "lifestyle breed" than your average family pet, and will find and exploit any weakness in your dog-owning abilities. Read some books (recommendations here: 1 2 3 4), talk to your dad, take a good look at your breeder, maybe find a local trainer with a good positive puppy class, and try again with a little more information under your belt.
I would like to recommend a couple of books.
The Other End of the Leash by Patricia McConnell. She has a PhD in behaviorism and has worked with a lot of aggressive dogs but she only uses positive reinforcement. Her book talks a lot about the difference between primates and canids (aka dogs) and how those differences create misunderstandings.
Bones Would Rain from the Sky by Suzanne Clothier. Suzanne has tons of experience with all kinds of animals. Her book focuses a lot on what it means to have a trusting, healthy relationship with dogs and I guarantee it will change the way you see your dog.
I also have a reactive border collie. You are on the right track with the hamburger treats while walking, but you need to not get your dog over threshold to the point where she can't focus on you or the treats any more. And more exercise is never a bad thing for a border collie, mental and physical.
This is not for basic caretaking like how much to feed, but is extremely useful in how to bond with and begin building a relationship with your dog.
Perfect Puppy in 7 days- Sophia Yin
Here you go - Digital Version on Amazon
It sounds like you may need some training of your own ;)
I'd recommend reading Perfect Puppy in 7 Days.
It's less than 200 pages and will give you valuable information for most scenarios you will experience with your puppy.
It has PICTURES & STEP BY STEP instructions. You have a lot of catching up to do!
Yeah, that should be fine. I use this crap and it works great (and smells good too!). You can probably find a less insanely sized bottle at a pet store, or maybe elsewhere on the site.
If you're serious about getting your dog into shape, let me recommend this book. Everyone I've ever spoken to about it has nothing but good things to say and it was quite revolutionary 25 years ago, but it's not a bit dated and really ought to help you train your dog and give you some more insight into how they thing. The Monks have a puppy book too, which might be useful for you to skim the housebreaking and crate training chapters (at a book store!).
Also: no problem for the advice; it's meant for sharing :)
Meanwhile, I recommend starting w/ the WIKI pages links in the sidebar. Kikopup is great; her training videos are well-explained and to the point. I'm not as familiar w/ the list of training books, but Patricia McConnell's The Other End of the Leash was helpful in explaining behaviors.
Here are some additional training links that might help locate a trainer closer to you: CCPDT, APDT, KPA-CTP.
I'd also check through my vet, dog parks, daycares, for possible training clubs, group classes, or other recommendations.
Here are my favorite positive training book
The Other end of the Leash: this one is a really fantastic book on understanding dogs, dog behavior, interacting with them, building a relationship with respect versus dominance. Anything by Patricia B. McConnell is going to be solid advice and techniques.
101 Dog Tricks - just gives a really good guidelines on luring your dog into tricks versus forcing them, plus a lot of good tricks that help with mental stimulation.
Play with Your Dog: Just another really good book on good training, playing, and positive relationship building.
Ahimsa Training manual: This is the training manual from one of the best training facilities in Seattle. There are really good positive trainers.
BAT Book: Behavior Adjustment Training by Grisha Stewart: This book was a life saver for me. Shibas are prone to being really reactive and sometimes have issues with aggression and predatory drift issues, and this book really digs deep into understanding your dog and helping them make the right choices and building them up for success. I personally don't think you need to have an aggressive/reactive dog to get a lot of good info from this book.
Anything by Cesar Milan will NOT be positive training methods. He very much does not follow that philosophy. Positive training techniques do not use force, aversion, do not believe in alpha dominance theory, no physical punishment. It is a give and take type of relationship. Cesar Milan style tends to not do well with primitive breeds especially the Japanese dog breeds.
Agreed with you about Milan. I was fond of Patrica McConnell (author of the similarly-titled The Other End of the Leash ). She is an animal behaviorist with something like 2 decades of experience, and I found her books easy to read and quite useful with my fearful dog.
You need to find out what your mom is using on them. A good flea medication should take care of this issue but it needs to be used preventively in the future. A bad one will do nothing or even possibly hurt the dogs. To kill the ones currently in the house a combination of ditimatious earth and vigorous vaccumming should get them along with a good liquid treatment.
Also there isn't any real reason you can't try to train the dogs without a class. Seriously a decent book, some treats and a clicker and you are good to go. I personally am a fan of Training the Best Dog Ever but anything with positive reinforcement will work. The youtube channel Kikopup also has great training resources.
For starters, buy this book: https://www.amazon.com/Perfect-Puppy-Days-Start-Right/dp/0964151871
Then, after reading that, buy this book: https://www.amazon.com/How-Behave-Your-Dog-Behaves/dp/0793806445
Don't take the puppy before it is 8 weeks old. The day after you get the puppy, bring it to the vet for first exam and to make sure it gets up to date on dewormings and vaccines. Talk to vet about when to neuter (studies are showing these days that large dogs should wait for 18 months) and if they can do a gastropexy at the time of that surgery (google it if you don't know what that is). Listen to your vet about medical stuff, not your neighbor.
Since you only brought her home today, I wouldn't judge her ability to understand where to potty quite yet. I definitely don't think she has a psychological problem. She's in a brand new home with brand new people and has absolutely no clue what's happening to her. Even dogs that were previously perfectly house trained for years tend to have accidents in the house after being in a shelter or rehomed. With a little decompression time, you'll be surprised at how much more of her personality you discover.
Since she's new to your home, you're going to want to introduce her to your home by slowly increasing her access to your space. Dogs won't potty in what they think is their home/hangout spot. You can start with a crate and work outwards. Whenever she isn't crated, having her tethered to you or closely monitored while tethered to furniture is a great start, too.
I'll link a couple of Zak George videos, too. It's way easier to explain techniques through video links. He's got great positive training tips, especially for dogs that are essentially blank slates. If you want to delve deeper, I'd read How to Behave So Your Dog Behaves or The Perfect Puppy in 7 Days, both by Sophia Yin.
Zak George on House Training
Zak George on Crate Training
Good luck! Congratulations on your new addition!
Thank you all for your replies again. I really enjoyed the TED Talk you linked to- this guy is really funny and really makes a good point on how ridiculous the way people typically train dogs can be!
This is the book I ended up getting to start off with BTW
Try reading this Sophia Yin book. I have a decently high-energy dachshund and my interactions with her have improved after reading this. The concept of "please" changed a lot. Instead of my puppy jumping and crying and wreaking havoc for play and attention, now she sits quietly and looks at me, saying "please." Once she is calm, we will play tug or fetch.
Don't worry, the book is really short. I got through it sporadically in an afternoon.
I got this book and i love it, it's a lifesaver: https://www.amazon.ca/Mine-Practical-Guide-Resource-Guarding/dp/0970562942
Animal behaviorist. Call. Now. I could give you lots of advice, but the fact is, for the safety of your dogs, you need to bring in an expert immediately, and for the sake of every other pit owner, too.
You cannot afford to dick around when you have Pits behaving aggressively, because the one Pit who attacks someone or someone's kid or someone's dog often ruins things for every responsible pit owner in the city or county by being the central argument in favor of a pit bull ban. Never mind how many Golden Retrievers did the same thing last week-- the witchhunt for Pits is "in," and if your dogs get out of hand, you're likely to lose them and they're likely to lose their lives.
Also, buy this book: http://www.amazon.com/Mine-Practical-Guide-Resource-Guarding/dp/0970562942
You most likely have two fairly benign resource guarders who will be straightened out with some simple behavior modification. But don't take any chances. Get a professional in ASAP.
If you want to understand more about it and are willing to spend time on training, I would suggest this book: https://www.amazon.com/Mine-Practical-Guide-Resource-Guarding/dp/0970562942 It is written for dog behavioralists, but as a fellow Pyr person I have found it very helpful in understanding resource guarding in my own dog. The strategies described in the book have been very helpful to me.
Mine! is the one I see most often recommended.
It sounds like you've already figured out that resource guarding is the issue. Just wanted to say that my favorite resource on this is "Mine!" by Jean Donaldson. This book provides management techniques and steps to help counter-condition Rainy to be more comfortable with others in the presence of his precious resources. Good luck!
Her theory could not be more false! You can totally train with treats and wean off them, but really I don’t see why. If trained correctly you can get fanatic responses without always needing treats. Not just for “tricks”. However, you can use other rewards too like a short game of tug (but this can amp up overly excited dogs more).
Dog park could be ok, but I would go on off times when there are only a few dogs and see how she responds. If it seems like too much, maybe hang out across the parking lot from a pet store or groomers, less action and pretty predictable routes for the dogs.
Edit: As a side thought, the "treat dependency" she's talking about may be more in the line with luring (I still disagree with her whole heartily - all professional training programs and schools use treats/reward based). Luring is showing the treat before the behavior and prompting/leading them into it. This CAN lead to a treat dependency, which is why the cue and behavior should come first, before the treat. Police dogs can be trained with rewards, then perform in the field without or even ignoring treats, so saying that treats always cause dependancy is hogwash.
Check out the wiki for how to find a good trainer, and look for someone who uses positive reinforcement and has some sort of certification (Cpdt-ka,KPA-CTP). Anyone can call themselves a trainer, and I've met so many people who are not qualified. Also get a copy of the book Fired up, frantic and freaked out. Great book, easy to follow and inexpensive.
This book helped me really understand what makes my dog feel loved and what he experiences: Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know
You can start training your puppy now, just keep in mind that small puppy=small attention span. Training sessions should be 2 minutes tops, keep them exciting and full of positive attention. Start out by getting him used to being handfed, then move to an easy-to-train command like "sit". Once he's got that down or seems to need more variety, gradually begin to introduce more commands.
As for treats, you can use kibble from his main diet as a minor training reward to start out with. You can also use soft treats like training treats or freeze-dried liver. Just don't go too overboard on rewarding!
Get as many friends and family of a variety of ages to come and visit/treat your puppy in the next couple of weeks as possible. Socialization is key and the 8-10 week window can, in a lot of ways, determine your dog's demeanor going forward. I'm sure you know, but you should avoid taking the puppy out to meet other dogs or into areas with high dog traffic until he is finished with the parvo series of vaccinations.
This is just the tip of a very large iceberg of puppy info. I'll put in a plug for /r/dogtraining and /r/puppy101 here! Both are great resources. We also relied heavily on the advice of Ian Dunbar while training our corgi. His website is here, he also has a great book Before and After Getting Your Puppy which was our bible. We basically did a less intense versions of his errorless house, chew toy, and crate trainings and our corgi was accident free by 3 months, is happy and bark free in his crate, and has yet to legitimately destroy anything.
Congratulations on your new pup and happy training to you!
First, read Ian Dunbar's Book.
Feel free to DM any other questions you have. If you decide to rehome her, please find a reputable rescue organization or a no-kill shelter.
Hi and thanks for replying. Your information is offering me good insight into what I need. I was looking at these two books: http://www.amazon.com/Leader-Pack-And-have-Your-Love/dp/189176702X/ref=la_B001ILMAOY_1_3?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1341528918&amp;sr=1-3 and http://www.amazon.com/Before-After-Getting-Your-Puppy/dp/1577314557/ref=la_B001K83EFO_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1341528963&amp;sr=1-1
The puppy and my dog have established their pack order today it seems like. For the most part he was limping or had a cone on the entire week, so my dog was avoiding him. Now that he's had the cone off for a day, she has established dominance with him and they are hunting in my back yard, running in patterns already Lol.
Please don't follow Ceasar Millan's advice. He follows dominance theory which has been disproved for many years. If you want a book on dog training check out Don't Shoot The Dog by Karen Pryor. It also goes into explaining how you would train other animals, your roommates, your parents, spouse, etc. Positive reinforcement training is scientifically proven to be the most effective way to train a dog. (or a turtle, or a bird, or a human) Or you could check out The Culture Clash by Jean Donaldson.
Also /r/dogtraining is great if you need advice about anything specific your dog is doing.
edit: Specifically, with your hair, you want to set up training games where you teach her when you move your hair around in exciting ways, the correct thing for her to do is not bite it, and reward her for doing so. If you follow the rolling onto their back advice, it can take a very long time for many dogs to make the connection, and be very frustrating for the dog and you. Also, it can cause her to hate being on her back and hate when you touch her muzzle, which you do not want. It will make vet visits much more stressful. This is a good video on how to stop biting and mouthing. It doesn't talk specifically about hair, but you can apply the same idea. At about 2:00 when she is shuffling her feet, that's what you want to do with your hair. Move it around and reward for not biting. It's not about being stern, it's about being consistent and showing your dog what you DO want them to do instead.
source: I am a dog trainer.
> if I'm not particularly doing this 'exercise' but going for regular walks, how should I react to the triggers?
Any walk can turn into a training exercise for us if triggers appear. Not ideal, but that's the dog I have. Runners are trickier because they're moving faster and by the time you see them, the dog's likely over threshold already. Ideally, you'd avoid runners while you work on controlled training exercises, but a dog's gotta walk, and a few people can devote all their time to training. Do the best you can, and understand setbacks happen. When in doubt, I think creating distance is best. Sometimes for me that means doing a 180 and literally running in the other direction with my dog to move as fast as I can away from the trigger.
Learn to be clear with kids about not approaching your dog. I've found they often listen better than most adults :/
> she started barking I tried to divert her attention to a treat and moving a bit away from the trigger, but to no avail
Thresholds are an important concepts for reactivity. I think one of the biggest issues with people first starting out in training is that they often attempt to work when their dog is already over threshold. Working under threshold is key to progress. This is some good reading.
> I know I should avoid giving the treat AFTER she barks at all costs, because then I'm basically telling her I love it when she barks at the triggers
Not necessarily, I don't think. You could also be rewarding for stopping barking and focusing back on you. For example, if my dog starts barking at another dog, I might first create distance between us and the other dog, then when I get her attention back on me, reward. Take a few steps closer to other dog with her attention still on me, reward, and continue to work with her under threshold.
Keep in mind that you'd also (and preferably) want to be rewarding when there's a trigger when your dog is calm and before she actually reacts. Ideally, you'd never put your dog in a position where she'd react and never need to reward for attention back on you, but that's impossible to achieve with a reactive dog in the real world.
> I'm very interested in dog psychology to be honest.
I highly recommend Patricia McConnell's books and blog for people just getting into it. She has a book for reactivity training, but The Other End of the Leash is great for a more general read.
Also check out r/reactivedogs and the resources on their wiki as well as those on the reactive dog support group here.
I'm working on the same problem with our min pin. I picked up Fiesty Fido which came highly recommended. The techniques in the book definitely help, however it's still a work-in-progress for me (been working on it for about 4 months now). Basically as long as I spot other dog more than a block away, I can employ some of the strategies with my dog, and get her to be calm. However, if the dog pops up around the corner, she gets wayyyyyy too excited and the only course of action is the "U-Turn" and running the opposite direction.
Most shelters have an open play area for introducing other dogs to each other.
You can get an idea of their interaction.
If you are doing introductions, and your dog is on a leash, leave lots of slack. Just relax and let them greet each other i.e. "butt sniffing" but always keep the leash slack.
Love Has No Age Limit-Welcoming an Adopted Dog into Your Home by Patricia McConnell is a great book.
On Talking Terms with Dogs: Calming Signals by Turid Rugaas
Anything by Dr. Stanley Coren
Yes, that's resource guarding.
This book might be helpful. This going to be something you want to start working with immediately so it doesn't progress any further.
Its very easy. Your BEST bet would to be to hire a behaviorist. Other wise the book Mine! is a good book and there is lots of info on the internet.
He's resource guarding technically, so look for specific things about that. This book is highly recommended. Seems like he's anxious as well. Good for you for trying to nip it quick.
I don't have much experience with resource guarding personally, but I've seen Mine! by Jean Donaldson recommenced a bunch of times. It's like 100 pages and is supposed to give a great overview of the issue and how to handle it. You can get the kindle version for like $9.
Dog aggressive... Right off the top of my head I would suggest taking a look at BAT 2.0. Jean Donaldson has Fight!
/u/mysled is right that a good behaviorist will be able to help you. Check the wiki and sidebars of /r/dogs and /r/dogtraining for links like this one, and feel free to ask. Lots of folks deal with reactive dogs, and I think there's a support thread that floats around on /r/dogs.
I wish you luck with this; I know loving and dealing with a reactive dog is a difficult path.
As another shiba owner, constant work is required, but they're so worth it. I highly recommend reading Shiba Inu's (A Complete Pet Owners Manual) and The Culture Clash to anyone that is seriously considering a Shiba.
I've read Culture Clash and Don't Shoot the Dog and both are quite excellent. The Amazon reviews are better than anything I could say:
Don't Shoot the Dog
Also, my wife is reading the latest Karen Pryor book and liked it quite a lot, too (we're into clicker training):
Reaching the Animal Mind
Why not try both? Any good trainer will encourage you to do a lot of work at home to support their advice. The sidebar has links for finding a good trainer. Before signing on to any training program, ask about their beliefs and techniques so you're sure you're comfortable with their suggestions ahead of time. Fearful dogs need a lot of quiet, positive encouragement. This site may offer you some good reading in the meantime. This is a great book too (The Cautious Canine: How to Help Dogs Conquer Their Fears) and is by one of the most respected names in animal behaviourism, if you're interested.
Toy play can take time. This thread may help!
Edited to add: BAT can also be very useful for fearful dogs, so if you can find a BAT trainer near you, I'd suggest you start there.
If this is behavior caused by his fear and anxiety then there is nothing you could be doing to reinforce it. You should make every effort to make your dog feel safe- let him hide in his crate, give him a soothing pat and words, etc.
This sounds like a very serious issue and I would start with your vet. First, make sure that his shaking is due to fear. My dog does not shake with fear (more of a barker) and once he became very shaky and it was because he had a fever and was sick!
After the vet rules out any health issues I would speak with a dog behaviorist. They can set you up with a training plan to slowly desensitize and counter-condition your dog to the things that are scaring him.
In the meantime I suggest this very short book by dog behaviorist Patricia McConnell: http://www.amazon.com/Cautious-Canine-How-Conquer-Their-Fears/dp/1891767003
He can improve with continued work, but given what is known about the genetic and developmental basis for fearfulness, I don't think he's going to outgrow it, ie, completely become a normally non-fearful dog.
It's important that you control socialization to make it all good. The outdoor restaurant was too uncontrolled, and resulted in more harm than good - the biggest positive was probably the encouragement it gave you that he could do well with large groups. That's important, but was offset by his having 4 unintended lessons in growling and barking and menacing children.
This book is often recommended for fearful dogs.
Working with a behaviorist is very, very helpful.
This is a complex issue that requires a good amount of knowledge and work on your part.
In this case, I'd break out the books, then hire a professional trainer that has experience in dealing with fearful dogs.
You'll find a whole list of articles for "Fearful Dogs" on the ASPCA's Pet Behaviorist page.
And lastly, you can use the trainer search from the Association of Professional Dog Trainers.
Separation anxiety is an over-used term. Patricia McConnell wrote a book on how to diagnose and work on it.
The Manners Minder is a way of reinforcing the dog when you're out of eyesight. It's a little expensive, but it'll help a lot (provided you use it correctly).
At home agility training and/or scent training is a good addition to long walks because it provides mental stimulation as well.
Depending on how old the puppy is and how long they have had him, it's normal. However, that many solid hours of crying / whining etc isn't good and sounds like the pup needs to start training with alone time.
I'd recommend this book - https://www.amazon.ca/Ill-Be-Home-Soon-Separation/dp/1891767054
There's also some good online resources such as
Some basic tips for them would be give the pup a good walk or playtime directly before leaving him. Leave him with something to occupy him such as a stuffed king and / or toys. Put music on or leave the TV on low. They also need to build up the alone time, leaving him for 7 hours straight is too much at first.
This isn't going to solve your problem immediately and maybe not at all but isn't going to hurt and is worth a try since it's pretty low effort. It sounds like since she's a nervous dog even with you there in some situations that she doesn't know how to calm herself down when she is feeling stressed. My dog has really high anxiety and my behaviorist recommended this and I started to see a difference in about 2 weeks (though he strangely didn't have separation anxiety). Anytime you are home, have a treat bag and clicker handy. Every time she sits or lays down, click and treat. Don't cue her, just every time she does it naturally. You're rewarding her for taking herself to a lower energy state from a higher one and she'll start to do it more naturally. You can do this for any calming behavior (this book is really short and goes over calming signals).
I have a very similar story with my American Bulldog. I got her at 9 months and she was very friendly with other dogs until I took her to another friends house with an aggressive boxer that kept trying to jump on her back and bite her neck. She hasn't really been the same since. She isn't aggressive towards other dogs, but rather fearful of other dogs which leads to nervousness when other dogs approach... which will eventually lead to lashing out at them if they get too close. I took her to a trainer who specialized in aggressive dogs... he didn't really tell me much except for the obvious(and charged me $150!).
So, I took it upon myself and read up a lot on the subject. I have been slowly getting her more comfortable being around other dogs. I would recommend reading Calming Signals first so you will at least know a little more about what your dog and other dogs' body language is saying.
I started by walking her a few times a week with another very calm and very polite dog (I think the right walking partner dog is very important). After a while she became very comfortable around the other dog and even became excited (the happy kind) when she would see him walking up. Eventually, they were able to be off leash in a backyard (I wouldn't recommend your own back yard initially as different territorial issues might arise). I also bring along her favorite treats on all our walks to 1) Reward her for good behavior and 2) to determine her level of nervousness (i.e. she refuses the treat = very nervous, she takes the treat but spits it out = somewhat nervous, takes the treat and eats it = calm).
It really depends on the dogs disposition. Any book that promotes positive and motivational training is going to be good. People with dominant or excited dogs that they are having trouble with, then, I might suggest reading some Cesar Milan, but most people shouldn't need his style.
I highly suggest this to any dog owner.
Check out ”When pigs fly” it’s a book written about training bull terriers. https://www.amazon.com/When-Pigs-Fly-Training-Impossible/dp/1929242441
Okay so, I have tons of dog books to recommend. Obviously it isn't an apples to apples translation for horses, but they will help you get a solid understanding of clicker theory, and a lot of the exercises could be applied to horses, with some creative tweaking. You can usually find some inexpensive used options on Amazon that may make it more practical to buy these books, since with the exception of the Karen Pryor book they only cover dogs. If you have questions or want more recommendations let me know!
When Pigs Fly!: Training Success with Impossible Dogs https://www.amazon.com/dp/1929242441/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_41JXBbXWEPN78 This is a good basics of training books that will give you a solid introduction to actually applying clicker training.
Reaching the Animal Mind: Clicker Training and What It Teaches Us About All Animals https://www.amazon.com/dp/0743297776/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_J4JXBb9X374P5 This will get you really in the weeds on the theory and development of clicker training, plus a lot of examples of how Karen has used the methods. It is very readable, not dry and overly academic. I found it light on giving you step by step application instructions for a variety of situations though.
The Official Ahimsa Dog Training Manual: A Practical, Force-Free Guide to Problem Solving and Manners https://www.amazon.com/dp/1478176415/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_G6KXBb7XTZPB3 this one is another really good basics book. The author has another book called Behavior Adjustment Training that uses positive methods to deal with hyper-reactive and problem behavior. It might be a good one just so you can see some of the creative ways that they use positive training to overcome things like food aggression, fear of strangers, etc.
You could try using a front clip harness which will tend to turn the dog around when he pulls. I've heard that Canny Collars can be effective, but I've always worried my dog could hurt her neck if she sprinted for a squirrel while wearing one.
You might also need to try two different types of walks:
A few books that might be helpful:
You could also check around and see if there is a dog trainer nearby that could do an hour training / consultation session (We did this to learn tips to help with our dogs separation anxiety and I think it helped)
Ok, I had some things to do, I wanted to reply to this earlier...I love this stuff :D
I dunno if you're looking for a specific training (general obedience, agility, protection, etc.), so I'll include a bit of everything that's helped me or that is well-regarded.
For general understanding of dog behavior, I really, really intensely love Jean Donaldson's "Culture Clash." It's not a workbook for obedience, it's more of a compilation of different techniques and why the author chose to move toward the training style she did. It's a little scathing at times. It's also relatively short (I think I finished it in a day or two), so as a general introduction, it works great.
If you have a puppy and are looking for puppy-specific knowledge, Ian Dunbar is the go-to name. There's lots and lots of Dunbar stuff out there, just plug his name in and go to town! Paul Owens' "The Puppy Whisperer" is also pretty good.
For general/pet obedience work, you really can't beat Pat Miller's "The Power of Positive Dog Training". Karen Pryor, a pioneer in clicker training (bridging the gap between marine/whale operant conditioning and dogs), also put out a great one, "Don't Shoot the Dog! The New Art of Teaching and Training". Really, anything by Karen Pryor is worth picking up if you're interested in the subject.
There are certain facets of dog body language and behavior that are pretty essential to know, and which are often neglected or incorrectly labelled in dominance-heavy learning (for instance, appeasement behaviors and fear aggression). A great start here is "On Talking Terms with Dogs" by Turid Rugaas, a Norwegian dog trainer and behaviorist.
Let's say you have a specific problem. Here are some good starts to overcoming common doggie fear issues: Patricia McConnell's "Cautious Canine and Ali Brown's "Scaredy Dog! Understanding and Rehabilitating Your Reactive Dog.. Patricia McConnell's "I'll be Home Soon" is great for separation anxiety, Terry Ryan's "The Bark Stops Here" for barking. One of my faves is Emma Parsons' "Healing the Aggressive Dog".
Finally, a book that I cannot stress enough in its awesomeness is Jane Killion's "When Pigs Fly! Training Success with Impossible Dogs". If you're stuck with a breed that was bred to work independently or you often feel that your dog is just plain ignoring you, this is a great thing to pull out.
If you're not so big on books and want videos, hop on youtube and look up kikopup! She's utterly brilliant and has a ton of videos to choose from. If you want to get more into that angle, look up the terms "shaping," "capturing," and "luring" - three different but related methods for encouraging dogs to do specific behaviors.
Finally, if you want to get down to the science of it and think more about wolves, L. David Mech is the name you want to watch for. And I have more sources on specific dogsports (gundog work, agility, etc.), but this post is already hideously long, so I'll leave it as is.
Hope that helps!
The most common way, at least in my experience (please chime in with other ways/paths that you've taken) is exposure and mentoring.
Exposure is just work with as many dogs as you possible can. For me, I worked at a dog daycare/boarding/training/grooming place as a dog handler (officially Animal Care Technician but whatever.) I thought I knew a lot about dogs before going in. My close family had had several growing up, I'd helped raise for service puppy organizations, etc. I did not. I did not know nearly enough about dogs in general. There's nothing like being in a playroom with 30 dogs every day to rapidly teach you about dog body language, communication, habits, warning signs, the works. I worked there for a couple years and I was constantly learning. The biggest hurdle in getting to be a dog trainer is just exposure to lots and lots of different dogs, different breeds, different temperaments, different learning styles, different stimulus, different everything.
Next usually comes mentoring with an experienced trainer. I lucked out in that the trainer who started working at the daycare facility about year after I did was awesome. Totally positive and we clicked. We became really good friends fast. I officially mentored with her for just over a year. I happened to be in the right place at the right time, and I can't really speak on more arduous methods of finding a mentor.
Read. Find groups like this one and find their recommended literature. Training is important both in theory and practice. My first books were Fired Up, Frantic, and Freaked Out, Ahimsa, and When Pigs Fly and they were the beginning of my positive-only approach as well as my drive to become a trainer. But there are tons and tons of books to really dive into.
Check out the sidebar for info on APDT, and look into getting your CPDT-KA. The training industry isn't really regulated, but this is kind of The Certification.
As far as career, both myself and my training mentor left that facility. We started our own training business together. She works that full time, though her SO has a nice cushy job to fall back on in times of famine, so the two of them do alright. While I might do alright working it fulltime, I am crazy stupid anxious about being totally on commission. I have another full time job (night shift manufacturing. Cog-in-a-machine type work, but it isn't mentally taxing leaving me mostly focused mentally on training. Also benefits are awesome.)
While starting your own business isn't common or uncommon, there's other routes too. You can work in a big box store (think petsmart, petco, etc) as a trainer. Though you'll see on this sub we kind of have a hesitant view on them. It's either hit or miss. You end up with an awesome trainer who is working there on the path to bigger and better things, or.... you don't. You could work at a facility like the dog daycare place I worked. From my experience pay is meh but not terrible. The biggest problem was ideology differences and goal differences (what's best for the dog vs what's best for the business.) Though I tend to have a negative bias about it so take that with a grain of salt. You could work at a training facility that brings together a bunch of trainers. You could work at a humane society. There's a lot of options, some commission, some hourly, some a mix. It all kind of depends on your experience, your connections, and honestly, your luck.
This... kind of rambles on a bit, but feel free to ask away! A lot of my career came just from being in the right place at the right time so I realize that's not much help, but I can try.
I highly recommend looking into training really intelligent dogs. My wife and I read When Pigs Fly which helped us really understand how our little pup worked.
1 Year old and while she's not perfect (she likes chewing on furniture when bored) she's the best dog I've ever had.
Any dog can resource guard and you can accidentally train a puppy to resource guard if you aren't careful. Jean Donaldson wrote a wonderful book on how to tackle resource guarding if you happen to have a dog that does it with toys, people, food or places.
If you aren't comfortable with how the shelter screens potential families then you might not want to get a dog. Shelters are working hard to prevent dogs from being returned numerous times because families really don't seem to understand breed tendencies and always go on "oh he's cute" rather than get an idea of what the dogs behavior is actually like. They work hard to match you to the best dog for your family and lifestyle. A good corgi breeder will do the same thing and will want to get to know you and your family before placing a dog in your home. Likewise with a corgi rescue. If you aren't willing to go through that process please don't get a purebred dog at all.
I don't recommend getting a corgi from a backyard breeder or a pet store because you'll end up with some very expensive vet bills and quite possibly some expensive dog training bills in the end. I worked as a dog trainer for a number of years and I could spot the pet store and backyard breeder puppies a mile away. Owners had the same complaints - couldn't potty train, the puppies were sick when they came home or shortly after and were always having behavior issues like biting people and children.
If you have a family with a small child I recommend getting an older corgi from a rescue that is at least 2 years old. Their personality and behavior will be fully set and you will know exactly what you are getting. The rescue should help you figure out if it is a good fit for your home.
As far as a corgi as a running partner I caution you against running a corgi or any dog constantly on pavement. Dogs put a lot of pressure on their knees and shoulders and pavement running just isn't good for them or their paw pads. If you are going to run with your corgi do it on grass or dirt.
I wrote a guideline on how to find a good corgi breeder and I suggest that any potential corgi owner read it.
So this is called resource guarding and is a pretty common issue. Check out Mine! By Jean Donaldson. https://www.amazon.com/Mine-Practical-Guide-Resource-Guarding/dp/0970562942/ref=asc_df_0970562942/?tag=hyprod-20&amp;linkCode=df0&amp;hvadid=244000184541&amp;hvpos=1o1&amp;hvnetw=g&amp;hvrand=12080402876377526711&amp;hvpone=&amp;hvptwo=&amp;hvqmt=&amp;hvdev=m&amp;hvdvcmdl=&amp;hvlocint=&amp;hvlocphy=9026810&amp;hvtargid=pla-333017948825&amp;psc=1
Here is a great book on Resource guarding.
This book may also be a good thing to read.
Guarding is a normal dog behavior, but is definitely unwanted. I don't believe that any dog should ever allow another dog to take their chew or toy, so mainly I focus on making sure dogs can enjoy their chew in peace. Other pets are not allowed to approach one who has a chew. Anyway, guarding becoming scarily common in Goldens. Check out the book Mine! by Jean Donaldson, you'll find a wealth of great tips and advice.
Management is going to be extremely important. Don't let your dog have an opportunity to guard.
Also, WHO THE FUCK BRINGS A BONE TO A DOG PARK?!??!?!!
Sorry you had a rough weekend. Two things that stand out from you post is that your dog is overaroused outside and has resource guarding issues.
Resource guarding is pretty common, dogs either guard from humans or other dogs or both. Dogs can guard food, toys, spaces (bed, couch etc), people and more. Since it is so common there are a lot of resources out there. Start with the book Mine! to learn about resource guarding and how train it.
As for the overarousal outside I recommend the Relaxation Protocol. It is amazing! Here is a writeup about what it is and some mp3 files that talk you through the process. Start inside your house and then slowly work you way outside (backyard or low distraction area first).
Working with a trainer is a great idea. Make sure they've worked with these issues before. There are plenty of good trainers who can teach a dog to sit or come but don't have experience with behavioral issues. How may resource guarding clients have they had? What was the outcome? Would they be ok with you contacting a previous client who had resource guarding issues as a referral? It is great that you recognize there is a problem and you're willing to work it. It is not too late to start training and helping Maya :)
Sounds like your dog is a resource guarder. The good news is that this is fixable. Get the book "Mine! A Practical Guide to Resource Guarding in Dogs" by Jean Donaldson. Short, easy to follow steps. Highly recommend.
I try not to rub it into anyone’s face (even if I do send out comments with the hashtag #YourJobSucks), but it is so much fun. I’ve been at this job for three and a half years, before that eight months with another daycare, and I started the dog part of my career in 2012 as the large dog kennel manager at a private shelter.
The other day I was on Private Walks, where we go into the individual rooms to spend time with each dog who can’t go out to Group Play, and I had a puppy Pitt shove his lips into mine and his nose to mine, and then SNIFF super hard with every one of my breaths. I don’t what he was thinking, but he did that for about three minutes straight.
The lessons I try to take from being around the dogs are about living in the moment & letting things go. It’s fine to fully experience whatever emotion you’re feeling, and express it if it helps you process; but also prioritizing what matters now versus next year versus a century from now. I’ve been told it’s a little bit zen to think this way, but it helps with perspective.
If you want to read about how dogs experience life, I can’t recommend enough Alexandra Horowitz’s ‘Life Inside A Dog’. Each chapter describes a different sensory experience and how it affects them physiologically and behaviorally. I read it back when I was a zookeeper, well before I switched over to dogs, and it improved my zookeeping skills tremendously.
For training, my favorite:
How To Be Your Dog's Best Friend by the Monks of New Skete. They have another book about puppies and some DVDs too. Can't recommend them highly enough.
For an enjoyable, basic intro to dog perception/cognition:
Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know
Virtually any dog in the universe can fit the criteria of what you described, but all breeds have their little variations.
For example, my favorite breed is the German Shepherd. And there are German Shepherds that do really well in apartment life, and others that don't. If you go to a breeder for your dog, you're going to want to find a breeder that emphasizes pet quality, safe, sane dogs. The difference between a Labrador from hunting lines and lines bred for therapy and service dog work is night and day. If you go to a shelter to adopt a dog, I would recommend taking a qualified trainer with you that's well-read on selection testing dogs, and most of all, use the resources at your disposal. Talk to the people who run the shelter and/or the rescue. They have the most experience with the dog. They will be able to help you the best.
With the two breeds you mentioned (Golden Retrievers, specifically) keep in mind the shedding issue. Labs shed too, but Golden's are just about as bad as Shepherd's (which are both, very bad.) If you have carpet, be prepared to vacuum everyday. If you intend to let your dog sleep with you on the bed, or chill on the sofa, be ready to clean your furniture daily. Your clothes will be covered in hair if you do not. Your boss will not like you showing up to work wearing your dog.
Also, please, if you haven't already, look into your apartments restrictions for pets and dog breeds, and keep in mind that if you intend on moving, you will be taking your dog with you. I love all breeds of dogs, but apartments do not. Rottweilers, German Shepherd's, Doberman's, Pitbulls (and mixes) come under notorious scrutiny when moving. For your future dogs sake, pick a breed or mixed breed that your landlords are cool with.
Some of my favorite books include:
Dog Training for Dummies which is a very basic introduction to how dogs learn, and explains the different methods available to you in an unbiased manner.
Some of my personal favorite books include:
How To Be Your Dogs Best Friend by the Monks of New Skete.
The Art of Raising A Puppy by the Monks of New Skete
The Divine Canine by the Monks of New Skete
If you haven't already guessed, I'm a huge fan of the Monks of New Skete. The put huge emphasis on calm, structured leadership and positive method obedience that works in real life situations. Plus, they're German Shepherd people. Double points.
Animals in Translation by Temple Grandin.
Dr. Temple Grandin is a high-functioning autistic that teaches at Colorado State University's veterinary science department. I've taken several classes with her, and her understanding of animals is absolutely impossible to challenge. This book is more about genetic theory and science-backed training methods. It's good reading material if you want to know more about animals (she discusses dogs and livestock in detail) but is not a training guide. She also has a lot of technical articles available on her website here.
Inside of a Dog by Alexandra Harowitz. This is a cursory introduction to canine ethology. It is not a guide, but if you want to know about how dogs think (how dogs can "smell time" for example) this is where you start.
How to Speak Dog by Stanley Coren emphasizes communication with dogs, backed in animal biology and evolution.
Canine Body Language: A photographic guide by Brenda Aloff describes in vivid detail what dogs are "saying." It's not a training guide, but will help you understand your dog much better.
Katz on Dogs by Jon Katz, a great common sense training guide to working with dogs in the home, and outdoors.
Soul of a Dog also by Jon Katz, which goes into greater detail on the personal side of working with dogs, with very helpful examples.
Imagine Life With a Well Behaved Dog by Julie Bjelland. Great book on structure and positive method dog training.
Natural Health for Dogs and Cats by Dr. Pitcairn was one of my college textbooks and it's a great start for dog nutrition and chemical-free health care for dogs. This is not a training guide, but nutrition and health are just as important (if not more) than training, so I figured I'd share.
With the exception of the first book on the list, all of these books are fairly detailed. I would highly recommend the Monks of New Skete books before any of the others. But they're all very good.
Additionally, you can read many of the articles on the AKC.org website regarding dog training, and Leerburg has some great comprehensive advice on training the working dog, which can also be applied to training family pets. He also sells a variety of videos and ebooks on the same subject matter.
TL;DR How To Be Your Dogs Best Friend & The Art of Raising A Puppy explain everything you ever need to know about training a dog, ever.
Thanks for the recommendation. Amazon link for anyone else https://www.amazon.com/Inside-Dog-What-Dogs-Smell/dp/1416583432/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1501681469&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=Inside+of+a+Dog
There's a great book about the history of dogs and one of the points the author makes is that a "problem" with breeding dogs to show is that they are primarily bred for appearance, not behavior. So your girl may be the product of several lines that are pretty but a bit lazy. :)
Start as soon as possible! :) We started with his name. When we said his name if he looked at us, he got a treat. Then, sit was very easy to teach. Hold a piece of kibble in front of his face, then put it towards his head but above his head. If he backs up instead of sitting down, gently nudge his butt towards the ground with your other hand. We taught our pup to sit in less than a week with that method, and he was around the same age as yours. Just be diligent, and very consistent. Make him sit for everything, you will thank yourself later.
The book my husband and I read, which helped a LOT with training is called Before and After Getting Your Puppy. I HIGHLY recommend it!! Worth more than any other dog/puppy book I have ever read.
The person behind the biggest changes in Dog training and uncovering the myths behind the old school of thought is Dr. Ian Dunbar. He really changed the entire landscape of training. This is the book I get new puppy owners: http://www.amazon.com/Before-After-Getting-Your-Puppy/dp/1577314557
Anything else by him will also rock I'm sure. I also recommend
http://www.amazon.com/Before-After-Getting-Your-Puppy/dp/1577314557 this is a great book, covers just about everything you need to know, gives lots of good ideas.
Use an exercise pen to confine her and attach it to her crate. This way the crate is only part of "her" space. She'll feel less confined and when she wants to be in the crate, she'll go in there. Always feed her in the crate and make sure there is nice soft bedding in it.
Recommend Dr. Ian Dunbar's book, [Before and After Getting Your Puppy] (https://www.amazon.com/Before-After-Getting-Your-Puppy/dp/1577314557/) (but ignore the alarmist stuff that makes you think you'll ruin your dog forever if you don't do everything perfectly).
Well, I'd caution first time dog owners against adopting a stray off the street rather than through a rescue that has evaluated it. If its a puppy its one thing, but older dogs who have been strays or ferals for a while can come with some challenges. If nothing else, do try to rescue the pup and contact local rescues (especially if you can guess the breed and find a breed rescue) as puppies get adopted pretty fast. If you do choose to keep the pup yourself, search for a local trainer using the terms "Positive only," "positive reinforcement" and "clicker training" to local a positive-based trainer. Avoid trainers who advertise "balanced," "traditional," or talk about "dominance", "pack leader", or "alpha."
There are a ton of wonderful resources out there, and here are some very worthwhile books to look into
Before And After Getting Your Puppy
Power of Positive Dog Training
Family Friendly Dog Training
And specifically addressing house training -
Way to Go!
Anything by the following authors (who also have online articles) is pure gold:
Also check our Dr. Yin's amazing series of youtube videos
And for general training (as in obedience and tricks) Kikopup is phenomenal.
I've worked in rescue for years and I foster harder dogs. If you every need any advice or questions answered you are welcome to contact me individually as well :-)
These two books written by Monks of New Skete, The Art of Raising a Puppy and Be Your Dogs Best Friend are worth their weight in gold. They cover what to buy as well as training methods for your dog.
Kong toys are brilliant. We use ours for training and have another that we fill with peanut butter and freeze. I consider this a frugal tip because it's the only toy our dog can't destroy.
Socializing your dog at the dog park costs only time.
In most major cities there are "clubs" for each breed and likely another club for rescue dogs. We took our mastiff to hang out with other mastiffs each Saturday. It was free.
You also need a good short walking/traffic lead and a longer park/hiking leash.
Good luck and thanks for rescuing a pup. It's a noble thing.
Have you read How to be your dog's best friend?
It was the combination and some advice from my sister who trains w/ Cesar Milan that I got my 'dog game' on point. You're correct with the training though, my dog could have trained himself.
Smart as fuck, sometimes too smart...
Since this is your first dog I have some recommended reading for you:
The Other End of the Leash and For the Love of a Dog
>the nicest person I've been in touch with
Thanks :) You've been pretty reasonable and interesting to talk to also (sometimes thats really hard when you're passionate about something).
So, if anything I've said so far seemed to make sense to you, I'd recommend you get and read a few books that talk about how dogs (and animals in general) "work". They're all fairly cheap, interesting / easy to read, and are written by really qualified animal behaviorists / trainers:
Patricia B. McConnell
(They're in /r/dogtraining's book list, but I think these 3 are a really good place to start)
They aren't going to turn you into a behaviorist just from reading those 3 books, but they'll give you a good background / base of knowledge to build on. Your girlfriend will probably think they're interesting too, and think you're pretty cool for researching / being interested in what she thinks is the best way to train / change behavior.
I haven't read that one myself, but I have it in my wishlist. I highly recommend The Other End of the Leash by the same author, though. :)
She is beautiful!
Like someone said, they play hard and sleep hard.
For positive reinforcement training at home, you could start with something like this:
I use this in combination with an approach from Dawn Sylvia-Stasiewicz. Key is obviously to keep pups attention on you, so doing eye contact exercises and cuing to sit and verbalizing sit are all really good throughout the walk. I don't expect him to have his attention on me 100% of the time at a perfect heel but I do want him to know to look back at me and stop when he pulls ahead of me. As soon as he pulls ahead and starts pulling on leash, I stop, hold leash to my chest and don't move. I let him sniff or look around and as soon as he looks back at me, I say "good boy!" and lure him back to my knee with a treat while taking two steps backwards - concluding in a cued sit (no verbalizing the "sit" - want him to learn that he gets rewarded for sitting at my feet). If there's something going on that's grabbing his interest I use Zak's method of acknowledging it and reassuring him and then reward calm behavior and eye contact. Then I proceed with the walk trying to maintain eye contact and slack leash for as long as I can!! I've had issues with getting my pup to walk in the first place, but when he does, this method seems to work and whether he's right next to me or a step ahead, he is constantly looking back at me.
Love this book for dog training. We used the methods in it for our new pup and she is SO well behaved. Such a good doggo.
Training the Best Dog Ever: A 5-Week Program Using the Power of Positive Reinforcement https://www.amazon.com/dp/0761168850/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_qg-ZzbWJHG91S
I would recommend to crate train him. After he is 1 year old and has had no accidents in the house, he can sleep on your bed. But starting this precedence now of allowing him to sleep with you means that you'll never be able to have him in a crate as an adult without him whining. Put a kong toy with peanut butter in the crate at the 4:30 am mark after he has gone potty, so he isn't restless. Source: Sophia Yin's Puppy Book (I'm 75% done reading it, and 10/10 recommend).
Si el desafío de entrenarlo me parece apasionante y además muy importante siendo que va a ser tu compañero incondicional por más de una década.
Te paso links para que sepas cuales son:
She is probably lunging to preemptively scare other dogs away, because they scare her and she just wants to get them to leave her alone. She tried lunging and it worked, so she keeps doing it. I would recommend this book, I have used it in the past with great results. Essentially you want her to look at you when you see another dog, instead of focusing on the dog.
I highly recommend this book
This is great advice OP. I foster so have new dogs in the home all the time. Best to make the first week or two low key, get your schedule down so the dog has time to get used to it before you throw surprises in the mix. I also recommend starting off with whatever "rules of the house" you want from day one. ie if you don't want the dog in the kitchen or on the furniture, start that from the beginning so it's not confusing later.
Also, this is a great book if interested. https://www.amazon.com/Love-Limit-Welcoming-Adopted-into-Your/dp/1891767143
Well, "aggression" for a lot of people is just "play". And there's nothing wrong in my mind with him growling at your other dog, especially if he just wants to be left alone which is his right. If your other dog isn't a complete dunce he'll hopefully pick up on that. You shouldn't punish Beck if your stepdad's dog keeps pushing him, Beck gives him clear signals he doesn't like it, and eventually Beck is forced to take more drastic action. If you want to avoid a confrontation you could always step in before it gets to that and let your dad's dog know he's being a jerk.
http://www.amazon.com/Canine-Body-Language-Photographic-Interpreting/dp/1929242352/ is a great book on dog body language if you want to study up.
These 2 books are great! I recommend them
>without warning they went for each other.
There may have been some warning that you were unaware of. Have a look into dog body language.
The book Canine Body Language: A Photographic Guide may help you read your dog (and others) and then you can control or remove him from the situation before things get out of hand. I found this book extremely helpful in many aspects of helping my rescue beagle (he'd been abused and wasn't very socialised).
Depending on where you live, Amazon may not be your cheapest option once freight is included (For me, book depository was best even though the actual book was more expensive - they have free shipping)
Along similar lines I would strongly recommend this book.
While I agree with the others here that you should treat around children, I disagree regarding criteria: I don't think you should expect any particular reaction from her in order to treat.
Treating based on a behavioural criteria is operant conditioning. The purpose of operant conditioning is to teach your dog to undertake a certain behaviour based on a certain cue or context. For example, teaching your dog to sit nicely whenever she sees a kid would be great if she tended to be overly excitable and happy around kids and had a tendency to knock them over accidentally.
Treating in the context of a trigger, without expecting any particular behaviour from your dog, is counterconditioning. The purpose of counterconditioning is to change your dog's automatic emotional reaction to the trigger. You treat every time your dog sees a child, regardless of whether your dog is growling or ignoring, because you want your dog to associate "child=something good!". Over time, your dog should start to feel good about children because they predict good things.
Depending on what your goals with your dog are, you may be happy to stop at counterconditioning -- say, you don't particularly care whether your dog sits next to you, sniffs the floor, politely says hello to the child, as long as the dog isn't being aggressive to the child. Just improving the dog's emotional reaction to children would be sufficient for that. On the other hand, if you want to see a specific behaviour from your dog around children, then after you have successfully counterconditioned your dog, you can work on operant conditioning.
You will not have much success with operant conditioning your dog when she is experiencing fear around children. Fear inhibits learning, and your dog is unlikely to even bother listening to you if it feels threatened. "Pleasing mum" takes a backseat to "defending my life!" any day for a dog, so it will ignore cues from you until it feels like the trigger has retreated.
Another tool for working with fearful reactive dogs is Behavioural Adjustment Training (BAT). It is similar to operant conditioning in that you reward your dog for appropriate "de-escalation" behaviour (e.g., turning away from the trigger, sniffing the ground, etc.) but instead of giving a treat or a toy, you reward the dog by allowing it to put more space between it and the trigger. Grisha Stewart developed the technique, and has written a couple books on how to do it, the most recent being [Behavior Adjustment Training 2.0] (https://www.amazon.ca/Behavior-Adjustment-Training-2-0-Frustration/dp/1617811742/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1474135094&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=grisha+stewart). It requires that you have willing children to volunteer to stand around in a field or something while you do the training set-ups -- maybe find a helpful parent and offer to buy the kid an ice cream cone?
I would break it down and from a plan, maybe by priority or ease of training:
b. strangers (walking, biking, etc?)
I would check the books part in the wiki but I'll specifically mention this for the aggression/reactivity:
Check out these videos, they should give you some hope. He uses BAT:
For storms that sounds classical conditioning can help with where you want to change your dogs emotional response. Here is an example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2vx2q5RDRI
I didn't find distracted dog, but reactive dog is similar and available at the two places I provided links to above. By the way, what you need for your dog is behavior modification or behavior adjustment as opposed to just standard training, which is a little tougher because he has been practicing this behavior for a while, and it is self rewarding like when we eat a quart of ice cream when we feel bad or chew our finger nails, etc. There's a book that might be helpful buy Grisha Stewert https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1617811742/ref=pd_sbs_14_t_0?ie=UTF8&amp;psc=1&amp;refRID=VYE75PHA6VYZ8QQVAEFW and you could also try a pheromone collar or diffuser to help calm your dog....
Well, I almost cringe to recommend it because it's very dry and the author consistently uses 20 pages to say what could be said in a paragraph but I'll tell you 'The Culture Clash' by Jean Donaldson is pretty comprehensive & understandable. Then again, my perception might just be because I'm fairly A.D.D. and have no patience for long-windedness.
I would add The Culture Clash to that list.
Our dog generally doesn't bark at people passing close but sometimes does if they talk to us or try to approach. I'm very firm with people that they can't approach because she's uncomfortable and we don't want her to practice barking.
You'll want to recruit some friends to help you. You'll want to find the distance where your dog is comfortable passing people and give treats to your dog as you pass. Then you can move a bit closer and do the same.
Our behaviorist also advised us practicing a "pet" command. As we pet we would say "pet" so with strangers she'd maybe know what to expect.
I found Patricia McConnell's booklet helpful: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1891767003
Kikopup also has some videos about barking while out on walks: https://youtu.be/Eo-L2qtD7MQ
It also takes time. We've had our dog five months and last weekend she was around a large family event with very little uncomfortable barking. That would have been impossible with her a month or two ago but we've done a lot of practice passing strangers, other dogs, treating and I think she trusts us more and has more confidence.
I have a very neurotic/anxious dog and the best thing I can suggest is time. She was on clomicalm (dog prozac) for 2 years. We tried crating her at first but she kept making her nose bleed by trying to shove it through the wires. So for the first few months we didn't crate her at all, but left her in the bathroom. She scratched the hell out of the door, but oh well. When we were home we tried to get her used to the crate (putting treats in the crate and letting her get them out, then putting her in the crate for increasing amounts of time while we were home, then finally leaving her in the crate while we ran a short errand...etc).
These books (I'll be home soon and Don't leave me) were extremely helpful.
Eventually we were able to crate her full time (a friend who works nearby let her out at lunch). She never liked the crate like some dogs do. Sometimes she would go in when we told her "Ok time to get in your crate." Sometimes we had to put her in there. Everytime she gave us the most pitiful look. For a while she would poop in the crate (out of anxiety, she was house trained) and we would have to clean the crate everyday (and I'd rather her poop in there than injure herself). But eventually that stopped. Suffice to say she never liked the crate, but she didn't injure herself.
Now she roams free during the day (we did it similar to how she was crated...first for short periods, then longer) and she does fine with it.
Separation anxiety is so difficult and frustrating. Just keep at it and keep trying. It's a long process and there's no 100% fix. Just patience (and love, at the risk of sounding corny). Try to introduce him to the crate slowly. Even if he doesn't like the crate, he can learn to tolerate it. And definitely get help from a behaviorist if you're able. We didn't go so far as hiring one, but I went to a few free "anxious dogs" seminars given by a behaviorist that were sponsored by a local dog rescue (where I was recommended the books above) and it gave me a lot of insight.
Hang in there and don't give up!
I think there are probably a few dogs who can't recover, but there is a lot you can do for leash reactivity. I had a leash-reactive foster dog with me for a few months earlier in the year, and he made amazing progress in just a few weeks.
This is a good starting point. And this is a book that offers more detail.
I'll try to summarize how I thought about this with the dog I was training; a lot of it involves getting the timing right. You first have to figure out the 'flight distance' for your dog in relation to other dogs--how close can she get to them without freaking out? Once you figure that out, make sure you redirect her each time you're approaching that distance from another dog--whether it's with a treat, a command to do a behavior, turning to walk in a different direction, whatever. A lot of people do clicker training in working with leash reactivity; I didn't need to do that with this particular dog, but it's worth considering so that you 'mark' the desired behavior of breaking her attention away from the other dog.
You want her to learn that 1) you're not going to make her get closer to another dog than she's comfortable with, and 2) when she sees another dog, her reaction should be to focus on you rather than the other dog.
Over time, as she learns to redirect her attention to you when she sees another dog, her flight distance should shorten more and more.
I'm going to recommend The Culture Clash, by Jean Donaldson.
There is also a list on the side bar.
> every now and then she has some dominance trip
Something I would strongly recommend before you address the problems your dog is having is to research the concept of "dominance" in dogs and the role it plays in their behaviour. The idea that common misbehaviour among dogs arises as a result of their desire to be "dominant" over you has been widely discredited by modern behavioural science and research into dog psychology. Here are some links to get you started:
For further information, these books are excellent:
Don't Shoot The Dog by Karen Pryor
Culture Clash by Jean Donaldson
It is unlikely to be a dominance issue with your dog. As for your problems, it is hard to say exactly what is happening without watching your dog's interactions. You say when she bites at the other dog's neck when she is running/playing with them as a way of "correcting" their behaviour. Are you sure this isn't simply an instance of overenthusiastic mouthing as a result of excitement/lack of boundaries? For example, if you watch this video from the 11:20 mark, you will see the dog exhibiting biting/mouthing behaviour as a result of excitement: http://youtu.be/2wm_cWySHA4?t=11m20s
The trainer uses vocal interruption and the removal of stimulus (stopping play) to indicate to the dog that mouthing/biting is not acceptable behaviour for play. Perhaps you could apply similar methods to your dog by using a long leash and controlling her play with other dogs, interrupting play when poor behaviour is demonstrated. But as I said, I can't tell exactly how your dog is acting, and would strongly recommend getting in touch with a local positive-method trainer if she is exhibiting signs of unchecked aggression.
As to her guarding you, this is again unlikely a "dominance" issue. Her desire to protect you more likely stems from feelings of fear/insecurity, and could be addressed in the same way that food or toy resource guarding would be addressed. You need to guide your dog into realising that other dog pose no threat to you or her and she does not have to exhibit aggressiveness. You can do this through desensitisation and counterconditioning. Information on these methods can be found in the sidebar and in the training books I linked to above.
Definitely speak to management and provide direct quotes. Ask to use the other trainer, or your money back immediately so you can go elsewhere.
Look up kikopup on YouTube for some good positive training videos.
I am also a huge fan of Culture Clash by Jean Donaldaon. If looking for some good info and perspective.
You need to find a good behaviourist to work with you, this is a common, but very challenging condition to treat.
This is by far the best book on the subject, and explains how complex these cases are to manage.
What country are you in? You are probably best to find a veterinary behaviourist, and if I know where you're from I can help point you in the right direction to find one.
If this is actual anxiety, it isn't just about the right toys and exercise (those things help, however) it's about desensitization. I highly recommend this book.
You're doing okay!
My adult dog had some accidents, lots of separation anxiety and affection issues, and took a while to adjust (maybe is still adjusting)
Remind yourself that you care and have the time and patience to help this little guy. You're already doing so many things right.
And then start reading (though you sound like you have been). Read to inform yourself and read to stay motivated.
Try some Cesar Milan books for communication tips
Look up T-touch massage
This kindle book
I found a book that I read last night by a dog trainer for dog trainers:
In addition to working on Place commands, it suggest use a remote treat dispenser, a game of find it, and a gradual desensitization to being out of sight. I am kind of cash poor, so I appreciated finding some sort of plan to tackle this and thought others might too :)
Weird, your friend and I have a lot in common (I too am a dog trainer who has a few dogs and my biggest interest in the world is dog training with a love for agility). I want to be friends with your friend! Anyway some idea are
"multiuse or convertible" leash like 1 or 2
A fun tug toy like a rope w/ball on it or nice handled tug toy
A good Kong or two (original either red or black in the appropriate size for her dogs)
Good dog training books like The Dog Trainer's Resource or When Pigs Fly
A fun collar or two (am I the only one here who has 4+ collars for each dog and still wants more?)
If she likes hot drinks and you want to focus more on her funny/cute dog mugs are always good
Bumper stickers/magnets with her favorite breed or dog mom or a cute dog saying
Read this book.
This is a wonderful book that goes through the calming signals of dogs. There's plenty more that happens before a dog bites, much more than growling.
Essentially, a dog will bite because they feel they cannot escape the situation otherwise. Both situations you mentioned involved a tremendous lack of space!
Your trainer is correct that lip-licking can a sign of stress. She doesn't sound very well-versed in applying her knowledge though. BTW, dogs do NOT like hugs. It's pretty common for a child to go in for a hug, and be bitten. Be blunt to strangers--don't let them touch your dog.
Have you seen their bellies?
congrats on deciding to kennel train, we will never have a dog that isn't. all dogs are naturally drawn to the kennel as it resembles their den in nature. the biggest thing to remember (IMHO) is that the kennel should NEVER be used as a disciplinary tool. you want the kennel to be a happy place for the dog (treats help with this). second, a dog should only be in the crate for about one hour of time for every six weeks of age, consequently, the dog really shouldn't be left in the crate for an 8 hour work day until about 1 year old. an appropriately sized crate is the difference between crate training success and failure when the dog is young. a dog has a natural desire to NOT want to soil it's den - to utilize this in the crate training, the crate needs to be big enough for the dog to comfortably move around and lay down in, but not so large as the dog could pee/poop in one end of the crate and lay in the other end away from it. a full sized dobe will need a pretty large crate - you can either buy different sized crates as the dog grows or buy the adult sized crate now and use a divider or various sized cardboard boxes to take up the extra space until the dog grows into it.
i would expect that peeing on the patio instead of the yard is a confidence issue with the young pup and the dog will grow out of it in a couple weeks/months. the dog's natural instinct is to go to the bathroom in the grass, this will come. if you want to encourage it faster, put the dog on a leash while still in the house, open the door and walk the dog directly to the grass - do not stop on the patio. then walk the dog around in the grass until she uses the restroom and praise her for doing so in the appropriate spot. she'll learn quickly where it's ok to and not to go to the restroom.
to keep her off the sofa, first, she must be corrected every time she attempts to get on it, even with a single paw. second, any time she walks up to the sofa but does NOT attempt to get up on it you need to praise her for doing the right thing. our dogs are allowed to put their chin on the sofa but nothing more - i have friends that the chin is not allowed either. dobes are very smart; consistency on your part is key.
if you're so inclined, this is awesome.
Read one of the Monks books on puppy/dog raising.
[read](How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend: The Classic Training Manual for Dog Owners (Revised & Updated Edition) https://www.amazon.com/dp/0316610003/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_FfLhzbGE7BR2S)
Thanks for the info. I bought a couple Sophia Yin books on kindle. Do you have any experience with How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend? It seems to be a "classic" manual. Just wondering if the info or techniques are outdated at all.
Read this book. It'll give you so much insight into what your dog and other dogs are thinking.
Somewhat related, fantastic book about communication between humans and dogs. http://www.amazon.com/The-Other-End-Leash-Around/dp/034544678X
The Other End of the Leash by Patricia McConnell
The article states not to free feed if your dog resource guards. If you don't have problems with guarding and your dog doesn't overeat, free feeding is fine (and for reference my vet told me the same thing). If she starts to get overweight, switch her to a schedule.
One thing from personal experience: I was in the same situation with my dog, and I free fed her for a while, but she started skipping meals and throwing up bile, and then having inconsistent BMs. She also kept getting intestinal parasites. I'm 90% sure it's because I was feeding her too much and the food was too rich, it was upsetting her GI tract, and she would binge eat when she felt fine, then feel worse, then starve herself.
Long story short I only feed her 1/3-1/2 what the bag recommends now, and then feed her extra if she is still hungry at dinner. She also gets treats and scraps, so she ultimately gets plenty to eat. She's doing great!
> I know that a big part of training dogs is making sure that they understand where they fall in the hierarchy of the household.
This has been debunked. Dogs have a pack hierarchy between other dogs. Dogs know humans are not dogs and therefore there is no struggle for dominance.
> Untrained dogs will often come to see themselves as "outranking" some members of the family, especially children.
Dogs that show "dominant" behavior to humans are simply insecure dogs who have not been shown that these largely fear based behaviors are unnecessary and unacceptable. It has nothing to do with rank. Like I said before, these dogs are often high strung and fearful so the erratic, noisy, and clumsy nature of children is often terrifying to them, thus why they act out.
> Has anyone ever intentionally given a dog preferential treatment over a sub to encourage this dynamic?
This actually probably wouldn't encourage the dynamic you're looking for unless you forced the sub to treat the dog poorly or have an improperly socialized dog. An intentionally poorly socialized dog is a liability and IMO cruel. Even police departments are changing their training methods to encourage properly socialized dogs being trained to bite on cue rather than dogs socialized to be suspicious and bite out of a protection drive. Too many bites to innocent people were happening. Dogs are opportunists and when properly socialized see all humans as living breathing opportunities to be fed, given affection, and played with, even if they get the majority of those needs filled by one person. There are some breeds that are more inclined to bond much closer to one person (German Shepherds, Akitas, Chows, Dalmatians for example) but when properly socialized they still are affectionate to other people, especially those in the household.
In short, this is a bad and actually highly unrealistic idea. Also, may be worthwhile to read up on modern dog behavior and training for the sake of your dog.
From the American Veterinary Society of Dog Behavior
An excellent book that explains many aspects of how dogs and even most other animals learn and think
One more for good measure
Surprisingly it's got a pretty big list of different things that it can cause:
The first thing we noticed was aggression when he got kicked out of day care and the first time we heard about checking on his thyroid which I'd never heard of before in dogs. After reading up a bit while waiting on results(took a day or 2 each time) there was a lot of signs but I can't say it was anything more than confirmation bias until we got the confirmed result.
For him though, the signs that we noticed were along the lines of a tendency of baldness from neck to chest, slow hair growth, lethargy, aggression, and so on.
Even if he has a thyroid issue, this is potentially only part of the problem, training will have to be addressed immediately and never really ends, though it gets easier.
As soon as we got the blood test started I began reading a book that came highly recommended from the vet and friends The other end of the leash and it's taught me a lot about the things we show them we don't realize that leads to bad behavior and how to pay attention to your dogs behavior and mannerisms for warnings, etc.
Those combined, and pending getting his levels right, have led to huge strides in his confidence, aggression, and behavior. Eventually the day care place said they would re-evaluate him but we're holding off until the medical issue is addressed.
Does he realize he makes you incredibly anxious? Maybe its something you should just come out and say to him. :)
Get him good dog food! here is a list of dog food I stole from /r/pets, try to get 5 or 6 star dog food to cut back on potential allergies and so she can be a healthy dog. (We use Wellness brand, and my dog loves it.)
Since its a puppy I'm going to give you a warning: it's going to act like a giant jerk-ass sometimes. Things will be destroyed, chewed up, and drooly so try to keep everything out of reach of the puppy, it really doesn't know any better. Get her lots of chew toys to play with while you're gone so she doesn't get bored. Bored dogs are destructive dogs.
I suggest reading The Other End of the Leash, it gives really good insight to how dogs think and why they react to things the way they do.
As for names...uh, I'm bad at names. It took me almost a week before I named my dog. We settled on Pixel, because he's tiny :3 This probably won't work for you, except ironically. I was also tossing around Qwerty (sounds like cutie! sorta.) or Vector. If you like videogames you could always name her Zelda, or if you're a Firefly fan there's always River (or Zoe, or Kaylee, etc.)
Have you tried The Other End of the Leash? I'm about halfway through it and it's definitely given me a new perspective on how my dog perceives things.
I absolutely loved Training the Best Dog Ever - lots of really good details and not just training the puppy, but preparing.
The other one I read and thought useful was After You Get Your Puppy (which is also a free pdf which you can order a hard copy of I believe)
I always grew up with dogs on a farm, and got my first puppy this spring, an 8 week old Cane Corso. I feel like the reading I did in both of these books greatly helped to set me up for success, and I would highly recommend. If you have a local library, you may also be able to borrow these from there.
Hey there! Congrats on the new pup. We just got ours, and we're using the book How to Train the Best Dog Ever. Training is going well so far on day 5 (she's 8 weeks old). She is really smart and a bit strong-willed, but man: she catches on fast.
Last night she slept through the night for the first time (yay!).
Do: prep your house by hiding shoes and anything below knee level. She is mouthing (light chewing) on about 75% of what she can reach. My girlfriend or I are with her at all times right now, so we quickly give her a toy when we see her biting anything. She REALLY likes running right by our feet, and it looks a lot like she's trying to herd us all ready.
She really likes the crate, as well. We got a blanket from the breeder that was in the enclosure with her and her siblings, and that's in her crate, which we feed her treats and snacks in and around. I think when they first come from the breeder, they're already used to some sort of barrier, so I think it's probably a great time to reinforce that the crate is a good place where fun things happen. We don't give her treats when she comes out--she shouldn't expect rewards when crate time ends, or she'll make a positive association with leaving the crate (learned that from the book!).
She really is pretty wonderful, and I wish you luck with your pup! I just posted a pic of Hazel aka Hazelnut aka Purple Haze in the main subreddit.
Hope this helps!
Edit: a word
Congrats, I'd say make sure to set boundaries, and closely watch them to make sure they aren't getting into anything you would consider deviant behavior. It's important to calmly work on correcting it while they go, so it doesn't become a habit you have to try and untrain. I just picked up Dr. Sophia Yin's Perfect Puppy in 7 days, and have a post here about being at my wit's end with the 4 month ACD/Terrior mix I have been trialing. I can't say it's solved all my problems, since I'm either going to give up, or start all over with training, but I really wish I had read her book first. It's not that long, so you should hopefully have time to get through at least the first few chapters which after reading, helped me realize why things have been so frustrating for me.
I was used to cats, and when I brought home the puppy, she was adorable, happy, and mild mannered, so I just let her roam while keeping a constant eye on her. She pretty much developed one bad habit after another, and while trying to push her to get better with DIY training, I was getting nowhere because I was trying to solve several issues without looking at the underlying cause.
Sophia Yin's The Perfect Puppy in 7 Days is great.
I plan on getting a puppy too. I've been reading a great book by Dr Sophia Yin. Although it doesn't cover all your questions, I think her methods seem like a great start.
https://www.amazon.com/Perfect-Puppy-Days-Start-Right/dp/0964151871 this book is amazing
I want to second Sophia Yin's book Perfect puppy in 7 days.
About the chewing. You have lots of toys for her which is awesome. If you're not doing this now you may want to try rotating the toys in and out so she doesn't get bored with any of them and continue to redirect like you're doing already. Also, a nice thing for a teething puppy to chew on are frozen things - my pup likes frozen carrots, I think it feels good on their gums. I've also heard about freezing a washcloth and letting them chew on it, that might feel good too. Keep it up, it sounds like you're doing great!
This is a great book for puppy owners, by Sophia Yin.
Congrats on your new puppy, /u/ALancreWitch ! It's such a big and wonderful life change - I remember when my then-boyfriend and I brought home our puppers 6 years ago. Kind of like having a baby! It's exhausting with all of the things to do and keep straight. These two resources helped me out tremendously and I hope they might help you too! These two authors are world-famous veterinary behaviourists that really pioneered clicker training (which is how all service dogs, police dogs, zoo animals and animal actors are trained).
The first is a free PDF (Called After You Get Your Puppy by Ian Dunbar):
And this e-book is just amazing:
You're absolutely right to try and take time for yourselves to settle in as a new family of three. How frustrating that your parents bulldozed over your wishes! My own nMom constantly undermined me regarding our dog. The last straw was when she fed him something that she knew he wasn't supposed to have and caused him to get sick (he's fine now). I hope you find your shiny spine well before I did!
There is a great book on treating resource guarding: Mine! A Practical Guide to Resource Guarding in Dogs https://www.amazon.com/dp/0970562942/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_XcrLxb75DWME5
I suspect you are correct about where he got the behavior from, if he was in a home with other dogs and they were fed close together rather than in separate rooms it could lead to issues.
The important thing is not to push your dog, a growl is unpleasant but it is how dogs can tell us "back off" before having to escalate to something like biting or snapping. You shouldn't punish growling, that will only lead to dogs escalating to something more severe like biting without giving you any warning.
Have you taught leave it and drop it? Both good things to work on. Coarse start with low value items. Worked well with my boxer she has even dropped a deer bone a coyote left in the field. Which before she'd get all upset.
Resource guarding is natural behavior some dogs do it more than others. It can be with space, toys, and commonly food especially high value food.
Whats more awesome than steak.. Saya my shiba loves meat.. she is raw fed so she could tell ya it's yummy. She does not resource guard, but my boxer does. I've worked on her leave it, drop it and on trading for it. She has improved over time.
This book covers resource guarding I'd recommend checking the book out.
Def try to get this book: http://www.amazon.com/Mine-Practical-Guide-Resource-Guarding/dp/0970562942/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1405423672&amp;sr=8-2&amp;keywords=jean+donaldson
It's great input and contains detailed training plans.
For the meantime avoid strangers playing with him.
To second this, we use the same approach with an otherwise healthy foster dog who refuses to eat what is offered. We get donated food for foster dogs, I am not about to go out and buy expensive dog food unless there is a medical reason to do so. I'm not reimbursed unless it's vet recommended.
I put the food down, dog gets five minutes to show interest. Only longer if eating in a crate. Walk away from the food and I pick it up. That simple. You see this a lot in fat dogs that have trained people to give them table scraps, etc. Eventually, they'll figure it out.
All things good and all reinforcement comes from me. There's a book out there called "Mine!" that I've heard good things from others who have had to deal with resource guarding. http://www.amazon.ca/Mine-Practical-Guide-Resource-Guarding/dp/0970562942
There are over the counter supplements and products you can try that may help such as: adaptil, calming care probiotic, zylkene, solliquin (l-theanine). They can help take the edge off for some anxious, stressed out, or freaked out dogs but they aren't true behavior medications.
When was the last time that the vet was consulted about medications? Does the vet know the real extent of these behaviors or were they downplayed a bit? At the end of the day, vets are not behavioral experts. I would recommend seeking out different opinions with a vet with behavioral knowledge and experience, or consult a veterinary behaviorist because its unfair to the cats, to you and your partner, and the dog to have this sort of stress in your day to day. If you want to pursue medication options, a Board Certified Veterinary Behaviorist is a vet who has gone through additional behavior residency and has the best range of knowledge to prescribe, combine, taper on/off and transition medications.
The alpha thing is bunk nonsense in dog-human relationships. When you try to 'correct' her or try to get her to listen she's most likely just afraid and nervous and not as familiar with you, so she is running to the person she finds most comforting and trusts more. What region are you in? Perhaps there is a trainer or resource we can recommend to help.
I also read in your comments that you work from home and are therefore with her all the time - I'm betting that this is really, really exacerbating things. Its hard to work, relax, chill, have a good relationship with a dog that is putting you on edge all day and night! Have you explained this to your partner? Does he truly realize how challenging and exhausting this can be? I went through the same thing when we first adopted our dog because I was freelancing from home and with her 24/7 for nearly a year. It drove me bonkers and I was on edge - turned me into a reactive human! I recommend just taking a step back and finding an activity you and the dog enjoy doing together and spend some silly quality time with her. Could be blowing bubbles, cuddling, playing with some toy, making dumb noises, whatever.
And lastly - this is a really good, short read on Resource Guarding, which seems to be one of the primary issues you are dealing with. It is one of the most highly regarded resources on this issue so I would strongly recommend giving it a read!
Resource guarding. It's a very normal natural instinct for dogs, but a problem for owners.
Had he ever broken skin?
This is something you would want to call a trainer to come out to your house for. And keep separated from kiddos when they are over. There is a book that may help if you guys do want to work in it, but everybody in the house needs to be on the same page. Mine! A Practical Guide to Resource Guarding in Dogs https://www.amazon.com/dp/0970562942/ref=cm_sw_r_awd_6Lzcvb06F7FYR
Has she tried trading for a yummy treat away from the object so she can grab it?
Train them to use a mat as a relaxation spot and train them the MOMENT they see eachother to hit the map for super high value MEAT.
If they learn that laying down in eachothers view is more rewarding then you can slowly begin to move the mats closer. Eventually you will have them layind next to each other for rewards and they learn to self calm around each other.
I would recommend picking up a copy of the book, Fired up, Frantic, and Freaked Out. It teaches a technique for dealing with reactive dogs, but is a technique that I think any dog owner should have up their sleeve.
The basic idea is that you have a 'security' blanket or item that the dog learns to relax on. Once you have the basic relaxation down you start to present sounds/items/actions that would otherwise put the dog on alert while the dog is relaxed on the mat. The idea is to teach the dog that they can make a choice not to freak out, and to stay relaxed.
I've been using this technique with my extremely reactive Basenji/Pit mix for the past two months. With my dog it is very slow progress, but with a dog that is otherwise well behaved and non-reactive I could imagine this taking only a few weeks to work. Eventually with this technique the dog should start responding to stimulus by relaxing rather than going on alert. In turn, by being relaxed he/she should be able to respond to command much more readily.
> Dogs are enormously good at reading human facial expressions and body language (which is crazy, since they're a different species).
They're actually better at this than chimpanzees and human babies. This book is fucking awesome and goes on about this and other shit.
Again, correlation without causation. She is self-soothing to alliveate boredome or stress. There is something happening that you are not aware of. Thunder, SA, furnace turning over, UPS delivery. Or any of those things happening when you are not there. Your dog is incredibly sensitive, but she lives in a human world but can only understand and relate in dog ways.
Check out this amazing book: http://www.amazon.com/Inside-Dog-What-Dogs-Smell/dp/1416583432
Dogs do feel though. Great book for dog owners.
Check out this book: http://www.amazon.com/Inside-Dog-What-Dogs-Smell/dp/1416583432
It talks a lot about the differences/similarities of wolves and dogs and goes even more into depth about dogs' sight, smell, behavior, etc. It's a great read, especially if you're a dog lover!
"Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell and Know" by Alexandra Horowitz. As a dog lover, I went into this thinking I already knew quite a lot about canine intelligence, but this book really taught me a lot. And, it has the bonus of being extremely readable.
"Gifts of the Crow: How Perception, Emotion, and Thought Allow Smart Birds to Behave Like Humans" by John M. Marzluff. This book totally blew me away. I knew that crows are highly intelligent, but had no idea just how intelligent. Also highly readable, not too scientific or technical.
Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know is great, not so much a how-to, but everybody with a dog should read this.
I've been enjoying this book a lot and many people recommend it. If you want a taste of it a lot of his info is on this website for free
Edit: a word
Please, please read a book   . And watch a video.
I am sure there are some great pointers on here, but you'll need a lot more information than that.
> eager to please
The Eager to Please Fallacy:
by Jean Donaldson in 'The Culture Crash'
The anthropomorphic spin on dog behaviour is not limited to exaggerations of their intelligence. We also misinterpret their regard for us. When are we going to put to bed once and for all the concept that dogs have a "desire to please"? What a vacuous, dangerous idea. I'm still waiting to meet this dog who wants to please his owner. Indeed, where is this dog who is interested at all in the internal state of his owner except with regard to how manifestations of this state impact events of relevance to the dog? Actually, let's start by tracking down a dog who can form representations of another being's internal states at all. Although praise works as a reinforcer for some individuals in the total absence of any competing motivation, this effect is limited, and casts some pretty extreme doubt on a "desire to please" module.
Closer scrutiny makes the case even weaker. Rule out, for starters, that the praise functions as a safety cue--a predictor of extremely low likelihood of aversives. This is evident in traditional obedience classes. The primary motivation is said to be praise. The primary motivation is actually avoidance of aversives, called "leash corrections". If the trainer is any good, the dog learns that if a response is praised, a correction has been avoided, and so the praise acquires meaning and relevance. But does this mean the dog is employing this sound as evidence of some internal state of the maker of the sound? This is unlikely.
Praise can also acquire some "charge" as a secondary reinforce in the day-to-day life of a dog. People tend to praise dogs more before doling out cookies, attention, walkies and games. This all is more evidence of what we already knew and should be exploiting with a tad more sophistication: dogs learn by the immediate results of their actions, and by tip-offs to important events in their lives.
And yet the use of food in training meets moralistic resistance among a staggering number of owners. I Once spoke to a traditional trainer who poured scorn on the use of food as a motivator. The line he trotted out, and which still makes me retch even to this day, was: "If you use food to train, the dog is doing it for the food and not for you." This man's dog, trained by avoidance with a strangle collar, was supposedly doing it for him because the only positive reinforcer was praise. Trainers who make claims about dogs working "to please" or strictly for praise seem oblivious to the main motivator they employ: pain. The first task in training any animal is finding out what motivates it. No motivation, no training. All animals are motivated by food, water, sex, and avoiding aversives. If they are not motivated by these at all, they die. A lot of animals can be motivated by play, attention, and the opportunity to socialize with or investigate other dogs and interesting smells. All animals can be motivated by signals that represent one of these primary reinforcers, provided the relationship between the signal and the primary is kept adequately strong. This is mostly where praise comes in, as sort of a imprecise marker that tells the animal the probability of a primary has improved. If you opt not to use positive reinforcement, you end up, like they all do, using aversives and announcing that your dog is doing it for you. Pathetic.
None of this is to say praise isn't good or important. I personally praise my dogs an embarassing amount because I like them and I like doing it. They like it when I'm in a good mood because Good Things Happen for Dogs when She's in a Good Mood. I personally love it when someone like my Kung Fu instructor, who has power over me, is in a good mood, but not because I'm genetically wired with a desire to please him. My interest in my teacher's mood is pretty selfish, and I;m supposed to be a morally advanced human. Any interest you dog has in your mood is based on what he has learned it means for him. And that's okay.
Praise does work as a primary reinforcer for some dogs. They like it enough to work for it, especially when it's the only game in town, but this is weak grounds on which to marginalize those dogs for whom praise does not work as a primary reinforcer. It is also weak grounds to support the hypothesis of an underlying mechanism of desire to please. A lot of dogs seem to kind of life praise but won't reliably work for it. This is fine. There's a difference between expressing affection to the dog, for what it's definitely worth to the human and for whatever it may be worth to the dog, and relying on praise as a principal means of motivating an animal in training or behaviour modification. In other words, don't confuse bonding activities with training and behaviour mod. For the latter, heavier artillery is usually needed.
Some people feel disappointed to discover the necessity of using heavier artillery like food and access to fund and games and other primary reinforcers in order to condition their animal. They feel like their particular dog is a lemon because "he listens when he wants to," "only does it when I have a cookie" and has in short little or no desire to please. Generations of dogs have been labeled lemons for requiring actual motivation when all along they were normal. In fact, many people are actually put off by the intensity with which dogs will work for strong primary reinforcers such as food. It too directly assaults any cherished belief they might have in the desire-to-please myth, and makes them feel less important to the dog. ("Wow, is this what motivation looks like?") I'm still waiting to meet a real dog with desire to please. If he shows up, I'll send him for therapy.
The desire to please thing has been fed, largely, by the misreading of certain dog behaviours. Dogs get excited when we come home, solicit attention and patting from us, and lick us. They are very compulsive about their greeting rituals. They often shadow us around when we're available and become gloomier or even anxious when we leave. They are highly social and genetically unprepared for the degree of absence from family members they experience in a human environment. They also bounce back amazingly well, to a point, from the immense amount of punishment we mete out at them. They monitor our every movement. I can see how this could be interpreted as worship, but it's important not to get a big ego about it: they are monitoring our every movement for signs that something might happen for dogs.
My dogs' brains are continuously and expertly checking out the behaviour of humans, working out to eight decimal places the probability at any given second of cookies, walks, attention, Frisbee and endless hours of deliriously orgasmic games with the latex hedgehog. They appear devoted to me because I throw a mean frisbee and have opposable thumbs that open cans. Not to say we don't have a bond. We both are a bonding species. But they don't worship me. I'm not sure they have a concept of worship. Their love is also not grounds for doing whatever I say. It is, in fact, irrelevant to training. To control their behaviour, I must constantly manipulate the consequences of their actions and the order and intensity of important stimuli. Interestingly, some of the most sophisticated training jobs are done where no love and little bond is present. THis is not to say that training is not one of the best ways around to foster a bond. It is. But it's not a prerequisite of training.
If you're really committed to training, you gotta sort of take a broader look at canine psychology and behavior instead of having a more narrow focus on breed characteristics. I would strongly recommend reading "The Culture Clash" by Jean Donaldson.
First of all, I sympathize with you on the housebreaking issue. My cairn terrier is 14 years old and lived in a puppy mill all his life until he was about 7. As a result, I never had much success potty training him as he would just go in his crate (a result of living in a cage all his life). What did give me the best success was to tether him to me while I was in the house. If he went to lift his leg (he's a terrible marker), I'd make the no-no noise, then rush him outside to have him do his business. In this way, I was catching him in the act and reinforcing the correct place to relieve himself. I have successfully potty trained my lab and a few foster dogs this way as well. Secondly, you may want to look into belly bands. It won't stop the dog from peeing, but it will stop him from peeing ON things (i.e., your carpet). For my 16 lb cairn, I cut size 3 diapers in half, fold the wings back, and place in his belly band to absorb the pee.
It sounds like the poor guy has a good deal of separation anxiety along with general anxiety. For the separation, you may want to look into systematic desensitization. Jean Donaldson has a great book with a section on this. The whole book would be beneficial for any dog owner, actually! If you can hook up with a good trainer, I think you'll be able to provide more structure for your dog and in turn, help him feel more comfortable and less anxious.
Best of luck!!
Are you talking about this book?
I have a similar problem as OP, except I'm not the one with the dog, it is my MIL. She got a two year old chihuahua/doxie in November who isn't housebroken and is very dog reactive on walks.
DH and I are temporarily living with MIL while we prepare to move out of state in a few months, and I'm concerned with what I see. Commute and work time have her away from home for 11-12 hours on weekdays. When she gets home around 7 in the evening, the dog begs to spend time with her and all she wants to do is sit on her ass and veg. On Saturdays, she takes the dog to the dog park for 2-3 hours, but she's not playing with the dog, she's chatting with the other owners, and when she comes home, the rest of the weekend is spent sitting on her ass. She gets upset with me when I tell her she needs to play with her dog. When she gets home from work and grabs food to eat and the dog is begging for her attention (she does not beg for food, she doesn't seem to like people food) MIL says, "she can learn to be ignored for a bit." This pissed me off because...she is ignored all day due to everyone working. DH and I get home earlier than she does, but the dog prefers her, and it is her dog, so she needs to pay attention to her.
As far as housebreaking, she'll go outside when on a walk (20-30 min walk) and then come back inside and pee on a potty pad. She usually goes in one of three spots, but sometimes, she'll just go wherever. MIL bought some special carpet cleaner that's supposed to remove the pheromones so they won't want to go in that spot anymore, and a fake grass thing, but neither have worked. What's more is that IN FEB the vet said she might have a UTI. Vet gave antibiotics but still said to collect a sample and bring it in. MIL never did that, and I'm sure the dog does have a UTI.
At this point, it's clear to me that MIL has neither the time nor desire to properly care for the dog and she shouldn't have gotten her. If the dog were a human, the conditions would be considered neglect. But I've said all this to her and it hasn't seemed to have any effect. She tends to put more worth into things she's read, so I'm hoping giving her a book will help her understand some things. Is Culture Clash a good book for her? I'm hoping she'll come to an understanding at some point because I feel so bad for the dog, and if life circumstances were different, I'd try to take the dog and care for her, but we just can't.
Sadly, the Monks of New Skete had various misconceptions about how dogs interact, not least their advice concerning the so-called "Alpha Roll."
Again, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, I encourage you to read books by more modern trainers who base their techniques on science, not assumptions and pop psychology. You cannot go wrong by starting with Jean Donaldson's "The Culture Clash."
Some dogs are easier to train than others but it is never a one size fits all type deal. I would recommend any type of positive reinforcement training. Any Animal Behaviorist will tell you that Pavlovian and Classical conditioning. More specifically clicker training is a great way to train your dog for anything. For more resources check out The Culture Clash by Jean Donaldson and any book by Dr. Ian Dunbar. Also the folks over at /r/Dogtraining know their stuff pretty well.
Honestly my favorite memories are those of successful adoptions. It's really something special to see a both a dog and new owner so happy.
The worst memory would be that of losing a dog from a shelter I was working at when he was hit by a car. While one never becomes comfortable with euthanasia, a person learns to cope with it (barely), however a startling violent end is indeed much harder to deal with.
We do EVERYTHING to wear the dogs out. Often I end up more exhausted than them. Everything from fetch, tug of war, and even just running around with them in circles.
YES totally get a furminator. If your dog is shedding it will help so much. Be careful not to over-brush your dog as this can result in brush burn which is basically when the skin gets red and irritated from too much brushing. Another option would be to go to a grooming shop and ask for a de-shedding. Basically they will use a special shampoo, made by furminator no less, and it will remove most of the the undercoat.
Hope this helps.
This is another fantastic book that I always recommend to people.
I actually haven't read that one! When I was "expecting" my first pup, my trainer leant me a copy of this book. Our local library has it as well.
It's not a matter of trust; don't make this into a personal thing. It's not because of my ego or whatever that I bring this up and it's not because of my credentials that you should believe me. All you had to do was Google "isolation distress" to realize that that's not a term I made up and is widely used among dog training and behavior professionals. And, again, it's a commonly ill-defined term. I'm not saying you in particular are extraordinarily confused or that you didn't pick up the definition from a professional.
Since you seem to love credentials, here is what Pat Miller (one of the world's leading dog trainers and behavior consultants) has to say in Whole Dog Journal:
> The distinction between “isolation” and “separation” is equally important. Isolation distress means the dog doesn’t want to be left alone - any ol’ human will do for company, and sometimes even another dog will fill the bill. True separation distress or anxiety means the dog is hyper-bonded to one specific person, and continues to show stress behaviors if that person is absent, even if other humans or dogs are present.
Patricia McConnell's book on separation anxiety, "I'll be Home Soon", also addresses this difference although this particular resource is not available for free. Again, since you love credentials, Dr. McConnell is a CAAB and one of the foremost experts in her field of ethology (the study of animal behavior).
Anyway, I don't want to go on about this because it's not relevant to OP's thread, but just consider why you're being bullheaded about this. If somebody presents you with information you didn't previously have, maybe you could think about it for a second before snapping back, "No, you're definitely wrong; I've worked with a behaviorist before thankyouverymuch."
Can you afford to put him in daycare everyday while you work on the separation anxiety? Then practice "fake" leaving and your leaving routine to get him OK with you getting ready and leaving for a very short amount of time.
This book is really helpful for pups with separation anxiety and is a very short read.
Sorry for the delayed response! Our aussie was only destructive if he was left outside, and trying to get back inside. He's inside with use when we're home, and I think his anxiety was worse by not being in his comfortable place (inside). The two biggest things for us were getting him plenty of exercise, and also training him to be alone and be happy.
For separation anxiety, theres a good book that's cheap on amazon:
We followed this to the letter for about a month and made amazing progress. Now that it's been about 6 months we still give him a kong every time we leave, but for the most part he's ok being alone. Having a camera to check in on him while we're gone was also critical leading up to the longer durations of being alone as well. I'd say it took a solid 3 months before we could comfortably leave the house for 2-3 hours and leave the dog alone and not worry about him. We also bring him to doggy day care about once a week which helps with his energy levels.
Its hard to say specifics without knowing the exact situation, but I fostered a hound with separation anxiety and I found the book I'll Be Home Soon very helpful.
Ugh, that's hard. Have you tried food (especially wet, smelly food) instead of toys/chews? It could be a little more irresistible and buy you some time. The best guide I know for separation anxiety is Patricia McConnell's I'll Be Home Soon. It's been a long time since I've read it, but I think she recommends something similar - lots of practice leaving, just for a couple of seconds, building up to longer and longer.
My dog had pretty bad separation anxiety when I got her - wouldn't let me out of her sight, threw herself at the blinds/door/whatever, constant whining and barking, but a lot of it faded naturally within about a month. I think a lot of rescues have this issue at first, but if it gets worse, or if she's going to hurt herself (not just eating blankets, but chewing her own paws or chewing metal crate bars), she might need medication in order to cope.
Thanks for the thoughtful response. We have considered day care but the last and only time we boarded him the owner charged us extra for having a high maintenance dog and said he has "severe separation anxiety". She told us to read this book . Although, we might try again. He does well when he's around other dogs.
The book is where we got that food technique. I give him his meal, say bye and leave the home. I re-enter, say hello and take his bowl early. Then repeat. It's not really helping. He's just learning to eat faster.
I love the weekend training idea and think that could produce results. As for the barking, I tried something new this morning. We did a training session where I would treat quiet and sitting behavior while standing just outside the front door. If he was quiet and sitting then I would open the door and give him kibble. I am only worried this will reinforce him heavily anticipating our return to the house. Thoughts?
It's not uncommon for newly retired greyhounds to have separation anxiety. They're never alone in the racing kennels. They've been torn from everything that's familiar and put somewhere unfamiliar and likely all by himself for periods of time. (Most of us have to work or go to school.) This is a very good (small) book that gives you steps to teach your grey how to tolerate being home alone: https://www.amazon.com/Ill-Home-Soon-Separation-Anxiety/dp/1891767054
Hey there! I would recommend you check out Dr. McConnell's book on separation anxiety. It is a short read and available from Amazon for $5. It can take a bit of work and several weeks, but it is well worth it. You can consider using your CleverPet Hub to keep them busy once your departure does not bring them over-threshold. Here is where you can find the book: https://www.amazon.com/Ill-Home-Soon-Separation-Anxiety/dp/1891767054/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1506700688&amp;sr=8-3&amp;keywords=separation+anxiety+dog+book
Currently dealing with separation anxiety for my own dog... We've been using Patricia McConnell's book (http://www.amazon.com/Ill-Home-Soon-Separation-Anxiety/dp/1891767054).
Progress has been a little bit slow, but I think it's starting to help...
For the dog aggression, we're seeing improvement with this method: https://www.amazon.com/Feisty-Fido-Help-Leash-Reactive-Dog/dp/1891767070
Patricia McConnell does good short books about dog training. Feisty Fido addresses your issue (she's great)
Patricia McConnell is an animal behaviorist who has written many great training books. Here’s one for puppies
Dr. McConnell has owned and trained many BCs herself. I recommend her methods highly - they have gotten my husband and I through 4 border collies.
Here’s a link to her blog: http://www.patriciamcconnell.com/theotherendoftheleash/
Check out /r/goldenretrievers
Goldens can be hell as puppies. They will chew everything and anything they can. There's a lot of different theories, but this is what worked for me: Set a puppy portion of the house and a non-puppy portion. You can do this with baby gates or stacking boxes, or what have you. Make sure that only puppy chewable things are in the puppy part of the house. Be prepared for puppy bites- they don't mean anything by it, but their little teeth are like daggers.
Consider crate training as well. In a couple of months, find a puppy level obedience class and go to it.
Reinforce the training at home. Focus on loose-leash walking and simple commands. This will take a couple of years for the pup to perfect.
Wear the puppy out every day. Easiest way to do this is with fetch or "puppy ping-pong" in which you and someone else take a stack of treats each and take turns calling the puppy from larger distances, or different places in the house. This gets the pup used to coming when called.
Read books. I like The Puppy Primer for general purpose stuff. Learn about dog psychology. Remember this is a lifelong investment that will take time, money, and lots of energy- but you'll get more back than you put into it.
Goldens, at their core, really really really want to make their masters happy. It's your job to teach the pup what makes you happy through steady limits and training.
Also, yes... I admit I didn't read your whole post and I'm really bad about that. But I hope my advice is useful anyway. For a really great, short, concise training book try The Puppy Primer.
Dogs are not good surprise gifts. If you're going to adopt a dog for the whole family, bring the whole family to meet it and bring the whole family to train it. One thing they don't talk about much in books is finding a dog that genuinely likes people and other dogs and finding a dog for first timers. Make sure you spend a good half hour with the dog and ask tons of questions about the dog's temperament from someone more experienced - if you have friends that own well adjusted dogs (probably not the one you mention in the post), bring them with you. Touch him all over to see how he deals with being handled, run with him walk with him one at a time, move slowly and confidently and look for signs of stress: http://www.maplewooddog.com/MDT/Articles/Communication-Handling-Articles/DogBodyLanguagePoster.jpg
You do not need to adopt the first sad eyes you see.
As for preventing behavioral issues like nipping, licking being a pest. You may want to start with a younger dog (10-24 months) who is less set in his ways and beginning to mature; more of a blank slate and willing to learn what is expected of him. It goes both ways, you must constantly train him what is expected in your household and how to distract him from doing things you dislike.
Keywords like this can point to a balanced dog: turnkey, easy going, relaxed, outgoing, happy, confident, playful, loves car rides, friendly, biddable, keen, young, good with people, good with kids, good with other dogs and cats, smart, spayed, aims to please, settles nicely, crate trained, house broken, watches tv :).
Stay away from dogs with keywords like these until you have more experience to care for their needs: special needs, shy, medical issues or allergies, reactive, fearful, may become aggressive, no kids, no cats, separation anxiety, needs lots of room, active homes only, growls, was a chained outdoor dog, not for apartments, suffered from parvo when young, epilepsy, intact, not for dog parks, not for off leash, needs lots of love, came from another country, strong prey drive, thinks he's smarter than humans.
For the more concrete questions: what to buy, what to do before the big day, how to introduce the dog to your home. Start with this book. It helped me SO much as a first timer.
Invest in some good positive training courses a month later and make sure the whole household knows they need to provide activity/food/walks for the dog. You might want to do some breed research and find what agrees with your lifestyle. Many shelter dogs are mixes, but it's good to at least know the breeds so you don't end up with a Husky, feral dog, wolf hybrid or sighthound as your first dog. Not that there's anything wrong with it, but they can be a handful for people with no dog experience.
Get Patricia McConnell's book Love Has No Age Limit. I promise it will help.
Patricia advocates POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT training. as /u/Splunken says, you should start REWARDING independence. Patricia McConnell's book will help you do this in all aspects of your puppy's life. Walks, leaving him alone, feeding time, chill at home time. For example, give your dog spontaneous treats anytime he is lying down being calm and not begging for attention. Say, "Good calm!" and throw a treat. When it's time to eat, have your dog sit politely, then put the bowl down. Say, "Good sit!" and give him his dinner. Use EVERY time your dog does the RIGHT thing to reward him. Generally ignore bad behavior, except for a stern "No!" when you want to interrupt his behavior (like when you witness him about to eat something he shouldn't).
Ok, how is it you dog owners are still not aware of their calming signals? I never even had a dog and I still read this book...feels like you can talk to dogs afterward. The woman who wrote it was a dog trainer specializing in aggressive dogs for many years..and look at the 76 reviews. I picked this up in my local library a couple years back.
It could be a mixture of things. My BC's dog tolerance dropped significantly around 6-7 months so we stopped taking him to play with other dogs. After a couple of months, I took him back to the dog park and his tolerance was significantly better. Your dog could just be going through an angsty phase or he just might not like the company of other dogs or his tolerance of poor behavior might be low.
I think you should get a behaviorist (positive reinforcement only) to assess any issues that might arise because of the attack. Better safe than sorry.
Also start doing some reading on dog body language. Dog show very subtle signs that they are grumpy/upset/scared. This book is a great resource.
For the time being, I would suggest you stop letting your dog off it's leash until you figure out/work on a solution.
Just because you own a dog doesn't mean you can read a dog well or even at all. Just like owning a car doesn't make you a mechanic.
This isn't an insult or something, its just fact. Do yourself a favor, watch that video and others, and check out books like this one.