Update on Cooper. - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-26-2004, 11:46 PM Thread Starter
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Update on Cooper.

Well, Cooper is let's see how I can put this.... co-dependent. lol.

I knew this from reading up on Wiems, but I did not expect him to be so co-dependent. I cannot move without him right under my feet. That isn't exactly true. I have a soap making room downstairs and for some reason, when we're down there, it seems like he knows I'm working and he just lies around and sleeps. However, as soon as I go back upstairs in the house, he follows me everywhere I go. I can handle it, but sometimes, I'd just like to be free for a few minutes.

He is learning what he cannot do. I have already taught him that the sofa is a no no and he does not try to get on it anymore.

The biggest problems that I have with Cooper is trying to teach him to not jump on people when they come over. He's so huge ,that he literally almost knocked my friend on her butt yesterday. I tried the knee in the chest thing and say "don't jump", but it hasn't helped. He still jumps. Not on me, but on my husband when he gets home from work and anyone else that comes over. Any ideas how I can break him of this?

The other problem that I have concerns him being so co-dependent and can't do anything by himself, including going outside. He will not go down the stairs if I don't. I've tried just closing the door, but he will stand there for an hour if you let him, scratching the door.

He is very very smart and I have taught him tricks already. He shakes, rolls over, fetches the ball, sits and lies down, but i can't get him to stay. He'll stay for a few seconds and then he's up again.

I wish I had half the energy that Cooper has....why I could be the next Mary Kay with my Luxury Bath Product business.

Those are the problems, let me tell you the positives of having Cooper.

He's got the sweetest personality, he's absolutely gorgeous and I like to keep him shining and groomed. His coat changes from brown to silver depending on what shade of light he is in.

I love how when I talk to him, he cocks his head to the side.

The funniest thing was we got him to come into our boat with us for a boat ride. Boy does he love this. We can't get in it now without him coming with us. He loves to put his paws up on the bow of the boat, holding his head high. Those long floppy ears each go out to the sides and my husband and I both think that he looks like the flying none from the back.

He hasn't tried to jump into the water at all.

He hasn't bothered my kitties, they basically stay away from him and I leave him inside and go spend quality time with my kitties during the day so that they know I still love them even though we have Cooper.

Another thing we enjoy is walking him on the beach. He is the first full bred dog that I have owned and it is so cool to have so many people stop you to tell you what a beautiful dog he is and they always say "what kind of dog is that"? He absolutely loves to go walking on the beach and we try to take him at least three times a week. The other times I exercise him by playing fetch the ball with him.

Well today we were downstairs and I was making soap. I started getting a real bad headache and decided to lie down on the daybed downstairs. Well of course, Cooper had to come part his butt right next to me and lay his head on my pillow...It was so cute. However, when I woke up and looked over at him, he was on his back and all four legs were straight up in the air. It was so funny.

Now to the major problem that I have. I have been with Cooper 24/7 since we got him. I haven't ever left him alone. However, last Saturday, we had to go to New Orleans for soap supplies and to help a fellow soaper out. Cooper cannot be trusted in the house, I think he would tear up our sofa and pillows and such. He will not stay outside without me being out there with him, so the only other alternative is to crate him. He hates it and so do I. We were gone for about 4 hours, I kept calling my neighbor and she said that he had barked and cried the whole time we were gone, which made me feel like a horrible person. I just don't know what else to do. He won't stay in the yard without me and i'm afraid that if we did try, he might jump the fence to try to catch us. So what do you juys do about this problem? I hate crating him, but I don't see any other way.

Thanks, good to see you all again,

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-26-2004, 11:55 PM
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I think using the crate is going to be the ONLY thing that'll help. My fiance used to breed Dobe's and he has told me that most of them are VERY co-dependant... He said it got to the point where the dogs would follow him into the bathroom or bark I don't know how he handled that, I know I wouldn't be able to. I'm sure someone here will have good suggestions for ya. Good luck, glad he's working out
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-27-2004, 12:13 AM
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I agree that crating him is the only option for you at this point. He will learn eventually. Maybe try putting him in the crate and going just outside for 5 or 10 minutes at a time, several times a day. Come back in and praise him and reassure him. My guess is, his extreme co-dependency is due to being shuffled from one home to another.

I am glad he is such a good dog for you! All these little things will come in time. Trust is key, and it is going to be a long process before he allows himself to be super comfortable.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-27-2004, 12:22 AM
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I have to agree, either the crate or a pet sitter....it's like having kids! My pits keep each other company when we aren't home, but if left for too long Orion takes clothes out of the dirty clothes bin and drags them into the living room to sleep on and shreds magazines...so we come home to clothes all over the house with paper everywhere! LOL
Also, I ALWAYS have to use the master bathroom, that way I can leave the door open. Orion has a fit if he can't see me when I'm in there! Although when I'm in the chin room, they don't seem to care!
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-27-2004, 02:58 AM
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-27-2004, 03:00 AM
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I agree you need to crate him when out!! Biscuit was very co-dependent at first and would howl and bark every time we left the house. don't make a fuss over him when you are about to leave. Put him in his crate about 10 minutes before you are due to leave and just ignore him. give him a kong filled with frozen butter to entertain him. Do this but go and stand outside for five minutes...if he doesn't bark or wimper then go inside and praise him (so the idea is that you don't only do this when you are leaving for a long time.) Keep doing this, extending the time longer and longer. Also when you do have to leave him for real (like to go grocery shopping etc.) don't be all over him if you know that he has been barking and howling. Ignore him until he is quiet and settled in his crate. Then praise him and let him out. This stops the over excitement when you first get home (jumping, running around etc.) and helps with the seperation anxiety too cause you going is no big deal! Also keep some toys that he can have fun with in his crate that only ever come out when you are going. That way he has new toys to play with and not his same old ones and you leaving can be exciting for Cooper! You need to be patient on this one! I've now had Biscuit for three and a half months and we are just getting to the stage now where us leaving is no big deal.
With the outside thing, same deal....even he stands at the back door and scratches for five hours don't let him in until he stops!! you are teaching him that scratching at the back door gets him inside and he will become more and more persistant!
Crate him when you are home as well to help with the co-dependant thing (which will also help his seperation anxiety. Don't let him follow you around the house if he is on your feet 24/7! Decide what rooms he can and can't go in (don't allow him too much freedom at first) and then make him stay in there! you will have to be very persistant! Have his bed and get him to lie down on his bed. If he gets off, take him back there. He will learn that there is no point in getting off his bed cause you just make him go back there again anyway!
And with the jumping thing...no jump is good but you need to get everyone to do it!!! Whoever comes in your door needs to know that they are to put their knee up and say 'no jump'. Tell them that are to only say it once not 100 times and if he doesn't get down then turn their back on him and don't look at him. As soon as he is down 'Good boy Cooper' and lots of attention.....if he gets excited with the attention and jumps again you need to repeat it... 'no jump' and turn around! It is just like a two year old that is demanding attention!! You ignore them and then they do what you want them to do so they get the attention. It is hard getting visitors to be involved but ring your friends and family and tell them that they need to do this or they won't be allowed in the house until Cooper has learnt! Now no jump means no jump! So if you want him to stop jumping you are to never allow him to jump, no matter how gentle or cute he looks!!!
I had a dog that used to jump on everyone and demand attention! As soon as he would be ignored he would stop and sit down cause all he wanted was attention. He used to try and get me to look at him but I would just turn my head away from him. To get Cooper off him when ignoring him, turn around so your back is facing him, if he hangs on and tries to come around the front get your arm and push him off with your arm but don't look at him or talk to him. Just push him off and don't say a word...even if you are talking to someone else he might think you are talking to him!

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-27-2004, 04:42 AM
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btw - i think carmen meant PEANUT BUTTER...not butter! haha carmen!

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-27-2004, 11:33 AM
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Another idea you can do to teach him not to jump... this worked with my sister's Beagle.

When you get company, put the leash on Cooper before answering the door and have one person hold him back a reasonable distance from the door and another person answer the door. Keep telling him to sit and stay and when he does, give him a treat, keep repeating this, it'll take time to get him to focus on you. Wait until he settles down and the person is comfortably inside, then walk him up to the visitor and let him sniff him/her out, but continue to encourage him to stay low and praise with treats and attention. This takes patience, but if you are consistent it will work.

You can start out by practicing this with your husband coming through the door and you having Cooper on the leash since you know he has a tendency to jump on your husband.

I'm a big believer in that positive reinforcement only is the best way to train a dog.

Also put the word out to your friends and family and ask that they ignore him when they first get to your house until you think Cooper's behaving good enough to warrant their attention. He'll learn, good behavior gets him attention!

Good luck!!
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-28-2004, 03:45 AM
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lol yes I meant peanut butter!!!!

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-02-2004, 12:13 AM
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Sorry I am late coming into this thread - Everyone's advice and suggestions are great, as usual.

The temperament of your Weimeraner is typical of the breed. They need to be with you and they are very "in tune" - or intuitive - focused on you - hence you coining him "co-dependant". Dependant would be a better more acurate word

It sounds like you are doing everything you can to form a good trusting bond, which will go a very long way in Cooper forming a routine of his own that allows him to be without you for periods of time.

I can't emphasize enough the importance of crating. I know that it seems "cruel" and that he resists it - whining, complaining, scratching to get out etc... but given time he WILL accept his crate as his own space and it will really free you up to leave him alone and know he is safe, comfortable and not able to be destructive out of boredom or stress. There are many methods you can use to get him used to being crated. It may not happen over night - but with persistance and consistancy and positive reinforcement - he will get used to it and it will become *his* space.

Putting him on the leash when people come to the door is a really effective way to teach him not to jump on people. When he is on the leash, you are in complete control and can prevent and correct the jumping behavior. Piggymommy described the process really well. I too believe in positive reinforcement and with guidance and praise they learn very quickly what you expect from them.

I know what you are going through with the jumping issue! My Brittany is a really friendly "greeter" He's lanky and strong and it's just not acceptable. I now leash him and prevent him from jumping - and I also have my guests ignore him until he is sitting calmly. Then and only then can they pay attention to him, and join in the praise for sitting and not jumping! He's doing well with this. I had a lot of people at my house on Sunday - even little kids - and Max did great! You could tell he really wanted to jump up and do his goofy jumpy Max greeting - but instead he actually put himself in the "down" position and waited for my cue. Everyone was able to greet him, scratch his belly - and I quickly took the focus off Max and onto other things and he was just fine.

It does take time - every day is a new opperunity for learning - for you both! I think you are on the right path... keep up the good work!!

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