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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
I believe it's so, so important for us to remember that our dogs don't have the capacity to think in complex thought processes.

What appears as "sneaky" or deceptive, behavior patterns is really something quite different.

In a dog's mind there is "right now". Is it possible that when she is standing on that porch and it's pouring rain her "denning" instinct is telling her to seek shelter?Relieving body functions take lesser priority.

Elf you are 100% correct in saying that your presense there, even in a downpour or driving snow, will direct the dog's thought process to what you are expecting from them. Without you there they naturally resort to their instictual patterning.

Your first paragraph was also really true! It's true for me, I'm raising my first Toy Breed (Remy, Yorkie - 6 mos and 3 pounds) and I have found myself doing what you described! It didn't take me long to realize and smack myself around a little :lol: :rolleyes:

Tiny dogs sometimes need more consistant and persistant regiments than larger breeds. OUR psychological response to a larger pup is different.

At 6 months old my Brittany was being field trained, remaining in his crate longer and more independent overall than my little Yorkie.

I'm realizing that I need to be as firm with Remy (firmness is always based on the temperament) as I was on my Golden or my Brittany or on other medium or large breeds that I have trained.


I think your input is great - you really hit the nail on the head!! :)
 

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LOL .... you obviously don't know my dog. She's a class act.

Believe me ... it isn't just the winter time she does this. It can be in the middle of summer on a beautiful day .. 70 degrees ... there is no pattern. Most days she is good ... some she isn't. .. the winter is just when I find it particularly annoying because I have to stand out in the cold. She is incredibly smart ... my other Chihuahua and Shih-tzu are nothing like her. None of them like going out in the cold or rain but Ethel has always been different She is the princess ... that is not a loose term ... that is how she views herself.

You know those stuck up dogs in the movies that sit on pillows and eat only gourmet food? That is her! She knocks over the pillows on the couch to perch on them. She doesn't eat dog food if someone is watching. I've had to sneak into the kitchen to watch her eat dog food. If she sees me? She stops. And it isn't like she is nervous about eating in front of me .. she eats anything else readily. She eats human food with no problem but she is very picky about that too. If Ethel is entirely primative and live only in the moment then Ethel wouldn't boycott dog food and be picky about the human food she eats if she knows there is a choice. Yes, a choice. She will gobble up Ritz crackers if she knows that is all you have. But if you have Ritz crackers with cheese then she will never take a plain Ritz cracker even if that is all you will offer. For real. I've even done an Ethel-experiment with that. I pulled out only Ritz and she ate the plain cracker. I pulled out the cheese and offered her only the plain cracker and she wouldn't take it. I hid the cheese and about 2 minutes later offered her a plain Ritz and she took it. I pulled out the cheese again and offered her a plain .. no go ... then a cheese ... yes ...plain again ...no.. put away the cheese ... left out the Ritz ... waited a minute ... she ate the plain when it was offered. Stuff like that. I'm not saying this is complex reasoning ... but it isn't something that every dog out there is going to do. Every single other dog I have owned would have eaten whatever cracker was thrown. Because they did live for the "right now" ... their instincts told them to eat. Ethel's tell her to "eat WELL" LOL

And she will be sneaky ... yes, sneaky ... to avoid going outside when she is not in the mood -- usually after she has been woken up to go out after being in bed. She only sleeps under the covers, BTW This is mostly true with droppings when she does go through these phases. She'll pee outside without any problem whatsoever even in the rain and cold and then stand there and wait for everyone else to finish up (another 5 min.) but come inside and wait until I've settled down somewhere and then sneak away (she's always next to me) to do her business someplace. If it wasn't sneakiness she wouldn't go to places like ... the guest bedroom on the side of the bed that is not near the doorway ... or the game room way in the back ... or even behind the couch. I'm not saying she has complex emotions or thoughts attached to it. But she does know the difference between right and wrong and between going in highly traffiked areas of the house and areas that we are never in. If she lived in the moment she wouldn't go all the way across the house. She'd go into the next room like my other dogs. My Shih-Tzu and other Chi can't make that distinction. They rarely mess up but when they do it is, yes, in a different room from us but it isn't "hidden" so to speak. She doesn't get spanked or beaten ... so she has no reason to be scared. For a dog ... I'd say that was sneaky ... even if it isn't on the same level of thinking as a human .... I fully believe she is aware of what she is doing.


I agree that most dogs have basic reasonings for their behavior ... I mean, I've owned a lot of dogs and what you are saying is true. But after owning Ethel? I think some can break the mold. I fully believe in their capacity to be sneaky.
 

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Thank you so much for all of your help, both of you! I really do appreciate this! In a way I'm the dog's first owner. My great grandma is the primary care taker of her, but since she is on vacation, I thought this would be a good time to start. Her name is Sarah, BTW. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
I'm here for you if you need any advice or suggestions :) Please feel free to start a new thread in this section with your questions or comments. We all share a lot of common issues!

With a little thought and putting our heads together to come up with a plan or solution we can usually do a lot of good for our dogs - and ourselves :)
 

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i just wanted you guys to know that making your dog sit before throwing a ball, going outside, or putting the food bowl down in order to 'regain that control' -makes a world of difference. something so small and effortless can be the start of completely turning your problem dog around. **thank you for mentioning that!!!** =)

i recommend this to my clients whose children were having a hard time with their family dog taking them seriously -just because the dog sees them at their level and often tries and ends up thinking they come before the kids. its just a simple thing that the kids can do -they'll love it because they are helping out with the dog! (obviously age of children should be taken into consideration at discretion of parents)
 

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Thank you for an informative article, not to mention the terrific posts! I have a new adolescent and I'm having a bit of a problem with him. I can't seem to find something he'll work for! He doesn't like me having control over his actions outside, even though I carry treats. I have discovered that if I stand in his line of vision then he's forced to look at me and not what he's so attentive on. This works especially well when he spots another dog he wants to go play with. It's baby steps, but what else works when a dog has lost his...well, he seems to've given up? He loves a tummy rub, but I can't give those to him in the middle of the street, lol! I've got him on natural balance treats, and he does like them, but they're not enough of a motivating factor at the moment. I can't afford to let him gain the upper hand, but it is an internal --and physical struggle with him, even with the gentle leader I have him on. He stays near me constantly, so I quit tethering him. Did I give up too soon?
 

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re: tethering

it is hard to say if you gave up too soon without witnessing you and your dog in action, or without knowing all there is to know about your baby. (traits, personality, etc)....But dont worry!!! If you find that he is starting to stray again, just re-tether and do some refresher lessons. there is nothing wrong with that.

also if he's lost motivation, it may just be because he's bored with the lessons, etc.. i dont know how you practice at home, or how you respond to him..i try to stay away from using treats (unless its absolutely necessary to make way with a dog) ...you are right, you cant just drop and give a tummy rub in the middle of the street! :)
but you can get superexcited and bouncy(not too bouncy if this will lead them to jump on you)

but do you use treats at home when you are training? i once had a great dane in class who all of a sudden 'fainted' when he had to heel. this huge dog, would just lay on his side.. knowing he was way too big for his owner to pull a long a bit..treats didnt work, all of us getting excited and saying 'lets go' didnt work... it was funny(well funny now, but not then..lol) for this dog, the only motivation that worked was his favorite toy!! you may want to try that for at home --instead of using treats, use lots excited praise and reward with his favorite toy... if he starts to associate training as FUN, then possibly when you are away from home, he wont think 'oh no not again', each time you go into 'training mode'...

again, these are just suggestions and not a diagnosis for your baby. its hard to know everything you need to know about a dogs behaviour and owner interaction from a messageboard!! but they sure are fun!>

(quick question: you mentioned he loves tummy rubs.. does he go into 'tummy rub' mode during training? like when you tell him to 'down'? or when you want him to do something, he sorta does it, then goes straight into tummy rub mode? just wondering =) )

GOOD LUCK AND HAVE FUN!!!!
 

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LOL, yes, he does go into tummy rub mode while we are training. He's still getting used to me too. I've had him less than a week. (He's a rescue from the pound...it was his last day to live if you know what I mean...) He gave up at the shelter, and then of course, the day after I got him, I had to take him to the vet for emergency treatment and I'm afraid he associates me with pain, especially since I'm putting ear drops in his ears twice a day and feeding him pills, not to mention he got a hefty dose of flea/tick medication.

I'm trying to convince him that I don't want to hurt him, that in fact, I love him. It hurts me to hurt him...even though I know he'll be better with the medication :neenaw:
 

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oh i don't like obedience classes! We took our sheltie to one. A woman there had a rotti and wasn't stepping on the leash like she was supposed to. Her rotti ran over and attacked our sheltie. He was so beat up we had to put him to sleep. :bawl: I'm not saying that something like that is common in obidience classes, or that the class was the problem, it was just the irresponsible owner, and vicious dog. But i'll never take one of my pets to one, that has any type of dog that can do a copious ammt. of damage to another. (Not saying that rotti's are bad dogs.) :myop: But there are many good sides to obedience class, as listed throughout this thread.
 

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Amanda, that's horrible! I'm so sorry. I have been taking my Pommie to puppy classes and the trainer said that the next step is basic obedience. She also said that if your dog is aggressive they will not let them into the class. I can't believe that that happened to you! My Pom, Joey is better off though having gone to puppy classes and getting properly socialized with other pups.

I am babysitting a Chihuahua that has never been to classes or been around other dogs and she is barking and growling and snapping at Joey and my GSD, Coral. She is getting better with Joey, probably because he is around her size, but Coral every time she tries to come into the bedroom she barks and barks. Next time I'll be more careful in saying I'll watch someone elses dog. Only three more days to go.

Other than socializing your puppy, I think that its possible to train your pup without going to classes. Joey learned everything before class.

Amanda, again I'm sorry for your loss!
 

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I am new to the site and found your post helpful in many ways. I currently am trying to train my 13 wk German Shepard Ceszar who is very stubborn to say the least. Currently I am having issues with him bitting everyone in the household and barking to no stop. I've tried the loud noise such as clapping but it doesn't phase him one bit. Any suggestions?
 

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Hey that is a really good article! Also I hear that the most trainable dog is a german shepard and I think its true cause our dog is part german shepard and she was potty trained in like 3 days!!
 

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FYI:
This thread is very old, and Deja isn't a member anymore. So if you have any questions concerning what you've read here, you should probably make a new thread in the dogs section. :D Then we can help you out more! :D

Heidi - Your best bet is obedience training when he's old enough. He sounds just like a typical puppy to me. :rolleyes: Just work on making him know you are the leader by teaching him some simple tricks, like recognizing his name and sit. You can find out how in most puppy books. :D
 

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Great Information!

This was a really great post and I am so glad I joined this forum! I too, have been going through some trying times with our Yorkie (now 5 months old)...and sometimes, you just don't know WHAT is right or wrong as you care for pets. He has had a terrible time potty training and I have been at my wits end! I feel bad for getting so angry at him, but I know he will do much better when I fully learn and understand HIS instincts and work WITH them instead of AGAINST them. It makes perfect sense when you think about it (obedience training). In one - of many - desperate attempts to get my hands on some information that would actually HELP with our training problems, a friend recommended a really great program. I decided that I had nothing to lose (except more clean carpet and furniture!:(), so I jumped right in and am more than halfway through with it. Anyway, you could never learn too much and I'm always open for any new ideas! I love this site! Keep 'em coming! :)
 
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