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Bobby
11th April 2008, 03:23 PM
Bobby seems to be getting bolder each day and what seemed so cute in the beginning is no longer so :).

He refuses to come when you ask him. Today, a delivery guy called to deliver his vet bed and he darted out the door when he got a chance. He would not come once outside in the green no matter how many times I called him. Eventually I had to run after him and pick him up. This is getting dangerous, because you can't trust him for second, for fear he'll run off and not come back. And as for getting him into the crate at night? You must be joking! Its now turning into a chasing game around the house before bedtime.

Also, he likes to snuggle on the couch at night when we're watching TV, however when my parents were over last night he started jumping up on my dad, spilling his cup of tea on the couch. Then I gave him a treat and told him to hop into bed. Once he finished his treat, he stood up in the bed and peed. This is very strange because he was just outside five minutes before and any accident we have had is always at the kitchen door, never in the living room and definitely never in his bed. Was he rebelling that I stopped him jumping on my Dad?

We're starting puppy socialisation classes on may 10th but I'm beginning to worry that he's just bold. Also, he's now 5 months. Have we left it too long to train him. I try every day to practise Ian Dunbar's exercises from his book, "Come", "Sit", "Down" however once I don't have the treats in my hand he refuses point blank to do anything I say.

He's the most adorable dog and I love him to bits. However, I would like him to take a little more heed of myself and my OH. Right now, he thinks he's the boss. Any advice?

Karlin
11th April 2008, 04:04 PM
It is extremely important to understand that there is no such thing as a 'bold' puppy. This is normal behaviour. There is definitely such a thing as a dog that is not being and has not been trained --how is a dog, and especially a puppy, to know that running out the door isn't perfectly OK? :) You've mentioned a set of things where the *owner* needs to take daily time to train, to have a dog that won't bolt, comes when called, and knows to sit before the doorway and never run out without permission. A puppy will not be able to do any of these things just as a toddler won't know not to run out the door if you leave it open. That is why parents use child proof latches, closed hall doors, and baby gates to keep their kids safe -- I variously have done all those things to keep my dogs safe. too. :) So it sounds like you need to close hall doors at all times, if you have them; remember never to open the front door without first putting Bobby in a safe confined place, and maybe put up baby gates so he never, ever has free access (even by accident!) outside.

Some context for thinking about this might help. Expecting a 5 month old puppy to return right when called is like expecting a 2 year old toddler to always come when called. Your expectations need to both match the pup/dog's abilities and also match the time and effort YOU the owners have put in to train your dog to the point that it knows how to respond reliably to cues. This takes time -- weeks and months of dedicated work! :thmbsup: That said, when it comes to safety, you can never rely on the dog to simply obey a voice command in a potentially risky situation just as parents end to hold the hands of small children even when they are old enough to understand cars are dangerous. Parents know that small kids forget easily and get distracted and can run into the street with tragic consequences. The exact same at all times with a dog. Always have a dog on the lead near traffic and make sure a dog can NEVER bolt out the front door into the street.

A puppy socialisation class is not basic obedience, generally, and training has to happen with you, at home, daily, and be reinforced daily throughout the dog's life. So you'll need to be working on things outside of classes as well as practicing what you learn in class (by the way if the class uses and insists on choke chains, I'd leave the class. It is worth finding this out in advance).

There are good articles on all aspects of training here:

www.deesdogs.com
www.diamondsintheruff.com/behavior.html

The DUnbar books are excellent but you need to work on just a few things at a time, daily, in short sessions. Also remember he IS just a puppy -- he doesn;t know your dad has hot tea. Crate him when people are around and he gets too exciteable if needed but while you should be working gently to shape him now you cannot expect perfect behaviour when he is so young and only learning.

Bobby
11th April 2008, 04:20 PM
Thanks Karlin for your wisdom. When you compare him to a toddler it puts everything into perspective. We have loads of patience with him and we are training him daily for short periods however when he peed in his bed last night, I started to get worried that we were doing something very wrong.

I've found it difficult to find dog classes in galway. The only one I have found offers four types of classes; puppy socialisation, basic obedience, advanced obedience and fun agility. Should I start with basic obedience instead of socialisation? I also have no way of figuring out whether its a reputable trainer. As its the only class I can find I don't have much choice. Does anyone else know of other classes in Galway?

cy1266
11th April 2008, 04:33 PM
I also think all puppies are very different. Miles didn't come when we called him until he was several months older than your Bobby, but Truman came immediately when we called him, right when we first got him, at 11 weeks. He's 4 1/2 months old now and as soon as you call him he jumps up and runs to you...every time! He is very attentive. Miles, on the other hand, is still a bit more stubborn and I believe has selective hearing :lol:

As for getting him in the crate...this worked perfect for both of mine: I would say (in a very excited voice!) "go to your crate!" and lead them in and immediately give them a treat. They very quickly figure it out and will run in there as soon as you say that, then they wait for their treat. Truman now runs in there on his own all the time and will wait for his treat...which he only gets if I tell him to go in there ;)

Good luck, and remember, he's just a baby :luv:

Seraphine
11th April 2008, 10:37 PM
Your pup sounds a bit like mine when he was that age. And I still can't trust my dog to not sneak out the door if anyone comes in and leaves it open. That's why no one comes in and leaves it open! Cause once he gets out, he is not coming back willingly. He has zero recall offleash regardless of the training we've been doing for his whole first year. I hope your dog is different and has an easier time to get a reliable recall, mine is just too interested in everything else.

As for the crate thing, what really helped for me was making a game out of it. First tossing a toy into his crate and get him to take it back to me over and over again, eventually I added a command to him going inside the crate ("bedtime"). When I could get him inside on command I started shutting the door, give him a treat and then opening the door to let him out, and repeat that on various times during the day. It did take a while but now he goes in without a fuss, even though he doesn't like being shut inside it unless he is tired and wants to sleep.

jld
12th April 2008, 01:12 AM
When we were going through obedience training our trainer kept emphasizing and emphasizing that it takes most dogs at LEAST 1-2,000 times practicing recall before you can even somewhat trust that your dog will come when you call. And, even then, there may be that rare time that something else is just too tempting to run after. Dixie, for example, would come almost always when we were practicing, but IF she saw a squirrel running she couldn't stand it and off she went. She would eventually come back to me, but if it had been across a busy street I would hate to think what would have happened. So, even after all the practice, I still don't trust her everytime. Judy and Dixie

Cathryn
12th April 2008, 11:30 AM
Sound advice already given, not much more to add other than to remind you that Cavaliers are reknowned for their total lack of roadsense!

Am sure Bobby will grow into a well behaved little man, personnally I would go for the basic obedience first!

Karlin
12th April 2008, 02:26 PM
our trainer kept emphasizing and emphasizing that it takes most dogs at LEAST 1-2,000 times practicing recall before you can even somewhat trust that your dog will come when you call. And, even then, there may be that rare time that something else is just too tempting to run after.

What a great trainer! I think it is so important to emphasise both these points -- that dogs will only ever be as reliable as we train them to be and the time we put into them -- and that they are never fully reliable on commands just like we humans (ven though we can think and KNOW better!) also sometimes are tempted to do things we know we should not do... :) If a thinking person sometimes has little self control, how can we expect a dog to be 100% perfect in behaviour? ).

Many dogs are killed because owners assumed they have total recall, have 'road sense' (NO dog truly has 'road sense'), would not bolt out the door... as with small children, the responsible approach is to never make assumptions, and always allow the dog ONLY the freedom that the total safety of any given situation warrants. For dogs that means preventing them going out doors unexpectedly, never allowing them loose near traffic, keeping them on leads around livestock, personally and actively supervising all interactions with children under 10, removing all items you don't wish to have chewed or destroyed or confining the dog away from those things(g good furniture, shoes) and all items which are risky if eaten (kitchen and bathroom items especially; some dogs learn to open cupboards and the fridge,just as some small children so too). Basically just what you would do with any toddler. :thmbsup:

Moviedust
13th April 2008, 01:54 AM
Bobby sounds like a very happy, friendly puppy. Puppies ARE hard work, and raising puppies can be VERY frustrating. It definitely sounds like it's time to start classes and to reinforce the basic obedience commands you've started with. If you aren't sure if the puppy socialization class or basic obedience class is best, talk to the trainer or training center staff. Some classes will have age limits, etc. Plus, some socialization classes will start with basic obedience commands, so it will be important to know what the classes cover. We have a dog who some would have called "bold." Holly, our ruby, was owned for her first year by another family who didn't understand the needs of a small dog. I think they had the whole dog-as-accessory opinion and expected a well behaved dog without ANY effort--go figure!! Anyway, since she was not trained and boundaries was not defined, she first behaved (and sometimes still does...) like you described: running out the door, jumping on people, spilling tea, etc. etc. etc. She was a year old at this time, too, so she'd developed some very naught habits. Our first step--and it would be the same for you--is to establish boundaries. For instance, Holly is allowed on the sofa, but she's not allowed to touch me when I have food/drink while sitting on the sofa. She can sit next to me, but she can't be on me. Not even putting a paw on me, which she tried. These boundaries must be followed. At first, it meant vocal corrections, which are an "aeeehh" sound (guteral negative). If she didn't listen, she was immediately off the sofa immediately. Oddly enough, it didn't take long for her to figure out the boundary after being sent off the sofa and into the xpen once or twice. It takes consistent behavior from ALL family members to train boundaries; a dog does not learn very quickly if Mom allows something that Dad doesn't. Kids, too, need to know how to participate in the training process. There's no middle ground here. You set the boundary and you hold the dog to it at all costs, even if it means the tea going cold. You've talked about using Ian Dunbar's exercises and training for short periods. Along with these short formal training times, think about EVERY encounter with your dog as training. Your dog won't stop learning just because you aren't in a formal training session! Before giving your dog anything that it wants--including cuddles!--have the dog do a sit or down before giving it. Not only does this train the dog to sit for attention, it also puts you in the position of controller of all good things, which will help establish your authority over the dog. If you begin working extra hard on training now, you'll probably get a good month of training in--a very very vital month!--before the dog hits the phase in which it seems to have forgotten ALL the rules. It's important at this phase to keep working with patience. After another month or so, most dogs work through that phase and they become much more focused and controlled adult dogs and THEN you can exhale. ;)

Caraline
13th April 2008, 03:47 PM
Nodding with what everyone else said. Yeah, Bobby just sounds like a normal, happy, excited little puppy.

Obedience training would be great. Did you know that it is mainly the humans that get trained there. We get to learn how to lead our dogs & communicate with them in ways that they understand.

While you are waiting to get Bobby into some classes, you might like to think up some techniques for making Bobby want to do what you want him to. For example, rather than chasing him to get him to go into his crate, you wait till he is watching him & then toss a piece of his most favourite treat into the crate. As he rushes in to get it, you say "In your crate Bobby" and then shut the door behind him. :) Same thing when he runs away from you. Don't chase after him, because then you are the one performing tricks for him. Instead, grab the cookie jar & call "Bobby come!" as you are rattling the jar. Try to always have a little treat handy (maybe in your pockets). At random times, call him & give him a treat.

What you are trying to do is get Bobby to associate you calling him to get something great... rather than to do something he doesn't want to do.

Bobby
13th April 2008, 04:00 PM
Thanks everyone for the feedback. Moviedust, I was wondering about the whole couch situation. I love to have him up beside me for a snuggle, however if I sit down with a cup of tea he becomes a nuisance as he wants to get his nose into the cup. So are you saying that each time he jumps up and trys this should put him in his crate? Its very hard for him to understand that he is allowed up on the couch, but he has to sit quietly beside one of us if we are eating or drinking.

As for recall, are their any other training approaches? At the moment, myself and my fiance sit at two opposite ends of the kitchen and then we call him in turn to "come". At this stage he knows this game so well, he runs to the other person for a treat now before we even call his name. Any ideas?

As for getting him into the crate, this is improving allot. Any time I go into the utility room, Bobby runs into his crate and waits there for a treat. I don't even have to call him. However if I just go to do some laundry in the utility, he still hops into the crate expecting the treat. However he knows our routine of getting ready for bed so the clever dog won't follow the same approach at night time.

jld
13th April 2008, 04:04 PM
You have certainly NOT waited too long for training. We started Dixie with obedience training when she was 5 months. We were in an obedience class that used the "clicker" training method. We literally clicked and gave a treat EVERY time the dog even attempted to do what we wanted. It really worked, amazingly. She was in obedience classes for 18 weeks, and we practiced everything she was learning each day. It is a commitment. From the 18 weeks obedience training,we went to agility where she still practices obedience skills. We are still doing the clicker method. Part of our agility class each week is still working on the basic obedience skills, stay, recall, watch, sit, down, etc. The trainer told us that we must continue practicing those skills routinely. Oh, and another thing, there were, and are, all ages of dogs in her classes. Good Luck. Bobby, and you, can be trained. It is a partnership, and it really pays off if you make that commitment. Judy and Dixie

Moviedust
13th April 2008, 05:57 PM
Thanks everyone for the feedback. Moviedust, I was wondering about the whole couch situation. I love to have him up beside me for a snuggle, however if I sit down with a cup of tea he becomes a nuisance as he wants to get his nose into the cup. So are you saying that each time he jumps up and trys this should put him in his crate? Its very hard for him to understand that he is allowed up on the couch, but he has to sit quietly beside one of us if we are eating or drinking.

There are a couple of ways to deal with the food on couch situation. One is the obvious unappealing one--no humans with food on couch--which just isn't my style. I'm a tv watching eater. Another way to deal is to teach your dog to wait for an invitation before cuddling. The sit/down/etc. technique before all good things helps train this behavior. If you want to cuddle with Bobby, you let him know you'll cuddle by calling him or even training a command word "cuddle time!" etc. If Bobby tries to get on your lap and you have not asked -- even if you don't mind at that time -- you should immediately stand up. Obviously, he can't cuddle if you stand up. Then, you tell Bobby to sit and wait, while you sit back down. If he gets on you before you invite him, stand up. He'll quickly learn to sit and wait for you to sit. It's important not to immediately call "cuddle time" right when you sit, as Bobby will have a hard time waiting for the invitation rather than for you to sit. So vary the amounts of time you make Bobby wait. Soon, he'll learn that you must invite him to cuddle, no matter what you're doing. (It will also help him learn not to smother company when they are visiting--he should wait for an invitation from EVERYONE--including kids!)

If Bobby does not catch on to sitting and waiting on the sofa and he persists to get on you immediately when you sit down, then make him sit and wait on the floor. If he does not sit and wait on the floor, then he should be put into an xpen (not a crate, ideally, so as to avoid complications with his crate training). Usually, an xpen is only needed once or twice. Once Bobby gets the picture that he gets the cuddles by waiting and listening to you, he'll be very obedient, even if his little body shakes with excitement while he waits for those lovely "cuddle time" words.


As for recall, are their any other training approaches? At the moment, myself and my fiance sit at two opposite ends of the kitchen and then we call him in turn to "come". At this stage he knows this game so well, he runs to the other person for a treat now before we even call his name. Any ideas?

The very best way that I have found to teach a puppy to come is to play hide and seek!! It's fun for EVERYONE. Bobby will always get to be the seeker, and you and another person (husband) will always be the hiders. Have one of you stay with Bobby while the other one hides. Have the first hider call to Bobby in a happy voice. Keep calling his name (think of how you'd call his name if he ran off outside and you couldn't find him: BOOOOBBBYYYY). Bobby will find the hider, and the hider should give him a tasty treat and celebrate excitedly. While Bobby is hunting/finding the first hider, the second hider should find a spot. When the celebration noises stop, the second hider calls Bobby in the same way. He'll know how much fun awaits him when he hears his name called in that way, so he'll take off looking for hider #2. This game is great fun for the people, as seeing the puppy bounding toward you in success and then celebrating together is a heart-warming experience.


As for getting him into the crate, this is improving allot. Any time I go into the utility room, Bobby runs into his crate and waits there for a treat. I don't even have to call him. However if I just go to do some laundry in the utility, he still hops into the crate expecting the treat. However he knows our routine of getting ready for bed so the clever dog won't follow the same approach at night time.

Yes, Bobby is starting to figure out that the crate is associated with good things! Excellent! However, since he's not being so welcoming at night time, you need to figure out how to break the routine while still making the night time experience fun for Bobby. Does Bobby sleep in the utility room at night? Have you considered having his crate in your bedroom? Putting the crate in the bedroom and maybe putting a sheet or blanket over it (if it's wire) to make it more denlike might encourage Bobby to crate at night. He knows you're still in the house, so being in the same room might help him.

Does Bobby get a treat when he goes to his crate at night time? If not, add that in so he gets a treat at night (just a small nibble of something). It might help to make the bedtime treat something a bit more special than the daytime treat so Bobby especially looks forward to being crated at bedtime. A tiny bit of chicken or a soft, beefy treat might do the trick if you're using a biscuit or something less tasty during the day.

It sounds like you're making progress, so just keep with it. Bobby sounds like a happy, energetic puppy!! Enjoy it while it lasts, as he'll grow up so fast you'll miss his puppy antics!

Bobby
13th April 2008, 06:23 PM
Oh thank you for all the wonderful suggestions. I really appreciate it. I love the idea of playing hide and seek with him. Its a great idea. I will also start to try some of your ideas for couch training! It would be brilliant if he only jumped on the couch when called :p. I have a feeling that could take allot of training, as he loves bounding onto the furniture :razz:.

I'm not sure about sleeping in the bedroom. I know everyone feels differently about this. I don't allow Bobby upstairs. He has access to the full house downstairs because everywhere is either timber floors or tiles. Upstairs however is carpeted and I'm sure as you all know, hairs go everywhere. He seems perfectly happy in the utility however, and never cries when he goes to bed. He sleeps solidly until we come down to him in the morning and we can hear any bark he makes from upstairs.. But I really like your idea of giving him an extra special treat at night time to encourage him a little more. I also made a cover for his den last week and changed the doggy pillow mattress for some vet bed. The vet bed has made such a difference as he loves lying on this compared to the bulky pillow.