View Full Version : Defiant teenager?

16th April 2012, 11:47 AM
If I sit on the lounge and ignore Bella, she will jump up on my lap and make herself comfortable. If I pat my lap and say 'come on' she sits her butt on the ground, looks at me suspiciously and walks away! Does anyone else have this issue?

16th April 2012, 12:10 PM
Sounds like she has no idea that you want her on your lap. Have you actually trained and regularly practised this as an actual, formal command? My dogs do not really respond to that kind of invitation either, because I never trained an actual command for 'come up on my lap'. Most cavaliers just assume they can come up when they feel like it. :)

If you haven;t trained a command, patting your lap or the place next to you on the sofa just looks to most dogs like a meaningless gesture. :) Some may eventually make an association between gesture and an actual command but many will not. For a young dog, that is less likely as it is more likely one a dog figures out over time. If you actually want her to respond reliably, then train it in steps with rewards and link it to a cue/command such as 'lap'.

If you use 'come on' or 'come' in any other context -- as you probably do -- then she really will be mostly confused as there's no context for her to do what you normally want (eg probably to 'come on' over here from a distance to walk with you, or a recall command). Dogs can't differentiate as people can, and set several actions to a single word or set of words (and that is why a lot of people struggle to get their dog to stop jumping using 'down' which they also use to mean 'get off the furniture' and 'lie own'. All three actions should have completely different cue/command words).

In short -- the issue with dogs not doing what we want is almost always that we haven;t trained them to do a particular action to a particular cue or practised it enough and/or are expecting them to do something dogs cannot do (but that humans do easily) -- infer fresh meanings into a cue dependent on context. Each command needs just one individual meaning, needs to be taught in a positive, clear way (we also often train in too muddled way so a dog doesn;t really get what is precisely wanted for a given cue) and then needs to be practised, practised, practised daily til a sound response is there -- and then practised weekly to keep it a live word in the dog's command vocabulary.

16th April 2012, 01:22 PM
I feel like such a dope! I will teach her to "come on" for a cuddle.

16th April 2012, 01:56 PM
:lol: Don't feel like a dope! We have all been there, and I constantly have to remind myself -- wait a minute -- I didn't actually teach them to do x or y so why am I expecting a response...


I have done or sat in on numerous training classes, seminars etc and truly, every time realise I am doing something to accidentally reinforce what I don't want or not being clear in what I do want. I found when I changed to simple hand signals with Jaspar for some basic agility his abillity to understand me improved enormously which all goes to show how ambiguous we can be in communication (or rather -- me!)!

16th April 2012, 01:58 PM
Sometimes I will invite Sophie up into my lap for a cuddle, but she is not in the mood and stays on the floor. Other times, she can't get up into the chair fast enough. She knows the words and hand signal, but has a mind of her own.... to the point that she and I will be going through more obedience classes this summer. I've never had a dog who is so stubborn; she challenges me regularly. (all previous dogs were sooo willing to please) Apparently I need more training on how to be her pack leader! She definitely is a Type A wannabe.

16th April 2012, 03:23 PM
Bentley loves to sit on laps! He does not even try to jump on the furniture, however. Last fall when our sick daughter was here with her Bishon, Elvis, who jumps very high, Bentley did jump to the sofa a couple of times. Shortly after that we had his knee fixed (luxated patella) and he had a recovery time of 6 weeks or more. Elvis isn't around much now either. Bentley just sits in front of us, looking expectantly, until we pick him up - quite a job for 70-somethings and a 26 lb baby! 75% of the time he sits there, then darts away when we reach for him. This goes on for about 3-4 tries, then he sits and waits. He needs a lap and nap time within an hour of waking up every morning. Oh, how we love this boy and he's such a comfort after losing our daughter.

17th April 2012, 04:04 AM
Our Jessie won't jump up on the furniture, not through us teaching him though, somehow he has just learn that he waits to be invited,
even then we have to lift him up. He'll sit at the base of the couch with one paw up and looks at whoever is sitting there to pick him up.

He's 7 months old and a big 11kg boy, he can almost hurdle the couch if he wanted to, but just chooses not to. Which is actually handy when you have
company over. He will, on the other hand, try to see what's were having for dinner by standing on his hind legs and looking across the dining table.
Just been using the 'down' command, and not being able to reward him with a treat when he hops down is hard, but we figured that if he is rewarded,
he'll keep being a sticky nose, as he he might believe that he is being rewarded from our plates. I think I may have just confused myself then.

Jessie doesn't fit on my lap, no where near it. Laying down, he's now longer than our doorways http://www.kolobok.us/smiles/he_and_she/girl_impossible.gif

Kate H
17th April 2012, 09:50 AM
Sophie's mum wrote: Apparently I need more training on how to be her pack leader! She definitely is a Type A wannabe.

All this pack leader stuff is very out of date - based on research done on wolves forced into unnatural groupings in captivity - so don't bother with the
training!:) All dogs go through a teenage stage where they behave as if they've never had a lesson in their life. To some extent this is pushing the boundaries, but mostly it isn't defiance as much as absentmindedness! Hormones are kicking in, they get taken out and about more as they get older, the world is opening up - and their minds are simply on other (doggy) things! So you just have to patiently re-teach all the lessons and remind them that yes, they DO have to listen to you, and that life is more fun and more rewarding if they do.

Kate, Oliver and Aled

17th April 2012, 10:33 AM
I know the pack leader thing is out of date but.....Benny (my parents lab x cocker spaniel) usually always goes first for a bath when the dog wash man comes, but today Bella went first. When it was Benny's turn he was so naughty! He has been getting a bath every month for 3 years and has not been so naughty since the first time. He kept knocking the blow dryer out of the guys hands and jumping everywhere. We can only link the fact that Bella went first.

Kate H
17th April 2012, 11:27 AM
I think dogs definitely have a pecking order among themselves, often with an older bitch being the matriarch of a group and standing no nonsense. As he gets older, Oliver makes it quite clear to Aled that he has first claim on my lap when he wants it, though he doesn't fuss if he's doing something else and Aled has a cuddle. But this is normal animals (and birds) sorting themselves out for group living (and in fact this is how wolf packs organise themselves for practical living), not this silly stuff about a human having to become pack leader in order to control them. Dogs pay attention to humans because it's worth their while: food is better (and no trouble to hunt!), life is more comfortable, interaction is more fun, if you give and take with humans (even if they expect you to do some pretty daft and pointless things!). Our job is not to bully them into submission but to ensure that, from the dog's point of view, the pluses of living with us outweigh the drawbacks of, for example, not always being able to do what they want. This is one of the reasons why puppy farms are so bad (apart from poor breeding practices and living conditions) - the dogs are getting nothing in return for their contact with humans; from their point of view the situation is all minuses.

Kate, Oliver and Aled

17th April 2012, 11:56 AM
Couldn't agree more.
Dogs are furry little social beings, and like us, they establish bonds, certain dislikes with other dogs or people, that's why they are such a major part of our lives. They prove to be loyal and show empathy. Not that I am either for or against, but that is one of the main reasons that our Jessie has never been caged or crated, he eats his din dins when we sit down to dinner and occassionally even sleeps on the end of our bed.

We just figure that he is such a big part of our family and we treat him as such. I don't think there is any need to establish a pack leader as such. JMHO of course.

17th April 2012, 03:40 PM
I get annoyed when I talk about Benny being maternal (even though he is a boy, though neutered) towards Bella. He teaches her how to play. One day he had a piece of meat and growled at Bella when she came near, but then I kid you not...he bit off a piece for her! I don't care if people think I am anthropomorphising, I know hw did it.