Pie trains Betty!

June 15, 2010

Betty trying to convince Pie that she is more interesting than his bone!

I am fascinated watching Pie and Betty, I don’t have them together all the time, they spend a good time apart or I will lose my puppy to Pie! And I need and want a good relationship with both of them! But when they are together I love to watch the interactions, in a little over a week Pie has taught Betty not to jump on him when he is lying down, well for most of the time! She does forget sometimes when she is very excited, how has he taught her you ask? 🙂 He is a lesson in determined persistence, he never loses his temper, the volume goes up sometimes to a bark, but mostly it is a grump noise that deters her! Every time she jumps on him he grumps, it took sixish times for her to get the message (the 6 repeats to train anything applies to this too it seems!), sometimes he backs up the grump with walking away, sometimes he stands up to bark then lies down again. Betty ends up squirming on her back looking as cute as she can to win him over, and submitting to boot! Sometimes, when she is half-hearted in her attempts he simply ignores her. The most I have seen him do under severe provocation is to hold her nose in his mouth, but he can’t be biting as I have not heard Betty squeal once, he hasn’t frightened her once! Pie is a very good puppy trainer! Every day and on every occasion he repeats the same similar procedure, and now he is reaping his reward, he can lie in the kitchen or garden nine times out of ten without being pounced on. Betty tries every angle, playing with his tail is allowed until she hits his tail bone, when the grump comes again!

My old Teddy, the dog that Pie grew up with was more fierce with him, I wonder if that was because Pie was a tougher puppy, but I suspect it was more to do with Teddy being a tougher leader, as was his Mum, Truly, who he grew up with.

I know in the wild the pack leader varies in how bossy and tough they are, it is about personality types, just as in people.

In dog training it is far more productive to be gently persistent, by repeating over and over the exercise or deterring a behaviour the dog will learn and retain training only through these consistent repetitions. Where as if “scare” tactics are used the dog simply freezes, learns nothing and once recovered from the scare will repeat the old behaviour.

Betty is truly learning not to jump on Pie, and I am coming to appreciate Pie in a new way. My dear Teddy, who died last February, was a saint of a dog, and it has been tough for Pie to become top dog in my heart, but he is working his way through just as persistently as he is training Betty!

Betty learns not to jump on Pie!

Let the training begin! Here is the first step of preventing or curing food possession in any dog, any age!

Follow the steps on the clip and repeat every day for  2 weeks, if your dog is already food possessive you may need to continue for a month, it will work, if you have any questions or comments please post them?

Dry food is ideal for this process, wet food can be used, but if you have a food possessive dog please consider changing to a good quality dry food. Contact me if you want more guidance.

Please show tell all the dog owners you know about this simple method of preventing food possession, it will save lives and injury to people!

More information coming on upcoming posts, watch this space!

Arabella's puppy now doing well in the show ring!

Arabella's puppy now doing well in the show ring!

Dogs are pack animals, which is why they live so well with us in our family units, which to them equates to the ‘pack’.  The most successful packs in the wild are those where there are clear rules, boundaries and constraints; every dog knows its job and what it can and can’t do.  Their survival depends upon clear rules and consistency. This in itself offers the dog a sense of security.

To give a dog the best possible start within our ‘pack’, we too need to clearly outline and instigate rules and boundaries.  Without these, our dog begins to display unwanted behaviours such as play-biting, jumping up uninvited, stealing and behaving like a real ‘wild child’!  Often we try to fix the actual problem but the underlying causes remain the same and the behaviour never really disappears.

Here is my list of suggested rules, which would remain in place until the dog is at least 2 years old:

  • Restricting the dog’s area when he or she is left alone
  • Not allowing the dog on furniture
  • Ensuring the dog moves out of our way when required – not us stepping over the dog or around it
  • No one is to play rough or ‘fighting’ games with the dog
  • Do not allow the dog to play fight/play bite with other dogs living in the household
  • No ‘tug of war’ games with the dog
  • No jumping up uninvited
  • No feeding the dog from the table or plates
  • All food and titbits should be ‘worked’ for, for example asking the dog to Sit for his dinner or titbit
  • Not constantly responding to the dog’s demands for attention – they do not require constant entertainment
  • When returning to the dog, ignoring him or her for at least 5 minutes before greeting (displays leadership skills and reduces over-excitement at your return)

Without rules and boundaries, your success in training your dog will be limited and you will not experience the true joy of a well-adjusted, well-mannered dog, which you can be justifiably proud.

If you experience problems in successfully instigating your rules or do not understand why any of the above are suggested, please contact me.