"Stubborn" dogs- don't need- corrections
|Barked: Fri Nov 9, '12 2:51am PST |
|Lobo also went super crazy when I came home. He does nothing but mope around or lay down near the door when I leave... AFTER he cries for several hours.
Although it may break your heart, if you want to stop the behavior, the best, most humane, thing to do is to simply ignore it. Take baby steps, though. If you try to expect her to stop everything all together, it won't happen for a long time.
First, decide if you're okay with jumping and mouthing. Personally, I am. If you're not, start by rewarding for no jumping. You can reward for no jumping by waiting until all four paws are on the floor(and later, waiting until she's sitting). A good reward in this case can be attention. You don't have to use food if you don't want to.
The mouthing will pretty much end with the jumping, especially if she can't reach your hands. But if it doesn't, then pretty much practice the same ideals as with jumping: No attention until she's no longer mouthing.
Crying/whining is also the same, although I recommend training an alternative behavior. Crying/whining/barking/making any kind of noise is self-reinforcing. So if you want to get rid of the noise, you have to show her that doing something else is even *more* reinforcing than that. If you want her to sit when you come in, then continue to practice the above, but with added criteria: No more whining.
In all of the situations above, you can either go back outside the house if she does one of them, or turn your back. I turned my back, but looking back, I probably would have received less scratches on my back if I had simply walked out of the house.
I also *highly* recommend you practice all of these on a weekend, when you don't have to leave for a couple of days. Go out for literally three seconds, come back in, and reward if Leah is standing there(or ask for a sit and then reward). Practice that frequently, but try to keep it to only a few repetitions a day. Training is already very stressful because dogs have to think, and adding the stress of you leaving could send her over threshold.
If you find that you can only do it once, then don't push it. Only do it once. Stop while you're ahead. Stop practicing even if she's excited/happy about it. You want her to begin to look forward to you leaving.
When she's fine with the three seconds, bump it up to five-six seconds, and again to ten, fifteen, twenty, thirty, a minute, two minutes, five minutes, ten minutes, etc. If you can't go from twenty to thirty seconds, then just do twenty-five seconds. If you're only able to go up a few seconds each time, again, don't push it.
Also, don't always make it harder and harder. If she's already pro at thirty seconds, go back down to three seconds. This tells her that you're not always going to be gone for long periods of time. Sometimes you come back very quickly, and sometimes you're gone for longer. But even if you *are* gone for a long time, it's okay.
Another good idea is hiding her favorite treats around the house or keeping her busy with a Kong. These are both good ideas because she's so focused on finding the treats, that she doesn't even care that you've just left. Again, it's no big deal.
Changing up patterns (put your coat on for five minutes, then take it off; grab your keys, sit down, read a book, then put your keys up, etc.) can also put her mind at ease. Dogs learn patterns *very* quickly, so changing them up will make her curious instead of anxious.
No long, drawn out goodbyes. No exciting, "ERHMAHGERD" returns. These are both good ways to reduce anxiety.
When meeting with people... Don't push it. I can't stress this enough. If you try to force her into meetings, the potential for aggression is quite high.
I highly recommend the site reactivedogs.com, and Ali Brown's books and DVD's for her meeting with people.
Edited by author Fri Nov 9, '12 2:51am PST
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