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Training NOT to paw.

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

  
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Nikolai

GOgoGogOGO
 
 
Barked: Fri Nov 16, '12 9:38am PST 
Niko is a very paw-oriented dog. If he gets overwhelmed or confused he'll just start throwing paws around here and there, curling so they're extra scratchy like a cat. He's scratched me up plenty of times.

I went the route of reinforcing things for him to do with his paws that wouldn't be painful for me. If he made contact with me I'd calmly 'Nope' (No reward queue) him and ask for a different paw trick. I get it, pawing is fun for you, let's redirect that in a way that doesn't hurt me.

Now, he'll paw everything BUT me, unless he's EXTRA ramped up and not thinking. He'll usually go find a toy and then just go to town scratching it up, or he'll flap his paws in the air in front of him imagining he's scratching me laugh out loud. When he does do a paw thing that requires contact with me (Give paw and such) he does it like I'm made of glass. :] Learned paw-inhibition, hahaha.
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Ria

Miss Black- Magic's 'Ria'
 
 
Barked: Fri Nov 16, '12 1:38pm PST 
Nare – I originally began with luring to teach it to her, because she was still figuring it out. Now, however, she does know it and I’ve basically taken rewards out of it and made it into a praise reward instead. If she calmly goes into a down when asked, she gets praised and we move away. It’s only if she’s super excited when I ask that she still hits me with her paws, lol. The idea of a toy that she can use her paws with though, sounds like a great idea. I’m hesitant to get more puzzle toys with her though, because she doesn’t do anything with them. She’ll nudge a cover with her nose to get a treat, but won’t turn or push anything else and doesn’t really bother with it otherwise. She’ll sit, stare and wait to get a reward. I do frequently give her a stuffed frozen Kong though, so she has to use her paws and teeth on that, and I give her raw marrow bones too, frozen, so she has to hold those in place to work at them as well.

Asher – so glad you responded! I always love to hear your opinions on training things. Anyway, if she does something when asked(such as lay down, or sit), she gets rewarded with various different things. Sometimes it’s treats, sometimes it’s her ball, sometimes it’s simple praise. If she starts pawing at me, what I’ve started doing is turning my back and ignoring her until she offers something else, such as a sit and that’s when I reward. She’s VERY excitable though, and I’m still trying to teach her that calm behavior and impulse control is more likely to get her something. For a while though, I probably WAS reinforcing that behavior without realizing it, and I have caught my fiance reinforcing it A LOT – I’ve had to give him trouble before, because when she jumps on him when he walks in the door, he immediately starts petting which reinforces the jumping(something I do not want her to do), so I really do need to sit down and get on the same page with him. I also have a younger brother that instigates nipping and clawing when he plays with her and I’m always after him for it too, so I need to have a talk with him too. What I do to get her out of the behavior is moot if everyone else continues to reinforce it, and I do realize that.

Nikolai – he sounds EXACTLY like Ria. Especially if she’s excited. She throws her paws around constantly. And I’m not sure if it’s a breed trait, or if it’s just her personality.

Okay… Just talked to my fiance, and it was like a light bulb moment for him! He said it made sense, and he stopped immediately. She jumped on him, he moved away and ignored her, but if she stayed on all fours, and didn’t jump or paw, he would throw her ball for her(which was what she wanted). Also, as soon as she went to paw at him, he did the same thing and waited for her to go back to being calm and either sitting or keeping all fours on the floor. Now, I just need to talk to my brother. I just pointed out to my fiance that we want kids in our future, and we always have kids visiting, so I didn’t want her jumping on them or clawing them and hurting them and showed him my hands, bol. He understands.

Edited by author Fri Nov 16, '12 1:39pm PST

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Alva BH

I ordered the- best dog for me- & got her
 
 
Barked: Fri Nov 16, '12 3:10pm PST 
I remembered this article when someone mentioned that teach it to prevent it-method.

Karen Pryor: A Swinging Pair
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Fox

1178619
 
 
Barked: Fri Nov 16, '12 7:43pm PST 
I don't see the Karen Pryor article as advocating "teach it to prevent it," rather "take advantage of the behavior that's happening to teach an alternate cue." In this case, capturing the silence between barks then putting BOTH on cue.

That's very different than simply teaching the dog to do the thing you're attempting to eliminate, then hoping it goes away. Which, yes, does work for SOME dogs. SOME of the time the dog is satisfied by the structure around the behavior alone. But the failure rate is very high and when it does fail it backfires completely. If your dog finds pawing (or barking or whatever) reinforcing for ANY reason aside from the reward you are providing, at best the behavior will not change. Making matters worse is that the behaviors people tend to try this with are repetitive, endorphin-releasing activities that don't require any outside stimulus to be reinforcing. That makes for a method I do not recommend.
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Alva BH

I ordered the- best dog for me- & got her
 
 
Barked: Sat Nov 17, '12 4:53am PST 
I guess that the idea behind teach-it-to-prevent-it methods is to put the behaviour under stimulus control - that the dog only does it on cue because without cue it will not pay off. Off course, we see now a serious disadvantage if the behaviour is self-rewarding.
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