|Barked: Sun Apr 14, '13 8:23pm PST |
|If it were my kids/grandkids, I would make it clear to them that if she, or any dog, growls at them, it's a sign to leave the dog alone. Obviously you don't want your dog growling at them, but it is preferable to a bite, and it sounds like chances are good they'll annoy her at some point and she'll growl at them. Better that they understand it means the dog is asking them to stop whatever they're doing and then you can deal with the situation.
As with most things, you can fade the treat over time. I don't treat my dogs for obeying an off and they still do it consistently. In your situation, I wouldn't give her a reason to growl in the first place. When you're working on the off or need her to move, get a treat/toy, say "off", lure her down, then treat/play/praise. You want a positive association with the command, not a negative one, so try to avoid the growl completely.
You can also do several repetitions in a row, so she gets a treat/toy for getting off, and also gets rewarded by being allowed right back up on the couch where she wants to be. That way it's more of a fun game and less of an unpleasant chore. From there, you can gradually increase the time between the off and the up, so that she learns she needs to stay off until you tell her she can go back up.
Edited by author Sun Apr 14, '13 8:30pm PST
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