Behavior & Training > Stranger Aggression / Trust issues (Please read!)


Barked: Fri Dec 21, '12 12:25am PST 
@Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"
---Maybe I didn't explain myself enough in my original post. I do not let strangers pet her after becoming fully aware of how she is. I was simply saying the things she would do if I were to let her continue to interact with them based on previous experiences. As for her being fearful of strangers in the home- when I say fearful- I don't mean the shy-away-and-hide-in-the-bedroom fearful. I mean the im-going-to-charge-you-and-lick-you-and-bring-you-my-toys-but-if-you -pet-me-on-the-head-for-too-long-ill-get-pissed-and-snap-at-you type of fearful/insecure. When new people do hold out treats to her she is completely disrespectful and jumps/leaps up on them to get the treat- something she knows is unacceptable and would never do to anyone she knows well /likes.
» There has since been 3 posts. Last posting by , Dec 21 10:32 am

Behavior & Training > Stranger Aggression / Trust issues (Please read!)

Barked: Thu Dec 20, '12 2:12pm PST 
She wants to like people, I know she does. She just has severe trust issues with people she doesn't already know/love- and instead of taking option a and running away from the strangers she's scared/untrusting of- she opts for option b and tries to make them go away via aggressive behaviors such as growling, jumping, air snapping or muzzle punching their sneakers.

-Sometimes she will wag her tail and want to go up to new people to say hello, but once they pet her she gets stiff, insecure and growls/snaps at their hands.
-She is very easy to offend by people she does not fully trust and does not like any dominating gestures from new people, such as petting the top of her head, stepping over her, hovering over her, staring at her in the eyes, putting your feet on her back, etc.
-She is perfectly fine in public around large groups of people when I take the bus to work so long as people ignore her and don't try and touch her. If they do she'll either think she wants to say hi and then end up getting insecure and snapping, or growl at them (no teeth are ever bared) to let them know that she doesn't want them to approach her
-She seems much more comfortable meeting new people in our home rather than out in public. Meeting people in public has proved pointless since that is out of her comfort zone, but when introduced in our apartment in the very specific way she needs to be introduced to new people (people should be sitting down, have treats, and only give her breif pets while showering her with treats until she starts to gets used to them. Also I always tell them not to hover over her or do any other of the dominating gestures I mentioned above) -then she seems to be perfectly fine.
-She seems to warm up to women much more quickly than men

I know I need to get her to a trainer/behaviorist and I fully plan on doing so once I have the extra money- the problem is that I just don't have that at the moment and want to know anyones advice on what I could do in the meantime to help these trust issues she has.

I've read the whole "Oh have a stranger walk by her and toss her treats" speech but she's already fairly comfortable with being around strangers so long as they show her no attention. What I really need is advice on how to get her to trust people I introduce her to more easily rather than being so defensive.

Really any advice you would have for me would be appreciated, in case I haven't already thought of it.
» There has since been 10 posts. Last posting by , Dec 21 10:32 am

Behavior & Training > Dogs' behavior regressing


Barked: Thu Dec 20, '12 1:59pm PST 
In my opinion- if you do not have the time to watch them and therefore train them to display appropriate behaviors- you should rehome them to someone who can. You've been offered advice to crate train which is a very effective tool and not cruel at all. ESPECIALLY since you do work from home and can take a 3 minute break every 3 or so hours to take them outside and let them eliminate themselves, followed by a treat reward (therefore reinforcing that going potty outside is good). If something that simple and quick is too unreasonable for you then you shouldn't have these dogs. Not trying to sound rude or blunt but it really is in the best interest for both you and the dogs.
» There has since been -1 posts. Last posting by , Dec 20 1:59 pm

Behavior & Training > sniffing is a "highly aggressive" move!??


Barked: Thu Dec 20, '12 1:53pm PST 
It sounds like this guy tried to research a bunch of aggressive behavior online once his dog began to be aggression- like most people do and read some stupid article on how if a dog sniffs your feet he's stalking you. It's all about body language. If your dog is stiff/ reacts negatively to being pushed away from the crotch area- then he may be correct (although not to the degree he's expressing). Train your dog to stop sniffing so excessively on command (like the "leave it" command) because while I don't think that excessive sniffing is aggressive, it sure can be annoying. Especially when the owner can't contain their dog.
He's probably just butthurt that his dog has to be muzzled in public, and he's seeing something that your dog does as aggressive based on false/misinterpreted information he read about dog behavior on the internet.
» There has since been 0 posts. Last posting by , Dec 20 1:53 pm

Behavior & Training > What Makes You a "Dog Person" ?


Barked: Thu Dec 20, '12 1:48pm PST 
I've had dogs my entire life growing up. Cats too, but I just feel like the bond you get with your dogs is on a whole other level that can't even be compared. The way that you and another species such as a dog can communicate and understand each other almost to the extent of another human, is really just mind blowing to me. Sure you can develop such a relationship with a cat, but dogs just seem so much more readily willing to please, work and accompany their owners.
» There has since been 2 posts. Last posting by , Dec 27 6:27 pm

Behavior & Training > Suka won't stay

Barked: Thu Dec 20, '12 1:36pm PST 
Have you considered clicker training? I think you should look into it it has proven to be an AWESOME training tool when teaching my pit bull all her tricks (shutting doors, getting drinks from fridge, etc) -and I actually used it when teaching her the prolonged sit-stays. It got to the point where I could actually have her sit in front of the open front door, walk down the stairs outside my apartment, across the parking lot, around the corner- then come back and she wouldn'tve budged.

I would go through in detail what clicker training does- but google is your friend and you could get a much better grasp there.
The short and sweet version- its a small metal/plastic handheld square that you press down and it makes a "click" noise.
In the beginning all you do is have him sit in front of you with his focus on the treats, and then you sit there and repeatedly click the clicker and then instantly give him a treat. This is called "Loading" - to make him grasp the concept of the clicking sound)
Once he starts to look at you expectantly when he hears the clicking noise- you know you've gotten the point across.
Then comes the training.
Have him Sit. The second his butt hits the floor click and reward. The thing about clicker training is timing- so make sure you don't click before or after he sits down.
Then give him the Sit-stay command. Click for even one or two seconds of remaining seated and give him a treat. Do this multiple times in a grow, gradually increasing the amount of time between giving the command "stay" and clicking the clicker. If he begins to break his sit-stays too early, you are moving too fast. Some dogs learn slower than others so be patient. What you will find though, is that with the help of the clicker (which is much more precise at marking wanted behaviors from your dogs and getting that concept across to him) he will start to grasp concepts much more quickly.

Like I said, google "clicker training" on google and read a few posts. I am a huge fan of clicker training and think everyone who is working with their dog should consider looking into it.
» There has since been 2 posts. Last posting by , Dec 23 7:30 pm

Choosing the Right Dog > How can I get people to look past my appearance??


Barked: Thu Dec 20, '12 1:20pm PST 
If someone had the audacity to come up to me and actually tell me that my pit bull will kill my children (if I had any) one day, I would tell them that it it just shows how ignorant and uneducated they are. I would tell them they should really do their own research on the breed before accepting what they hear on the news, when in reality 90% of the claims of a pit bull attack- aren't even about pitbulls, but about completely different breeds who just so happen to resemble them. I would also tell them that its unfortunate they are so close minded and judgemental, because it isn't until someone owns one, that they truly understand just how above and beyond their loyalty and love goes in comparison to any other breed.
» There has since been 1 post. Last posting by , Dec 21 1:07 am

Australian Shepherd > Aussie won't listen to me!


Barked: Thu Dec 20, '12 2:56am PST 
1. "She knows that if someone is in the store, that she won't get yelled at or punished ... they may say 'oh she is fine' or 'she didn't do anything wrong' "

This is something you need to get over real quick- what others will think about you and your training techniques. Do not be afraid to discipline your dog just because there is someone else in the store. Aussies are a highly intelligent breed and I'm not surprised that she's smart enough to know that she can get away with it. The solution? Don't LET her get away with it. It's better to have someone thinking you're too harsh by scolding your dog a few times before she's trained, than to have a disobedient dog whenever you're in public.

Now what do you scold her for that people say she's not doing anything wrong about? Let me give you an example of something like this that used to happen to me.
When I was teaching Bailey not to jump up on people when meeting them, I would tell her "No. Off" every time she jumped on someone and then pull her off of them. It was a HUGE annoyance to me when people would say "Oh she's okay I love dogs" and then continue to praise her with affection while she continued to jump on them. It completely backfires the training. I got so fed up with it that I started saying something along the lines of "No its not okay" or "No it isn't fine, I'm trying to teach her manners so she doesn't knock over some little kid in the future" A lot of the time this would happen at my work so I had to come up with a very short, blunt way of saying it without sounding disrespectful- after all you can't be rude to customers (I work at a pet store too) when you're the employee.
If someone tells you she's fine or that she's not doing anything wrong, think of a specific, short and to the point sentence that will get your point across without sounding rude.

2. "When I tell her to “come” she will look at me and then just stay by the customer, or will just run to them and paw up on them."

Get a training lead. It is a 20 to 30 ft leash (or you could get a 16 ft retractable leash) and keep it attached to her at all times. Rule #1 of obedience training your dog is never give a command you can't reinforce. Sorry to break it to you but you got a highly intelligent breed- which means she is smart enough to know that you can't REALLY do anything from all the way over there behind the counter when she can probably just outrun you if you started to come over anyways. Keep a lead on her at all times, and when she doesn't want to listen to you when you tell her to "come", give a gentle yank on the leash in your direction. If that's enough OOMPH to get her to continue her way towards you, treat and praise her- and then let her go say hi to that person. If not, then drag her back to you, then reward her for being at your side- even if it is something you had to force her to do. She's smart. She'll learn quickly that she can either run to get the treat, or be dragged to get the treat. Either way shes going to end up at your side when you say "come" and get a treat for it. If she does need to get dragged in the beginning i recommend trying this with a friend or some crazy PETA person who will claim your "abusing" your dog. lol. Eventually you'll notice that you'll have to tug less and less in order for her to respond.

3. "Should I be more forceful with the people and tell them she can’t say hi until she sits? I have tried that, but they ignore my comments since she is so small they don’t care what she does."

Yes be more forceful. This is tricky when you're at work since you do need to be polite to the customers, but figure out a quick sentence that gets your point and seriousness across. Lets use the jumping example. If Bailey were to jump on someone, and I said "Off" and they told me it was okay and continued to let her jump on them, even after I told them "No it isn't i'm trying to teach her manners" I would yank her off (and I say yank as in pull, not decapitate) and turn her right around and walk away from the person. -Not as to offend the person, but to show Bailey that if she jumps, she gets removed from the situation she wants to be a apart of. Is there some sort of wall with a hook on it that you can attach her to where she is restrained enough to not have access to greet people? Like behind the counter perhaps? I would do that, and then return to helping the customer or following up with a "I appreciate you being so friendly with my dog but I would really appreciate if you respected the training I'm trying to do. I can't have her jumping on a toddler in the future and scratching their faces on accident because I didn't teach her jumping was bad from the beginning..." etc etc.

People need to respect owners' training their dogs. Enough said.
» There has since been 1 post. Last posting by , Dec 27 4:13 pm

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