• Judy B.

    October 8, 2017 at 10:33 am

    Hi Maria, Davis and Kim have both directed you with great advice. First understanding why Navy is doing what he does is the first step. The leadership that they directed you to is a huge part of achieving your goals with him. His world needs to make sence to him all the time. Leadership doesn’t even need to mean a firm hand or being loud. It just means who has the first right to limited resources. If sometimes Navy does and sometimes you do, you will have conflict. His bossy behavior is likely a result o leadership conflict. Affection, play, feeding, resting places, and travel all need to be initiated by you. If he is calling the shots and the time comes where you don’t wabt to be bothered he’s going to start doing what he has been already, barking  and being bossy. Once you get your leadership in order it may get worse before it gets better. It’s like giving a child what it wants all the time then when you finally dobt let the child get what it wants you get a tantrum. If he is being bossy your best bet is to ignore it. At this stage where you are trying to reverse the roles I wouldn’t try to implement obedience when he is acting up at home. It’s just the result him believing it’s his job to call the shots. You just wait it out and ignore him. If he’s barking and being bossy for attention you have patince. Once he finally gives up and walks away…..you get down and you call him over and give him love and attention. When he’s looking for attention you don’t give him any. Attention is attention good or bad. He will start to learn oh if I bark mom comes over and gives me attention. That you don’t want. Really go through the leadership. You know that he is territorial so you set him up for sucess. Dont put him in any situations where he can fail. If he has bitten someone for coming onto the territory….next time you put him away so that he can’t get into trouble. Then we can work on obedience and a good place command. A good place is golden! Also going along with leadership you wabt to make sure he has nothing to worry about when people are over…..a toy in a room, a bone in the floor…..he should own nothing and you should have nothing around that he needs to worry about. You will own everything and you will pro use him with play and things to chew when he needs to. Like mentioned before. Write down all his behaviors. Good and bad. Everything. Like mentioned you will see patterns and it will help you or will help us to help you troubleshoot.

    As for phase 1, you will know they are ready for phase 2 once they have a full understanding. This means that first the understand what you are asking of them. That they clearly know what you want from them without the use of body language and they can hold the command for an interval reward. Every 1 sec he gets a treat, every 2 sec he gets a treat, every 3 sec he gets a treat and so on while still remaining in the command. Then once you can get a few second interval, you should be able to get a duration for the same amount of time. If he can stay in position for a 3 second interval the. He can do a 3 second duration. So now for the duration you may put him in a sit and instead of giving him a treat every 3 seconds…..you make him wait 3 seconds then give him the treat and free him up. Once you can do a short duration with him. You mix it up. You now put him on a variable reward schedule. Sometimes he gets the treat and or love for doing the command, sometimes he gets it for waiting the duration, maybe sometimes he only gets it on the “free”. You mix it up. So once you know that your dog knows a command without body language, for a duration and is on a variable reward schedule then you know it is fair to start phase 2 which starts off with escape conditioning. If you have any questions on this please reach out to us and let us know.

    Be patient, fair and respectful as we always preach. If a dog is off leash and does not respond for various reasons it is because we have not yet taught them. I would only do formal commands on leash or not order commands off leash because we will end up finding yourself yelling when all we need to do is teach first. You can even start a 6 foot formal recall if you are having trouble getting him to listen and come to you at times. Remember motivation is key too. What motivation does he have to listen? If he comes over for attention whenever he wants it’s not valuable when you call him….if he wants to go chase something  or smell the neighborhood ….anything.  ..whay motivation does he have if you have nothing. You always want to be more interesting that what he wants. You call him…you want him hungry for your affection. You have a treat you want it to be valuable so he cares …..you want rewards to on a dense but variable schedule so the 1 time you don’t have one it’s ok. These are all little things to think of. We can’t expect what we haven’t taught so we just need to teach. Always set the dog up for success not failure. If we put them in a situation and the dog has an accident is usually on us. Take note of everything and mark it down.

    Davis and Kim have great advise and I’m glad we can all collectively be here to help. I don’t always get a chance in between work to thoroughly read through all the posts but I get eager to write lol…..so this may all be repetitive and I’ll find out after I send it.. Then read more thoroughly lol but if anything just ask questions. We are glad to help!

    Remember leadership is first right to limited resources and doesn’t mean that we necessarily need any type of loud or firmness. I’m a softy too. A big one. But I implement full leadership over my big 90 lb (gorgeous might I add) lol German Shepherd Orfeo. When You work with certain dogs you will learn that you may actually have to be softer so to speak with them. He knows I provide and initiate everything we do. We have no conflict. If he ever yelled at him or was stern or blocked him from doing something…..hed kill me…..well….thats dramatic lol….but he is capable of doing so or capable of hurting me at the very least. You always want to remember safety first. Dogs all bite for the same reasons so don’t get into habits with one dog just because he allows it so to speak. If you form habits like body blocking one dog and it’s ok… it may not be for the next and we don’t want anyone getting hurt. Calm confidence, poise, and patience and consistency is the key! You will do great. You have great support here and the one thing we all have in common is we love dogs for sure !! I hope that helped a little. Sorry for the long rant. Keep us posted!! 🙂