• Allie Dellosa

    February 18, 2022 at 8:51 pm

    Time outs or social punishments are usually ineffective, as you are are finding. Dogs don’t understand retro-active punishment, and even if you “catch them in the act” punishing an emotional response always creates negative side effects. For example, if my Stormy wants to lunge at a stranger because she FEELS protective, punishing her for that emotional response isn’t going to teach her anything. In fact, it can cause escalated emotions and negative associations with the walk, me, strangers etc. So instead I teach her to heel, and give her the command, and if she breaks the heel command to lunge at someone or eat bubble gum off the side walk… she gets a correction for disobedience (which our dogs can understand).

    Its always best to not be reactive to our dogs rather be proactive. Putting the crate by your bed (or where ever Alvin sleeps) and having him sleep contained will make it so that he can’t engage in many of the behaviors you don’t like, and that have to potential to become dangerous. Management and leadership and scheduling outlets is very important for high drive and working dogs….any dog, really. Alvin’s play biting is actually obtrusive behavior in an attempt to control the environment and the interactions between you and him and your partner.

    Is Alvin allowed on the furniture? Does he free feed? How much food does he eat and when? Does he always (even in his crate) have access to water? Does he have toys left out? This is a pretty important subject and one that I think would be easier to discuss with a conversation so we can set up a plan, FSDT, for you and Alvin. I would be happy to set up a zoom call with you, and if you are comfortable recording it we could post it here so everyone has the opportunity to give feedback.

    I think it is awesome that you are trying to do everything you can to give Alvin the best life. He is super lucky to have you. 🙂