• Michael D’Abruzzo

    August 16, 2016 at 10:39 am

    Hi Chris, few things to address here:

    so when we fenced off that section of the house he started going after shoes and blankets and making a general nuisance of himself.

    This would be troubleshooted by addressing drive balance, anxiety, habitation.  The short version is you want to make sure he is getting some play out of his system first every day, then be sure to do what you can to help him with the anxiety of being separated, and then polish him off with formal housebreaking. Ultimately, you will need a way to peek in on him and correct him for anything he is putting his mouth on that he is not supposed to.  You must make sure he does have a proper outlet in this situations though such as a bone or other chew.  Definitely read through those sections though and let me know if you have any questions.

    He even growled at me briefly when I tried to handle his paws, which was a first.

    This most likely has to so with a fear response so don’t take it personally.  Many dogs are sensitive to this.  We can address this separately through a desensitization and counter-conditioning plan where we go very slow with his paws and try to make a good associations.  For instance touching his paw for a second at a time and then giving him a good treat and then going slowly from there to longer and more invasive.  Safety always first in these situations so not a bad idea to introduce him to a muzzle first and then work with a plan.  A muzzle is always handy anyway for emergencies.

    One question I’ve had is whether I need to have him doing all the phase one commands in order with high success rates before moving on to phase two.

    Absolutely not.  You only need to go in the proper steps for each command individually.  As long as you dont skip steps for each individual command you should be good.  If you need a quick compass you can refer to the obedience chart which I will be adding more to shortly.

    If you have any questions let me know.