• Michael D’Abruzzo

    April 21, 2010 at 4:27 am

    How is the family doing with the affection/petting rules and picking up the food items? The affection rule is probably the most important of all them.

    Definitely get started with a climb command. You can use a regular dog bed or folded up comforter to practice this. Its right in the phase 1 videos. You are going to want to give her immediate direction when someone enters the house. Keep a leash on her at this stage when practicing and when someone enters. You want to nip this behavior in the bud since this can become much worse as she gets older.

    Teach her the command with the full set of rules and do dry runs with family members knocking on the door, etc..
    Then see how she does with a real guest. Do not allow her to approach them at all until she is completely settled in a “climb” (or place).
    Remember to reward with a good food reward if she does well. If you release her from her position and acts up again – put her right back to the designated spot.

    It will help her to know that acting up when you or any family member capable of guiding her is present will result with her going to a stay postion off to the side of the action.

    It might not necessarily be possible for the dog to see the children as leaders until the children are old enough to understand how to follow leadership exercises (especially the affection rules) on their own and have the minimum capability to safely guide the dog through simple obedience in the face of distractions.

    In the meantime the dog will probably always look toward the adults in the household for direction – and the dog may act one way in the adults presence, but act another way if guests were in the house and only the children are present (in the case of having a babysitter).

    Having the babysitter establish a healthy and positive relationship with the dog will be the best option here for that situation.

    The more you sucessfully deal with guests the better.