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  1. #1
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    Nov. 13, 2004
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    Default Please keep me from killing my roommate's dog

    I know, I know. The title should be "please restrain me from being a bad trainer to my roommate's dog."

    She is a good dog. Actually, she's a great dog. She's an 11 month old Shepherd, very sweet and quite intelligent if not what I would call particularly trainable (it takes a lot of repetition for her to understand that something is not negotiable- more than the Goldens I grew up with and a lot more than my horse!) But she has no. Concept. Of. Personal. Space. Whatsoever. I'm eating dinner, and she's licking my pants or my shoes. I'm working on something in a chair, and her head is in my lap. I cannot get this dog away from me. Literally every day at least twice a day for the last 9 months I have pushed her away from me while she licks my pants and said "No!" This has worked on every other dog I have met, but it is not a good enough reinforcer for her, apparently. I have a big personal space bubble, but I don't think it's too much to ask for her to not be on top of me. So roommate and I need to have another discussion about how we can work together to make sure we're both teaching her the same things in the same way. But in the meantime I needed to vent.
    "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep."
    - Harry Dresden

    Horse Isle 2: Legend of the Esrohs LifeCycle Breeding and competition MMORPG



  2. #2
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    Aug. 4, 2011
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    Default

    The head in the lap thing makes me say awwwwwww.



  3. #3
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    Apr. 1, 2008
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    Default

    my suggestion to you would be to get/have a towel or dog bed and clicker train her to stay on that. Make sure the dog bed or towel is across the room.

    that would work to keep you less frustrated.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr. 21, 2010
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    Good luck! I have a shadow dog. Literally up my rear end all day.

    What works for us is establishing a "place". Her bed. And we tell her "go to your place". And then at the place is something special. A peanut butter filled kong, or a meaty bone. Eventually we didn't have to do that. But initially, you have to make the thing you want be the best thing ever. And being next to you or annoying you is boring.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2001
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    Minnesota
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by threedogpack View Post
    my suggestion to you would be to get/have a towel or dog bed and clicker train her to stay on that. Make sure the dog bed or towel is across the room.

    that would work to keep you less frustrated.
    Yep. Teach her to "go lie down" on something. Lots of praise when she does.



  6. #6
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    Jun. 15, 2010
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    Default

    I think the towel idea is a great one. That way she knows how far the "bubble" is supposed to be and she has a clear space to go back to when she gets in trouble for invading.

    I have zero tolerance for dogs that lick clothing *hurl-cringe-gag* so I totally understand your frustration.



  7. #7
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    We are working on "Go lay down." "Go lay down" means "go lay down on your bed, where you have your donut toy and your rawhide chew." Her bed is in a pretty central location, so she can still see everything that's going on- part of the issue at first is that she is smart, so she is interested in being a part of things. I think we may need a better reinforcer than her rawhide chew. Or at least something less portable. Right now she's in the stage where she goes and lies down, picks up her rawhide, and walks right back over to put her head on my lap rawhide and all. She's not stupid.
    "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep."
    - Harry Dresden

    Horse Isle 2: Legend of the Esrohs LifeCycle Breeding and competition MMORPG


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep. 7, 2009
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    Lexington, KY
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    Default

    Clicker training.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant



  9. #9
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    Feb. 25, 2011
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    So California
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Renn/aissance View Post
    We are working on "Go lay down." "Go lay down" means "go lay down on your bed, where you have your donut toy and your rawhide chew." Her bed is in a pretty central location, so she can still see everything that's going on- part of the issue at first is that she is smart, so she is interested in being a part of things. I think we may need a better reinforcer than her rawhide chew. Or at least something less portable. Right now she's in the stage where she goes and lies down, picks up her rawhide, and walks right back over to put her head on my lap rawhide and all. She's not stupid.
    In addition to teaching her to lie down (okay, I said that on purpose because it pains me to read "lay down" -- bear with me), you might want to teach her "we're eating" or "I'm cooking." With my dogs, when I say "we're eating," it means they may not cross the end of the carpeting that separates the family room from the breakfast room. It doesn't take much for them to learn it, but the first few meals you will be getting up like a jack-in-the-box to push doggie back across the line. That's the critical point, getting up EVERY TIME and making them go back to the correct spot. You might stage a fake meal (because it's annoying to keep hopping up during a real meal) a few times for training purposes. Once the dog learns it, they happily leave the room, lie down in the family room, and snooze away while we are eating. An occasional treat in the family room reinforces the good behavior.

    The "I'm cooking" command gets them out of the kitchen when I am working. I was thinking you might like a similar command, "I'm working," to keep her out of your workspace. I think the key to these things is that you are actually communicating where you DO want the dog to be and reinforcing that.

    What I like about this is that the dogs are allowed to move around -- just not into the forbidden area.

    Anyway, it works for us.



  10. #10
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    Apr. 14, 2001
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    Minnesota
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeteyPie View Post
    The "I'm cooking" command gets them out of the kitchen when I am working. I was thinking you might like a similar command, "I'm working," to keep her out of your workspace. I think the key to these things is that you are actually communicating where you DO want the dog to be and reinforcing that.
    I do something similar with a "Get OUT" command. Pretty much means whatever room I am in? You may not be in. Works very well



  11. #11
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    Mar. 10, 2007
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    Montana
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    My "get out" command means whatever they're in! lol If they're underfoot, in the corral, in the way, in the wrong room, in the truck, or sitting too close. Works like a charm-I reinforce it with a foot stomp and throw a treat where they should be if need be. Toes have been lightly squished occasionally.

    For some reason the rest of my family is not nearly as trainable as any of the 10 or so dogs I've had since the family and they keep telling the dogs to "go lie down" and the dogs look at them blankly.



  12. #12
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    Apr. 17, 2002
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    between the barn and the pond
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    "go be a dog" at my house means be anywhere but here, staring into the depths of my...nostrils.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  13. #13
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    Jun. 16, 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simkie View Post
    I do something similar with a "Get OUT" command. Pretty much means whatever room I am in? You may not be in. Works very well
    Exactly this. My dog (gigantic 90lb German Shepherd cross) is not to be in the kitchen when someone is eating or cooking. And it works in other rooms too, when i get sick of her drooling on my windowsill I tell her out and she's gone.
    Only problem is our open-concept living room/dining room, she doesn't get the whole leaving the space there. No doorway or flooring change, I suppose.



  14. #14
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    Feb. 25, 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by cowboymom View Post
    For some reason the rest of my family is not nearly as trainable as any of the 10 or so dogs I've had since the family :
    Yes, my family is not that trainable either, guess I'll need a different flavor biscuit to toss on the bed for Mr. LT when I tell him, "Go lie down"!!


    2 members found this post helpful.

  15. #15
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    Oct. 28, 2007
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    NY
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    Heck, my cat learned "get out of the room" while I pointed at the door. But she knew she was very bad, and left the room ( she attacked her daughter cat and she knew it was wrong). Of course she came back 3 minutes later, but she understood the finger and "go". I miss that cat, well both of them.



  16. #16
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    Sep. 30, 2011
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    Default

    My lab not only knows "go to your bed" (go to your bed, lay down and don't make a sound!) but I've also found "go away" to be a useful command when I'm cooking or studying or the cats have taken over his bed!

    "Go away" means stay at least ~10 feet away from me and is sometimes a nice change from "go to your bed" as he can go play with a toy, go bug my boyfriend or go watch squirrels at the window as long as he stays out of my space. To be honest I'm not sure exactly how I trained "go away" - I think he responded mainly to the tone of my voice and I would just correct him each time he tried to re-enter "my" space without invitation. Granted, he's a lab, so he is very trainable and tries hard to please.

    As a temporary solution (for days when you don't feel like training your roommate's dog/are doing something important and wish not to be interrupted) what about giving a kong or some other tasty and time consuming treat in the dog's crate or bed.

    What about increasing the dog's exercise? When my (VERY velcro/shadow) dog was young, I found that his need to be near me at all times could be lessened with very intense daily exercise. I think a lot of what appeared to be neediness was simply pent up energy, even though it manifested as laying his head on my lap and excessive licking rather than bounciness.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  17. #17
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    I would love to clicker train this dog. I would love to do anything to make her feel like she has more of a job, besides going around the neighborhood with her (she's learning to be my jogging buddy, although she doesn't understand interval training.) But she is not my dog, and her father is not on board.

    "Buzz off" is a time-honored command understood by all my family's dogs; started with the Dalmatian my dad had growing up, and is now continued some 13 years or so after Dad's death. Housemate uses different terminology for "go somewhere else." I need to get better at using his terms- when I'm busy and distracted I default to "buzz off," which she doesn't know. I did successfully teach her "Go bother your father." This happened by accidental chaining of "Go bother your father!" from me to "Come here!" from my roommate followed by a toy reward. Sadly, "Go away" has not worked so well.

    Thanks for the suggestions. I feel like a lot of this is indeed pent up energy and a drive/motivation issue- she would like to be busier than she is, so she makes herself busy. As the dog's aunt but not owner, and as I am working three jobs right now, I am not in a position to get substantially more involved with her training or giving her a job, although in fairness to her I do try to keep her occupied when she's home alone with me.
    "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep."
    - Harry Dresden

    Horse Isle 2: Legend of the Esrohs LifeCycle Breeding and competition MMORPG



  18. #18
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    Sep. 22, 2008
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    NC
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    We taught "go to your bed" as well as an "out!" that work well depending on my specific needs at the moment. Then for giggles we taught the male (the usual suspect) that "go to timeout" is the same command as go to your bed. Mostly because it cracks people up when we have company
    You can't fix stupid.... but you can breed it!



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