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Thread: Newbie, need advice please.

  1. #1

    Default Newbie, need advice please.

    We adopted a 5 month old spaniel cross beagle on the weekend. She's gorgeous but hasn't been very well socialised or trained. She is trying really hard though and is a quick learner. I haven't had a dog since I was 13 so I am finding it harder than I expected and really need some advice on a few things.

    Firstly, I was told she was ok with cats but when she saw our cat she barked her head of (she's not generally a barker at all). I have been keeping them separated and have started bringing the cat out to where the dog can see her when she's in her crate. I keep the cat in my arms. So far she's been quiet so reward her for that. Any tips on how to proceed from here? Our cat is very loved and we miss her having her around the house.

    Secondly she barks at other dogs in the street. I can tell her to sit and I just reassure her, she seems to be getting better but I am worried she might go for a dog. It seems more like anxiety than aggression to me but I'm not really sure. How do I proceed with getting her used to other dogs without risk to the other dog? I have a friend with a lovely sensible labrador that I thought might be good to introduce her to to learn some manners.

    Thirdly she is still a bit mouthy. I cease play when I feel her teeth. She also jumps which we are trying to ignore. Most problematic though is when I sit on the couch with my kids she tries to jump up and when I say no she mouths me to try and get my attention. She also barked at my husband the other day when he was eating on the couch. She jumps up with her front paws on tables and benchtops etc and I just tell her no. That's not so kuch of a problem as she doesn't do it to people.

    I'd really appreciate any advice you might have for me.

    Cheers.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    4,290

    Default

    Welcome!

    First of all I just want to say that this dog will take a while to adapt and show her true colours. I foster pups and the first couple of weeks after they arrive I inevitably (and quite quickly) get to the "OMG, how am I going to cope with this" stage. A few weeks later I can't remember what the fuss was about!

    Pups tend to act up when they feel unsure about their environment. Very much like human toddlers, I suppose.

    So I think you're doing the right thing by giving her lots of quiet time for now. Try to limit excitement and stimulation as much as you can for a little while longer. Don't take her for long walks yet. If possible, keep walks rather uneventful.

    What I do quite a bit with our fosters is to reward generously for calm behaviour. My bug bear is having dogs getting in the way when I'm in the kitchen (open plan house). So I start tossing the dogs very yummy treats at random intervals for lying down at the edge of the kitchen. My own dog usually shows them, but if they don't immediately get it, I just lead them to the spot and lure them in to a drop. Then treat lots when they stay. Then gradually I wait longer to toss the first treat. It usually doesn't take long at all before they lie down as soon as I step into the kitchen. You could use a dog bed for this when you're sitting in the couch or just a particular area where you want the dog to stay. The trick is to use high value treats (I currently use 4 Legs chicken roll in small cubes) and to not make it to predictable.

    I am not great with teaching pups to leave the cats alone. Though keeping a lead attached and putting them in time out (no more than a minute) has proven successful with some.

    With getting her used to other dogs, it's all about keeping interactions very short at first. If she won't stop barking and lunging when you approach another dog, do some Look at That training first. You can google it and should find some useful videos or articles. It's very effective if done right.

    Another method is parallel walking. I'll try find a link later.

    When you're ready to let your dog greet other dogs, do it with both dogs on lead and at first just let them sniff for 3-5 seconds before you separate them. Rinse and repeat. Watch your dog's body language, which will tell you when she's ready for the next step.

    And remember, she's adapting to a completely strange situation and she'll get easier to deal with.
    Last edited by Beloz; 09-10-2014 at 07:31 PM.

  3. #3

    Default

    Thank you so much Beloz, that is such helpful info and reassurance.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    12,581

    Default

    Welcome Kay123

    You're not alone with the biting and jumping

    Here's how you do a google site search to look for posts we've answered before.

    Mostly I try to interrupt the behaviour and get something I want happening instead eg ask for and reward a sit, or just grab the collar (find the collar grab game and its yer choice games) and hold until puppy calms down and then release to see what the puppy's choice is.

    I would make a safe place for the cat to be in most rooms of the house eg a box with bedding in it or a cat igloo - high up where the dog can't reach. And I would control the dog not the cat... ie if the dog is in a space the cat can be - put the dog on lead. You're going to need to do this too for house training in a new place.

    I would definitely look at crate training for your puppy too.

    biting site:dogforum.com.au
    https://www.google.com.au/?gws_rd=ss...ogforum.com.au
    https://www.google.com.au/?gws_rd=ss...ogforum.com.au

    dogstardaily - you have to sign up for free membership but it's worth it for the digital dog training text book.

    Dog Training Digital Textbook | Dog Star Daily

  5. #5

    Default

    Thank you. I will look at those sites.I am doing crate training which is going well. She was going all over the house the first night but since using the crate we've had no accidents and she seems happy in the crate. At the moment I am keeping the cat in the laundry because I can't work out how to have her loose in the house safely. I have kids so I can't practically have her on leash all the time. I have brought the cat through when the dog was in the crate and the dog was ok with that.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    4,290

    Default

    You can just let the dog drag the lead around, you don't have to hold it. It's just so you can quickly and calmly grab her when you need to. If you do this for a while, they tend to be better behaved when they feel they have the lead on too. But I understand you can't always focus your attention on the dog with 3 little humans around.

    Baby gates are a great way to provide safe spots for the cat. That way they can choose to come into the same area as the dog, but quickly get away if they feel threatened. And they can watch eachother through the gate. I've picked some up for a few dollars from the tip here.

  7. #7

    Default

    Thanks again. We have baby gates actually, to keep the dog off carpeted areas at the moment so yes the cat will be able to escape through them.

    Thanks Beloz, I used your method of throwing treats to her today when she started jumping on us on the couch. It worked really well and she ended up settling on her blanket on the other side of the room. Great improvement.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    12,581

    Default

    Hi Kay123

    The first couple of links I posted - just get you a list of all the threads on biting and jumping in this forum...

    I think all puppies do that and lots of owners need help fixing it.

    The last one is a book that a famous UK/USA trainer called Ian Dunbar wrote in the hopes of getting puppies trained to be happy members in a human family and not end up abandoned at the pound for being unmanageable - which is what happens when nobody bothers training or they try but don't know how and give up in frustration.

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