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Thread: Help

  1. #1

    Default Help

    help,

    I am at the end of my tether with our 12 month old Alaskan Malamute.

    He is a lovely dog but is driving me nuts! I have 3 kids and another on the way and he refuses to let the kids near me, putting himself between me and them when they come up to me.

    Also when the baby is on the floor he loves lying near her but if anyone approaches he guards her.

    If I put him in another area for a while with a bone etc he is fine until he has finished it then goes on a mission looking for things he knows he is not allowed which involves opeing our bedroom door and stealing my husbands shoes, thongs are his favourites.

    He is walked twice a day, has various toys, a huge garden to play in and I am home most of the day so he gets attention.

    if we have friends round he pesters them constantly and if we put him outside or in another area he cries until we let him in, the record is 2 hours so he is very persistent!

    I am very close to rehoming him, but my husband wants to perservere, as the dog is very well behaved when he is around.

    I am very desperate, and dont know what to do but fear it will get worse once the 4th bub is here.

    we also can not afford the expensive obedience training that does appear to be on offer.

    any suggestions

    thanks

  2. #2
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    I dont have any suggestions, but you are bound to find some brilliant advice on here!

  3. #3
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    Hi Malamute owner

    When you say this dog is walked twice a day - are you hitching him to a sled and working him for a couple of hours? Or is it 30 minutes on lead with no obedience training practice.

    Somehow you are rewarding this dog for bad behaviour. Think about what you do when things go wrong with the dog - does he get lots of attention? food? put somewhere fun?

    First you need to make your bedroom door so he cannot open it.

    And I'd try coating a couple of the thongs in something really unpleasant tasting like rid or vicks vapor rub. Both will need occasional top ups.

    And you need to reward him when he does what you want when the kids are around. Eg when you want to get to your kids and he gets in the way - something like a sit / stay and plenty of treats might help. Or the minute he gets in the way and I can't tell from your post whether he's trying to get attention from you and prevent the kids getting any or he is trying to keep you away from the kids because he thinks you are a threat to the kids (do they scream when you pick them up?).

    If he's trying to get your attention ahead of the kids - lead him to where you want him - like outside and shut the door so he can't get to you. Repeat that any time he does what you don't want. That's if he won't sit / stay for you.

    If he sees you as a threat to your kids - you need to make yourself not a threat in his eyes, so lots of treats and play and fun things and also some doggy calming stuff might help, but this is the complete opposite of what you'd do if he's really being jealous of the attention the kids get from you.

    If he likes to chase a ball, you can throw a ball to distract him and then go to the kids. You may also want to get a pump up water sprayer and squirt him or distract him with that. Or a small handful of treats - thrown over there - so you can get to your kids - but this is less than ideal.

    Also how is he being fed? You need to make him work much harder for his regular food. This is a suggestion from Leslie Nelson who teaches "really reliable recall" at tailsuwin.com. If your hubby is feeding him, you need to be feeding him instead. And you probably need to start feeding him / treating him with his regular food when he does what you want. Or to get him to be where you want. Measure out his daily ration, put it somewhere handy - and make him work for each piece/spoonful. Ie make him sit, feed, make him stay (try to build to 30 seconds but initially work out how long he will do it and treat him with his food just before he would "break". Make him "come" to you, and feed him some of his food.

    Do not leave a bowl of food down all day for him to graze on.

    Think about what you'd like the dog to be doing and find a way to teach him this. Find out what his favourite reward thing is (attention, ear rubs, roast chicken, tug of war) and only give it when he does what you want him to and then be GENEROUS. Practice regularily so that he will do what you need even when you can't be immediately generous with his reward.

    links
    dog star daily training
    Digital Dog Training Textbook | Dog Star Daily
    tailsuwin
    Tails-U-Win! Dog Training Center, Positive Training with Positive Results, Manchester, CT, Family Dog Training, Agility Training, Competition Obedience Training, TailsUWin, Manchester Connecticut
    turid rugass - calming dog techniques (for when you want to show him you're no threat)
    Turid Rugaas - Calming Signals Community

  4. #4
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    Oct 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by malamuteowner View Post
    help,

    I am at the end of my tether with our 12 month old Alaskan Malamute.

    He is a lovely dog but is driving me nuts! I have 3 kids and another on the way and he refuses to let the kids near me, putting himself between me and them when they come up to me.

    Also when the baby is on the floor he loves lying near her but if anyone approaches he guards her.

    If I put him in another area for a while with a bone etc he is fine until he has finished it then goes on a mission looking for things he knows he is not allowed which involves opeing our bedroom door and stealing my husbands shoes, thongs are his favourites.

    He is walked twice a day, has various toys, a huge garden to play in and I am home most of the day so he gets attention.

    if we have friends round he pesters them constantly and if we put him outside or in another area he cries until we let him in, the record is 2 hours so he is very persistent!

    I am very close to rehoming him, but my husband wants to perservere, as the dog is very well behaved when he is around.

    I am very desperate, and dont know what to do but fear it will get worse once the 4th bub is here.

    we also can not afford the expensive obedience training that does appear to be on offer.

    any suggestions

    thanks
    Where to start?

    He is only 12 months old, he is still very much a puppy. You do realise that, don't you?

    In regards to the guarding of you (and bubs) IMO he sees himself as the protector, whereas he needs to see the family as in control of that role, if you understand?

    All pups will go looking for things to chew, they dig holes, they will eat the furniture...the list goes on. This is NORMAL behaviour!!! It is up to you to have taught him what he can and can't chew, and ensure your home is puppy/dog proof in that way.

    He cries for hours until you let him in or whatever, so he's figured out just how long he has to carry on before YOU will give in. He has some major attachment happening here, and desperately needs some regular time away from you - re separation anxiety exercises.

    Look, I'm sorry that this is going to sound harsh possibly, but he needs obedience training. NEEDS IT!!! If you cannot afford to do so, and you are having trouble coping with all these problems, not to mention another child on the way - then YES, I would look at re-homing him. A person/couple/family who do have the time/finances to have him fully trained would be the best thing for him in the long run.

    I'm not usually a person that would advocate 'giving up' and rehoming, but there just seem to be so many issues here it's not funny, as I can see you are aware of.

    All the best.

  5. #5
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    see? told you so!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boxerini View Post
    see? told you so!
    ???????????????

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by boxerini View Post
    i dont have any suggestions, but you are bound to find some brilliant advice on here!
    da - ^^^^

  8. #8
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    Oct 2009
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    der DA. Missed that post. Lol.

  9. #9
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    yeah, I have a habit of missing posts too lol

  10. #10

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    Hi

    Thanks for all the advice,

    he is a very smart dog and is so well behaved when my husband is home but challenges me as he knows I am trying to sort the children out as well.

    I will get my husband to read this as he is in denial about his behaviour! lol

    thanks

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