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Thread: A Few Little Bad Habits

  1. #1
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    Default A Few Little Bad Habits

    Would love some advice on the following issues we're having with Buckley at the moment. Want to nip them in the but before our new dog comes along.

    1. Buckley sleeps in our bedroom. For the past month or so he has gotten into the habit of waking up at 4-5am crying and jumping up the bed. He doesn't need the toilet because we have a doggy door he can reach. If i get up he runs to the kitchen expecting breakfast. I wish it wasn't so, but i was getting up and feeding him just to keep him quiet. Last night we ignored him for the first time..he carried on for about half and hour and then went back to sleep. Does this problem just require us to consistently ignore him until he realises he won't get want he wants anymore??

    2. Jumping up on the kitchen bench when we are preparing meals. We have tried pushing off, ignoring, yelling and banging on the bench with kitchen utensils. I used to push him off the bench, make him sit and then reward but this didn't work either...

    3. Barking for attention has also become quite annoying. Not a common thing but will occasionally bark when we are watching TV or eating dinner. Usually we ignore (the NILIF type thing) and he will go lay on his bed. I do go to reward this behaviour but he quickly jumps up and then will hang around wanting more treats.

    Any advice would be great

  2. #2
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    You are reinforcing his waking up gets him attention. I just went through a stage of this with one of my dogs.
    Jumps on bed..my light goes on, I say NO, on your bed, drag dog off, say stay there,my light goes off, I settle down...dog jumps on bed etc etc.

    Dog gave up in the end and went to sleep and now does not jump on the bed.
    Consistancy and perseverence are the key. You will be back at square one again if you do not follow through each time.

    Dogs on benches when cooking...baby gates or dog kept in another room or find one strategy only to deal with it every time as having different ones can confuse the dog.

    Barking again, pick a strategy. My way would be a no and remove from the room where I am for short time out...dog comes back in...barks again...no, time out.

    Different ways work for different dogs. The trick is finding the best one.

    Any posts made under the name of Di_dee1 one can be used by anyone as I do not give a rats.

  3. #3
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    I think Di is correct. Consistency and perserverance are 99% here.

    There is a program that I think you and Buckley would really benefit from and quickly. You don't need any special knowledge or join a club or anything, it is not time consuming - all you need, mostly is consistency and perseverance (although I think you will probably start seeing an attitude change in Buckley within 10 days. Seriously.)

    The goal is for Buckley to realise that you are the provider of good things like meals, treats, warm places to sleep, permission to play etc. and very soon he will be wanting very much to please you instead of making demands of you. It is NILIF based but is "in drive".

    It is called the Triangle of Temptation - you can get all of the details here. I have now used this with eight different dogs and it really does make a difference!

  4. #4
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    I think there are some old threads here on that too.

    Any posts made under the name of Di_dee1 one can be used by anyone as I do not give a rats.

  5. #5
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    I had a look at that triangle or temptation site but didn't really get how it all fits in to my particular issues :S Buckley all ready knows how to sit and wait for his food. He only ever gets his meal after he has sat and been released from that position.

  6. #6
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    The one time my dog woke me up with whinging "just because he could" he got locked outside in the cold for the night. He didn't do it again haha.

    A dog doesn't think "sometimes I can get away with it". If you let it happen once, they think they can do it all the time. Jumping on the bench is a big no-no for me. I'd give a growly "No!" to my dog and put him outside if he did that (or if he jumped on the lounge, etc). I'm very much for removing the dog from his comforts and temptation if he's misbehaving (barking for attention- you can get locked outside), but this may not work with your dog =)

  7. #7
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    I wish it wasn't so, but i was getting up and feeding him just to keep him quiet.
    Reward the behaviour you want, ignore the behaviour you don't. My evil hound likes to go out at 5:30am in the morning to harrass the magpies. This morning she asked, but I said "b*gger off" Actually I just listened for the pathetic bark at the back door which she does when she's got a tummy upset and really needs to go out NOW (I haven't got a dog door for her). She came back to her bed and went back to sleep - problem solved.

    We have tried pushing off, ignoring, yelling and banging on the bench with kitchen utensils. I used to push him off the bench, make him sit and then reward but this didn't work either...
    All this rewards the bad behaviour. Even the yelling and pushing. Dogs quite enjoy that.
    YouTube - ‪Building Drive by 'being' a Bad Dog Trainer‬‏
    (bad dog trainer)

    Barking for attention has also become quite annoying
    Dogs are quite good at "back chaining" ie if you want a complex set of behaviours you train the one you want last - first. So if the dog is training you - he's worked out in order to get the cookie first he has to be naughty and then he has to lie on his bed.

    What to do instead?
    Triangle of Temptation can be used to train a dog to stay on the mat. Don't feed him until you're done with your own kitchen prep. Reward him for staying on the mat - ie start when you're not trying to cook dinner. Find out what his attention span is, and reward before he loses it (reward the stay not the getting up and being put back). reward for a drop/down/relaxed on the mat. Work on expanding his ability to control himself - by making him stay for gradually increasing periods of time on the mat before he gets his own dinner. He will associate being on the mat in a drop, with eventually getting his dinner. My dog does a 3 minute down stay with her tail wagging the whole time because the stay is wired in her brain to dinner. Even if she only gets a treat when we're done at club.

    Also play "it's yer choice" (google is your friend) with him and some cookies so he learns not to beg for them but to back off and do what you want. And he learns if he doesn't try to steal food he will get some.

    When my dog was a puppy and I needed kitchen time without the trip me up machine - she would go in her crate. She soon learned that barking got her nowhere - took a couple of sessions - she might as well relax. Don't give up if the dog doesn't get it the first time. Imagine you are trying to train a toddler to use the toilet. They don't get it the first time either.

    Now my evil hound will stay on her mat while I wash dishes or make her dinner or my dinner or both. She knows if I send her to the mat she's not allowed in the kitchen and she must stay on the mat. And I give her treats randomly for staying there. Sometimes she gets lots and sometimes a few and sometimes none at all. And she won't get anything at all unless she is on her mat.

    If the dog gets off the mat, just grab him gently by the collar and stick him back there and give him a pat and try again. If he can hold for 10 seconds or more then give him a treat. But try to get him the treat before he thinks about getting up. So the first time - will be less than a second ie you send him to the mat - put him there, and treat immediately and then you start dragging it out little by little. Practice any time of the day for about three to five treats worth.

    So each time you're thinking "how do I stop my dog doing " think about "how do I train my dog to be well behaved" ie what do you want him to do instead and train and reward that. And don't expect him to be perfect straight away. I think it took us a couple of weeks to get to the 3 minute down stay and I increased then decreased then increased (ping ponged) the amount of time she had to stay on the mat to get her dinner.

    Make sure you release your dog when it's ok for him to get up and do his own thing (eg "Go Play" or "hook in" depending what's going).

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiff-689 View Post
    I had a look at that triangle or temptation site but didn't really get how it all fits in to my particular issues :S Buckley all ready knows how to sit and wait for his food. He only ever gets his meal after he has sat and been released from that position.
    It isn't about him sitting and waiting for his dinner, before I started TOT with mine, they were all required to sit quietly before I put their dinner in front of them as well. (For decades.) But I still had "selective deafness" problems with some, and the sort of stuff you are getting from him now.

    With the Triangle, instead of them learning an action that leads you do what they want (if I sit quietly then he will give me a bowl of food) they learn to ask your permission before they go and do what they want - (when I focus on my person I will be given the go ahead to go and eat that bowl of food over there). This leads on into every aspect of life - you want them to be asking your permission before they wake you up or surf the benches so that you can not permit that behaviour and therefore stop it becoming a habit. It is all about the way the dog considers you and focuses on you. It's not so much about teaching him behaviours as guiding the way he thinks.

    I'm probably not explaining this very well - Steve Courtney explains it very clearly in several different ways, I recommend that you thoroughly explore all the links attached to the article.

    It is totally your choice after all, if you'd rather not try the triangle then I suppose you just have to keep persistently reacting to those behaviours you don't like to minimise the satisfaction he will get from them. Perserverance, consistency and trying to think two steps ahead of him (and making sure that your reactions which you intend as as a deterrent are not actually encouraging him which, as Hyacinth pointed out above, can happen. Like negative attention in a toddler, if you are a parent.)

  9. #9
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    For the bench thing, have you tried making the kitchen a no go area while cooking?

    E.g. our dogs are allowed in our kitchen, they have to pass through it to go to the backyard, but when we are cooking, they cannot step a claw over the door line. And they know it. If they even have one foot over, I can say out and they will just move that foot but if I dont notice they will push even further. So perhaps banning him from the kitchen during that tim might help?

  10. #10
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    Thanks for all the help guys. I've started teaching him "on your bed" and was quite amazed last night that whilst we were eating dinner, he went and sat on his bed. Of course he got up when i went to treat him for being a good boy but baby steps are good i guess.

    Might even try a time-out type thing in the laundry if it doesn't seem to get any better.

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