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Thread: Face Licking

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Canberra
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    Default Face Licking

    I'm new to this forum and I have a question. We got another dog last weekend, after our old one died unexpectedly a few weeks ago (she was 11). We named the new dog Banjo, even though she's a girl! She's a real bitza and I am having trouble picking her breeds - which I will post about later when I've taken some photos.

    She seems to have a really nice temperament and so far she has only displayed one truly bad habit, which is that she is very jumpy, licky and mouthy. She’s 10 mo and obviously one of her previous owners has encouraged this behaviour when she was a little puppy without any thought about how annoying such behaviour becomes when they get big.

    After only 5 days though she barely jumps up at me anymore. I knew it would just take some consistency, ie. ignoring the jumping and rewarding her keeping 4 feet on the ground when she greets me. Progress with my daughter - who is only 6 - is a bit slower, probably mainly because she doesn't always reward the dog as soon as she stops the unwanted behaviour. And because she's smaller, she gets very worried about being scratched on the head. She's learnt to hide her face behind her arms as soon as the dog jumps, which also serves as a deterrent for the dog. So a bit of a way to go there and also with teaching her not to jump up on visitors. But I know we’ll get there.

    But one behaviour that I find much harder to deal with is Banjo wildly licking my daughter when she's sitting or lying down next to her. I had to put a baby gate up so she couldn't get to my daughter's bedroom at night because she'd just jump on top of her in the middle of the night and started wildly licking her all over her head. We needed the gate anyway as she was an outdoor dog before and her toilet training isn't quite finished yet...

    The dog sleeps on my bed – I know: spoiled! – and my daughter and I often watch tv in my bedroom before bedtime. And it’s often then that the dog will launch her lick attacks. If she tries it with me I just make a loud noise and push her away and then praise her as soon as she calms down and that works pretty well. But my daughter isn’t strong enough to push her away.

    Any tips here? I do not want to keep the dog away from my daughter for the obvious reason that I want her to be a real family dog and she needs to learn manners asap. Cheers.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Sydney
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    Default

    Wildly licking a child's face is not on. I would follow a very strict NILF training schedule. I'm sure other members can point you towards posts that outline NILF. The dog is new and would benefit from boundaries and not getting over stimulated. Having boundaries does not mean it's not part of the family. Boundaries often really suit easily excited dogs and are the making of a really good dog. Boundaries are not wrong, nor does it mean I automatically subscribe to the human must be the alpha theory but where children are concerned I do err on this side.

    I also believe sometimes it's better to remove the dog from a situation rather than try and train it out of something. Eg put the rubbish bin in a cupboard rather than try and train the dog not to put it's head in the rubbish.

    So I wouldn't allow this dog access to beds or furniture etc. Or put it on cue. eg; dog can only sit on bed if "it's" special rug has been placed on the bed.

    It is 10 months old so is the equivalent of a teenager, testing the boundaries etc. Previous owners probably didn't encourage this jumping licking behaviour, lots of dogs do it, they just didn't successfully deter it.

    Don't get me wrong I'm not anti dogs on furniture etc, but if I had a six year old and not teenagers in the house then how I raise my dogs would be different.

    I think you need to intervene and do the training and not your daughter when the dog licks and jumps on her.

    Is the dog jumping on her all the time or just when your daughter comes home or first up in the morning? If that's the case I would have the dog on a lead at those times so you can block it, ask it to carry out some previously taught basic obedience exercise like sit, look etc, then reward dog.
    Last edited by MAC; 08-11-2011 at 11:44 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Canberra
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    Default

    Yeah, she mainly jumps up when my daughter enters a room after a period of absence. My daughter wanted to be involved in the training, which is why I have taught her to react the way she does. But I'll discuss it with her and maybe we'll treat the no-jumping training with her the way we do with visitors, which does involve putting her on the lead before they come in.

    So with the NILF training, that could for example mean that I get her off the bed or couch as soon as she displays unwanted behaviour? I could put her outside the room if we're in the bedroom, though I cannot yet let her wander around the house on her own because of the toilet training, so that may not be the best strategy right now. Alternatively, we could get up and walk out and leave her in the room for a few minutes. Obviously more effort for us, but if it works faster, it will be well worth it.

    And maybe I should rethink the rules when she's on the bed. Or just not allow her on it. With my old dog, it was our dedicated time for cuddles and I loved having her lie next to me while I watched tv late at night. But new dog, new rules, I suppose.
    Last edited by Beloz; 08-11-2011 at 12:03 PM.

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