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Thread: How Do I Train My Brother and Sister?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Perth
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    Default How Do I Train My Brother and Sister?

    Hi all
    Back with another question:
    i have teenage siblings and both have not really grown up around dogs. Both have also been bitten by dogs(a stray and my grandmothers) Not bad but enough to scare them.

    Now Boss is a 16 week old puppy. He knows sit, down, roll over, sit again, stay/wait, come, drop, gentle (when taking food), down (if he jumps up), eats on command, walks great on a lead, goes toilet on command... basically what im saying is for 16 weeks hes doing great! I mean its not 100% perfect all the time but we are working with him every day and he is getting better and better each day.

    I have 3 children myself (5, 2, 7 months) Boss loves the 7 month old, he licks his feet lets him poke and prodd him. The older 2 can tell him down, sit and his code word for eating. Boss is the same height as my 2 yr old and unless he is licking her face (which we dont allow, but sometimes happens) even she is fine with him.

    But how do i train my siblings? Their whole body language screams that they are so nervous and afraid, and it makes Boss jump and kinda flip out a little

    eg, Boss is sitting next to his bowl and my bro goes to grab his bowl (dinner time) so Boss looks at his arm and my bro jumps half a mile up in the air and backs away. Boss thinks this is a great game stands then jumps toward his face cos he is still bent over a little and well he just jumped, so can I... see LOL. Anyway this makes my bro jump again and basically **** himself!

    eg, my sister stood in front of him and tried to stroke his bum kinda hopping form leg to leg away form the direction his head was facing and which of course was shaking from side to side as he was following what her arms were doing and this was winding his up something cronic. She got all worked up too "cos he was trying to bite her"..... ummm no she was just being a twit!

    Neither of them can manage a tone a voice that even semi resembles a command. They spent a lot of time here and i want them to be able to feed the dog and play with him etc (under our watchful eye of course!) But they cant do this if they are so afraid!

    Boss is a Ridgeback x Mastiff so will be a big dog, i am assuming that getting them used to him while he is below 30kg's is going to be easier than when he is a small horse! But if every time he looks at them they poo their pants this is going to be very very hard! Or is it best not to push it till he is a bit older and mellowed?

    So does anyone have any tips?? Or is it a case of them just spending a heap of time with him?

    Thanks in advance
    P.s. sorry its so long...i got a bit carried away!!

  2. #2

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    I would try & keep the interaction between the dog & them as little as possible untill they can behave alot better. Educate them take the to doogy friendly parks & places they will be exposed to dogs in a good way.
    Tell them their reactions will cause the dog to bite given enough time & that they have to hide their fear from the dog.
    Dogs make everyday life enjoyable...........

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Try to break down what they need to do into tiny pieces and praise them lots (lollies?) when they get it right.

    The same methods that apply to dog training (ie positive reward with something they value) apply to training any species of animal - including humans.

    Try not to yell at them when they're getting something wrong. Make it really really easy for them to get it right, ie try to limit what they can do with your dog to something they can only get right.

    So messing with a dog's food (bowl), I'd put at dog training equivalent to first year uni - ie you want to start with something more like grade 1 for nervous teenager. You may also want to discuss with them how they feel about the dog.

    So with little kids (grade 1 dog training), I get the dog to lie down and on lead and I sit next to her, and little kids can come and pat her, and I try to aim them for under her chin or on her back or tummy and not the top of her head which she takes but doesn't enjoy. And then we try tricks like shake hands and speak... which amuses most kids. And if they're being really good (moving slowly and gently) I get them to give her treats - like you do for a horse ie flat hand - treat in palm.

    So if you can start like that and build nervous siblings confidence around your dog you can work your way up to getting them to get your dog to sit/stay and handling the dinner bowl without fear.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Perth
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    Default

    thanks heaps of that. i never really thought about treating them like they are lil kids... der

    He is not territorial over his bowl at all. he was simply watching his arm... is was 50 or so cms away but they have this huge fear of the dogs head... any way i will give it a go thanks )

  5. #5
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    It works on big kids and old grandies too.

    Operant and Classical conditioning - whether we like it or not - works on everyone. Most of us seek pleasure and avoid pain. So rewarding the right behaviour encourages more of it. The pain thing - can have "fall out" ie you don't know what an animal is going to do to avoid it.

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