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Old 12-04-2008, 10:36 PM   #1
Britize
 
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Bonding with my rescue dog

I adopted a 14 month old dog/puppy a week ago. She is very well behaved for the most part. She sits and heels on command almost all the time. I have taken her out in public and to the dog park and she gets along wonderfully with people and other dogs, she is even nice to my cats. Every once and a while she jumps up on someone or tries to climb on the chair when I take her out for coffee. I correct this with a tug on her leash and a firm "no." My concern is after I discipline her she seems distant and aloof for the next hour or so. When I pet her she keeps her tail low and looks past me. I am worried that she is going to resent me for disciplining her and she won't bond as well. I am starting training classes with her next Friday to help with bonding and basic obedience. I take her for a walk and groom her everyday which she enjoys. She usually gets over it after a while but she is from an animal rescue so I don't know her history and I'm afraid I am triggering a bad memory in her past life. Is their some way I can discipline her without her resenting me?

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Old 12-04-2008, 11:49 PM   #2
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Sure, there's a way. After all, "discipline" just implies set boundaries/rules, it does NOT mean punishment. A "correction" is a form of punishment and not always effective, as you're seeing.

I do use correction in my training but in moderation and only if I'm positive that the dog is aware of what it's doing, and knows what I expect. Never, though, with a "soft" dog, which is what it sounds like you've got. Correcting her if she's feeling insecure is going to cause a lack of confidence that is *really* hard to dispel later on. And honestly, you probably don't need a correction- especially a physical one like a leash pop. At 14 months she's still a puppy and likely easily distracted so I'd just redirect her.

If you're going out for coffee, try and take something like a stuffed Kong or another busy toy to keep her occupied so she won't try to get on the chairs. If she tries to get on the chair, just say something like "oops!" or "huh uh!"- something she doesn't associate with negativity but that will distract her- and see what she does. If she sits, lies down, or turns her focus completely on you, you can reward her. You can teach her a cue for "leave it," which will be useful in many applications.

Instead of correcting her, just try distracting her. I've stopped saying "no!" if I can help it (old habits die hard, though...) and try to say "whoops!" or "uh uh" but not in a firm, corrective tone. Just basically saying "that's not what I want!" What I would do is give the dog an alternative to whatever the inappropriate action is, and reward for that. For instance, we teach our dogs to sit in front of visitors or strangers for petting rather than jumping on them. To do it, we anticipate the jumping and give the sit command prior to the reaction. First of all, working gets the mindset out of that aroused, hyper-excitable state. Second, the dog can't jump with its butt glued to the floor! I have a very, VERY excited Irish setter who wants to give everyone "flying Toby kisses" and would bolt out of a 'sit' no matter what I did, so I have started putting him in a down when we greet someone and he only gets rewarded with attention while in that position.

I've enlisted help to teach some of these things (mostly the jumping thing.) If you do something like that, remember that a dog who is learning new things can stress out quickly so I'd keep the sessions brief and positive and always end by asking her to do something she knows how. Since a recent revelation thanks to a book by Leslie McDevitt, I finish training sessions (which are FUN FUN FUN) with a release cue that sounds boring or even depressing, to remind the dog that STOPPING the training is a bad thing. Toby has developed quite the dramatic "you can't do this to me!" look when I say "okay, we're done" and turn away from him. He'll even try to heel or come front and sit to get me to keep training. lol

Have you thought of clicker training?

Good luck with class, hope you enjoy it.

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Old 12-05-2008, 03:32 PM   #3
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Dogs don't resent you for disaplining them. They are like kids...they want, ok NEED disapline , guidelines, and boundaries. That is your job as a dog owner after all. So don't sweat that!

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Old 12-06-2008, 01:14 AM   #4
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Old 12-06-2008, 08:43 PM   #5
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Thanks for the advice!
I took her to coffee this morning and brought a couple toys along. She kept herself pretty busy with those. She olny tried to jump up a couple times and I was able to tell her uh-uh and have her sit then give her her treat . We will keep working on it and I'm sure she will figure it out, she really is a wonderful dog

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Old 12-07-2008, 02:03 AM   #6
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Yes, CFS, you're right! Setting boundaries for dogs is important as well as making sure they have a CLEAR idea of your expectations. A dog can't obey if you're inconsistent in training because they don't know what to expect. You should be proud that your dogs made such an impact on your superintendant.

Britize, I'm so glad that she did well for you today! And that the toys helped. The way I look at it is this: if you were a young- puppy even- dog all geared up to be out there in the big exciting world, would you want to be toted around just to lay at your person's feet? Probably not. But what you've done has made it exciting to do just that- everyone wins that way. Good job!

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Old 01-06-2009, 02:07 PM   #7
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First of all, congrats on your wonderful new dog! Rescue and shelter dogs are my heart, so thank you for giving one of them a great home.

Sounds like you are on the right track with the training. Good luck with it.

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Old 01-15-2009, 12:01 PM   #8
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That's awesome news Britize, I am glad to hear that things are working.

Rescue and shelter dogs are great companions and saving them is awesome, that's where my wife and I got our Shakespeare.

With rescues can come some certain issues tho that you need to be aware of and work through, out pup will actually wet the floor when we try to bathe him and he shakes in fear when we try to brush him..no matter how gentle we are and after all these years he continues to have the same reaction..and before anyone asks we have never hit or physically disciplined him in any fashion, just something that tagged along from his past.

Have a great day
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Old 01-30-2009, 08:57 PM   #9
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I'm in basic training with a rescue dog right now. He is a delight, but as with all puppies he has to learn his limits.

One thing our teacher suggested that has worked wonders with his already great attitude: feed your dog by hand for one week. This reinforces your dog's natural attitude that the one who controls the food is the leader of the pack.

Try it. My puppy has bonded with me even more strongly through this technique and pays attention to me at all times now.

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Old 02-06-2009, 10:59 AM   #10
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I've rescued 4 dogs, two different groups of two dogs. Three of the four had issues and 2 of them were bad issues. Those can mostly be worked out with a new family life. In one case I believe the pup I got off the streets was tortured, she never really got over fear of stangers, but if I liked a person, she was fine with them. The other real bad one was a dog my wife adopted and it hatted men, also did not any alchole on a mans breath. I got bit twice by the dog and my wife was going to take it back but I said no. For this dog I became everything that was fun for the dog. I did the dog walks. I did the car rides. I did most of the playing. In two weeks, dog had no problem with me. He now accepts and likes the male neighbors also.

For a rescue you can normally figure out what might have cause the issue(s), and work on them. Nice thing about rescues is that most older ones come house broken. We've never had one chew furniture. All have at least known sit, but that is not a hard command to teach a dog. For me, I wll take the issue(s) over a pup and all you go trough raising them.

BTW, the one with no issues was probably an outside dog with past family. It knew balls were fun and pretty well trained catching them. Reason for the guess is the dog was uncomfortable for the first two days in our home. It wouldn't play with any of the dog toys around, at the time I think all the balls were put up. Three days later she was perfect and played with all the toys. If a dog could smile, think she would have had a real big one.

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