I need some help. Brody just turned 18 months old on September 30th. He has attended six obedience classes and is enrolled in pre-rally classes to start next week.
His training is going well but one area is driving us crazy. Any visitors to our home makes him act like he never had any type of obedience training at all. I put him on his leash or he will run and attack dragging me with him (he's built like a tank and is as strong as one lol). Not aggressive at all but continues to jump. He will drag me on the leash to get to the person or another dog. Not aggressive just wants to say hello.
It is difficult, if not impossible to give each visitor to our home a list of ways to deal with his exuberance. I turn my back on him and ignore him. I find that it is best if visitors just ignore him but in their attempt to be kind to Brody, they get drilled. Visitors suggest I enroll him in obedience classes. I could cry. We attend classes religiously. Please tell me if I continue to be consistent with him, this too will end. I could use some help.
If you are going to compete in rally I'm assuming you know how to use corrections during training. If your dog is out of control, you should be issuing a correction. Put them in a down stay. If he breaks the stay give an AH-AH and a correction. Out of control behavior means there will be a correction. If he jumps - give a correction. Dragging you is unacceptable behavior and should be corrected immediately. If he drags you to someone and he gets attention from them - he was just awarded for his bad behavior and he will continue to do it. Six obedience classes isn't very many. Just work on proofing your training and make sure you continue to correct bad behavior.
Leslie McDevitt's games helped me with that. In particular her "Look at That" game, which for us is Who'zat? It's in her book "Control Unleashed" I started with a dog friendly visitor, one who my dog loves to bits so basically stacking the odds against my dog, and had him focusing on me in no time. I did play the game in other situations first. It works. This is Premack Principle. It's not new but McDevitt's approach is fresh, fun and readable. It also gets me by the big, black, nasty dog who charges his fence at us. My dog has learned there are better things to do than charge back at him. Google up the book, you'll see lots of accolades for it.
do you mean six SET of classes (each being 6 weeks) or like six actual times you went to a class?
I agree with dog paddle, great suggestions.
It sounds like you may have done great training in some situations, but have not worked actively on training in the one area he needs it most (meeting people). First off, if he is able to drag you anyway you need to learn to plant you feet and possibly use a training tool so that is impossible for him to do. I walk three dogs (at least one is usually not trained as they are a foster so a work in progress) and and only 5'1 and female, but I learned long ago to plant my feet and stop the dogs from dragging me anywhere.
but you need to train. this means working around people (start far enough so you have control AND the dogs attention, if your dog is in the "red zone" he is past the ability to listen and you are strictly in MANAGEMENT MODE and no longer TRAINING mode. and you will eventually need people to help you by setting up greeting where you tell them what to do and when to back up (or they stay there and you back up to get your dogs attention and get closer as they don't lose their mind).
There are some small general tricks you can do to work self control. it's a big job with some dogs (i have a BC mix and it's the core of our training, working on her self control).
Thanks so much for your reply. This sounds easier than it is. He is very attentive to me during our training sessions but his exuberance with visitors causes him to have selective or become deaf when they arrive. I leash him but he is so excited, he drags me to see them. I cannot get him to focus or calm down. I don't want to banish him to another room because he learns nothing. We don't have many visitors to our home except for our immediate family - my two children and my granddaughters. I babysit my granddaughters - a 2 year old and a 3 month old on a daily basis and he NEVER jumps to greet them and is so very kind and gentle. It's amazing to me how he changes when adults visit. I guess I was looking for a magic bullet and there is none. Would you share with me the "corrections" I could use with a dog that has no focus during this time.
Thanks so much. I will Google the book to day. Really need help with this aspect of his training. I'm learning too LOL
Brody and I have attended 6 - 6 week classes and the trainers are well aware of this issue. We work with him each class. Again, I think a contributing factor may be the lack of training opportunities since we don't have an influx of visits. I really try to plant my feet - but 69 pounds and pulls like a tank is hard to manage with his excitment and lack of focus but I keep trying lol
do you or did you take a class with other dogs in the class?
where they get to meet and greet the animals, and the owners, on command and under control?
Every class has up to 10 dogs in the class. He will be very focused and then try to pull me to see another animal. There is no growling or aggression shown. He just wants to jump and play.
LOL, I'm with you on the 69 pounds and planting your feet. My dog can pull me right down the street in winter when there's snow on the roads and he can do a pretty good job of it when the road is dry too, if he really wants to. But, he can only do it the times I'm not paying attention to him and don't get my control tricks going soon enough. LOL, I have to pay attention to him so I can see ahead of time when his attention on me is most going to be needed.