By the way, he hates to get collars put on, so if the prong collar isn't something I can keep on him, I'm not sure it will do.
Again - a class of some sort so that you gain authority over him is essential. In my world it never occurs to me that an impediment to training/controlling my dog might be his not "liking" it. I set the parameters in which they exist. They have no vote. I am a benevolent dictator, but a dictator nonetheless.
Your approach to him really needs to change.
11-06-2009, 05:27 PM
May I also suggest that you google the phrase "Nothing In Life Is Free" and start doing it with him. He needs to start earning everything - which will help correct the structure of your relationship.
11-09-2009, 11:23 PM
Googled that, Sharon, and thanks. Beginning today, I took the lead with Ted. I was first out the door, and I made him sit for everything - to get his leash on and off, to get his food (which he'd already been doing), even to be petted. I did note by being more aware today that there were several incidents that he's been getting things without working for it.
He'd been used to barreling through the door before me. He'd been used to being petted the minute his nose nudged under my hand. He'd been fed scraps from the table if he barked too much.
Today that all changed. I did glimpse at him while he was barking while we ate, but I pretended I didn't hear him. I instructed the rest of the family no feeding at the table and no acknowledgment to him when he barks nonstop while we're eating. He did eventually quiet down, and we'll continue with this. I explained to my husband that yelling at him and telling him no with the incessant barking is merely like another dog barking at him.
I took him out to do his business, and the neighbor had a high-power leaf blower going. As you guessed, he went pretty ballistic. I had him on the short leash and was able to calm him down about half way by telling him it was alright, it was the neighbor, and patting his side reassuringly. I've always been very careful about my tone when he's barking at unknown people or objects, to reassure him. Today the physical comforting was new, and it seemed to help to some degree. Not sure why I never tried that before.
Anyway - that's my progress so far. As time goes on, I will try to post my progress again.
11-09-2009, 11:44 PM
Sharon, a dog obedience class is out. He'd need his own trainer, and I'm not sure we can afford that. I did call around a few years back and wasn't able to find anyone I felt confident enough about with Ted.
To be honest, I never dreamed when I bought Ted that we would have disciplinary issues. My previous dog, which was a terrior mix, was so easy to train and control. The contrast has disappointed me quite a bit.
A little background, in case it means anything: Ted was the largest male in a litter of, I believe, 9. I do not have papers on him because the previous litter was not spaced out as much as the owner had planned, and she did not witness the breeding. I do not see anything but lab in him and believe him to be a pure bred, as does the owner of the parents. Mother and father were on the premises, and other than being crazy barkers, seemed okay to me. Father is a good goose hunter and was a face licker once he calmed down. Mother was put in the kitchen so that we could see the puppies without her getting defensive. Barked a lot. Ted does have occasional seizures, as does his older sister who is owned by my sister. My sister did give me a copy of Maddie's pedigree (Ted's older sister) and everything looks in order.
11-09-2009, 11:49 PM
It has occurred to me that my previous dog was only a little bigger than a cocker spaniel, so her size prevented her from being able to get into the garbage, and I'm sure it also intimidated her to be small by comparison to us.
Ted is about 116 pounds and is a big guy, so I think his size plays a huge role in his attitude.
11-10-2009, 12:02 AM
well done. All of what you have just wrote is IMPROVEMENT. None of these behaviours will disappear over night, he has had 6 years of getting used to doing what he wants! If you continue to be consistent and have all your family on the same page and doing the same thing you WILL see an improvement.
And I 1000% concur ------ get him to an obedience class. All obedience classes have out of control beginners. All beginners need to start somewhere.... even if you go and TALK to them they will be able to help you slowly integrate into the class.
11-10-2009, 02:24 PM
Thank you. I will give it some more thought. For now, I'd like to work with him a bit on our own and try to make sure our new rules are family-wide and followed through on a consistent basis. We're training ourselves, not just him. :rolleyes:
11-10-2009, 02:26 PM
For what it's worth, he's been pretty cooperative the last 2 days. He hasn't gotten into the garbage, but the goal is to get a better disposal unit, of course. Will have to wait for pay day for that, unfortunately. I'm continuing to make him sit for everything and I mean everything. lol
11-10-2009, 04:03 PM
sounds like you are on the right track. remember it may get worse for abit before it gets better. he has been getting away with alot for a long time, it will take time to get him on track. good luck
and yes, the same behavior from a much smaller dog probably wouldn't be as noticeable. But some dogs just naturally take all tehy get and push limits. each dog is an individual, and needs different training. You always have to adapt your behavior and training to the particular dog.
I also highly recommend a class (even with others around). Classes give the HUMANS tips on training and let you practice with the distraction of other dogs (but more or less calmer environment than say a dog park). Plus, having someone see you and point out things you do can be huge. Even trainers who know their stuff benefit from taking classes and having other watch. HEck one day my mom pointed out the problem I was having with a command and she knows nothing about dogs. But just by looking at me from an outside perspective she pointed out a hand movement I was making that was confusing the dog and from there we quickly solved the issue for that command. I never would have figured that out on my own.
11-10-2009, 06:16 PM
I'm glad to hear that you are trying new things with him and making some progress! Congratulations to you!
It will be a process and will take some time. Getting the buy in of your whole family is very important. Nothing undermines effective training like a family member who undoes your good work.
Maybe you might ask to go observe an obedience class without the dog? The trainer would probably welcome you and you can pick up some of the tips they are teaching to the participants.