Odie is getting a little bolder each day (almost 14 weeks), normal development, but up until today he had been avoiding walking on the pool cover. It's an automatic pool cover that advertises being able to hold considerable weight, I think they picture in their marketing material 10 or 12 smiling people standing on one of their covers. That said, I still don't want my dogs running on the cover. It would be expensive to replace (should they tear a whole in it) and they have lots of other areas in our backyard to run and play. Today he went running onto the cover, having shown a previous avoidance of it in the six weeks he's been home with us. I can see why he thought it was fun, it's like running on a giant waterbed. I was pondering how I was going to discourage this behavior and more importantly to get him off the cover (I wasn't about to walk out on it) when he promptly piddled there. I got the pool "hook" out of the cabana that is on a long pole and it spooked him as I tried to "hook" him to get him off. He ran off the cover immediately. Next time outside he was running around playing and then on a quick impulse went on the pool cover again. I tried to grab the "hook" pole quickly to get him off, but he was quicker than I was and he piddled again on the pool cover. I hosed down the surface of the pool cover to try and dilute the pee odor on the cover, can't possibly put Nature's Miracle on the spots so dilution will have to suffice. My daughter is advising yelling at him loudly and using the "hook" immediately to herd him off the cover and hopefully he will associate the pool cover as a negative thing instead of like a ride at the best puppy adventure park you could ever create! Any other thoughts or remedies are most welcome!
i would NOT use the pool hook. sounds dangerous, scary to the dog (who will run away).
keep the dog on a long line so you can real him in gently while you work on training boundaries.
have a toy that you throw in the opposite diection or play with and have him run to you to play.
Charlie (foster) and Rocky
Agree with Tanya, but in addition you should be more concerned about a 14wk old puppy falling through despite how "safe" this pool cover is and drowning. Not all dogs know how to swim, even water dogs like Labs. Perhaps your pool cover is foolproof as advertised, but someone else's may not be.
Puppies like children can get themselves into horrible predicaments and you need to supervise closely. Trying to scare him with the pool hook, you could be creating a fear imprint and it could become a nightmare. Sorry, I just don't find this all that cute.
Thanks for the advice and although there is no way he'd go through this cover (it's an heavy duty automatic cover that is secured in a track system), I certainly wouldn't want him thinking all pool covers were safe like ours is, hence my not wanting him on it.
Please be assured I was not looking to be cute by pulling out the "hook". I am not using a true hook and maybe it's conjuring up an awful image of something more sinister and dangerous than it actually is. This is a tool used to help people get out of the pool if they are in trouble. It has no sharp edges or anything that could harm you. But yes, he did get spooked by it's size and clattering on the ground when I dropped it. Calling to him with a toy and a treat simply were not working. I have a long lead that I can use for the next couple of days and just pull him off using the lead. Brilliant suggestion! This pup is so smart, it will probably only take a few days to get him to stop this behavior.
I'm glad you took the suggestions as they were offered and did not get defensive.
The issue with scaring him with the pool hook (I've had a pool so I know what you are talking about) is during their growing stages, puppies go through fear stages. A metal baby gate fell and came crashing down on the hardwood floor when Diesel was around the same age and even though I didn't coddle him (which makes it worse) to this day he is terrified of the sound of metal clanging. Any time a truck drives by that has those metal doors that slide up and down on a track, you know how they clatter sometimes.... my God this dog has almost taken me out so many times by running sideways away from the truck and into my legs right at the knee!
So scaring him may have worked, but you definitely don't want to use scare tactics intentionally.
No, totally appreciate all the good advice. I hear you about getting spooked as a puppy and having it last forever. Some creepy kid put Bailey, my 9 year old yellow lab, in the pool when she was very young (my back was turned) and even though it was for a nanosecond and she swam immediately to the step and walked out....she's been too anxious to go in the pool independently ever since then. It's a shame too since she gets so excited when her human "pack" is in the pool, running up and down the pool area, but she just can't bring herself to come in with us.
That is so sad. I hope using a long line will help with your problem.
Maxx & Emma Jean
Ozzy - 10/16/02 - 06/28/11 - Always in my heart.
Sometimes the hardest part isn't letting go - but learning to start over.
Well, I'm back with this issue again. Odie is now 7 1/2 months old and seemed to have gotten the idea that we didn't want him on the pool cover......that is until a couple of weeks ago. He is now having a blast grabbing the nuts that have fallen on the ground from our neighbors overhanging Buckeye tree. He is thrilled with this new found "nut" toy and excitedly tosses the nut up in the air and then runs after it. He particularly enjoys running onto the pool cover when he is doing this because it is a game for him and he wants us to chase him, but knows we won't walk out on the pool cover. He also seems to enjoy the sensation of the water moving underneath and giving him a "ride". We sternly say "OFF" when he goes on the pool cover and reward him with praise and/or a treat when he comes off, but we are stymied on what else we could do. I also notice that if we're throwing him a ball in the backyard and he perceives that the quickest route to getting to the ball means running across the pool cover to get the ball........then bingo! That's exactly what he does instead of running around it. Maybe if we ignore the "bad behavior" it will eventually go away?? Please know that there is NO WAY this pool cover will collapse plunging him into the pool. This just isn't a good habit to develop and would be very expensive to repair or replace should he rip the cover his nails. Ideas?
I think something like this would be of good help with this issue your having. How to Train Your Dog to Stay Out of Certain Places I would go with the "hire a dog trainer to come to your house for private lessons". I would bet with just 1-3 lessons you would get the knowledge needed to continue the training to solve this issue.
Here is another link that may help as well. How to teach puppy from walking on a certain surface?
Thank you for those links. I will read them as soon as I finish this reply. And yes, I agree we may have to have a session or two with a trainer who comes to our house. There are a few other issues we have to work on too. I definitely need to take some action though because I left the backyard for less than a minute this afternoon, while Odie was out there. I was putting my older lab's poo in the garbage, he's now eating her poo.....and when I came back there he was lying down on the pool cover just chilling. I did a recall and he came running into the house, but I think he likes the sensation of that water undulating under him and it probably feels nice and cool too. I hope we can have some success in turning this one around. Appreciate your reply!