Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Stubborn Puppy!

There are things Orent is pretty good at. He doesn't do much pulling ahead on his leash (his legs are too short). He hasn't had an accident in the house in 2 days. He is good at sitting with treats and is starting to learn about the word sit. He has good eye contact when he's not in a crazy mood. He settles himself well in his crate and has zero separation anxiety. When he cries in the night, he pees right away when we take him out. He's not afraid of anything but the ice cream truck, but he doesn't pull towards exciting things too much either. He sits and listens to fireworks, trains, trolleys, ambulances, motorcycles, and ATVs.

Here's what's not so good... his manners and his "let's go." I'm worried he's starting to think he's the boss dog, because when he digs in his heels and won't come, we start acting like puppies, making funny noises, getting down to his level, etc. How do we get him to come along with us reliably? Walking him is getting frustrating! What he wants to do is flop down in the grass and chew it, which is not good "let's go" behavior. When we get him going he trots right along to the tune of "good boy!" but getting him going is hard!

Inside, he has a hard time settling down if he's not in his kennel. He's up to investigate each new thing to chew on (furniture legs and door stops) and seems to enjoy getting redirected... sometimes he'll put down his good toys to go chew on the furniture; I think it's to see what we'll do. We try to get excited about his good toys, but I worry he also sees us as getting excited about him chewing the wrong stuff when we go to quietly remove him and replace it with an exciting toy...

Does learning commands teach him obedience and manners? How does he learn to be a dog who looks to us for direction, not a puppy who looks to us for fun (when he feels like it)? When and how do we enforce our status? I'm pretty sure he knows what we want him to do, and he just doesn't want to. Can we say "don't"? Give a correction (and if so, how)? Do we ignore him when he won't come with us or stop chewing? Walk away?

1 comment:

  1. as aunt patty taught me, mood is everything. animals are super sensitive to moods. they know when you move them from a bad toy to a good toy but you're secretly smiling because you thought it was cute. and they know when they've won the walk because you're getting frustrated they won't "go." it's all about being really, really assertive even if you don't feel it. when you move him you should sort of ignore it and not let him feel like he got your attention. just pick him up and put him somewhere else without even looking at him. and on walks, put on your game face and don't get frustrated. then get super happy for good behavior. so they see the contrast from, i'm really happy and you have my attention, i'm not happy and you don't have my attention, to the strong silent dog walker. they want your attention (whether good or bad) so you have to decide when to give it and how much. granted i learned all this after brady didn't turn out so well...