Rambo nipping wife
#1
So I think it might be part separation anxiety and part herding instincts but our pup does not like to let my wife leave for work in the morning. He barakades the entry way. She leaves about 40 min after I do for work and every once in a while he will try to stop me from leaving but views me as the alpha and always backs down if I tell him to move. Today he nipped my wife when she tried to leave. We are having my wife take him through a basic obedience class in the first part of July so he sees her more as his boss then someone he needs to be in charge of. Any suggestions until the class starts we can't change work schedules?
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#2
I should also say the only time we experience this is in the morning he is a very affectionate pup and is always loving on us. Just does not like the morning when we leave


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#3
Change your morning routine. Watch how the wife leaves, note what order she does things in, and have her change it up. Maybe she grabs her keys, then her purse, then goes for the door. Or maybe she pauses at the door to dig through the keys. Or maybe it's breakfast then get dressed then leave. Change these around so he can't recognize the "she's about to leave" chain of events - and change it up every day.

Then have a stuffed kong ready the night before.

Give the kong at different points in the changed up routine every day, but with the timing that he's still working on it when she goes out the door a final time.

Also work on downs with her at the door (incompatible behavior). Can he down when she is just standing by the door? Can he down when she has a hand on the doorknob? How about standing at the door with her purse and keys? How about at the door with purse and keys with hand on the knob? Door open with nothing in hand? Door open with just keys in hand?

Then can he STAY in down when she takes a step in any direction? When she takes a step with the door open? When she takes a step out of the door?

Make these training sessions a full game - but do NOT end with her actually leaving for good until that down is very very steady!
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Gotcha Day: November 14, 2015
Vet-Listed Birthday: May 2, 2014
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#4
Thx will try
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#5
I think Ember is on the right track for sure. I have had to give my two an alternate behaviour for when people are leaving because otherwise they can't resist the excitement of our cars moving. They can be seen from the house. It's a bit funny really because in the mornings Max the people pleaser flies into his crate as soon as he recognises cues that someone is leaving. It can be the tap turning off in the bathroom after brushing teeth, shoes and socks going on, any movements that precede someone leaving. He can be fast asleep but at times when he knows someone will be leaving soon he wakes up, watches and waits for that cue that tells him the time is right to go to his place. Even when guests pick up a handbag or keys etc, Max is onto it and knows where he is expected to be. Jasper is getting there as well.
It's always a great idea to have your wife participate in training but I believe the benefit is to do with enhancing their relationship and communication and nothing to do with rank. I would encourage you to research a little more on the whole "Alpha" dominance theory notion. It's an old fashioned theory that has been debunked even by the very man who first wrote of the theory. It's a mindset many of us grew up with, it can seem to make sense at times but in reality it is an obstacle to a better understanding of canines and a better relationship with your dogs. There are still trainers around who subscribe to the theory but they are fast becoming the minority thankfully. Rambo's relationship and compliance with you is more likely due to your level of confidence, communication and understanding with him and nothing to do with "Alpha". I mean, if you put 10 dog savvy people with a dog and all of them engage the same skill set they will all most likely achieve the same result give or take just a little. Who would be the "Alpha" in this scenario ? Dogs respond to things like confidence and trust in their humans, rather than a perception of "the boss" (Alpha)
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#6
That makes sense so if my learns how to better communicate with our pup and show confidence that he will follow the commands she gives that will go a long ways
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#7
I think sometimes a dog just gets into a bad habit.  I bet Rambo is stressed when he knows everyone is leaving for the day.  Your wife gets the nip because when you leave she is still there.  I wonder if the nip is a way that Rambo has taught himself do deal with the stress of her leaving.  I love Ember's advice because you are teaching Rambo another way to handle being left alone.  

We have an issue with Mattie getting excited over loud noises.  The blender, coffee grinder, vacuum, will all set her off and have her running to harass one of the cats.  It got to the point that someone will be in the kitchen and yell, "I need someone to get Mattie, I want a cup of coffee!"  Since I don't drink coffee I'm usually the one to take care of the pup.  I call her to me, loop a couple of fingers in her collar and talk to her softly while the grinder is running.  When the noise stops I praise her for not bothering the cat and we go get a cookie. Because of this, Mattie is slowly learning a different response to the coffee grinder.  When she sees someone pull out the grinder she now runs to me.  Now we just have to work on her response to the blender and the vacuum. Tongue
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#8
T&MM Max behaved similar to Mattie when over stimulated with cars leaving. He would try to run crazy along the fence and would lash out at Jasper in the frenzy. It's only really the departing cars that are an issue, for some strange reason he is as calm as can be when cars arrive. He has become so good at self correcting and going to his crate as soon as he picks up on a cue. I never close the crate, it is his choice now that he knows what I want from him. He is such a pleaser and although he loves a treat he is very happy with a "good boy".
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#9
So we spent the night looking at possible triggers a few seem to be taking the keys off the hook, putting shoes on, and me putting a hat on by the door
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#10
That is a very good start! Those triggers are what you may want to work your "Down" around (or Crate, or any other incompatible behavior than reacting).
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Gotcha Day: November 14, 2015
Vet-Listed Birthday: May 2, 2014
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