to be fed up with this dog

(14 Posts)
DamnDog Tue 06-Aug-13 14:55:11

NC, in case DSis is on here.

DSis got a puppy at the beginning of the year. It must be coming up to a year old now, so not exactly a puppy anymore. This dog is wonderful with her and her DH, and their 3 DC (aged 4m, 2 and 5), but is a nightmare when DH and I visit. It's a staffy-type dog, and seems to get over-excited at seeing new people; bouncing at us and biting at our hands and arms. It's not being aggressive, I just don't think it's been taught how to behave around people outside the family; I don't think it's really been trained or socialised since they got it. We're dog people; we know how to act around dogs. We're not shying away, squealing or flapping our hands, it's just our being there which seems to provoke this reaction. When we stay with DSis, she will crate the dog, or shut it out in the garden/kitchen, but when it does come in and it jumps and bites she tells us to ignore it and to turn our backs. I can't help but to feel a bit put out that she's getting us to train her dog when really I would expect her to have a bit more control over it by now and call it off. Especially as it has a strong bite and sharp teeth, and I'm begining to wonder if the day will come when it does take a bite out of me.

WIBU to tell DSis that her dog is a menace?

More to the point, how should I tell her?

Nombrechanger Tue 06-Aug-13 15:12:02

YANBU

I would tell her straight up that her dog hurts you whenever you visit and that she needs to take it to a training centre to get that sorted onc and for all.

Nombrechanger Tue 06-Aug-13 15:12:12

Once

If she is using a particular training method with the dog (ie. turning her back/ignoring it when it jumps up and/or mouths), then it is absolute common sense to ask you to reinforce that training method by responding the same way to that behaviour, isn't it? The more people who do this, and the more often it is done, the quicker the dog will learn, surely.

Nombre - a dog training centre isn't a magic wand that can be waved to produce instant good behaviour. The training centre will show the OP techniques to teach the dog proper behaviour and to discourage bad behaviour, but it will be repetition, repetition, repetition that will get the dog to learn the right behaviours.

By reinforcing the technique that her sister is using, the OP will only speed up the dog's learning.

BrokenSunglasses Tue 06-Aug-13 15:28:59

I don't think she asking you to train her dog for her, she's just asking you to be consistent with what they do.

I found it really irritating when we were trying to train our puppy not to jump at people and they would allow him to jump and continue fussing over him and saying it was fine while he was doing something we were trying to get him out of and I had asked them not to. It made it harder for the dog to learn that jumping at people was not allowed because of all the mixed messages.

If you don't like being around the dog and you don't want to do as your sister asks, then don't go and stay there.

ViviPru Tue 06-Aug-13 15:50:45

Exactly what BrokenSunglasses said. We have this exact same problem with our dog. We tell guests that she will only respond to "OFF" not "down", to fold their arms and turn away if she does persist and ask them to praise her and make a fuss when she does get off, but without exception NO ONE follows these instructions ever. Drives me round the bend.

We resort to locking her away in these circs because guests are just so impatient with her, and because of this, she's just not learning. I'd like to know how your sister is supposed to train the dog how to behave around other people on her own without other people complying.

FrussoHathor Tue 06-Aug-13 16:06:15

I agree with broken and vivi I have a dog that is all over think bouncy, excited barking, jumping up visitors but fine with us.
Without telling the visitors how to behave with him I cant teach him how to behave with them.
You can't teach a dog not to back when a stranger to the dog walks through the front door without a stranger actually walking through the front door iyswim
You can't teach this at dog training school it has to be taught in the home where it is the problem.

Nombrechanger Tue 06-Aug-13 16:22:39

Admittedly, I know nothing about dogs. I love them but never had one of my own. I only suggested a dog training centre because the dog will be trained using strangers to try and stop his bad habit of playfully biting.

DamnDog Tue 06-Aug-13 16:35:33

So the answer is to be more patient or to stop going there?

I know dogs require consistency, which isn't exactly what I am; I visit once a fortnight, sometimes only once a month, DH usually comes with me, but not always. I don't think they have any many other visitors. I don't mind doing what I can to help out, but it feels like it's been left to me to deal with. He's a nice enough dog when he's not trying to clamp his jaws onto my arms. It's just that it hurts when he does catch me.

I guess I feel like she ought to be doing more to socialise the dog. But from what you're all saying, there is no 'more', not if no one else goes round to, what, 'normalise' other people being in the house? I do feel like she should take it to training classes; more to get it used to other people than to magically stop it from biting.

It's just that DH and I are TTC, so it keeps coming into my mind that I don't want to visit DSis with a future potential baby if there's going to be a large (well, large enough) dog leaping at me teeth first. I know that's a bit of an over-reaction, but the dog's almost a year old and hasn't shown any signs of being less bitey. The only thing it's done has been to grow bigger so it can now reach my arms when it jumps.

VivaLeBeaver Tue 06-Aug-13 16:45:24

A dog training centre won't work as the dog won't respond the same in an environment where they don't feel as comfortable and confident.

My dog used to growl, snarl and nip people coming to the house but at the behaviourist's centre with plenty of dog instructor types he was as good as gold.

Btw, the advice we had from our dog psychologist was to turn our back on the dog and ignore for unwanted behaviour.

ViviPru Tue 06-Aug-13 16:48:40

You sound like you're trying to be reasonable OP. If she hasn't taken him to training at all then she's not meeting you halfway.

You obviously care about your sister and want to remedy this situation, It shouldn't be solely your responsibility, but it might only take two or three visits where you primarily concentrate on the dog and some focussed training. Get it sorted once and for all as it were. I would love it if someone offered to do this for us, offered to come round not just for the usual chit chat and drinks, but to help me socialise the dog with guests, and that's the main purpose of their visit.

It'd doubtless be a PITA for you in the short term, but might really pay dividends in the months to come.

FWIW I wouldn't be visiting anyone with a Staff and a newborn

Whoknowswhocares Tue 06-Aug-13 17:23:59

Well that's a bit silly justforlaughs. Not all dogs in a breed are equal, there are plenty of Labradors I wouldn't visit with a newborn! And staffs where I would.
I wouldn't trust this one ATM though. bite inhibition should be well under control by its age, and your sister is going to have to put in some careful and persistent training to get it sorted, having left it so long.
I'd recommend a home visit from a trainer or behaviourist so that they can get started on the right track. If it does this to you, it's also going to do it to visiting children (eg school friends) etc. Your sister is risking not only the children, but the very life of the dog......if it bites a child, then it will be put down.
Obv you are not going to achieve progress without talking to your sister, so difficult as it will be, then I think you have to broach it.

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