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How do I get a dog to stop mouthing/jumping at OTHER people? (no longer does us)

(9 Posts)
AllTheYoungDoods Tue 14-Jun-11 08:42:54

Bad dog day today sad.

11 month doodle has been at the sitters for a long weekend and this morning's walk was, to put it mildly, not his finest. Ran off to play with other dogs/people, ignored recall, not good.

I always expect a bit of regression when he's in someone else's care so will be doing lots of recall work over the next few days (any tips still welcome though!), but the real problem is how to get him to stop doing things to other people that he long ago stopped doing to us.

So, mouthing - DH & I knocked this on the head within a few weeks by squealing/yelping as soon as he did it, but I've noticed he still does it when meeting strangers who are friendly to him and offer him their hands to sniff/lick. He's pretty soft mouthed, so adults are normally fine with it, but children don't 'get' it. I ALWAYS tell people to yelp loudly, but so many people won't (guess they feel silly doing it), is there anything I can do to eradicate this?

Also, jumping. He knows jumping at us is a no-go, and we had got to the point where he wouldn't jump at visitors to the house, or anyone he met outside. But this morning he was jumping at another dog owner (who was understandably furious, but didn't help the situation by waving his arms about), which is the first time in ages. I wonder if it's something he's regressed into over the weekend at the sitters. Again, any ideas on how to solve it? here today.

Happymm Tue 14-Jun-11 12:56:15

Will watch this with interest. Have a 10wk old lab, who is a bugger for jumping up and nipping. Esp at little people so desperate to stop her...

minimu1 Tue 14-Jun-11 13:13:12

This is hard as you have to train the other people and not your dog - i can do dogs people are hardergrin

What I would try and do (yep it will be hard) is to prevent the incidents happening to start with. So if out walking and you see someone in the distance turn around run away and call your dog - go over board with the praise and play a game when your dog follows you. When your dog is with you then you can start to turn back and approach the person coming. Have the dog on lead and tell the other person your dog is in training and do they mind helping you by stroking dog only when he is in a sit position. You hold the collar lead etc to make sure this happens. After calm greeting you can then run off with your dog in an excited manner so that he would rather be with you than boring strange person who makes him sit all the time.

If dog is just meeting people in the house I would have dog on lead and again control the greeting. If dog gets too excited quietly remove dog from room and then try again in a few minutes. The dog will learn very quickly if you are consistent what behaviour you want from him and what happens if he gets excited.

AllTheYoungDoods Tue 14-Jun-11 14:34:10

Hi Minimu
Thanks for responding - hoped I'd get you! So, as I thought then it is down to preventing the situation or trying to control other people's responses, nothing more we can do at home?

I am much more paranoid on walks than DH, who did this morning's, and I spend a lot of my time running away from potential distractions. Unfortunately as my bump gets bigger my running speed is decreasing! The flip side is that doodle is normally much better at staying engaged with playing ball with DH than me (think he sees enough of me during the day, DH still has novelty value!), but I guess today he wanted to explore his 'home turf'. Will go back to being hyper-cautious and using long-lines for a few weeks I think. Hopefully we'll be able to persuade some people to be 'boring and strange' for him grin

What are your views on air correction sprays for jumping? We tried one when one of our friends was injured and absolutely could NOT be jumped at, and it seemed to have done the trick until now, but equally I've heard the argument that they don't really teach anything long-term. It didn't spook him in any way, but did make him think before jumping.

No idea what else to do about the mouthing, as I just don't see it sometimes - he'll meet someone (often 'doggy people' who carry interesting snacks!) quite nicely, paws on the ground, snuffling at their hand, and then they tell me he's doing it, but hasn't done it to us since baby days. My worry is children snatching their hands away and saying 'He Bit Me!'

minimu1 Tue 14-Jun-11 17:07:18

No problem Allthedoods - hope I can help.

I think you are right that usually prevention is better than cure but what you can do at home is to proof the behaviour. So when doodle begins to get the idea that he should not jump up - make it harder for him - do wave your arms around, do squeal, do hold sausage in your hand and jump up and down. Whilst this is going on get him to sit and be calm. This is a big ask so build up to it slowly. Get him calm and sitting and maybe do a weeny jump (maybe as you are pregnant this can be OH job - I don't want to bring on labour!) Maybe you could be still but very animated in your voice and see if he can still stay sitting and calm.

This will prepare him a bit for people you may meet out and about.

I don't usually like air correction sprays just for the reasons you say - they may work to start with if you have a confident dog but they will just get to ignore them over time and carry on with the behaviour - if you have a nervous dog they are terrified and sometimes associate the noise to the room or the person and then you have more than just the original problem.

The mouthing again it is hard, but I would work on not letting him get that close to people unsupervised just yet. Work on that recall and get a good down and watch me command and you can usually deal with any situation by preventing it from happening. However very easy to write but in reality quite hard to do.

midori1999 Tue 14-Jun-11 20:36:06

I have a friend who uses an air correction spray with her collie, to stop her barking/trying to get attention from people in her home. The same friend has also used a vibrating collar to stop the collie barking. sad Both of these appear to have 'cured' the behaviour in her opinion, but I don't think they have because the dog will still try and get attention from people, she just stops when the correction spray is taken out of the cupboard and she still barks in the garden when the collar isn't on.

Worse than that, what they now have is a very neurotic and nervous dog who I suspect sadly will one day react very badly to being told off. She has already nipped my friend badly when she told her off for trying to lick things being put in the dishwasher. The dog is also not good with other dogs, except my friend's other dog and is miserable most of the time and she is very clever/quick to learn, so it seems such a shame. I don't visit her any more as the situation with the dog does upset me.

As for other people, they are the bane of dog training, dogs are so much easier, so I feel your pain OP!

AllTheYoungDoods Tue 14-Jun-11 21:36:29

Thanks Midori I was aware of the potential for creating future problems with the sprays (largely to reading on here) and it's not a decision we took lightly, hence the reason I'm reluctant to do it again and looking for alternatives.

Probably irrelevant, but we tested it very carefully to see his reaction, and it certainly wasn't fearful (this is a dog who decided bursting balloons with his teeth as a puppy was hilarious, thinks that fireworks are purely there for his entertainment, and that gunshot is as unremarkable as the TV). We also 'pre-armed' guests with the spray out of his sight to try and ensure he didn't associate it with anything other than jumping at visitors/new people. And, I have to say, after just a very few uses it seemed to work - it made him stop and think before lifting his paws off the ground and he got out of the habit. Now he seems to have suddenly got back into the habit with people other than us, and I would obviously like a more permanent solution, but short of handing flyers out in the park for willing volunteers I'm struggling!

Fortunately a lovely lady did spend about 10 minutes with me tonight backing up towards him in the park while I tried to work on a calm sit, but it's pretty tiresome and a big ask of people who are just trying to enjoy their own walk.

CalamityKate Wed 15-Jun-11 13:47:26

My dog was awful for this. What worked best was, as Minimu suggested, teaching her that the appearance of people/other dogs was a cue to have a WONDERFUL game with me and her tuggie or ball.

It works especially well if, on walks, the ONLY time you produce tuggie/ball is when other people/dogs are around. Otherwise it's like they think "Oh well, I might as well go and investigate this person because Mum will play with me later anyway."

People are a pain though; especially the ones who, when you say "Can you turn your back on her please, I'm teaching her not to jump up", respond "Oh it's OK, I don't mind!" and proceed to slap their thighs and wave their arms about and encourage your dog up. The same people often tend to give treats without asking, thus undoing MONTHS of hard work angry

Well meaning, but just GRRRRRRRRRRRRR! hmm

pinkbraces Thu 16-Jun-11 09:32:49

I have a 20 month old Doodle and we still have this problem, I think we have it cracked and nope, she does it again.

She still sometimes runs up to people but she does sit down and looks at them with her big dog eyes, they think lovely polite well trained dog and start to stroke her, the problems occur when they stop stroking and petting her as she jumps up for more. Cue me running like a banshee shouting at said person dont stop stroking else she will jump blush

This doesnt happen as often as it used to which Im thankful for.

I will carry on the training smile

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