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Help me with my parent's dog please.

(7 Posts)
DooinMeCleanin Wed 21-Sep-11 07:14:22

She's causing a lot of tension in the house with her snapping and growling (fear based imo)

She snaps when they try and get her out. She snaps when they take something off her (why the fuck they are taking high value items off her without swapping for a similar value item is beyond me, but they do), she snaps when they want to get her off the sofa.

My Dad still believes in pack theory confused. He will not give up on this idea. He won't train the dog my way because he is convinced that as she mainly snaps at my sister and my mum and not him it's a power thing and they need to be more authorative over her confused hmm. They believe in pack theory because he does, but are too scared to challenge her <thank god>

I can talk to them about pack theory until I am blue in the face. He won't listen. He's trained all his dogs this way and it's always worked, which to be fair, he is right. This is the first problem dog they have had. His dogs are generally better trained than mine, although he has a lot more time to dedicate to them.

My plan is to go round tonight and do some training with her to help prove that they are doing it all wrong and she would respond better to positive training.

Their main problem is getting her off the sofa and out to her bed on an evening, I am fairly sure I know what I am doing as her 'problems' seem to be the same as Devil Dogs were. She is a female Devil Dog shock except much nicer and much less prone to snapping at children.

My plan is:

For off:

1) charge clicker
2) hold food near the floor, give off command when she goes to get food. Click the second she has all four paws off the sofa and treat.

For going out into her bed

1) take treat to her bed
2) click and treat when she is in bed
3) advise them to hide tasty treats in her bed on an evening

This will work yes? I might need a house line incase she really truely is Devil Dog part duece and will not follow the food. But even if I use the house line to guide her off or out it will still help? Or was Devil Dog just a fluke? She is very food orientated, unlike my dog, so I am expecting it to be easier.

wordfactory Wed 21-Sep-11 08:03:06

Sorry I can't help, I'm a novice to all this. But can I just ask what pack training is and why it doesn't work.

When you buy dog training books and watch programms etc they all atlk about your pack and making sure your dog knows who the leader is etc. Is that not right?

Honeydragon Wed 21-Sep-11 08:07:21

I would assume pack training would only work as long as the dog doesn't want to be head of the pack? confused

Or in your parents case, the beta to your dads Alpha. I think you are right to want to try something, no idea how to advise you on your dad though grin

GeeinItLaldy Wed 21-Sep-11 08:17:01

wordfactory all you'll ever need to know about pack theory and why it's a big pile of bollocks

ThePieSmuggler Wed 21-Sep-11 08:19:35

The 'pack theory' is losing a lot of credibility/ support nowadays as we learn more about canine behaviour. It's nowhere near as simple as a one size fits all theory, within a pack the hierarchy can change frequently depending on the resource concerned, for example dog A may be more 'dominant' than dog B with regards to food but dog B may be more dominant when it comes to toys.

OP your plan sounds a good one, I'd definitely encourage the use of a house line initially, safety first and all that!

I think your main challenge might be retraining your parents rather than the dog! Good luck smile

DooinMeCleanin Wed 21-Sep-11 08:21:45

In short, since the school run beckons, pack training and pack theory was based on a group of captive wolves. Dogs have been domesticated for many hundreds/thousands of years now and are as far removed from their Wolf counter parts as you can get. Their behaviour in no way reflects that of wolves.

Secondly wild wolves behave very differently and have a much less rigid pack structure than captive wolves. Many of the things 'pack' trainers would have you do i.e. pinning your dog down by it's neck to exercise authority (one of Ceaser Milans old tricks) would only be used in the wild in a life or death situation not to alter or control behaviour.

It's now understood that dogs don't do things to take control or whatever. It's quite simple, if there is a reward in it for them, they'll do it, e.g they don't sit on the sofa because they are top dog, they sit there because it's more comfortable than the floor. They don't try and leave the house before you because they are the pack alpha, they do it because it means their walk starts sooner.

Positively trained dogs are in general much happier. They are working with you out of mutual respect and understanding and because they want to and not because they are afraid of what will happen if they don't.

ditavonteesed Wed 21-Sep-11 08:21:50

no where near to that extent but cherry used to growl at night when we tried to get her off the sofa and into her bed, I did exactly whhat you have said, it worked, we dont ever lift her off it is really tempting to lift her off as she is a small dog. she did her gold test recently and failed on the stay, but she did pass on being sent to bed even though it was in the middle of a field.

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