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Feel like socialising pup is undoing my good work!

(11 Posts)
ScrummyPup Wed 07-Jan-15 17:31:00

Puppy goes on school run with the aim of getting her used to lots of children and other dogs.

The problem is that other children are doing things our children have been told not to do (waving hands in front of her face and expecting her not to react or chew, letting her jump up etc). Obviously I am intervening where possible but it's hard to do with other people's children.

I keep saying 'don't jump up', or 'don't let her jump up', or 'she has sharp teeth, mind your hands' but feel all the speech and interaction may be rewarding her in some way. I can't very well instruct a group of ten other people's children to stand still with their hands behind their backs (or can I?).

How have other people managed this?

AvonleaAnne Wed 07-Jan-15 17:45:49

I'm in the same position as you, I tend to take my puppy (12 weeks) on the school run most days. I've been reading up on the jumping up problem and one book suggested putting two leads on your puppy and when she is greeting somebody step on one of the leads so that she can't jump up. I haven't tried this yet though. She doesn't jump up on family members any more but it seems she thinks the rules only apply in the house. hmm

My other problem will be if she takes a liking to their shoes... She is obsessed with footwear.

I guess they need to get used to people who don't know how to deal with dogs. I have found the clicker really helpful as well.

ScrummyPup Wed 07-Jan-15 18:16:36

Twelve weeks here too Avon - I guess they do need to get use to non-doggy people too, that's true. Ours also doesn't jump up on us so much.

You've reminded me I need to buy a clicker tomorrow!

I shall look out for your posts if we are at the same stage.

ScrummyPup Wed 07-Jan-15 18:22:52

Avon

Booboostoo has answered the jumping up question using a clicker on this thread.

Booboostoo Wed 07-Jan-15 21:12:13

The school run is not a good idea for a puppy. As you are finding out there are too many factors that you cannot control and your puppy is probably getting very wound up by it all - I don't mean that your puppy will become dangerous rather that she may quickly learn that children equal massive excitement or she may become overwhelmed and become a bit weary of large numbers of children.

Ideally you want to introduce her to children one at a time and prep the children in advance on how to respond to her. She can also observe groups of children playing from her crate, behind a baby gate or while kept well away on the lead. One good idea is to train her within sight of the children playing so that she learns that she should still concentrate on you even if children are being very exciting close by.

For the shoe issue you need to introduce a leave it command. This takes a while to develop but it is crucial to train if you reward with food and can be generalised to other things. Put a tiny piece of food in your hand and make a fist so the dog cannot get to the food. Lower your fist to the level of the dog's nose, do not move your hand. The dog will lick your fist, bump it, mouth it, paw at it, etc. ignore all this behaviour but the moment you see space between the dog's nose and the fist click and open your fist allowing the dog to eat the treat. It doesn't matter why the dog's nose moves away, it will be coincidence at first but you are creating the association that if the dog tries to get at the food it fails, if she moves away from the food she succeeds. Some dogs get the idea within 2-3 repetitions and will very quickly back away from the food, some dogs take a couple of weeks, do not despair if that is the case with your dog! Repeat often, in different places, at different times with different foods. When you notice that your dog is reliably moving away from the fist start saying 'leave it' or 'off' as the behaviour happens. Use a nice, happy voice, nothing bad has happened, no need to tell the dog off. Now you are associating the command with the behaviour. In time work on variations, e.g. place the food on the floor ( be quick to cover it if the dog goes for it), or work on asking the dog to wait longer before the click, or transfer the command to other objects.

For immediate help with a mouthing puppy use distraction and offer an appropriate chew in exchange for the inappropriate item.

AvonleaAnne Wed 07-Jan-15 21:13:19

Thanks Scrummypup. I'll give that a try when the in-laws visit tomorrow!

muttynutty Wed 07-Jan-15 21:24:45

Boo and I often disagree re the leave it command smile. I do not ever teach it to puppies

A positive interrupter is a great way to prevent the shoe stealing and can be used in loads of different situations even for recall from distractions.

Have a noise that is easy to make eg clicking your teeth, a kissy noise, do the noise -reward your dog - do this several times a day bu day two you will be able to do the noise with simple distractions. So if your dog is sniffing around do the noise and your dog will stop what he is doing and come for the reward.

You can do the noise in any situation that you want to prevent from happening so to prevent picking up things, eating, digging etc.

I do agree about socialising near the school - I would not be taking my puppy there. Socialising needs to be controlled school gates are never controlled in my experience

Booboostoo Wed 07-Jan-15 21:33:55

Different things work for different dogs and you often need to adjust your approach as things develop in the moment. Are you going to training classes? It is absolutely vital to try to get to training classes with a good positive rewards trainer. He/she will help you with ideas and techniques and your dog will benefit greatly from working alongside other dogs. You will also have clear goals to work on each week.

Taz1212 Wed 07-Jan-15 22:10:38

I was completely slagged off in one of my threads a few months back for bringing my puppy on the school run every day so I will be the voice of dissent here. grin

I started taking our puppy on the school run the day after we got him (8 weeks) - first carrying him in a carrier and then letting him walk after OK'd by the vet after his second jags. He's now 6 months old and I'm so glad I got him used to the school run at an early age. He has several little fan clubs who come greet him every afternoon and he's good as gold for them, lapping up the attention.

I've never had a problem directing the children- it's adults who are more problematic in my experience (ones who don't mind jumpy dogs!). I told every child that if my puppy jumped, they were to stand completely still and ignore him. Once all paws are down, they could pet him. It took a very short period of time before my puppy got the message and he never ever jumps on a child now (still working on adults!). I sometimes give the odd child a bit of chicken and have them practice tricks- he loves this.

Having him on the school run has made a massive difference to how he treats children. He doesn't jump on them and he also happily ignores them when he's off lead on the walk home. He knows he won't get attention from them if he jumps on them. I just need to perfect his ignoring adults now!

ScrummyPup Wed 07-Jan-15 22:59:59

Thank you everyone. I've read all your replies and will try and put them into practice. She seems to be responsive to training - ie will leave her food now until given a command to eat, so hopefully we can make changes. smile

moosemama Thu 08-Jan-15 10:39:42

I don't think leave it and a positive interrupter are mutually exclusive. I taught and use both for my youngster, depending on the situation.

OP I introduce my pups to children individually, calmly and quietly initially and only attempt the school run once they are a little more used to interacting with them and have been gradually introduced to busier places with lots of children and bustle (such as walking near and training around the outside of childrens' play areas at the park etc). I suppose it depends on your school's set up, but we are able to walk down a grass verge opposite the main school route and stand on the opposite corner to the main footfall, so less people approach and I can keep better control of the situation. I also take someone with me, so I can leave them to drop-off/wait for my dcs if it's too busy or pup isn't settled and happy with the situation.

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