Tough love(12 Posts)
I have 2 rescue dogs that have behavioural problems. I've built up their trust in me to the point where I felt ready to bring in a behaviourist to start dealing with the bigger issues. He came round yesterday and was fantastic, my dogs have started responding to his training plan already.
The problem I have is that I have to adjust my behaviour. I totally get what he has said and what it means in terms of how they respond. I get it, I really do. Love bombing them is not the answer, it is part of the problem. But I want to love bomb them!! Because of what I get out of it!!
It's just while we establish new boundaries, I get that. But I want to love bomb my pups! Please give me a hand hold to stop me smothering those hands all over their gorgeous soft furry tummies...
When I have to be tough with my puppy I just remember that it's my job to bring up a well behaved dog and if he 'acts badly' then it is a reflection on me as he only knows what I have taught him. Very hard when he looks at you with big puppy eyes jumping up and snatching food but that is what I tell myself.
The dogs will love you no less whilst you establish boundaries.
Out of curiosity, in what ways are you having to toughen up?
I guess I assumed being tough to mean not allowing dogs to run riot just because you feel sorry for them. OP what behaviour are you having to modify?
It depends what you mean by tough love, I would be wary if he's talking about pack theory/putting dog in its place and all of that crap.
I have a dog with aggression issues undergoing behavioural modification and can cuddle and be as affectionate as I want
I guess I assumed being tough to mean not allowing dogs to run riot just because you feel sorry for them
Pretty much this. I can cuddle them but am having to establish boundaries (eg not on the furniture) and keeping them calm (they react to everything) so having them jumping up on sofa and climbing all over me is a no. To me it's cute, to visitors not so much.
It is very hard as either I or DH have to remind each other when we 'let things go', for example stroking him if he had jumped up on us or giving him the biscuit even though he is trying to snatch it from our hand rather than sitting and waiting. It's like you have to be in constant alert and some days I just feel like I am bad mum correcting the dog all the time.
What gets me through it is to keep reminding myself that if I keep at it this time next year I should have a well trained and thus hopefully well behaved dog.
It sounds like your behaviourist showed good results even with just one visit which will hopefully spur you on OP. How long have the dogs been with you?
I wouldn't use any trainer that said dogs shouldn't be on the furniture as that to me is a completely normal thing to do and certainly doesn't stop a dog being well trained .
Floralnomad I guess it depends on whether you think the dog is like a human in that they can sit on chairs, sofas, beds etc as they see fit. Some people don't mind that but although I love dogs I would not be happy visiting a home where the dog was allowed to jump up and sit right next to me.
I think the point I was trying to make is if you are someone who wants to let the dog on furniture then a trainer needs to work with that , if you are someone who has always trained dogs to not go on furniture / upstairs etc that's equally fine if it works for you . The trainer needs to help the OP train the dogs what is acceptable furniture behaviour so if visitors come the OP can say to the dog to get off and sit elsewhere , which is what I tell my dog , not that they shouldn't go on the furniture at all if the OP is happy to snuggle on the settee with them when she wants to .
It might be worth remembering this need not be forever op.
We didn't let our pup on the furniture for the 10 months, even though we are 'snuggling with the dog on the sofa' kind of people. Same with upstairs, mainly because puppy-proofing upstairs is near impossible.
But now (she is 13 months) she comes on the sofa. But only when invited and not all of the time. She's happy sleeping in a cusion on by our feet, without feeling hard-done-to. Indeed throwing a sofa cusion on floor by my feet is an invitation for her to join me. And she'll come for a sofa cuddle where she or one of the family wants to really.
It's just that being on the sofa is not her default place to be - which I see no problem with. We have 4 children (so six people in the family) and a 3 seater and 2 seater sofa. There simply isn't room for the dog to always have a spot on the sofa.
It's not forever, they will be allowed up but on invitation only. We're going back to basics at the moment. I missed getting woken up by 15kg of collie prancing all over me in bed this morning. But yes, as said, it will be worth it to have well behaved dogs and be able to have visitors again!
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