This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
How to stop a dog doing something longer term?(13 Posts)
DDog is now 5 years old and is a rescue. It's quite easy to train her to do things, but not to stop doing things. E.g she's not allowed upstairs - she does this several times a day and will go back down when told (as she is consistently), but this doesn't stop her doing it in the first place. Likewise sitting on the sofa - she will get off instantly when told (or if we walk in the room!) but it doesn't stop her getting back up. Every day she sticks her nose in the dishwasher when it's being loaded - is consistently told no and straight away takes her nose out of the dishwasher. However it's repeated in a groundhog day scenario. What should we be doing differently?
Prevent the behaviour you don't want. Stair gates? Shut dog out of kitchen when loading dishwasher? Don't let the dog in the room with the sofa without you there.
Train the behaviour you do want. Treats for settling on bed.
Either control the environment (stair gates, for instance) or train an alternative and incompatible behaviour (e.g. does she have a nice bed near the sofa? A hard floor is never going to compete with the comfy sofa. Train a settle on a nearby comfy dog bed).
If she's not allowed upstairs then don't give her access - close the door or put a baby gate over the stairs.
Same with the dishwasher - shut her out of the kitchen or make sure she's occupied elsewhere - with food or a treat or a game or play.
Dogs are nosy and want to get involved with everything. We've had to buy doors and stair gates since getting our pup because prevention so so much easier than going "no, down/off/leave" all the time.
Ours for example, knows he shouldn't jump at the table. He gets down every time we say, but the easiest way to stop him is to keep him out of the room in the first place.
The problem is that dog don't understand the idea of 'no'. They only understand the idea of trained, reinforced behaviour.
Unless a particular behaviour eg not going upstairs has been actively trained they won't understand that when you tell them to go downstairs you want them to go downstairs and not come up again later or tomorrow or the day after.
Agree controlling the environment is probably the easiest way to do it. If you don't want to use baby gates and you don't want her upstairs you have to train her not to go upstairs.
But she is being a good dog. She get's down when you ask her every time. What she doesn't understand is that you don't want her up in places in the first place. The only way you can train this out of her is to catch her getting on the sofa or going up the stairs. Treat training or clicker training will work but you have to be pre-emptive. The dishwasher is easy, treat/clicker train her to sit or lie down when you open the dishwasher. You can sit at the top of the stairs and wait for her to go up and then treat/clicker train her not to. You have to stand at the door to catch her getting on the sofa and then repeat the other training.
Dogs learn by association... so you open the dishwasher, put her in a down stay position first she will learn to associate the open dishwasher with that command. Unless you had an irresistible dinner and didn't share AGAIN!!! Than the poor dog has no choice but to look for any possible scraps from your plates. As for stairs and sofa...you need to stop access to these areas and provide a comfy alternative. Comfy bed or a higher dog bed- may dogs like being high up where they can see everyone / everything!
Thanks for the suggestions. We had a stairgate for years but it was such a pain. She has a perfectly nice bed in the lounge but it just can't compete with the sofa! I will lower my expectations and certainly try the "down" etc. and also try to be pre-emptive on the stairs. It's just I was talking to a friend with a dog who won't even go up steps without permission when out of a walk as she's not allowed up the stairs at home and it's so entrenched! Obviously diplodog just rather less eager to please (or a bit dense!). Still she makes up for it in other ways!
The thing is that your dog doesn't know staying off the sofa would please you. You need to teach the behaviour you do want. Eg mine sees us or a visitor in the hall and wants a fuss? She goes to the living room. We've taught her that's where she greets people. (Narrow hallway, giant dog!)
I can't imagine my digs not going on sofa. Surely this is the best bit of the day?! I think these things seem quite minor and at 5 years could be MUCH worse!
If you don't want him going upstairs or on the sofa that's behaviour you need to ingrain in your dog every single day. Not just when you see him already doing it.
So if you don't want him going upstairs and you're not always around to see it, you need to put a stair gate up. Likewise with the sofa, either keep him out of the room when you're not there or accept he'll go on the sofa. Like a PP said he doesn't know that going on the sofa annoys you, he just knows he's being good by getting down when you ask.
Ideally if you didn't want him upstairs or on the sofa you'd have never allowed him to go to those places in the first place. But I'm one of those people who don't understand getting pets (dogs and cats mainly) who aren't allowed in half the house! Ours sleeps on the bed and spends most of his day curled up on the sofa snoring!
I suppose if you've got a big hairy smelly dog you might not want them on the sofa but for me, like adaline, relaxing on the sofa with my dog, who is hairy but not big or smelly, is the best bit of the day.
When we come in from a walk or I sit down with a coffee and a book she'll run in from where ever she is and leap onto the sofa next to me, - doesn't cuddle up though - sort of snuggle herself up in a comfy pleased way and have a doze, she looks so content and pleased with life at those times, I love it.
*Sorry that was Netflixandchilli who said it was the best part of the day.
Please login first.