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Old 09-26-2010, 08:35 PM
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Taqroy Taqroy is offline
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Default Mouthing and barking

So Tipper and I are in our 3rd week of obedience training and it's going GREAT. She really turned on last week and seemed to figure out the clicker as well as the fact that I have delicious treats to give. At home she is also doing great but she also gets overstimulated in about half a second.

Tennis balls, the word outside, tug toys, me not doing whatever it is she decides I should be, all result in a flurry of high pitched horribly annoying barking. We are finally to the point that I can pick up a tennis ball and throw it without her barking. My question is how to fix her threshold level when she reaches it in .2 seconds? I try to be calm and quiet walking to the door to let her out but as soon as I wait for her to wait at the door she commences barking. Or if she figures out I'm heading for the door she will start barking immediately.

Also, she's very mouthy when she gets excited. She will put my entire arm in her mouth and while she doesn't clamp down she does scrape her teeth over skin and it's not exactly comfortable. So far I've been yelping like it really hurts and she will stop but she will do the exact same thing five minutes later. Help?
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Old 09-26-2010, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Taqroy View Post
My question is how to fix her threshold level when she reaches it in .2 seconds?
A lot of gradually lengthening the time for her to stay calm.

What really helped with Nyx - who I thought would never pull it off - was to first train a leave it. Then I'd ask her to leave her ball and she'd sit and stare at it and shake and drool and pant until I released her. Then I had her lie down while leaving it.

The next thing I did was wait until she glanced away from the ball, then immediately released her. She figured that one out pretty quick and wouldn't stare at the ball any more while on a leave it, but was still pretty ramped up waiting.

So I waited until she rolled onto a hip ~ she'd always be propped in a sphynx down position, ready to get up quickly on the release. As soon as she shifted her weight, I released her. I built up to being able to tell her leave it and having her immediately turn off - she'd roll onto her side, her breathing would get slow and relaxed, her eyes would soften and be a little less wide open. And when I'd release her, she'd kind of look first and then go pounce on her ball.

The same kind of thinking has been transferring to other aspects of life nicely, like waiting for her leash and collar to be put on, waiting for me to open the door, waiting for me to walk forward.


Basically it's a lot of rewarding the absence of excited behavior.

For the mouthing, instead of yelping, I would just completely stop all interaction. Turn your back, walk away.

For the barking...you could try to teach her that not barking is part of the calmness she needs in order to get what she wants, but IIRC she's part corgi? If so, good luck with that.
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Old 09-27-2010, 09:51 AM
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A lot of gradually lengthening the time for her to stay calm.

What really helped with Nyx - who I thought would never pull it off - was to first train a leave it. Then I'd ask her to leave her ball and she'd sit and stare at it and shake and drool and pant until I released her. Then I had her lie down while leaving it.

The next thing I did was wait until she glanced away from the ball, then immediately released her. She figured that one out pretty quick and wouldn't stare at the ball any more while on a leave it, but was still pretty ramped up waiting.

So I waited until she rolled onto a hip ~ she'd always be propped in a sphynx down position, ready to get up quickly on the release. As soon as she shifted her weight, I released her. I built up to being able to tell her leave it and having her immediately turn off - she'd roll onto her side, her breathing would get slow and relaxed, her eyes would soften and be a little less wide open. And when I'd release her, she'd kind of look first and then go pounce on her ball.

The same kind of thinking has been transferring to other aspects of life nicely, like waiting for her leash and collar to be put on, waiting for me to open the door, waiting for me to walk forward.


Basically it's a lot of rewarding the absence of excited behavior.

For the mouthing, instead of yelping, I would just completely stop all interaction. Turn your back, walk away.

For the barking...you could try to teach her that not barking is part of the calmness she needs in order to get what she wants, but IIRC she's part corgi? If so, good luck with that.
Thanks CP! She makes it pretty darn difficult to let her out most of the time. Even when she's waiting nicely she insists on making little noises so I know exactly HOW put out she is with having to wait...lol. How did you train a leave it? Mu has one for food but it is not extensively tested and I'm not entirely sure I trained it right.

I'll try the non interaction for the mouthing. That did work wonders on Mu even though she still does it to Matt....because he yelps and I think she finds it highly entertaining lol.

Yeah she's a corgi/heeler mutt...LOL. I don't expect no barking and I don't really care if she wants to bark at Mu or squirrels or trees or whatever, I just care if she's barking at ME. I'm pretty sure it's an overstimulation/self control thing and she is getting better about it, it's just when she goes from 0 to crazy that I don't know how to fix it. She does it to other dogs too when they are doing something that she NEEDS to help with lol. Last time she did it to my sister's dog she ended up with her whole head in Pixie's mouth...although that may have been more due to the hindquarter nips lol.
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Old 09-27-2010, 10:37 AM
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I train a leave it by taking something lowish value and holding it in my hand. I say leave it and show it to the dog. When he goes for it, I close my hand around it. Repeat a few times and as soon as he stops trying to take it, I reward with a treat from the other hand. When he gets the idea and stops trying to take it at all, I start lowering my hand toward the floor and eventually put my hand, palm up, treat on my palm on the floor. Same thing - of he tries to take it, I close my hand around it. And always reward from the other hand.

Then I put it on the floor, and keep my hand right next to it. If he tries to take it, I put my hand over it before he can succeed. Then I start moving my hand further away, and eventually I just drop it on the floor, ready to move in and body block if the dog goes for it.

When he's good with that, I start using higher value items and more items and also work on having him walk past things I ask him to leave. Then I increase distance between me and the dog asking the dog to leave things without me right there to stop him. I don't do that until he's pretty solid on things because I never want him to succeed in taking an item he was asked to leave.

I rarely reward with what he was asked to leave and never until he's pretty advanced in the behavior.

Hope that made sense, I'm not really awake yet.

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Originally Posted by Taqroy View Post
Yeah she's a corgi/heeler mutt...LOL. I don't expect no barking and I don't really care if she wants to bark at Mu or squirrels or trees or whatever, I just care if she's barking at ME. I'm pretty sure it's an overstimulation/self control thing and she is getting better about it, it's just when she goes from 0 to crazy that I don't know how to fix it.
Overstimulation is probably a part of it, and just getting her self control improved in general should help somewhat. Also corgis can be almost as vocal as shelties.

Nyx used to square off, stare at me and bark a very demanding "I will have it NOW" bark. If that didn't work, she'd start lunging at me and air snap or sometimes try to bite. The turning around and ignoring thing helped a lot there too. I'd reward immediately when she had all four feet on the floor and was silent. It wasn't easy, especially because when I'd turn my back to her, she'd go get into stuff she shouldn't be into which forced me to have to not ignore her. But we got there eventually.
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Old 09-27-2010, 01:45 PM
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In addition: She can't bark if she's sniffing. When you go to the door, have her sit, hold treat in your hand with your hand around the treat so she can sniff it but not take it. She has presumably stopped barking and is concentrating on your hand. Hold your hand so she has to reach for it- she is not to mouth the hand. Make her wait longer than normal, a full second instead of half a second, give treat from same hand. Open door for outside. Do this several times a day. As she progresses, she needs to maintain the sit without barking until you can open the door. This gets her to discipline herself.

At this point in her training, showing her the treat is as good as giving the treat (she knows she is being rewarded for a specific action), so you can have her wait a bit longer and a bit longer. I would also randomly put her on sits when outside. She needs to sit right when you tell her and not run up to you. Do this by being close to her, tell her sit, and walk the one step to her to treat, but again, holding the treat for her and making her wait a full second, two seconds, three seconds. You should be able to be one step from her, then two steps, three steps, finally tossing the treat.
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Old 09-27-2010, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by corgipower View Post
I train a leave it by taking something lowish value and holding it in my hand. I say leave it and show it to the dog. When he goes for it, I close my hand around it. Repeat a few times and as soon as he stops trying to take it, I reward with a treat from the other hand. When he gets the idea and stops trying to take it at all, I start lowering my hand toward the floor and eventually put my hand, palm up, treat on my palm on the floor. Same thing - of he tries to take it, I close my hand around it. And always reward from the other hand.

Then I put it on the floor, and keep my hand right next to it. If he tries to take it, I put my hand over it before he can succeed. Then I start moving my hand further away, and eventually I just drop it on the floor, ready to move in and body block if the dog goes for it.

When he's good with that, I start using higher value items and more items and also work on having him walk past things I ask him to leave. Then I increase distance between me and the dog asking the dog to leave things without me right there to stop him. I don't do that until he's pretty solid on things because I never want him to succeed in taking an item he was asked to leave.

I rarely reward with what he was asked to leave and never until he's pretty advanced in the behavior.

Hope that made sense, I'm not really awake yet.



Overstimulation is probably a part of it, and just getting her self control improved in general should help somewhat. Also corgis can be almost as vocal as shelties.

Nyx used to square off, stare at me and bark a very demanding "I will have it NOW" bark. If that didn't work, she'd start lunging at me and air snap or sometimes try to bite. The turning around and ignoring thing helped a lot there too. I'd reward immediately when she had all four feet on the floor and was silent. It wasn't easy, especially because when I'd turn my back to her, she'd go get into stuff she shouldn't be into which forced me to have to not ignore her. But we got there eventually.

Woot! I did train Mu's leave it right....LOL. We'll start working on Tipper's tonight. She knows "GIMME" because that's how I get the tennis ball (she usually drops it anyway so I just say it as she drops it) but I'd like a more formal leave it for things I really care about.

She's really getting better at barking/self control in certain situations. For instance, when we first got her if I even reached for the tennis ball she would go crazy. She'd start doing her high pitched barking and when I got my hand near the ball she'd either snatch the ball (and sometimes my fingers) or forget the ball entirely and get my arm. Now as long as I don't move too fast she will back off the ball and watch quietly while I pick it up and throw it. I'm hoping to get to the point where I can pick it up and ask for a sit and THEN throw it but we're not quite there. She does what you described Nyx doing, with the stare and demanding bark. She does it for tennis balls, for kongs, for wubbas, for going outside....but not for food. LOL. Thanks for your help CP. I've read some of your stuff about Nyx so I'm thinking there's some hope for us lol. Tipper doesn't sound like she's even a challenge compared to Nyx!
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Old 09-27-2010, 04:46 PM
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Woot! I did train Mu's leave it right....LOL.
Either that or we're both doing it wrong. But hey, it's worked well for many dogs so far, so I'm not inclined to change it yet.

Quote:
Now as long as I don't move too fast she will back off the ball and watch quietly while I pick it up and throw it. I'm hoping to get to the point where I can pick it up and ask for a sit and THEN throw it but we're not quite there.
Patience is the key. Progress slowly enough that she doesn't slip into a frustrated frenzy. It'll get there.

Quote:
Thanks for your help CP. I've read some of your stuff about Nyx so I'm thinking there's some hope for us lol. Tipper doesn't sound like she's even a challenge compared to Nyx!
Happy to help.

And just think...when I send you Nyx, now you'll be ready for her.
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Old 09-29-2010, 11:48 AM
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Happy to help.

And just think...when I send you Nyx, now you'll be ready for her.


LOL.
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