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Old 05-29-2010, 06:22 PM
Catsi Catsi is offline
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Default Why would she do this?

We had a surprise visit from my uncle a couple of days ago. After explaining about my dog's issues he was fine to just ignore her (this is when she calms down and treats the new person like a part of the furniture).

It was going well and then, all of a sudden, she jumped up in my Uncle's lap!! And was 100% fine. I didn't want to make a fuss of this, I didn't want to send a confused message such as, 'you must not be ok with this person', so I let it go. (I do not encourage jumping willy nilly onto people's laps btw, it's pretty rude behaviour , so this was a slight shock for a number of reason).

She repeated this behaviour with my dad's friend on the weekend... And then after she got down and they went out to the backyard, she followed him and sat by his feet. Please tell me this behaviour is explainable.

She isn't hugely aggressive to visitors, but very wary and will do a bit of barking until she calms down. We use her mat a lot to give her a spot that she feels comfortable on, away from immediate action, but still around. If I lock her in a secure area, completely away from the action (which is what I have to when we have children or people who are in no way dog savvy) this stresses her out a fair bit. It's a necessary evil, but I do like to have her around visitors as much as possible because she is improving so much.

But this lap jumping business, it's bizarre.

Last edited by Catsi; 05-29-2010 at 06:23 PM. Reason: Add a word
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  #2  
Old 05-29-2010, 06:45 PM
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lizzybeth727 lizzybeth727 is offline
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Originally Posted by Catsi View Post
Please tell me this behaviour is explainable.
Um, I dunno, maybe the training and management you've been doing with her has actually helped her?

It's always shocking when training works, huh?

Glad to hear she's doing this. Just keep doing what you're doing - don't get complacent - and you'll see more and more improvements. Good luck!
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Old 05-29-2010, 06:58 PM
Catsi Catsi is offline
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Thanks Lizzybeth, I thought it may have had something to do with training... I just didn't want to get too excited!!

Seriously, you could have knocked me over with a feather when it happened. I was completely speechless..

I'm seriously happy about this, but I won't go all complacent about it, we still have a long way to go.

Mmm, but what to do about the lap jumping? I mean the visitors that come over that I allow her to 'mingle' with couldn't really care less. It's not the best behaviour, not an alternative I would have encouraged personally. But at the same time, I don't want to make the mistake of encouraging her to revert back to old behaviour... it seems a bit of a delicate situation. Can I encourage an alternative behaviour for now without really discouraging the lap-jumping?
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Old 05-29-2010, 06:58 PM
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Doberluv Doberluv is offline
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Sounds like a break-through. My thoughts are, they made no overt actions toward her like most people, who feel a compulsion to grope and pat dogs no matter how uncomfortable they are. I think she got comfortable with their calmness and how they minded their own business and decided they were trustworthy and pretty cool chaps.

Jumping on your uncle's lap to be friendly is a good sign. What I'd do is not scold or react to the jumping, (not that you do) but instead, work on her sitting to greet...first with you and your family with whom she feels especially comfortable. Before any patting, toys, attention or treats, sit first. Get her in the habit of sitting first for anything she likes....all done with positive reinforcement. Try not to have to cue her if you can and get it so it's on the default.

When your uncle visits again or anyone, ask them to remain standing but still not paying any attention to her and see if she'll approach on her own. Have them wait, not looking at her and see if she'll sit in front of them. Then they can hand her a treat. Then try with them sitting in a chair. If she approaches, but looks like she's about to jump on their lap, intercept with a gentle, "sit." I think she should continue to be protected from over-whelming people, noisy kids etc who stare at her, grope at her. This sounds like a break-through and is a good sign. I'd rather see her jumping in someone's lap to be sociable than be overly wary or skittish. But you can work on that nice and easy so she learns a new behavior, (to sit instead of jumping up on laps) while not being shut down with any harsh scolding or sudden movements by anyone. Have visitors drop treats when they come around or hand them to her if she's not worried.

Just some ideas to try. It sure does sound like your diligent work is beginning to pay off.
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Old 05-29-2010, 07:34 PM
Catsi Catsi is offline
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Doberluv, thank you. That gives me some great direction for our next steps. It all makes sense. I would rather see her jump up on someone's lap to be friendly too which is why I did not and will not react to it at all. But I acknowledge that it isn't the best behaviour and your suggestions on how to introduce a sit for greeting are great.

I agree too that these are all people that are calm and not imposing. If not completely dog savvy themselves, they are naturally calm individuals, not reactive and are well-versed in the situation before hand and are comfortable with the interaction.

Maybe one day we can slowly introduce more typical human behaviour, but for now I'm all for management first!
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Old 05-29-2010, 10:08 PM
Maura Maura is offline
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A confident leader, or if you will - alpha, does not give attention at greeting, but accepts attention. When your uncle ignores the dog in a calm manner, he sends signals of his high rank yet nonaggression. Your dog knows she can't push him around and his leadership makes her feel secure. This works with small children too.

Introducing a sit is a wonderful idea. Since she is a lap jumper of strangers, you could train her to jump into your lap on a cue, after you train her to sit by you. Then, when she feels like she wants to jump in a lap your visitor will see that the dog has come to sit next to them and they can initiate the lap jump, or simply praise and pet the dog for a nice sit.
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Old 06-01-2010, 12:17 PM
RawFedDogs RawFedDogs is offline
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I'm not disagreeing with what others have said. Most were good advice. The point I want to get across is that whenevere a dog is presenting behaviors you want to stop, you must always teach what the dog should do in place of the unwanted behavior.

Many people work very hard to stop a behavior but never think to teach a replacement behavior for that particular situation. Sit for greeting is a good behavior to teach in this situation or "go to your place" is also a good. YOU decide what you want your dog to do then teach him to do it. If you don't know what he should do, how can the dog figure it out?
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Old 06-01-2010, 04:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RawFedDogs View Post
I'm not disagreeing with what others have said. Most were good advice. The point I want to get across is that whenevere a dog is presenting behaviors you want to stop, you must always teach what the dog should do in place of the unwanted behavior.

Many people work very hard to stop a behavior but never think to teach a replacement behavior for that particular situation. Sit for greeting is a good behavior to teach in this situation or "go to your place" is also a good. YOU decide what you want your dog to do then teach him to do it. If you don't know what he should do, how can the dog figure it out?

Did you read all the posts? Teaching a new alternative behavior for greeting (sit) was discussed and advised.
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Old 06-01-2010, 05:30 PM
RawFedDogs RawFedDogs is offline
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Did you read all the posts? Teaching a new alternative behavior for greeting (sit) was discussed and advised.
Yes I did. Each one of them gave a specific thing to teach. I was merely summing up and saying that it doesn't really matter what you teach her to do, however, it's critical that you teach the behavior you want her to do instead of merely trying to teach her NOT to do something.

Show her the desired behavior. Don't just work on the undesired behavior and not bother teaching her a replacement behavior. The replacement behavior is the critical element in eliminating the undesired behavior. This doesn't just apply to your particular problem but to all behaviors anyone wants to eliminate.

How many posts do we get that says, "How do I stop my dog from .....?" The simple answer that covers all those questions is, "Teach another behavior that is acceptable in that particular situation."
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Old 06-01-2010, 05:32 PM
Catsi Catsi is offline
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Yes it was discussed (Thanks!)

If I had have been really prepared I would have started a sit for greeting earlier, but I didn't think we were up to that stage yet until this 'breakthrough'.
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