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  #11  
Old 09-23-2008, 05:51 PM
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Domestika Domestika is offline
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Originally Posted by Sweet72947 View Post

One thing that has been helping me is a nifty little confidence - building game. Get a clicker, and click-treat for random behaviors that your dog gives you. You can try and see if they'll mess with an object such as a basket, but if not just let your dog do whatever and click-treat. Daisy likes this game, its great fun and I have noticed that she is more...outgoing (for lack of a better word) already. You could use this to teach your dog that looking at you is good, she looks at you, click-treat. Benji is taking a while to catch on though, he likes to sit there and stare at me cutely, while edging closer and closer...lol
It seems like clicker training has helped a few people improve their bond with their dog... We had our last puppy class on Saturday and it was the first time they mentioned clicker training. They showed us a bit of what you can do and gave us each a clicker. We've practised at home a bit and, honestly, Nova does seem to kind of enjoy it. So far all we're doing it targetting. She touches her nose to my hand for a click/treat and I move my hand all over, up, down, to the side, under my leg, etc.

Do you have suggestions for fun things to teach a pup with a clicker?
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Old 09-23-2008, 07:31 PM
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A few things come to my mind while reading this thread. Who has been the one taking her for all the vet visits? Feeding her all the meds? Not-so-cheerfully (lol) getting up at 3am to clean up an accident? I'm guessing it has been you. Not much you can do about it, all those things are needed.

So...what would I do? Don't push her to "like" you. She already does I'm sure. She's just not sure what you are going to do to her next. Wait for her to approach you. I would also forget about hardcore NILIF at least for a while. You can always pick back up with that when she is a bit more healthy. Get a wrist strap for your clicker and wear it constantly. Keep about 1/3 of her daily kibble allotment in a pocket/bait bag. Have her simply look at you for her meal. Don't ask, just fix the bowl up and wait a second. Click and pop it down if she even looks in your general direction at first. If she glances at you during the day, click and toss her a kibble.

Have you "charged" your clicker yet? If not I suggest spending a meal doing that. Click, toss out a few kibbles, let her eat them, repeat.

You can start working towards getting her to offer behaviors instead of having you cue them. For example, dogs sit and lie down a lot. Have your clicker and kibble handy and put on some TV. If she sits, click and toss her a kibble or two, same with downs. If she looks at you, approaches you, brings a toy near you...click and toss. I wouldn't make her come to you to get the kibble at this point, though you could work on tossing them closer to you than to her after a bit. And by all means, if she is having fun with target work...do it every chance you get. Leave her wanting more though. Don't wait until she walks away. If last time you got 5 nose bumps, this time only do 3.

One last thought...if she can have kibble, I'll bet she can have plain boiled chicken breast. Ask the vet of course, but most vets will recommend boiled chicken and rice for dogs with icky tummies. Or maybe cut up a bit of stinky hot dog/pepperoni/liver treat and let it sit in a baggie of kibble or cheerios (another "shouldn't mess with the belly" thing) to make them smell more interesting.

And, you asked for a fun clicker exercise...http://www.clickertraining.com/node/167
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  #13  
Old 09-23-2008, 09:24 PM
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The other advice is good (particularly Gena's recent post), I definately believe in clicker training to help build the bond between dog and handler. My concern, though, is that she's not crazy about food or toys, so that leaves you with very few options of rewards that you can use with the clicker. If you offer her a treat (or toy, or other reward) for a behavior, and she doesn't take it, it's not a reward. Sometimes it can even be seen as aversive - you try to give her a treat, she doesn't take it, you get frustrated, she get's frustrated, etc.

What I do with aloof dogs is just be even more aloof than they are. If they don't want to give me attention, I don't want to give them attention either. Eventually your dog will come to you for attention.... even then, don't give her the attention! Ignore her and walk away or just go back to whatever you were doing. Wait until she ask for attention at least twice before finally giving her attention, and don't give her attention when she's asking for it, wait until a few minutes later.

Maybe it sounds cruel, but I think of it as building drive for a reward, similar to how we build toy drive or treat motivation. Withold the reward until she really really wants it (and thus will work for it), then give it to her on your terms, not when she's begging.
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  #14  
Old 09-23-2008, 10:00 PM
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I haven't read everything yet so this may be a repeat, but have you tried getting her to work for a toy/game instead of food?

Dante was so not food motivated as a pup, he wanted his tug and only his tug so that's what we used. I use a Jute tug that ONLY comes down when we train.

Now as an adult he'll work for either food or his tug, but under high distraction the tug works better!!
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  #15  
Old 09-24-2008, 06:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Domestika View Post

When she does interact with me, she bites me. Playfully, usually. She uses her mouth and teeth on me constantly despite the many, many, many techniques I have used to try to stop that. She will, on the odd occassion, turn and snap at me if I physically move her away from something she wants to be doing (like chewing something she shouldn't) or if I put her in her crate when she's not particularly tired - she'll turn and bite me as I'm trying to put her in.
I've been thinking about you and your situation all night. I think it got in my brain so hard because there were times when Pedro was young that I didn't think he liked me very much. He did lots of the same things your pup is doing. Everyone else was so much more FUN than I was. It hurts when you are the one cleaning up pee puddles, researching the best food, buying ungodly amounts of puppy junk and this pup would rather play with the weird neighbor across the street.

Somewhere along the way, things got better for us though. It does take time to "get to know" each other. It does take time to get over that obsessive handling/prodding/checking to see if they are breathing bit. Or it did for me anyway.

I quoted the above because I wonder if you've not managed to somehow teach her to stay away from you. Not intentionally of course! If everytime she tries to play she gets mouthy and you are doing all the normal "no bite" type things, you may have. Try working the baby step version of bite inhibition. LET her bite you and only react for now if it really does hurt. As time goes by you can up the ante and "get hurt" more easily. It might make a difference for her.

Also, I wanted to mention the umbilical method. Leash her to you when you're out and about in the house. Encourage her to come with you everywhere, but don't just drag her around. Of course, being a reward dispenser at these times *should* help. She follows you willingly, she gets to chew on your hand for a minute...sounds like she likes that
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  #16  
Old 09-24-2008, 07:11 AM
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As a side note, what kind of health problems does your pup have that it can only have kibble? Sometimes kibble is the cause of problems, not the cure. And I'd be careful with too much garlic, too much isn't good.
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  #17  
Old 09-24-2008, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gena View Post
Have you "charged" your clicker yet? If not I suggest spending a meal doing that. Click, toss out a few kibbles, let her eat them, repeat [...] If she sits, click and toss her a kibble or two, same with downs. If she looks at you, approaches you, brings a toy near you...click and toss.
And, you asked for a fun clicker exercise...http://www.clickertraining.com/node/167
Thanks for all your suggestions. I'm currently handfeeding her her meals, a small handful each time she makes eye contact with me. That seems to be going ok. And I've definitely been convinced that clicker trainer would be a great idea. We've only done the target stuff so far, but I'd like to start incorporating it on walks (to teach her EXACTLY where I want her to be, because she's always lagging behind or steaming ahead) and also for eye contact in the house. I think once she's got the eye contact/click thing figured out in the house it'll be easier to translate into eye contact outside, cause right now once we step out the door it's like she forgets her name/that there is someone on the other end of the leash!

I'll check out the clicker exercises! And I'll ask about the chicken breat. Can't hurt, really.
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  #18  
Old 09-24-2008, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by lizzybeth727 View Post
What I do with aloof dogs is just be even more aloof than they are. If they don't want to give me attention, I don't want to give them attention either. Eventually your dog will come to you for attention.... even then, don't give her the attention! Ignore her and walk away or just go back to whatever you were doing. Wait until she ask for attention at least twice before finally giving her attention, and don't give her attention when she's asking for it, wait until a few minutes later.

Maybe it sounds cruel, but I think of it as building drive for a reward, similar to how we build toy drive or treat motivation. Withold the reward until she really really wants it (and thus will work for it), then give it to her on your terms, not when she's begging.
This is a really good idea. I'm working on this already. I've made a big change from how I used to do things. I was so intent on catching EVERYTHING she did so that I could reward it...I would stare at her constantly so that the second she looked at me I could reward her. But like...wait a minute...who feels the need to check in with someone who is CONSTANTLY keeping an eye on you? Why bother, right?

So now I don't look at her when she looks at me. I don't look away, but I don't stare at her for no reason. I also don't talk to her very much. I live alone right now and I was constantly carrying on a dialogue with her, or to myself aloud and she probably just started tuning out the chatter so that when I asked her to do things she was like "Is she talking to me, or...?"

Man. I had no idea it would be so much work! I thought it was just going to be...peeing in the house and chewing stuff!
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  #19  
Old 09-24-2008, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by fillyone View Post
I haven't read everything yet so this may be a repeat, but have you tried getting her to work for a toy/game instead of food?
Dante was so not food motivated as a pup, he wanted his tug and only his tug so that's what we used. I use a Jute tug that ONLY comes down when we train.
That's a good reminder, actually. You get so used to "treating". Now that I've taken all her toys up off the floor, I'm starting to get her to do a few tricks to get a toy to play with and she seems to be focussed enough to do a few things to get it so maybe we need to focus on toys a bit more!
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  #20  
Old 09-24-2008, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Gena View Post
I've been thinking about you and your situation all night. I think it got in my brain so hard because there were times when Pedro was young that I didn't think he liked me very much. He did lots of the same things your pup is doing. Everyone else was so much more FUN than I was. It hurts when you are the one cleaning up pee puddles, researching the best food, buying ungodly amounts of puppy junk and this pup would rather play with the weird neighbor across the street.

Somewhere along the way, things got better for us though. It does take time to "get to know" each other.

I quoted the above because I wonder if you've not managed to somehow teach her to stay away from you. Not intentionally of course! If everytime she tries to play she gets mouthy and you are doing all the normal "no bite" type things, you may have. Try working the baby step version of bite inhibition. LET her bite you and only react for now if it really does hurt. As time goes by you can up the ante and "get hurt" more easily. It might make a difference for her.
I appreciating hearing about your relationship with your dog. It makes me feel a lot better to hear about someone who's been in the same boat and had things turn out ok.

It's particularly important to me now because the breeder has given me the opportunity to take Nova back (because of her on-going health problems) and take her sister instead (who was returned because of a sudden divorce). If our relationship was going to be like this for the next 12 years...I would seriously consider the trade. But if things can possibly change in time...then that gives me hope for me and my pup.

Good point about teaching her to stay away from me. I'll admit that there have been moments of extreme frustration with the biting where I have yelled at her and even pinned her to the ground to stop the constant attack. It's happened a couple of times, unfortunately (and I feel absolutely HORRIBLE that I let my frustration get the better of me) and I wonder if she remembers these things and doesn't consider me a good play partner because she doesn't know what to expect from me.

I guess I was so annoyed and hurt (ouch!) by the biting that I wanted it to stop IMMEDIATELY and maybe we do need to go back a couple of steps. I did read recently that it's dangerous to stop a puppy from biting altogether because they don't learn how strong their bite is and can really hurt someone later. It said to start working on reducing the pressure of the bite (how hard she bites) and THEN start working on the frequency (reducing the incidence of biting).

Though...she doesn't respond to any action or sound I make in relation to the biting so this is proving to be a very difficult task (even just to reduce the pressure), but I'll keep trying! I'm learning that consistency is key!
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