Need someone good with training on this one...

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#1
As most of you know I have in our tiny little home 2 boxers and 1 pit. They are all very, very friendly - which is my problem. When it's just my husband and I at home, they are fine. When we have company come over we have to put Princess outside on a leash, Tyson in a crate and hold Cisco. It's like they've never seen a new person before...even our usual guests get the same greeting when they walk in the door. How do we get them to sit and stay and not jump on guests...I hate keeping them up, I know they can't learn that way, I'd guess it even makes them worse. They are fine if we take them say to pet smart or someone elses home....they are too interested in their surroundings to jump up and greet people, but at home it's almost dangerous. I'm terrified they will make someone fall one day. Any suggestions? I've thought about a no jumping harness but I'm afraid that would just take their livelyhood away since that's one way to "have fun" and "express themselves".
 

Doberluv

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#2
Well, with three dogs, it's not easy, is it. But you'd almost have to put a leash on all three and between your husband and you, get them into a sit/wait or sit/stay. This little skill needs beefing up so it's really solid first.

Then when your guest come, you need to put them in that or if that's too hard to do, at least keep them down on all fours by use of the leash. (I use the command, "settle" a lot) It means to chill out. lol. But a sit is more specific and gives the dog a definite, alternate behavior to perform instead of jumping up on people. Tell your guests to pay absolutely no attention to them at first and you too, don't give them any attention until they calm down. And you need to stay calm too.

When they are able to either sit or stand on all fours calmly, (your preference) then and only then do they get a pat. Everyone should keep it low key with them. When you're all sitting around, after a time, do they eventually settle down? You'll have to be firm with them and consistant. When they are polite, then you can give a treat and/or attention can come from your guests and you. You can give a command so there's something specific for them to do, either sit/stay or down/stay. That often helps. You'll have to jump up and replace them if they break it, no matter what kind of conversation you're having. That's the trouble with training dogs. You have to be consistant and not let them get away with having their way no matter what you're doing, not even once. You may have to replace them many times, but get YOUR way. Be firm but not harsh. The obedience commands should be taught at other times first until they're solid and reliable. That helps.

You're right, locking them away doesn't teach them how to behave around guests. If you know what time your guests are arriving, you can take your dogs out for some vigorous exercise....really poop 'em out. Or you could give them some morphine. LOL. Just kidding.

If you have a friend or two who live close, maybe they could come over and practice with you....for you. They could come in and go back out, come in and go back out. You could try some of these things, putting them in a sit and get them habituated to someone coming in over and over and over. Show them that just because someone comes over doesn't mean they can act unruly. Show them that when they are calm, they get rewarded with attention and a yummy, special treat. When they are not, they do not get anything that they like, not a look, not a word, no attention. If the reward for behaving is better than what they get out of jumping up (attention from the person they're jumping on) they're going to go for the special treat and praise and especially, because from now on, jumping up and acting unruly isn't going to give them anything. It will take some time to sink in which gets them the good stuff because up till now they've gotten a payoff for acting this way. It's always worked before so they're going to try for a while. You have to stay with it and after a while, they'll give up trying to get a payoff in this manner and will start seeing a better activity to do in order to get a payoff....that activity is being polite and calm around guests.

This having someone over and their behaving is another skill and needs to be shown to them just like any skill. Good luck.
 
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#3
Wow - thanks so much for that advice.
When you're all sitting around, after a time, do they eventually settle down?
EVENTUALLY they will but only after they get tired. I will def. try your advice all but the patting when they ARE behaving. If we ever do, which happens on very rare occasions, get them to settle down a bit, the SLIGHTEST touch or glance gets them going agian. usually worse than ever. Princess is really the leader. She will go absolutely crazy - jumping flips and running from piece of furniture to piece of furniture like a race - banging them against the walls and stuff, she'll try to leap into your arms or jup up to kiss your face. When the boys see this happening they decide it looks fun and they join in, that's why we put her outside. The boys are pretty easy to control with just them but Princess is AWFUL!! It also depends on the guest. If it's cavin's mom she will (not laugh) cackle like a witch when she laughs and they think thats fun and "attack" her with kisses and hugs - plus she can't talk without using her hands and motions like that get them started. I think if you tied her hands up she'd be a mute!! We've asked her not to do that but she doesn't see why she can't and forgets usually. My mom is an animal lover like me so when she comes over she wants all the grand dogs all over her all the time. She usually gets her wish too. I think if I ask her to stop she would though. When Tyson's out he will want to set on their feet a lot - this doesn't bother anyone and he's not misbehaving really, should we get him to stop that since he's doing it for attention? All he does is go up to someone and rub against their legs and knees and if they don't acknowledge them he will just ease himself down onto their feet and sit still. Sometimes he will turn to lick them but he won't get unruley. He's the best behaved in these situations. Do we need to keep them all 3 on a leash when someone's there or just Princess and Cisco since Tyson won't do anything until someone else does it 1st? All of this really is helpful - thanks!!
 

Doberluv

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#4
Well, if Tyson behaves, then you probably don't need him on a leash. You could also lock one of the unruly ones up and practice with just Tyson and one of the others. Take turns. It's true that when they're in numbers, it's going to be worse. This could be a bit of a long process. But when you're working on obedience skills, do them seperately. And when someone comes over, you could try with just Tyson and one other for half an hour or so, then give the other a try.

Your conversations with your guests may not be very productive and they may not enjoy trying to visit while you are training your dogs, so you may need to get some really good food and drinks for your guests to keep them interested. LOL.

How old are these pups? If they've been acting like goof balls for a long time, it will take that much longer for them to discover how "good" manners are really just as fun and rewarding as leaping all over the place. Like I said, it's always worked before so they're going to keep trying for a while. You have to convince them that that behavior doesn't work anymore but a new behavior does. They'll probably get worse before they get better because just before they give up this behavior, they're going to give it one last big hooplah, then the proverbial extinction burst, so stay with it for a long time.

The more insistant and consistant you are, the sooner that will make a dent in their brains. Losing your temper or getting all excited won't help at all because you won't seem like a good leader or guide to them if you're not in control of your emotions. I know... I'd tend to get excited and louder if that were going on. I'd have to fight it tooth and nail to stay calm, steady, level, firm and not get too cross. LOL.
 

Doberluv

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#5
the SLIGHTEST touch or glance gets them going agian.
Well, when they get going again, the attention stops again and back into down/stay. They will need to learn that in order to mill around the house and visit with people, they will have to be calm and polite, no jumping up on furniture or guests. Only reward for calm behavior. As soon as the nonsense starts, they lose the privilege of a lot of slack in the leash, to move around near your guests. They will be on a leash and you can put them back into a down/stay. It will take repitition and good timing with your praise and treats. Whenever you notice nice, calm manners, right away, let them know (low key) that that is the behavior you want and that is the behavior that gets them a treat.
 
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#6
How old are these pups?
Princess turned 2 In Arpil and Tyson turned 2 on July 25 - we've had Tyson since he was 10 months old and Princess since she was 11 months old - from the same home. They were outside dogs when we got them and they learned everything else about being in the house VERY fast. Actually - we didn't have to try and teach them anything (except no jumping on guests :rolleyes: ) since we've had them. They already knew to go to the door to potty, etc when we brought them home...instinct maybe?? Cisco is 6 months old (on the 12th). We've had him since he was 6 weeks old. We've taught him everything he knows (except the bad habits Princess teaches him - shame on her!! She's such an instigator!!)
 

Doberluv

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#7
Oh, so they're pretty young, so those habits aren't too terribly ingrained probably. You can turn this around...it just takes diligence and work. Dogs are not automatically suited to live in our kind of world, don't understand much of why they can't do stuff that they would noramlly do with eachother, so we have to teach them. You'll be fine. Keep us posted and if there's anything else, be sure to ask. There are others here that are very knowlegable. Best wishes. It's great that your pups are such sweet natured dogs.
 

Angelique

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#8
Hmmmmm, the "terrible two's!" Where have I heard thet before?!

I have one of my own, and will be doggie-sitting my dog's 120 lb boyfriend, for four days. He's such a cool dog!

Doberluv covered things very well, not much to add on my end :D
 
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#10
I dunno if this has been mentioned yet but take them for a looooooong walk/jog or have an intense play session just before you expect your company to arrive. That way the pups won't be as hyper and will settle down quicker. It has to be intense though because a stroll around the block won't do them justice
 
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#11
That's a good idea too, the only thing with that is that our company is never expected ~ they just show up (always welcome of course!! :) ). We've been married 4 years and out of those 4 years I think company has been SCHEDULED to come over 4 times...all of those were family for a birthday dinner for my husband each year, it's a real good idea to do then!! But that would just work on Tyson and Cisco...I swear Princess's energy is endless. She ALWAYS plays circles around us. LOL I remember one time we went to the park and just took her. We stayed all day - had a picnic and everything. She loved playing with the other pets and the kids that were there and I really think she hated to leave several hours later. When we got back home she still wanted to play sooo bad but we wanted a nap so bad so we took her to the neighbors and hired the little neighbor boy to play with her for about the next 4 hours so we could nap & rest. When she got home she was more hyper than ever but we were rested enough to handle her by then. She didn't sleep again till that night. PRINCESS=ENDLESS ENERGY X 2 lol!!
 
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#12
WOW!! Ever consider getting her into some work? Maybe you could hitch her up to a bike/scooter and let her pull you around town to get rid of some of that energy. Or even just putting a backpack on her and letting her carry some water bottles or something while out on a walk will help tire her out too.
 

Doberluv

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#13
I agree with OC. Boxers are working dogs. They need a job. Do you practice obedience every day? That can help with the mental exercise. They really need it. You might enjoy getting into agility with them. They could take turns or maybe your hubby could help. But it could get expensive with two dogs. But anyhow, they love that and it really tires them out both physically and mentally. Or there are other things that you can do with your dogs....more than just regular walks and free playtime. They need some structure and a real "job" to get the ants out of their pants. LOL. Good luck!
 
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#14
Oh I'd LOVE to get her into agility...I know she'd be great at it but I'm not sure how to start really. Ever since we got her I've wanted to do that. Tyson doesn't really have the energy or health for it. He's battling a mildly torn acl and arthritus pretty bad. We exercise him when he feels up to it but he starts limping shortly after. He'd be a GREAT cheerleader for her though - he DOES have the energy for that. I've read some on agility training but not much. I don't have the money to buy new obstacale course equipment but I think we could make some pretty easily - I read on how to do that too. I'd have to have a little help with it though and hubby's not interested...he thinks it'd be too hard and time consuming and expensive. I think it'd be great for her - just what she needs. Any suggestions on that?? Isn't there a couple of people on here that do agility courses with their dogs...I can't remember their names but I'm pretty sure there are - at least one that I know of.
 

skyhigh

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#15
Im starting my dogs on it. You can make jumps and weave poles ect out of PVC pipes. They are very easy to make. Do a search and you'll come up with lots of info sites. But if you want to just work her at home. Not comps, you can make up your own jumps and weave poles. Build up a wall outside from spare bricks. That will make a good jump. Just use your imagination to find something sutiable and safe. Set up a little coarse outside.
 

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