Maeby

Board & Train 

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Board & Train: 2/28-3/7

  • Maeby is still showing a lot of anxious and frantic behaviors --> be sure to incrementally crate her each day (would recommend both feeding and sleeping in the crate at night) as well as crating anywhere from 5 minutes to 5 hours. This is going to help her work through her anxiety.
  • Maeby needs to have VIGOROUS activity on a daily basis, perhaps multiple times per day
  • Maeby needs to have consistent structure & expectations. Jumping has not been an issue at all, but she moves very quickly around as she thinks she needs to be "first out the door" or that "I might have something for her." It is OK to be concerned, but she needs to learn to be polite about it as well (I would extinguish petting her when she jumps on your lap with her paws or counter surfs; or jumps on anything). Working your sits, downs, stays, and impulse control drills will all continue to help with this behavior. I would start requiring a sit and wait at the house door before she is allowed to go out in addition to at the crate door so she stops crowding space and cutting in front of you. 
  • I did catch a glimpse of her barking when she hears a noise. It is OK to alert bark, however she needs to be called back and rewarded for redirecting. If she keeps it up, I would kindly send her to her crate so you are not reinforcing the barking. She keeps it up continuously, so just intervene and call her back. If she does not listen, you may need to physically go get her. You are not punishing her, just kindly walking her to her crate

Sample schedule:

Morning/Afternoon/Evening:

  • Let outside to potty and sniff around when you wake up. Make sure SHE IS NOT THE ONE WAKING you up. Make her relax until you are ready to get going and let her out. 
  • Bring her back inside to her crate to feed and let her relax 30-60 minutes
  • Vigorously exercise her to tire her out (frisbee would be great). Let her relax inside, or crate her after you have worn her out
  • An afternoon walk would not be a bad idea, or a session working on her foundational skills (to mentally exhaust her as well)
  • I would be incrementally crating her after this so she can relax away from you
  • I would have another session of vigorous activity in the afternoon before dinner
  • Let her wind down, crate her again to be fed
  • Let her relax again after dinner in her crate and perhaps let her out to potty and sniff around before winding down in the evening
  • I would be sure all of your expectations are being reinforced (not allowing her to jump, encouraging her to lay on her bed when you are relaxing, and making sure you are letting her know that patient is what achieves the things she wants).

I have found her skills are quite good, it is the day to day interaction (human training) that will make the difference in her behavior. What you allow her to do, she will do. It is important that we are smarter than her, because she will find a way to do exactly what she wants to do otherwise. Working on ignoring and redirecting behaviors is going to be the best way to proceed forward with her. Keep in mind she is a high drive breed and it is incredibly important she is getting the exercise she needs. 


Homework

  • work on your foundations (with or without food) to set standards of behavior. she needs to know that in order to get one thing, another is expected. 
  • simply IGNORE the behaviors you want to extinguish. she has been here four full days and she is FINALLY just starting not to jump on me due to the lack of value and attention it gets.
  • if you get stuck and she is jumping excessively, not listening, or you feel she is not responding to something you want, redirect her kindly to her crate
  • crate her incrementally while you are home to break some of the anxious/needy behaviors. make sure you are ONLY allowing her out of the crate on your release "OK"
  • work your lure to heel and engagement as it will become important for walking

 

 

  • Maeby is a great candidate for clicker training
    • this focuses on what she does right, opposed to what she does wrong
  • we have focused heavily on curbing the jumping
    • jumping provides such satisfaction for her that telling her "no," putting your knee up, turning your back, and even walking away sometimes do not work (shes jumps on your back if you stand in one spot). besides walking away (ignoring entirely) it is actually reinforcing the jumping. SHE NEEDS TO BE IGNORED ENTIRELY. this includes verbal communication, petting, and even eye contact
    • because her jumping is so severe we need to keep our level of interaction a very neutral tone, and most of the time ignore entirely until we can really start expecting a new behaviors (such as a sit) because even beginning interacting with her
    • it would be my recommendation when guests come into your home she is on a leash (and being reinforced with food, video below) or put her into her crate (which would be my number one)
    • until she has strong engagement with you and a strong expectation to sit under distraction she should not be allowed to greet on walks, or even when coming or going from daycare. appropriate time should be taken to let her settle before approaching someone or being approached. this will take time
  • teach her to "say please." this mean behaviors in the household such as sitting before being pet, waiting for her meals when they go down, waiting at a door before exiting, etc should all be requirements. from this point forward there should be no exception to her bolting out of her crate. she needs to wait and be released with "ok." she is performing this consistently with no problems here. when she is released (as she should be incrementally crated as well) she needs to be ignored entirely. this is the beginning to breaking her jumping habit she has created. behavior that is ignored will eventually disappear.
  • reinforce behaviors you want to see. when she does do something well - she has an amazing RECALL! ...reward her. when she does recall, require a sit in front of you when she arrived. this is making her think for herself what she needs to do in order to interact with you. four paws on the floor, sitting = not jumping.
  • pay attention to her only AFTER she has abandoned whatever pushy, annoying behaviors she may display. 
  • her energy level is often turned up - which means there is no need for you to come in with strong energy as it will only work her up more. once we can get an on/off switch ...THEN you can match her level as you will also be able to let her know when it is done.
  • when she is being demanding, do something else. ignore, ignore, ignore. 
  • she needs to be physically stimulated, but also mentally. working the basic skills such as your sits, and downs will keep her mind busy. when you crate her incrementally it may not be a bad idea to give a kong or a raw meaty bone to keep her busy.

I advise you to read these article so you have a better understanding of jumping/hyper greeting and what is going on. 

Blocking her view as she nears you with a flat palm down seems to help.


  • Taking treats for "free" (or is she too stressed?) --> great!
  • Her name means to look at me --> span of attention can get lost
  • Will she give offered focus (how good is her engagement?) --> span of attention can get lost
  • Sits --> gret!
  • Downs --> great!
  • Release cue --> she may have an "OK" but it has not been enforced
  • Slow treat --> need to work on
  • It's Your Choice --> need to work on
  • Collar grabs --> seems ok as she has a great recall
  • Recall --> one of the best! 
  • Heel position (as well as sits and downs in heel position) --> she does not have

Initial Observations:

  • excessive salivation when crated (upon arrival), occasional whining/barking
  • barked in crate in morning approximately 6:30am
  • can be frantic/anxious checking perimeters/fences outdoors
  • tips food bowl and does not want to eat when food is put down (can be a stress behavior)
  • is very concerned with what is going on (carrying something, feels need to jump up to look)
  • will occasionally jump just once (not excessive) and put paws up, just because 

Immediate Recommendations: 

  • Maeby should be crated incrementally each day while you are physically present at home with her to help build independence & confidence being away from you (even though you are still there). This will also build a positive relationship with the crate and will teach her it is OK to be away from you (should help stop some of the "neediness" which also causes her to be so "concerned")
  • Make sure that when she is crated and barks/whines she is NEVER let out due to this behavior. She needs to work through it, learn to relax. If you leave the house (and crate her)...when you return...DO NOT LET HER OUT IMMEDIATELY. Go about your business for 5-10 minutes and then let her out. When you do let her out, remain neutral so you do not cause her to get excited and jump (no eye contact, petting, high voice, etc). Let her settle in and relax, and then reward CALM behavior.. Somewhere along the line of her life something was reinforced to cause this jumping behavior. It is so self-reinforcing she continues to do it. The more neutral you are and the more you "ignore" her, she will work through the need to jump because it earns nothing for her. CONSISTENCY IS KEY!
  • Right now she is trying to bolt out of the crate; she does not hold and auto-stay/wait. When the door opens, if she tries to bolt out, the door should close on her. She needs to hold a "wait" at all doors and show self control before being rewarded and being let out. This applies to crate door, house door, gate door, car door, etc. It is important to set limitations and boundaries with her. Have high expectations. She is smart but will do what works if you do not set a standard otherwise. 
  • When you go to new places it is important for her to check things out. No need to force her attention or behaviors such as a stay or sit. Let her get settled and comfortable in her surroundings before trying to ask anything of her. Start simple. 
  • If she immediately eats when the food is put down at home, she is exhibiting a stress behavior here (again, the crating at home will help break this). She tips the bowl over and plows her food around. She does not eat much. If she does any of this at home (not eating), simply lift the bowl within 5-10 minutes. It should get better as she settles in here and learns the routine/expectations. 

Skills:

Some of the skills I will be seeing if she has initially:

  • Taking treats for "free" (or is she too stressed?)
  • Her name means to look at me
  • Will she give offered focus (how good is her engagement?)
  • Sits
  • Downs
  • Release cue (she seems to sort of understand OK as we have been working the release out doors, she just does not perform the initial behavior or waiting, instead pushes her nose into the door trying to hurry things up)
  • Slow treat (keeping four paws on the ground as a treat slowly comes in from above, impulse control)
  • It's Your Choice (a common impulse control drill done with food and eventually going in to a "leave it")
  • Collar grabs
  • Recall
  • Heel position (as well as sits and downs in heel position)

Foundational behaviors and engagement is the key to solving the problem behaviors (excessive leash pulling, jumping). Once you get strong foundations you will have much better results when you are asking something of her. It is important as we get the foundational behaviors, to continue to increase criteria and tighten things up. 

As long as you are consistent in your home, the tools I will provide you with should significantly help curb some of your challenges. Again, I cannot stress it enough...consistency is key. The more consistent you are in sticking with the recommendations, the more success you will have. If you decide to continue with the same pattern, it will be difficult to see results and in fact the behaviors may get worse or turn into other challenges. 


IF TRAINING IS DISCONTINUED, PERSONALIZED PAGE WILL EXPIRE AFTER 30 DAYS.

Before you begin training, it is important to understand the foundation to your training should be engagement and relationship. Teaching behaviors and cues is a lot easier when a dog is willing and enthusiastic to participate with you. Your training should be force-free with a strong focus on foundational skills.

  • Keep your expectations fair and realistic.
  • Unpredictability is probably the worst trait a dog owner can possess.
  • If you expect something, then expect it every time you ask for it.
  • Think about treats in terms of ‘units of a reward’ for effort.
  • Remember repetition, NOT duration. Five 1-minutes sessions can be better than one 5-minute session.
  • Mark for action, feed for position.
  • Name a perfect behavior, not an imperfect behavior. Get the quality you want before you tell the dog what it is called.
  • Work on generalization to work on getting the behavior to happen in a variety of environments and situations.
  • The challenge level should always be that in which your dog can succeed.

Ask your dog what they are capable of doing. Over-facing our dogs by putting demands on them that they cannot possibly meet will not only mean we make no progress towards our training goals, but it will erode a dog’s confidence and enjoyment of working with us.

Perfection is not a permanent condition. The more criteria, the more maintenance.

It is important to think about the behavior you are training and the tools you may need. Are you "marking" for the behavior and feeding for position? Are you working a release and can utilize tugging when your dog gets up?

What motivates your dog?

  1. Food (what is the least your puppy or dog will work for?)
  2. Toys!
  3. Verbal Praise
  4. Petting

In what order are your rewards most valuable?

  • What does the dog like least?
  • What does the dog like most?
  • What types of behaviors require certain rewards? Ex. placement of rewards and marking for position, calm behaviors vs. high drive
  • What environment are you training in which may require a more valuable reward or motivator?

 

Recommended Skills for Training to Start With:

  • Housebreaking (generally for new puppies)
  • Crate training/waiting at a crate door, house door, gate door
  • Addressing separation anxiety, attachment and independence/confidence
  • Exposure to noises and the real world/surface exposure
  • Touch sensitivity & collar grabs
  • Marker word/clicker training
  • Learning name, focus, engagement
  • Addressing barking
  • Recall or "come" 
  • Impulse control/leave it
  • Resource guarding/trading objects/"give"
  • Sits & downs
  • Release cues
  • Hand touches & touching objects
  • Heeling & walking
  • Stay
  • Shaping (sending to bed/mat)
  • Socialization
  • Addressing jumping
  • Addressing play biting/mouthing
  • Proofing

Owner's Requested Skills:

*Please note some of the skills requested may require additional skills or behaviors BEFORE achieving a specific skill or behavior requested

  •  Foundations
  • Jumping
  • Leash pulling

Progression 

Keep in mind when you are teaching a behavior, skill, or cue  you must build upon that skill adding elements in such as:

  1. Distance - how far away can you be and ask for that behavior?
  2. Distractions - can your dog perform the same skill outside in a public park as in your indoor kitchen?
  3. Duration - how long will your dog hold a sit, a down, or a stay?

BEFORE ADDITIONAL ELEMENTS ARE ADDED, YOU FIRST WANT TO MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A GREAT FOUNDATION OF THAT BEHAVIOR! If your dog cannot sit in the kitchen with no distractions, do not expect to take your dog outside and get a reliable sit.


How to mark behaviors you want:

In the initial stages you may need to have a collar/harness with a 4-6ft leash attached to your puppy or dog so they do not wander. You can hold the leash or just step on it.

Once you have a strong foundation with the behaviors in a low-key environment you can start building upon the behavior by asking for a longer duration of focus, moving food off your body, reducing the reinforcer, requiring eye contact (not staring at the reward), putting distance between you and the dog, and eventually moving into environments with increased distractions (controlled and not controlled).

In order to communicate with your dog when they are doing something you like or are asking for you will want to have a "marker word" or clicker. If you do not have a clicker you can use the word "yes."

Initially you are just "charging the click" to allow your puppy or dog to start associating your marker with the reward which is to follow. As your dog progresses you can always mark the behavior, but you can reduce your reinforcers (you do not have to give a treat every time).

 

 

Skill: Marker Word = YES! (or a clicker)
Exercise: Name Game

Criteria: Call your dog’s name, when they look mark YES and reward
Progression: Offered focus (call if needed) but reward for paying attention. If your dog looks away to sniff, you can call their name and reward for looking at you. Young puppies may only glance up for a hot second...don't forget to reward that! 
*Remember you do not ALWAYS need to use food - think about other types of rewards

RULES OF ENGAGEMENT:

  1. START WITH FOCUS
  2. WORK ENGAGEMENT SEPARATELY FROM ANYTHING ELSE (AT FIRST)
  3. BE FULLY ENGAGED WITH YOUR DOG
  4. CHOOSE THE RIGHT ENVIRONMENT FOR YOUR DOG
  5. GIVE YOUR DOG A CHANCE TO LOOK AROUND AND ACCLIMATE
  6. MATCH YOUR DOG'S ENERGY
  7. DON'T CORRECT FOR LACK OF ENGAGEMENT
  8. WHEN FAILURE HAPPENS, DON'T PROMPT THE DOG TO RE-ENGAGE
  9. MOVE WHEN THE DOG IS ENGAGED, STOP WHEN HE IS NOT
  10. DON'T ALWAYS HAVE REINFORCERS VISIBLE 
  11. KEEP SESSIONS SHORT
  12. KEEP IT PERSONAL

How does your dog know when it is "ok" to move out of a cue or behavior?

"Ok"

  1. Dog is in crate (chooses to, or lured in at first)
  2. Door closes on dog
  3. The reward or motivator is coming out of the crate
  4. If the dog tries to bolt or barge out, the dog loses access to that reward and the door simply closes quickly
  5. Very quickly a dog will start catching on to the behaviors that are linked together; dog holds position (even for a second) and is released out!
  6. Repeat
 

There are many scenarios where a release cue is important. For example: a start-line stay on the agility field. 

Wanting to work one dog, while the other stays until it is released. 

While the Dalmatian is released and worked, the other dog is to stay put until she gets released and it is her turn. 

 

It's amazing how much can be learned by both human and dog hardly saying anything at all. I can go through an entire training session with my dogs, or my horse, or donkeys without saying many words but rather just praising and reinforcing what I like. 

I want my animals to think for themselves and do things with enthusiasm because they want to, not because they are forced to.

One reason I am a huge advocate of crate training (beyond potty training, confidence building, or ruling out anxiety) is because it is the foundation of my release cue

Time out of the crate or time spent interacting with us is rewarding. Anything that a dog wants can be used as a motivator. A dog will do what works for them to achieve that motivator and it is up to us to set boundaries and be consistent with our messages. Many times we are reinforcing things we do not like and we do not even know it!

"Ok" simply means you are free to move.

Very quick durations to start. No distractions that may cause the dog to get up early. You are with the dog so there is not much distance in between you. 

 

Impulse Control

If our dog shows a sense of self control, generally we will then allow them a reward or access to their motivator. .

  • a dog sits and waits at the door, the door opens (gains access to the outdoors!)
  • a dog keeps all four paws on the floor, we reach down to pet it (gains access to praise!)
  • a dog holds position when the food bowl is placed on the floor, we release and it eats (gains access to food!)

There was a time when my clumsy self knocked an entire bottle of ibuprofen off my counter and every single pill fell onto the floor. Imagine how dangerous that scenario could be for the dog that has no impulse control and as soon as something falls...well, eats it. 

Had it not been for this specific drill, perhaps that day would have went differently. My dogs understand they need to exhibit self control. When they want to access something they need to engage with me and make eye contact for a release that it is "ok" to move. 

Carrying a plate of food? Kids carrying a stuffed animal or dragging a blanket? A puppy or dog needs to understand that in order to get what they want they should show some patience. Now, of course, we do want to eliminate temptation when a dog is learning as we want them to succeed as many times as possible. 

However, as we teach these behaviors consistently we no longer have to view the behavior as a "problem" or challenge. 


Sits & Downs

If you want your dog to sit politely while company enters the door or a stranger greets you in the streets...first you need a strong sit! 

Build strong foundational behaviors. Does your dog understand sit only when you lure a cookie in front of its face? Or can you spin around in circles with your back facing and cue your dog to "sit?" 

A lot of times the behavior is: owner standing straight in front of me lifting up their hand and that posture and signal means to sit. Perhaps your dog does not understand the word itself.

If you want to send your dog to its bed and down, first you need a reliable down. 

Do your motions trigger your dog to get up and move? Can you walk a fill circle around your dog while they remain in a down? Will your dog hold a down while you throw a steak on the floor?

A large part of the foundational skills of behaviors such as sit and down are proofing those behaviors. 

Proofing: the final step in training your dog any new behavior. It involves practicing behaviors in a variety of situations with different levels of distractions