Socializing Dogs

Old 01-08-2015, 06:23 PM
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Location: Warrior, AL
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I can't believe my first post on tis quilting board is about dogs! After years of dogs and quilts, know quite a bit but am always learning.

LOVE MarionsQuilts post: accurate and helpful to even a long time dog Mama. Read The Dog Listener by Jan Ferrell.
And use the big three: don't talk, don't touch, don't look for those entering the dog's space. Also Ceasar's exercise, discipline and lastly affection.
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Old 01-09-2015, 07:15 PM
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About the only visitors we get lately are the Fire Dept. Our little girls bark to let us know they are here, and then get up on the couch out of they way and are so quiet. It is a remarkable thing to see, because Molley barks at anything that moves.
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Old 01-11-2015, 06:27 AM
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Late getting to this but have had same problem with a cat that turned into devil attack cat when anyone came over. Try taking some dirty clothes from the kids (you want their scent on them) and tucking those into or around the dogs beds when they're resting. If the dogs get used to the scent of the kids, they'll accept them easier. Once they accept and socialize with kids, the rest gets easier.
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Old 01-11-2015, 04:54 PM
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[QUOTE=RuthiesRetreat3;7043149]Late getting to this but have had same problem with a cat that turned into devil attack cat when anyone came over./QUOTE]

So what did you do? My Tinkerbell is pretty territorial but very selective. E.G. she loves my physical therapist who is allergic to cats and can't even pet her. She'll often hiss when people first come in and then is generally ok (she even hisses at me sometimes when I come home). But the other day a male neighbor came over to help me with something and after he'd been there for a short time, suddenly she went at him, hissing, clawing....don't think she tried to bite but this was the most violent I'd seen her. He had his little 3 yr old with him and it scared her to death. Instead of staying calm, I freaked out and yelled at her which didn't help. I got a spray bottle ready to use the next time it happens. Then he was over again yesterday and she was lying in her bed in the living room and didn't move a whisker when he came in. There's one woman who sometimes takes me to the dr who Tink always reacts badly to. Lillian has to hold a pillow in front of her in order to come into the room! I'm wondering if she isn't feeling well....she has some wheezing and has even been a bit cross with me.
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Old 01-11-2015, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by MarionsQuilts View Post
Dog questions on a quilting site! I love it!!!! I've worked with dogs for years and years and years and have always had a huge passion for them.

Couple of myths to dispell:
- it is NEVER to late to resocialize a dog - it might just take longer
- having your child give the dog food to accept the dog - NOPE - all you are teaching the dog is that child is willing to negotiate - come see me I'll give you a cookie ... THEN, what do you do when the child doesn't have a cookie and the dog goes up to child looking for one ... or worse ... the child is eating their cookie and the dog comes up and takes it because hey, that's what it's been taught.

You don't necessarily need a behaviourist, but you definitely need to up the training.

These dogs need a rock solid / bomb proof DOWN / STAY. By this I mean you put them in a down stay and they do not MOVE unless you tell them to ... you should be able to leave the room, leave the house (for a couple of minutes and come right back in) and they haven't budged.

If you have tried this and it isn't really successful (i.e. the dogs break their stay all the time) use a new command called PLACE. Using a towel or a mat, and having the dog on leash, walk the dog over the mat until he is standing on it and say PLACE. Wait a couple of seconds - the dog should NOT be moving. Then walk off about 20 steps, and come back and do the same thing. Repeat this about 20-30 times in a row.

Give the dog a 10-15 minute break - play with it, etc. Don't just ignore him.

Next, bring the dog back to the mat (still on leash) and say place and wait for the dog to lie down. You might have to wait 1/2 an hour or just 2 minutes. When the dog lays down WAIT for him to exhale. You'll hear it LOL ... it's the dog saying I accept this - I am relaxed.

Drop the leash and back away about 5 feet. Your dog should NOT move. If he does, a quick NO / eh eh to get him to lay back down, or walk back towards him. As soon as he lays down, back away again. Keep the dog in place for about a minute, go over pick up the leash and say let's go and walk away. Repeat this. (It won't take as long as the first time for the dog to lay down I promise).

Keep doing this until you can increase the time to 10-15 minutes of the dog not moving and start leaving the room. I.e. if you're in the living room, go into the kitchen for about 30 seconds and come back in. The dog is NOT allowed to move. Correct and put back in position if he does.

While working on the down / stay or place command and if the children are over, I would highly recommend one of two of things: crates in the room where the kids are so the dogs can see them, get their scent, watch everything that is going on, hear the noises, etc. OR if you can't crate, put them in another room. Having them on a harness / leash while the kids are in the same room, if they are hyper is NOT a good idea. Yes, the dogs are leashed, but you really can't control the dog 100% if the kids get too wound up and get too close to the dog's space.

I have a working line German Shepherd who is 3.5 years old and I started the place command (to teach her that this is CALM and QUIET time outside of her crate) when she was 18 months old. It took me about a month to get her totally bomb proofed in this command. To the point, that I can put her in place on a towel in the front yard off leash, in front of squirrels, rabbits and running and screaming kids and she simply lays there and watches them. Sometimes she even sleeps.

The whole concept for this is that while your dog is in the place command on their mat they are SAFE from anyone and everything. So you need to make sure that the kids understand that the dogs are in place, and they are NOT allowed to go near them, until you release them.

It sounds like a lot of work, but once you get the hang of it after the first couple of days, it's a breeze!!!!

I've done this with 8 month old puppies (took longer LOL) and a 10 year old dog aggressive dog (just last month). It took me 2 weeks to get the 10-year old dog to just lay there calmly in place while 15 other dogs walked within 5 feet of him. Three weeks before the training, this same dog had ripped the neck apart on another dog because it got too close to his space (which was a 20-foot radius!)

Lots of luck, and remember the key thing when working with your dogs PATIENCE. Most people give in and crack because the dog will outwait them!!!!
Sounds like excellent advice, MarionQuilts. My grands have been cautioned about not looking at, talking to, and ignoring the dogs, but they are kids who don't always heed what I say. They have dogs at home that are very people friendly, so it is hard for them to follow my instructions regarding my dogs. I have purchased a book on the subject, and it makes a lot of sense, although I am only partway through the book. I do realize it will take work and patience. I also realize that this has been a very tough week for the dogs, two days cooped up traveling in a car, then a totally new home, climate, and lots of strange people all wanting to talk to, pet, play with the dogs. It's no wonder they get overwhelmed.
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Old 01-11-2015, 08:14 PM
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Whatever you do, don't yell at the dogs when they are barking and growling. Found out with my dalmation that our yelling at her made her think that her family was in really big trouble, so she'd bark more and become more agitated.

We never got her completely over it, but were able to shorten the time that she had her 'you are not welcome here' fit when people came over. It only happened when people entered our home. Once they were in, she settled down.

I often thought she was barking so we would come over and protect her from the fierce intruders...
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Old 01-12-2015, 09:22 AM
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I have 4 dogs. My two older ones, a pittbull/rottwiller mix and the other a chow mix just hate small children. I muzzle them when children are around. I have tried to get them use to kids but so far this has not worked and it is easier to muzzle them and be sure everyone is safe. It is not their fault because they have never been exposed to many people. For what time people are around I just muzzle or lock them in another room or let them outside. They are great dogs but not social. At 10 years old I know I will not change them..
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