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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 19831
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
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Freddie is 6 and has bad social skills when we have visitors

Resolved Question:

Freddie is 6 and has bad social skills when we have visitors he barks nips jumps up . And while the guest s are there he won't let them move around . How can we help resolve this problem.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 3 years ago.
Hi JaCustomer,
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My name is Jane. I have been working professionally with animals especially dogs in both health and behavioral issues for over 18 years. I have over 14,000 satisfied customers. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.
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In order to supply you with the best information, I do need to ask for some additional information. Once I receive your answer, it will likely take me about 30-45 minutes to type up your response. I hope you can be patient.
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What breed is Freddie?
Is he neutered?
What obedience training has he had?
What do you do to try and stop this behavior?
Is he sneaking up on them to nip them?
Did the behaviorist tell you why he wanted you to change the dogs diet?
What else have you tried that you haven't mentioned?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

His breed is. Cocker spaniel. Yes he is neutered. He had a few weeks training he is great out side its just at home. We try to remove him from the room but this takes time im unable to catch him. We tell him no. No he doesn't sneak up he is just very vocal and jumps up pushing tbem and like small nips. The behavourist said it was to calm him . Freddie also trys to mate with people showing dominance. Shakers loud noise behavior collar, . We have had him 5years, and we have just come to the end. If we entertain we will put him in kennel s. Also if we take him on holiday he won't settle on edge all the time .

Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 3 years ago.
Nikki,
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Thanks for the additional information. It is helpful. It seems to me that Freddie thinks that he is the boss and he doesn't like people coming into what he considers his territory (the house) and is reprimanding the visitors hoping that he can convince them to leave.
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This is dominant behavior and aggressive behavior. The remote training collars specifically state in the instructions usually that they are not to be used for situations where a dog is showing aggression as it can lead the dog to believe the object of the aggession is causing the correction (shock) and thus it actually increases the aggression. It does not surprise me that the collar did not work. Shakers and loud noises just use distraction as a means of stopping the behavior and are also not very effective as you have found.
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So what you need to do is reestablish yourself as the boss. This means stepping up the obedience training, not allowing him on furniture if he is allowed now and do some specialized training as well with him around visitors.
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The obedience training doesn't need to be out of the home, but you do need to be consistent with training him. The following site is helpful for teaching you how to train your dog. Be sure and click on the link to the page on obedience at the bottom. and links on subsequent pages leading to detailed instructions.

http://www.schutzhund-training.com/training_theory.html

Unfortunately, the site does not allow me to make clickable links, so to view the supporting websites, you will need to copy and paste the link into a new browser window or tab.

Training works best if you train at least 30 minutes a day (two 15 minute sessions). I would start making your dog work via the Nothing in life is free program (NILF). It is outlined below.
http://www.pets.ca/articles/article-dog_nilf.htm

The obedience and NILF will help establish you as the boss. Keeping him on the floor will help naturally lower his perceived place in the pack and make him more submissive. It is the boss' job to allow or not allow people into the territory, so it will fall to you rather than him once he understands that you make the rules. It won't be his place to try and reprimand them. It will also allow you to have him sit and stay until you give a release command. You can have a place in the room for him to stay while visitors are there. When he is staying where he belongs, give him a tasty hot dog slice every once in a while to reward him for behaving. Some owners attach an eye bolt near a wall that they can connect a leash to so they do not have to constantly correct the dog when first training.
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If you have someone he does this to on a regular basis, this person could be elected to help with training allowing you to work with him several times a week when you know he would normally do it. Once he stops reacting to the visitors, reward him with tasty treats and praise. For each person he doesn't do this to, reward him. He will learn that strangers mean treats and are a good thing and that should help stop the behavior as welll.

In addition, if you are present when this is occurring, you can give a correction using the attached leash(good reason to keep it attached) A quick tug and firm NO will help teach him that you find it unacceptable.

When first teaching him to sit at the door when visitors come, you can slip the leash under your foot, have him sit and use the leash to keep him in that spot in a sit or down position as you open the door. Initially he will fight it, but soon will realize it doesn't do any good to try and move away and will stay. When he does that reward him. Have visitors reward him as well.
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Once they are seated, give the release command and move him to the spot in the room and command him to lay down and stay there.
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It takes a lot of work but pays off in the long run. Any time he growls, barks or attempts to jump up on anyone, he should be reprimanded with the short tug and firm "NO". They also make a no jump harness that will prevent him jumping up. You might use that until he is trained to sit and stay. See one here:
http://www.valleyvet.com/ct_library_info.html?product=30e07893-7b6a-11d5-a192-00b0d0204ae5&showText=1
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Remember that all of these techniques should be used in conjunction with each other to get the maximum results in the least amount of time. I hope this information is helpful to you and you are satisfied with my response. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have .
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Jane Lefler and other Dog Training Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Jane many thanks hope this works

Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 3 years ago.
Nikki,
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You are very welcome. Remember to stay consistent with him and keep up with training even after he seems to be behaving well.