Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Dog Training: Bad Dog Manners

 Some of E’s favorite stories are hearing about “feral” Miss M. When I adopted Miss M, she was a true city dog; she had been found as a stray roaming the mean streets of Chicago. Like many urbanites, she had attitude.
I joke that she was raised by wolves because I had to teach her the ways of the household. I couldn’t leave her alone and even had to take her into the bathroom with me. If she got frustrated on walks she would try to grab her own leash to walk herself, which often resulted in me having to bellyflop on top of her to put her in calming position. Which is embarrassing when people see you are lying on top of your huge dog.
Despite her poor manners, she is very treat-motivated and took well to training. It was really the down-stay command that changed our lives. We went through a lot of training, but I eventually trained her to be a respectable dog.
Though I think if she wasn’t an only dog, and she had a positive dog role-model, her progress might have been quicker. We joke that Mr. B came ‘already trained’, but we think a lot of his progress was seeing Miss M as a positive role-model. We had forgotten how when we first adopted him he would lunge and bark, toy guard, and rip apart an entire baseball mitt in one sitting. Which is hard to imagine considering how protective he is of his pink stuffies
We really became aware of this as we've been fostering Levi. Everyone saw the video of A Night with Levi and how he is so crazy;  he is kind of like that guy at the party running around with underwear on his head. But in this second week we have noticed a lot of changes in the little guy, and he has started imitating our pooches. He learned to wait nicely in his crate for breakfast and dinner, sit at corners, and walk nicely in a pack, just by watching our pooches.
 Do most people notice in multi-dog households the other dogs just pick up the good habits? And does anyone have good tips for teaching 'only dogs' good manners?

23 comments:

Nancy said...

We have noticed this with our little Jack Russell puppy mill rescue/foster. But it is the exact opposite! She came to us shy, scared and shut down. She didn't KNOW she was a dog and just how to BE. That's where my two characters come in. My Pit mix-Cal and Corgi-Sadie have gladly taught her
how to just BE a dog and enjoy doing zoomies, sunbathing in the yard, playing tug-o-war and having daily ( well almost-it's VERY hot here) walks. They are her role models and it's worked very well.

Briana said...

Zoo cute! Can I drop Sammy off with you? Maybe Mr. B and Ms. M can teach him to not be so anxious!

Froggy said...

Oh I can relate to this. Pug has NO manners and basically taught Maize how to be a total jerk. Through loads of training Maize is well mannered but Pug remains a jerk-face I guess the teaching doesn't go both ways in my house!

jen said...

I wish Leroy would pick up some of Sherman's good manners, but after 3 years I think I have to forget about that. Leroy is like how you described Levi, the guy running around the party with the underwear on his head!
The guy that you say you don't know who he is or who he came with:)

Two Crazy Coaches said...

I definitely have seen Ollie's behavior improve from watching Flash. He learned very quickly to sit for his leash or dinner. He's also somewhat learned how to play which is fun. He had no clue what to do with Flash when she would ask to play when he first came home. Now, every once in awhile, he'll ask her to play. It's so fun to see!

Sarah said...

My dogs definitely learn from each other. Dogs teach other dogs so much better than people teach dogs. I guess it has something to do with speaking their own language.

Pauley, the Mr. or the Mrs. said...

Ciera thinks that Levi is the perfect match for her. I had not watched the video until now & it appears that they have a lot in common. In our experience the fosters do learn good things from our dogs, but they also learn many things that are not so good.

loveandaleash said...

Chick always teaches our fosters how to be mellow and calm in the house, but I'm not sure if it's by imitation or because they quickly pick up on the concept that he hates hyperactivity around him, so if they want any of his sweet loving, they'd better learn to be cool!

Mia said...

They may not be the habits that I want, but I can definitively see Mia picking up behavior from Maddie the same way Maddie picked up behaviors from the cats. Copying can be a good thing and a bad thing.

Kate@TwentySixToLife said...

For the most part our dogs really came this way, lol. It's a perk of adopting older dogs I guess that they're pretty mellow. We do work on training and developing routines though which goes a long way.

Marji said...

I've noticed the foster pups pick on whatever behaviors they like! So far, none have been inclined to emulate Mina's fence fighting wars with the neighbor's two JRTs.

Crystal K. said...

Our 55 pound lab/pittie foster figured out right away that our mini pinscher is the prince of the house, so lab/pittie began emulating all of min pin's habits -- good (snuggling) and bad (climbing on furniture whenever he wants).

Vanessa said...

I remember when my family decided to adopt a young husky (thanks to me begging and pleading to rescue her), she picked up on the wonderful manners of our older retriever mix. She learned all of the basic commands in just a few short weeks. I know for a fact that if she came into our home as an only dog, it would've been a tough battle thanks to her aloof personality and stubborn husky ways.

waldobungie said...

Ginger was already pretty well behaved when we got her but I think Turk really helped her to learn how to walk nicely on a leash and she learned quickly that the only way to get treats in our house is by doing a trick, so she picked that up pretty quickly from watching Turk and Rufus.

brooke said...

Miss M is so cute in that last picture!

road-dog-tales said...

Our pack definitely learned from each other - the good, the bad and the ugly! lol Mostly good, though. Aspen was found as a stray by us. She was number 7 in the pack (number 5 Shepherd). One time when Aspen was still new to the family, my hubby accidentally didn't completely latch the gate to the backyard fence at our house in VA where the Shepherds spent their days while we were at work. I came home to find all 5 Shepherds sitting and laying nicely in the front yard together. My neighbor, who was kind of scared to approach them in their own yard without us around, came over and told me they had been out there together like that all day. My heart was in my chest and it took hours for me to calm down! We're sure Aspen stayed because her "pack" stayed, even though she didn't have the training they did.

Hey, we would LOVE a frog pose pic of the adorable Levi!!!

Our word verification on your blog is "barksi" - no kidding!

The Road Dogs

houndstooth said...

It's definitely been easier for our dogs that have come into the pack to pick things up and learn from the existing dogs!

Tucker The Crestie said...

It's definitely a huge advantage to have other well-trained and socialized dogs in the house when a new one comes into the pack. They learn as much or more from that dog or dogs as they do from the human(s).

Kari in Vegas said...

Love the top pic. Looks like Miss M is getting a taste of her own medicine

Kari
http://dogisgodinreverse.com

jet said...

It cuts both ways though, because they pick up each other's bad habits as well. Bender does a lot of territorial barking, and Barbie who is a greyhound and is not supposed to bark much at all, has gotten in on the act! Also, Bender used to ask for walks by politely poking his lead - Barbie has taken this to a new level by talking at us when she thinks her walk is overdue!

In Black and White said...

Unfortunately it goes the other way too. Whenever Bilbo spends too much time with Los' roommate's dog Clover his door manners deteriorate rapidly.

Laura and Hans said...

I think if you could teach Levi to run around with underwear on his head it would be very entertaining!

Brenda said...

Oh yes, absolutely. Katie was a sweet dog when we got her, not like the guy at the party with underwear on his head (that is HILARIOUS!!), but still - fairly unmannered. When it was time to eat, Lady and Lucky would be sitting quietly while Katie bounced and leaped all over the kitchen. But she finally got it: we sit and wait politely until given the "okay" to eat. It was fun to watch her watch them, and then finally get it. Unfortunately, she has also learned some of Lady's sneaky behaviors! Nothing bad, they're just more funny than anything.

When I let them out, if Lady doesn't have to go, or doesn't want to, she'll stand behind a bush, so that I "think" she's going. It's hilarious. I say "Um. It's not working. I see you." And then she comes out and does her business. Well, Katie started doing this too! Cracked me up. It's amazing how they learn from each other.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...