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Training A Dog *not* To Do Something.

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Hi all, we've had Pepper for about 9 months, and I have been working on positive reinforcement training (using Sue Ailsby's Training Levels). She's doing great, and she rarely misbehaves. Because of that, we don't have a good way of stopping her when she does misbehave. We've encountered two issues:


1) Occasionally, when she is very excited (like if we come home after an unusually long day), she nips at us as she greets us. I have been working on training her to move to her bed after we come in, where we then go and pet her; however, when the nipping happens, it occurs before we get to that step. I have tried yelling "No!" but she just wags her tail.


2) Although she's had no potty accidents in our house, she has in my sister's house, because my sister has a dog that has accidents in the house. Although the spots have been cleaned with bleach (and it is tile flooring), Pepper still smells something and pees in the same spot. We are only there occasionally, and it happens rarely, so we haven't had many opportunities for training. However, this week, I caught her in the act, and I yelled, clapped, stomped, etc., but she didn't stop (until I lifted her up around the belly).


Because we reprimand her so infrequently, she doesn't seem to get it, so I am not sure what to do. A spray bottle doesn't seem to work (she loves water and being sprayed with the hose), so I am looking for any other suggestions. Thanks!

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You need something like Nature's Miracle for cleaning up the spots where she's had accidents. It has enzymes that "eat" the urine, and thus eliminate the residual odor. If you see that she is about to pee inside, interrupt her and take her outside to finish. (I know, easier said than done!)


My blog about helping Katie learn to be a more normal dog: http://katies-journey-philospher77.blogspot.com/

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For the excitement when coming home you need to have a more active disruption to the behavior for the redirect - keep a toy or chew treat right next to the door, or carry it with you when you leave. Then toss it away from you on entering. Hopefully that will give you a chance to get your coat off and through the house to give her some space. If she's still amped up, ignore her by turning your back with your arms crossed until she calms down. Then you can give her attention. If that doesn't seem to get the message across, find a way to block her from getting to the door, and then ignore her until she's calm and will accept your direction to her calm spot.

Chris - Mom to: Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

52592535884_69debcd9b4.jpgsiggy by Chris Harper, on Flickr

Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom, Lilly

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Thanks for the suggestions. I should add two things: we do the back turned, arms crossed thing until she calms down. But on the rare occasions when nipping happens (maybe once every two-three weeks), we ignore her until she calms down, and then when we turn around and start walking, she gets excited again, and that's when the nip happens. I will try the toy thing! Second, when I did catch her peeing and successfully interrupted her, I took her outside and she finished peeing out there. It's the interruption that was difficult, because my efforts at making noise to stop her were not successful - she only stopped when I got to her and physically lifted up her belly.

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I agree that your sister needs to be using Nature's Miracle to clean up where her pup pees. Bleach doesn't do it. (if her dog is having trouble because he is elderly and cannot hold it very long, she should get Pee Pads. wonderful invention and not very expensive if you get them in bulk from someplace like Chewy.com. I've covered the floor by my back door with them because of my old boy who trys but doesn't always make it out the door.)


When you catch the dog peeing, I won't worry about making a lot of noise. Just yell "No", grab her and carry, pull, push, whatever out the door to the yard, There, praise her like she's the smartest girl ever.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Guest nicky604

She can't nip you if you put her in a "DOWN" a "SIT" or tell her "PLACE".


I had a VERY FOOD EXCITED foster greyhound and I taught him SIT the first night as otherwise I would


have had to eat all my meals locked in my bathroom!


The next morning, when I made breakfast, he came up to me SO EXCITED (because of the hot food) and even though his whole


body was shaking with food excitement, he did a SIT (without me even asking!)... SO CUTE!!!


You're right, it is easier to tell a dog something to do than to tell them not to do something.


All you need is one reliable command (like SIT DOWN or PLACE) so you can get them to stop jumping up, nipping or whatever the unwanted behaviour is.

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