Help..Itís NOT a game! - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-14-2018, 01:09 PM Thread Starter
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Help..Itís NOT a game!

Help, my 5 month old puppy loves to get things sheís not suppose to have, and run! Sheíll grab papers from a desk and proceed to run and trash them. She wonít come when you call, sheíll run in one direction then another to avoid you. Great game to her with her head on the floor, papers in her mouth, her little butt in the air, with the attitude of catch me if you can. You canít distract her with treats...not while she still has the prize. She wonít drop it or let you near her all the while tearing up whatever she has. Itís a fun game to her. Sheíll do it with other items too. Certainly donít want to chase her, that only makes the game more fun! She can manage to jump and get anything off a table if itís near the edge. Needless to say we try to iliminate that opportunity. But itís very frustrating when she gets something and then runs around ďcatch me if you canĒ.....any suggestions for during and/or after an episode to discourage/stop them!
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-14-2018, 04:18 PM
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We have a gate that we use for blocking the hallway or keeping our 5 month old in the living room. She will display this same catch me if you can game, even if she doesn’t have anything & is just avoiding being picked up. I grabbed the gate one day to use it to corral her into a space where I could get her, keeping it low to the floor as I herded her. Worked like a charm, now if I pick up the gate she immediately gets submissive & stops the behavior. Even a piece of cardboard works.You have to get creative when trying to catch lightning in a bottle. Heh. Hopefully they grow out of that stage soon, but you can’t let them win, or lose your cool.
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Last edited by Sam I Am; 11-14-2018 at 04:20 PM. Reason: spelling
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-14-2018, 05:50 PM
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Many people keep their young pups in an ex-pen when they can’t be supervised. As the puppy gets older, she can be on a tether or leash either tied to your waist or just dragging (still supervised!) so you can pick it up whenever needed. This way the puppy can never be the “winner” and you can save inappropriate or dangerous objects she might chew on. Your dog is getting into a habit that is very important to stop if you ever want to teach her a reliable recall.
Never tug or pull on the tether, just use it to stop her movement while you approach her. Integrate positive recall conditioning games and excersizes (all while on the leash). Set her up for success, as opposed to failure!
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-14-2018, 07:46 PM
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Many people keep their young pups in an ex-pen when they canít be supervised. As the puppy gets older, she can be on a tether or leash either tied to your waist or just dragging (still supervised!) so you can pick it up whenever needed. This way the puppy can never be the ďwinnerĒ and you can save inappropriate or dangerous objects she might chew on. Your dog is getting into a habit that is very important to stop if you ever want to teach her a reliable recall.
Never tug or pull on the tether, just use it to stop her movement while you approach her. Integrate positive recall conditioning games and exercises (all while on the leash). Set her up for success, as opposed to failure!
Absolutely!!! What she said!

Recalls, allowing themselves to be caught, dropping "treasures"... These are all behaviors that need to be TRAINED. And they cannot be trained "in the moment". You need to practice them over, and over and OVER, preferably with the help of a good, positive based trainer to guide you.

In the meantime, you need to manage the situation so these puppies can't stay out of reach and can't grab things they shouldn't have. That means closer supervision and more containment, whether that is an ex-pen where they can't get away and can't reach things they shouldn't have or use of a tether.

I would not use a gate or cardboard to "herd" a puppy. The "submission" you perceive is fear. (even if the puppy bounces back quickly. It won't ever make it easier to catch your puppy. Only training will do that. And you MAY find that you teach the puppy even more wily ways of avoiding you.


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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-14-2018, 08:52 PM
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Absolutely!!! What she said!

Recalls, allowing themselves to be caught, dropping "treasures"... These are all behaviors that need to be TRAINED. And they cannot be trained "in the moment". You need to practice them over, and over and OVER, preferably with the help of a good, positive based trainer to guide you.

In the meantime, you need to manage the situation so these puppies can't stay out of reach and can't grab things they shouldn't have. That means closer supervision and more containment, whether that is an ex-pen where they can't get away and can't reach things they shouldn't have or use of a tether.

I would not use a gate or cardboard to "herd" a puppy. The "submission" you perceive is fear. (even if the puppy bounces back quickly. It won't ever make it easier to catch your puppy. Only training will do that. And you MAY find that you teach the puppy even more wily ways of avoiding you.
In the moment is when I deal with a problem. If you donít, you are guaranteed to see the behavior repeated. I raised 3 children, all to advanced degrees, one from West Point. Iíve raised many, many dogs to be wonderful additions to our lives. Iíve raised many foals who were a bit harder to train than a havanese. No one should need to do everything through professional training to have a dog assimilate into their home, & if they do, maybe they picked the wrong breed of dog. I knew that adding what worked for me, would not be well received, & I was right. Meh.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-14-2018, 11:14 PM
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In the moment is when I deal with a problem. If you don’t, you are guaranteed to see the behavior repeated. I raised 3 children, all to advanced degrees, one from West Point. I’ve raised many, many dogs to be wonderful additions to our lives. I’ve raised many foals who were a bit harder to train than a havanese. No one should need to do everything through professional training to have a dog assimilate into their home, & if they do, maybe they picked the wrong breed of dog. I knew that adding what worked for me, would not be well received, & I was right. Meh.
I don’t think the idea is to not deal with if in the moment, it’s to be ready before the moment happens. I’m sure with your kids you were sometimes surprised, but you still knew ahead of time what behavior was acceptable and what wasn’t and there were probably clear expectations about the consequence. You didn’t have to spell out what would happen if they missed curfew, but you probably told them what time to be home. It wouldn’t be fair to ground them for being late without first establishing the rules.

I think it’s the same way with dogs, but the question then becomes, how do you spell it out for them when you don’t speak the same language? I do know from my career working with children and teenagers that having them practice a behavior at a neutral time increased the chances of them generalizing that behavior to different circumstances enormously, and there are many studies proving this. So I’m inclined to believe that anything that can be done ahead of time to teach a skill and set up an expectation is going to be helpful in the moment for dogs, too. Now, I’ve only trained one dog in my whole life and he’s only a year old, so I’m not pretending to know even a sliver of what you know about training! But I think you’re underestimating how much preventative teaching you probably did very naturally as a skilled trainer.
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Last edited by EvaE1izabeth; 11-14-2018 at 11:19 PM.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-15-2018, 04:41 AM
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I do know from my career working with children and teenagers that having them practice a behavior at a neutral time increased the chances of them generalizing that behavior to different circumstances enormously, and there are many studies proving this. So Iím inclined to believe that anything that can be done ahead of time to teach a skill and set up an expectation is going to be helpful in the moment for dogs, too. Now, Iíve only trained one dog in my whole life and heís only a year old, so Iím not pretending to know even a sliver of what you know about training! But I think youíre underestimating how much preventative teaching you probably did very naturally as a skilled trainer.
Interesting you should say that. Zumba and my trainer has told me repeatedly that dogs do NOT generalize, so I must teach in different settings, manner, etc etc. I would love to read more comments on this.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-15-2018, 04:50 AM
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Help, my 5 month old puppy loves to get things sheís not suppose to have, and run! Sheíll grab papers from a desk and proceed to run and trash them. She wonít come when you call, sheíll run in one direction then another to avoid you. Great game to her with her head on the floor, papers in her mouth, her little butt in the air, with the attitude of catch me if you can. You canít distract her with treats...not while she still has the prize. She wonít drop it or let you near her all the while tearing up whatever she has. Itís a fun game to her. Sheíll do it with other items too. Certainly donít want to chase her, that only makes the game more fun! She can manage to jump and get anything off a table if itís near the edge. Needless to say we try to iliminate that opportunity. But itís very frustrating when she gets something and then runs around ďcatch me if you canĒ.....any suggestions for during and/or after an episode to discourage/stop them!
First, i must say that when Zumba does that to me, I laugh! I personally love this game. But when I am done, if she is not, I let her get away from me a bit, and then I call her, ďZumba! puppy, puppy!!!!Ē And she comes running! To me! She knows she is getting a treat. That did require training her that each and every time I call her name and she comes to me, she is getting a treat. These days, sometimes she gets a treat, and sometimes she gets a me-and-her playing time, but it is something she considers worth coming back to me for.

The same thing was done on learning to drop an item she puts in her mouth. I would put something in her mouth, tell her ďdropĒ as I offered a treat, and she would drop. She is doing pretty good with drop now, though not excellent. She still has that moment where she weighs in whether she wants the treat or the item in her mouth more, but then she lets go.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-15-2018, 06:45 AM
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Wink You're Danged Right, It is Not a Game

Pictured is Kosmo with the Hammacher Schlemmer Christmas catalog and I just have to add that without this fantastic doggie my shopping addiction would still be out of control.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-15-2018, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by EvaE1izabeth View Post
I donít think the idea is to not deal with if in the moment, itís to be ready before the moment happens. Iím sure with your kids you were sometimes surprised, but you still knew ahead of time what behavior was acceptable and what wasnít and there were probably clear expectations about the consequence. You didnít have to spell out what would happen if they missed curfew, but you probably told them what time to be home. It wouldnít be fair to ground them for being late without first establishing the rules.

I think itís the same way with dogs, but the question then becomes, how do you spell it out for them when you donít speak the same language? I do know from my career working with children and teenagers that having them practice a behavior at a neutral time increased the chances of them generalizing that behavior to different circumstances enormously, and there are many studies proving this. So Iím inclined to believe that anything that can be done ahead of time to teach a skill and set up an expectation is going to be helpful in the moment for dogs, too. Now, Iíve only trained one dog in my whole life and heís only a year old, so Iím not pretending to know even a sliver of what you know about training! But I think youíre underestimating how much preventative teaching you probably did very naturally as a skilled trainer.
Yes. This.

Of course, if your puppy has something dangerous, you need to get it away from them. If you HAVE to catch your puppy, and he has not yet been TAUGHT to come to you to be picked up, you need to do what you need to do. But when everyone is excited is NOT the best time for learning an (obviously) not internalized skill. Those should be taught separately.

I know ALL the ways to get a young, untrained, horse into a trailer in an emergency. And when you have a foal who has put his foot through a fence and needs emergency medical attention, you do whatever you need to do to get that foal into the trailer and to the hospital. But it is STILL much better, for the horse and the human, if trailer skills are TAUGHT in a systematic, calm manner BEFORE you need to trailer the horse.

As far as trainers are concerned... I donít need a trainer to help me with household puppy skills either. But many of the people who come to the forum are not only dealing with a young puppy, but are first-time puppy raisers... often first time DOG owners. For those people, they MAY be able to get through it without any professional help, especially with a biddable companion breed like a Havanese. But both they and the puppy will have a smoother, happier, less frustrating time together with a bit of judicial professional help. Especially if the REASON they are posting is help with normal puppy raising issues. If they donít already know how to handle these issues, a small amount of professional help to teach them good training techniques can help a lot.


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