Off, off, stay off! - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-26-2018, 08:12 AM Thread Starter
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Off, off, stay off!

My Jessie is 5 months old. She does well with the sit and stay command. The come command works most of the time but not always. I saw a post indicating that that takes time, so we are doing well. My problem is “OFF”! Since day one we have used “off” to keep her from jumping up on us or things. I perposely do not use the word “down” so not to confuse things when we start training the down position. I feel like she knows what I want her to do when I say off. She is just reluctant to obey and will jump up again and again. If I say “off and sit” she responds quicker and will sit. She gets praised for sitting, but a moment later she is jumping up again. I’m sure it’s just attention getting, but how can I model a better approach!
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-26-2018, 10:52 AM
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Well I can tell you what you already know, which is that the comparison of skill acquisition between “sit” and “off” is hard because “sit” involved planned training and “off” is spontaneous. If you can create opportunities to practice “off” at neutral times then you’ll have more success, and that’s what you’re asking about, right? I know there are lots of ways to teach this, and I’ll let someone who actually knows a lot about training give the “right” suggestions. My instinct would be to consider naming the behavior when he jumps up on you, and train that behavior, because it would give you opportunities to then show him and practice “off” with a higher frequency. I’m thinking of trying it myself, but part of me wonders if it’s a terrible idea. DD taught our dog both “jump” and “reach” and I think they just give him more self control.

When I want my dog to stop jumping I always use sit, though, because it’s so well trained, he will do it even if he’s excited or distracted. I also don’t really mind when he jumps on me, and he’s allowed on all of our furniture, so I probably don’t deal with it as often.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-27-2019, 04:20 PM
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While I am by no means a dog trainer and am still learning about the Havi breed, we are also teaching our two little ones this so we can relate and will share what I am doing. I happen to feel that a dog should be allowed to be a dog though, and jumping up is one way they greet each other and play. But, they need to learn to control this behavior because, for humans, there are definitely times we do not want possibly diry little feet on us!

First, I can see that it depends in part on the personality of the puppy. From a dog breeder's perspective, it also depends on if this jumping up was encouraged in any way (even without realizing it!) at the breeders home. In living with a small breed now for all of 5 months, I think it might be a wee bit more ingrained in them since they are small and want to make themselves higher? Not sure about that, it's just a theory at this point.

Anyway, our Shiloh is not as inclined to jump up, whereas Lizzie is all about jumping! For both, I have found saying "paws off" works better than just "off". Again, I am not a dog trainer, but with our working breed the English Shepherd, we have learned to ask for the behavior you are also trying to avoid. So, for the Havi's we teach "paws on" and "paws off". "Paws on" helps in picking them up onto my lap for snuggles. And I feel it helps their brain make a connection somehow between off and on.

Make sense? Probably not. I really have no idea but just try to think like a dog, get inside their smart little brains, and hope I can stay one step ahead. LOL

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-27-2019, 04:41 PM
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jumping up is a method to invite play , a social greeting attempt or an attempt to control an excited situation. We quite often unintentionally classically condition it. Make it clear right from the start that jumping will not bring any rewards. Many people are not strict with this and even the smallest interaction is encouraging to a dog. Avoid playing with your dog in a way that will encourage jumping up on you. What happens is that a dog reaches a level at which he is unable to control his built-up energy. When a dog hits this point, he often releases some of the energy in the form of a behavior such as jumping or barking. A good way to deal with this is through training in which you will gradually increase the level of energy/ excitement in your dog, in order for him to learn how to deal with it at each level. Training alternative behaviors also goes hand in hand with this process. For example, if you ignore your dog when he jumps five times, but then on the sixth time you pay attention to him or start petting him, this just reinforces for him that jumping works, eventually. Training an alternative behavior is a first step. If you wish to use the sit or down command for example, be aware that your dog needs to be fluent in performing these exercises, he needs to have reached the generalization point (which means that the sit or down command is to be performed regardless of the environment and situation). Ignore the dog until he performs what you want him to do and then reward him. This can be done by using the clicker (marker) training principles or if you are fast enough, even without a clicker. Just make sure that you are ignoring what you don’t want and rewarding only what you do want.
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