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Our new boy Fred is developing some dominance issues with us, mainly due to us being lazy and not properly training him. So, starting today he no longer has couch priviledges and we'll be working on other things as well. (edit: by the way, this site is amazing when looking for information on things like this!) My main question is: he's very affectionate and loves to cuddle, which my wife loves about him... can she occasionally sit on the floor with him and cuddle or would this defeat the purpose of keeping him off the couch? Or is this something that down the line would be okay, but not for awhile? Thanks everyone!
 

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i think that would be fine but just to show him who's boss when she gets up from the cuddle she should maybe sit on the sofa for a minute or two just to re-establish who's boss.

the food theory works great too (you eat before him etc and never leave the bowl down all day full of food) We leae Snoopy's food down for 20 mins. If she doesnt eat it she has to wait for a little while until she gets it back.

training classes are great too if you have one near you to go to?

good luck!
 

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Food will definitely not be a problem! We feed at specific times of the day anyway, and he usually has it scarfed down before Floyd starts eating his! That's the one thing I am not worried about training-wise... he is very food motivated.
 

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Practice the "Nothing in life is free" idea. Anytime you give a treat or food at dinner time, they must earn it by sitting (sit), laying down (down), we've taught Bogie to shake (shake), etc. When you go out a door, make Fred sit and you go out the door first, then say (come, OK, etc.) and let him come out.

To be petted, say "come" and when he does have him "sit" beside you and then lavish him with praise, cuddling, and loving. When on the leash be sure he is at the heeling position by your left side and not leading the way. Things like tihis will make you the top dog in his eyes. I'm sure some of the more knowledgeable people on the forum will jump in and guide you to some great info on this.

Obedience classes are great and I would encourage you to find one. They really help teach you how to work with your dog, just bear in mind you have to practice at home.
Good luck!!
 

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I'm another fan of "Nothing In Life Is Free" (NILIF). If you google that term, you will find a bunch of good articles on the subject.
 

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We just enrolled Baxter in obedience school. It's a not-for-profit and we had to go for a 2 hour orientation last Saturday, without Baxter. His actual classes start in 2 weeks. We were told just what is being discussed here - if he wants to join you on the couch he has to earn it by sitting first. Before we allow Baxter to have privileges, he has to earn them. NOTHING IN LIFE IS FREE!
 

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10 TIPS FOR DEALING WITH PROBLEM BEHAVIOR


Our new boy Fred is developing some dominance issues with us, mainly due to us being lazy and not properly training him. So, starting today he no longer has couch priviledges[/b]
and exactly how is revoking couch priviedges going to solve the current behavioral issues?

unless the problem directly relates to the dog being on the couch it will not. So called domininace reducing exersize have never been proven to reduce aggression. Exercise such as never letting the dog on the bed, feeding the dog second, the dog is last through door ways, no dog on furniture etc.

from Debunking the Dominance Myth
So-called dominance exercises were — and in some circles still are — widely recommended to
prevent the dog from taking over the entire household. These exercises include not feeding him
until after you’ve eaten, letting him through doorways only after you, forbidding access to
furniture, and not playing tug-of-war.
In reality, there is no evidence that these procedures prevent dominance aggression or any other
behavioral problem. In fact, one study found no correlation between playing tug-of-war or
allowing a dog on the bed and the development of aggressive behavior.[/b]
Dominance is rarely if ever the cause of behavioral issues.

Some though pervoking reading

The History and Misconceptions of Dominance Theory

The Macho Myth

A Talk with Ray & Lorna Coppinger
Ray & Lorna: The alpha wolf model of dog training certainly does appear frequently in print, but we wonder if it was ever really incorporated into serious dog training. We suspect it was never very useful in training dogs, and that almost everybody intuitively knew that. It was "say one thing, do another."

Certainly all the new techniques, such as click and treat, are not based on dominance. We've watched top trainers like Terry Ryan and Ken McCort, and never saw any hint of "I'm the dominant wolf." People who try modifying aggressive dogs don't try to "dominate" them into submission. Everybody agrees that would be a disaster. Imagine training a wolf by dominating it. Quick way to get killed.

It is a mistake to think that because dogs are descended from wolves, they behave like wolves. Wolves do not show the "alpha roll," or any other hierarchical behavior, except in specific circumstances, particularly during reproductive and feeding behaviors. Wolf packs on a hunt are working cooperatively, and hierarchy goes by the board.

Training dogs is fun for me and for the dog, as it should be. Our sled dogs ran because running is fun and feels good. Endorphins are released, social interactions are increased. Try running while you're being submissive. Dogs aren't pulling sleds because they are forced to or are submitting to some person's will. Everybody who ever drove dogs knows that you absolutely cannot force them to do it.[/b]
Dog are manipulative social creatures. They well do what they feel is in their best interest and what they can get away with. A lack of clear and consistent rules rules leads to a situation in which a dog will test where the boundries are constantly because it has learned they can and do change.
For Many this is where A NILIF program is helpful. It provides the human a clear set of guidlines to follow to maintain consistent rules.

see Why Not Take Candy from a Baby (If He Lets You?

Leadership Basics


Generally speaking when dealing with behavioral issues it is general best to deal with each one individidually rather than assume they are all related and will be miraculously cured when the underlying cause is found.


Many behavioral issues have a lack of self control as a common thread. Self control needs to ber taught
It would be wrong to assume however if you teach a dog not to pull on lead that it will wait at an open doorway. Each must be taught seperately.

TEACHING SELF CONTROL
 

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Nice to see you, Mike. :) I had a feeling this topic might flush you out. ;)

Dominance=leadership=control of resources=whatever phrase du jour, IMO. All refer to a fairly consistent concept of the successful owner-dog relationship, which incorporates the establishment of limits, teaching one's dog(s) what those limits are, and then being consistent about enforcing those limits. :)
 
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