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Categories: Basic Obedience

Q. I have a pup who is almost always on a leash. I went to get something from the garage and next thing I knew, my dog went to go see a lady walking her dog. What's going on?
Hi Ed-

Having some problems handling my 7 month old and I wonder if you can explain them.

3 things happened today-

1. He's almost always on a leash, but sometimes I let him walk along as I'm going to the car or garage. I had him outside with me today for a minute as I went to grab something out of the garage- next thing I knew I heard a lady yell out --- hey!!! She was walking a dog and mine went over to see it. I walked over calmly and then grabbed him by the back of the neck and carried him back- this has happened before and I've always done the same thing to show him he CAN'T leave the yard. (the lady yelled because he almost got hit) He cowered and lied down on his back when I had him back safely- I let up a bit to try to reassure him, but he bolted again- I did the same thing- the lady goes, "now he's really scared." shaking him and firmly talking to him all the way back to our yard. Then he seemed ok in the house.

2. Later he was out with me and I went to brush my teeth- he chased the cat into the bath tub and I said "NO!" loud and firm... I was surprised that he peed as he left the room.

I don't understand him because sometimes he doesn't seem to mind correction at all- sometimes he frustrates me by repeatedly doing things I've corrected him pretty clearly for- then other times he cowers and even pees.

3. He was sitting with me while I was checking email in my room- he jumped up on me for attention I guess, but I sort of pushed him away- then he jumped up on my bed and peed all over the pillows and blankets-

I really yelled then and put him back into his crate- I guess its not good to put them in the crate as punishment- but it was all I could do not to crack him- putting him there lets me calm down.

He also has a cat crap eating problem- he actually sneaks now to get it because when my eyes aren't on him I listen to whatever he's doing- He knows he shouldn't do it because if I catch him, he runs back and cowers.

I know he needs obedience training. But what's the deal lately?
The bed peeing incident seemed totally intentional.
What am I doing wrong?

Appreciate your advise-

A. This is a handler problem not a dog problem. As you said you don't know what's going on.

There is an old saying "NEVER PICK A FIGHT YOU CAN'T WIN. The same goes for how you handle your dog. Don't set yourself up to fail. You seem to be doing this all the time.

1- Allowing the pup to be loose when you go in the garage begs for a problem, which is exactly what happened. The dog should be on a leash or a long line, it is never off leash.

2- The dog is a soft dog. Read the articles on my web site about a HARD and SOFT dog. You can read about this on my web site in the list of training articles.

3- The dog is not house trained. If it were he would not be pissing on the bed. Back up your training. Use the dog crate, read the articles and Q&A on my web site about house training.

4- Almost all dogs love cat shit. They look at it like a delicacy. Move the litter box to a place the dog cannot get into it.

Dog training is not rocket science. Its 99% common sense.

If you would like to learn more about the principles of obedience training a dog, read the description for my Basic Dog Obedience video. You will probably find that you have not had the full picture on the steps of training a dog must go through before it can be considered fully trained. You can also read why I am not a fan of taking an untrained dog to obedience classes. I think if you read the testimonials on that tape you will see that my customers feel the same way.
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