Champdogs Information Exchange
Well I am really getting excited now as it's only 11 days until I collect Kiera and bring her home. Kiera is an adorable black lab and she will be my first puppy. I have 3 cats and I did have a couple of dos when I was growing up but obviously I didn't have responsibility for them. Tose of you who have given me advice over the last few months will know that I have gone to great effort to read and re-read Gwen Baileys book and I've got it set in my mind that I want to try and train her to be the 'perfect puppy' (lot of hard work I know).
I've been debating whether to post this topic or not, but there is something I feel quite strongly about and I'd appreciate your advice. I work full time, so my mother in law will be looking after our puppy during the day for several hours every day. This is great for the pup (mostly). The trouble is my OH (assume that means other half!!!) and his family have had dogs before, so they are pretty confident that they 'know best'. My MIL (mother in law) has already told me that if puppy is naughty (chewing stuff) she will get a smack on the nose. I don't want this to happen. In my experience dogs just bite again if you tap them on the nose. I want to use distraction techniques and reward to train Kiera and not smacks on the nose or choke chains, etc. I also don't want to start world war three by laying down the law as far as the dog is concerned.
I would like your advice regaridng how I can approach this - I've though about suggesting she uses a rolled up newspaper and smacks that into her own hand to distract Kiera if she's naughty, or taps her on her fleshy hind quarters if she's chewing/biting something she shouldn't...
Also - tell me if I'm being over sensitive, do any of you tap your dogs on the nose if they bite to put them off? I don't think for a minute that she's going to hit her hard, just alight tap - but I just don't like the thought of it. Most people don't smack children these days - and at least they speak english and understand a warning first....
By the way, I am providing KONG toys etc for her to chew and treats/food/bones/bed, etc, etc as needed.
12.07.05 16:03 GMT
I would try and imagine that the puppy is your child for a moment. Would you LET your MIL smack your child before it was aware of what was right and wrong? ;)
Your answer is probably going to be 'No!' ....well in that case , don't let her smack the puppy. Not only will it not teach the pup anything (apart from keep away from that woman!) but it could actually damage your pups very sensitive nose
You are the owner and you need to set the boundaries. If you don;t think your MIL can abide by your rules for the pup then get someone else to look after it :)
12.07.05 16:08 GMT
i agree, as owner, you need to set the rules and she needs to respect that although she is helping look after puppy, its not hers. i like your dedication to none violent techniques, distraction and positivity is brilliant.
another book i could suggest is jan fennell the dog listener, she is an amazing woman and like gewn doesnt believe in violence. she uses the dogs natural language and people who have used this method from puppyhood have found an incredible lack of chewing anything except their own toys!
enjoy your new bundle of joy! she sounds adorable!
12.07.05 16:12 GMT
If I were you I would ditch JF and take up JD I have no idea how I have managed dogs for all these years without using "amichien" :rolleyes:
12.07.05 16:24 GMT
12.07.05 16:32 GMT
Jean Donaldson, author of the Culture Clash, probably one of the finest books on dogs ever.......
12.07.05 16:35 GMT
cheers tohme, i have heard very fine things about that book (",)
Thanks Tohme - I'll give this book a go as well!
ROL T me too ! I must have being doing all wrong for years & years :)<T.I.C.>
12.07.05 16:41 GMT
i hope neither of you think i was being detrimental to any other way of being with dogs, i was just giving advice to the best of my knowledge for what has worked for me, i respect any non-aggressive approach.
12.07.05 16:42 GMT
None of these replies actually help the OP though ;)
Maybe you could give your MIL a copy of 'the Perfect Puppy' to read so that she'll understand where you're coming from with the training methods you want to use. It's also important that she knows the need for absolute consistency when training a puppy or you could end up with a very confused puppy on your hands which will be no fun for anyone.
Are you planning to take Keira to traning classes? If so, maybe MIL could accompany you to see how its done?
12.07.05 17:04 GMT
I'd give her a copy of Jean Donaldson's "The Culture Clash" - fan here too! - it explains excellently why physical (or any, for that matter) punishment doesn't work, and it often detrimental to what you're trying to acheive. It's done wonders for me and my dogs in terms of controlling my temper and improving my relationship with the terrible twosome.
I smack my dogs if they are seriously stepping over the line but only if they know they are doing wrong but then I would smack my kids if I had any too. I wouldn't however, smack a puppy for doing anything wrong as they are too little (just as I wouldn't ever hit a baby either) and they don't understand what is right or wrong (like a baby too). I also would never smack anyone elses dog or allow anyone else to smack mine. I think you need to make it clear to you MIL what is acceptable and what isn't. She'll be rubbing her nose in it next if she has an accident indoors, which no doubt she will. :rolleyes:
I'll be rubbing someone elses nose in it too if I find out that's happened! ROFL!!!
Thanks for your reply, I had thought about giving her the book to read, my OH said I shouldn't as she's doing us a favour as it is without giving her loads of instructions....think I'll do it anyway though LOL!
I am taking her to training classes, our vet has recommended one where there is a special class for puppies and then progression as they get older. I've already spoken to the trainer adn he sounds really nice. We're going to call in on one of his classes as soon as we get Kiera (not taking her with us though as she won't have had her vaccinations). That way we have 3 weeks to find another trainer if we don't like the approach.
Thanks for the advice adn interest!
Thanks for your reply, sounds like a click to Amazon is in order! I think I'll win everyone over in the end, I'm gradually wearing my OH over and I know for a fact he'll be really put out if he actually sees someone tap her on the nose, no matter how lightly they do it!!
I appreciate the support, I did wonder if I'd get replies from people saying it was okay and I was worried about nothing!!
Thanks - can't wait to get her I am sooooooooooo excited!
I know your dilema only too well. The problem is when somebody else is looking after your dog for you, they are going to get conflicting messages unless you are all in agreement about what is to happen. I think the advice about giving your MIL your Perfect Puppy book to read is a very good one. You might be able to word it along the lines that you want everyone to be doing the same thing so that Keira grows up to understand commands. This is difficult because when I used to work my mum used to look after my dog. I found some of Megan's "habits" were not to my liking but felt I couldn't say too much because she was doing me a favour. AND it looked like she just fed meg titbits all day because of the weight she put on. The only way you can really rely on Keira having consistency is to do it all yourself and, being realistic, that isn't going to happen with you because you have to work. Hard one but I think you are going to have to set down some ground rules.
Sorry if this isn't much help. Good luck.
Your post is helpful - at least I know I'm not alone!! The good thing is MIL has already asked me to let her know what commands I am going to use for consistency, and I've been telling her for weeks that Kiera isn't to be fed treats all day long, or off peoples plates, etc. I'm going to do a sheet of basic commands and main rules to avoid bad habits forming and hope with a bit of gentle re-inforcement I'll win out in the end! And I'm going to give her a copy of the book!!
As luck would have it (LOL) I've just had a vet bill for £200 as one of my rescue cats has bad teeth and needed extensive dental work, I've told MIL it's as a result of wet food in his first few years adn now he has gum disease - so I think the penny has dropped on the 'ABSOLUTELY NO CHAPPIE' front. My cats all have Pro-Plan diet and Kiera will have something similar, punctuated with fresh meat, fresh treats/rewards and the odd sunday lunch!!!
I think you just have to be very diplomatic!!!!!
Just a quick update. I'm off work with a bad back today adn MIL has just been to see me, I siezed the opportunity to give her a copy of the Perfect Puppy with a nice note in the front from me and my OH sayign we hoped she enjoyed Kiera as much as we will..... and she's asked if she can come to some of the training classes with us.....
I'm sure things will work out just fine in the end!
Why would you need to tap a puppy on the nose for anything? Or come to that even an older dog. My dogs know that if I say "ah" then whatever they have just done is an incorrect behaviour. Same as if I say "yes" or "good" they know that what they have just done is a good behaviour and a treat is likely to follow (initial training taught them that yes is followed by something good).
I think it is quite possible to train a dog without any form of physical reprimand. The more you make a dog think for itself the better that dog will be, the better they will learn something (I think with kids they call it self discovery learning) and the more motiviated your dog will be.
Just my opinion though. As for kids, well can't comment on them, haven't had any.
12.07.05 21:57 GMT
Would there be any chance of getting MIL along to classes with you - she will then learn what commands are being used, and mainly (although you dont need to mention it) that a tap on the nose isnt needed. You could even bring it into conversation with the trainer, so MIL will hear it from him/her instead of you. :)
12.07.05 22:11 GMT
What very good advice ;) :D
Good idea, think I might suggest that! Thank you
Nothing to add to the thread particularly but I have a black lab bitch called Ciara - said the same way i beleive - hope your girl is calmer than mine (not likely really!) Hope she is all you dreamt of,
15.07.05 22:24 GMT
When I got bailey someone told me to keep a rolled up newspaper by my side and if he kept barking or chewing biting etc to smack him on the nose with it. I did just that when I said no lifted up the paper looked at his face I then realised he didn't know it was wrong his eyes stopped me and I have never lifted my hand to him never had too he knows when I say no to stop its about training them and removing them from situation which I am sure you will do brilliantly!!
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