Making memories one day at a time.......and then I write about it.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Bark Stops Here!

Puppies.  Adorable right?  Zoe has been a bundle of fun and laughs and pure darlingness.  So much personality!  When she was tiny it was okay.  Well, sort of.  It's never okay to have bad manners but we all know how cute puppies are right?  When their two inches high and jumping up on us it's adorable!  Not so much when they are close to full grown and jumping on everyone that walks through the front door and every time they want attention....


Zoe has gotten not only obnoxious with her jumping on people but her barking!  Oh my goodness.  It is a high pitched pierce your ear drums and no matter how many times we've told her not to bark she hasn't listened.  With our other dogs a stern, "No bark" was enough to get them to stop.  Not Zoe!  She just laughs and tosses her cute puppy head and keeps on barking.  She's being a teenager.....


Do I dare admit that I seriously contemplated a shock collar?  I know!!  I'm sorry!  It's just, I have my eldest boy who works all night long and sleeps during the day and a shrill barking dog all day long hasn't endeared him to the puppy and quite frankly, my nerves were getting frayed so yes, the thought crossed my mind and I'm sorry!!!  Forgive me??  I didn't actually go and get one............  I did better than that which is what this post is actually about!

I was cleaning my book cases the other day and came across this book:


I'd totally forgotten about it!  I'd forgotten I had this book.  I'd bought this book when we had Julie and tried to implement what Jan Fennell was teaching but Levi would come behind me and undo everything I tried to do.  It was a disaster.  Levi has a habit of doing things like that.  This time around though, Levi is older and with a ton of my help, is sort of able to not undo what I am trying to do!


So, I've begun a serious 30 day program with Zoe.  We're on day 4.  Yesterday I started the 'intense' part.  Day 1 and 2 I started what is called the, "Amichien Bonding".  It has four parts.  One of the steps is where before I feed the dogs, I eat something in front of them first and then when I'm finished, I put down their bowls for them to eat.  As soon as they are done, I pick up their bowls.  This is all done quickly and without fuss.   Another step is has to do with separation and the five minute rule.  Anytime we are separated meaning a door is closed between us, when I enter back into the room with the dogs, I ignore them for five minutes.  Easier said then done when you have a puppy doing everything she can to draw your attention.  I'm not the only one that has to do these things by the way which is why you can see I failed miserably with Levi before with Julie.  Now, I can set the timer and he knows to wait until the timer goes off before he showers Zoe with affection.

Yesterday Zoe had been in her new 'training' for three days.  I started working with her on other things like her sitting, waiting, come, etc.  Here's where we really started to notice and things got cool.  I decided to focus on her barking.  Every time she'd bark and wouldn't stop when I told her "thank you" and reassured her with a pet that she'd done her job alerting me, I would without emotion or a care in the world (ha ha) would take her by the color and lead her into the hall where I'd shut the doors and she would sit in time out.  She'd sit in there for ten seconds and then I'd let her out ignoring her for five minutes.  When she'd bark again, I'd take her back into time out and go for 20 seconds, increasing the time each time, and again when she'd reenter the room ignore her for five minutes.

I did this for a couple of hours and you would not believe the difference!!!  I had a neighbor come over to the house last night and as he came through the door I warned him what to do.  Ignore the puppy!  She barked and jumped on him so I calmly took her to time out.  Waiting a few seconds, brought her back out and reminded my neighbor to ignore him, and Zoe walked into the room calm as can be and sniffed my neighbor and then walked away.

Today, Zoe continues to make progress.  It is so amazing to me how doing these simple things shows such a fast marked difference.

I don't know Jan Fennell but if you have a dog or dogs..........  I would suggest getting her book and also going to Youtube and watching several of her videos.  Amazing I tell ya!  Just amazing!

14 comments:

  1. What a smart dog your Zoe is...and cute! Glad you are coming to an understanding that will keep everyone happy. And she is cute. Did I mention that? Seriously cute!

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    1. She is super intelligent. That is part of the problem. She's smarter than me! :D She is rather cute. Seriously cute. To the max! Today she's made even more improvements. She's almost stopped barking at every little noise and thing! It's been......... wonderful..........

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    2. Just keep telling yourself you are the alpha dog! Woof!

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    3. Arrrrrrr! That's my pirate alpha voice. :)

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  2. That's great that you're seeing progress already! Hope things continue to go well.

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    1. Today even more! It's exciting to see results and to see them so soon!

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  3. Hello I'm finally catching up a bit on your blog! Don't faint LOL' can you come and train my puppy too please? I've tried all sorts of things with her and am now stuck. She wont walk in thru the door and I need her to do that at night so she can go to bed in the laundry (my dogs are outside dogs). I've tried all sorts of rewards but nope she wont do it?? its driving me nuts, i don't need to be trying to get her to come to me to go to bed at 10pm, my patience is pretty short by them but i'm being good :-)

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    1. LOL! You're asking me!? The one who admitted she was considering a shock collar? :D
      At 10:00 at night I'd be beyond my patience too. Will she walk through the door at any other time of day or is it just at night when you want her to come to bed?

      I would start with when you feed your dogs, eating in front of them first. Make them wait. Just eat a carrot or a cracker or a few grapes. It doesn't have to be a big deal. Just grab a few nuts, eat them in front of your dogs, and then put their food down. Walk away and let them eat and then as soon as they are done, go in and get their food bowls and put them up. Then, when ever you go outside with your dogs, ignore them for five minutes. Go about your business. When five minutes is up, call them to you. You're in charge. If they come to you first, ignore them and make it so it is you that has called them to you. Make sense? Same with at 10:00 at night. Sorry but this one will be hard. At 10:00 at night you need to go out and ignore your puppy for five minutes before you try to call her to you to come in....

      You could get Jan Fennell's puppy training book and see what she says........ I'm a load of great help aren't I? :D I would be curious to see what doing those two things do for your dogs...... Keep me posted!!! I am in no way affiliated with Jan Fennel I just think her method is good. Her books are worth borrowing or buying. Go to youtube and watch some of her videos too and see what you think. Keep me posted!!!

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  4. Would you like to practice on my dog too? Increase your skills? The barking isn't so much an issue with him, but the annoying jumping excitement is HUGE. Hmmm, on further thought, it's my whole family that you need to train, with the exception of Eldest. SHE knows what she's doing and can control him. It's the rest of us that need to get on the program. And as you said, that isn't always easy when you've got a delightful crew comprised of different ages, stages, and personalities. Okay, so maybe I need to get us the book...

    Zoe is ridiculously cute.

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    1. You just nailed the biggest issue we have. :) The various ages who are oh so not helpful in this process. Levi being the biggest. I'm trying and some days I have to take a big breath and remind myself that tomorrow we can start again and everything doesn't hinge on that moment where things fell apart.

      For the jumping up part, when Zoe jumps up on people, as soon as she does it we calmly (ha ha) take her by the collar and put her in 'time out'. I have a hallway that I can close off. I put her in there for about 10 seconds or so and then we let her out ignoring her for 5 minutes. If she jumps again, without saying a word we put her back in time out. Usually she doesn't come out jumping up again but the barking has had her in time out several times one right after the other with us increasing the time with her in time out. When they are in time out, you don't start counting the 10 seconds or what ever time they're in there until they are quiet in there and settled down. Thankfully, Zoe doesn't make a fuss while she's in there so I can start counting right away.

      If I practiced with your dog it would mean I could come and visit!!! :D

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    2. You MUST practice with my dog!!!!!! :D

      Doggy time outs. Hmmm. Our Star goes easily and quietly into his kennel. Maybe we should start implementing this program.

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    3. :D I'm packing my bags!!!

      I wouldn't use your kennel. For two reasons. One, because Star goes in there quietly and easily. You don't want Star to associate the kennel with getting into trouble. You want Star to like her kennel. Second, the reason I use the hall is so Zoe can't see us and we can't see her. She's not getting any attention. Banished! Gone! Exiled to naughty doggy island! We use the hall for Levi when he is having some of his 'moments' which is where I got the idea for Zoe. If there isn't an audience, it isn't as fun to misbehave......... make sense?

      Then again, not everyone has a hallway so maybe if the kennel could be made so that Star can't see you guys....... I don't know. Use what you've got. It's got to be a place where Star can't do any damage either if freak out mode happens so maybe the kennel is the way to go with a sheet over it??

      Okay, unpacking my bags. I've no idea what I'm doing with this doggy business. :D

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  5. Training a dog is a lot of work. Consistent.....and time. That's all really. You will get there. Sounds like you have an awesome start. Ron is great at this. He's got both dogs trained with hand commands as well as word commands. With the word commands, try to make them very simple....like one word...and use the same one all the time. Teach the other members of the house the same word so it is easy for the dog to learn quicker and is not confusing. Zoey is absolutely adorable by the way!!!

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  6. There's my answer. Ron needs to train Zoey. He needs to take the time and be consistent with her. When can he start? :D Consistency with Levi. Oh my word!! What a laugh!

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