Kennel Training and Rules Help a Boxer Doberman Mix Learn No Means No

By: David Codr

Published Date: July 8, 2016

Lilo (Dobe : Boxer mix)

Lilo is a one-year-old female Doberman Boxer mix who was kicked out of doggy daycare for not stopping when another dog was done playing. At home she demands attention and doenst listen or come when called.

Shortly after sitting down with Lilo’s guardian I noticed that she showed almost no respect for people’s personal space and that her guardians rewarded her anytime she told them to.

If your dog thinks that it can tell you what to do, that often gives them the impression that they have more authority than they actually have. If a dog thinks it has the same authority (or more), then listening to you is no longer required. Also, dogs feel stress when they think they need to be responsible for something or someone. Teaching Lilo she can’t always get what she wants will help reduce the stress in her life.

This is most likely part of the reason that Lilo refuses to let other dogs alone when they communicate that they are done playing with her. Essentially she is petulant or somewhat spoiled and doesn’t know how to take no for an answer, LOL.

To help the guardians start to change her into a follower’s mindset, I suggested that they start adding structure to their delivery of affection and attention. This sort of positive dog training helps a dog learn it needs to ask rather than tell humans what to do.

It’s going to take the guardians a couple of days to a week before they are able to stop automatically petting the dog any time that she requests it.

Now I don’t want anyone to get the idea that I don’t want people to pet their dogs. I have just found that adding in a little bit of structure to petting them can go a long ways towards helping the dog develop self-control and respect for the humans as authority figures.

To help Lilo’s family learn to add structure to petting her, I ran through technique that I have developed called Petting with a purpose.

Petting with a purpose is a very easy strategy once you get into the habit of doing it. But it’s not going to take care of all of Lilo’s issues. Another great way to help the dog start to identify as being in the follower position is for her family to incorporate a few rules.

I suggested a number of rules and boundaries and showed her guardians how to enforce them. It will be important that they are vigilant and immediately disagree with Lilo the instant she starts to cross a boundary or break a rule. The goal is to respond within one third of a second and the maximum of three seconds after the dog engages in the unwanted action or behavior.

To help with the guardians better communicate their disagreement, I shared a set of escalating consequences that I developed a few years ago. Because these consequences were derived from how dogs interact with one another socially, Lilo picked up on them right away.

Later in the session I learned that Lilo does not like her kennel and often explodes out of it in a burst of energy when her guardians open the door.

To address these issues, I spent a couple of minutes going over an exercise that teaches the dog to restrain herself and to remain calm while inside the kennel.

I don’t think Lilo has a full-blown case of separation anxiety, but she’s not far away from it either. The more structure that the guardians can incorporate into her life, the better control she will be able to develop.

I also recommended that the guardians set a goal of teaching her one new trick or command a week for the next two or three months (starting with the stay). I suggested that they each pick 2-3 tricks or commands and set up a rotation. Each week one person teaches the dog a new trick, then shows the family so that they can all help the dog practice it all week long. The next week, another family member teaches a different trick.

This will help the dog learn more self-control and skills that will help her feel better about herself. This will also help her develop more respect for each member of the family as they are assuming a teaching role in her eyes as they instruct her on how to do the new command or trick.

Once Lilo starts to identify as being a follower, it will be easier for her guardians to disagree with her whenever she starts to engage in unwanted actions or behaviors. Development of self control in concert with this change of mindset should help Lilo understand that when someone, or some dog, says no, she needs to accept it. In time this will allow her to go back to doggy day care and make friends instead of being the pushy dog no one wants to hang with.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categorized in:

This post was written by: David Codr