Our expert says:
Dog Behaviour Expert
Hi Jodie, firstly, here is the link to an article i wrote on toilet training for Health 24 which will give you all the steps you need. If you are still having a problem after implementing same, please do let me know. The secret with all interactions with dogs is consistency, so do give it your all and i am sure you will succeed :-
When you talk about biting everything, i am presuming that he is biting and chewing on all items? The first thing to do is to make sure that the dog is getting adequate exercise, especially outside the property. We often do not realize that a dogs sense of smell is approximately 45 times stronger than our own and simply taking him for a walk will provide not only the physical stimulation that he needs, it will also supply mental stimulation.
With regard biting and chewing, supply plenty of chewable items for him to get stuck into in the garden. Rotate these daily to stop boredom. If he is chewing on furniture etc, you can either apply pure Citronella oil from the chemist which is inexpensive to the items being bitten, or alternatively a product sold at vets. These only an odour for a limited period so you will need to reapply. If you do find him biting on something, get his attention by distracting him, dont scream and shout at him. Attention to a dog is attention whether negative or positive, and any additional attention from you while he is engaged in this will only cause the behaviour to be reinforced.
With regards to being too playfull, this is very simple to achieve. Let him play for a few mintues and call him with and have a treat available - do this before he gets too excited. As he comes back to you, give him the treat and holding onto him, stroke him and have a few seconds of interaction. Then while he is sitting still, release him to go and play again using a cue such as 'free'. Do this over and over for short periods of time, gradually building up the period he is sitting still.
What is important, is that if he tries to struggle free while he is having his 'quiet' time, contain him gently and only let him go the second he is quiet. As we need to teach our children to sit quietly, so we need to teach our dogs the same thing. Just because a dog has JR in him or Collie (known as hyper dogs), is not an excuse for not learning to be quiet
You are totally correct in not shouting or hitting him. Violence leads to violence and all it will do it cause the behaviour to escalate. As mentioned above, a dog will do what causes attention and shouting is attention to a dog. The worst possible punishment you could do is turn around, walk away and shut the door behind you without interacting or talking to him. Stay outside the door for about 30 seconds and then walk back in. Repeat this until he realized what behaviour is causing you to leave. This is called negative punishment and is very effective as one of the things a dog hates the most is to be ignored! Good luck and do please contact me again if you need any help. Thanks Scotty
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