You’ve just walked into the house after a long and stressful day, your hands are full of shopping and you just want to quickly put it all away so you can collapse on the sofa. Unfortunately, though, your canine companion can’t help but follow you around the kitchen, making the task frustrating, to say the least. You love him but he sure is on the needy side. He’s the same when you’ve got guests over. You want some peace and quiet to enjoy a romantic date night in, but he insists on following you into every room and wants to be the solo audience for your every move.
Training him to stop following you will afford you some well-deserved peace and quiet. This training will also be good for him, reducing separation anxiety and making leaving him to go on vacation easier too.
Training isn’t as challenging as you might think. You’ll need to motivate your dog to spend time on his own and reduce his need to be with you constantly. To do that, you’ll have to mix up his routine and find some ways to keep him happily distracted. If he’s a puppy then the habit will be relatively new and it may take just a week or so to train him to stop following you. If he’s older and been stuck to your side for a number of years, then you may need a couple of weeks to fully kick the habit.
Training him to stop following you will be more than worth it when you finally have some alone time to enjoy a bath and a glass of wine. You’ll also find in the long run he’ll be happier too if he’s not constantly dependant on you.
Before you set about stopping your canine stalker, you’ll need to get your hands on a few things. Break his favorite food into small pieces or stock up on treats. You’ll need a short leash and some baby gates for one of the methods.
Food puzzles and toys will also be required. Then set aside 10 minutes a day for the next couple of weeks. Try and find a time where you won’t be distracted by noisy kids (I know it’s easier said than done).
With all of those boxes ticked you can get to work!
now matter how i say "sit" he's still following me around
Hello MJ, First, you need to make sure Lucky understands what Sit means. If you haven't taken time to teach a solid Sit, then check out the video linked below and teach sit using the method that your dog seems to respond to best. Sit: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-golden-retriever-to-sit Next, once he knows what Sit means well, use your body language to block him if he breaks the Sit when you start to walk away. Walk away backwards slowly, and rush toward him with your hand out and palm facing toward him like a traffic cop if he gets up from the Sit position to follow you. As he improves at staying seated the more you practice this, then you can gradually walk further and further away. You will need to build up the distance to longer distances between you and him gradually. Stay consistent and firm but calm and relaxed. You can also teach him a Place command and using a similar traffic cop method teach him to stay on Place. The main difference between Sit-Stay and Place, is that the dog can move around on Place and get more comfortable - but they cannot step off of that small area. With Sit the dog has to stay in the seated position. Both are good commands to teach. Body language for enforcing sit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2DOb5a9FpQ A Place is simply a small rectangular area a bit larger than your dog's body, such as a dog cot, towel, or dog bed. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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When I go out to garden and leave him inside he will pee on a floor even if he just 15 minutes ago been outside and done pee. Or if he sit by the door and I not let him out he will pee. He asking to go out every hour or more often.
Hello Mrs. Vaiceliuniene Check out the crate training method from the article linked below. Crate pup when you are not in the house and at the other times the method details. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Whenever my partner or I go out the house he cries or howles until we return which is an issue when we go to work as the neighbours have complained a couple times. How do we get him to stop?
Hello, I am assuming this has been going on for a while given his age. If it's during the first two weeks at your home he may just need time to adjust. If it's past 2-4 weeks or you can't wait for him to adjust on his own due to neighbors before 2 weeks, then I suggest the following. There are a couple of routes you can take with the separation anxiety. The first step is to work on building his independence and his confidence by adding a lot of structure and predictability into his routine. Things such as making him work for rewards like meals, walks, and pets. Working on "Stay" and "Place," commands while you move away or leave the room, and teaching him to remain inside a crate when the door is open. Change your routine surrounding leaving so that he does not anticipate alone time and build up his anxiety before you leave - which is hard for him to deescalate from, and be sure to continue to give him something to do in the crate during the day (such as a dog food stuffed Kong to chew on); this is the general protocol for separation anxiety. It is gentle and by itself is enough to help many dogs; for some dogs it can take a long time and additional training is needed also though. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Crate manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Another protocol involves teaching the dog to cope with their own anxiety by making their current anxious go-to behaviors unpleasant, giving them an opportunity to stop those behaviors long enough to learn something new, then rewarding the correct, calmer behavior instead. This protocol can feel harsh because it involves careful correction, but it tends to work quicker for many dogs. Building his independence and structure in his life will still be an important part of this protocol too. First, check out this video from SolidK9Training on treating anxiety. It will give a brief over-view of treating separation anxiety more firmly. This trainer can be a bit abrupt with his teaching style with people but is very experienced working with highly aggressive, anxious, and reactive dogs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5GqzeLzysk Make sure you are implementing what he teaches there in other areas of his life too. Second, purchase a high quality bark collar, such as Dogtra or SportDog. If you are not comfortable with an e-collar then you can use a vibration collar (the Mini Educator and Garmin should also have a vibration mode) or unscented air remote controlled air spray collar. DO NOT use a citronella collar, buy the additional unscented air canister if the collar comes with the citronella and make sure that you use the unscented air. (Citronella collars are actually very harsh and the smell - lingers a long time so the dog continues to be corrected even after they stop the behavior). The vibration or spray collars are less likely to work than stimulation collars though, so you may end up spending more money by not purchasing an e-collar first. Next, set up a camera to spy on him. If you have two smart devices, like tablets or smartphones, you can Skype or Facetime them to one another with your pup’s end on mute, so that you can see and hear him but he will not hear you. Video baby monitors, video security monitors with portable ways to view the video, GoPros with the phone Live App, or any other camera that will record and transmit the video to something portable that you can watch outside live will work. Next, put the e-collar on him while he is outside of the crate, standing, and relaxed. To learn how to put the collar on him, check out this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLxB6gYsliI If your collar will allow you to set the stimulation manually, turn it to it's lowest level first and gradually go up in levels after at least seven tries at the current level until he responds to the collar at all. Look for subtle signs such as turning his head, moving his ears, biting his fur, moving away from where he was, or changing his expression. If he does not respond at all, then go up one level on the collar. Look for a reaction again. Repeat going up one level at a time and then testing his reaction at that level until he indicates a little bit that he can feel the collar. Don't expect it to instantly stop the barking - look for any form of reaction - he needs to be taught to stop barking when he feels it still. Once you have found the right stimulation level for him and have it correctly fitted on him, have him wear the collar around with it turned off or not being stimulated for several hours or days if you can (take it off at night to sleep though). Next, set up your camera to spy on him while he is in the crate. Put him into the crate while he is wearing the collar and leave. Spy on him from outside. Leave however you normally would. As soon as you hear him barking the collar should automatically correct him if it's fitted well. If he does not decrease his barking or escape attempts at least a little bit after being stimulated seven times in a row, then increase the stimulation level by one level. He may not feel the stimulation while excited so might need it just slightly higher. Don't go up more than 3 levels above the level he previously responded too right now just yet - since he is still learning how to be quiet though. If he continues to ignore the collar, make sure that the collar is turned on, fitted correctly, and working. After five minutes to ten minutes, as soon as your dog stays quiet and is not trying to escape for five seconds straight, go back inside to the dog, sprinkle several treats into the crate without saying anything, then leave again. Practice watching and listening while the collar corrects the barks from outside, and going back inside and sprinkling treats when he stays quiet, for up to 30 minutes at first. After 30 minutes -1 hour of practicing this, when he is quiet, go back inside and sprinkle more treats. This time stay inside. Do not speak to him or pay attention to him for ten minutes while you walk around and get stuff done inside. When he is being calm, then you can let him out of the crate. When you let him out, do it the way Jeff does is in this video below. Opening and closing the door until your dog is not rushing out. You want him to be calm when he comes out of the crate and to stay calm when you get home. That is why you need to ignore him when you get home right away. Also, keep your good byes extremely boring and calm. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5GqzeLzysk Also, begin to put a food stuffed Kong into the crate with him. Once he is less anxious he will likely enjoy it and that will help him to enjoy the crate more. First, he probably needs his anxious state of mind interrupted so that he is open to learning other ways to behave. Once it's interrupted, give him a food stuffed Kong in the crate for him to relieve his boredom instead of barking, since he will need something other than barking to do at that point. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Whenever he is lying on the couch and I go to pet him he pees or if he gets scared or excited he pees. I'm so tired of everything being peed on.
Often when a dog submissive pees, it is because there is a lack of confidence. In this case, it is recommended that you always approach the dog at their level. In that case, don't pat Joji when he is on the couch. On the bright side, dogs often outgrow submissive peeing - unless there is a deeper reason, of course. Have you spoken to the vet about a checkup to rule out a medical issue? How is Joji around other dogs? Taking him to activities to be socialized often helps with the confidence he needs. As well you can try the methods here such as the What NOT to do Method. https://wagwalking.com/training/stop-submissive-peeing. All the best and good luck!
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Hi there, I just adopted a dachshund from a rescue, she was used as a breeder dog for many years and has only known life at the breeder’s house. She is very submissive and will immediately crouch and roll over (with a low tail that’s wagging) if you come near her. She will accept treats and food from my hand. She is not bothered by and doesn’t seem to mind the three 60-lb hounds that my roommate owns and live in the home. She’s been at my home for one day. I’ve been teaching her that her crate is her safe place, and she slept all night in her bed in the crate (even with the door open). I left for about 2 hours and my roommate reported that Sadie gives a sad howl at being left alone in the crate. She mostly ignored the Kong, I think the peanut butter was too much stimulus. When I am home, she insists on following me around the house and will not go into a new room or outside without me going first. We had a baby gate to keep her and the big dogs separated while they were getting adjusted and she would whine softly if I left her line of sight. I know that this is all very new to her and she needs time to adjust, but I am wondering how to build her confidence. I do not want to encourage bad habits as I work to build her trust. I want her to feel safe without me and would like her to be independent enough to spend a small amount of time in the fenced backyard alone. Likewise, Sadie has never been asked to “work” for treats and gets confused about pairing a treat with a command. For instance, if I hold up a treat for her to sit (the other 3 dogs modeling) she just walks around the treat and hasn’t figured out how to think. Any tips would be greatly appreciated! I’m getting her two food puzzles today and am willing to try anything! Thank you!
Hello Victoria, A bit of structured obedience, games that require overcoming obstacles and learning new things - like make-shift agility obstacles, and practicing exercises that build independence are all things I suggest working on. For the structured obedience, start by teaching a structured heel command. Check out the Turns method from the article linked below, practicing somewhere like the backyard first, so it's calm. That method uses a lot of body language to help her learn, opposed to just treat lures. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel For the agility, you can join a class or club, or you can simply buy or create your own obstacles - like kids tunnels to go through, pole jumps made out of PVC, things to weave around, jump onto, ect... Simply working her through some basic obstacles in a fun way can help, and you can make the obstacles harder as pup improves to build on what she has learned. The biggest thing I would recommend is working on the independence building. Teach pup a Place and Down-Stay command. Using a long leash or back-tie leash to gently lead pup into position. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Down-Stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ Work up to pup staying on Place for up to an hour. When pup can stay there for a longer period of time, also work up to pup being able to stay while you leave the room - starting with a few seconds, and working up to minutes overtime. Use the back-tie leash to ensure pup can't get off place but keep the leash loose enough that pup won't feel it tug unless they get off Place. When pup stays put, return, place a treat between their paws, then step away again. This will look like a lot of walking back and forth toward pup to remind pup not to get off Place - keeping the distance and timing at the amount pup can handle - but is kind of challenging for them. It sounds like you are doing a good job with pup overall. There will be a lot for pup to learn with their history, and pup will need guidance from you, but there are certainly some great signs that pup is adapting, like getting along with people and other dogs this soon. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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He follows me everywhere, i understand he is young, but sometimes i feel so bad because for example he'll be sleeping and i need to go do something, he gets up from his sleep and follows me. But i dont want this i just want him to keep sleeping and let me do my things.
Hello! You may want to teach your dog to go to it's place or to bed on command. Decide on a command word to use. Using one word tends to work best. "Place" is frequently used, but "bed" or "mat" work fine, too. Lure Your Dog Start off by standing close to the bed or mat that will serve as your dog's place. Give the command "place," and then use a treat to lure the dog onto its spot. As soon as all four feet are on the mat, praise your dog or click the clicker and give it a treat. Repeat this several times. Most dogs will go to the bed or mat on command after a few short training sessions. Add the Down Once your dog is putting all four feet on the mat or bed when you give the command, begin asking it to lie down. Give the command "place," and as soon as the dog gets to the mat, give the command "down." It may take a few minutes to comply the first few times, but after a few practice sessions, your dog should lie down automatically when it gets to the mat after you give the "place" command. Once the dog's done this several times, it should only be getting treats and praise when it lies down after you give the "place" command. Increase the Time Now that your dog is consistently lying down on its mat after you give the "place" command, you can increase the amount of time it spends there. To do this, slowly add a few seconds before offering the treat after it responds to the command. As you see progress, slowly add more small increments of time. If your dog makes a mistake and gets up from its place before you give it the treat, give the "place" command again, and go back to the last point where your dog was successful. By slowly adding to the amount of time your dog stays in its place, you will soon be able to give the command and have it stay in its place while you go about whatever you were doing.
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Toby is fine being left at home alone and doesn't display any sort of separation anxiety. He's well behaved and mostly an ideal dog apart from the constant following. I can't get any breathing space from him which is making me resent him. Ie won't spend any time outside without barking to come in and if I put him in the hallway where his bed is he constantly kicks the living room door to come back in. He sleeps down stairs at bed time without any issue but If I left the baby gate open I would find him next to my bed in the morning. I'm at the point where I'm sending him to stay at my mom's for a few days just to get some space. Feels ridiculous saying I need space from my dog but it's honestly causing a big impact on my life. Especially trying to homeschool the kids during this lockdown and having no peace from them either.
I don't want to hate my dog but at the moment I don't like him.
Hello Hayley, I recommend teaching pup a 1 hour Place, Down Stay, Out, Quiet, and crate training, so that you can then calmly instruct pup where to go and work on their independence. Out - which means leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Place command: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Down-Stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ Off- section on The Off command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-train-dog-stay-off-couch/ To start, work on teaching the Quiet command during the day using the Quiet method from the article linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Second, during the day practice the Surprise method from the article linked below to introduce the crate. Whenever pup stays quiet in the crate for 5 minutes, sprinkle some treats into the crate without opening it, then leave the room again. As he improves, only give the treats every 10 minutes, then 15 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 1 hour, 1.5 hour, 2, hour, 3 hour. Practice crating him during the day for 1-3 hours each day that you can. If you are home during the day, have lots of 30 minute - 1 hour long sessions with breaks between to practice this, to help pup learn sooner. Whenever he cries in the crate, tell him "Quiet". If he gets quiet - Great! Sprinkle treats in after five minutes if he stays quiet. If he continues barking or stops and starts again, spray a quick puff of air from a pet convincer at his side through the crate while calmly saying "Ah Ah", then leave again. Only use unscented air canisters, DON'T use citronella! And avoid spraying in the face. The quiet command and follow through can also be used for the outside barking and any hallway noise. Command quiet, reward if pup stays quiet, correct if pup continues barking, leaving between rewards and corrections, giving pup as little attention in the process as you can to keep things calm. You can also give pup dog food stuffed hollow chew toys like kongs, kong wobbles with pup's kibble in them, or use automatic treat dispensing devices, to encourage pup to entertain themselves and enjoy their place better (place is often pup's dog bed but can be any consistent rug/furniture/ location you teach). Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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