Topic: Dog training question.?
July 19, 2019 / By Marcy Question:
My dog follows behind my feet really closely and constantly steps on my heels, or my flip flops so I trip a little. Sometimes I even kick him in the face on accident. It's very annoying. Is there any way to train him to stop this? The accidental kicks in the face aren't frequent enough to discourage him on their own...
I should have also mentioned that this dog never leaves my side. He's a victim of abuse and I adopted him only a month ago. He has some separation issues, still. So he's CONSTANTLY right next to me. As soon as I get up from my desk and walk up the stairs he's right behind me stepping on my feet and shoes.
Kirstie | 10 days ago
For the heeling question, sryt up train sesions walking around the house, then the yard and reward him whenever he is at your side (or the position you want him in), not behind you. Use a clicker or marker word to let him know that's where you want him. The more he gets rewarded there, the more he'll place himself there. Most dogs with spearation do well with postivie reinforcement since they are sensitive.
For the separation anxiety:
I did a study of 30 dogs that successfully worked through sep anx and found there several key components to solving it. If you can answer these questions, they will help you to work through it successfully. Rehomed/rescued dogs are the most suceptable.
1. Is the dog getting enough daily heart-raising exercise? For medium-sized active breeds, 2x40 min sessions a day. Smaller dogs may need less but still need to raise their heart rates.
2. Is the dog being fed too high a protein or fat diet that gives him more energy than he needs and so he puts it into sep anx?
3. Do you use the 20:20 rule? That is, ignoring the dog for 20 minutes before you leave and for 20 minutes after you come back. That means no eye contact, talking or touching. If you need to put him out of or into the house or crate, do it with no talking, touching or eye contact if you can help it. Only when he is calm and forgotten that you have come home can you cuddle on the couch etc. What you are trying to do is flatten the emotional hills and valleys that usually occur with arrivals and departures. This helps your arrivals and departures to become less exciting.
4. Have you trained him to do graduated departures?
That is, teaching him that you can leave in small steps.
Walk to door and put your hand on door and then turn back around and walk in and sit on couch (or ingore him and do the dishes etc). Next you put hand on door and open it a foot, then close it and go back to what you were doing. Next open it 2 feet, close it, go back to what you were doing. Yada yada until you can open door, walk out and come right back in with no reaction whatsoever. For some dogs, you may need to proceed in smaller intervals of one inch.
Next you start using the 300 Peck method for time. Leave, take a step out, close the door and count one one thousand, then come back in. Next take a step out, stay out to the count of one one thousand, two one thousand and step back in. Next count to three one thousand. If he starts a fuss, a little whine, scratch- anything, start back at one second again and build back up. Each repetition shows him that he can be alone for those few seconds. And hours are made up of seconds!
You may need to start training your dog to allow you to leave a room first, as some dogs can't tolerate their person being out of sight, never might out of the house.
For extreme cases, you may also want to teach the dog to do down stays starting close in, then using 300 peck to training further out, then out of the room with a door or baby gate between. These are huge steps for some dogs so take it slow!
How small the time increments you train depends on your dog. You may have to start with 1 second, or maybe a minute, another dog maybe 10 minutes. Once he get past 5 minutes, you can increase your time outside the door by 15 second intervals. Once past 30 minutes, 2 minutes. Once past 45 min, 5 minute intervals. Of course if these don't work for your dog, you make the increments smaller. Better to err on the smaller side and take longer as he will then build his duration more slowly and be more confident that you will be returning and he can spend time alone!
5. Have you figured out what his triggers are?
Your getting your keys and purse, putting on your coat, your shoes etc. Take each of these items one at a time, then together and practice grabbing them, or putting them on and leaving but coming right back in. If he reacts at just taking them, put them back and sit back down again. Do this many times and for many sessions so he learns that just because you take them, doesn't mean you are leaving. This process desensitizes him to the triggers.
6. Next, when these no longer trigger behavior, add them together with the graduated departures above, starting at the beginning and progressing.
7. Does he have treats/toys available to him while you are gone? It is always a good idea to have stuffed Kongs and toys strewn around while you are gone to give him something to redirect any anxiety he has. There are only available to him while you are gone so it becomes something he looks forward to. Keep in mind, he will only use these if he is not too stressed. Most dogs will be able to use these as you progress in the being alone training.
8. Does your dog like being confined or not? Being confined in a crate or pen or room helps for some dogs, and makes it worse for others. Some dogs are happiest if they can see what is going on around them (see out a window). Leaving a piece of old clo
The best way to stop this would be to teach your dog the wait command or the stay command. You can do this by have your dog be in one place and tell him to stay then wait a little and give him a treat. Then after he has that increase the time from the command and the treat. Once your dog has that down you can then add distance to the command. Or if you like having your dog follow you, you could try the back command. Which is you tell your dog back and when he backs up give him a treat. Either way would be effective.
When beginning to train your dog to do anything, remember you are in "control", not your dog. So, you are literally training yourself, not the dog to do certain things.
In this case, hold your lease tight so that the dog walks by your side, Not in back of you. If the dog begins to fall back into old patterns, then just give the dog a gentle push to bring it back around again into line. Don't be aggressive with the dog, just makes a dog retreat, and can ultimately make them mean.
If the dog is good, and follows your lead, reward with a pet on the head, and maybe a dog treat.
My dog does that to.... she was beaten.... maybe it's a security thing he feels the closer he is to you the safer the both of you are..... and as for the kicking in the face thing unless he yelps i highly doubt your hurting him so..... try spending more time with him, comfort him. Also when you leave might i suggest leaving the t.v. on and a light and give him something that smells of you he'll feel much better and not so needy when your around
When he starts walking behind your feet just stop walking and ignore him. When he gets bored and starts wandering off start to walk again, if he comes back behind your feet then stop again. Call him to walk by your side, hold a treat at your side then start to walk and he will walk beside you because he will be able to smell the treat, after a while, reward him. if he goes back behind your feet after the reward, stop and call him to your side again with the treat and make him walk a little way at your side, then reward him, if he stays by your side after then reward him again in about 30 seconds. And keep patting him and stroking him. If he walks behind you just stop and ignore him, then when he comes to your side make a big fuss of him and reward him.
Start practising now whilst you have time and not when he just happens to do it because you may not have time when he does this, then you will let him walk behind you and he will get confused! So start now!
Ok, good luck and hope this helps!