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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 18961
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
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I have two Russells who will not take no answer when

Customer Question

I have two ***** *****s who will not take no for an answer when begging for attention. I have tried pushing them away, saying NO and ignoring them. I have to peel one off my guests which they think is cute at first but then becomes annoying. No amount
of scolding, pulling them down or sending them outside changes things. One loves to run and escapes at every opportunity. Yesterday she picked a fight with the neighbor's German Shepherd after I chased her trying to get her to stop. I am afraid she is going
to killed by a larger dog or shot by an annoyed neighbor. They are both about 3 years old and were recently neutered--one male one female. The female is purebred and the worst. The male is mixed and much more responsive to comman but he does bark ferociously
at male visitors and has nipped at several. He settles down but the entrance is very unpleasant for all of us. They lived most of their former lives in cages so didn't get much attention or training. Where do I start to get them under control? They are otherwise
lovable dogs and I don't want to get rid of them.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Training
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
They also are easily agitated by outside activity and bark at any provocation.
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.
Hi Jacustomer,
My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.
In order to supply you with an informed answer, it is necessary for me to collect some additional information from you. When I receive your response or reply, it will likely take me between 30-45 minutes to type up my reply if I am still online when I receive notice that you replied. I hope you can be patient.
Sounds like a lot of issues. How long have you had them?
How long ago were they fixed?
Have they had any obedience training?
What have you tried so far?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We have had them about a year. They were fixed two months ago. No obedience training yet but I know we have to get it. They will sit and shake for a treat. We have tried the usual no, stop, pushing their noses down(no hitting or yelling) and a shock collar set to the sound mode. It works when they are near but once she was at full gallop the other day, it did not work. they are afraid of the collars and I don't like using them but so far it's all that works. We have succeeded in stopping her from climbing the fence but not so successful with the other behaviors.
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.
JaCustomer,
Most of the problems you are experiencing can be corrected with obedience training. Since you have two dogs, you need to train more than if you just had one. Take the dog who is boss ( I suspect the female) and train her first. You can work on both of them, but you want to get the boss listening to you first as the other dog will obey her and learn from her. Then train the other and then repeat training with them together. That is important because dogs in a pack (even if just 2) tend to ignore everything they learned.
Now classes are nice but are not necessary until the final training which is obeying while there are distractions. The following site is helpful in helping owners train their dog. Be sure and click on the link to the page on obedience at the bottom. and links on subsequent pages leading to detailed instructions.
http://www.schutzhund-training.com/training_theory.html
Training works best if you train at least 30 minutes a day (two 15 minute sessions). I would start making your dog work via the Nothing in life is free program (NILF). It is outlined below.
http://www.pets.ca/articles/article-dog_nilf.htm
http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/dogs/tips/training_nothing_in_life_is_free.html
Once trained you can have them sit and stay while visitors enter and are seated then allow the dogs to great them once the visitors are no longer seen as a threat since they are seated and calm. Once they have greeted them, you can again command them to sit or down and stay. Visitors can give them tasty treats for obeying as well, so company is seen as a good thing.
Teach a strong recall (come). Again, train one first, then the other and then both together. Many dogs don't come when called because they have learned that the only time they are called is when fun time is over. People call their dogs to them to make them come inside or to stop chasing prey (cats) or to be put on leash (end of free running time) or even crated. The only association they have with the come command is negative.
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Additionally, dogs find chase to be a highly amusing game and have learned that if they get close to a human, the human might chase them. They love a good game. So what you need to do is make coming to you more pleasurable.
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The easiest way is to reward your dog with small tiny treats and praise whenever your dog comes to you when you give the command. Do this even when the dog wants to come to you. After a few treats, the dog will associate coming to you with getting treats and praise. Outside, you will want to use a long lead. Do not drag your dog to you, but say the command and if the dog doesn't come, give the leash a short tug. Start with short distances and gradually extend the distance as your dog becomes more familiar with the command. Over time, you will reduce the treats and increase the praise until praise is the only reward. Another thing to remember is to never call a dog to you to discipline it, go to the dog. During training I don't call a dog to me unless it is going to be pleasant for the dog. I usually don't have much of a problem since the dogs quickly learn that I have thinly sliced hot dog treats just waiting for them to obey me.
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I alway recommend starting inside since most dogs are more than willing to come when inside. You can even have a helper and both call the dog to them in turn rewarding the dog for coming to you.
I think with just a little training you are going to see a lot of progress quickly. Training not only makes you the boss, teaches them commands but gives them the attention they crave as well. Win win situation for everyone.
I hope this information is helpful to you. If you need more information or clarification, please reply and I'll get back to you as soon as possible. If you are satisfied, please take the opportunity to rate.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What is your opinion of the shock collar? On sound not shock.
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.
Jacustomer,
Used properly, shock collars can be a great training tool. Let the collar shock you once or twice. You will find the intensity of the shock is not that bad and that it is the unexpectedness of it that makes the dogs obey when they hear the tone since after the tone comes the shock. They learn to stop what they are doing before the shock and then is when you use tone only. If it is on tone only too soon, they don't obey the tone. Most controls allow you to either tone/shock or tone only at will.
I think they are excellent at keeping dogs in a yard. I use training collars for long recalls (where dog is no longer in my sight). The tone and shock usually gets them running for home. After a few times, the minute they hear the tone, they immediately return home and no need to yell, shout or chase them. No need for shock at that point since tone does the trick.
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.
Hi Mary,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Jane Lefler

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