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From: Callie (
Subject:         Everything Ellie said and
Date: August 27, 2009 at 3:36 pm PST

In Reply to: it may sound counterintuitive but posted by ellie on August 27, 2009 at 9:58 am:

Like with kids -- it is **always** easier to change a No to a Yes than the other way around.

Give him boundaries. But TEACH them. Talk to him -- a really good exercise is simply walk him on leash (on a short leash at first) around the boundaries of your property or around your neighborhood -- show him what is what and what is where. Let your neighbors meet him and give him NAMES.

This way on Tuesday when Mrs. Jones clatters out at 7:30 >m. to take her trash to the road and you say "It's ok -- that's JUST Mrs. Jones!" then he knows YOU know and he's reassured.

Try this the first night (and do you know if they have ever done ANY obedience training with im?)

Get a few treats -- something IRRESISTIBEL (like slices of hot dog or bits of steak, cheese, or something you think/know he really likes).

Have him in front of you while you sit on a chair =- and you be relaxed. Have a treat in each hand (in your closed fist) with your fists resting on your knees.

Then in just a calm, non-excited voice say his name. The *instant* his eyes flick to you shove the treat at his mouth and tell him he's grand. Wait another few moments and then again speak his name calmly and quietly. Again, as SOON as his eyes flick to you give the treat.

You want him to think HIS name on your lips is THE best thing ever!!

Expand that -- carry a few tidbits with you over the coming days ... and just clear out of the blue, for NO reason at all, speak his name. And as soon as he looks at you toss it to him.

Other times just plain speak his name and tell him he's AWESOME just because he looked at you. If he comes to you give him a chest rub and just love on him for the sheer moment of it.

It would be truly stellar if you took him to an obedience class (preferably not something at a pet store -- those get noisey and usually aren't very good). If there are two adult humans (or more of you - kids or adults) it's GREAT to have more than one person attend a class so the dog gets used to being handled by all of you.

Nothing in life IS free -- she's absolutely right. Just remember that bonding thru praise truly works. I have seen dogs who have begun to think that "NO" is their name. Because most everything said to them begins and ends with "no".

These may be friends of yours but unforuntately they've not done some things right or they wouldn't need to take this step. Dogs and kids should never be mutually exclusive if handled properly -- so you will have some re-training to do in any event.

And likely? He may have been the center of arguments -- so his self esteem is likely not wonderful -- so anything you can do to expose him to new stuff is great.

When you are on leash with him -- show him things.
"Wow -- LOOK at those steps at the library!! Let's go check them out!!" And you take him over on leash and just go up and down steps.

Why? Because they are THERE.

See laundry flapping in the wind over at Mrs. Jones?? Go show it to him -- don't let him just bark at it. Call her if you can and say "my new dog is confused about your laundry -- could I impose on you to meet me at your back gate and show him it's nothing lethal? Can I bring a treat for him to take from you??"

If it squeaks, makes noise, flaps, rolls or is any sort of a surprise DEBUNK it. The time you take to show him things will increase his confidence and it will make him see you as the Alpha who knows ALL!!!

Good luck and have fun!!

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