My questions concern some behaviours that I am not sure are a matter of
breed, or lack of discipline. She seems to be interested in anything we are
doing, which is fine as long as it's not got the intensity to it. My
problem is when we are eating. She watches us, something I don't allow my
dogs to do, but with Macey, it's almost like she is just curious, it doesn't
"feel" like a begging, if that makes sense. Our dining table is in the same
room as our living room, so it is fairly hard to completely seperate her,
unless I lock her in the bathroom, which I don't want to do. I want her to
learn to just go lay down. She is learning, but it takes a TON of
consistency. Anyway, is there a difference between a dog just watching you
eat, and a dog begging? Are both equally disrespectful? My plan is to
teach her to "Go to bed", so she actually has something specific she knows
In order to curb a behavior you have to catch them in the act. It does no good to leave the dog in the living room, go to do dishes (not saying you've done this just using an example), and then come back to find the dog happily lying on the couch 15 minutes later and scolding her for it. The dog then just learns fear because you are very unpredictable to her.
To curb this behavior you have to set the dog up in the situation. You have to pretend that you are going to do dishes or leaving, but carefully keeping tabs for sound of the couch springs, paws on fabric, or watching with peripheral vision so that you can catch her in the act and then correct her. This can many times be done on a submissive dog with a simple aahhh aahhh sound and then removing the dog. For a more persistent dog, you can attach a long line and give a quick jerk and release with a "No" (or whatever it is you use for unacceptable behavior). Just be sure to praise when the dog is doing the correct behavior. This is the part most people leave out. Cesar speaks of balance, but not all people get this. You can't just reprimand a dog for doing bad and say nothing when he is doing good. If you go to do dishes and Fido lay's down on the floor (which is where you want him to be)...take him a cookie and say "good Fido" calmly stroking him.
Another thing is the crate. If I bring a new dog in the home whether it be a pup, rescue, or older dog, I still treat it like I would a pup. It doesn't yet know the boundaries and limitations. In order for him to learn I must be there to teach him and not preoccupied with other duties. Having said this, the crate is a great teaching tool. If I am going to do dishes, the dog is in a crate. If I'm going to take a shower, the dog is in a crate. This is always so that he doesn't make the mistake of learning an undesirable behavior while I am not there, and then having to be corrected when I am, and becoming confused. This isn't fair to him.You can also tether the dog to your waist or belt loop (carbine's work great for this), so that he can be with you instead of in the living room, bedroom etc, and makes for an easy correction. If she's attached to you then you are there to correct her if she counter surfs. If your sitting at your computer and she is attached to you then she can't be counter surfing.
Never give a new dog the run of the house however, until he has learned what is expected of him/her.
As far as watching you eat. I would again crate. You can have the crate set somewhere in view of the family activities such as the dining table. As long as she isn't whining she's fine. Then you can use the opportunity, when you all are done with dinner and she's been in her crate calmly, to feed her (or give her a cookie if you only feed her once in the morning). Again, remember to always reward the good behavior, not just correct the bad. This is balance.
Have fun with your new friend,
Peace, Be Blessed,
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