Post # 1
I’m babysitting my mom’s dog Bell for the next month while mom is in California. She’s a Basset/heeler mix (I think there’s beagle in her too but we’re not sure). Darling Husband and myself LOVE her and she gets along with our dog pretty well, but she whines and begs for attention. She will also come up and butt her snout under your arm when she wants something.
My mom is the type to baby her when she whines which of course only makes it worse. Other than that she doesn’t have any behavioral issues, but I want to work on her behavior while my mom’s gone in the hopes that when she sees the difference she will keep up the changes.
How can I stop her from whining/being so needy? It’s only day 1 so I haven’t really done anything yet other than ignore her when she whines and pay attention to her when she’s well behaved. The only noise I’ve rewarded is her distinct “I have to go to the bathroom” bark which is different than the howling she uses for attention and she only uses it when she has to go outside.
Tomorrow I’m thinking about getting her one of those Thundershirts since it really seems to work on calming down my Lhasa, but other than that and ignoring her whining I don’t have many ideas. I’m nervous that she’s going to have a problem with howling and whining at night…
Any suggestions welcome!
Post # 3
I would start her on Nothing In Life is Free. It’s a simple, easy, free training program. One of the main things it stresses is that you don’t reward them with attention when they whine and beg for it. You might have a couple of rough days while she gets used to the routine, but she should catch on quickly.
Post # 4
Nothing in life is free is a great training program. I’m not sure I would start it though unless I knew it would be kept up when she went home. The basic idea to break a whining/jumping behavior is to reward the appropriate behavior. Get a pouch with treats to keep with you all day. Start small. You want to do the dishes- go in the kitchen, give the dog a spot to sit/stay and give it a moment. Give her a treat before she starts to whine. Give her the sit stay command again and treat before she whines. Gradually you should be able to increase how long she waits for the treat. It may mean that you get to wash a dish, turn around treat her, wash a dish, treat etc. Pretty much any situation she is whining give her a “job” and reward good behavior in very small steps. It may take you 20 minutes to be able to get a whole minute without whining at first.
Also make sure she is exercised enough. A run/walk to start the day will help her burn energy and make her more likely to listen the rest of the day. Plan on taking play breaks throughout the day-where you stop what your doing, go out and play fetch or chase, give her lots of scratches and positive interactions.
Right now she doesn’t know what to do when you are cooking or cleaning or watching tv- so she does what she wants which is butt in. Give her boundries and things are much easier.
Post # 5
Thanks to both of you! I’m reading about the program now. We did a similar program for “recalcitrant” dogs with my dog a few years ago and it really turned her around (with continued reinforcement).
@nikkialys: Great advice. That’s along the lines of what I was thinking, but more in depth. We definitely are keeping her well excersized because that worked wonders for our dog. Our vet even told us to not walk our dog vigorously or for more than 10 minutes because Lhasas don’t need it, but she really loves the excersize, even running a few laps. I’m hoping to lose a few pounds myself this month keeping up with two dogs! The dogs also play with each other a lot so that helps during the day.
Boundaries are key with what I have to work on with Bell. She’s a really good dog other than this behavior my mom encouraged so I think a month with us will do her some good. And my mom will definitely see the light when she comes back and realizes the change.
Post # 6
Good Luck with it. I’m sure in a month you can accomplish a lot. I’m working with my new furbaby right now, and may start NILIF in a week or so. She’s a purebred german shepherd that we rescued from a shelter. We have two other dogs, so we’re having all sorts of fun learning boundries and appropriate behavior. If I can get her walking nicely on a leash I’ll be soooooo happy- because then I can exercise her the way I want to. It really can make such a difference when they’ve had a good walk/run and aren’t bouncing off the walls. 🙂