Have you any stash?

Let’s just state right now that the earth is back on its axis: the real NFL refs have returned to the field, so productivity can return to the American workplace.

Princess Penny has done pretty well with her first week of training.  I’m pretty sure there were a number of puppy “WTF?” moments when she realized the ramps were down when the Alphas were out of the house and she had to be invited up on the sofa and the bed.  She’s taken to staying on her actual dog bed in the bedroom during the week when we’re not home; I actually forgot to take the ramp from the bed down one day and she still stayed on the dog bed.  She was a lot better about the playbiting and the nipping for attention, and when she did bite my hands, I used the correction technique the trainer showed us and she calmed down quickly. Only one minor growling incident that didn’t escalate.

Jerad came again on Saturday afternoon for lesson two, bringing with him the pinch collar.  I’m gonna say right up front that I know many of you have reassured me that this really won’t hurt her and will work wonders, but after Saturday’s lesson, I’m really shaken. Jerad put the collar on Penny, and we went outside to walk.

Penny’s the only dog in the world who doesn’t think outside is a fabulous place.  She’s a sofa spud, not unlike her humans, who generally spend their evenings on the sofa with computers in their laps. Penny will go outside to do her biz, but otherwise, forget it.

So, when we got outside, she immediately laid down in the front yard and refused to move, as is her typical action.

Jerad was having none of that. She was going for a walk, so he tugged on the leash and pinch collar.  Penny screamed.  I died a little inside.

He dragged her up, still screaming, across the driveway, into the road.  I kept dying.  This is when I started doubting what we’re doing.

She finally started walking, and we walked up and down the road several times with minor corrections with the collar when she’d try to run ahead. (Usually when she sees the house, she’ll start running to get back home.)

We got back in and the lesson was over,  Jerad wanted us to leave that collar on her the entire time we’re home.  I was having none of it. The collar came off.  We had a horrible growling episode trying to take the collar off, which Jerad corrected.  Then later that evening on the sofa, we had another horrible episode, which Richard corrected.

Jerad also wanted us to unblock the stairs so she could learn to climb them, but I also refused to do that.  He may know dogs, but I know dachshund anatomy, and that’s bad for their backs.

Right now I’m just not sure if this is going to work. The pinch collar goes on over her head, and Penny hates anything that goes over her head.

All I want is for my dog to come when I call her and for her to not bite me.

Comments on: "Attitude Adjustment, lesson two" (11)

  1. I have some real concerns with the collar and the dragging. Is your dog a rescue or a puppy? I remember when we got Leo, I thought wholly cowshat did we get ourselves into?

    For the coming when called…the kennel became our best friend…considering he hated being kenneled. Also treats such as carrots or apple pieces helped. He went from a dog who was very undisciplined to a dog who comes when called at a bust off leash park. He has come a long ways on the last 2 yrs. He has only bitten twice…both times he perceived a threat.

    It takes some patients with these guys. Our trainer never used a pinch or prong collar because of the spine issues.

    • Penny is three years old, and we’ve had her since she was a pup. We’re not novice dachshund owners – we had our Oscar for a wonderful 15 1/2 years, so we’re well aware of their stubborn attitude.

      I’m sure that part of the problem is the upheaval in our household with the problems we’ve had getting my mother settled in her current caregiving situation this year that has been very stressful on all of us. Our training regimen has been disrupted and we’re having to take control of that.

      I’m hoping that we can work something out with the trainer, because there will not be dragging next week. She’s reacting better to Richard walking her. I haven’t been able to take her out yet due to work commitments.

      • That’s good to hear. I know you have great experience with doxies…just concerned with the pinch collar and the dragging.

        We had issues wit Scrappy om walks and got a Martingale harness. The leash attachment is at the front as opposed to the back. We have way better control with him now. I am actuall looking at getting one for Leo.

      • Now, just after I typed that, we had another serious growling and snapping incident and had to get her off the sofa.

        We’re dealing with a serious, serious behavior problem — it’s not your run of the mill dachshund stubbornness. We are at the point where we can’t trust her not to bite us in a lot of situations.

        I appreciate your concern, but we have got to get a handle on this problem or we may be facing re-homing her, as much as that would kill me. It’s getting to the point of being dangerous for all of us.

  2. Oh dear…I hope it goes well! I know I thouhgt the same thing a month after Leo bit me. He only ever bit me the one time. I noticed after his back surgery he settled down. Hoping things work out.

  3. Can you find a different trainer, one who really practices the positive training? I would have stopped the pinch collar in a second. Using methods like what has already been described can have serious back fires.

    • Thanks, Tammy. Used a “positive” trainer for puppy kindergarten, and Penny spent her time scamming superior treats from everyone else in class and my husband chased down the dogs that ran off while we were doing the “come” command. *sigh* I know there’s a happy medium out there somewhere. Checking with my vet today to make sure Penny’s ok, then a change in plans is in order.

  4. Karen Henry said:

    Jean, I think that they make pinch collars that have a snap on them, rather than having to go on over the head. I could be wrong on that. Have never had to resort to a pinch to train my guys, even for obedience. I totally agree with NOT leaving the collar on Penny in the house, even if you ARE home. Pinch and/or choke/slip collars should not be on a dog except during a walk or training session. They can get caught on things and choke the dog. Also agree about the stairs.

    Reference the issues while she is on the sofa: Why has she already been granted sofa privileges again?? You only started this program a week ago. I would expect it to be weeks, not days, before she earned the right to be on the sofa and/or bed, and from her behavior, it definitely sounds like she still thinks SHE owns those, not you!

    Regarding your remark about hoping you don’t end up having to re-home her – be advised that many rescues will NOT take a dog that has these kinds of issues. Too much liability. Maybe you have a friend in mind that would be willing to take her, but if not, the future doesn’t look good if you can’t get her reined in.

    I hate to sound all gloom and doom, but my point is that you must be strong if you want to regain control here. I’m definitely NOT in favor of her being dragged on a walk, but you could make her do basic obedience commands to help regain your superior status. Make her do a sit/stay, or even better, a down/stay (down is more submissive) while you are fixing her meals, watching television, and so forth. And those would be done with her on the floor, not on the sofa. If she doesn’t like that, put a flat buckle collar on her with a 4-6 foot lead attached so that you can get control of her without having to actually get near her mouth. I would also recommend a pair of leather gloves such as you use when tending the fireplace (the ones that come part way up your forearm) in case she is having one of her temper tantrums. You don’t have to wear them all of the time, just have them handy to protect yourselves if need be.

    I am also assuming (can’t remember what you have said previously) that ALL toys, chewies, etc, have been picked up and are only given out when you or Richard say so, and when YOU are done letting her have them, they get put back away out of her reach. I know that you had said you were doing “nothing in life is free”, but I don’t remember exactly how you defined that.

    I really do wish you the very best of luck. I am checking in daily to see how things are going. It sounds like you have your work cut out for you, but I want for you to succeed!!


    • Karen – Thanks so much for your thoughts. We’re letting her up on the sofa to gauge whether the training on getting rid of the playbiting while I was on the computer was working. *That* part of the training, at least, seemed to be successful. I do think Saturday may have undone everything we worked to achieve.

      I don’t want to re-home her. In spite of everything, I love her dearly and she’s my fur child. And I’m not in favor of passing along my problems to anyone else. That was frustration and despair talking as much as anything else.

      Her toys/chewies stay put up all the time and she only has access when we’re home with her and give them to her. She has to do a sit (we’re working on the stay) for anything she wants (dinner, treats, time on the sofa or bed). She’s never given us a problem about taking away toys or treats. I don’t understand why she lashes out when she’s touched when she’s just laying on the sofa.

      The gloves are an excellent idea. I’ll get a pair of those for both of us today. I’m going to call my vet this morning and have her checked out to be sure what the trainer did didn’t do any damage. I’ve been talking to Mary Anne on Facebook too.

      And I’ll be looking for another trainer. This is madness.

  5. Oh man, you need to live closer to my mom, the Queen of small dog training and loving (yet firm) attitude adjustment! I’ve used a prong, but only on my 100 Old English, never on one of the smaller dogs since there is so much you work through first before resorting to a print. Calvin (aka, “Numb Nuts”) blew through everything else and quickly graduated to the prong, but was amazing because of it (and because he was so freaking brilliant, and once that herding dog/ADHD was focused…).

    You sound like you are on track as far as other methods, and you know your Wiener physiology (I agree, no stairs!). When you did the positive reinforcement training before, did it involve clicker training at all? Great way to reduce the treat scamming by replacing the actual goodies with the sound of the clicker. And I second the recommendation of the bite-gloves. I know on the small dogs mom and I do a lot of reinforcement of “THank you, no, *I’M* the alpha bitch” with a firm hand on a growling muzzle, and a quick flip to be held on their back until they get the message.

    If you want, I highly recommend calling mom and talking with her about how to interview a good trainer and see what else she can give you as far as “distance learning.” Plus, I know she would love to talk to you, and hey, add talking about dogs into that and she’ll be over the moon!

    • Yeah, the positive reinforcement training involved a clicker, which Penny promptly got hold of and crunched in two. The vet gave me some ideas to (literally) get a hold on the problem for now — see my updated blog post.

      I need to give your mom a call anyway. I’ll just add this to the list. 🙂

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