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Misbehaving for treats!!

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I am doing something wrong, and need you pros to set me straight.


I do not object to my pups sitting/lying on the sofa with me; however, what they usually do is roughhouse on top of me. Each weighs about 35 pounds, and 70 pounds of dog flailing all over me is a bit much.


I have been saying "off!" and giving a treat when they obey. Intelligent animals that they are, they have learned to get on the sofa, get off to get the treat, then do it all over again. I've tried the Pavlovian thing of varying the treats with praise and play, but, HOO HA! forget that. They can seem to sense when I have a treat as opposed to when I simply have praise, and they don't care for praise. They want TREATS. So now, it seems that I am rewarding negative behavior as opposed to instilling positive behavior.


What to do? What to do?



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You are right, you are praising to jump from you to the floor, not to sit besides you instead of in top of you.


What about just brush off the dogs from over you and don't let them back in the sofa until they understand a proper way to sit in it?


I like positive training, but it doesn't mean that you can't never punish the dog. You can punish a misbehavior without using a wip, but don't letting them to do what they want, unless they do the way you want they to do. In this case, sitting in top of you, we are talking not just about an uncomfortable behavior, we are are talking about a Dominance behavior and you have to put a stop now, when it is harmless, I'm not meaning that tomorrow they are going to jump over you and attack you, but it's about who is the boss and who is wearing the pants in home.


In my opinion, you have to stop the misbehavior and be firm on it and then, when they sit beside you, because you are the one who allow them to sit with you, then praise the correct behavior: To sit besides you.

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Melly, they absolutly see this game of climbing on the couch and getting off as a way of receiving treats from the treat dispenser, AKA you :rolleyes:

I agree with Catu. Get them to get off the couch and then simply praise them verbaly, without any treats involved. If they come to you when you are on the couch, get them to sit or lay of the floor and then praise them verbaly. They will get the point. If they climb on the couch or on top of you, simply brush them off, put them in a sitting position and give them a "good boy/girl" praise. If you are on the couch and they come towards you, ask them to sit on the floor, before they jump on you, and THEN IMMEDIATLY praise them for NOT doing the behaviour you are trying to get rid of.

Good luck

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We've been using time outs for Jacko when he repeatedly does things we don't want him to do. Lately most of his time outs are for jumping up to the counter to see what's up there (nothing, usually, but he still tries). We crate him for just a minute or two, then let him out. No treats, no praise, nothing, just in and then out. He's slowly getting the hang of it. Now he only jumps up when he thinks we're not watching!


You could try timeouts - you don't have to use the crate, you could use a room where they can't get into any trouble, maybe the bathroom or laundry room, with everything put into puppy safe places. Use a cue - we use, "ok, time out!" our trainer uses "too bad for you" and I think someone one here uses "you won the prize!" Anyway, we tell him once what we want him to do. If he doesn't comply we ask once if he needs a time out. If he still doesn't comply, into time out he goes. When he comes out we just go back to whatever we were doing. He definitely is learning.


For your pups, use a separate room, otherwise time out probably won't be all that effective.


Also, try to reward them when they are doing what you want them to do. If you can catch them sitting nicely for even half a second, give them a treat. Have you tried training the command "settle"? We're still working on it, but what we do, at the advice of our vet and trainer, is leash Jacko in the house. Then we have him go where we want him to go, ask him to settle (which means lying down quietly for us). Then one of us sits on the leash so he can't move from that spot and we praise him like crazy when he's lying there nicely. We ignore him when he's not, because with his leash being sat on he really can't get very far away. Maybe the "settle" command would help, if you can train that you can teach them that on the couch they settle, and off the couch they can play?

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See? I knew you guys would be helpful.


They do "sit" and "down" most of the time, even w/o treats. They are now learning "come", and, to me, this is so important that they always get treats. They've also learned that I will not even begin to unlock the outside pen gate until they are sitting and staying.


I had not thought of it as a dominance thing, as they are always playing when this happens. I really, really want them to sit calmly beside me on the sofa, and if I have one alone, that is easily accomplished. When the two get together, it's "Katie, bar the door!"


Catu, I love your use of the word "brush." It's more like using a crane. LOL


Anda, oh yes, it is a game. And they do love it when they can jump on me, and, as they see it, "play" with them. I really have to work on getting them to sit instead of "play."


Jacko, I am going to try your advice for TO's and also leashing them in the house when it is "sit down and relax" time.


Please, "keep them(sic) cards and letters comin'.

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Thanks! I love these wolf face too. She held the ears up at about 5 m/o.


I knew the term "brush off" was not exactly what I was trying to say, but my english vocabulary is not too extensive yet. In fact, I'm very proud of myself than you can actually understand me at all :rolleyes:

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