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sulking Addie.. after she got in trouble


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Hi! again. I was wrong about my puppy being 5 months old, she is actually 4 months old and will not be 5 months until June 25th. (I am so bad at Math) With that said, she got in trouble last night and she is brooding and sulking and will not "talk" to me. Last night, I made fried chicken, we are very very careful to dispose of the chicken bones in a covered trash can so our dogs cannot get at them. Well, my mom left her's on her plate on the kitchen table and Addie, being Addie, jumped up and stole it and ran outside. I saw her with the chicken leg and ran after her and she actually growled at me when I took it from her mouth. She got a very stern lecture and put immediately into her crate. Well, a few hours later, I went to get her out and she would not come out. I left the door open, but she slept in her crate all night long. Her crate is now down stairs where I can put her in it when need be, so it is not in our bedroom anymore. I called her to come to bed, she never came. She stayed in her crate all night long sulking because she was in trouble. This morning, she totally ignored me when I acted happy to see her. She's been very aloof all day. She is being friendly to everyone but me.. She is very mad at me.. It's sort of funny, but I don' tknow exactly what to do about it. She was naughty in the first place, and I corrected her. What do I do????

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How much time elapsed between the offense itself (taking bone off table) and the stern lecture? If more than a few seconds (perhaps 1-4), then based on my understanding, dogs won't make a connection between what they did wrong and the reprimand. It just doesn't compute. Could your puppy have experienced, in her own mind, food stolen from her, and then to top it off, a confusing lecture about something she didn't understand?

 

When a person can catch a dog literally in the act of an undesired behavior, a "no", "hey", or whatever negative command you use, may work to forestall future behavior of that sort. But when a few moments have already gone by, in the stolen food context, it may be better to offer your pup a treat she considers more valuable (it's hard when she already has wonderful food in her mouth ;) ), like a cookie or something, and try to get her to drop the unsafe bone. Gives you the opportunity for a teachable moment on "drop it". Each situation varies -- if puppy is greedily consuming the splintery bone before you can take action, I wouldn't wait to locate something more tasty. I say, get the bone out of her mouth, as you did, without getting hurt yourself. With my border collie, it has worked to put one hand under her muzzle to control any sudden movement, while the other hand dislodges the prize from her mouth. No guarantee that way of removing an item will work for all dogs.

 

A puppy having food taken from its mouth...don't be overly concerned about the growl of displeasure. Lots of practice on "drop it" command, and food treats in return, should cure it. To start, try offering food treats in exchange for a toy.

 

In my experience, it all depends on timing of reprimand. It's hard, but if/when scolding would be too late, save it for next time.

 

Puppy is probably over it, and done sulking. Take her for walk or a game of fetch. They are resilient. What a fun age. -- Kind regards, TEC

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I think this interaction was unpleasant for her, so she's probably avoiding the person who caused the unpleasantness. If you're worried about it and try too hard, she'll pick up on that too and it may take longer for her to come around. So I agree with Smalahundur, act neutral and go about your normal routine and she should be ok after awhile.

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I agree, you are describing actions that humans do, not dogs. If more than a second went by since she snagged the bone then the lecture meant nothing and was just confusing to her. Dogs don't speak english anyways so lecturing is useless. Next time just grab the bone out of her mouth, nothing more. If you catch her actually on the counter trying to grab something then you can correct. I agree that I would be worried about her stomach being upset and that is the reason for her being lethargic not aloof. I would take her for a walk and act normal.

 

Teaching a good drop it command is important for situations like this. In my previous apt. building for some reason there were always chicken wing bones laying around and my boy would pick them up. I was so glad I taught him 'drop it' and didn't have to always touch the gross bone!

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She got a very stern lecture and put immediately into her crate.

 

Her crate shouldn't be a place of punishment - it should be somewhere she is happy to be.

 

Well, a few hours later, I went to get her out and she would not come out. I left the door open, but she slept in her crate all night long. Her crate is now down stairs where I can put her in it when need be, so it is not in our bedroom anymore. I called her to come to bed, she never came. She stayed in her crate all night long sulking because she was in trouble. This morning, she totally ignored me when I acted happy to see her. She's been very aloof all day. She is being friendly to everyone but me.. She is very mad at me.. It's sort of funny, but I don' tknow exactly what to do about it. She was naughty in the first place, and I corrected her. What do I do????

 

Dogs don't get mad, they get scared, especially of humans behaving unpredictably in ways they don't understand. You need to regain her trust and I agree that acting neutral is probably the way to go. Acting happy may just emphasise the contrast between Good Mom that she is used to and Bad Mom that frightened her by punishing her for doing something that comes naturally to her.

 

She wasn't naughty - she was just scavenging which is what dogs do. "Naughty" is a human concept, not a canine one.

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What a bunch of good advice you have gotten! And, trust me, these are all lessons we have all had to learn through education, and trial and error.

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Well, I must respectfully disagree that dogs do not hold grudges or become upset with their owners. My dog Padre gives me the silent treatment when he is unhappy with me. He does not often do it (not often being unhappy with me) but he has. The most memorable time was when I had to leave him home while I went on a trip. He was with a sitter for a week, and was quite angry that I "abandoned" him. He would not come when I greeted him, would only look at me out of the corner of his eye, wouldn't wag his tail at me, or anything. He greeted my siblings with enthusiasm, but me? Not at all. I had abandoned him for a week, and he wouldn't let me forget it for three whole days. He is not a bad dog; he's got very low drive, is gentle, was easily trained, and is very well trained. He's just very intelligent and has very pronounced feelings.

When he gives me the silent treatment, I simply act toward him as I always do. He gets over it and forgets about it.

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I don't believe either of these dogs is "mad" or "angry." They are subdued because you have shown them a side of you that is different from the way they are used to seeing you, and they are processing that information, trying to make sense of it, and feeling uncertain. I agree with everyone who said that being normal and matter-of-fact with them is the best way to get them over it. Anything else is just going to make you seem weirder.

 

KatieP, it sounds like your correction to a little 4mo pup was harsher than it needed to be, as well as too late to be effective. Saying that she "stole" the chicken is giving what she did a moral dimension that it really doesn't have. This isn't a "crime and punishment" scenario. She did something that is perfectly normal for a pup to do, and you need to get across to her in a very mild, calm way that you don't want her to do that. From her point of view, how was she to know that she wasn't supposed to take that chicken leg? Nobody else had it -- it was just lying there on a plate. And then you tried to take it away from her! Whoa -- what's that about?? Border collies are generally a lot more sensitive than they may appear -- they take things to heart more than lots of dogs do. If I were you, I would concentrate on trying to think ahead and anticipate puppy behaviors that you want to discourage. That way you can be ready to get her attention with a quick, quiet "Aahp!" or "Uh-uh" when you see her deciding to go for the chicken, which might well have been enough to make her turn away from it without your even having to make a move. A few scenarios like this, and the pup learns, almost without realizing how she learned it.

 

Sydney Angelle, welcome to the Boards. When you say your dog "gives you the silent treatment," it sounds like you think he's acting in a certain way to try to make you feel bad or show you he's angry. I don't think he's "acting" at all -- I think it's more likely he's a little worried that you went away, is looking at you uncertainly trying to figure things out, and doesn't feel the simple happiness that would cause his tail to wag. And after you've been home for awhile, he forgets about it, isn't worried anymore, and is happy again.

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I don't believe either of these dogs is "mad" or "angry." They are subdued because you have shown them a side of you that is different from the way they are used to seeing you, and they are processing that information, trying to make sense of it, and feeling uncertain. I agree with everyone who said that being normal and matter-of-fact with them is the best way to get them over it. Anything else is just going to make you seem weirder.

 

KatieP, it sounds like your correction to a little 4mo pup was harsher than it needed to be, as well as too late to be effective. Saying that she "stole" the chicken is giving what she did a moral dimension that it really doesn't have. This isn't a "crime and punishment" scenario. She did something that is perfectly normal for a pup to do, and you need to get across to her in a very mild, calm way that you don't want her to do that. From her point of view, how was she to know that she wasn't supposed to take that chicken leg? Nobody else had it -- it was just lying there on a plate. And then you tried to take it away from her! Whoa -- what's that about?? Border collies are generally a lot more sensitive than they may appear -- they take things to heart more than lots of dogs do. If I were you, I would concentrate on trying to think ahead and anticipate puppy behaviors that you want to discourage. That way you can be ready to get her attention with a quick, quiet "Aahp!" or "Uh-uh" when you see her deciding to go for the chicken, which might well have been enough to make her turn away from it without your even having to make a move. A few scenarios like this, and the pup learns, almost without realizing how she learned it.

 

Sydney Angelle, welcome to the Boards. When you say your dog "gives you the silent treatment," it sounds like you think he's acting in a certain way to try to make you feel bad or show you he's angry. I don't think he's "acting" at all -- I think it's more likely he's a little worried that you went away, is looking at you uncertainly trying to figure things out, and doesn't feel the simple happiness that would cause his tail to wag. And after you've been home for awhile, he forgets about it, isn't worried anymore, and is happy again.

 

An excellent assessment of both situations.

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Thank you, Eileen Stein! I'm afraid I wasn't clear, and "silent treatment" was definitely the wrong phrase. I highly doubt he said "I'm mad, so I'm going to punish Sydney for it." He's smart, but not that smart! (Thank you Lord, because if he was...I'd be in the doghouse and he'd be in my bed! He's almost too smart for me as it is! :P )

But he was unhappy/unsettled over something I did and he did ignore me because of it. I'm not saying there was a particular line of reasoning behind it. I'm simply saying it happens. They don't have to be sick to ignore you, and they can remember their discomfort/fright/what-have-you for quite a while. Putting them at their ease, making things normal, and having them forget whatever upset/disturbed them is definitely the way to go, though. Great advice!

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