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I have had Charley for a year now, he is 3. When I got him from the rescue I was told that he was the only BC to come from a private owner (the person passed away) that had absolutely no training. We have gone to some training classes, Focus and Control - it was a great help, but Charley still has some quirks I would like to smooth out. Charley still jumps on me, not my husband, and if hubby comes into the room while he is climbing on me, he slinks off into his crate. I have not been passive about my disapproval of the behavior. He knows it is not allowed, but what he wants to do overpowers what he is allowed to do. We have the battle of the door. He must sit and stay to be let out. Some days the sit requires that we walk away and try over again. What I forgot to say is that most of the time, he is the most obedient of dogs, and then there is the clueless other.


Now I am trying to train him to the invisible fence, I can't even get his attention when we walk out of the house on a leash. Walking on a leash has not been one of his better skills, on walks I use our other dog to focus him and limit where he walks to keep him from ping ponging across the road. Before I try this with learning the boundaries, I wanted to ask for advice. We will be moving in the spring to a place with no hard fence and I would like to shorten the learning process at a new location.

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I have never trained a dog to stay within boundaries, so no help there, sorry. It sounds like another class or a trainer in the home would be helpful. Are you continuing to train daily with him? Like so much in life, dog training is a journey as much as a destination. If Charley is still jumping on you, either the consequences for doing so or the rewards for refraining are not especially meaningful to him. My guess is he finds jumping on you rewarding enough, often enough to keep doing it if he thinks he can escape your husband's notice. What are you doing to encourage Charley to to keep all four paws on the floor?


Waiting at the door needs to be enforced every single time. Dogs are gamblers by nature and often will try their luck. You say Charley "knows" what he is doing is wrong but I am going to say he does not. He is doing what works for him. Somewhere along the line, you need to work on communication and consistency. Until he is more reliable in basic manners and leash walking, I do not think about you will likely have success in a more complex behavior like understanding boundaries. But again, I have never trained that so that is just my thought on the subject.

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I guess he is so very different than the last BC who learned and it was learned and done, he didn't push the boundaries so it is a learning process for both of us. As for jumping and climbing on me he gets pushed down with a firm no/down. The woman who runs the rescue said she couldn't train him not to jump on her which surprised me since she seemed to take no prisoners. When he is being well mannered, he gets hugs and pets. He does have basic manners,the walking on a leash was never that important, but I guess it is now. Sometimes the owners need a reality adjustment as much as the dog.

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With both waiting at the door and jumping up on me I take a "resistance is futile" approach. I have always been able to train a dog to have manners in both of those situations.


I say "wait" and open the door a smidge. If the dog moves, the door gets closed very fast - sometimes it bumps the dog's nose, and the dog gets no sympathy. I work on this within the house as well, when moving from my bedroom into the rest of the house when we get up in the morning. If a dog never, ever, ever gets to go through the door without having been given the release word, the dog will stop trying.


Now, every now and then, one of them will try to bolt. The result is that the dog either gets banged by the door or, if the dog is fast enough to get all the way through the door, the dog is brought back inside again by the collar (just walking, no comment or scolding from me) and has to wait 5 minutes before I will open the door again for him. Meanwhile, all the other dogs who were good and waited, get to go out. The dog who tried to rush the door usually doesn't try that again for a long time, if ever. This is how I train all my fosters and it always worked.


As for jumping on me, if "uh-uh" and turning away from the dog and having the dog sit for a treat and all of those things fail to work, I get more aggressive and bring up my knee as the dog is jumping up. The dog hits my knee with his or her chest, which doesn't feel good to the dog. Do that enough times and the dog definitely will stop jumping up. You don't have to hit the dog with your knee.....the dog does it himself. Just bring up your knee fast as you see the dog's front paws come off the floor.


The other thing you can do is sweep the dog's hind legs out from under him with one of your feet, which results in the dog being dumped unceremoniously on the floor. I prefer the knee.....it's easier....but both work.


With both of these things.......actually with all training of manners.... I really think that the attitude of the trainer is very important. You have to be dedicated to never, ever letting the dog get away with bad manners. Never. Not once. No matter what. It doesn't matter if you are running late or have company or it is raining or you are tired or whatever else is happening.


And, I find the best attitude to take is to act as if it's not a matter of crime and punishment at all. Rather, I suggest to people that they act as if they were simply following a universal law. As if it simply is not possible for the dog to go out the door unless he does it properly. As if a dog jumping on you makes you bring up your knee - you can't help it. (Actually, for me it has become such a conditioned response to a dog jumping up that it pretty much is the case that the dog makes me do it).


There's no need for scolding or even the word No. Just simple action=result. Every time. It works.

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