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Old 02-02-2013, 07:42 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Attacked from behind...Our 1 year old SPOO does this.

Lando, our 1 year old SPOO, likes to rear on his hind legs and jump on me from behind. This "humping" motion is alarming, as it tends to knock me off balance and (I heard) is his sign of thinking that he is dominant over us.

At his height, when I turn around we are eye-to-eye and I can't help but wonder what he is thinking!

Anybody have this problem? Know of its origins? Or have any solutions they recommend?

I'm all ears (poodle ears)...

Thanks!

Dylan
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Old 02-02-2013, 08:32 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi Dylan.

Not all humping behavior indicates that a dog has 'dominance' issues, not that this may or not be the case, but generally a dog that thinks it runs the show will have a few telling issues-things tend to add up quickly!

Some dogs hump when they're overly stimulated (not necessarily sexually, either!), have too much anxiety, or energy pent up. Some of them I think even just do it for fun.

Is he neutered?

How is his attitude about it, playful or more serious?

I haven't had many dogs with humping issues. Gryphon likes to occasionally hump our terrier, and how often he does this is directly correlated with how frustrated he gets with him. If our terrier isn't 'playing' or is getting more attention than him (ie-if I throw the beloved rope toy for the terrier :P). This is pretty rare though. He is turning 8mo's soon, and isn't neutered.

Our terrier humped the hubby ONCE, and it was when he was sleeping on the couch and it startled him awake and freaked him out. He didn't yell at him, but just kinda yelled out as he was waking up (was humping his head...), and the poor little thing decided he didn't so much like humping people anymore.
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Old 02-02-2013, 09:19 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Attacked from behind...Our 1 year old SPOO does this.

For a while, my spoo had a bad habit of jumping on people (from the front, though). The trainer we used tried several exercises, but the one that worked for us was this:

Get the dog excited enough to jump on someone, then the second he put his paws up on someone we shook a can with a screw in it to make a startling noise and said loudly "OFF!" and gave him lots of praise and treats when he put his feet on the ground.

The only problem with this is we needed two of us always (one to be jumped on and one to shake the can) and then it progressed to needing a friend because our dog would never jump on us, but would still occasionally jump on "strangers."

Eventually it has progressed to the point where he kept his feet on the ground, and we gave him treats for keeping his feet there and greeting nicely.


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Old 02-03-2013, 02:05 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Humping is almost always due to over stimulation. Jumping up on you has nothing to do with dominance.

I wish people would leave the idea that everything a dog does is due to dominance in the past where it belongs! Sorry, this isn't directed at anyone in particular, I just mean the general public because this false theory does a diservice to dog owners everywhere because everything is painted with a dominance or submission brush and no one is likely to ever understand what's really going on.

The easiest thing to do is to ask for an incompatible behavior. The dog can't jump up if he's cued to lie down. So you'd have the get the "down" cue solid so there's really no question that he'll lie down when you ask for it.

It would also be best to ask for the "down" when you see that he's about to jump but hasn't done it yet, since it's not preferable for him to practice an undesired behavior. You want to cut it off before it happens.

In the situation of jumping dogs, I prefer "down" over a "sit" because it's easier to jump up from a sit than from a down and because the act of lying down is somewhat calming, which is needed in this kind of situation since a calm dog is less likely to jump.

The best way to get a solid "down" is, in my opinion, to capture it. Even if he already knows down, you can re-teach it. Look on Youtube for "capturing a down". And you have to reward him richly. Make sure not to bribe. Use your reward correctly. Don't have it showing in your hand so he can see it. You want to bring it out after he's done the behavior.

Don't practice downs until he gets bored. You want to do short sessions but do them often. And ask for downs at random, in a lot of different situations so the behavior will be proofed.

When the behavior is reliably being performed, wean him off the reward to intermittent use. But always praise him lavishly.

The benefit to teaching a calming down is that eventually, he'll start to lie down all by himself to settle down when he's feeling over stimulated. Then you want to be sure to reinforce this as well.

You might also want to look at his lifestyle and consider whether he's getting enough mental and physical exercise. Maybe adding more might drain some of his excess stimulation.
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Old 02-03-2013, 04:08 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Poppy went through a phase of jumping up to bite my bum when she was excited - it always got a wnoderful reaction because I was not expecting it, and would squeal and jump a foot in the air - great fun for poodles. I did turn round and roar at her at one point, which stopped it for a while, but the big breakthrough came when I worked out when and where she was most likely to try it (top of the stairs, where it was easiest for her to reach, and also of course the most dangerous spot for me), and taught her to control her excitement. Very easy - I would take step towards the stairs, she would start to bounce, I moved my weight back onto the foot away from the stairs without a word. Within minutes she learned that if she bounced and got excited, we didn't go downstairs and out for a walk. Since then I've taught her to go down ahead of me, all the way to the bottom to avoid trip hazards in years to come!

I strongly suspect he jumps because he is feeling exuberant, it is one of the ways dogs play with each other, and it gets him an exciting reaction and lots of attention. Cutting out the reaction for misbehaving and giving lots and lots of attention for an incompatible behaviour like Down may be all you need to do!
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Old 02-03-2013, 01:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Get a pinch collar. Tie a short lead on it like even a shoelace. When he does this turn, say down, and pull straight down. The dog needs to learn what unacceptable behavior is.
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Old 02-03-2013, 01:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poodlelover2014 View Post
Get a pinch collar. Tie a short lead on it like even a shoelace. When he does this turn, say down, and pull straight down. The dog needs to learn what unacceptable behavior is.
Please don't. There are any number of better ways of teaching him what behaviour you like, and what you don't, than using force and punishment in this way.
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Old 02-03-2013, 01:37 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The dog is showing dominance. Left unchecked this dof can go on to hurt someone. Over stimulation or even over excited are buzz words that really do not exist. If your dog is truly over excited you'd never be able to fix this problem. Dogs need to know boundries , just like kids. If a kid touches a light socket and gets shocked he won't touch it again. If your dog gets a negative reaction to jumping up he'll never jump up. Either in front, behind, strangers or anyone. Treats and rewards fix the problem for you. However a dog in society will never listen to down especially when the reward disappears. Also don't be stupid and call it punishment its corrective behavior same as food training.
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Old 02-03-2013, 01:43 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Also listen to your logic. Dog jumps up, you turn say down he gets a treat or reward. Dogs mind oh if I jump up then lay down I get a treat. I should jump up all the time. Its illogical.
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:06 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Not quite.

Down - or some other incompatible behaviour - is trained as an alternative to jumping up, not as something done for a treat after jumping up. Knowing the trigger - excitement, back turned, etc, etc - means that you can catch the moment BEFORE the dog jumps, and set them up for success by teaching them another way of getting the attention that they seek. Your method attempts to punish the behaviour out of them - they have to fail and be punished for it before any learning can take place.

"punishment [ˈpʌnɪʃmənt] n
1. (Law) a penalty or sanction given for any crime or offence
2. (Law) the act of punishing or state of being punished
3. Informal rough treatment
4. (Psychology) Psychol any aversive stimulus administered to an organism as part of training
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged"

Force and aversives may change behaviour, but they can also wreck the relationship between dog and owner, leave the dog shut down and reluctant to try anything new for fear of being punished, or lead to other, worse problems in the future. This is a one-year old pup, doing what adolescents do. I absolutely agree that dogs need boundaries - I do not agree that using a prong collar to enforce boundaries through the deliberate infliction of pain is the best way of teaching them.

My dogs listen to me in public, whether I have treats with me or not. They have learned that good stuff very often happens if they are paying attention, and the association is so strong that the behaviour is now self rewarding.
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