KobiD

Puppy and Children interaction / general training

34 posts in this topic

And another update!

 

Amazing how quickly time passes and how quickly things move along. Lots of work has been going in, but we're now at a point where I can let our 2.5 year old daughter walk around with a bowl of dog food and the puppy following. They've got a really good bond, and the little one loves getting the puppy to do tricks. Sit, paw, lay down, leave it and OK, and find it. Quite amazing watching the puppy focus on my daughter, respecting her space and doing as she asks. If she doesn't follow cue the little one does the hand signals (usually arms flailing everywhere) and if that fails I simply give a nice clear hand signal. It's almost like she is learning complete new cues in toddler talk, but it's working well and given that both of them are just shy of 13kgs it's a good thing!

8 year old son also helps out with feeding and play time. He works with the rope/tug toys.. drop it, leave it etc. and he primarily rewards with play and affection. Puppy loves to take her chew toy and try to curl up on his lap. Every time she comes and leans into his legs for a scratch she ends up laying on her back getting her belly rubbed.

Still working at impulse control/reducing excitement with guests, but making progress. Still have some days that make me shake my head. Loose leash walking is progressing, but it's taking time.

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Easing your dog into your childs life can be tricky but I found having our pup there from the beginning really helped as child and pup became used to each other very quickly (depending on your breed). We have a lab and I think bub gives pup more grief than she would like but- pulling his tail etc after a few weeks our pup became immune to such things haha. 

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A couple months have passed now, and things have continued to move in the right direction. The kids have reclaimed the back yard and are able to ride their pushbikes/go karts or run around without too much drama. Every now and then the dog will get a bit too excited and either bark or knock someone over but she is learning the difference between what we find acceptable and not.

 

Still include both kids in play and feeding routines, and still reward positive behaviour at every opportunity. I have noticed the puppy tends to look at me for confirmation at times now instead of maintaining focus and listening to my daughter. She'll ask the dog something and the dog will look at me as if to ask 'should I?'. I'm not sure how to address that, although I'm sure I've been the one to teach her, either through stepping in to correct actions or by reinforcing cues that my daughter has asked for verbally with physical cues. I'd just like to learn a way to say, yep, listen to 'whoever'.

 

My original approach of marking and rewarding 'kisses' worked well as a first step, but later I found it becoming a bit of a game/cycle where she would be too active in seeking out my daughter as a means of winning a reward. The little one also decided to go through a phase where she'd curl up in a ball on the ground if the dog charged at her a bit too quick, and the dog would then try to give her kisses while she was down. Sometimes this was re-enforced by the little ones laughter, while other times she wouldn't appreciate it as much. Working on recall and off/leave it seems to be working well. 

 

Also had a few small set backs overshooting the distraction while proofing where she managed to bowl over a couple of the kids cousins. Some of them were a bit cautious for a bit, but over the last few visits the puppy appears to be settling and the kids have taken note and are back on good terms.

 

Has been a busy few months!

 

 

RuralPug likes this

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Sounds like things are going pretty well on the whole.   Well done.   So, I think she'll probably continue to check in with you instead of just doing what your daughter is asking.   Don't forget she will be observing interactions in the household, and she will have understood who has leadership roles.   It's still great for both of them for your daughter to be involved in training, and as she gets older and more confident (your daughter) she will enjoy doing more of the training.    You might like to look online for age appropriate (human and pup) tricks that your daughter could teach pup (with your guidance) .. that could be their special training.

 

The curling up in a ball is a good plan -- although it's worth knowing that it's actually used in one of the online programs as part of a game for improving recalls.... dog is meant to be looking for the face :laugh: .. and yes, you're right about the effect of the intermittent rewards of your daughter's giggles.

 

Are the kids - yours and cousins - old enough to know the concept of a timeout (as in sport ) .. where all the action and noise stops, and time is taken to let everyone  -particularly the puppy -  settle down?  I think it would be worth teaching that to the kids and their visitors .. so if things get a bit OTT, then someone can call time out .. and everyone can stop.   If necessary puppy could be removed if she's really gone OTT>

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Kids range in age, but all under 10. Some would grasp the concept, others not so much. They all do feed off each other though, so it's a bit of a cycle. Ie We have guests so that excites our kids and the animal. Then they all play together already in an aroused state. Then the puppy might bail one over and then the tears and some fear comes. Said child will then either try and run away which feeds back on the puppy who wants to 'play'. Typically we tend to keep them isolated and explain that the puppy jumps around and gets too rough when she's excited and then work a small session where the kids/relatives can say hello, reward and come back inside.

 

Basically just a proofing process with greater distractions.

 

The other scenario is when our kids are over tired at the end of the day. They tend to be overly emotional and don't listen as well as they should. Cry and argue. Tanties! the whole ugly side of parenting.. add a zoomy afternoon puppy in and it spirals too. We've learnt to pick up on the cues and step in sooner rather than later.

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about your daughter cuing dog...

 

I think it works like new cue then old cue > dog does thing > reward... and eventually the new cue will work by itself.  But you can make it into a training session...

so that pattern would look like
 

daughter cues dog, you cue dog same thing, dog does thing - reward comes from your daughter.    Dog will figure it out - she seems pretty clever (got the kisses game worked out). 

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I agree in theory RB, except it's more that she used to perform soley for the daughter, in that she would focus on her and follow cue. Now there is more of a shift in focus, where even though my daughter is the one holding and delivering the treats, the dogs focus shifts between her and me, where you can see the puppy seeking further direction. The young fella was a bit sulky the other evening too.. Apparently the puppy doesn't listen to him anymore and just walks away. I explained he simply needs to work with her more and be very precise in what and when he asks for.

 

She's a very clever dog and can sometimes read more into things than you want. She works at her own pace and will try it on if you let her. Ie ask for a sit and she'll wait and see if you'll actually wait her out to do it. Of course I always do.. and if she fannies about getting it done I'll make her work more before she gets any reward (if any).

 

On the other hand, the little fella (he's 8) and his mum taught the roll over cue where the dog does a full roll. It's still not fully reliable but it's building so it's not like she doesn't listen to them at all. I think the rest of the family just need to step up and pick in some more training efforts again.

 

 

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I'd be definitely teaching the kids about time out and standing still when everyone goes OTT. ... the ones at school will get that.

 

As far as the evening feral time goes .. I would seriously be putting the pup up in crate or xpen, with a nice bone or stuffed kong.  Based on the state my 19 week old gets in, and having taught school for many years .. there comes a point where they're totally incapable of listening effectively, or acting on what they hear.    That's definitely separation time before someone gets hurt.

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I agree, and basically the direction we went. If any single one of them stopped listening we'd just separate them all for a while and move onto something else. Our kids are pretty good at seeing the behaviour now and taking some action to make it stop. Visitors are getting the idea too. She's learning to generalise what's expected. She has different behaviours depending on who she is dealing with.

Tassie likes this

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On 25/07/2017 at 1:17 PM, Tassie said:

The curling up in a ball is a good plan -- although it's worth knowing that it's actually used in one of the online programs as part of a game for improving recalls.... dog is meant to be looking for the face :laugh: .. and yes, you're right about the effect of the intermittent rewards of your daughter's giggles.

 

Are the kids - yours and cousins - old enough to know the concept of a timeout (as in sport ) .. where all the action and noise stops, and time is taken to let everyone  -particularly the puppy -  settle down?  I think it would be worth teaching that to the kids and their visitors .. so if things get a bit OTT, then someone can call time out .. and everyone can stop.   If necessary puppy could be removed if she's really gone OTT>

Would love to hear more regarding the game! and also any thoughts or advice you have regarding redirecting the licking.

 

She seems to target my daughters face quite a bit. Perhaps she thinks of it as a game. I don't think it's an appeasement or trying to create space as it's never in the context where the child approaches the dog while the dog wants peace. It's always the dog approaches child, and initiates face licking. I'll redirect the behaviour elsewhere but she tends to try and find her way back. In the event that the little one lays down, sometimes the dog will then roll on the ground and try to nuzzle her head in under my daughters to lick away. As previously, the reaction from the little one can vary between not liking it at all, to thinking it's the funniest thing she's ever experienced. 

 

In an instant the other day she also managed to zoom into my sisters 1yo, knock him over in the grass, double back and lick him a few times. She's always wanted to lick him a bit too, and always seeks it - is never put in a position where the children close in on her space. 

 

Might be left over food on the kids faces driving the behaviour a bit too.. as well as the convenience. With me I'll let her lick my under the chin a few times and then tell her that's enough. I can lay on the ground and she'll either respect my space, or try to lay across me with her favourite toy like a little lap dog. Same if I'm sitting, she'd rather curl up in my lap than come and lick me.  

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The idea of the game is part of a whole series of games of building great value for the handler, partly by food and toy rewards, but also by the fun and excitement of things like finding the hidden face, or chasing the handler - so things that dogs love to do, but best played only by older young people, or adults.  You could use it yourself to improve her call off the little kids, but it wouldn't be appropriate for youngsters to play, IMO.   The younger kids could join in 'round robin' recall games outside once the adults have trained the puppy to play the game .. I'd have puppy on a trailing leash.  So each person has treats, one person restrains puppy by the collar (assuming puppy is happy with collar holds/grab - trained separately .. paired with treats.)  another person calls the puppy .. when puppy is literally straining, holder gives the release word and lets puppy rae over to the person who called .. puppy is excitedly praised and given treats, then collar grab restraint, someone else calls ........ and so on.   This is a great game for proofing the release cue (also used for things like going to food bowl, coming out of xpen. crate, door, car etc. etc..)

 

The face licking is a "thing" -  most Border Collies love to see and get to faces.   I guess it comes from baby puppyhood, where puppies will use it to get the dam's attention, and also as a little bit of an appeasement gesture with other adult dogs.    It's going to be hard to stop when your daughter's responses are mixed .. there's not a consistent response to the behaviour, so pup has no idea if it's OK or not.  Without actually seeing the situation, I think it's really a management issue

 

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Thanks again Barb

 

I think you're correct that it is probably a management issue re the licking. Looking back on it, it's actually been a quite a while since I've gone out with some high value treats to work on just that. Usually point my focus more towards food manners, games, or reward the dog for not chasing the go cart/pushbikes. Always something, but I've been working more during life than actual training scenario.

 

The older son (8yo) is getting it worked out, and has learnt to stand his ground and time his responses. IE stops play if she gets rough or accidental tooth contact occurs. Doesn't give her attention when she's excited until she sits down. 

 

I have been working the collar grab into feeding time routines and general recalls. I often simply put her in a sit-stay and then work them. We do this at home, on walks, and in the dog park. She obviously has the ability to break the stay but in general it's quite solid. We haven't worked on any restrained recalls; something we probably should. At a near by park she often see's other children and is learning to control her impulses and that just because people are around that she doesn't need to see them. She's also becoming much better with her dog to dog interactions.

 

Time time time. Train train train. 

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19 hours ago, KobiD said:

...   Time time time. Train train train

Yep!    I was out on busy streets this morning with my little BC girl .. well, not so little .. 5 months tomorrow, and 11.4 kg.  We were doing our busy noisy streets walk on our own that we do after my agility boy has done his half hour hydrotherapy.  Lots of noises, and a big hose praying on where the roadworks were happening .. and lots of people.   So we're working on impulse control .. not everyone needs to meet a little Border Collie!   Although talk about variable reinforcement schedule .. quite a few people do, and race in to say hi before I have a chance to ask for a sit.  :laugh:   Still she is improving .. gradually.   And I was pleased with how she was able to settle when I stopped to chat with people a few times.

 

So the collar grab thing is just with the dog in random and no particular positions ... worked up to with gradually from gentle to grab.  It's designed to desensitise the dog to people grabbing for the collar .. and to be happy with collar restraint when that is necessary for any reason, including as part of a game like the round robin recall,  or for amping up the dog and building up explosive drive before an exercise.

 

Sounds like your boy is becoming pretty dog savvy .. that will stand him in really good stead, and maybe even he'll want to be a junior dog handler in some sort of dog sports..

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I have expanded from collar grab to everywhere grab..

 

Just about do daily run downs. Paws, tail, ears, teeth, muzzle grab, collar grab. All with treats flowing and lots of praise... and I've never engaged her in a game of chase (me chasing her) for whatever reason. I often release her to go say hello to a couple of known dogs (they're on their side of the fence and have spoke to the owners etc so not winding their dogs up needlessly or being rude). She runs up to the fence, gets all excited and then I use that opportunity to recall, collar grab, stuff treats and release again. Becomes a nice exercise under drive and it amazes me how much more snappy she gets in drive. The rest of the time she's very blasé` about life. Cruises around at her own pace, lays down slowly, sits.. variable speed dog.

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