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My husband and I have a petsitting business, and we advertise that we take well-behaved dogs into our home.   Sometimes though, the dogs are not so well-behaved, but have good hearts.  In those cases, we work with their behavior issues.  Here is a blog I wrote on my Facebook Companion Care Petsitting website:

Riley has been a doggie challenge. She is 3 years old, and has lots of energy, and she has taken in mixed messages around what is ‘good’ behavior. She is confused and insecure, so she has been a bit of a puzzle and challenge to turn around. It has taken a little while to figure her out.

This is day 4 of her stay with us. Her behaviors have included jumping on the bed at night and not getting down, not wanting to sleep in her bed at night, and waking in the night and wanting attention. So we’ve had to confirm that her bed (in our house) is her sleeping place, and ignore her when she wants attention in the night and we don’t want to give it.

It’s important to give a dog correct messages. I think people have guilt around dogs that has them giving attention when they don’t really want to. This gives a dog mixed messages about what humans want and confuses them. Another thing is giving dogs attention when their behavior is bing bong. This affirms that bing bong behaviour is acceptable and gets attention. I try to give attention to a dog when it is in a calm state of mind. This confirms that a calm state gets attention and a bing bong state does not.

Another issue with Riley is she has a lot of energy and is not leash trained, so we are unable to walk her at this time to help her to release this energy. I have been throwing the ball in the b/y and she loves that. When she is tired, i put her on her leash and walk her around the outer driveway. I tried to use the training collar but she is not ready for that. I’ve figured out she just needs to do a lot of sniffing and get used to being on a leash in a small area. She is completely non linear on the leash, going hither and yon, completely distracted visually and by her nose so walking is a complete tug of war. Took me a while to figure this out. Cesar Milan makes it look so easy!

Another problem with Riley (yes, there are lots), is that she jumps up on people and thinks it’s all great fun. And she is very strong and heavy. Not good. So i use a dowling, and i put it between her and I and she gets the message very fast that jumping up is not ok.

She is a completely loving dog, but her owners have given her (in my opinion) too much attention for bad behavior, not enforced good behaviors, let her go absolutely snake in the house jumping on the furniture to get her energy out because they are older and haven’t established an exercise program, and too many treats to try to control her behavior which is rewarding her for bing bong.

Learning much with this pup!