New England Old English Sheepdog Rescue, Inc.
GUIDELINES FOR PROBLEM BEHAVIOR DOGS
1. Dog should be confined overnight in the bedroom—in other words; you must require the dog to sleep with you. Either use a crate, or short tie the dog to the bed, or close the bedroom door. The dog must not be allowed to sleep in your bed and you should not get down on the floor with the dog.
2. All treats should be withheld from the dog until the behavioral problems have been extinguished.
3. Withhold praise and affection unless the dog responds to a command. Do not pet the dog unless you first ask him to do something for you like “sit” or “down” or “come”. This would imply the need for obedience training pronto. Life must be very business like and cold for a dog which is abusing the privilege of living with us.
4. Pet the dog for five seconds only. No fond stroking. This is usually very hard on the owner because this is one of the reasons we have dogs. Even petting for praise in response to a command should be rather aloof and not exuberant.
5. Never allow your dog to precede you in or out of the doorways to your home. Your dog must be taught to “wait” until you give him the OK to go in or out of the home, vet, car, groomer, etc. If it is a very hardcore dog—biting owner situation—then this rule would apply to any doorway or archway ever encountered. There is an importance to entrances in dog language that people are not aware of and don’t enforce. This is most important! It isn’t their house (den), it is yours. You rule!!!!!!
6. Crate training is most important. If you can put your dog in a box and require it to stay there you are very powerful in the dog’s eyes.
7. Keep your dog on a leash in the house so it is required to follow you around. We are the only species that let our young run amuck and follow them around to pick up the pieces. To get a rest from our children and keep them safe we do put them in cribs, playpens, highchairs, car seats, etc., so why is it cruel to put your dog in a crate or keep him on a leash?
8. Work your dog consistently on the obedience exercises. This is structured play and has a very calming influence on the dog. How nice to always know what to do and who to look to for directions.
9. Everyday—use a long down stay command in the house with the dog beside you for an hour period of time while you read or watch TV. Do not go off and leave the dog. Enforce this by having a leash and training collar on the dog. It does not matter if you have to put the dog down a hundred times in that hour—just act like a robot. Don’t get angry if the dog keeps getting up. Repeat the words, “No, Down, Stay,” as many times as it takes in that hour.
10. Teach your dog to stay still during grooming procedures. You have a right to check every nook and cranny on your dog so get him used to you doing so. Do not let the dog call the halt to any grooming session.
11. If your dog is in the way make him move, do not step around him.
12. Be aware of para-language. Do not use long conversations with your dog to explain your point of view. All he gets are the voice modulations which if high pitched sound like whining and if low pitched sound like growling. Use one word commands given in a rather low pitched tone, and do not resort to yelling or repeating command words. Jerk his leash if he doesn’t obey. How can your dog be expected to obey if you are not in control of yourself?
13. Once you have established control by all these methods start setting the dog up to make the old mistakes and then correct him. After all—you are smarter than he is!