Dog experts...care to chime in on Ace who has morphed into a difficult child?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by DDD, Oct 11, 2011.

  1. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    As some may remember Ace (100# or so Boxer) is a good dog and husband's best friend. husband allows Ace to do a number of things that drive me nuts. Ace gets on the furniture...husband thinks it's cute and I finally gave up the battle last year. Ace comes in the kitchen when we eat...husband thinks it's cute and I almost always let it slide. Ace sleeps in our room. Not my idea but husband loves him nearby and Ace doesn't cause any problems.

    Up until this week the only problem with Ace in our room is that he is terrified of storms, jumps on our bed and does not follow the "down" command. It's a rare occurence so no huge deal.

    Morph time started this weekend. We had company and were all eating on the porch. Ace kept going from person to person. When I told him to "go" he didn't. When I stood up and went next to him and directed him...nothing! I slightly elevated my voice...nothing. I ended up taking him by the collar and almost dragging him into the house and closed the sliding glass door. Yesterday difficult child#1 was in our bedroom watching tv and when he decided to move on he told Ace to "come" as he walked out.
    Ace wouldn't budge. Finally, Ace had to be tugged out of the bedroom. Sigh! This morning I had the same blankin' response. He ignored my stern voice. He looked at me with a "x you" expression on his face. I pulled him out of the room. My back is not happy.

    So...not going there again. Ace is banned from our room. husband is going to be upset. Ace is going to protest at the door. I can't think of any other solution. Why he would all of a sudden want to be the dominator I haven't a clue. I'm a Warrior Mom. I do not relinquish control to difficult child's. Any ideas?DDD
     
  2. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    You need to get H on board with you, DDD. You both need to assert your dominance over Ace - together and consistently! Just like with a difficult child, how funny!

    Ace has learned that H is the softee and he believes he is first in line, next to H. You guys need to work together to change that attitude. Best of luck - Izzy does this with H and me too!!
     
  3. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    H&R, If I were a betting woman I would lay a wager that husband does not comply with my new rule. You "know" my husband, lol, he does not like waves. Sigh! Keep your fingers crossed. DDD
     
  4. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Yeah, you two need to get on the same page and both have the same rules. I'm not the greatest one to talk about this since my little dog herd obviously runs all over me. Mine know who's boss but that doesn't stop them from trying. Katy has some things that she waits to do until I go out of the room because she knows I don't want her to and Ragan will get in to the garbage every single time unless I keep it put up where she can't reach it.

    Mine are actually pretty well behaved but I have noticed that when someone comes over, their excitement over having company seems to override all the usual "rules". They all adore my son and when he comes over, they turn into a little pack of wild heathens! They are usually very good about going in to their crates at night when I tell them "Bedtime!" But if my son is here, Katy especially, will hop up into his lap, gaze up at him adoringly, and then give me this snotty look, like, "I don't have to! HE'S here!"
     
  5. skeeter

    skeeter New Member

    Boxers love, love, love furniture. They will think they own it all. We have let them have one piece they are permitted on. Period.
    We never, ever let them in the kitchen when we eat. Now, sometimes a nose and toenails make it over the edge of the doorway, but that's it. When we open the dishwasher, they know that is the signal to come in, sit in front of the fridge, and hold up their paw and then they get a cookie (dog biscuit).
    They are creatures of habit, and the habit must be established over and over and consistently.

    One of ours was just operated on and had chewable anti-inflammatories and an antibiotic for a week. He'd get them when I took my own pills at night. They ran out 2 weeks ago. He still comes running every night when I get my pills out.
     
  6. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I was running into a meeting before when I posted. But wanted to share with you just how obstinate our three little caballeras are!

    We allow little Izzy to sit on her pillow by the window while we have our morning coffee - I know, really REALLY bad, but she's tiny (5lbs) and doesn't usually roam the table. Because of this, Sophie is jealous. So, whenever we leave the room, she climbs up on the table and squeezes her 17lb body onto Izzy's pillow by the table. I cannot tell you how many times I've come home to find her there, panicked as if she's wondering how she got up there! It is a riot, but it really makes me mad for her to be up there because she DOES roam the table.

    Nala will not come when called. That dog will hold her pee for days if she can avoid going out on our schedule. It's all about Nala. She's a little 15 lb tyrant. I will call her and call her for her walk, but she won't budge. Then when I go drag her out from under our bed, she looks at me as if to say, "What's YOUR problem, lady?" And I'm her favorite!

    Izzy is a racer walker, Sophie walks by your side and Nala is like dragging an anvil down the street. They really are a pita, but we love them anyway.
     
  7. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    It's hard to "train" a husband who is pushing 80. I got Ace for him due to his depression and Ace was the wonder cure. It just seems so odd that this week Ace has opted to change his MO. There have been no disruptions to the household etc. He has a crate that he freely uses. I had thought about crating him at night in lieu of banishing but I'll have to see. Cross your fingers. DDD
     
  8. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    How old is Ace?

    We had a dog whose responsiveness changed... due to the pain of dental problems.
    Dogs do NOT like to let on that there is a problem - in the wild, they would be banished from the pack.
    So they hide it for as long as possible.

    He doesn't have to be "old" for this to happen - but chances of problems go up with every year of age...
     
  9. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    He turns four in November. He's eating/drinking/pooping normally and was aok at the vet a month or so ago. I don't think it's physical.

    I'm thinking (always thinking, lol) that maybe I should wash his comforter when I get home and put that sleeping comforter from our bedroom floor in his crate. He'll be confused not having our door open so maybe that will clue him into to the new regime...and provide comfort. Sound like a plan?? DDD
     
  10. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Worth a try - at least some logic to it.
    I'd be more inclined to do this in steps, though...

    Do this part - wash comforter, put in kennel... but put kennel in bedroom.
    He's then changing beds but not location.
    THEN - every night, move him closer to the door, until he's "out"... but, these are still "one change at a time" - changing location but not bed.

    Dogs don't like multiple changes at the same time.
     
  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    DDD...Im thinking something totally different. Dogs are much more aware of things ahead of time than we are. Ace is husband's dog, you have said that repeatedly. It seems Ace wants to be with husband even more so than normal, right? Could it be that Ace is sensing something wrong with husband? Maybe Ace feels that he needs to be right there with husband and doesnt want to listen to you because his job is to be there for husband. Maybe you should listen to Ace.
     
  12. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    husband wasn't home when Ace "bucked" with me or difficult child#1. Ace "bucked" when husband wanted him to get off the bed during the bad weather last week..but that I attribute to his fear of storms. Your idea makes sense Janet but since husband was at work I don't think so. I have no doubt in the future, however, you may be right on the money.

    His crate is big and he uses it frequently during the day. Practically speaking the idea of "inching" him out of the room makes sense but in reality we couldn't handle it. Smart idea, though.

    Thanks guys. I'm heading home from work and getting my "game face" ready, lol. DDD

    PS: Wasn't it just a couple of weeks ago that I started a thread on how smart dogs are and there tricks?? He's trying to outsmart me this week.
     
  13. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Here's a different track to think about...

    Ever heard of clicker training?
    Clickers are CHEAP.
    What you do is train the dog that "click" = "treat".
    Then, you "click" every time he does the thing you're looking for (for example, sitting OUTSIDE the kitchen door...) - the click gives you enough time to get a treat out, because the dog knows its coming (you have about 3 seconds generally - once they catch on to the click=treat, you have about 30 seconds.

    I keep the clicker around my neck if the dogs are underfoot. I don't like them at my feet if I'm working in the Kitchen, because I'm too much of a klutz and will trip over them... so, allow them to be on the edges, and work on clicker training... sit, down, stay, beg... click/treat. Their eyes don't leave me... just waiting for the next click!

    What this does is changes how Ace sees YOU - as in, if I work for this nice lady, I get really nice treats.

    Treat tip... get some really cheap chicken wieners. Way healthier than official doggie treats.
     
  14. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Hold on....before you do anything drastic....a couple of things shout out at me about his sudden change in behavior. It is not normal for a dog to just "change" one day - so there is something going on.

    First, has his hearing been checked? Maybe he has an ear infection, wax build up, or is going deaf?

    Second Janet could be totally onto something. My dog Chester was amazing at knowing if something was wrong with me. I went 2 months walking around with mono, before finally Chester jumped on my bed, put his nose almost in my mouth and would not let his nose leave my mouth. He did this repeatedly, as if, hello ding dong - you have mono! He knew, he just didn't know how to tell me.

    I would really think about what could be triggering this. I don't think he just decided to start having power struggles. Something triggered it.

    Also, a great tip if you want a dog to do something they don't want to do is to have a treat in your hand when you give the command. When they follow through on the command give them the treat - it is much easier than dragging them by the collar. Mine freak out if I drag her by the collar.
     
  15. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Most dogs do... unless trained not to.
    Our dog trainer had us do clicker-training with collar-grab. Until now... its not an issue at all.
    In fact, sleepy-head can be slow getting up to go out at night... and my patience is low by then - all I have to do now is TOUCH his collar, and he's just about snapping to attention.
     
  16. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Steely, Im with you...I dont think Ace just suddenly decided to go difficult child on her. Its not like the dog decided to find drugs and become a dealer...lol. Maybe he is going deaf. I dont think this is totally defiance.
     
  17. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I totally back this.
    and this...

    and this...

     
  18. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Ace has always followed simple commands with-o clicker training or treats. He has been compliant with-o any incentives and I swear there is no environmental change other than easy child and her husband visiting...and they are really "dog" people with-o any attitude at all. husband just had his six month checkup and he is healthy. None of us has had an "attitude". We did have the furniture cleaners and floor cleaners in last week to prepare for company but Ace went to be groomed and when he came home from the familiar dog loving groomers the only change in the house was that the living room was blocked off for two days.

    I do think it is strange that he would all of a sudden assert himself but there is no sign of anything wrong except, lol, a possible constipation problem. No...there has been no change in diet either. It is weird, no doubt. I have been wondering (don't laugh) if it could be hormonal..,or early onset adolescence. Geez, I think I've raised too many kids!

    husband and I agreed that he will be allowed to "go to bed" when I do. He will be allowed to get up with husband (he usually opens the store and is up first) and then...when husband leaves he will shut the MBR door. Once I get up Ace and I will follow our usual pleasant routine but Ace will not be allowed in the MBR as I prepare for work. I am not going to pull him out of the room again and end up with a recurrence of old back problems. Today the otc medications have prevented pain but...darn it...I don't take medications ever unless I have to, and today my back hurt. husband also agreed, thank heavens, that if he gives any more problems he will be banished from the MBR. Phew/Whew. I think husband gets it.

    I'll update tomorrow but honestly he is trained, compliant and not a pain in the fanny usually. Hope Ace "gets it" and the problem doesn't recur. Fingers crossed. DDD
     
  19. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    1. "the only change in the house was that the living room was blocked off for two days. " - That is enough for a dog to get his tail in a snit.

    2. "except, lol, a possible constipation problem. " - THAT is double-triple enough for a dog to get his tail in a snit.

    So... assuming the LR has returned to normal, try to get point 2 resolved as well...

    And on top of that - I like the strategy for MBR off-limits after DHis up...

    Let us know how it goes!
     
  20. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Hmm.

    I treat my dogs like children, with the same consistency ect on rules / training. If they can't mind their "manners" when people are eating they go into their crate.

    Sounds like your pooch may be un-learning his training because husband is not making him tow the line, and if anyone else is giving in it just makes it worse.

    Like Betsy, her worst habit is to jump on people. Now in her defense she's short as all get out and it's not easy for a grown adult to bend over and pet her. But I still don't want her jumping, too many grandkids. So I naturally taught her not to jump. Nichole tried to not teach her until she realized Betsy might jump on Aubrey. (betsy and aubrey are the exact same age born 2 wks apart) So then Nichole climbed on board. But then Travis was the main problem. We'd finally get her to stop jumping up and he'd come in and TELL her to so he didn't have to bend down to pet her, and totally undo everything we did. Finally, Travis is on board and now the habit is slowly going away.

    The rules have to be clear and everyone has to make the pooch follow the rules. Other than that they can spoil as desired. lol
     
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