Still having wild Labradoodle bouts.
I went to see her a few weeks ago – The lady is still unable to control her wild Labradoodle. At certain times of day, especially in the evening or when the lady is out in the garden with her, Poppy will jump up and grab her with her teeth, roughly. The lady is covered in bruises.
If she turns away, Poppy attacks her back. There is no malice in it but she simply has not learnt manners or teeth inhibition. In her wild Labradoodle bouts she seems to do all she can to wind the lady up – and her behaviour is getting her the desired results!
It is a shame that this lack of teeth inhibition wasn’t dealt with appropriately when she was a young puppy in a positive way that meant Poppy would get the message.
Teaching Poppy the desired behaviour
Anyway, today I took along my clicker. Usually I would use this to teach specific skills, but today I was going to work on Poppy’s general behaviour. I would simply click and treat her for being ‘good’.
While she was still in her crate I taught her that the click meant food was to follow – just a tiny soft treat.
Then I let her out!
She immediately did her wild Labradoodle act. She jumped at me and grabbed my arms. I folded them and looked away. As soon as she stopped I clicked and dropped a treat on the floor.
Soon she was not only calming down, but sitting in between bouts of craziness too. ‘Click treat’ all the time she was not mugging me.
I slowly made it more difficult by walking about, then feeding her by hand but not opening it until she was gentle. Each time she grabbed my hand I removed it and froze – and when she let go and I clicked and treated her. This way she was learning not only what she should NOT do, she was also learning what she SHOULD do.
In an effort to control her own mouth, she picked up a soft toy – ‘click treat’. Whenever she approached me politely, ‘click treat’. Soon I was walking around the garden, the place where she it as her wildest, with a polite and attentive dog. This was all within the space of about twenty minutes.
The brain exercise is just what she needs.
The lady is going to use part of Poppy’s food allowance and get her to earn it in this way. I feel sure we have found the ‘key’ to resolving Poppy’s hyper habits and getting her brain into gear.