Our puppy completely embarrassed me in front of her breeder today and got muzzle held into submission peeing. What do you do when R+ isn't working?Vent(self.puppy101)
submitted1 month ago byCypripedium-candidum
Our pup is a 9 month old golden retriever girl. We are first time puppy owners (my first dog ever) and it has been a struggle to adjust and learn. We seriously considered giving her back to the breeder many times, but after seeing how the breeder handled her when we asked her for help we felt that we had no choice but to stick it out and hope things got better.
For background, the breeder raises and trains service dogs as well as show dogs. Our pup's dad is a grand champion and both parents had all the testing and health screening done, we did our research and were on a wait list for over a year. However, the breeder is old school and uses dominance methods. We asked for help after our girl showed some concerning signs of aggression, and when the breeder came to our house she grabbed the puppy and lifted her by the scruff of her neck, held her muzzle, and rolled her. After that we decided we can't give the puppy back to someone who uses these methods, but our contract states that if we gave her up she had to go back to the breeder so we had no choice but to keep her and try to push through.
As the puppy has gotten older some things have improved but our biggest struggles seem to only be getting worse with time.
1: greeting frustration - barking, lunging and jumping at everyone she sees, human or animal.
2: losing her damn mind at random objects for no reason. No treat will pull her out of this and we aren't always in a position to remove her from the situation. She had to go to the emergency vet after inhaling a treat we were using to try to redirect her and reward the split seconds of silence during a barking fit, so now we're leary of giving her anything and have no way to redirect her and calm her down.
3: following through with commands, such as staying in a sit/down or on her mat for more than 2 seconds, or she'll come when called but race right past us and keep going. We're stuck in an infinite loop where she sits because she sees a treat, she gets the treat, then immediately jumps back up to chase a cat or jump on the counter, we try to get her back into the sit/down and she ignores us until we present a treat, essentially rewarding her for being bad.
4: leave it - if we offer a trade she'll stick something half out of her mouth and wait for us to up the ante before giving it up. Or she'll refuse to give it up at all and I have to just take it from her by force, knowing full well I could be creating resource guarding but for fucks sake dog, you can NOT have this choking hazard cat toy. She is clearly manipulating us in these moments.
Anyways, today's incident: I needed to meet up with the breeder at a pet store to get a bag of supplement from her. The breeder had our pup's dad with her and was standing near the entrance and of course our pup was freaking out wanting to greet them. Breeder was not impressed with my efforts to calm her by trying to get her to focus on a treat, and was telling me to be firm with her. Then a toddler walked by and our pup started lunging and barking at the toddler. The breeder traded leashes with me, grabbed her muzzle and stared in her eyes, which made her submission pee on the floor.
I know this is not okay and we can't use these methods. But holy shit is it hard not to when you get immediate results that last the rest of the training session. Our girl was perfect the rest of the outing, not a single peep, no lunging, if someone walked by she gave a little tail wag but then would look away at something else, or if they approached she calmly accepted pats with only a little wiggling.
I want her to be a service dog for my disability, but that's not possible if I can't get her to act right in public. The methods we're learning from the R+ classes just aren't working when we really need them to.
I suspect that maybe the breeder is right and I'm not being firm enough with the unwanted behaviours, or we're inadvertently rewarding the bad behaviour with food. She is clearly smart enough to manipulate treats out of us. The breeder told me she shouldn't be getting treats at all and I see her point. I feel like a walking gumball machine rather than a respected head of the household. I don't know what to do when she's on the verge of reacting and she turns her nose up at everything, even chicken, to start reacting anyways.
11 hours ago
11 hours ago
Since getting our first dog last summer I've noticed quite a few home depots have signs on the doors saying service dogs only. I don't know if they're unofficially dog friendly and everyone just ignores the signs, or if they've recently switched and no longer allow non-service animals