My Life with Dogs and Cats

I like the toy presentation at the door as you enter, j.
what simone is doing can be extinguished with consistency. she needs you and every other person entering your home, to act accordingly, doing the same exact thing as you are doing, to get the same consistently good results.
Every time simone gets away with jumping on someone entering your home, barking like mad, etc... that bad behavior is re-enforced and it causes the things you are teaching her to take a back seat. IOW, slows the learning process and breaks the habit she was forming. so if the kids and husband will get onboard, simone's progress will be faster, happen regularly and without reminders, eventually.

I would also teach simone to sit, rather than jump up on people. the two behaviors are mutually exclusive, that is, she cannot jump up while sitting, LOL! she may try, LOL! but if she holds the sit, gets praised and treated and played with or handed that toy. she will have stopped jumping. a win/win situation.

so my ultimate suggestion would be to teach her to down/stay or sit/stay before the door is opened and to hold her in that command position until everyone is settled. then and only then, I would treat her and praise her like mad. always working in baby steps, of course!

best wishes,

As always CR--your suggestions and encouragement is always appreciated. Always very solid and very logical. XOXO

Day 12 and 13 Puppy Training: Trip to Town a great success!

OKAY, so I didn't even know the dog I was walking in town...behaving, sitting nice and waiting in the pet store...who was that?..It was SIMONE!!!!

She was soooo good! She is afraid of town--the lanterns at Samari Sushi are scary, the Vans that pass so close to the side walk--scary...other dogs walking--scary! But she even though she was scared, she was so good! She was friendly to people, and even muster'd the courage to say hi to a rottie girl.

I hadn't brought her coat with us, so I had to cut our town trip short--it was too cold for her outside.

Simone was allowed to pick out a BIG BONE at the pet store, and has been in doggy glee ever since. (If dogs could sing).

Will keep up with the greeting at the door training as CR suggests.

Day 14 Puppy Training--big bone all gone--need new one.

As it gets colder Simone, my house trained puppy would RATHER use the floor by the door INSIDE. When it's chilly--no problem, but when it's really cold, she doesn't want to go spend time outside. YES--she has a coat.

Greeting at the door remains constant, and tonight after a cookie treat, my children delighted in playing with the laser light--and all three dogs. It was actually a great indoor activity.

After dinner (which is warmed), all 3 did their business (Simone's by the door) and fell fast asleep.

Posted By: jeannehAs it gets colder Simone, my house trained puppy would RATHER use the floor by the door INSIDE. When it's chilly--no problem, but when it's really cold, she doesn't want to go spend time outside. YES--she has a coat.

What about boots? Will she wear them? I suspect the cold is bothering her pads more than her body, although that would be a factor, too, without the coat.

I hesitate to suggest puppy pads, since that might only teach her that it's OK to go by the door. :shocked:

Thanks PeggyC--it could be her feet are cold.

I have never been fan of puppy pads for any dog, because I do feel it teaches them it's ok to go inside.

Paper training has always amused me also--How shocked are owners when their dog pee's on their Sunday paper....once they set it down on the floor to go refill their coffee cup? The idea makes me giggle.

I doubt I could get boots to stay on Simone. Keeping her coat on is a challenge. She really doesn't like it.

She actually was potty trained at 12 weeks. Only since it got cold ( I mean those really cold days) does she use the floor by the door. Usually she is consistent in asking to go OUTSIDE when she needs to. She is on a schedule, so I am always surprised if she has an accident.

SIDE NOTE: It took just about 1 year to fully potty train my female beagle Bella, but only 1 week to potty train Simone (12 weeks old). Same method--different results. Hunter was slow to train too, but since he suffered from Parvo and nearly died, I'm going to give him a break. He has NEVER been exactly right since--he's kinda S L O W about everything. He lost his life as a puppy, and at age 2 years, he's like an old man--A polite, agreeable old man.

jeanneh, congratulations on the very good results you are getting at the door! good job!
as for the cold, tough one for a dog sensitive to it but I would not give in, myself, by allowing her to use the floor. she needs to go outside every time, so perhaps vaseline or bag balm (for cow udders) would help the pads. if this were my situation with my dog? I would beat her to the punchline and get her out before her scheduled time somehow. could you ask the dog walker to change the schedule on really cold days? not sure if it is possible but ... if s/he could sneak in the kitchen door? not exactly surprise simmy but, sort of, LOL! simone may be urinating when she hears the dog walker's car engine! yes, dogs are that intelligent to know how to figure this out! rascals!
keep up the good work j!!! all dogs should be so blessed as yours are with you as their owner!

I was going to say that if you can't break her of the habit of going on the floor and refusing to go out when it's cold, you might get stuck with these habits for the rest of her life. Don't give in!

Ditto what CL said about how good a job you're doing with her... it sounds like she's making great progress.

Day 15 and 16 of Puppy Training: Peeing in the snow 101

Formally a snow hater--Simone has taken to this last fall of fluff with the glee of a bunny rabbit in a fresh field of clover. Hoppity-hop-hop...bounding, bouncing, and tunneling in. I shoveled a path into the grassy part of the yard, but she amused me this morning by standing chest deep and peeing while standing. Hey--At least it's outside and not by the door inside.

Her excitement about all the snow makes it difficult for me to walk her any distance. With my bad knee and her pulling me all over the ice, we thought inside play might be safer. Laser light is a great way to get her running and twirling and get some of that boxer energy she has from her heredity out. I'm not sure if Am/Staf's are high energy, but I know from experience boxers are.

Yesterday morning, I lay in bed with a headache. I felt a dog jump up--but I thought it was Bella. (IT COULDN'T BE SIMONE--THE JUMP WAS TOO SOFT, and NON-SPAZZY) This dog curled small against me, and let out a very deep, satisfied sigh. AWWWW..I thought--Bella's such a love......LOL...IT WAS SIMONE--that sneaky dog! She took advantage of the situation....but it was so cute. Of course, I made her get off the bed, but not after she had lay there with me for more than an hour. Me--thinking it was Bella.

I hope the snow melts fast! WALKING all the dogs is such a production now.


Day 17 of Puppy Training: All 3 dogs are on my nerves. (so are my kids)

I think that being snow bound makes my dogs and my kids a bit restless and nutty.

I can't say for sure, but I think yesterday the kids didn't really WALK the dogs. I think they let them out...but didn't walk down the street with them. Why do I think this...because I came home to chaos!

One kid is glued to the computer, the other glued to a video game and the three dogs have redecorated the living room!

I quickly ran to Pathmark to get some chew bones, and some food. I got home at 7:30pm, so I was a bit grumpy about the whole thing!

Finally By 9pm--we are eating, the dogs are fed (AND WALKED), the living room is back to normal, and all dogs are happy chewing on bones. BUT--the kids are at each other.....OH--I'm just too tired for all of it...

some days just have to get through....

Looking forward to a long weekend. Kid free, and time for serious puppy training.

Puppy Training Log:

Valentine's Day: A breakthrough!

I came home today and Simone nipped NO ONE. She greeted me at the door and did not leap on me or nip me. I had a BIG BONE in the bag I was carrying, and I gave it to her and she went to chew it. The beagles were allowed to greet me and not get attacked.

I actually went over to see if she was feeling OK. (LOL) She's fine.

OMG---I'm not sure why--but I'm shocked that it's working!

I had another headache (starting to think it's the sun reflecting on the snow--and my eyes are sensative) Simmy again snuck up on the bed. All 3 dogs slept with me and when I woke Simmy had tucked herself right under my arm next to me...snuggled. I let her stay there just a few minutes---it was too cute to just toss her off the bed. I wonder if she can sense when I have a migraine? She doesn't jump up when I get into bed at night anymore. She GOES TO BED on command, and sleeps on her own bed next to us.

Gave the beagles a run at Walters yard. They are sleepy.
Snow is too high to let Simmy run in the yard without a leash---she can jump the fence in 2 places. I took her for a long walk with her big bone--she likes to show everyone!

You're doing great work with her, Jeanneh... don't lose heart. It takes time and patience and you have been pouring both into her. Simmy is making strides! Try to get some rest today, relax a bit so you are not stressing on your one day of breathing room, LOL! You have a lot going on!

Cute visual of the doggy and her showing off her big bone on the walk, LOL! Really, aren't they just so cute!

Jeanneh, do you wear sunglasses outside with all this snow? The reflected sun really is tough on the eyes, and if wearing sunglasses helps minimize the glare, it's worth a try.

I do have sunglasses, but they only help a little. Thanks PeggyC. Some days are worse--not sure why, but today is fine and I have been outside a good portion of the day.

All dogs are sound asleep after a great Run and play in Walter's yard and a WALK...snoring from all 3.

I was slightly disappointed when I came home today. Simmy jumped on me and pulled my coat. I quickly reached for the closest toy, and then she was fine. She allowed the beagles to greet me without blocking or nipping them.

I practiced recall with Simmy today in Walter's yard--Simmy not leashed. I'm always nervous now because she can leap the fence in 2 places in his yard. But recall word HERE works wonders. She is 100% on it--with or without a treat. I think I can cross that off my list. We will still practice--but she's GOT IT.

I completely forgot YESTERDAY, Simmy was one-year-old!!!!


Critter---Simone is adorable when she shows off her big bone. Her stubby tail wiggles and makes her butt wiggle (very boxer like). Anyone who sees her laughs out loud.

Happy Birthday, Simmy! :bigsmile:

Simmy said Thanks, but it sounded more like this...

"wou, wooo, wou"

aww, she's only one year old! I think she is responding beautifully nto your positive reenforcing of the rules and the basic commands, so good job, Jeanneh! and Happy birthday, Simmy!

Thanks Critterlover!

There is something special about Simmy. She had me on day one. I had no idea what I was getting myself into to.

Last night another set back: Pulled at Daughters clothes and ripped them.

Last night my teens came home from being at their dad's all weekend. All 3 dogs went wild, but Simmy started biting EVERYONE. She grabbed my daughters shirt and pulled and shook it, and ripped a big hole in it. I was mortified--what if that was someone other than family who came in the house???? They would think they were being attacked--violently.

She wasn't actually being violent, as much as she was so so excited to see everyone. She was also trying to hug her, by jumping up and putting her paws on my daughter's shoulders. Usually she does this carefully, and gets a hug, but last night she was a maniac.

I was able to correct her, and distract her with cookies in the kitchen, but I think I have a long way to go before I can have company over!!!!

My daughter's response: Love isn't suppose to hurt-- Simone!

I have a bruise on my hand, my son was nipped and my poor daughter was mauled...all in the name of love???

I think I might need Critterlover to come over here--if she dares! I'll let you know.

...and this morning, I came home from a meeting, and I got a very appropriate greeting at the door (toy already in mouth), and she allowed the beagles to greet me with out nipping or going nutty on them. It's from one extreme to another in a 10 hour period.

Jeanneh, were your kids excited, loud, energetic in their entrance and greeting of the dogs when they got home? Could it have been their energy that the dogs were reflecting back?

The beagles cry when the kids come in. First Hunter saw them getting out of the car and started crying, which alerted Bella, and she started crying at the window. They both moved to the door crying and howling, and once the kids came in Simone joined in, with the jumping and biting--not being mean, but just so excited to see them.

I distracted her first and when she was sitting (for a second), that's when I invited her into the kitchen for the cookie. She was rewarded for sitting, not mauling.

I am working on Simone not to jump or nip when "I" come in, but until now we hadn't had a problem with other people, or my own kids. So now I need to kick it up a notch. She was perfectly fine tonight when all 3 of us came home at 8pm. She already had a toy in her mouth, and only jumped once, and was quickly corrected.

I had a really great visit with critterlover this past Saturday.

So what's in store for ALL 3 dogs?
First, they will all sit and stay when I come in the door. There will be no more jumping, and fighting.

We started today. Not so good results when all 3 of us (humans) arrived home from Church. BUT, if someone is inside to put the dogs in a sit and stay--they'll do it and allow someone to come in through the door (SO THERE IS HOPE).

Next--Bella (who is lead dog) will lay down on command. After a long and exhausted fight to make her lay down during puppy training I had given up, and she and her stubborn ways wore me down. Critterlover however was able to make Bella lay down...more than once. So that is MY goal. SIDENOTE: Bella charmed Critterlover with her floppy ears and adorable gazes. She is diabolical that way. She is our house beagle Princess, and anyone one who meets her knows it.

Hunter, my hippie dog (wanting only peace and love) was a gentleman during the visit.

TO Critter--Simone stopped barking in her crate almost immediately after you left. I think she WAS jealous of the attention Bela was getting. I really enjoyed the visit. I truly appreciate all the suggestions to make my house a calmer place to live with 3 dogs. I will work on all you suggested.

Will log it in this Blog and hope for success.

Sunday Puppy Training Log:

Simone went to town, visited with the pet store clerk, and was a very well behaved dog walking around town.

We walked straight through a large crown (2X) in front of the pub, and she kept her gaze on me (holding a treat). She sat when asked, and took a treat from a total stranger as gentle as could be. She is still very firghtened of town things (carts outside KINGS--scary, Flags flapping at the post-office--very scary, babies in strollers make her nervous, so I keep her a good distance from them. She would like VERY much to meet other dogs, but so far the owners we encounter, turn away, or stay distant. I admit, she is big and looks intimidating, but she really does enjoy the company of other dogs.

Our only faux pas was seeing BIRDS. Birds hopping on the side walk, or in the road is a huge distraction. NO treat is better than chasing birds. (Will note that, and work on it)

All in all--a good day at town. She picked a BIG BONE at hte store and is now chewing happily as I write this.

I enjoyed our visit and yes, I am smitten by Bella's deep, liquid brown eyes and gloriously soft ears of velvet.

I wrote you a nice, longer reply and somehow deleted it. Now I am furious with my computer and will have to send this blah,blah,blah boring reply.

I did truly enjoy our visit. I believe the sit/stay and eventual down/stay if you wish, at the door will bring a sense of calm into your entering the home.
Practice in a way that sets up Simmy for 100% success, is my suggestion. Every failure to sit/stay relapses her and re-enforces the powerful desire and lure of jumping up and getting rowdy.
So if you only make it happen when you know she will get it right, you are ahead of the game. If someone inside can get her into position, she will do it for a treat, she showed us that right away. What a smart dog!

Thanks again for the wonderful visit,jeanneh!

Maybe Simone needs more exercise. Puppies are so full of energy. Being home all a lone while everyone is at work must be very boaring to a puppy so full of energy. Maybe doggy day care where Simone can run around all day and play will do the trick. The maybe she won't eat the walls and carpet when you are at work. At night she will to tiered to do it then too.

Puppy Training Log:


Last night might have the worst (MOMMY YOU'RE HOME!!!!!!) moment for Simmy and me yet. My son and Daughter got ready for me to come up to the door putting all 3 dogs in a sit and stay position. They did it.

I came up to the door, unlocked it...and the dogs went wild and out of control. I gave the kids a minute to get the dogs settled a bit and try to go back to sitting. After a while I felt that they had just lost all control, so I opened the door. I was holding the door itself as I came in with my left hand, and holding treats in my right--ready to assist in the sit and stay command when....

Simmy pounced against the door with all her weight. My hand was crushed. Last night I thought broken, but today, hurts but usable. SO--not broken.

I've asked the kids to practice sit and stay with the dogs so they actually listen to them. I think if the dogs respected the command of the kids, I could come in the door without all the jumping. Hopefully they will practice. I know the dogs can do it, because Sunday when I put them in a sit and stay, they allowed the kids to come in without jumping. I know they can do it.

Will try again tonight, but am very nervous, especially now that I'm wounded.

Puppy Training Log:

Last night I had my son put Simmy in her crate right before I got home. When I let her out she was slightly over-excited, but calmed down and sat nice for a cookie in the kitchen.

I am not looking forward to more snow. Last time, Simmy wouldn't poo outside. I am hoping she has gotten used to the white stuff, and will be more willing to do ALL her business OUTSIDE instead of next to the front door.

I've been feeling very bad for out kitty--Baby May. She is always having to be in the basement if we are not home, and when we are home, she is either locked in the office with someone working there, or locked in the attic (my son's rooms) with my son. These times out of the basement seem short. They are a few hours in the afternoon, or early evening. I am going to make more of an effort to acclimate Simmy to the cat without killing her. I have been successful at telling Simmy to be gentle when Kitty is in the kitchen with me. But I hate that the cat is on the counter (drives me nuts).

Gentle with Kitty means--Kitty is on the counter, and SImmy is sneaking a leap here and there to NIBBLE poor kitty. This is a big improvement from yanking kitty from her perch and tossing her around like a toy. I never had a dog that didn't get along with my cats.

Of course I would never leave kitty ALONE with Simmy ever, even if they appear to get along. The beagles, who had previously ignored kitty completely will chase her if Simmy gets all worked up that kitty is free in the house.

(EVIL GIGGLE) Max, the feral cat who I care for has told all 3 dogs to back off. Simone will leap around, but not go near him. The beagles cry at him---from a good distance. He must have scratched them good! I wish Baby May would fight back.

What do you do when Simmy "nibbles" at Baby May?

While I am a big propenant of positive reinforcement, as far as my precious cats are concerned, I use aversive techniques (squirt gun, penny can)if Gracie is getting a little too interested in the cats. I have had to get her to associate an unpleasant experience when she gets too close. We have progressed beyond that (after almost 2 years) and now, I can just tell her to sit to divert her.

Prey drive is very difficult to work with. It is, afterall, a natural behavior that is deeply ingrained instinctually.'

Gracie has moderate to low prey drive, but if she starts to carry her tail higher than her topline, I know it is time to get her to back off. I know now that making her sit, diffuses that energy and re-focuses her on me. The best investment I ever made is the babygate with the smaller gate in it. Gracie needs to be where I am (she had pretty severe separation anxiety when I first brought her home.) My kitchen and family room cover a fairly large area. When I am gone during the day, she is confined there. When I come home she gets the run of the house. The cats can venture out of my bedroom , if they want, but they always have a safe place to retreat .

Last week my 7 pound cat (who will stand her ground--maybe to her detriment)chased Gracie all around the house, until Gracie tried to hide behind me.

Posted By: jeannehI am going to make more of an effort to acclimate Simmy to the cat without killing her. I have been successful at telling Simmy to be gentle when Kitty is in the kitchen with me. But I hate that the cat is on the counter (drives me nuts).

Gentle with Kitty means--Kitty is on the counter, and SImmy is sneaking a leap here and there to NIBBLE poor kitty. This is a big improvement from yanking kitty from her perch and tossing her around like a toy.

Jeanneh, I'm sorry, but I have to say something. This really has me worried. I don't think you should allow Simmy around Baby May at all until you have her thoroughly trained to obey every one of your commands 100%. This is a tragedy waiting to happen.

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