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|12-21-2011, 09:00 AM||#1|
Join Date: Jun 2010
My Yorkshire Terrier, named Shade, is going on 2 years come January. He was a very good puppy when we first got him, at about 5 weeks of age [a little early?]. I wanted him to be completely opposite of my outside dogs, Blossom and Dexter, for we feed them human food with their dog food sometimes [they're medium sized]. So I told my parents not to give Shade human food, because I didn't want him to get possessive. My parents assured me that he wouldn't because Blossom and Dexter weren't possessive. I raised Blossom and Dexter from birth so I taught them not to be possessive. But I made them promise not to give Shade human food.
Turns out that they'd been sneaking him human food, when I'm not looking. They'd toss him a piece of chicken or something. So now he growls whenever he steals something, he runs away when he knows that he has something that he shouldn't. He even snaps at me if I try and take away something that's potentially dangerous to him. He got ahold of my brother's m&m candy and I'd nearly had my hand covered in scars after successfully taking all candy pieces out of his mouth without him swallowing.
My parents get mad at Shade when he bites them but I keep telling them that it's because they exposed him to human food, when I particularly stress the yorkie on not getting into it. My parents just don't seem to get it; my dad will come into my room and say, "Shade says he wants a snack." I'd say, "He just ate dinner. He doesn't need a snack." Then he'd continue, "Just give him a snack." Then he'd get angry at me if I don't want to give him anything. I don't want a fat terrier.
However! I decided to continue with Shade's training [I don't know why I stopped] to keep him occupied. He knows how to "Sit", "Beg", "Twirl", and "Down". But the thing that I've been stressing most is "Leave It". I'd toss a snack onto the ground and tell him firmly to "Leave It" and he'd stare at the snack but not eat it. Then when I pick it up and say, "Good Boy", I let him eat it. I trained him like this for a week. Yesterday it was put to the test when he got ahold of a potato chip. I saw him eating it and I told him to "Leave It" and he literally dropped all of the pieces out of his mouth and stared at them.
I'm so glad that it's working! But I fear that it'd stop working if my parents keep secretly feeding him. How do I get them to respect my rules as a dog owner? And how do I keep his training from possibly diminishing because of them?
Last edited by Madara Uchiha; 12-21-2011 at 09:02 AM.
|12-22-2011, 11:50 AM||#2|
Donating YT 1000 Club Member
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: FL, USA
In my experience, you are on the right track...but you must be as consistent as possible. A couple broken arms on those who violate your wishes with your dog, perhaps...no, of course not...I am only kidding. !
Seriously, I have trained most of my dogs to NOT eat anything...even their own food...until given permission. The cue words I use are "All Yours". Done again and again and again, and with EVERY bowlful of food and every treat EXCEPT for training sessions, and eventually your dog should fully comprehend what you want and comply.
I trained my large dogs this way particularly because I had young children...at doggie lick bite level...and I didn't want any contests between my boys and my dog over their food. After a few years of her "SITting" while her food was put down, "STAYing" while I put away the food container, some petties and lovies, and then the "All Yours" command with visual cue toward the food, and when a child would drop something on the floor during dinner, she would not touch it at all. Once, it was a hot dog, and she LOVED hot dogs...Honey danced around me, and did her best to lead me to the hot dog...which she eventually successfully did...so I would give her the command to allow her to eat the treat. I also would tell her to "Stop" and pick up her food, giving it back to her a few seconds later with a second "All Yours" command. I didn't want a child to reach for her plate and have her become possessive...I wanted her to understand the removal of food was a temporary condition.
When I got two additional Shepherd/Labrador mixes, I had to re-train Honey because she wanted to react to every command...so I went with the puppies name followed immediately by the command.
I also used "Leave It" and "No"...all of which worked really well. Once, another dog we had was given an "All Yours" command and Honey was 'itching' to snatch the little feral kitty who had adopted us. When she heard "All Yours" you could see the "Do you mean it?" look of incredulity on her face and muscle tensing in preparation for 'the chase'...followed by immediate dejection after her "Honey, No" command. But, for that brief second, she could almost 'taste' that 'kitty crunchie' !
My first Yorkie...a Yorkie-Poo...was extremely well trained, too. He 'could' stand up and reach the coffee table, but his training included NOT raising his head above the edge of the coffee table. Food was always safe on the table.
A third training I have done with some former dogs is a "guard it" command...including food. I did it with three dogs, each guarding the food from all the other dogs. Training with the "guard it" command, I never allowed the food to be touched except by human hands, and they were never given the food as a reward for the behavior either.
I am not suggesting you try any of these options. Quite the contrary. I think you have already done a stellar job, considering the circumstances presented to you.
Keep up the good work...the reward is will worth it.