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Benson
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thought I'd start a new thread on this one. Benson had been 'launching' himself at me and nipping my clothing. I had a session with our trainer and had managed to get his behaviour on camera the previous evening to show what was happening. Several things came out; about what I was doing (to make it worse) and how to stop it. Firstly what I was doing - too much movement, hands, body etc with too many words, so essentially I was rewarding his behaviour with 'exciting' attention. So..... I have slowed my movements down, use fewer words and when I can see he is over-stimulated, I am calm and slow with him and so far this has really helped (as an on-going approach). But! The trainer (James) showed me what to do as an exercise - he excitedly (James, not Benson) leant over Benson and called him to jump up, which Benson duly did, then he crossed his arms to his shoulders and turned his head sideways (no contact). When B sat, James repeated this. He did it about five times before Benson did not jump (you could see him override the urge) and then James rewarded him. He repeated the exercise about three times, each time B reduced his jumping until eventually he didn't jump at all and got a reward straight away. I have practiced this three times since and the last time Benson looked at me and walked away ('I'm not playing that game'). Since then, he has barely jumped up at me at all and when he does, I simply fold my arms and turn my head - he stops. Brilliant! I have to say that it has not totally translated to strangers, but he is certainly improving. Hope this is helpful to anyone with a similar problem. So relieved I have a 'normal puppy' and not a ...... well, I haven't, so ..... Benson's happy, I'm happy. Onwards!
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It's very easy to reward Labradors and not even realise you are doing it, any contact, any verbal noise can be a reward to a really switched on dog. I would say you've got a trainer there who understands the breed, and well done for stepping up to the mark and learning, it's a long and continuous road.
 

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Benson
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's very easy to reward Labradors and not even realise you are doing it, any contact, any verbal noise can be a reward to a really switched on dog. I would say you've got a trainer there who understands the breed, and well done for stepping up to the mark and learning, it's a long and continuous road.
Yes, and thank you! One thing I have learnt is about breed specificity with training and clearly not all (many?) trainers seems to appreciate this. James was very clear about training treats and in particular, not 'stream feeding' a Labrador - which one class trainer wanted me to do and was not pleased when I wouldn't (tried that one, way to overstimulating for him!). Needless to say, I have not returned to that class and am now sticking with my one-to-one trainer as and when I need further input. As you say, a long and continuous road, but a happy one.
 
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