Pawing .. promoting gentle, please

by Betsey
(Crestone, CO)

I love that my 2 Pyr pups say hello and get my attention by pawing ... but, holy smokes! At almost 5 months old, these 2 have strong paws and I am getting pretty scratched up. They paw indiscriminately, so if I happen to be lounging, my face gets pawed, my head, bare arms. How can I teach “gentle” or at least not reject their hello but without injury to myself (and, potentially others).

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Feb 12, 2021
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Pawing
by: Donna

What are you doing when the dog paws at you? They want your attention. Are you petting him? Are you telling him no? This would reinforce the behaviour. You stop all your movement until he stops pawing. Once they stop, you can then reward them either through tug or a treat.

Dogs do what is reinforcing. Create a world of what you want your dog to do instead of what you don't want him to do. Do Land.

Wait for there to be four paws on the floor. Reward that. Do NOT show the dog the cookies beforehand (this is luring). You want the dog to make the right decision through shaping so he gets the cookies once he gives you the wanted behaviour.

Make sure you give your dogs at least two hours of exercise a day. Plus any training you do with them.

Here is an intentional game to play with your dogs called It's Yer Choice.

You can join the It's YerChoice summit.

I hope this helps.

Feb 13, 2021
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Pawing
by: Donna

Here is some more information for you:

One thing many people miss is to catch the dog being good and rewarding the good before the attention seeking starts.

Here are two podcasts that will get you going on this, as well.

The Thing Before the Thing

Behaviour Chains: Are You Teaching Your Dog to be Bad to be Good?

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