Very needy and clingy rescue
It has been just shy of 3 months since we rescued Barkely our 2 year old golden lab mix. We already had 3 other rescues, Rufus, 4 year old Cocker and Eclair 3 year old Basset and Ethel 2 year old Basset.
Things are going very well, and I wouldnt trade any of them for the world. Eclair (our Alpha) had her nose put of joint when he first came into the house, but quickly overcame it and is good buds and will play, but put him in his place if he gets too rough. Ethel and he are best buddies, constantly playing and very close. But there are just a couple things about him, that I am not quite sure about.
Barkley is a very needy clingly boy. At first I thought it was his background and who knows what happened in his first couple of years, he bounced around several shelters. Has a lovely disposition, gets along well with other dogs, cats, kids aged 2-teen and is very respectful and gentle to them. His is a higher energy guy (but thats the norm for the breed and age bracket I know that). He wants to be petted all the time and thinks his head belongs in your lap. If you tell him no, or he has been petted and its time to lie down, he then goes and lies staring at you and whines undeer his breath. Also, when we come home from work, he air snaps at Rufus the cocker who is our low man on the pole as far as hierarchy goes in an effort to be front and center of the dogs and be greeted first, he does this also if my husband is first home.
So here is what we are doing, 1) repremanding (stern verbal) the air snap and no one is getting attention until they have gone outside, pottied, and re entered in a calm manner. 2) only giving attention on our terms to him and if he is overly demanding, repremanding him and making him go lay down until he settles and then petting him 3) making a point to give affection and pet time to all the other guys and if he gets pushy, repremenading him and making him go lay down until it's "his turn" 4) ignoring his whining completely.
Am I on the right track, is there more is should do? Am I missing something completely? He is relatively obedient, comes when called, sits, stays, lays, shakes for a treat.
He sounds like a sweetheart. Insecure, but sweet!
What you describe sounds right overall. But how do you mean "reprimand"? Since he's insecure to start with, I'd be careful with doing too much of that. You may be better off with just a sound of disapproval like "Ack!" or "ah!" to mark the behavior you want to discourage, and then "yes!" when he starts doing what you want. You dont want to over comfort him and support the neediness, but you don't want him to think he's unwelcome when he comes for affection. It's a tough one to balance! But it sounds like you've thought this through.
There are some pro trainers on here, and I hope some of them will chime in. hope you'll post some pictures of your menagerie. And welcome to GRF!
Kathleen, mom to one human, age 19, two canines, and a bunch of fish.
I bought the dogs a ranch, part one
I bought the dogs a ranch, part two
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Barkley's Slave (07-10-2012)
Thank you Outwest. He is a lovely boy, never thought of him being insecure, but maybe you are right!
When I say repremand, its usually Barkley...No or hey! I will admit that the first couple times he did the air bite (before I realized it was just an air snap) I did grab him by the collar and take him outside telling him he was a nauughty boy. Here are pics of the "kids"