Q: how can you control a Brittany dog?
I have a friend with one. I would go over to visit her more often but the dog goes crazy, jumps, barks and the only way she can get it to calm down is put it in a crate or in her bedroom and close the door and he will jump on me, on the furniture etc. When no one is around, he just sits quietly and stares out the window. She cannot leave him out when she leaves or he will ransack the apartment. He is three years old. It is hard to walk him on a leash as he is so roudy. Is there no solution? Obedience school is too expensive for her.
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Answers and Views:
Answer by tony l
Seems a decent dog training book was too expensive for your friend till now :)))
Answer by xoanathema
Sounds like he's understimulated, and the fact that he's not getting any walks isn't helping her situation.
First off, the dog needs to get more exercise. If she has trouble walking him, suggest to her a Gentle Leader or no-pull harness. Both will humanely help her control and train her dog to walk nicely. When the dog pulls, she stops. When the dog puts slack on the leash (be it by turning around to look at her, sitting, etc) she immediately walks forward and praises, giving a food treat. The basic idea is: the dog learns that pulling does not get him anywhere, and thus, the behavior ceases. It does take some time, especially for hard-headed dogs to understand, but they all get it eventually.
Another way to get the dog more exercise is by taking him to a dog park or any large field that allows dogs off-leash. The old adage of "a tired dog is a good dog" cannot be closer to the truth.
Second, when company is over, have everyone ignore the dog if it jumps up, barks, etc. Do not pet, touch, or look at the dog unless it is quiet and calm. The guests initiate contact with the dog, not the other way around. If the dog jumps up on you, stare straight ahead and completely ignore him until he gets down. When he has all four feet on the floor, then you give him attention. Same with barking. When he barks, he gets no attention. When he's quiet, he gets rewards. If he's constantly being reinforced for bad behaviors, then he's only going to repeat them.
She also needs to be giving her dog more mental stimulation, such as giving it a Kong. Stuff a bunch of goodies in a Kong, freeze it for half an hour, and give it to the dog. It will keep him busy for at least twenty minutes, and will make him a happy dog at the same time.
Even basic training is mental stimulation. She doesn't necessarily have to be teaching him new things, just a review of tricks he already knows. For about fifteen minutes, run the dog through a routine — have him sit, then reward with a small treat. Lay down, treat. Gimme paw, treat. Once he gets the whole "I do this, I get a treat" concept, she can start doling out treats only once in a while — sit, lay down, treat. Sit, treat. Sit, down, stand, gimme paw, treat. He'll love it because he's getting yummy snacks, and at the same time, it will keep his mind busy.
He needs a combination of mental and physical stimulation to keep him from being destructive. Dogs are like children — you don't expect a toddler to sit at home and do nothing all day, therefore you can't expect a dog to, either.
If he's destructive while she's gone, crating is the best option. However, if he's destructive due to separation anxiety, she needs get that issue resolved promptly.
Read all the answers in the comments. What do you think?