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We have a problem. Frankie is a small, very happy and rather eccentric small dog who (a) jumps up at people and (b) announces everything that happens by yelling his head off. Our older dog Tabby has taken to copying this behaviour to a lesser extent. This would be manageable if it were not for the fact that we have moved to live with my elderly mother, who is quite frail - she is seriously at risk from the jumping up, and fed up with being unable to go up or down the stairs without Frankie shrieking at her.

I am not a good dog trainer. We (my son and I) have lived with a succession of small dogs for many years, and have always expected the dogs to be generally well-behaved but not specifically well-trained, if you know what I mean. They've all picked up basics like recall, walking on a slack leash, getting off chairs when asked, "leave it" and so forth, but I don't recall specifically setting out to teach these things - we just expect certain behaviours, and they happen. They've all, including the current pair, been actually encouraged to jump up at me and my son because we enjoy a boisterous greeting and it saves bending down; we've never before had a problem with our dogs jumping up at other people, but I realise that Frankie is different - (a) he is a natural bouncer, spending more time on two legs than on four, and (b) my son's illness meant that we have had far less social life and fewer visitors during Frankie's lifetime. (It also didn't help that, when we moved house to live together, the new house immediately fell down and had to be rebuilt, so we had nine months of chaos and builders...)

When visitors come, I put both dogs on the lead for the first two or three minutes, after which they settle and don't bother people; but when visitors attempt to move from one room to another, Frankie starts yelling again (not aggression, just an excited announcement along the lines of "Hey, look at that!"). This is manageable. What isn't manageable is Frankie jumping at my mother. It is dangerous to her; and also, she shouldn't have to put up with my dogs behaving badly.

I need to stop Frankie being a problem to Mum; but I need someone to teach me how to teach him. He is intelligent, responsive and keen to please - I'm the one who needs training! I hesitate to approach a training class, because it's his behaviour in the home that is the problem (and I don't want to do standard obedience style training with him - for example, I don't want my dogs to walk to heel because I am clumsy and short-sighted and they would get kicked, so all our dogs learn to walk well clear of my feet). Oh, and also I have difficulty getting to classes because I am full-time carer for my mother and autistic son, who can't be left for very long.

Can anyone recommend someone in north Somerset who might be able to help?

Sorry to go on at such length - things are getting on top of me.

This is Frankie:

 

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For a behaviourist in your area CAPBT - COAPE Association of Pet Behaviourists and Trainers should find one.
For a trainer in your area Welcome to APDT - Association of Pet Dog Trainers UK should find one. All details about the organisations and their methods are on the website links too.

There are somethings that you can do in the meantime that should help.
As he seems to be a very exciteable dog plus the fact that you mentioned he has been encouraged to jump up and greet you, its likely that he now believes this is the way to greet people and get attention so he does it to everyone. The trouble is that if its rewarded with by giving him attention and that even goes for looking at him, talking to him, making eye contact or even telling him no and to get down its still forms to him of being acknowledged and being rewarded for the behaviour, what rewarded he then repeats because it works. Same with the barking if it gets a response then he is likely going to do it all the more. So you need to give him nothing in the way of acknowledgement and attention for the behaviour you dont want and teach him and reward the sort of behaviour that you do.

If he goes to jump or the second you see him think about it, try saying Ahh Ahh to interrupt the behaviour and stop him doing it. If you can tell your Mum at the same time too fold her arms and turn her back to him and as shes turning say off, and keep turned away looking at the ceiling, she should still be able to do it even if she is sitting. She needs to totally ignore him. Between you interrupting with the Ahh Ahh and her blanking him and staying like that it should hopefully halt him, Have treats and call him to you and get him to sit, once he is sitting then good boy and a treat. Keep repeating this. If he is persistent you may have to do lots of repetitions.

If he still keeps persisting or starts up again, take him out into another room and ignore him. Once he has calmed down let him out but continue to all totally ignore him. Only if he has calmed down then you can get him to sit again give him a treat and attention. Again keep doing it of you need too or he starts up again.

Start also with anthing he wants or that you give him, to ask him to sit and wait before he gets it and that goes for anything and everything. if you again do it consistently he should learn that sitting and calm behaviour gets him things. It may be a good idea to do some training in general on a routine basis a few short sessions a day teaching him all the basic commands so these once learnt should help you with the control of stopping him before he jumps up and to come back to you and sit.

Same with the barking if he barks first bark or two then out in another room, leave him for a minute or two, let him out and ignore him if he stays quiet then attention. If he barks again one or two barks out again and keep repeating it.

By not giving him any rewards when he barks or jumps up just being ignored and re-training and rewarding the behaviour you do want, calm quiet non jumping up behaviour he should get it you just need to be consistent with the retraining and do it each and every time.
 
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