Amichien Bonding for Crated dogs

I've just read the Dog Listener [The Dog Listener: Learn How to Communicate with Your Dog for Willing Cooperation, by Jan Fennell] and I'm a little confused about how to apply one of the basic concepts to a puppy who's still crated when we leave the house. Even in my short experience I already agree with most of the concepts - and am still trying to figure out how to get out the door first! But the 5 minute rule has me puzzled. If the dog is in the crate, do you come home and ignore the dog for 5 minutes while he's still in the crate, or let him out of the crate and then ignore him for 5 minutes. I would assume that I should leave him in the crate, but when he's been in there for more than a couple of hours I hate to make him hold it for a few more minutes!

Any thoughts or experience with this technique? Sue
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Hi Sue-

Isn't that a great book?!

I beleive she's talking about 5 minutes when the dog is actually loose in the household. For a puppy that is crated, I would let him out and go potty right away. Just don't make a big fuss over the puppy until after potty is over. Remain calm and detached as you let the puppy out and take him outside. (obviously, lots of praise for a successful potty session).She does state that with a puppy, you can be more relaxed anyways, as they're not as likely to try to challenge your alpha role right away. After all, it'll take you a few minutes after you get home to get to the puppy to let them out!

That's how I'd do it! Let us know how you do!

Karen :)
I understand the 5 min rule as follows, based on the discussion on pages 58-59 of my copy. The context is describing the dogs hyperactive ritual of trying to establish his leadership of the pack upon reunion.

1) the owner is to avoid any engagement with the dog while it is going through its ritual. Eventually the dog will tire and settle down.

2) "The important thing now is that nothing happens for at least 5 minutes...During this time the owner should just carry on with their normal routine...What the owner is inviting the dog to do during this time is to dwell on what has just happened. "

3) Once the time has elapsed, the engaging can begin. She then recommends this begin with "requesting" the dog to come to them when they want. Now the owner is in charge. Make eye contact and call the dog by name and reward the dog.

I have had to reread this several times to get it right myself. When I come home from work, if Barney is in the yard, when I come out he is all over me. Now when I come home, I open the door, he naturally comes charging in to me. I go out as he goes in, close the storm door and let him watch me as I clean up his business in the pen, and check out the area for any mischief. Luckily he has been very good outside all day. When I let him in and I go out, I totally ignore home. By the time I come in (5 min. rule) he is a different dog. When I come in I am prepared with a treat in my pocket. I ask him to sit. He sits because he knows I'll give him a treat. Now he has welcomed me on my terms. Hope this helps.
So let's see- maybe let puppy out right away, but no greeting activity (just ignore) for 5 minutes? Or can we let the puppy outside right away, as long as you don't acknowledge him? Hmm....

Karen :)
That's where I get confused! Is opening the crate considered acknowledgement by the dog? LOL! I have a long way to go before I understand sheepie thought processes :lol:
Again as I understand the situation, it is a remedy for dog behavior that seeks to establish pack leadership. Just letting the dog out of the crate of itself is a neutral act. If the dog goes bezerk, pouncing on you, mouthing you, etc. - unwanted behavior - that's what indicates a no engagement response from the owner. At that point, the owner totally ignores the dog's behavior and waits out the antics until the dog finally settles down. Only then does the 5 minute wait begin, giving the dog time to disassociate his antics from any future interchange with his owner. This is then followed by an invitation by the owner to the dog, to come, sit, and in response to the now calm reunion with the owner in charge, the dog is rewarded with his favorite treat.
so if we need to go potty right away- I'm thinking let puppy out, and as long as puppy remains calm, walk puppy out to go potty! If we puppy goes beserk, then as George noted above, walk away and give him time to calkm down before any greetings.
Now you're mixing theory with reality - no fair. :D I would suggest that if puppy really has to go - assuming he is potty trained - that's going to be the driving motive and when you open the crate he's going to make a beeline for the door. If on the other hand it's more important to him to establish his dominance and he starts jumping on you and nipping at your heels, I'd take a chance and apply the theory and see what happens. However if I thought he might need to go potty, then when he settles down I probably skip the 5 minute wait and show him to the door. He may very well want to take care of business and then resume his unwanted behavior; however if he goes potty in this situation I think that is acquiescence to your being in charge and I'd reward him for his good behavior. If he then acts up again, then deal with it as suggested.

I'm sure no expert on Amichien training; I still have trouble finding solutions to some of Barney's behavior. I can't get him to sit quietly when someone wants to pet him, when guests come into the house or when meeting another dog on our walks. COULD SURE USE HELP FROM ANYONE ON THIS. But in the reuniting activity, it seems to work.

Recently I've tried another tack, recommended by Bruce Fogle in his book: counter unwanted behavior by desired behavior. Thus instead of putting Barney in the house while I'm outside, I hold a cookie in my hand next to his nose as I walk around the patio commanding him to heel with the cookie leading him along side me rather than him jumping on me. When he settles down, I stop, ask him to sit, then give him the cookie.
George wrote:
of Barney's behavior. I can't get him to sit quietly when someone wants to pet him, when guests come into the house or when meeting another dog on our walks. COULD SURE USE HELP FROM ANYONE ON THIS.

Hi George,
A good reference book for these skills is :
Canine Good Citizen
Jack and Wendy Volhard
HowellBook House 1994

It has suggestions for all of these skills, because it is part of
the AKC CGC test.

With regard to meeting strangers and sitting quietly,here's what
our trainer suggested (and it worked for us!)

Have a friend who has not met your dog, approach (keeping a
safe distance)
you and your dog who is in a sitting position on leash.
Your friend will approach your dog, lean down and say:
Oh, what a beautiful dog you have !!
If your dog reacts, your friend turns to the right and walks by.
If your dog remains sitting he gets praise and a treat
Continue this lesson at least 3 times this session.

Now enlist your family and friends to do the same !
It really worked for us. The theory is if we make a lot
out of the wrong response we reinforce it. So now,we reward
only the correct response.

As OES crave attention, it wasn't long for our guy to catch on to
which is the better option !
Thanks Zahra,

I let you know how things work out. My neighbor will be very willing to help me with this. She and Barney are crazy about each other.
The second step to this is to follow the same protocol,
but this time you give him enough of the leash to sit down
with a little excess . Next put your foot on the leash.
If he moves he should only have enough of the leash to stand. This
will prevent him from jumping. The next time your friend approaches,
move your foot on the leash so he only
has enough to sit with a little extra. This teaches him the correct
response is to sit.

It takes repetition for this exercise, but worth the time and
effort. If you have any questions, please let me know...

If reacting to the doorbell is an issue, please see the separate
thread on desensitizing to outside noises...

Good luck !!!
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