I've posted before about dear Abby, our rescued American Bulldog mix that we adopted a year and half ago. I am tearing my hair out. This weekend, she jumped on my father, who has Parkinson's, while he was sitting in his recliner. Mind you, this was after a day in doggy care and a looong walk. She was very calm, just got up from lounging on the carpet, walked around and for no reason jumped up to say hi. NOT COOL. Below is what I have tried so far so please, only serious, non-judgmental suggestions. I am trying here and am willing to do more. I am at my wits end and just want my dog to be well behaved. Having her around other people is so stressful, she literally cannot be off leash when others are around. (*she is not aggressive at all, more like an insane lunatic on speed. That being said, because of her size, she really could hurt someone if she knocked them over.)
- She has very strict boundaries at home, NILF I guess you could say. No treats, no food, no affection unless she sits/is calm and follows a command.
- Not allowed on furniture unless invited. (She will try for 45 min to get on the couch, RELENTLESS and I will not allow it b/c she initiated it).
- She gets exercised EVERY day for at least an hour. Combinations of walking and running (upwards of 5 miles at times + fetch in the yard) We even do the mind games of hide and go seek outside. I have given her "jobs" to do on her walks such as carrying things like sticks.
- She has been given food puzzles and doggy mind puzzles.
- She goes to the dog park and doggy day care maybe 1x a week to offer a different outlet for energy
- We take her to public places that are crowded so she is socialized and gets to meet new people and dogs in appropriate ways.
- I ignore bad behavior and make a huge deal when she does something good. I was told to shake a can with pennies when she does something unfavorable like jumping b/c the ignoring was not working.
A few other pieces about Abby. Unless there is something she is really interested in (chicken for example) she could care less. I did some training with her in the yard with chicken and she totally did everything I asked for. Dog biscuits, she walks away. I can't even really determine if she is "high energy" bc she sleeps half the day. Every morning after my husband leaves I try to get her to go the bathroom before I leave for work, she is snoring, curled in a cocoon of blankets that she created and wont move until I make her. She goes back to bed and remains this way until I come home for lunch when I have to wake her up AGAIN. So my thought is a high energy dog would not be lounging around all morning long. I'm telling you, I make coffee, make noise in the kitchen run up and down the stairs and she doesn't budge.
I am probably making her out to be more than she really is but I am a petite woman and she is an 80 lb dog. I just want her to be good around other people and have a stressfree day. She is actually very calm at home, really relaxed, doesn't destroy anything, nothing. She is a sweet dog but is not at her potential. My neighbors all love her, they just find her antics "funny" I do not. I have no idea what her first year of life was like b/c she was a stray. We (husband and I) both work full time and our families don't live close by so we really don't/can't have people over regular basis to train her that sense.
We have taken her to dog "trainer/behaviorist" before. Serious suggestions please.