My 7 month old doberman is pretty well mannered with everything except two specific situations.
Situation 1: We are lying in bed or on the couch with him, we yawn/stretch,etc. he immediately copies us EVERYTIME, which albeit was cute as a small puppy but now that he’s 70lbs he copies us but he stretches AT US, he slaps us in the face with his big paws and digs his elbows into our chests and honestly it hurts. He does this primarily when we’re first waking up in the morning and we don’t even have the mental capacity yet to figure out a way to stop him other than shoving him off of us.. how do I teach him paw manners so he’s not constantly hitting us in the face. He gets really rough when playing with toys too and doesn’t care if he paws us in the face while playing tug of war to try and win. How do we correct this?? Especially early in the morning.
Situation 2: back to playing tug of war and fetch ... if we aren’t interested in playing he’ll literally just get in our faces and sling his toy around, beating it against our legs or shoving it in our face on the couch. . We know he loves to play but he always plays “keep away” anyways So if we try to grab the toy from him he just runs off and comes back when we don’t persue him to continue hitting us with the toy. We’ve tried to train “release” but I think he’s entered his doberteens stage of rebellion. He drops any object when I say release, except for his toys.. maybe I just need to keep reinforcing it but I feel like even if he does listen and I wait to give him his toy back he doesn’t connect the slinging his toys at us to the reason I took his toy away from him.
As silly as these situations might sound we just legitimately don’t know the best way to correct them... any advice for puppy parents tired of getting beat up lol
Generally I don't use spray bottles for training purposes, But particularly in the situation when a puppy want to play and tries to engage you in the play and won't take no for an answer I find that short of crating the dog to make him stop, a spray gun or spray bottle works for all of the puppies I've used it on. I say 'no play' or 'quit' or 'stop' whatever your chosen word is to stop something (I mostly use 'stop') and if the behavior doesn't stop I squirt the puppy--in the face if possible. It takes about three of those responses to stop the behavior--after that just the 'stop' or showing the puppy the squirt bottle will do it.
I'll tell you that this also works for a dog that is trying to wake me up--but I wake up fast and for a heavy sleeper who takes seconds to minutes to actually be coherent enough to find the squirt bottle and aim it I have used other techniques. I say 'stop' just once and the next paw in the face gets the dog escorted out of the bedroom to the crate that lives and has lived through many puppies in the kitchen--and I put him in it--I usually let him out to pee first because often that's why he's trying to get me up. I know this doesn't work for everyone but it does for me--I wake up fast but I can go immediately back to sleep (a technique developed when I was a kid who got sick on anything that moved--cars, buses, trains and planes and the only thing I could actively do that kept that from happening was to go to sleep).
Also, particularly effective if the dog is using his paws too freely while playing tug--as soon as his paws become part of the tug game I would stop it entirely. And leave the vicinity. Dogs will be pretty quick to discard behaviors that don't get them what they want. So stopping the game when he starts using his paws will give him a big incentive to stop using them and sometimes that will fade other pawing behaviors as well.
As far as pawing at you when you are relaxing on a couch--I'm not much use there because I don't let dogs get on furniture or beds. And mimicking behaviors I guess I'd do the same thing that I'd do for the early morning pawing (you can't do much about the yawning--yawn are catching--there have been several studies done on it and people will yawn when people around them have or are yawning. My cats even yawn too if they were watching when I yawned.) The thing is that will stop stuff like that is stopping it. If he paws you by stretching at you--tell him 'no' and get up and crate him for a few minutes. It beat getting beaten up by a stretchy puppy or one who is beating you with toys.
I'm sure there are folks on the forum who have better solutions than I have but this is what I do and in time it works.