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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone, I have a training question. I know the behavior I want.. I'm just not sure how to get there or how to make it happen.

The situation is usually this. We sit on the couch/floor/bed (all of which the puppy is welcome on, because I want her close esp. while potty training) with our laptops on our laps, or a book, or whatever it may be- and she walks all over whatever is in our laps without seeming to notice that she's stepping on something. I feel like pushing her back would only elicit a 'play' response, like wrestling. How do I establish boundaries while still building a relationship? I've been trying to gently redirect her- hey, lets play over here with this super cool toy! but it only goes so far, before shes stomping all over my laptop lol.

Anyways, if you can get through that ramble, and have a suggestion it would be very much appreciated!
 

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Sure she's not a cat in a Dobe suit? I would start training an "Off" command. Any time she starts the lap-walking, stand up, and tell her "Off". By you standing up, she has no choice but to get out of your lap. You can then reward the "Off' by tossing her the toy to play with, or give her a small treat. "Off" can also meant "Whatever you are on, get off of it now", and "Do NOT jump on people, other dogs, etc.". For example, Lucky is allowed to be on the bed, but MUST leave when told to "Off".
 

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Our dobe would lay on my sons legs while he was sitting on the leather chair, with feet up on the foot stool.
- playing video games, for hours straight
- she would be on his lap and be so content, to be there and close to him
Granted, this was more than a decade ago, and we didn't have a laptop then.
When our son did school homework, she was always under his book...lol.
- she was to much of a velcro dog and smart, to get tricked into wanting to go play with a toy, and entertain herself
- we just learned to always have her leaning on us, in some way / and wouldn't want it any other way
BTW - our Amy was never told to leave our side, but she did learn to be calm and settled w/manners, and the comefy life was for her taking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Don't get me wrong, I love love that she wants to be close to us! I'd just rather not be replacing a couple grand worth of hardware here ;) the best moments are when shes content to lay on our legs or snuggle up next to us!
 

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"Off" doesn't mean she can't get in your lap at all, it just means "I don't want you there right now". And don't forget, a visitor might not want a 65 pound dog in their lap, and you should have a command that will allow you to prevent said 65 pound dog from climbing on them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the tip, Rosemary. We started implementing 'off' tonight, slow going. I think its going to take a few days before she connects the dots. It's definitely a good command to have in the arsenal. I don't know why I didn't think of that before!
 

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My rule is that they are allowed up only by invitation if people are sitting on the sofa/ bed They will just stare at me asking and then I call them up. It works for us bc we have little kids and I don't need him smooshing them.
 

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Maybe just use a different word than "off" if you use that for something different. I would say "ah" right before her feet were stepping on what I didnt want them on and put the toy on the side of me. Then when she stopped there I would say "good girl" and give her some loving behind her ears.
 

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joie de vivre
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I'm the same way. I love, love, love my dogs to be near me and on me but sometimes I actually have to accomplish a task that can't be done with them on me (*gasp* :)).

My girls still try to inch their paws and heads onto my laptop, books, files, etc. - basically anything I have in front of me. :) It's cute and sweet but I taught them "back-up" doing much what Rosemary suggested. They try to move into my space and I'd stand up or walk into them (gently but enough to move them back) and say, "Ah-ah. Back-up." They both know to take about 3 steps backward now when I tell them to back-up.

Sometimes Tali tries to be tricky and she just lifts her feet in place a few times, LOL, and then I step into her while saying "back-up" again. She's just checking to see if I mean it or if I might be feeling lazy and she can stay where she is. LOL
 
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To me its kind of having your cake and eating it too. I would just stop the lap behavior altogether. A young dog isnt going to understand that its ok sometimes and sometimes not, let alone your lap is ok but a visitors is not. It is easier to teach never, and then when the dog is old enough teach sometimes, than it is to teach sometimes at this young age.
 

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Personally, I don't think that one should allow dogs on the bed with you, and very wary about the furniture thing. I think it just invites more undesirable behavior, and gives them a false notion of their place in the "pack". With a big, strong, intelligent dog like a Dobe you have to be alpha or you are asking for trouble.
 
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