Posted : 9/17/2007 12:27:36 PM
I raise, breed, show, and handle miniature long-haired English Cream dachshunds. What I have done to help socialize my dogs is to give the command "Say Hello," then my dogs need to touch their noses on whoever they're saying hello to, then they get a yummy treat. (Of course, I ask the people who want to pet my babies Gus, Jaxson, Sampson, Libby, Lexi, Delilah, and Halo for help. Usually I ask them to offer the treat because that trains the dogs that people are good.) Make sure the treat is worth it to them. Most of the time doxies are barking or nipping out of fear, not aggression. This method teaches doxies that the big world they live in is not so scarey or bad. After all, being only half a dog high and two dogs long must be difficult!!!
I have trained my dogs not to bark by using water. I have a double lot and am connected on five sides by dog owners. I used to have lots of trouble with barking. I was trying to socialize them through the fence by treating "good" behavior, i.e. no barking or growling. Then I started using the "no barking" command. I offer them two chances to stop barking, then I break out the hose. I've only had to use the hose about three times, as 6 of my 7 doxies hate water. It worked like a charm! Inside the house I use a water bottle for unwanted behavior. I give them the same 2 time warning, then on the third unwanted behavior, I state the command again, then spray. It works really well. My dogs are the least barky dogs in the entire neighborhood, and most of my neighbors have multiple dogs. (Not quite as many as me, though! The nice thing about it is that, if you get younger dogs eventually, the older dogs set a good example for the younger ones. And the treat/water methods work really well.
It's also really easy to teach your dog to "watch me" as you are walking, too. Use a really special treat that they would just die for (ham, hotdogs, etc.) Use the command, put the treat up to your face, then reward when they look at you. Pretty soon, they've taught themselves to walk nicely on a leash and all you have to say is "watch me." They'll be keeping a close eye on you, alright!!!
Also, have you thought of taking your dog to a dog obedience class? I took one as a very young adult and it has helped me in wonderous ways for the past 25 years. It only takes one class and some creativity to continue teaching your dog to do many things you thought weren't possible. I'm no pet expert, but these things sure have worked for me.
Hope I helped,