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Old 11-02-2005, 12:38 AM
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juliefurry juliefurry is offline
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Default At my wits end!

Just as one Lily problem is ending more are surfacing. I have been obedience training Lily from day one. We have had her almost a month and she still does not grasp the concept of sit! With a treat she will do it but if I tell her without one she just gives me a look like "I don't think so". She is very stubborn and independant at times. She wants to be by me but won't listen I say "Lily, Come" and she will sit down just out of my reach, I say sit and she just stares at me with a wierd expression. I just can't seem to get to her and it's really bugging me. She is not even trying in her puppy school classes and all the other puppy's are way ahead of her. They are all sitting and know the "come" command, and going on to wait and stay and she doesn't even know sit. Housebreaking is going good though, no accidents for 2 weeks now about. She is going out every half hour and is uncrated all day except when we go somewhere or it's bedtime. She is totally disrepecting me and my husband and disobeying basically everything that we tell or ask her to do. You have to really yell and raise your voice to get her to even respond to you and then she's doing it because she's scared and I won't do that only my husband will do that to her. Does anyone have any suggestions we could try for her they'd be really appreciated.
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Old 11-02-2005, 02:09 AM
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What kind of training methods do you use? We took Ruby to puppy kindy when she was little and she ignored everything we tried, absolutely refused a sit no matter how we approached it, and basically was like, `No way, I'm not doing this and you can't make me'. So I switched to clicker-training and she learnt a sit - and has never forgotten it - in less than six minutes. Unbelievable. She went from refusing anything to sit, come, drop, down, give and stay in less than two weeks. Amazing, amazing, amazing. I would give that a try if you haven't already. It sounds like Lily needs to associate the command with the action and NOT with you telling her what to do. She sounds wilful like Ruby which is why operant conditioning worked so well for her - because she was doing what SHE wanted to do and I was just reinforcing her offered behaviours.
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Old 11-02-2005, 10:10 AM
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Yelling or making this into a contest of wills is not going to get you anywhere. You are going to need to change tacks. What does she really, really like? What toy, treat, game? What is it that will motivate her? There is ALWAYS something that a dog likes and something that WILL motivate her. When you ask for a sit, it has to be more rewarding to her to sit than to not sit. Training needs to be fun, motivating and rewarding. What kind of treats are you using? You don't stop using treats until the dog has a skill down pat, is doing it every time easily and willingly, until it becomes habit. Then and only then, do you start on a variable reward schedule.

What I use when I'm starting to teach a skill is a hotdog. You cut it down the length in half, then down the length in half again, then crosswise into tiny, tiny, pea sized pieces. Microwave for a minute on high and soak up the extra moisture and grease in paper towels and cool. Refrigerate what you don't use for a later time. You can even freeze a bunch so they're ready. You can also use mozerella cheese or fresh meat from dinner the night before. Don't use regular, run of the mill dog biscuites or kibble. Work with your dog when she's a little bit hungry. Make it into a game, fun, exciting. Make the sessions very short. Too much repitition can bore a dog, especially an extra intelligent dog. So vary the skills and throw in some play inbetween.

Start indoors where there are not any distractions.
Ask your dog to do something she IS good at first. Does she like to run after a toy and grab it? "Fetch." Coax her to bring it to you. Does she come if you run the other way and pat your thigh? If she comes along, "let's go," reward with a piece of hot dog. Get her excited to "work" with you.

Then try the sit. Hold the treat in your closed hand (she'll smell it, but not see it) over her head and push back...not so high that she jumps up. The second her butt hits the ground, praise lavishly and give the treat. Then toss her toy or do something else and come back to doing another sit. Don't worry about saying "sit" until you get the behavior fairly consistantly.

Keep the lessons very short (10 minutes) or as long as her attention span lasts with a young pup, but do them a few times a day. End the session on a good note...with something she is good at.

Have you looked into clicker training? It's very fun for a dog and owner. It's concise in that it tells the dog exactly what it was they just did that earned them the reward. I highly recommend it. http://www.clickerlessons.com/index.html

Just remember that she is a baby and it's very important to let a puppy be a puppy and not take things too seriously. Training has GOT TO BE FUN and not too serious for a while...a few basic skills to get started is all she needs.

Try not to look at these puppy things as problems. She's just being a puppy and doesn't know how to work with you yet. It's a long process. She's not a problem dog. She's just being a dog. She'll get there as she matures and with patience and good training methods. Hang in there and learn all you can.
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Old 11-02-2005, 01:53 PM
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My advice is to keep at it. Lily needs to learn how to do obediance without food motivation. Your not always gonna have food on hand to make her obey by. Say, Lily Sit. Then go through then push her bottome down and do everything you had to in the begining with food. After two or three day of three mini lesson sessions ask her to sit saying it only once and wait for her to sit if you have to move your hand toward her bottom as if you were gonna make her sit, but try not to make her sit on her own.
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Old 11-02-2005, 02:00 PM
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She's still a puppy.....keep working !
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Old 11-02-2005, 03:21 PM
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Depending on what method you use, you will have a dog who is complying because it is forced into position of a sit, for instance... and who is complying in order to avoid punishment or... you can have a dog who enjoys complying because it is motivated, shown how and it is looking forward to a big reward for obeying.

The principles of training based on operant and classical conditioning use food reward every time the dog performs what you ask until the behavior is reliable with food reward, consistant and done willingly. Then a variable reward schedule is used. Don't be afraid to use food reward if you want consistant results. A reward is something the dog likes. If you want your puppy to be motivated and eager to learn new skills, and not have a battle of wills, then reward with what he really likes, not something you think he "should" like or something YOU like. It is far better to have the pup choose to comply rather than be forced to comply by pushing his rear down. He WILL use his own head, think, and comply if you show him what you mean by luring and motivate and reward him for working with you. You'll get a more thinking dog, a smarter dog if he figures out some of this without force, by your showing him instead with luring. You will not have to use treats forever. I use reinforcers with my dogs regularily, until a skill is very, very down pat and even then I use them on a variable schedule.

http://www.brembs.net/operant/
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Old 11-02-2005, 07:51 PM
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I don't yell at her ever, just my husband does (and then I yell at him). I use the meaties treats by Old Mother Hubbard and the Charlee Bear treats as well. They are little chunks so they are good for training. She has no problem sitting when she knows there are treats involved but when we are not in "training" mode than she doesn't care. Lily really doesn't like anything, but treats and nylabones. During training I will treat every three sits and then after training is done we will play with a squeak toy or her booda bone for about ten minutes (the length of the training sessions). When I am training her I always have a leash attached to her and I will walk and call her and then have her sit. She usually will always follow when she knows treats are in my hand, or even if there isn't. She always follows me around the house unless her and Hannah are playing in the other room. Once training mode is over than whatever she was learning in training sort of gets paused and she will not do the command she just did for me half an hour ago. We have tried clicker training since that is how I trained Hannah, and it didn't work for Lily. Our puppy school instructor suggested we try it again though so I might try doing it agian. My husband thinks she's dumb and I know she's not dumb she shows me everyday how intelligent she is. She just doesn't like applying it for good, only evil.
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Old 11-02-2005, 08:01 PM
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I guess she's just SUPER intelligent and so it sounds as though you're going to have to use treats and rewards EVERY time, until the behaviours are ingrained wherever, whenever. We still treat Ruby for sits - not every time, but particularly when she sits after she's been jumping up or being too rough with Chester or whatever. Ain't nothing that works on our kiddies like food rewards!! But I just use tiny little treats so there's no chance of overdoing it. I think she just likes the fact that she's getting given a reward, no matter how small. It makes her feel justified, in a sense, I think...
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Old 11-02-2005, 09:45 PM
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If you treat every third time, a dog will catch onto this "scheme." LOL. They're smart. If you keep treats in your pockets or in a dish on the counter and you're not doing a training "session," you can practice by asking your pup for a sit at random times with a treat in your hand and lure her into position.

That's how I trained Lyric. I'd be loading the dishwasher and he'd be watching or hanging around and I'd grab a treat which was handy and stop what I was doing for a few seconds and tell him, "sit." Then reward. Then he could go about his business again. I might call him over to me in a few minutes and have him sit again and this time, "stay" for just a couple seconds and reward. Or I'd be walking down the hall to put some laundry in the machine and I'd call him, "let's go." And he'd come along with me and I'd treat him. Then, "sit/stay" while I loaded the machine. During a commercial on TV, I'd ask for a down and we worked up to down/stay after a while. In other words, you don't have to just do a specific "session." You can teach a teensy bit here and there. It's so easy for their little attention spans and yet it still teaches them and it teaches them that these things are going to be asked of them any time, any place and it will be very, very fun and rewarding when they do it. LOL.

Treats every time until they're reliable and in the habit of doing it when you ask, right away, no dilly dallying. LOL. Then you can treat randomly, no set pattern, so they don't know when a treat is coming, but they know it will come sooner or later. You can read about more sophisticated reinforcement schedules if you like in that link.

Good luck. We'll get that little stinker to sit if it kills us. LOL. She'll be so excited that she'll beg you to ask her to sit, just so she can get a treat and a big fuss made over her.

Hopefully, you can make your hubby understand that yelling and scaring her isn't going to motivate her, that she is just a baby and these things take time. If he scares her, she's not going to want to learn and things will just get worse. I know you don't do that. I also understand what a pain it is to make some men in our lives get the picture. I have one of those and my Dad is also Mr. Dominant with the dogs. He raised his voice at Lyric once for a very small, minor crime and Lyric cowed. I was pisstttttt!!!
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Old 11-03-2005, 12:34 AM
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Well usually my husband doesn't do the training with the dogs. I have trained Hannah myself and she knows come, sit, down, stay, and roll over. We work everyday but I got her to sit and lay down and stay and those are the three most important life savers I think the rolling over is just a bonus and something that she basically learned all her own. My husband has taken a bigger role in the dogs now that I am pregnant so he really doesn't know how to get them to listen. Although usually he just lets them walk all over him and treat him like dirt. So sometimes I think they think of me and him extremely different.
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