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Old 05-18-2004, 08:47 PM
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MEG126 MEG126 is offline
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Default Golden Retriever w/ Selective Hearing...

hey everybody! i have a three year old golden retriever named penny, and she's the most disobedient dog. my dad took her to obedience school last year but she's a dropout... haha. we're looking into another obedience school this summer and i'd be taking her, but i was hoping i could get some advice from you all first!

i think she just has selective hearing because when we're in the house and i
call her, she comes really well, but if she ever gets out of the fence, it's
impossible to get her to come- she just runs around sparatically. although we
have found recently that if she's out of the yard for awhile she will eventually
come back. i'd prefer though to avoid the possibility of her being hit by a car.

i've been doing some agility (jumping mainly) with her actually, but she has to
be on one of those expanding leashes, or else she just won't pay attention, at least not for any decent amount of time, or enough to do a course. i have more questions regarding some agility stuff, but if she won't come, then getting any better in agility just isn't going to work out. i think she enjoys it, really- but she just has the attitude, "well if you can't make me, then i'm not going to!!"

any suggestions of how i can break her of this habit? i'd really appreciate it!! thanks!! -meg
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Old 05-19-2004, 09:22 AM
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Meg, you have my sympathy! There's nothing like a stubborn pup to make us explore our ability to handle frustration.

What can I say? My suggestion would be to start with one task that she is stubborn about and just stick with it; don't give in to her even if it takes seemingly endless repetition and hours. Penny's decided that she can outlast you and you've got to teach her differently. Once you break through that barrier it will get easier. When she won't come to your call from the yard, go get her and do not pay any positive attention to her, and make her go to bed for awhile. The worst punishment for your dog is ignoring her. After awhile they put the concepts together that if they don't do what you ask, you won't do what they want - pay attention to them.

You're also going to need to reinforce the fact that YOU are dominant. Make her give you her belly - no rubbing - just make her roll over and give it. Practice dominant behaviour with her. That doesn't mean that you have to bully her or be hateful to her, just behave as though you are the lead dog in the pack.

I've suggested this to other people, since I've been more impressed with what I've seen and heard about their program than any other; the Monks of New Skete have a training program that is available by book or video. You can learn more about it at their website: http://www.dogsbestfriend.com/
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Old 05-19-2004, 09:36 AM
XoXdogluver04XoX XoXdogluver04XoX is offline
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Hi,
I luv goldens! they are very sweet!
when she runs off dont say her name say ''come'' without saying her name befor you coem or afetr you say it other wise if you call her name ''penny'' whens shes loose she will not come back right away and also try shaking treats outside loudly if that doesnt work trying ignoring her and she might come back. This is some advice we got on getting loose from training classes at are local pet store.
Hope this works!
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Old 05-19-2004, 09:37 AM
XoXdogluver04XoX XoXdogluver04XoX is offline
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miss spelling sorry
come and after are spelled wrong in my sentence
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Old 05-20-2004, 03:36 PM
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MEG126 MEG126 is offline
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Red face

thanks for replying! we've actually used that tactic before with another problem she was having out in the yard. as a little puppy we think we taught her that the back yard was her space, her domain and not ours, so whenever we went out in the yard she wasn't really MEAN like she wanted to hurt us, but would jump on us and nip at our arms, etc. so if we were out in the yard and she started to do that, we just went right back inside for about 5 minutes, then came back out and resumed doing whatever work we might have been doing (sprinklers, flowers, whatever) but paying no attention to her whatsoever for about 5 minutes, then if she didn't jump during that time, playing with her again. it worked and she's broken that habit, but the problem with this selective hearing thing is we can't catch her and bring her inside. she runs around the yard full speed and there is no way to catch her, it's the biggest game for her but most annoying for us. any further advice would be great!! thanks!!
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Old 05-20-2004, 06:43 PM
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Okay, scratch the "go get her" part. You're going to have to work at this from the beginning. Start working on basic commands again, and do the dominance reinforcement. You might even have to tie her in the yard until she learns to come when called, or take her out in the yard on one of those leads that will let out a line about twenty feet or so. Call her back to you, and if she doesn't come immediately, reel her in like a fish.

Sometimes, you just have to sit down, look them in the eye, and have a heart-to-heart talk. It's actually worked for me.
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Old 05-21-2004, 11:20 PM
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yeah we have one of those expanding leashes... she'll come on that, it's just the whole freedom thing i think- i'll give anything a shot though!! other people have told me that she isn't coming because it means the fun is over. like if she gets out of the fence, coming means she has to go back inside. so some advice i've been given to make sure the fun doesn't end when she comes, to praise her for about 20 seconds whenever she does come, not to call her to come when it's obvious she's not going to... stuff like that. i'm still in school right now so i don't have as much time to be spending with her, but this summer we're definitely going to be getting this come thing down! speaking of that, how long do you think each training session should last?? just curious! thanks again!!
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Old 05-22-2004, 09:24 AM
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Some people will say no longer than five or ten minutes. Personally, I'd go as long as her attention span dictates. Sometimes even just a few minutes longer to reinforce the idea that I'm the one who decides, not the dog. That's useful when you've got a stubborn dog (or kid) to deal with. It also gives them the idea that the more quickly they do what you want them to do to the sooner they can go eat, or nap or goof off.

I've really had my best results from sitting down, looking the dog in the eye, and having a conversation. I know that may sound strange, but it really is true. It's even worked with cats. You have to concentrate when you do it; no distractions to you or the animal, but you can get some astounding results.
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Old 05-22-2004, 10:40 PM
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Lightbulb

aighty i'll definitely give the heart to heart conversation a try. haha it was funny because i was eating my lunch out on my porch today and she was sitting there watching me and i started to think about how you said i should have conversations with her, so i just started talking to her... i think my brother and dad thought i was kind of crazy, but you know that's ok!! but yea i'll give your tactic and try and see how it works! i'll certainly open to trying anything. and this may seem like a really stupid question, but just to clarify- do i just talk to her about random things? or about training?? just making sure i'm not missing the boat. thanks!!
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Old 05-22-2004, 11:03 PM
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It depends. Talk to her about what's important. If you've got something on your mind, well, you'll never find a better listener or anyone who can keep your secrets any more securely. When it's an appropriate time to talk about training, like right before a session, during the session when you want her to really concentrate, and afterwards, when you tell her what she's done well and what you want her to work harder on, then you talk to her about training.

I discovered just how well this works when I took my first German Shepherd, Purdue, to obedience classes. He was four years old, much too old to train according to the instructor who announced that she hated all German Shepherds. Another large dog lunged at me and Purdue did what he was supposed to do - got in front of me and bared his teeth at the dog until it cowered. After that, the instructor just assumed he was incorrigibly aggressive and wouldn't let him participate in any of the behaviours that involved walking around the other dogs or people. When the night came for the "final exams," there was a judge there as well as the instructor and the instructor was just sure Purdue would flunk. She made us wait until last, so I sat on the ground with him and had a heart to heart with him about how he needed to do well, and that he knew how to do everything even though he had never been allowed to practice, only watch. The only person there who didn't think I was nuts was the poor guy with two Irish Wolfhounds. When it was finally our turn, Purdue performed ever behaviour letter perfect. The judge marked him the best in the class! The instructor was about to burst. Purdue just sat there with a smug look on his face. It was wonderful!

I've used the same tactic ever since, with cats as well as dogs, and it's always worked.

Last edited by Renee750il; 05-23-2004 at 10:42 AM.
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