Starting over with training

Zhucca

Lab Love
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#1
To start off with I need to mention that I've been a rather lazy trainer in the last year or two. I have not considered getting Duke into sports for awhile, I've been too busy with work and other schedules. However with a job change imminent I'll have more time, so I have been considering enrolling him in winter classes. However, his obedience has deteriorated. Not to completely shuffle the blame off myself; I am to blame too. I don't work with him on training on the basis that he is usually pretty angelic. However I've had two roommates, who although love him to bits, have ruined his attention span and self control. I've never been too concerned over it because it didn't effect his responses to me; but lately it has bled over and he's kind of a hot mess.

Whenever I ask something of him hes likely to convulse and mix all of his tricks into one. Also barks at me in frustration, which gets me frustrated super quickly. If there's food involved it's even worse, he gets so excited about the idea of FOOD STUFFZ he offers tricks all at once at lightning speed. I think some of this has to do with his free reign of begging, which I plan to put a stop to. I've never been super big on giving Duke part of my meals, except at the end. My roommates, however, feed him freely and often and he just sits at their feet and drools uncontrollably. Now, he sits at everyones feet and drools uncontrollably. Duke loves to generalize, I guess.

Anywho, I want to freshen him up and regain control of this. A large factor of it would be my roommates, whom are moving to Van at the end of the month. They are understanding and are cutting back on their treats, but are still partners in crime for Dukes criminal behaviour. Since I'm rusty I'm not really sure where to start. I'm good at beginning new behaviours, not so good at fixing ingrained, bad behaviours. I know NILIF would be a good place to start. I have been retouching on basic commands (sit, stay, what have you) with the clicker but I am more looking for other resources and advice you guys may have. Thanks in advance!
 

*blackrose

"I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"
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#2
I was waiting to by on my computer and not my phone to respond to this! lol

So, what has REALLY helped me with Abrams and his craziness, was working on impulse control. NILIF with the emphasis on being POLITE, not necessarily performing a certain command (like "sit") to get something. We did a lot of working on holding a sit or down stay while a stimuli was happening (door being opened, food being dropped, squirrel in the yard, hose spraying with water, etc.) and now that is almost his default.

For frustration barking/rapid fire tricks, I've always just said a no reward marker (like "no"), then literally turned my back on the dog. Ignore. Wait a few seconds. Turn back around and ask again. If they don't think and just do, turn back around. Ignore. Try again. You want all fun things to end until they start to use their brain and not just spazz out in a overstimulated mess.

Also, I don't know how much exercise he is getting, but I know with Abrams at least, when he is well exercised and tired he's less likely to be a nutcase about something and more likely to use his brain.
 

milos_mommy

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#3
I'm gonna be honest....while your roommates are around, you probably won't see much improvement.

At the end of the month, are new roommates coming in? If so, I'd be more conscious about communicating with them how you want him handled, and if needed, supervise interactions as much as possible.

Chances are if you start him on NILIF and just increase your practicing and do some impulse control exercises, he'll improve, but only if your roommates aren't letting him have a free for all when you're out.
 

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