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Old 01-13-2013, 06:19 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I agree. At some point she learned she can ignore you. Back track. Long line when she's outside. Corrections when she ignores you and ramp up your rewards for a bit. Then start back in mixing up when she gets rewarded. After one sit. After 1 sit 1 down, after a stay for 2 min, stay for 10 mins. Etc. she needs to learn ignoring isn't an option.


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Old 01-13-2013, 06:29 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Obviously she's not respecting you....time to step up w/ NILIF and possibly some crate time before and after your training sessions. I like to crate afterwards so the dog can process, especially if it's a learning session. Always, always end the session on a good note, even if you are frustrated, do something simple and end it then. Corrections are fine IF the dog understands what you're asking, but when you begin the session after that correction, get the dog back into drive so enthusiasm is working to the benefit of both. I like to tease my dog up with a ball on string or tug, and ask for behaviors right off....not when we are heeling along. Then I add in the positions randomly during the training session. My dog isn't a flashy sport dog, so I do what works best for his personality.

And remember to reward when the dog is in position, from that position or have him drive into the reward...make the dog give you effort always!
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:08 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Amazing what a piece of liverwurst will do.
Went back to basics last few days. Made up a little "platz" game with her the other day....I run around the house away from her. When she "catches" me, I tell her platz and she gets a treat. Seems to have helped her remember what it means. Today she is the queen of platz. She was uber responding this morning.... I had her platz, which she did pronto, but then she would sit up so she could platz again.....and get some of that liverwurst...
I remember a similar problem with sit a while back. Just had to keep making her sit here there and everywhere until it became habit. Guess that platzing will be our next default move.....
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Old 01-15-2013, 02:57 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Glad to hear it's going better. Just some things to consider, to make sure none of these factors are at play or to help others who might be reading this and having a similar problem:

IME, often when the dog's reaction time slows, it often has something to do with the owner. It could be a lot of different things though. You might need to do more "refreshers" for motivation--any dog, no matter how old, needs occasional fun and motivational training with lots of rewards or otherwise a really good reason to do obey you even when they'd rather not. I might only have a super-fun obedience session with my older dogs once or twice a month and just expect obedience the rest of the time, but they still get those sessions.

It's kind of like getting an unusual reward for your performance on a normal work project. You would have done the project anyway, but when your boss calls you in and praises you and gives you a token of appreciation (even if it's just something small like free movie tickets), you're likely to approach the next project with renewed enthusiasm. Dogs need that motivational stuff too, and maybe a little more often since they're not getting a paycheck for obedience.

It could also be that you phased out rewards too quickly. When you're establishing a behavior, you start by rewarding heavily each time, then you start doing smaller rewards but still consistent ones (food or toy rewards, that is), then you start making the food/toy reward inconsistent and gradually phase it out for the most part. Sometimes if people go through that process too quickly, the dog loses motivation and their obedience decreases.

As others have said, it could also be something in your body language or timing. Someone already mentioned saying the cue more than once, which is a common problem (which I saw you don't do too ). Other things I have seen are things like teaching the command in a firm voice, "PLATZ!" and then expecting the dog to respond to a more casual quiet "platz," without training the dog to do so. Body language can also be an issue. If you taught the dog the cue while standing close and facing her, you may have to teach her that it still means the same thing when you're sitting down, turned partially away, etc. This is a problem I ran into a lot when I first started training my dogs, so now I routinely teach my dogs to respond to the command in a variety of tones and with me in a variety of postures.

Or, it could be nothing to do with you and she simply hit an age where she took a couple of steps back. I think that's a pretty normal thing in training animals. We tend expect a logical progression, but in fact often you wind up hitting plateaus, or your dog takes a step or two back for no apparent reason and you need to build them back up, etc. The nice thing is that if you deal with it promptly and correctly (as it sounds like you are), it should just be a minor hiccup.
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Old 01-15-2013, 03:45 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Hmmmm. Never really thought about tone of voice or my position when I give her the command. Things to pay attention to in the future. Something else I noticed- when I tell her sit, she will sometimes change where she is facing before she sits. Same with platz.
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