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SummerGSDLover 03-25-2014 12:20 PM

Listen to me?!
I feel like a failure. Five and a half months ago I got a cute little fluffball and he followed me everywhere. Potty trained now, also in our second puppy course, he has regressed from my puppy who listened to everything to bot having any recall or anything. I tried weaning him off the treats and ball when training and I've had nothing but failure. He won't even make eye contact when training. Help. The "trainer" in the class only has me and one other GSD and he does pretty well in class with treats but at home I'm awful at being able to help him listen. Is he just in his butthole stage or am I doing something completely wrong? Last month he had down:
Sit, down, stay, wait, shake, come, bring it, drop it, up, army crawl, leave it, high five.
Now he's got ... Sit.

I don't understand what I'm doing wrong here. I tried a prong collar and he responds ok to that in public but not at home. I am mystified. :banghead:


Mala 03-25-2014 12:43 PM

He's probably going through his teen stage. How old is he? Treats and ball shouldn't be taken away completely. He should always have something he wants to work for. Be consistent and keep working at it. Add the treats back in. He's also acting the way he does because he knows he can get away with it

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Melissa98409 03-25-2014 12:44 PM

You are not alone. My little man just turned a year old. He too has gone through the sudden loss of memory. I would tell him to sit or down and he would look at me like it was the first time he had heard the words. He has separation anxiety, so recall was never really an issue, but lately, as he gains his confidence he is blowing off the come command. We are in Agility training and he gets the zoomies something terrible. When we are working on our own, he's perfect, but give the guy an audience and he becomes this big show off. It's annoying.

I would say to keep steady on your training and not give up the treats. Keep the treats going until he regains his memory. Then back off the treats. Like giving him a treat for every third sit so he's not sure when a treat will come. Make him work for absolutely everything. Work to play, work to eat, work to go in the car. Make nothing free. Eventually, he will come around again.

Jericho is still on the prong collar. I've been trying to get away from it, but he's such a better dog on it that I'm not sure he will ever get off it. LOL

Anyway-that's my two cents.

SummerGSDLover 03-25-2014 12:48 PM

He's seven months but is almost 70 lbs. This is a problem. I'm 4'11 and weigh 95. I think maybe I should train him the way I "train" my three boys. The "get my bluff in early" method. Lol :p


sechattin 03-25-2014 12:50 PM

Mine went though that phase for a bit. I do positive reinforcement so mine is treat trained and when he hit the phase you were talking about, didn't want to do anything either. Since I knew that most of the time he wouldn't want to listen, I made sure he worked extra hard for the things he really wanted. Where he used to just have to sit and wait for his breakfast, he now had to sit down sit down high five 20 second stay wave down and then get his food. Same thing went for walks, play, entering the dog park, etc. It definitely was not the most productive phase. He didn't learn anything new. But keeping the practice to things he really wanted for a week or two and then asking again in situations where he may not want to do it (waiting in line at the store) seemed to help sort of charge the commands and remind him that they were worth listening to. It also helps with the treat reliance. The only time he really worked for food in that process was when he wanted a meal, everything else was just life rewards. I'm not an expert trainer or anything, mostly just sharing what worked for me in a similar phase :)

SummerGSDLover 03-25-2014 12:55 PM

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Eiros 03-25-2014 01:07 PM

I think it's just brat stage! Our boy is 11 months and I feel your pain... I feel like I must be doing something wrong but I know they all go through this!

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Baillif 03-25-2014 01:18 PM

I never had this stage happen to me with my dogs because there were unpleasant consequences for failure to comply with known behaviors...strange...;)

wyoung2153 03-25-2014 01:26 PM

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Butt head stage for sure! Just keep being consistent with your training. Don't, say, get frustrated you start changing commands because you think he wont listen.... :D guilty.. lol it doesn't work.. lol. (not that you're doing that, but consistency was a big lesson I learned the hard way)

Also, keep treats and rewards. Obviously you should still be able to ask him to do something and him do it regardless.. but especially in the beginning puppy life, treating for everything is important (or toy reward) Titan is 4 yrs and I still bring out treats/ball for training time. Even when we are just playing fetch for fun, I sometimes treat for good behavior. So I wouldn't wean him off completely. :)

sechattin 03-25-2014 01:27 PM

Yes, on the first day of working with him, I asked mine to sit for his precious squeaky ball and he decided to just look at me like I was stupid. The look on his face when it was put up on a high shelf and left there while I went to read a book was priceless! Same for his breakfast that ended up getting poured back in the bag when he barked instead of doing a down. He bucked up real quick :)

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