Teaching A Dog to Listen to Me - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-25-2012, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
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Teaching A Dog to Listen to Me

It's possible to teach a dog to listen to only me, right? And my family, of course.
For example, when guests come over to the house, I don't want them to tell my dog to do things. I don't want a guest to tell my dog to "sit" but my dog "downs" and then the guest will say "good boy" and eventually my dog might think that sit means down...
Also when we are outside, I don't allow strangers to pet my dog because they have no reason to... So I don't want them to say "come here" and my dog to listen.
How can I teach this?

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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-25-2012, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by mynameisblc View Post
It's possible to teach a dog to listen to only me, right? And my family, of course.

I would think it would be possible to teach this; however, Sasha just does it naturally. She's not real big on listening to other people, especially if I'm there.

For example, when guests come over to the house, I don't want them to tell my dog to do things. I don't want a guest to tell my dog to "sit" but my dog "downs" and then the guest will say "good boy" and eventually my dog might think that sit means down...

I think if you are consistently reinforcing sit means sit and down means down, even if the dog occasionally gets treats for doing the wrong thing it should be fun. The dog will most likely just figure out who he/she can sucker free treats out of. For instance, Sasha knows that whilst she usually has to do something specific to get a treat from Mamma (me) that all she has to do is look cute and she'll get a treat from her Grammy or one of her aunts or uncles. It doesn't affect her listening to me, just her waist line

Also when we are outside, I don't allow strangers to pet my dog because they have no reason to... So I don't want them to say "come here" and my dog to listen.

How old is your dog? I ask because I would want puppies to have as much positive interaction with people as possible, positive is the key here and you have to be careful. I allow strangers to pet Sasha if they ask and we are not currently training or something like that. In addressing your "come here" scenario. I had Sasha in a sit stay while I went into a room she is not allowed in (my mom doesn't want the German Shedder in the laundry room...odd...lol) and my boyfriend was telling her to come, even told her she could have a treat. I looked right at her, repeated "stay" and gave her the hand command as well, and she didn't even acknowledge him. This may not be the same with puppies, but I think GSDs as a whole are much more in tune to their person than they are miscellaneous people .

How can I teach this?
The best advice I can give for teaching this is work on a strong bond between you and your dog, and make sure they know when you give a command they are to obey it despite distractions. It takes time (we're still working on it every day) but it can happen.

~Sasha~{GSD}~ 3ish~Gotcha day January, 29, 2011
~Monte~{Golden Retriever}~ (RIP)~ 1997-2009

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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-25-2012, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
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He just turned 9 months. I would tell my dog to down and stay, then my sister's friend, or literally anyone, would tell him to do something and he will. He listens to everyone and I don't want him to. Should I say no when he listens to someone else?

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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-25-2012, 06:18 PM
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Foreign language?

Maybe teach your dog's commands in a foreign language? My GSD is aloof to strangers anyway, she also doesn't understand any English commands. We've been in situations before where strangers at a pet store or a park would try to tell her to do things, she either ignored them or looked at them blankly
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-25-2012, 06:28 PM Thread Starter
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I've thought about using a foreign language but what if someone hears me say it and they try to copy what I say haha. And I've already taught him English, won't it be confusing to change language?

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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-25-2012, 06:37 PM
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For stay I would focus on making sure that your dog knows that he can *only* get up if he hears his release word?

Also, sometimes we just have to ask other *people* to stop messing with our dogs. If someone in particular won't leave your dog alone, put your dog somewhere else (go in your room, on a walk, etc.) when they come over and maybe they'll get the picture that you don't want them messing with your dog.

Or (because some people just want to see your super-smart dog do a few tricks), I will hand a guest a couple of treats and ask them to ask him to do a simple trick (one that he knows well and that neither party can mess up). After they do that they seem to have their 'fix' of interacting with the dog and will leave him alone.
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-25-2012, 08:26 PM
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whatever command i taught i incorporated the help
of other people. i did a lot of training in front of stores,
the mall, busy street, etc. i use to approach someone and
say "i'm training my dog to stay. can you help me for a minute?
I'm going to place my dog in a stay. when i hide behind that car

(you can hide behind anything. when i was training stay and i was
doing by myself i use have my dog stay at the corner of a buiding.
i would take his leash and stretch it out in front of the building.
i would step beside the building. i could see his leash so i knew if he moved)

i want you to call him. his name is Loki". then i would hide behind a car
and they called him. when he moved i would say "no" and put him back into
the stay. then i would hide again and the stranger call him again.
it took a lot of training but he learned not to move. if i tell him
"down, stay" you can walk over to him and pick up his leash
and tug on it and he stays. after he learned to stay when a stranger
called him i started telling people to pick up his leash and pull
him and call him. i used the public as a distraction and a training tool.

i'm out and about with my dog and lots of people want to pet him.
i always let people pet my dog. i like the fact that he's very sociable.

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Originally Posted by mynameisblc View Post
He just turned 9 months. I would tell my dog to down and stay, then my sister's friend, or literally anyone, would tell him to do something and he will. He listens to everyone and I don't want him to. Should I say no when he listens to someone else?

Last edited by doggiedad; 05-25-2012 at 08:29 PM.
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-26-2012, 01:58 AM
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Originally Posted by mynameisblc View Post
It's possible to teach a dog to listen to only me, right? And my family, of course.
Yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mynameisblc View Post
For example, when guests come over to the house, I don't want them to tell my dog to do things.
These people are guests in your house. Advise them your dog is in training and ask them not to tell your dog to do things. As guests in your home, they should respect your wishes and leave the dog alone. If not, show them the door. If this is not possible, remove the dog from their presence. Other people meddling with your dog training can create a lot of hard to deal with issues as you are finding out.

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Originally Posted by mynameisblc View Post
I don't want a guest to tell my dog to "sit" but my dog "downs" and then the guest will say "good boy" and eventually my dog might think that sit means down...
Do teach your dog in another language. It will be a bit confusing at first, but he will catch on. My older dog is trained in English, but my pup is training in Czech. The older dog has learned Czech commands just by observation and now knows both languages.

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Originally Posted by mynameisblc View Post
Also when we are outside, I don't allow strangers to pet my dog because they have no reason to... So I don't want them to say "come here" and my dog to listen.
How can I teach this?
Strangers petting your dog has to do with socialization, not your dog obeying their commands. Just where is it that you go that you and your dog are encountering people that are trying to call your dog away from you? Maybe you should stop taking him to those places until he is trained better.

On the brighter side, if your dog is trained in the basics, you can always train him to not go to others simply by telling him to stay, or just say no. Work on this with family members or a couple of close friends. Teach your dog to stay until released. Proof him by having your family and friends call him and otherwise entice him to come to them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mynameisblc View Post
He just turned 9 months. I would tell my dog to down and stay, then my sister's friend, or literally anyone, would tell him to do something and he will. He listens to everyone and I don't want him to. Should I say no when he listens to someone else?
Foreign commands and the release command will stop much of this. Once he has been retaught in foreign commands, you can also start reteaching english ones. When my lifestyle involved more bothersome people than I cared for, I would teach my dogs that all those usual english commands (sit, down, paw) meant one thing and one thing only, stand stay. No matter what the other people would throw at the dog, if he did not know the command, he stood there looking at them, if he recognized the command, he understood it to mean stand stay, and he stood there looking at him. It might seem silly, but it achieved the desired results.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mynameisblc View Post
I've thought about using a foreign language but what if someone hears me say it and they try to copy what I say haha. And I've already taught him English, won't it be confusing to change language?
Teach him in a language that is a little more difficult.

All in all, I see your biggest problem is letting way too many people have access to this dog and you are unhappy with the results. It is easier to keep him away from strangers, but in your home when you have guests, you might want to confine him away from the wannabe trainers or if you must have him out and about, tie him to you where you can control and manage him better.

Good luck with your puppy!
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-26-2012, 02:01 AM
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Originally Posted by doggiedad View Post
whatever command i taught i incorporated the help
of other people. i did a lot of training in front of stores,
the mall, busy street, etc. i use to approach someone and
say "i'm training my dog to stay. can you help me for a minute?
I'm going to place my dog in a stay. when i hide behind that car
I would never do this. The possibility of finding yourself playing hide n seek all by yourself is all too great.
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-26-2012, 02:08 AM
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Originally Posted by mynameisblc View Post
It's possible to teach a dog to listen to only me, right? And my family, of course.
For example, when guests come over to the house, I don't want them to tell my dog to do things. I don't want a guest to tell my dog to "sit" but my dog "downs" and then the guest will say "good boy" and eventually my dog might think that sit means down...
Also when we are outside, I don't allow strangers to pet my dog because they have no reason to... So I don't want them to say "come here" and my dog to listen.
How can I teach this?
I feel your pain. I actually do not mind others giving my dog a command, but 99% of people don't do it right.

They say things like:

Bailey! Sit, can you sit, Bailey, sit! sit! sit! Can you sit? Why don't you sit? Sit, sit, sit, sit, sit, sit!!!!!!!!!!!!!

He looks at them like they're insane.

Can you lay down, Bailey? Down? Do you know down? Come lay down!

Yes, he says, I know down, but what are these other stupid words?

Bailey! Can you shake? Do you know shake? Shake Bailey, shake, shake!

Again, he looks at them like they're fools.

So there I am, saying ok -- please only give the command one time. And then they say the command 22 more times. Aggravating to be sure.!

This is an instance that hand signals are quite handy. I don't have to say a word.
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