Puppy crawls towards me when asked to stay, how to correct this? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-11-2017, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
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Puppy crawls towards me when asked to stay, how to correct this?

We are only working on "stay" at home currently because she is far from being able to do that with distraction. One big issue I can't seem to work around is that she would not stay at exactly the same location I ask her to stay on, she would gradually try to crawl towards me. When I try to correct this, she would lie on the ground showing her belly and just allowing me to drag her to the original position with her collar. I don't pet her at all and just grab her collar to drag her to her original position, but she still seems to totally enjoy that and would make contact with my hands with her body!

She would also stand up for no reasons to stare at me even when I am paying attention, and I would go push her down. However, I feel like she is doing this on purpose so that I have to pay more attention to her and touch her if that makes any sense because she does not struggle when I push her down, she seems to be enjoying the correction lol...

However, if I push really hard or grab the collar in a really forceful way, she would let out a big scream or just act really scared like I am bullying her. How do I appropriately discipline her? She is 6 months old.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-11-2017, 01:40 PM
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I am certainly not an expert on this, but I think maybe you are trying a bit too hard. Think of it in term of a baby trying to crawl or walk, they make lot of mistakes before they get it right. Your pup is still a baby, she may not even understand what you want at this point. I would be patient and just have fun with her, the bond between you and her is too important to damage at this age. Try using little treats or toys to motivate her and lots of praise. That's my 2 cents.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-11-2017, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by newlie View Post
I am certainly not an expert on this, but I think maybe you are trying a bit too hard. Think of it in term of a baby trying to crawl or walk, they make lot of mistakes before they get it right. Your pup is still a baby, she may not even understand what you want at this point. I would be patient and just have fun with her, the bond between you and her is too important to damage at this age. Try using little treats or toys to motivate her and lots of praise. That's my 2 cents.
Hey thanks for the reply, my obedience trainer told me I should expect puppy to be able to stay for 5 min by 6 months, so I was really worried that she is behind the schedule. I used treats before, but I realized the end result was the dog constantly staring at me and I don't want that in a stay, I want her to be able to relax.

And yes the bond is much more important, that is why I want to avoid using corrections that are too hard and make her yelp/look scared.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-11-2017, 02:03 PM
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In IPO, the dog is required to do a down-stay at the side of the field while another dog completes its routine. Its owner is out of sight, hiding in one of the blinds.

I teach this by tying the dog to something solid. At first, I start with a very brief time, say 30 seconds, with me facing the dog to reinforce the command with eye contact. If the dog breaks the down, I tell it 'no' go to its side, and repeat the down command. I make sure I end on a positive note, even if the dog just managed a short time in the down. Then LOTS of praise, rewards, playtime.

Corrections are pretty much verbal only. I lure the dog into the down with food, at first, until it understands the command. When first teaching the 'down,' I stand beside the dog. That way, I can give a reward more quickly by dropping the food in front of the dog while it's still in the down position.

Each dog needs to be treated as an individual. If your dog won't do 5 minutes, that's okay. Start small, and reward success, then gradually increase the time. Tethering the dog sets them up for success by eliminating the dog's ability to creep forward. It also means the dog doesn't get its reward until you return to its side, so it eliminates the dog fixating on you, and wanting to come to you. Oh, and the dog MUST hold the 'down' until you release it, using whatever word you choose. You set that up by teaching the down when the dog is at your side, as explained above.

Last edited by Sunsilver; 04-11-2017 at 02:08 PM.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-11-2017, 02:20 PM
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Sounds like you're moving too fast and the dog isn't ready. Start with the down command. As mentioned above reward with food between the dogs front paws while she is in the down. Once she fully understands down and will down consistently then add a stay command. So down the dog give the stay command step directly around in front of the dog and if the dog doesn't move reward between paws. Gradually increase time. Add distance after the dog can hold the down reliably with you one or two steps in front of the dog. Eye contact is OK at first. That can be faded out pretty easily once the dog gets what you want.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-11-2017, 02:20 PM
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And don't forget to make it fun for the pup.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-11-2017, 02:45 PM
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5 or 6 minutes is really a long time for a six month old!
But you have to work up to it in tiny increments, and up the difficulty one variable at a time.

That means that you work on staying and on distance separately.

Your pup is solid in a down stay for 10 seconds! Very good, that is your starting point. 10 solid seconds with you standing by. Then 10 solid seconds with you a couple of steps away. Then 10 solid seconds with you four steps away. Then 10 solid seconds with you by your dog with distractions. Then work up to 12, 13, 14 seconds. etc.

Don't grab your dog and drag it if she moves - she does not understand the exercise yet, so you are being unfair - no wonder she gives you calming signals.

If she consistently gets up and moves, that is because you are moving ahead too fast - not because she is behind anything. So go back to what she knows, and start again.

Always try to predict how long she will be able to hold her down, and release her before she breaks. There will be some trial and error, and your puppy won't be perfect, be easy on her. She is still a baby, and training is supposed to build the bond between owner and pup, so don't look at it you forcing your will on her, but as you and your pup, dancing waltz - one leads, the other follows, in sync. If the one leading starts throwing in all sorts of new dance steps that the partner has never seen before, well, it's not pretty and not so much fun anymore.

Slow down, it is not a race. Do you compare your dog to others, you, nor your pup has anything to prove to anyone. Set goals, move towards them baby step at a time.

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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-11-2017, 02:57 PM
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For me first I trained sit, down, and here. Then I worked on sit and stay and then lay down and stay. I now have commands that mean stay that way until released. It can take awhile to teach the pup. I like sit for teaching stay better than lie down but either one works. If she gets up or moves have her come back to the spot and give her the command/return her to the spot again and again until she understands stay means stay there. It will probably feel very repetitive.

Don't feel bad that she can't stay for 5 minutes either, she is still only a pup. Just keep working on it and slowly increase the time each time.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-11-2017, 04:52 PM
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Aww OP ... as I am want to say ... you need to slow your roll. Too much, to soon and too fast. And you've overlooked a basic principle. You can't fairly correct a puppy/dog for failing to obey a command, that they don't fully understand.

The goods news is you realized ... what your doing is not working??? So maybe do something different?? That is ... out think your puppy.

We just had a thread on the "Stay" thing and I still train it. Others don't these days, as with a Sit or a Down or a Place Command ... Stay is implied. No doubt that's true but I still train "Stay" for practical reasons but that's another topic.

I don't use treats myself, I found them like you to be a distraction. But that was wayyyy back in the day. But most likely, like you, I overused treats??? These days ... I suppose, I now consider "treats" as a tool and like any tool ... improperly used ... "treats" to can be abused.

Moving on ... I think also, training "Down" first ... is a better way to go?? If the puppy is in a "Down" ... which would need to be trained first, if you say "Stay" it will have more meaning?? Oh not suppose to move??? Soooo I'll do what I know ... "down."

I would also suggest that with "Sit/Stay and Down" you add hand signals! I discovered that to be effective by accident with my Boxer.
You can better see the wheels spinning with those guys.

I'd repeated whatever command, for the umpteenth time and I used a hand signal also. Struddell stared at me like what is dad babbling about??? But she also recognized the hand signal and "Bam" ... instant compliance! Sit Stay Down ... was a piece of cake from that day forward.

But ... now we've just added another command ... "Down" to the list ... which is not exactly helpful??

But fear not ... "Youtube" is your friend, Bethany Wilson, training puppies in Down.:

And of course she has a website and lots of puppy videos.:

That and yes ... a new approach to training your puppy should help ... welcome aboard.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-11-2017, 05:08 PM
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Hey ... looking at that clip ... it seems to me that Sit then Down works better from a bio mechanical standpoint as it were ... who knew.
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