11 week old knows commands, but doesn't obey them. Why? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-28-2016, 01:59 PM Thread Starter
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11 week old knows commands, but doesn't obey them. Why?

My 11 week old knows the following commands and how to perform them:

1. Sit
2. Stay (2-3 seconds)
3. Lay Down
4. Go in your crate.
5. Drop it
6. Come
7. Lets go (walk with me)

I know he knows these because when I am about to give him an extremely tasty treat he obeys them 100% willingly and will do ANYTHING for the treat.

however, when there is a less tasty treat involved or no treat at all and just praising (good boy) he 50/50 follows them, sometimes ignoring me completely.

I understand he is young, so I'm reaching out to the experience of the forum users. Is this just protest because he is young or does he have no respect? Is he challenging me as alpha? Will he grow out of this or do I need to do something different?

I try and make all training fun and short like an earlier thread mentioned I should do, so I am open to polite & constructive criticism.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-28-2016, 02:17 PM
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He's just an infant.When there's no fabulous reward involved everything in the world is more interesting and rewarding than obeying a command.Right now you are just laying a foundation as he slowly matures and his attention span slowly increases.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-28-2016, 02:22 PM
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He doesn't know the commands. He is a baby. Lower the expectation. He has short attention span and the world is super interesting. Keep doing what you are doing. He will get it.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-28-2016, 02:37 PM
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I don't have any more puppies--this is like the first time in forever, but when training I used treats for the first year. They dwindled as they got older and then they stopped. Once they learn it, practice it. To this day I still do sits/stays/front/wait commands daily with mine, just to make sure they don't forget.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-28-2016, 02:44 PM
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He is not challenging you as alpha. You're just not being interesting enough to counteract what I like to refer to as PADD (puppy attention deficit disorder ). He's just a baby- his attention span will get better with age. Keep it up with the extra-yummy treats for now.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-28-2016, 03:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alext72888 View Post
My 11 week old knows the following commands and how to perform them:

1. Sit
2. Stay (2-3 seconds)
3. Lay Down
4. Go in your crate.
5. Drop it
6. Come
7. Lets go (walk with me)

I know he knows these because when I am about to give him an extremely tasty treat he obeys them 100% willingly and will do ANYTHING for the treat.

however, when there is a less tasty treat involved or no treat at all and just praising (good boy) he 50/50 follows them, sometimes ignoring me completely.
At his age it's highly unlikely that he truly KNOWS all those commands. If he's not doing them all the time, no matter the circumstances, then he hasn't fully generalized them. Test your sit command - will he sit across the room from you? Will he sit if you tell him to while you're laying in bed, sitting in a chair or on the floor? With your back turned? When he's in the car, at the vets office, walking near a busy street? In every room in your house at any time of day? Even if he will do that, he may not be able to comply around heavy distractions, so you'd need to train under those conditions too. Any time you make it more challenging you should lower your criteria accordingly and work your way back up, and your rate of reinforcement should reflect that.

Quote:
Is this just protest because he is young or does he have no respect?
Yes, it's because he's young, but no, it has nothing to do with protesting or lack of respect, any more than a 6 month old human baby is capable of protesting or not respecting it's parents. That's about the developmental level of an 11 week old puppy and neither is capable of such complex feelings or behavior.

Quote:
Is he challenging me as alpha? Will he grow out of this or do I need to do something different?
No, he is not challenging you, nor is he trying to be alpha. Dogs really don't simply "grow out" of anything. Maturity will help, as his attention span increases, but training will still be necessary. One important thing that you can do differently is to just lower your expectations. Keeping them reasonable based on what a young puppy is actually capable of will leave you less frustrated and make training and life in general more fun for both of you.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-28-2016, 05:19 PM
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Keep in mind two things.

1. Puppies are very distractible. It will take time for him to improve focus and follow through. Also, if he gets bored, he is that much more distractible.
2. Dogs do not generalize very well. So sit in the backyard where you do most of your training is not the same as sit in the middle of town, or in a park or at your friends house. To a dog it is all different. So you commit to work at it for 2 years at least.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-28-2016, 05:37 PM
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I often train high reliability behaviors on puppies that age for clients pretty regularly but it's with tactful pressure not treats. With my own dogs I tend not to do it. I place high priority on things like recall,potty training, crate behavior, how to relax with me in the house, and also on teaching the dog games like tug and retrieve that I can use to motivate them later on.

All that position nonsense can start when they are older.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-28-2016, 10:52 PM
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Puppies grow so quickly. By 11 weeks they don't look like babies anymore, but they are. He is familiar with the commands but far from proofed. If you are consistent and calm, he will learn.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-28-2016, 11:02 PM Thread Starter
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Okay great. Thank you for all the feedback.

I'm doing this little bit of training with him before I can go to a professional because he doesn't have all of his booster shots yet.

Thanks again!
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