Where does obedience stem from - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-31-2017, 01:58 AM Thread Starter
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Where does obedience stem from

I am a novice at best. I am doing best to understand motivation. I am doing my best to understand how to get obedience. Where does obedience come from? Bond and true understanding? What turns a pup to an obedient dog.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-31-2017, 03:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Apex1 View Post
I am a novice at best. I am doing best to understand motivation. I am doing my best to understand how to get obedience. Where does obedience come from? Bond and true understanding? What turns a pup to an obedient dog.
How has your training been? Treats? Praise? Toy?

I think positive attitude is a big factor. They will be obedient because they know good will come of it. This is one of the reasons you never call a dog to "come" to punish

At home, I don't treat for "sit/ stay" often, but I do give a little praise. Unless I'm actually training for commands, just everyday walking around and needing my pup to sit down so I can get by is not treat worthy

A (hopefully) short story. The other day I decided I really need to leash train my pup. I knew it was going to be frustrating for both of us, but knew it had to be done. A 5min walk to the park took about 10mins. Stopping every time she pulled. We did a little more leash work at the park and inside the baseball diamond, but then allowed for lots of play and running. Then some leash work for a short time, then ball fetching. Did some sit/ stay/ come work and then some treats and fetch and treats for giving me the ball. I kept it really fun to offset the frustration of leash work. over an hr later, we started back home and she was a lot better at being in heel and looking at me for "Am I doing good dad?" and giving her treats. Not 100%, but was a big difference

Imagine you doing a hard day's work, but you go out and have fun after work. Makes the day worth it, right? Kind of the same concept. Puppy needs to do some work, but you can reward with play time and some bonding

If puppy thinks, "Ok, it's time for work with dad, but we will have fun too" then that makes them want to please you, and GSDs want to please their owners

I hope this slightly coherent rambling makes some sort of sense
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-31-2017, 03:17 AM
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Very simply motivation stems from a desire to earn something or avoid something. A strong bond helps so nothing is taken personally and everyone moves on. Understanding would refer more to you understanding the dog and how best to train it.

ETA: how to get obedience? Time and consistency is the #1 thing here. Your options are almost limitless as far as tools and methods and everyone has their preference or opinion. Find what works for you and Fido. Set realistic expectations and don't cheat yourself or the dog by not committing the necessary time.
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Last edited by thegooseman90; 12-31-2017 at 03:21 AM.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-31-2017, 09:14 AM
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IMO dogs choose to "obey" a cue for basically one of two reasons. There has been a strong reward history for doing the behavior in a wide variety or situations, or the dog does the behavior to avoid an unpleasant or even painful stimulus. A strong bond will help, but a good trainer can get a dog they have only just met to perform behaviors for them. I tend to think of obedience as a reflection of my dog's understanding of what I am asking them to do and their desire to perform that behavior.

Here are a few articles on Motivation:

https://denisefenzi.com/2013/08/29/motivation-part-1/
https://denisefenzi.com/2013/09/04/motivation-part-2/
https://denisefenzi.com/2013/01/09/m...raining-until/
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-31-2017, 10:40 AM
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I am a novice at best. I am doing best to understand motivation. I am doing my best to understand how to get obedience. Where does obedience come from? Bond and true understanding? What turns a pup to an obedient dog.
Several things:

1. A strong bond with the handler that revolves around trust. When your dog trusts you as its leader, it's very motivated to obey your instructions and go along with your decisions--even if they seem crazy to the dog at the time.

2. Consistency in training and rule enforcement. When you have a consistent schedule that your dog can predict with relative certainty; when you use the same commands for the same actions and reward/correct for success/failure each time; when you enforce the same rule every time the same way...your dog finds it very easy to maintain obedience. The rules, commands, and consequences/rewards are crystal clear and easily understood.

3. Patience and understanding of your dog's stage of development and learning. A good teacher knows how hard to press in a challenge, when to step back, and when to reward the effort made in accomplishing a task.

All of this takes time to develop. If you did all of the above ever since the dog was a small puppy, you'd probably find yourself with a pretty obedient dog by the time it was 2. That all depends on the dog, but I'd say 2 years is when all of that training, enforcement, and bond establishment really gels together and your dog starts working with you more as a partner.

Trust building is all about showing:

*That you're not going to take advantage of your dog all the time. You won't hog resources and you won't bully the dog by constantly overpowering it.
*That you can make sound decisions that lead everyone through situations successfully.
*That you're fair and just, which is one of the few complex social dynamics that people and dogs instinctively comprehend on an almost equal level.
*That you're benevolent and social with all members of the "pack", and understand the value of just goofing off sometimes.
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Last edited by Kyrielle; 12-31-2017 at 10:44 AM.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-31-2017, 11:48 AM
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uh-oh..here comes my plug again..Go look at Leerburg.com. They have super free videos and articles on the "art" of using marker based training methods, raising a puppy. AND when and how to introduce a correction into your training.. I hand fed my latest puppy for months. At first it was just a bonding thing sitting on the floor with him. Then teaching him "luring" by moving my had a little more each time for him to follow to eat it. Then finally part of the time he got luring into sit, down or "big", my version of stand..
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-31-2017, 12:14 PM
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Denise Fenzi is great, she has several books you might enjoy, if you're a reader: https://denisefenzi.com/shop/

Her Dog Sport Skills series, #1 - Building Engagement and Relationship, #2 - Motivation, #3 - Play, and #4 - Focus and Engage are great if you're interested in participating in any kind of sport with your dog, but are also good for anyone who wants a well behaved pet dog.

Beyond The Back Yard: Train Your Dog to Listen Anytime, Anywhere! is for people with a dog that is well behaved on leash or at home, but would like that same level of obedience off leash and in public.

The simplest answer to your question is that obedience stems from your relationship with your dog. I've found with my own dogs, that the more I can show them that doing what I want will earn them what they want, the less I need to correct them for not doing it. The more fair, clear, and consistent I am with my training and expectations, the more willingly they comply. The more fun I can make training (which includes play) and the more enthusiastic I am, the more we enjoy working together and the stronger our relationship of mutual trust and respect becomes.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-31-2017, 03:14 PM
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Obedience is genetic...there are dogs that have it and dogs that don't. When you see a genetically obedient dog, you understand it is just 'in' them!

That said, of course shaping, training and engagement are important. I have one genetically obedient dog, though he isn't as high in it as some are from the breeders foundation lines. Several have that 'what can I do for you' attitude all the time.
I have one dog that has none whatsoever. And another that is a constant work in progress, with not a lot of progress happening.
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