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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-12-2011, 11:37 PM Thread Starter
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Clicker? Other ideas? Slightly long)

I got Della as a 8-10 month old (rescue) and so had to not only start training her, but also "untrain" her as well. I have had her since Sept. and we have come a long way. Inside she will sit, down, stay, come, and shake. Outside she will sit and shake, sometimes down, but doesn't respond to come or stay. A bigger problem is when it is time to come in she does not want to come in and has done this since day one. I have gotten some improvement, but not what I want and need her to do. At this point she acts like she is deaf and doesn't respond to anything. Treats work for a day, squeaker toy works once-twice maybe, etc. I basically give her the come or in command twice, then shut the door. I go back every 10-15 minutes and try again, several times until she finally comes in on her own. Occasionally, if she is barking or I run out of time, I will go out and "escort" her back in, but not punish her.

So, my question is what type of training would be best for this? Would a clicker get her attention when she is "acting deaf" and/or are clickers a good way to go for everything? Is there another way to get her to respond to my command to come in? Please help as this is frustrating at times.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-12-2011, 11:46 PM
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I'd say put her on a long lead, let her be in the yard, say "come" and enforce it with the lead. Praise or click & treat when she arrives. I'd use the lead always when asking her to come, otherwise she learns it can be ignored. Since she already ignores it, maybe switch to a new word like "Here" for a formal, you-must-come recall.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-12-2011, 11:59 PM
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I totally relate to your issue.

Last fall, Mac suddenly stopped responding consistently to "come" when we're outside. My husband bought a Pet Zoom. It gets his attention immediately. I'd like to say that he's trained well and responds to my commands because I'm a strong leader. Not so much...its the Pet Zoom. Good Luck
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-13-2011, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by cassadee7 View Post
I'd say put her on a long lead, let her be in the yard, say "come" and enforce it with the lead. Praise or click & treat when she arrives. I'd use the lead always when asking her to come, otherwise she learns it can be ignored. Since she already ignores it, maybe switch to a new word like "Here" for a formal, you-must-come recall.

This is what I would do
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-13-2011, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by DellaDog View Post
I got Della as a 8-10 month old (rescue) and so had to not only start training her, but also "untrain" her as well. I have had her since Sept. and we have come a long way. Inside she will sit, down, stay, come, and shake. Outside she will sit and shake, sometimes down, but doesn't respond to come or stay. A bigger problem is when it is time to come in she does not want to come in and has done this since day one. I have gotten some improvement, but not what I want and need her to do. At this point she acts like she is deaf and doesn't respond to anything. Treats work for a day, squeaker toy works once-twice maybe, etc. I basically give her the come or in command twice, then shut the door. I go back every 10-15 minutes and try again, several times until she finally comes in on her own. Occasionally, if she is barking or I run out of time, I will go out and "escort" her back in, but not punish her.

So, my question is what type of training would be best for this? Would a clicker get her attention when she is "acting deaf" and/or are clickers a good way to go for everything? Is there another way to get her to respond to my command to come in? Please help as this is frustrating at times.

The clicker should not be used to "Get her attention". What happens if you are in a situation where you don't have a clicker??? What I would suggest is start all over again. Use whatever word you are used to "Come, Here, In" and stick with it. Putting her on a long line or Flexi only use the command once. When she makes it back to you use the clicker or a verbal marker "Yes" and treat with something high value. The problem that you may be having is one that is very common. What you also need to do is spend some time with her reinforcing the command and then releasing her afterwards. Make it a FUN game.

Here are the steps that I would suggest:

1. Attached to a long line/ Flexi use your command as you gently pull on the lead.
2. Upon arrival at your feet either "Click" or say "Yes" and treat with 1 high value treat (String Cheese, Dried Beef Liver, Pieces of Hot Dog).
3. Release her after a moment or two by telling her to go play or by saying "Free".
4. Repeat the above so that after a few sessions she does not think that comming to you means bad things/ fun is over (going inside).
5. Work your way up to no lead and do the same thing inside with little distractions.
6. If she comes to you without you having to pull on the lead give her multiple treats as soon as you mark the behavior. This is what I call a Jackpot. They do the desired behavior on their own and they get heavily rewarded with 4 or 5 pieces of whatever treat you are using along with verbal praise.
7. Eventually she will come and you could start marking the behavior as soon as she gets inside.
8. Persistence pays... don't give up you will see a notable difference in a few sessions. Just make sure that you keep it fun, dogs are smart if you call them and they come to you and the fun stops why would they want to repeat that again.
9. Change it up after some success. Verbal Praise, and a Toy work well.

Jason

Last edited by cuttingedge; 02-13-2011 at 12:27 PM.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-13-2011, 06:51 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks

Thanks for all the great suggestions. I'll have to try starting all over again probably. She does well when on a leash and loves walks, so the lead thing works. I don't wear it out, but one way I get her in is to bring her leash out, tell her to "clip" and she lets me hook her up and walks inside, and gets praised for doing so. And, until it is time to go inside she does come when I call her and plays fetch all the time, coming back each time. It's only when it is time to come in. Part of the problem is not having her since she was an 8 week old, and the fact that her name is new to her (the shelter named her) and so it is something I will have to keep at until I can find a method that works for her or until she learns on her own that coming in is not a bad thing. She was a mental and physical wreck when I got her, so I'm just very thankful and proud that she has come so far so fast with eveything else.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-13-2011, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by DellaDog View Post
Thanks for all the great suggestions. I'll have to try starting all over again probably. She does well when on a leash and loves walks, so the lead thing works. I don't wear it out, but one way I get her in is to bring her leash out, tell her to "clip" and she lets me hook her up and walks inside, and gets praised for doing so. And, until it is time to go inside she does come when I call her and plays fetch all the time, coming back each time. It's only when it is time to come in. Part of the problem is not having her since she was an 8 week old, and the fact that her name is new to her (the shelter named her) and so it is something I will have to keep at until I can find a method that works for her or until she learns on her own that coming in is not a bad thing. She was a mental and physical wreck when I got her, so I'm just very thankful and proud that she has come so far so fast with eveything else.
I am glad that everything else is working out well.
Like I said stick with it and the results will come with persistence. Since you mentioned that she enjoys playing fetch and she always comes back I assume that you are running into the problem mentioned above (Coming in means the fun stops) I would also try the name game with her. If you have someone to help you inside at first go to opposite ends of the house and call her one at a time by using her name and the come command. When she arrives at your feet Mark the behaviour Treat/ Praise. Have the other person do the same thing. I would do this first so that she gets used to her new name. You could also extend this by having a treat ready when she is nearby you and putting her in a sit say her name. When she looks up at you Mark the behaviour Treat/ Praise. Then you could increase the difficulty by making her wait a moment or two while she looks at you. By doing this you are adding in focus. Eventually you should be able to work on these things with various distractions and from other parts of the house/ property to mix it up.
Just remember to always make it fun

Hope this helps.

Jason
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-13-2011, 08:16 PM
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You might want to compare clicker to Michael Ellis's method.. there are some free videos on Leerburg.com..

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