My dog gets frustrated when we train.
Just as the title says my dog is getting frustrated when we do obedience training. I'm going to try to be as detailed as I can so I get helpful advice.
- He is 4.5 years old, I've had him since 9-10 weeks. We did structured obedience up until he was about 2 and to be honest he reliably did everything I wanted of him 100% of the time so I stopped doing actual sessions.
- Recently (but not recent enough to cause this behavior, it was 1 year ago at this point) a traumatic event happened and he isn't reliably obedient in distractions so I decided to start from ground zero with marker training, Leerburg as my bible.
- First handful of sessions were just charging the marker word and getting him to learn "yes!" - 2 minute sessions or so. He did fine then.
- For the past 2 weeks we've been doing training with only commands he 100% knows without fault: sit and down. These commands even in light of recent events are proofed in distractions
- After about the 5-10th command he just shuts down. Starts whining, gazing around the room, or wandering and sniffing even though we're just in our house in a familiar area. Not normal behavior for him.
- I've been properly engaging him and he's ready at the beginning but loses interest. I'm making a huge party of it when he does right and trying to make it as fun as possible. We are using varied, super high value treats (he isn't interested in toys as a reward).
- We end the sessions when he gets frustrated/stressed but on a positive note with him doing a last command or two and is rewarded and highly praised for.
What gives??? He used to LOVE obedience with me and was always eager to perform known commands and even more so to learn new ones. He's fine if I randomly ask him for commands but seems to get so stressed when we do a session. I taught him a brand new command during tonight's as he was giving an offered behavior for it so I went with it, and I was SUPER! proud of him but he wasn't having any fun.
I'm fair, clear and positive during all of our training sessions and its a no punishment zone so it's not that he doesn't know what is expected or is getting corrected for wrong behaviors.
Will this get better as we continue practicing? Is it just because he hasn't had sessions in so long? Or Is it something to do with his age? I'm really enjoying training him again, but I want him to enjoy it too!
Edit: also, I've tried training when he is hungry, after he has eaten, before exercise and after exercise all with the same results.
Last edited by jsca; 12-21-2014 at 10:54 PM.