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Hi All!

Tofu just turned 10 months old today. But for the past week, he's been blowing off commands while off-leash or delaying execution on long-line. These commands (drop, come, down, side) are well-executed while on-leash. He totally knows when he's off-leash and will skip just out of my reach when I reach for him. On a long-line, he'll meander over and comply when he sees me reaching for the long line.

What do I do? No more off-leash? Or stop giving any commands at all while off-leash/long-line until he's past this recent adolescent spat? I'm till reinforcing with food if he does execute the command. Removing food for poor execution makes him comply less and less.
 

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What he's sniffing around at is way more interesting than anything else at that moment.Keep him on the line for now and when you call him back be really animated.Run backwards,jump around,whatever gets him excited,even a squeaky toy.Having his favorite treats for just these moments is a good thing too.Playing two ball helps to install in him that coming to you is a wonderful thing also.Doing these things just a couple of times a day seems to program their brains Come=Joy.I still make a fuss over my three every time they come when called,enough to get their tails wagging and a doggy smile.Following commands at a distance has to be done in small increments.If you are too far away at first many times it just does not compute,lol!All prior training was done up close so it takes some time:)
 

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What he's sniffing around at is way more interesting than anything else at that moment.Keep him on the line for now and when you call him back be really animated.Run backwards,jump around,whatever gets him excited,even a squeaky toy.Having his favorite treats for just these moments is a good thing too.Playing two ball helps to install in him that coming to you is a wonderful thing also.Doing these things just a couple of times a day seems to program their brains Come=Joy.I still make a fuss over my three every time they come when called,enough to get their tails wagging and a doggy smile.Following commands at a distance has to be done in small increments.If you are too far away at first many times it just does not compute,lol!All prior training was done up close so it takes some time:)
To clarify: Tofu used to do the commands but as of a week ago now no longer does (because of adolescence, I think). I do do the usual animated, backing up, having chicken, etc. to no avail. He only complies to avoid a correction; but he will completely ignores if knows he's out of reach for a correction/enforcement. He'll spit the tissue out fast from the ground while on leash; but will gobble it up fast if off-leash.

I'd like advice on how to handle this difficult rebellious stage. Do I A) limit his freedom or B) stop imposing until he's outgrown the rebellion?
 

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Maybe he just needs more time off leash just being a dog doing things that he wants to do.
 

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Are you giving commands when he is distracted and off doing something else? I'd back up and work on engagement and teach him to push you to work vs you chasing him down to get him to work. Engagement will build value for you and help decrease the value of the enviroment.



The Collared Scholar offers a good engagement course: https://collared-scholar.mykajabi.com/a/19814/ZGTu8KNZ
 

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Your dog is going through many changes right now. You have to be ready to shift gears in your training. He may not need as much food as when he was growing quickly so his food drive has waned. He may be bored of every day being the same.

I would shake things up and start challenging his brain, incorporating things he knows into new and exciting adventures.
 

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When Samson was a youngster we would take long off leash walks and every time he came near and looked at me I'd toss him a bit of chicken or hotdog.Sometimes I'd throw the treat off into the weeds so he could hunt for it.He was constantly checking in with me and still does to this day.It's fun,no stress and no matter what he's investigating he remains mentally in sync with me.The collared scholar has some excellent videos as Bramble mentioned.Google engagement training for more ideas.
 

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@adora155 here is a link to another much better explanation of engagement training.Jax and cowboysgirl are much better writers than I.
https://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/puppy-behavior/759193-9-week-old-male-selective-name-response-2.html#post9215013
I've definitely gotten what I want by basically free shaping engagement.

I also do try hard to strike a balance where plenty of time the dogs are just allowed and encouraged to be dogs and pretty much do whatever they want.

I try to be the desirable resource they want and work for, so they are after ME for engagement. If I am after them I've kinda already lost it/don't have it.

And then also a cue that means...now disengage and go be a dog. Because both of my boys can be on me, staring at me, and I'm like for crying out loud go potty. But that's what I trained them to do after all. So the flip side is turning it off, which I would much rather do than struggle to get their attention.

Forrest Micke and Michael Ellis both have good videos about it
 

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Hi All!

Tofu just turned 10 months old today. But for the past week, he's been blowing off commands while off-leash or delaying execution on long-line. These commands (drop, come, down, side) are well-executed while on-leash. He totally knows when he's off-leash and will skip just out of my reach when I reach for him. On a long-line, he'll meander over and comply when he sees me reaching for the long line.

What do I do? No more off-leash? Or stop giving any commands at all while off-leash/long-line until he's past this recent adolescent spat? I'm till reinforcing with food if he does execute the command. Removing food for poor execution makes him comply less and less.
Here are my thoughts...

OP, of course your dog knows when he's on or off leash. But why are you EVER reaching for him? Don't do that, communicate with him, understand him, and understand how to motivate him to want to figure out what YOU want! 90% of all early training I do with puppies is off leash. I don't believe in grabbing or taking things from them, or fetching balls for them, and I won't ever have a dog that requires chasing or grabbing LOL!

This whole issue, and this is what I was hoping SOMEONE else would point out in this thread, is a relationship problem! On or off leash, if your dog is only complying to "avoid a correction" you need to drastically change your approach to training!

Your puppy minded before because he was young and didn't really know what to expect. Now that he does, he's telling you that you're just not that compelling. But don't take that personally, it's not you, it's technique and perspective!

Watch some videos on YouTube. I personally like Stonnie Dennis and Forest Micke. Both have lots of great videos that kind of show not just good technique, but good interaction/engagement and relationship skills.

I think from this and previous threads, I see that you love your dog and work very diligently with him. But a common theme I see in situations like this, is that it's easy to try too hard. Back off, lighten up, and teach the dog that he NEEDS to come to you for good things! Teach him that by not walking him, not playing with him, and not training. Less is more sometimes! The idea is that you make training and play a thing he has to earn. Stonnie Dennis is really good about this sort of perspective shifting. If you withhold it, they will come LOL!

And stop grabbing, fetching for, or chasing your dog! Stop blaming his lack of training on adolescence! IMHO it has absolutely nothing to do with it.

All the techniques in the world won't help, until you figure out how to alter the relationship you currently have with your dog.

Watch some videos, hire a good, balanced trainer if you can find one; just a few sessions could get you two back on a good track.

I do understand that youve tried and gotten some bad advice, so please don't think I'm being critical. I'm not! But you need to shift your perspective to successfully implement any of the techniques people have mentioned in this thread. The relationship you have with your dog needs to be reset.

I wish you all the best. If you lived near me I'd be happy to help. But honestly, this is beyond most non-professionals at this point...again, IMHO, for whatever that's worth ?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
OP, of course your dog knows when he's on or off leash. But why are you EVER reaching for him? Don't do that, communicate with him, understand him, and understand how to motivate him to want to figure out what YOU want! 90% of all early training I do with puppies is off leash. I don't believe in grabbing or taking things from them, or fetching balls for them, and I won't ever have a dog that requires chasing or grabbing LOL!

This whole issue, and this is what I was hoping SOMEONE else would point out in this thread, is a relationship problem! On or off leash, if your dog is only complying to "avoid a correction" you need to drastically change your approach to training!

Your puppy minded before because he was young and didn't really know what to expect. Now that he does, he's telling you that you're just not that compelling. But don't take that personally, it's not you, it's technique and perspective!
In defense of reaching for him, I thought everyone always says "never let your dog blow off a command." Doesn't this mean that I need to go and enforce the command? Or am I interpreting that statement incorrectly? Yes, agreed that my dog would rather sniff the ground, eat snow, run around instead of engaging with me. My trainer did tell me to up the value of my food rewards from kibble to hot dogs. While at the park, he went bonkers following a woman with Beggin Strips; I had to ask for a piece of it to be able to control him from pulling to jump into her car!

I think from this and previous threads, I see that you love your dog and work very diligently with him. But a common theme I see in situations like this, is that it's easy to try too hard. Back off, lighten up, and teach the dog that he NEEDS to come to you for good things! Teach him that by not walking him, not playing with him, and not training. Less is more sometimes! The idea is that you make training and play a thing he has to earn. Stonnie Dennis is really good about this sort of perspective shifting. If you withhold it, they will come LOL!
And stop grabbing, fetching for, or chasing your dog! Stop blaming his lack of training on adolescence! IMHO it has absolutely nothing to do with it.
All the techniques in the world won't help, until you figure out how to alter the relationship you currently have with your dog.
Watch some videos, hire a good, balanced trainer if you can find one; just a few sessions could get you two back on a good track.
What I'm learning from the past couple of weeks is that I need to be more animated during training. I tend to stand still because I see competition dogs executing commands. But I have forgotten that a lot of FUN went into the training sessions to get the dog to that point. I also put a bit too much pressure on the dog because I'm not standing straight. I had asked him how to get my dog closer during COME. A big AH-HA moment when the trainer told me to put 1 foot back and lean back to encourage him to be close and then bring my foot back together when giving the treat.

I do understand that youve tried and gotten some bad advice, so please don't think I'm being critical. I'm not! But you need to shift your perspective to successfully implement any of the techniques people have mentioned in this thread. The relationship you have with your dog needs to be reset.
I wish you all the best. If you lived near me I'd be happy to help. But honestly, this is beyond most non-professionals at this point...again, IMHO, for whatever that's worth ?
I don't think that you're being critical at all. In fact, I appreciate the fresh perspective from an observer. It's easier to see the problem from far than to be right in it. That's very sweet of you to have offered your help (if I was closer).
 

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I try to be the desirable resource they want and work for, so they are after ME for engagement. If I am after them I've kinda already lost it/don't have it.
...
Forrest Micke and Michael Ellis both have good videos about it
I have the Michael Ellis food video. I should really look into getting the engagement video. Originally, I thought to get The Power of Tug. But it sounds like you are all suggesting engagement is the source of my disappointment.
 

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Would engagement help in getting him to drop a dead animal? He's now eaten a dead squirrel and half a pigeon. He'll follow me with the animal in his mouth but keeps 20 feet away.
 

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It sounds like you need to work on the "come" command. You correct your dog for "blowing off" a command if he knows the command. Using food to keep your dog out of someone's car is telling. You should have corrected him for that instead of luring him away with food. Your dog is still young. Reliable obedience requires hundreds of repetitions, the timing of the reward needs to be very accurate, or you end up reinforcing the wrong behavior, and your dog is not likely to have a ton of drive due to his breeding.
 

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It sounds like you need to work on the "come" command. You correct your dog for "blowing off" a command if he knows the command. Using food to keep your dog out of someone's car is telling. You should have corrected him for that instead of luring him away with food. Your dog is still young. Reliable obedience requires hundreds of repetitions, the timing of the reward needs to be very accurate, or you end up reinforcing the wrong behavior, and your dog is not likely to have a ton of drive due to his breeding.
He's on a fursaver choker. I wasn't able to give an effective correction because he was too crazed (lunging, rearing up on hind legs, loud cries, hyper focused sitting). I don't have the quick reflexes to adjust my corrections when he's changing position so quickly. The easiest was to lure him away from the distraction of the woman with treats to give distance.

I'll work more on "come" and engagement. I guess he's not ready yet for such high distractions.
 

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You are always training your dog and need to be prepared/take the opportunity to teach your dog something when a new situation arises. Fursavers are for trials only IMO. Your dog should be on a prong collar. If your dog is behaving "too crazed" that is because you have allowed or even reinforced that behavior. Your reflexes only need to be as fast as removing your hand from a hot stove. The difference is, with a stove you are more vigilant, so you need to be more vigilant with your dog. The static heel position is a good way to teach your dog a behavior incompatible with lunging and hecticness. Add distractions by gradually increasing the intensity of the distractions. Don't get discouraged because your dog is young and can learn a ton of desired behavior if you use an approach that works for you and not against you. I think too many pet people are afraid to correct their dogs. It is actually what they need at times to become a good companion. To get your dog to drop a dead animal, teach leave it to avoid the dog picking up the carcass and teach your dog how to out or release an object. Out means out.
 
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