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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 6 month old GSD female. She chooses when to listen, and honestly only ever comes for treats. I just started walking her with a prong collar today which was a freaking blessing as there was almost no pulling. I plan on walking her strictly with a prong collar until I never have to flick my wrist and then I will know we can go to a regular collar. However, she hardly listens and obeys me. ONLY if there are treats does she listen. I don't even know how to get her to wean off of treats if she doesn't listen when I don't have them.

I'm desperate. I'm looking for any tips anybody has. Please. Thank you.
 

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What is it that she doesn't listen to? What is it that you want her to do? I don't know your level of experience. Mine is only with the one dog I have now. They are smart dogs and because of that it makes you think they understand and are more capable of focus under any circumstance. Just because my dog will walk perfectly in one parking lot does not mean he will in a new parking lot the next day.
Much for us is just getting his focus so he can think about what I am asking and to get good focus I can only put him in environments where he is ready. I know he is ready by his state of mind. Btw I still use treats at 14 months. I learn better ways to teach things all the time and I start over. 6 months is super young I would lower your expectations use your leash and treats and put her in environments where she can succeed at giving you what you want and avoid putting her in environments where you both end up frustrated. Hth
 

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This is the dog that has been living with your parents and been "spoiled" as you called it? It will take a lot of time undoing the un-training your parents have done. You need to completely restart and have next to no expectations. I think you need to find a trainer that YOU can go to. Forget your parents doing it. That doesn't help you. And Petco/Petsmart classes are practically worthless. The only reason I would take classes there is if my dog was already trained and I was simply proofing him/her.

Hopefully you will have full control and live with your dog from now on. Otherwise I don't see this getting better. Is it possible for you to find a trainer to work with? If you give your general area, others can make some suggestions on good trainers for you. Please don't take this as me attacking you or putting you down. I completely understand how hard it can be to have a puppy, especially when others have raised it and taught it bad habits!

If you have questions about how to train specific tasks, we would be glad to help. As is, your dog needs more bonding and motivation to work for you, I think. Good luck.
 

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- enforcing commands every single time no matter what

For example:

My 7 months old girl is on the leash only when crossing the roads. If I want to put her on/off the leash, she has to sit first.
She also stopped listening around 5/6 months. So I would stand there and wouldn't move until she would come next to me and sit.
I remember once standing there for 15 minutes while she was running around and sometimes checking me (because she knew exactly what she's supposed to do).
Thanks to that when I say 'sit', her bottom is on the ground immediately. Since I proved to her that otherwise walk will not continue.

- Same goes for example with feeding. Not siting and being calm? I'm not putting the bowl on the ground. Even if I should stand here for 2 hours.
- No door manners? Doors are not opening.
- No coming to me on recall? Walk and fun doesn't continue. I'm waiting.
- Not giving me paw? Not throwing ball.

And yes, it works!

In moments like that remember, that you are not going on the the walk and she/he is not wasting your time. You are having a training session. Don't be frustrated.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yep this is the dog that my dad has spoiled. She cries whenever she is in the crate alone! I've tried leaving her there but somebody gets annoyed and takes her out. I just don't know how. I'm not moving out for another couple weeks as the house I will be renting is under renovation in another state (north carolina). I'm currently in the central NJ area. If anybody knows any affordable trainers maybe I can get one or two classes. I want her to be a good girl that is loyal to me, I am just really struggling with how to do it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
- enforcing commands every single time no matter what

For example:

My 7 months old girl is on the leash only when crossing the roads. If I want to put her on/off the leash, she has to sit first.
She also stopped listening around 5/6 months. So I would stand there and wouldn't move until she would come next to me and sit.
I remember once standing there for 15 minutes while she was running around and sometimes checking me (because she knew exactly what she's supposed to do).
Thanks to that when I say 'sit', her bottom is on the ground immediately. Since I proved to her that otherwise walk will not continue.

- Same goes for example with feeding. Not siting and being calm? I'm not putting the bowl on the ground. Even if I should stand here for 2 hours.
- No door manners? Doors are not opening.
- No coming to me on recall? Walk and fun doesn't continue. I'm waiting.
- Not giving me paw? Not throwing ball.

And yes, it works!

In moments like that remember, that you are not going on the the walk and she/he is not wasting your time. You are having a training session. Don't be frustrated.
Sorry I guess I replied wrong to the other poster. The prong collar made a massive difference in the walk. In fact over the last couple days I've noticed a different attitude. She jumps on the couch and then looks at me, I get upset and stand up to scold her, and bam she's on the ground. I ignore her when I first come home (but I notice she's super happy to see me (her tail is wagging and she won't stop looking at me)), eventually she calms down out of her excitement and then I go and say hello. Today I messed up and forgot to be strict when I fed her and just put food out and she ate it in her cage, then started whining until my dad took her out of course ugh. I'm learning, but I'm really trying
 

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Holy Cow! Breathe for a second. This is a 6 month old puppy that you have spent no time with.

Lets get back to some basics here.
First the crate, put her in for a minute, stand right there, and AS SOON as she is quiet let her out and praise, praise, praise. Increase the time by minutes and your distance from the crate. Play games with it. Send her in, praise, call her out. Praise. Great time to work on the foundation for stay and wait as you are sending her in and calling her out.
Lets get SIT solid. If she has a solid sit it will make up for a lot of other weak spots.

And can we get the prong collar off the puppy? Corrections should be for things she knows, at this point she knows nothing.
Getting angry at her for being on the couch is only showing her you are not stable.
Approach this not in terms of "I don't want you doing this" but in terms of "I want you to do this". So Take her calmly off the couch and sit her on the floor and pet and praise her there.

I applaud you for wanting a well behaved dog, but this is a puppy. And one who was spoiled. She needs time to learn a whole new set of rules. How you approach teaching her will dictate what kind of relationship you share with her in the coming years.
 

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The advice above me is so good. I could be wrong but I think a dog can learn how to behave with one person and how to with another. What they can get away with with one and not the other. Behaviors can be transferred by teaching with the new person. The puppy can learn how and what you expect.
I would say it's not to late to tether the puppy to you so bad behaviors like couch jumping di not happen. Take the pup outside have an awesome play session, lure with treats behaviors, play again. Go back in pup attached to you sit on the couch lure to a down and rest. Reward the down ever so often. Feed part of dinner this way. I don't know the back story but I do know what I've learned I've done right and wrong as time passes.
At 14 months I just put my dog back on leash in the house to conquer our last in home bed behavior cat chasing. All these things take time and patience. More patience when you don't know what your doing and the people you live with do not fall in line.
I would venture to bet if you do well, play and train, train yourself then be consistent with the dog...people will see your results and want to fall in line with what you are doing.
Be specific with the forum members wealth knowledge here.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Holy Cow! Breathe for a second. This is a 6 month old puppy that you have spent no time with.

Lets get back to some basics here.
First the crate, put her in for a minute, stand right there, and AS SOON as she is quiet let her out and praise, praise, praise. Increase the time by minutes and your distance from the crate. Play games with it. Send her in, praise, call her out. Praise. Great time to work on the foundation for stay and wait as you are sending her in and calling her out.
Lets get SIT solid. If she has a solid sit it will make up for a lot of other weak spots.

And can we get the prong collar off the puppy? Corrections should be for things she knows, at this point she knows nothing.
Getting angry at her for being on the couch is only showing her you are not stable.
Approach this not in terms of "I don't want you doing this" but in terms of "I want you to do this". So Take her calmly off the couch and sit her on the floor and pet and praise her there.

I applaud you for wanting a well behaved dog, but this is a puppy. And one who was spoiled. She needs time to learn a whole new set of rules. How you approach teaching her will dictate what kind of relationship you share with her in the coming years.
Thanks for this. I've been nicer to her at least today lol when she tries to jump on the couch and she corrects immedietely. How can I train in a way where she consistently responds to commands? When I call her, lets say I'm 10 feet away, if she can see me she doesn't come. But if I go around the corner and call her, she will come. It's so weird and I don't understand it. I praise the crap out of her when she gets to me (I'm trying to not use treats), but I don't understand it. I'm having an issue with sit, she will just sit herself whenever she comes to me. I never say it. Is that bad? How do I do it so it is consistent? Thank you
 

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Look I am a novice and I will tell you something that is becoming abundantly clear to me. The leash is a great tool.

Dogs learn by one you doing something the exact same way everytime I mean precisely you have to train yourself then they learn thru repetition.

What ever behavior you want, the more the dog enjoys the behavior, the more he is motivated to do the behavior you ask, the easier the repetition and obedience to said command will be.

It takes time lots of time and consistency in the behavior being something they enjoy. Take recall for example say your dog loves fetch. 2 ball recall everytime your dog is running back to you for that ball you say come (exact same way everytime) and take a step back the dog will speed up that creates a positive association in the dogs mind with that word and running towards you. After sometime you can fine tune to add a sit in front of you. All under no distraction.

If it is safe it's great to hide from your dog and have them find you. It creates the I better keep an eye on my person. Same with walks my dog forges I take steps backwards or turn 180. The 180 creates
a penalty for the dog because they are instantly behind you. I can't tell you how many 180's I've done but it works. Leash walking is a fine tuning. Which leg do they follow...do you want loose leash or heel. It's very precise

Look the more precise you are the better the dog.

Use your leash if you call her she can see you use varied leash lengths. Call her be to her side recall then use slight leash straight pressure level with the neck to the SIDE of the dog(never back). The instant she turns to you mark and reward when she gets to you ....do u have a marker for reward?

Nothing wrong with treats but you have to be strategic. It's like a game of chess.

If your dog sits when she comes that's great! Reinforce that sit. Recall means come to me until I say you can leave.

You want your dog consistent. You get solid at home with your voice. Then leave home and train. Smells and other dogs are my trouble. My dog is 14 months and not solid but **** smart and patient with his dodo owner. We have fun together.

I spent every outing just playing/training practice just like in the yard with my dog. It's been about 2 months maybe that I am trying without play to institute everything we have worked on.

Trust me I still struggle I lost my dog in my own yard today from a squirrel. I had a long line as back up. I lost him today to kids walking up my road I had my long line. The more I use the leash he learns what I expect from reps. He is dog reactive. I have no doubt we will get where we are going as I learn how he learns. I have used an amazing amount of patience LOL. He deserves it. He still chases my cats. If I am honest he is such a good dog that anywhere he fails I blame myself for MY lack of knowledge to show him. This dog is quick AF when I get it right that light bulb glows.

Do you have marker words well established with your dog?
 

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A six month old puppy can be trying without any outside help LOL! For my current puppy, this was her defiant stage. She pretty well knew what come meant at that point, but would look right at me and decide that (a) she didn't know me, or (b) I obviously could not be talking to her. Fun stuff!

Your puppy will follow you from an early age, or come to you when you direct your attention to her and say anything...but it doesn't mean she "knows" the command you think she's listening to, it means you've gotten her interested so she's chosen to come see what's up! That's why she comes when you're out of site, not because she knows the command, but because she's curious and chooses to come and find you!

To really train the puppy you need to work with her on a leash. Show her, using treats and praise and animation that "come" means for her to come over to you from wherever she is, no matter what she's doing. She's not being defiant, she just hasn't really learned the command yet.

That she sits when she comes to you is fine, it has nothing to do with the command "sit". Again, work with her - using lots of praise and treats - in a very low distraction area and on a leash, practice having her sit from a standing position, and from a down. It takes many repetitions for the puppy to really know what your word means, and sometimes much longer for them to realise that when you say that funny word, if they do a certain thing it brings good things...so don't be in a hurry to wean her off of the treats anytime soon. The reason the dog will do something for a treat and not do it without is because (a) they don't really get the command yet, or (b) you haven't done it enough for them to have made a strong association with the command=some action on their part=good stuff! It takes time and many many many repetitions >:)

Stick with it, make it fun for both of you, and have plenty of patience. She'll get it if you're consistent.
 

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Everyone is giving you excellent advice! The only comment I have in fact. is your reluctance to use treats. Use the crap out of treats, right now they are your best friend! Treats are anything your dog enjoys. food treats, play, chasing balls, etc. I still use food treats with my 9 year old shepherd, although not as often as my puppies. Treats are a great training tool for helping your puppy learn. Have a pocketful of small treats. I break bigger ones into smaller pieces so i can treat more.
 

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The advice above me is so good. I could be wrong but I think a dog can learn how to behave with one person and how to with another. What they can get away with with one and not the other.
This, my parents always spoiled my one GSD but I'm not a treater. I mean I will give the occasional treat just because but I always ask for something for it. I guess I am a NILIF kind of person. My mom and dad are ALL about giving treats because "dogs are dogs they should have an easy life and just have fun". The dogs have always known that isn't my way and they didn't try the things they did with my parents. My parents thought it was such a parlor trick when I taught my last GSD to sit and stay when I put her food on the floor. My parents have learned over the years to respect things I tell them I want done (ie waiting, sit for food), because having a sitter is amazing. And the other things I ignore because ultimately no one will do all of the things we do with our dogs. The dogs misbehave with them but still get a bit of structure with their hippy grandparents.

edit: I only use treats for training.
 

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Thanks for this. I've been nicer to her at least today lol when she tries to jump on the couch and she corrects immedietely. How can I train in a way where she consistently responds to commands? When I call her, lets say I'm 10 feet away, if she can see me she doesn't come. But if I go around the corner and call her, she will come. It's so weird and I don't understand it. I praise the crap out of her when she gets to me (I'm trying to not use treats), but I don't understand it. I'm having an issue with sit, she will just sit herself whenever she comes to me. I never say it. Is that bad? How do I do it so it is consistent? Thank you
I think she comes because she can't see what you are doing and she is curious. Get her recall down in the house start close and move further and further away you can practice with a 10 to 15 foot leash. The leash ensures that she has no choice but to come to you. Treats are a good thing and I think whether your family is overtreating her or not she will figure out what you and treats mean to her. But you have to give her a reward and your praise is good but right now I would combo it with treats, small training treats, or even play if she really likes a rope, ball, or frisbee. And then just reduce the amount of food you give her at night. Or you could use her kibble if they are small enough pieces.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The 10-15 foot leash is the thing that you push a button and it will retract or not right? And when you say she has no choice to come, what do you mean? Am I pulling on the leash? Should I do this all with the prong collar? I guess I really need to do more reps. I should look at this like the gym I guess
 

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The 10-15 foot leash is the thing that you push a button and it will retract or not right? And when you say she has no choice to come, what do you mean? Am I pulling on the leash? Should I do this all with the prong collar? I guess I really need to do more reps. I should look at this like the gym I guess
Exactly. Consistent repetition. Don't worry about not using treats, and don't jump to trying to make her. Start with a clear beginning and very directly train something specific, recall or sit, whatever. Then clearly end the session and let her wander and do what ever.
 

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The 10-15 foot leash is the thing that you push a button and it will retract or not right? And when you say she has no choice to come, what do you mean? Am I pulling on the leash? Should I do this all with the prong collar? I guess I really need to do more reps. I should look at this like the gym I guess
What you are talking about is a flexi leash, they are dangerous. What Steve was referring to is a long line, safer but takes a bit of practice to get used to. I make mine, but you can buy them, the ones sold for horses are usually cheaper.
I use a normal six foot leash to start come, face the dog, tell it to come and run backwards about 10 feet. Tons of praise, even if you have to pull her with you.

I think the big thing you are missing is that a command is a command not a request. Say it once and then make the dog do it. Luring works well with many dogs. Don't get angry or nasty, just make her do it. Don't forget the praise when she does it. You are praising the end result, so if you have to help her get it right she still gets praise.
 

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Don't stop using the prong collar because some people here don't "like" it. If it works for you and a trainer taught you how to use it properly, then by all means keep using it. For me it was also a "game changer" for my previous dog. All the "unwanted bad" behavior decreased significantly after I started using it. Some people don't understand that some dogs aren't treat oriented or have a strong ball drive or etc...
 

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Don't stop using the prong collar because some people here don't "like" it. If it works for you and a trainer taught you how to use it properly, then by all means keep using it. For me it was also a "game changer" for my previous dog. All the "unwanted bad" behavior decreased significantly after I started using it. Some people don't understand that some dogs aren't treat oriented or have a strong ball drive or etc...
I use a prong. ON A DOG not on a pup who hasn't been taught! You cannot "correct" unless there is a known behavior in place.
I totally agree that all dogs are unique and good trainers use the tool that works. The OP has not seen a trainer and has not worked this particular puppy. Her parents did, or at least her mom did. She is starting from scratch, and should be building a bond which is what we are trying to point towards.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Just wanted to provide a quick update (after about a week).

She is WAY WAY better now than she was before. There are still some problem habits that I'm hoping maybe some folks here can help with, but first the good news.

I use the prong collar STRICTLY for when we go for walks. Her pulling has almost completely subsided. The only time she pulls or stops abruptly is if she needs to pee or poop. Unfortunately I don't have the appropriate skills to make that a command yet, but if anybody has any tips that'll be awesome.

In the house, she comes almost 99% of the time when I call her and she is extremely receptive to commands (unfortunately she ONLY listens to me, my mom, and my dad, not anybody else which is somewhat troublesome). Outside, lets say we are playing fetch with a ball, she will come when she knows I have treats. I click, treat, praise and throw a party every single time and she's gotten pretty good. For some reason though she will either get tired or something because she'll after like 5 min just go sit under a tree and then lay down. My brother told me when she does this she wants to chase and run around and... well she does. I love when she does this (who wouldn't?) but it's not what I want her to do! at that time lol. If anybody has suggestions that will be great. She also will sometimes do this hilarious thing where she will take a stick AND the ball in her mouth and come with both lol. It's so freaking funny! I love it!!

Now for the bad:

She still jumps on people. I don't know how to make her not do this. I'm trying everything, ignoring her, whatever, nothing doing. She's been trained to be allowed on the couch, she jumps off when she sees me but I've seen pictures of other GSDs sleeping on couches and stuff and I'm not sure if I should even stop this habit. I kind of like her on the couch but not at expensive of being seen as a beta in the heirarchy.

When we are entering and leaving the house, maybe 25-50% of the time she waits for the humans to leave first or enter first before she does. The other times, she will just run out. I don't know how to stop this. This is extremely frustrating. Lets say my dad is going outside, she hears the door open and literally I swear out of nowhere she may be on the other side of the house, you blink and she's outside! Then she doesn't want to come inside lol. Even when you command her to sit or stay, nothing. This reminds me, she can Sit and Stay but she only Stays for very very short periods of time. I want to train her (inside at first) to be able to sit and stay for at least a few minutes, but I'm struggling. Does anybody have any pointers?

That's the major update for now! Thank you all for your help!
 
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