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I have a German Sheppard named Ace. She is 11 months old; I have been training her everyday since 8 weeks old. I went overseas for a couple months, work orientated and unavoidable. Since I have gotten back, Ace has little desire to listen to my commands. She was extremely obedient before my absence and “wanted” to impress/do the tricks for me. But now she shows little desire and has low obedience in following my commands. She knows the tricks, but does not wish to respond to me when I give her commands. Is this normal? Is it just a “teenager” stage for German Sheppard’s or is there somewhere that I need to improve in my training or handling of her? :confused:
 

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Who kept her while you were gone? Did that person work with her at all? Perhaps she has fallen out of the habit of listening to her "leader."

I would get into strict NILIF, and start over with her obedience training. You might need to experiment a bit to rediscover what motivates her as well. Use whatever she prefers as a reward for obeying commands, rather than expecting obedience for "free." You can work your way back to how she behaved prior to your absence.
 

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My Parents looked after her, they trained her whilst i was gone but i dare say they would have confused her by expecting different things and using different hand signals.

I forgot to mention that whilst i was away my house mate addopted a new puppy. maybe this could have something to do with her lack of attention. I train her seperatley in a different area from the puppy to help but still to no avail.

Thanks for the ideas, ill try to find a new motivation for her.
 

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sounds like you have a pup who might also be angry with you for "abandoning" her. Work on what Good Karma said and continue your seperate training until she's reliable again with the seperate training and enforce commands and signals and such even when she's around the other pup. Also, beyond training, make sure you set aside some one on one time for rebonding like spending the day hiking or something like that. You were gone for a long time in dog time. You need to rebond with your dog.
 

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I wouldn't say this dog is angry or resentful or anything of the sort. It's pretty unlikely she's thinking "hey you left so now I'm not going to listen to you any more and there's nothing you can do about it". She's a puppy and the OP hasn't been training or interacting with her for months, someone else has been. The first step is the OP just needs to reestablish a bond with the dog. Ace and the roommate's puppy should be separated more than they are together, since raising two puppies together can discourage both from having a good relationship with the humans in the house.
 

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Thanks guys,

Ill give these ideas a try. I looked in to NILIF training and its exactly what i have been doing since she was 8 weeks old, except i guess patting her when she came to me. Im still trying to train her every day but her disobedience makes it a frustraiting experience, When i say this i mean she is not a bad dog and does probably 1/2 the things i command her to but i just want to figure out how to get her to be 100% as she was before i left.

Any ideas are appreciated.
 

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How long have you been back?
I agree that it's likely a matter of being patient and getting re-bonded with her.
 

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eleven mounth blues

Gypsy had issues last mounth as well, she was eleven mounths and seventy pounds of terror on the leash and in side the house, your time away may have multiplied the problem but i think they go through a faze between nine and eleven mounths any way. be patieant and calm and get a buggy wip not for wipping the dog but to tie a toy on i use a white pice of rabbet fur and a nilon boot lace. with the dog on a six foot leash get her to chase and catch the rabbit fur or what ever. she probely will jump over the moon to get that toy and the fact you two are playin together will inforce your bond. i never give gypsy any thing with out asking her to earn it .
 

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I would work on your bond, and practice NILIF for a week without training just now. Focus on keeping your pup engaged and have fun with her!

These video clips are great for learning how to keep your pup engaged:
Leerburg Streaming Video
What excites your pup? Toys, food, tugs?
I would use them for rewards and use one or two for training sessions only(keep sessions 5 or 10 minutes total, but a few a day)
 

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Invest in a clicker and yummy treats, don't get frustrated as hard as it is because they read that, and start over like she's a blank slate. Puppies go through a butt head stage which is normal, but now that your home she needs to understand what you expect and respond accordingly.

Look up clicker training and make it fun. Start with short sessions no more than 5-10 minutes 3-5 times a day. Work on one command a week and give tons of praise when she obeys. When she doesn't obey don't yell or give up understand some dogs are more stubborn than others. If foods not her thing chose a favorite toy just remember to reward even small steps in the right direction. Mine is just coming out of a butt head stage and I had to step back and amp up our training a little. I was in the hospital for the better part of the month with my family caring for her so she got a little full of herself,lol Honestly a good book on clicker training and positive reinforcement will do wonders if you commit to it. Spend a lot of time with her one on one, walk her often, and she will in turn revert back to the sweet girl she was before:)
 

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How long have you been back?
I agree that it's likely a matter of being patient and getting re-bonded with her.
I agree with this. She's not mad and hasn't forgotten the training. What she has done is matured and there's a huge difference in the dog you left than the one you came home to just because of that. We ALL have huge changes in the first year.

I'd be working way more on your bond with this dog using fun games, treats, toys, exercise, play. Why the heck should she listen to you? Just cause you say so isn't enough reason for any smart dog worth their salt. If you are loud, or sound mean/angry, or are just asking and (with no bond) there's WAY more interesting stuff to do than 'obedience' any intelligent dog would blow us off.

What can you do to have your dog WANT to listen? WANT to be right on you and at you to learn? Sticking by you WITH NO LEASH because YOU are so much more interesting/engaging to be with and learn from? What's in it for you dog to make it worth her while?

Those are the questions you need to ask. Not 'How can I make her obey' but how can I get her to WANT to listen/learn/be with/interact? What can I do to make me the light in her life so she's hanging on my every word and expression BECAUSE SHE WANTS TO not merely cause she has too.

With her maturity and age, this is also an ideal age to continue the socialization/learning in a great set of dog classes.
 

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I too agree with the bonding priority. You 'taught' your dog that you can come into and go out of her life at a very impressionable age. You need to make her feel like she is important to you and you will become more important to her again.
 

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Thanks guys,
I have been keeping her seperate from the new pup as much as i can, acting on strict NILIF training and playing with her as much as possible and i believe its all working she is now being much more obedient.

I have nothing but more questions though lol. Ace will complete 25 tricks for me which only just in the past two days came back to her but i can not seem to convince her to walk beside me on the lead. I have a gentle leader in practice now, i have tried a choker chain and a few other methods but i still can't get her to understand. What do i do?

I also have trouble with her in public. Ace becomes uncontrolable if there is another dog anywhere near her, i can't even teach her to come back to me. What do i do?
 

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You may be pushing too hard, expecting too much too soon. Back off on your demands and expectations and make bonding and friendship your priority.
I don't expect my dog will ever learn 25 tricks, or even 10, because her performance isn't my priority. Her companionship is.
She is my friend and I don't expect my friends to perform for me on command.
However I do admit that her safety is important and so is that of others so she should obey the basic commands.
 
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