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If I didn't know any better, I'd say she was... well stupid!!!! I know that's a terrible thing to say but holy cow! I can't even to get her to give paw! I've tired a hundred times with yummy treats, and nope. She's just not gonna do it. I say "Paw", take her paw, and reward with a treat. (Just as an example, there are other things I'm trying to teach her too)

How can I get her interested in training? She just doesn't seem to want to learn. Now she's smart in alot of ways. Creepy smart I call her. But I just can't teach her anything new! Any ideas on how to get her to participate in training? She's 5 by the way.
 

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So Shadow follows no commands now? If that's the case get your self a pocket full of valued rewards and hangout with your dog. Forget trying to teach - right now you go to shaping behavior. If she volunteers a sit (ie sits naturally) name what she has done, praise it "Good sit!!", and reward it. Do this a few times over several days and see what happens like on the 10th day when you ask for a sit.
Then start using this same procedure for other other actions.

Then go get a book on clicker training. Read it. Use it.
 

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The way you're teaching it, by picking up her paw and giving the command, it sounds like you're teaching her that "paw" means "I am going to pick up your paw now" instead of "you give me your paw."

I would lure her into raising her paw, even if it's minuscule, and reward that instead of physically picking up her paw. That way, you're teaching her that you want her to raise her paw. You can then progress to her raising her paw and moving it to your hand and then putting it in your hand. Try to treat it as a game and get her excited so she moves a lot, thus giving lots of paw-raising opportunities.

What else have you tried teaching her that have failed?
 

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How long have you had her?

I think she's monkey smart*. Meaning smarter than...us.
That's what I call my Ava-she has both dog intelligence and primate intelligence and I barely have one...

*Not a technical term.


My Bruno refuses to give paw-hates the whole concept and it's one that I let him go on...because it's only a trick and not anything he necessarily needs, but you said there were other commands she's not doing?
 

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Jean's is a good question. I got a shelter dog last year and he didn't learn anything the first couple of months. Why? Stress! He was still getting over shelter stress and once he was comfortable he was picking up stuff like nobody's business.

dd
 

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Actually, you have taught her that to earn a treat she just needs to sit there very patiently, watch you make all kind of pleas and entrities, and when you FINALLY (what took you so long?) reach out to take her paw she FINALLY gets the treat.

I have found that I am constantly teaching my dogs the wrong stuff when I think I'm CLEARLY teaching something else. And age hasn't anything to do with it as far as their ability to learn.

I would also recommend clicker training cause it will be new for BOTH of you. So you can't 'blame' her for any problems since you are learning too!

And, with the clicker you can be very precise and mark something very teeny. Like you dog just shifting it's weight, or looking to one side, or touching something......you can click ANYTHING you see, teeny behaviors that you can build on when they learn 'the game' and start offering behaviors.

Best if you could find a clicker trainer in your area. Makes it clearer to you so faster and clearer for the dog. But you can do it on your own. Tons on the internet, even videos.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15vKqCSNhqY&feature=related

http://www.clickertraining.com/

http://www.clickertraining.tv/search.html?keywords=video

http://www.clickertraining.tv/product.html?item=FREE-01

http://dogplay.com/Behavior/clicker.html

Hey, this shows how to shake hands:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQloHS_s3EQ

and look at this 9 week old! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdLl0yWA-0o
 

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I do believe the really smart ones can be tough to teach but once they get it it's forever. She has taught you how to pick up her paw:) think of it that way. I think the smarter they are the more they train us. So go back to basics and get her to focus on you and look at you for everything then when she gets good at that start adding the tricks and obedience.
 

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Actually, you might be able to turn this command as you've taught it into a "let me take your paw so I can examine it and/or trim your nails" command. Could be a blessing in disguise! Then just pick another word and teach that to mean "you give me your paw."
 

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Maybe she is not all that food motivated. or perhaps the food rewards you're using are not valued by this particular dog. Try different foods. Baked liver is often a good choice for a picky dog.
If it turns out that she is not food motivated, try a toy. My youngster loves his tug toy, but isn't really interested in food enough to use that as a motivator.
Also, I need to add that my youngest dog was not an enthusiastic obedience dog. He worked really hard for a few minutes and then lost interest and would just refuse to do any more. And forget about tricks! He was not interested.
But he is freakishly good on sheep and never loses interest. That is where his interest is and he is very good at it.
Good luck and keep trying with her. You'll find something that clicks with your dog.
Sheilah
 

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Have you tried classes? I am a huge fan of classes.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I'm going to enroll us in basic obedience as soon as the next set of classes start up (I'm in a very small area). She does know sit, down, stay. The very basics.

I've also been working on her "stay" for longer periods of time. I'm trying to teach her not to plow me over when its time to go outside (going ok I guess).

Now that I think about it, I'm sure you guys are right about her thinking that if she sits there when I say "paw", she gets a treat.

I only used the paw trick as an example. I'm really looking forward to teaching her other things too as I want to get into agility with her.
 

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Agility? Did you say agility?

Well clearly you are an intelligent dog owner and your dog is lucky to have you!!!!


I LOVE dog classes! I've met friends in class that I now have known for years. Who else understands how wonderful life can be with our dogs than someone else in our dog classes!?
 

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Classes are great! In addition to getting the training, you have someone helping you realize what you're doing wrong and an opportunity to help socialize your dog.

Failing that, I like Pat Miller's book, <u>The Power of Positive Dog Training</u>. It has weekly lesson plans that you work on ... some skills and some fun stuff. Karen Pryor has some good materials for DIY training. You can also check on some videos or books through tawzerdogvideos.com (like Ian Dunbar's <u> Training Adult Dogs</u> )

I don't think she's stupid, I think you just have a failure to communicate. I think you probably have her very well trained that when you say "Paw," you're going to take her foot and give her a treat. She doesn't understand (you've failed to communicate effectively) that the word "Paw" means anything else.

Remember, dogs aren't born with an English lexicon. They only ascribe meanings to words that we give them. It takes more than just giving her the treats to build the word association.
 

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Oh ... now that she understands that "Paw" means "my person will now reach down and take hold of my paw," you're going to have to find a different cue word for the behavior you're wanting to elicit. Dogs don't do synonyms and they can't think of a word in context ... PAW means this, it doesn't mean that.

Try starting from scratch, using some of the resources mentioned in this thread, and work on teaching her to "shake hands" or "high-five."
 
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