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STubborn as a MULE!!

1160 Views 7 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Cassidy's Mom
MY 10 mth old who I just adopted, is a training STAR...when I have a treat in my hand! He will do anything I say..sit, stay, lay down, shake, roll over, come here...but as soon as I say these commands and he sees that he is not going to get anything, he just doesnt listen!! HELP!
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But he shouldn't listen yet... you JUST adopted him.
Do not worry. You need to develope a training *relationship* with him.
This happens over time. After you are using a clicker and treating for the behaviors you want, using a ball, praise, petting... whatever motivates.. the point is that *over time* he learns a pattern of listening to you, focusing on you and doing these behaviors will become a habit (takes time!), and expecting the fun training games that he loves to win at, that he loves so much cos he is sharing time with you. These training rutines become like a muscle-memory for him... soon, treat or no treat, sits and downs etc. will become more automatic for him. Take time.. build that relationship by training and having fun working with him daily, incorperating training games into your daily lives. Have fun!
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Really short, I love the type of dog you have. The pup's IQ is probably higher then mine.
Just give it some time and keep at the training. It took our male a long time to do things without a reward (the ball ect)...and sometimes he still won't. But he is young and so is your dog, plus like Patti said you havent had him all that long.

Some dogs are just different as well. Our female was a rescue and we got her around age one and it takes her no time to learn something and then just listen without any reward except verbal or praise. She is just more "biddable" in alot of ways.

And dogs like to work for different things.. and although it may seem like "gosh why dont they get it and do it!" Timber is right that they are the smart ones! They know how to work the system

You are not alone! Just keep on keeping on
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Originally Posted By: Timber1Really short, I love the type of dog you have. The pup's IQ is probably higher then mine. depending on how "just" adopted he is.

It just takes time. One of mine (GSD mix) is really food motivated, so I have had to use a lot of voice stuff with him to replace, but it was only after a while that I was able to do so. I sound like someone who is not able to modulate their voice (it goes up, down, all around) and we get some funny looks, but it works.

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Hopefully you are also signed up and going to classes. Nice to get a new pup and both start learning and training together. Socialization AND instruction.

Keep using the treats for now! Want the 'love to learn' to really sink in.

Only later do you start up with the next phase of positive training that many of us forget, the random reinforcement and fading of the treats for KNOWN behaviors. While keeping up the high rates of reinforcement for new behaviors.

This works even better if you've taking the time/effort to add in the clicker. But the ideas are the same even without, here's some sites to explain about the rates of reinforcement:
The dog is not supposed to see that you have a treat in your hand!
Put it in your pocket or similar, so he doesn't know if he really gets a reward. Now he will more likely comply and do what you ask of him, bc of the anticipation of possibly getting a reward-> given that he really <u>knows </u>the commands.
Originally Posted By: MaedchenThe dog is not supposed to see that you have a treat in your hand!
Put it in your pocket or similar, so he doesn't know if he really gets a reward.
What she said! When I was training mine as young puppies I started by luring with a treat. I got the treat of of that hand and began treating from the other hand just as soon as I could, which was often during the very first practice session. Then, the treat would not be in either hand, it would come out of my treat bag, which you can turn around so that it's behind your back.

You can also put the treats out of sight on a counter or shelf nearby so they are not evident on your person and he doesn't know if you have any or not. Once he's responding to commands consistently with you treating every repetition, move to a more random treat schedule (keep up the praise!) so that he has to do several things in a row for a treat, or you only treat occasionally - either totally at random, or for the best responses (straightest sit, fastest down, most enthusiastic recall, etc.). It's the same theory as slot machines, we keep plunking in our quarters because we never know when we might hit the big jackpot. If we never won anything we'd give up, so the machines pay out small amounts from time to time to keep our interest.
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