German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Going to try to keep this short... I have taken my almost 9 month old GSD to 3 training classes with 3 different trainers because NOTHING works for this dog. She will not listen to me at all! She blows me off and refuses to do anything, she wont come when called, even if I have a treat in my hand she would rather not do what she is asked/told to do and will just walk off or just keep ignoring me so I have to put her in the position she needs to be in... I have worked tirelessly trying to train her, first was clicker training, then positive reinforcement where she would get a treat here and there but mainly praise only... Ive tried verbal corrections Ive tried collar pops, I went from using a regular flat nylon buckle collar to a martingale and thinking of switching to a prong because she doesnt care about getting a correction she just wants to do her own thing...

Im at my wits ends, I work with her multiple times a day (about 5, 2 - 5 minuet sessions). I just want a well behaved dog my last GSD was so smart and wanted to work and trained really easily, and this GSD its like there is nothing between those big ears.

A friend told me that it could be because she is not fixed and where I am female and she is a female she feels the need to challenge me on everything, could this be whats happening?

Will also mention she knows the commands because she will do them sometimes she knows both hand signals and verbal cues which have been consistent. I just dont know what to do anymore

HELP!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
I will also mention Ive tried to use her toys as a reward instead of treats but she still does the same thing
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
705 Posts
Most young dogs have a high need to play and release energy and you can take advantage of that need to train your dog. How do you play with her? It is important to have a "relationship" with her, meaning you are interesting and she looks to you for play/energy release. Thru play (tug, balls, etc) where you are the key to animating those play objects, your dog develops a desire to interact with you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
I play tug with her and I also use her flirt pole several times a day... I use training while using the flirt pole but again half the time she wont listen... I make her sits/platz/bleib and aus but even then half the time Im putting her in the position... She has a decent bleib (stay), and she will sit after I tell her X amount of times and platz forget it I have to tell her to do it with collar corrections so many times and she just wont do it but she knows the command because for a while she did really well and did listen to me (most of the time) and would platz from front and from the side but I just dont know what happened she just doesnt want to do it anymore I dont know why she needs so many corrections and so many times of me putting her in the position she already knows!

I do make myself fun, we go for an hour long walk first thing in the morning and another 1 hour walk around 9pm and during the day is random play with her flirt pole or tug rope and where its crazy hot right now I use the hose and let her chase the water and she plays in her pool so I think I am making myself fun...

But she challenges me and lately (I havent had this problem for a few months now and its coming back) she will start chewing the couch and I cant get her away from it even with a treat or a toy I literally have to grab her mouth get her to release the couch and move her away then she will rush back and start doing it again.. she started to chew off the wallpaper in the bathroom while I'm right there... Like what the heck is wrong with her?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
705 Posts
I might add, that I myself have never encountered a "stubborn" dog. Usually when people describe their dog as stubborn, it turns out to be a relationship/communication problem with the handler. And since dogs don't communicate the same way as we humans do, it is not uncommon for people to feel their dog is being stubborn.

In the end, I realize that some dogs are easier to train but being down-right "stubborn" is humanizing the dog, in my opinion and experience.

Find a good trainer that can teach you how to interact with your dog in a way that is meaningful to her. Even reading books on how dogs learn would be helpful. Making play about you and her (so avoid letting the dog amuse itself or getting energy release thru playing with dogs). Just some suggestions.

Books: Excel-erated Learning by Pamela Reid
The power of positive dog training by Pat Miller
Reaching the animal mind by Karen Pryor
For the love of a dog by Patricia Mcconnell
Purely Positive Training by Sheila Booth
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
705 Posts
I posted the previous post at about the same time as you posted so I did not see your post about how you play. I was a web designer for many years and one thing we learned is you cannot ask people what they like or understand (like thru a survey) you have to WATCH them to see what they really are doing. So, based on your previous post, I would say that you need to back off the thought that sometime is wrong with your dog and re-assess what you are doing. You might think you are fun but by her behavior, it is not translating as fun for her. I have seen people insist their dog play with a certain toy (for instance a tug) because that is what their friends use to motivate their dog. When the dog really would rather interact with a ball. You need to figure out what makes your dog tick and that can only be accomplished by trying to understand what works for her.

Management is also important at her age. If she is unreliable in the house, as she most obviously is, then crate her when you can't be there to keep her from being destructive.

It is hard to provide detailed instruction thru an internet conversation so finding a good trainer that can assist you with your dog is imperative. Good luck! I am sure you can figure her out. Remember, she is still very young.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,237 Posts
I make her sits/platz/bleib and aus but even then half the time Im putting her in the position... She has a decent bleib (stay), and she will sit after I tell her X amount of times and platz forget it I have to tell her to do it with collar corrections so many times and she just wont do it but she knows the command because for a while she did really well and did listen to me (most of the time) and would platz from front and from the side but I just dont know what happened she just doesnt want to do it anymore I dont know why she needs so many corrections and so many times of me putting her in the position she already knows!
Honestly, I doubt seriously if the dog "knows the commands." I would back WAY up. Quit using your command words.
Will the dog follow your hand for treats? Lure into sit, down, etc. No commands.
Once you are sure she will follow your hand for treats, do that 3 times, then try with no treat in hand. Be very sure you are using the same hand gesture and body language. As soon as she sits, mark it with a click or marker word like "yes" and then reward.
No corrections, no jabbering away at her, no command words. Keep training short and fun.

Once she reliably follows your hand into positions, then add the cue word right before the hand signal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,237 Posts
so I think I am making myself fun...

But she challenges me and lately (I havent had this problem for a few months now and its coming back) she will start chewing the couch and I cant get her away from it even with a treat or a toy I literally have to grab her mouth get her to release the couch and move her away then she will rush back and start doing it again.. she started to chew off the wallpaper in the bathroom while I'm right there... Like what the heck is wrong with her?
Just because you think you are being fun, does not mean the dog sees it that way.

You say she challenges you. How?

Her chewing could be puppy and not enough exercise, or it could be a stress behavior. As Jan said, more exercise, limit her options with the use of crate, x-pen or "puppy-proofed room" and make sure she has plenty of legitimate chewing toys.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
237 Posts
Going to try to keep this short... I have taken my almost 9 month old GSD to 3 training classes with 3 different trainers because NOTHING works for this dog. She will not listen to me at all! She blows me off and refuses to do anything, she wont come when called, even if I have a treat in my hand she would rather not do what she is asked/told to do and will just walk off or just keep ignoring me so I have to put her in the position she needs to be in... I have worked tirelessly trying to train her, first was clicker training, then positive reinforcement where she would get a treat here and there but mainly praise only... Ive tried verbal corrections Ive tried collar pops, I went from using a regular flat nylon buckle collar to a martingale and thinking of switching to a prong because she doesnt care about getting a correction she just wants to do her own thing...

Im at my wits ends, I work with her multiple times a day (about 5, 2 - 5 minuet sessions). I just want a well behaved dog my last GSD was so smart and wanted to work and trained really easily, and this GSD its like there is nothing between those big ears.

A friend told me that it could be because she is not fixed and where I am female and she is a female she feels the need to challenge me on everything, could this be whats happening?

Will also mention she knows the commands because she will do them sometimes she knows both hand signals and verbal cues which have been consistent. I just dont know what to do anymore

HELP!

Time to start over from square one. Right now, it sounds like you are not the most important thing in your pups life. So that's what you need to build on. EVERYTHING comes from you. Food needs to be worked for and hand-fed. Make her work for it by doing commands, tricks, etc. Toys need to be only brought out by you for play and then when play time is up, they need to be put up again. And you need to go back and re-train focus. Baby steps. Call the dog's name. When she looks at you, reward. Do that over and over until she's consistently looking at you when you call her name. Then, take it up a notch.. don't say anything to the dog, but watch carefully and as soon as she looks at you (unprompted), reward. Again, do consistently until she's repeatedly looking to you. Then, increase duration... Once she looks at you, have her hold it for a few seconds and then reward.. Slowly increase the duration. Eventually, you can move this outside and work on getting her attention outside with all of the smells and sounds and sights. Also, make it fun! Don't just give her a treat as a reward.. Instead, in the highest, most excited voice you can, PRAISE her and then give her the treat. You need to teach her that YOU are exciting and good things come from you! Also, play games with her.. For example, if she has a favorite toy, take her outside on a long leash (30 foot for example) and just take off running with her favorite toy. Make her chase you.. Then let her "win" the toy for a minute or two, maybe play some tug, and then take it back and take off again. This will build her drive to engage with you.

Just a few tips.. Hope some of these help!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,884 Posts
I don't think the issue is one of training or being stubborn. I think this dog has low to no pack instinct -- no interest in handler . It would be interesting to see the pedigree .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,574 Posts
I might add, that I myself have never encountered a "stubborn" dog. Usually when people describe their dog as stubborn, it turns out to be a relationship/communication problem with the handler. And since dogs don't communicate the same way as we humans do, it is not uncommon for people to feel their dog is being stubborn.
+1 to that.

I often think of something Suzanne Clothier wrote to the effect that a lot of times people think their dog is being "stubborn" when in fact what the dog would say (if the dog could say anything) would be closer to "I don't understand" or "I can't do that" or "why? that's boring." And if you can give your dog a good answer in response to those things, the problem of "stubbornness" magically evaporates.

With regard to the "boring" issue, I'll throw in a recommendation for Jane Killion's "When Pigs Fly," along with the other good books that have been suggested. I am pretty well convinced that there is no GSD alive with less natural biddability than the average bull terrier, yet Killion has been able to title not one but several of the bloody-minded beasties in several different sports, and her tips have helped people compete with loads of "untraditional" breeds -- huskies, Malamutes, Akitas, bulldogs, you name it. MUCH bigger motivational challenges than GSDs. Her ideas are well worth adding to your toolbox.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
I'm dealing with a very intelligent 7 1/2 month old working line male who knows his commands very well & will also try to ignore me &/or challenge me if I let him. We are on our 2nd trainer & she has helped me immensely. It isn't an issue of being stubborn but sometimes they just don't understand what you want them to do. The biggest thing in training for us, & I say us because I have had to learn how to work with Lucas, is consistency & a prong collar. Trust me, I was very reluctant to use it & part of me still is apprehensive but to be honest, once I learned how to use it correctly, it is much easier on him than a Martingale collar which for him, required several corrections & still did not give good response. The prong collar I purchased does not have sharp prongs & it tightens smoothly. I know this because I tried it on myself. Lucas now walks at heel & is much happier during our walks because he isn't pulling & choling himself & I'm not getting dragged & frustrated at the other end of the leash. When he sees his collar he knows that he is going to work & that in & of itself makes him happy. The corrections can be much gentler than with a Martingale & it gets the idea across much faster which equates not even needing to correct after a short time. I do suggest getting a trainer to work with you if you are thinking about using a prong collar. That way you will learn to use it correctly & not cause any ill effects for either of you. You still need to praise freely & often as the collar is a tool for training & not the be all & end all. Another thing that helped was tethering or keeping your pup on her leash & with you at all times even in your home. I also did that for a while & I still sometimes go back to it if I feel like Lucas has had a bit of a backslide, which does happen every few months. It's really not as bad as you might think. Lucas is completely different from my first GSD & once I realized that he needed to be trained differently everything started to fall into place. I hope I didn't offend anyone by suggesting a prong collar. I'm the most gentle person & I would never have even considered using the collar on my boy unless I felt it first & got proper training. Good luck with your girl &hang in there. She's going to be a great dog & a great friend.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,637 Posts
I don't think the issue is one of training or being stubborn. I think this dog has low to no pack instinct -- no interest in handler . It would be interesting to see the pedigree .
This too ^^

Along with what someone else said about no relationship with it's owner can cause some of the problems your seeing..

I have a dog in right now for training.. She's one that has her own agenda and it's up to me to figure out how best to manipulate her in to doing what I want.. I'd say she also has very low pack drive/instinct!! We are making progress but it's slow going..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31,907 Posts
A couple of rules I find helpful:

Tell the dog one time, then help him do whatever you said, then praise the action: SIT. Pause to give him a chance, then move him into the SIT position. Then Good SIT. Telling the dog multiple times to do a thing, becomes nagging, and that's is annoying to everyone in the vacinity, including the dog. The dog learns to wait until you reach the pitch in your voice that is just prior to committing murder. The dog learns to ignore you.

Do not give a command while training that you cannot enforce immediately. Dolly, Come! Dolly is not connected to a long line or leash. Dolly can choose to come or not to come. If she chooses not to come, then you will need to chase her down, and that may be rewarding in and of itself. Down the road, you can give these commands without the dog being attached to you, but if you give them the idea that the command is optional, it makes it a lot harder.

Timing. No matter what you use, positive reinforcement, punishment, balance, doesn't matter it all requires timing. You need to praise the action that should be praised, and give correction to the action you do not want, so that it makes sense to the dog. All the gadgets: clickers, toys, e-collars, prong collars, etc. still require proper timing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,452 Posts
What Carmen and G-burg said! I also think you are trying to do far too much for the relationship the two of you possess in terms of training. Finally, as others have said, the dog doesn't KNOW the commands because part of knowing is executing! More foundation work is needed and most people who have this problem that know a little about training usually are trying to go to fast.
What are the comments from the three different trainers?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
32,373 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Thank you Selzer. When I mentioned the prong collar & getting training on how to use it properly I forgot to mention timing. I'm still learning how dogs view the world. Wait even a few seconds too long for the correction & the dog might not make the connection to what he/she did wrong. Wait a bit too long to praise & it's the same issue. Training with Lucas is a very enlightening experience but we are BOTH gaining so much from it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
457 Posts
Did you complete a whole course with 3 different trainers or just 1 class each trainer? Find a trainer that works with gsds, and understands them. make sure your treats are really good ones and train when dog is hungry. Maybe, you should also not compare this dog to your last one They are all different and she is only 9 months, which is still young.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top