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Jupiter is six months and very naughty. He has gone through Puppy Obedience and Obedience 1 and has always been a star pupil, and I train him 2-3 times a day, but when we're not training, he does whatever he wants. There are several normal times when he disobeys me:

1. I have a loft bed and he's not allowed up. When I hear him come up the stairs, I say, "No," but he slowly comes up and won't leave when I tell him. So I end up taking him down and putting him in the crate. This has happened several times and it seems clear to me that he's disobeying me.
2. He's not allowed in the living room, and when I catch him heading that way, I say, "No." Sometimes he stops, but sometimes he gets this playful bounce and runs into the living room. Then to get him out, I have to catch him by the leash (I keep the leash on so I don't have to chase him).
3. He's not allowed in my daughter's room, but he has a pattern that when he passes it, he runs in there, even if I say, "No." Again, I have to grab him and pull him out, he ignores me at this point.

I think that in general, he really just does what he thinks is going to maximize his pleasure. Even when training, I get a strong sense that he obeys or not depending on how much food he'll get. Like if there is a treat on the ground, and I call him, I can see him trying to decide which one to do. It's like he's always doing the math. When he obeys, it's because he thinks there's more food in it for him. When he disobeys, it's because he thinks there's more cool stuff in the other room, etc.

So my question is, how or when or will this morph into general obedience, rather than bribing that's always dependent on the value of the food I have?
 

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Jupiter is six months and very naughty. He has gone through Puppy Obedience and Obedience 1 and has always been a star pupil, and I train him 2-3 times a day, but when we're not training, he does whatever he wants. There are several normal times when he disobeys me:

1. I have a loft bed and he's not allowed up. When I hear him come up the stairs, I say, "No," but he slowly comes up and won't leave when I tell him. So I end up taking him down and putting him in the crate. This has happened several times and it seems clear to me that he's disobeying me.
2. He's not allowed in the living room, and when I catch him heading that way, I say, "No." Sometimes he stops, but sometimes he gets this playful bounce and runs into the living room. Then to get him out, I have to catch him by the leash (I keep the leash on so I don't have to chase him).
3. He's not allowed in my daughter's room, but he has a pattern that when he passes it, he runs in there, even if I say, "No." Again, I have to grab him and pull him out, he ignores me at this point.

I think that in general, he really just does what he thinks is going to maximize his pleasure. Even when training, I get a strong sense that he obeys or not depending on how much food he'll get. Like if there is a treat on the ground, and I call him, I can see him trying to decide which one to do. It's like he's always doing the math. When he obeys, it's because he thinks there's more food in it for him. When he disobeys, it's because he thinks there's more cool stuff in the other room, etc.

So my question is, how or when or will this morph into general obedience, rather than bribing that's always dependent on the value of the food I have?
It sounds as if Jupiter may have more freedom than he is yet ready to handle.


My usual solution for dogs who think they can do whatever they want—-train, train, train. Jupiter already has an obed foundation, so you can just expand on that.

Teach him that he needs permission to enter any room that is off limits. I like to teach a “”Wait!” command, which is less formal than a “stay”. But, “stay” is fine, too.

If he will be permanently off limits to the LR—this may or may not be reasonable; do the humans hang out there or do you have a family room in which everyone congregates? No GSD wants to be isolated away from his humans.

Either way, the fix is more obed. But, be sure not to set him up to fail. You no doubt have learned to never, ever issue a command or a correction that you are not in a position to immediately enforce. Doing so just trains your dog to ignore you.

It’s often helpful to keep a leash on indoors during training, giving you a lot more control.

If he’s a leash chewer, I have an easy fix for that, too. An old fashioned chain leash. Walmart still carries them (guess how I know). This one works.

You may detect a theme: take control of Jupiter’s environment. He has too many opportunities to screw up. He has years, once he learns to control himself, to enjoy his freedom.

Another training tool that works like pure magic is the long down. Start with very, very short stays and **gradually** increase the time he remains in the down. This is on leash, inside. Shoot for 30 minutes, eventually.

Once he’s good and solid, have family members try to distract him, to proof it up.

Seriously. Once a dog crosses that 30 minute threshold, it really changes him; all for the better. He will have developed an extraordinary level of self control, confidence, and trust in you. It works.

Also wanted to add that it’s crucial to be sure Jupiter is getting enough exercise. GSDs need lots and he’s a youngster. Remember: a tired dog is a good dog.
 

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In addition to what @raff is saying...

To be a good leader means to operate not only with obedience but with a sense of fairness and fair trade.

Why does Jupiter want to be on your bed? Probably because you're on your bed and the bed is the one place that smells the most like you. Okay, let's compromise. If Jupiter doesn't have his OWN bed, then get him one and place it next to yours. If he already has a bed, move it next to yours. Teach him that his bed is where he goes to lay down and be next to you.

The same goes with the living room. Why is he not allowed in the living room? Analyse your reasoning for this and see if there's a way he can be allowed in there without causing the issue you fear. If he tries to get up on the couch all the time, then give him a place for him to lay down NEXT to the couch. Fold up a blanket or something and make him lay down there. Give him lots of attention while he's in that spot while you're on the couch. You're setting him up for success. "If I lay here, I still get attention and cuddles even while my human's on the couch."

Same question goes for your daughter's room. Analyse your reasoning.

Just keep in mind that puppies aren't stupid or naughty on purpose (though they are scam artists). They're just ignorant of the rules. When that puppy gets older, you're going to have to crack down on your obedience even more and make sure your "contract" with your puppy is free of loopholes.
 

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I'm not going to thrill you with my opinion on this (keep in mind this is my opinion). I understand people that don't want their pets on the furniture. Perfectly reasonable. If you have a formal living room that you want hair free while having a family room or den that is the family gathering place where the dog is allowed I get that as well. If a child has a breathing issue such as asthma and sleeping quarters need to be allergen free I get that, too. But If these don't apply and most of your house is off limits to a breed that thrives with being with it's humans why do you have the dog? That's a question to ask yourself. I don't need an answer.

I understand you are asking a training question. To that I would say that you have set a good foundation. However, you are missing that at six months, your pup is nowhere near adulthood. At six months you are dealing with what would be similar to a human two year old. They don't have the rules down yet. Be consistent with your training and it will come in time. And all of what Raff and Kyrielle said above.
 

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Training is anytime you and your pup are together unless he is sleeping. Not just 2 - 5 times a day in sessions. It is about the relationship and leadership, less about sits and stays. Just my 2 cents. Puppies are wickedly smart in finding and remembering(!!) loopholes. Look beyond the cuteness and so called "innocence".
 

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One thing that I didn't see mentioned is, it doesn't sound like he is being rewarded for obeying. So, when you say "NO", and he stops what he is doing, there should be a lot of praise and treats. They know they are doing wrong, it's fun! But it would be a lot more fun to obey, and get treats, tug of war, loves and pats.

If you say, "NO!", he stops for a second, and doesn't get rewarded for it, there is no reason to stop next time.

Training is 24/7. Especially with pups. They really try to take advantage! Mine is with me all day every day. I am one of the lucky ones that works at home. I could not imagine going to work for 8 to 10 hours and then come home to GS pup and trying to work with them.

Oh, and I learned really quick not to give chase. That is their favorite game! It can also get dangerous if it is something bad in their mouth. Always have treats or a toy of some sort in your pocket. IF they try to run from you, pull out the treat, and they come right back to you. I stopped taking anything away from Shasta. If she had something that I didn't want her to have, I always traded for something of higher value, (treats).

She had a thing for rocks when she was little. She would pick it up, and I would go after her to get it out of her mouth. She discovered that when she picked up rocks, dad would play chase. That was a difficult one to break!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the responses. Yeah, Obedience 2 classes start next weekend, and I anticipate we'll probably keep going for... well, a while, at least.

As far as our rules, the living room is misnamed--it's really the piano room and we don't spend much time there. Basically my daughter leaves her toys around and Jupiter wants to run in there and play with them! And I don't want him sneaking over there and chewing on the piano legs and such. I prefer for him to stay with me so he doesn't get into trouble. When he goes in there, it's by himself, he's not spending time with the family.

I can see how the loft bed is no fun because it separates us vertically. Maybe I'll think about letting him hang out on the top step. Otherwise, he has the run of my office/extra bedroom. He's never chewed on any of the furniture in there.

I think he likes my daughter's room because it's full of toys and she leaves plates and such on the floor--yes, disgusting and something we have to work on. I understand why he wants to go in there, but it's just kind of off limits. He knows, but he runs in there anyway! I guess it's too much to ask that a 6-month old is going to obey my every command.
 

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Yeah, a 6 months old won't obey every command but you can still work on them. They will sink in eventually. The thing is that he needs to learn that there is no payoff in doing these things. Tough when there are plates on the floor for investigating. I hate to say it but..but..but, maybe a chewed toy will help your daughter learn to pick up her belongings. I don't want the pup to eat something he shouldn't and I don't want your daughter to loose something precious, but often we learn things the hard way.

When your pup is 3 or 4 years old and a wonderful well behaved dog, because you have put time and work into your relationship with him, you may look back and actually miss your scamp of a pup. Just a little.
 

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Oh, and I learned really quick not to give chase. That is their favorite game! It can also get dangerous if it is something bad in their mouth. Always have treats or a toy of some sort in your pocket. IF they try to run from you, pull out the treat, and they come right back to you. I stopped taking anything away from Shasta. If she had something that I didn't want her to have, I always traded for something of higher value, (treats).

She had a thing for rocks when she was little. She would pick it up, and I would go after her to get it out of her mouth. She discovered that when she picked up rocks, dad would play chase. That was a difficult one to break!
My dogs are 3 and 5 years old and they still try to convince me that chasing them will be fun. I never get the hint. They must think I'm not too bright. I am smart enough to know that chasing them is a game I'll never win. If I don't have a way to safely turn my back on them and reward them when they do come to me, then they have a long line dragging from their collar. That way I can reel one in. Reward when caught.
 

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Your dog is very playful. He’s also not trained and is ignoring you. Dogs don’t speak our language, they learn by repetition and reinforcement. My older dog is naughty. She has been trained and knows what to do but if I’m not watching, she will pull things off the counter or jump the fence. So I’m always watching or she is confined somewhere. She can climb, which sounds cute but isn’t. She is a rescue and all the obedience did with her still couldn’t break early habits. My other dog is playful and will break commands if he really wants to do something, so I had to work harder on teaching him good habits. He is 3 and most of the time does exactly what I want him to do if it’s important. He claimed a spot on a couch, though, and I finally gave in. But just that one spot.
 

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First time posting so hopefully, I do this correctly. I am not an expert by far, but after perusing the post, my first thought was who is training who. The pup realizes that when he goes into certain areas, you get excitable and chase him - all fun in a puppy's playbook. Firstly, Jupiter is only 6 months old. In my opinion, you are expecting far too much from such a young mind. On top of only being 6 months, he may (or may not) be a slow maturer. We have multiple dogs of all type personalities and ages.....I would never trust a pup that age to adhere to staying out of a room, door wide open, that had things that looked like dog toys strewn on the floor or food remains laying around. It is unfair. The rooms that are off limits in our household with pups either have a door closed or a baby gate up. I want my pups loose while I am in the home with them but cannot correct every little thing nor would I as everyday life cannot be filled with only "NO". Rather, when I enter those closed off rooms, I work on a "wait" command which EVENTUALLY teaches them "wait" means stop in place and stay there while I move forward and complete my task. But this is done in baby steps. OB classes are priceless but a lot of what is expected in OB in a home environment needs its own training. You can draw from the sit,down, stay learned in basic OB but may need to apply it slightly differently with home expectations and will need to create additional commands.
Just my very humble opinion
-Creole
 

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Discussion Starter #12
First time posting so hopefully, I do this correctly. I am not an expert by far, but after perusing the post, my first thought was who is training who. The pup realizes that when he goes into certain areas, you get excitable and chase him - all fun in a puppy's playbook. Firstly, Jupiter is only 6 months old. In my opinion, you are expecting far too much from such a young mind. On top of only being 6 months, he may (or may not) be a slow maturer. We have multiple dogs of all type personalities and ages.....I would never trust a pup that age to adhere to staying out of a room, door wide open, that had things that looked like dog toys strewn on the floor or food remains laying around. It is unfair. The rooms that are off limits in our household with pups either have a door closed or a baby gate up. I want my pups loose while I am in the home with them but cannot correct every little thing nor would I as everyday life cannot be filled with only "NO". Rather, when I enter those closed off rooms, I work on a "wait" command which EVENTUALLY teaches them "wait" means stop in place and stay there while I move forward and complete my task. But this is done in baby steps. OB classes are priceless but a lot of what is expected in OB in a home environment needs its own training. You can draw from the sit,down, stay learned in basic OB but may need to apply it slightly differently with home expectations and will need to create additional commands.
Just my very humble opinion
-Creole
Thanks for your post. I think you're right and will revise my expectations. I am going to let my daughter kind of take care of her end of things--cleaning up her stuff--and won't put so much burden on Jupiter to do too much.
 

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Because I like analogies...if you have an 8 year old child that has been taught to cross the street, not touch certain things..do you trust them so soon after the lesson? Do you let them go out and about because they were taught the street crossing lesson? Know what I mean?

At 6 months old he still has a lot of impulsive nature. I would not expect any 6 month old dog to have the control to not be naughty :)

My dogs, in life, have not been unsupervised until at least a year old. Some until 2 or 3. I have a wonderful almost 2 year old working line and through consistency and containment when I am distracted and can not be available to teach, constant vigilance is no longer needed. He has matured enough to be trustworthy.

It sounds like your dog is bright and confident. That is a good thing in a dog his age :) Stay the course and I bet he turns out to be a brilliant dog.
 

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One of the things I love about dogs, GSDs in particular, is their deep attachment to their "person" or "people". I realize though that this can be problematic when we choose to set boundaries. Being pack animals, our dogs have a need to be included in our "pack". When they can not be due to logistics, personal preference, safety, etc... frustration happens in the form of disobedience.
I try to include my girl in all the aspects of my life, which gives her a lot of freedom in where she can go in our house. She is family to me, and family is never excluded (unless it's a safety issue). When I am home, she has free reign of most of the house, including the bed (where she sleeps at night). If she can not be near me, it causes her stress, and I have found that puppy/dog proofing is much better than denying access to. Now I know this may not work for everyone, and trust me, my girl had to earn access through training and respect, but I truly believe that once capable of knowing what is expected of them in the house and what is not tolerated, our GSDs are happier and less stressed being allowed to be where we are. Even if it means dog hair everywhere and paw prints where you'd never expect. To me, my Mika is my friend and my companion and to deny her access to people she loves (even though they may be in places we rather stay clean:) is not something I want to do. In my humble opinion, it has made my girl more secure and less stressed...always a good thing! So, long post short, perhaps rethink your reasoning on why your pup is not allowed (fill in the place) and see if perhaps changes could be made so they can join you or other loved ones there.
Just my thoughts ...
 

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He's 6 MONTHS OLD! You can't expect him to be an obedient dog at this point. Mine's almost 16 months and he's still not obeying all the time. You have to be realistic.

My house is a maze of baby gates...as he gets older, I start letting him into rooms a little bit at a time. The older he gets the more mature and trustworthy he becomes....then the gates can be taken down, one at a time. For example, before he was completely housetrained, he was restricted to only the kitchen and breakfast room because of the tile flooring (easy to clean up). Then we let him into the family room and took down the gate there. And then the hallway...the bedrooms upstairs...the basement...etc. Setting up boundaries and rooms that he couldn't go to made him learn to behave. If he misbehaves, I put him back out behind the gate. When he behaves, I let him back in. Eventually, I take the gate down.
 

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Thanks for your post. I think you're right and will revise my expectations. I am going to let my daughter kind of take care of her end of things--cleaning up her stuff--and won't put so much burden on Jupiter to do too much.
I don't think it should be too much burden on your dog to stay out of a particular room, with or without a gate. But I agree wholeheartedly with Creole you are not teaching your dog anything by telling them "NO" all the time. That was the one thing that stood out most to me in the original post!

Instead teach them what you want them to do and put a name to it. I also use wait, but you can call it whatever you like. In my world wait means don't cross any threshold until released to do so, doorway, garage opening, car, etc. Different from stay in that stay, for my dog, means don't move from wherever you're at (and hold the position, sit or down or standing). We have practiced this since she was 14 wks old, and she was very dependable at 6 months!

From my perspective, most people don't expect or obtain good obedience with a puppy because of their methods. Spend time, structured but brief - say 3 to 10 minutes several times a day teaching behaviors you want, and praise and treat success lavishly, make it fun and exciting! Then you won't spend much time at all telling them NO >:)
 

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Thanks. To clarify, I don't spend much time saying, "no," because if it doesn't work then saying it over and over again would just make things worse, wouldn't it? I only mentioned that I had said, "no," which he knows is a negative marker, to let people know that I did, at least, inform Jupiter that he was doing something wrong. Once he made the choice to ignore the "no," I stopped saying it and went directly to action.
 

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The "action" being what? Grabbing his collar or leash and removing him from the room?

My suggestions were more generally aimed at changing the perspective one, and not necessarily you OP, has toward training.

You'd be surprised how many people don't think or worry about training until there's a problem...and then the focus becomes "I need to teach my dog/puppy to stop X". When It's so much more pleasant for man and beast if time is spent directing them toward behaviors you want in a fun and friendly manner.

I can't count how many times I've heard people say that their puppy or dog "knows" better, when in fact the dog or puppy hasn't got a clue. And as often as not, it's because they told the puppy "no" a few times and the puppy coincidently stopped what they didn't want him to so they "think" he knows what they were talking about, when the truth is the puppy just got lucky and accidentally stopped the "right" thing! Truth is, teaching a dog or puppy is not difficult, but that approach almost NEVER WORKS!

It is much more effective and pleasant for all involved to elicite and encourage behaviors than it is to correct misbehaviors. And when I say misbehaviors I'm not talking about giving a correction or a negative marker for a dog or puppy disregarding a command that he's been taught well. I'm talking about using "no" as a negative marker without having given a command. As in NO don't go upstairs, or NO don't go into that room, or NO stop chewing on that.

No tells the dog that you're unhappy, but without some additional, specific direction, i.e. a command to do some specific and trained thing, chances of the puppy connecting your thought about his actions with his own thoughts about the situation are pretty slim!
 

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WELL WELL WELL....GSDs are all naughty in nature....that what makes them the best breed :) first of all they are part of the family and you cannot exclude him from anything..he is very smart and noisy..he will try to find out what is going on...period. maybe you should reconsider your rules and start giving him access to all rooms in your house? make him feel like he is part of the family and never quit training...it will take time...keep correcting him for years!!! i know it is annoying... he is 6 months and probably still mouthy and nippy...everything is fun for him now ... you chase him , he will love it :) my baby boy is almost 3.5 yo and still steals my shoes in front of my eyes so that i will chase him :)) sometimes it is annoying but most of the time it is very cute....ohh btw if he is still nipping and biting ankles, just slap him on the muzzle.....worked for us... don't forget they are not just dogs , they are part of our family and our lives.
that being said did he drive me crazy ? yes he did . did i spank him occasionally ? yes i did... did it work? yes it did work like a charm :)) I am the only one who can touch his front paws, inside the ears and nails...ONCE YOU EARN HIS TRUST REST IS EASY.... may take years though.....
 
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