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 Post subject: obedience class problems
PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 3:52 am 
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Location: Upper Gagetown, NB, Canada
We are failing beginner obedience class. Its hard to train a dog without bribery and Daisy is not into treats unless she sees you eating them. This is a great trait when she is in the backseat with groceries but not so much at class. She also isn't into toys at all so trying to teach her to drop and leave something that she doesn't want anyway is frustrating.
Now we are working on down. Since she can't be bribed, I tried pulling out her front legs and forcing the issue. It feels like some kind of punishment to her and she instantly goes into submission and when released slink off to her crate. Next we are working on Stay, tricky if we can't get down. She'll stop, sit and wait happily at fifty feet so I get the results I need but this down thing is turning into a bad scene. Class is turning into a bad scene and we are court ordered to do three levels. We are stuck after the third class of level one.
A friend is going with me tomorrow to see if I am the problem ( a distinct possibility). If she feels that I am, I have someone else that will take her.
Anybody have any suggestions?


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 Post subject: Re: obedience class problems
PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 7:47 am 
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Forcing an animal to do something is rarely going to win you points or the trust that you are trying to build with your pet.
How old is Daisy?
I would suggest that you have some high quality treats, like bits of chicken that you could/would eat to show her that it is something she would want as well. Many of the treats that you buy are high calorie and may be too much for training.
You need to continually work with Daisy on each new command. I would choose two or three commands until she perfects them, then you can add another command to the routine. Use single or two word commands. Dogs do not speak or respond to sentences and when we get frustrated, our voices get higher and louder and we speak more words than we need to.
If you are using a crate, don't make it a place for punishment. That is Daisy's safe place, and of course, never hit.
Is this your first dog or just your first stubborn dog? :lol2

You have come to the right place. There is another thread for "Training" and there might be some specific issues there that might be helpful.

Welcome to the Forum. Look forward to hearing how it is going and would love to see a picture of Daisy.

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 Post subject: Re: obedience class problems
PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 7:51 am 
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I know one trainer that carries a chunk of string cheese in her mouth and to give a treat bites off a bit and gives it to the dog. Might work since she is only interested in what you eat.

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 Post subject: Re: obedience class problems
PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 8:04 am 
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Yes....it may be you, it may be Daisy and it may be the class. All my dogs sailed through the first three levels of classes until Cody came along. He was very sensitive and if I did the usual "pop" the leash, give direction thing with him, he melted into the ground as if expecting to be scolded. If I pushed or pulled on him it would have been over. He also was not treat motivated in class (anywhere else, yes, but not in class). The only way was to talk to him and that squeaky "oh momma's so proud of you, you good, beautiful, special, wonderful puppy" voice and pet him. I used hand signals too, touching the ground for down and such. He'd do anything for the loving. It kept his attention on me as we walked, heeled, etc. because he wanted to make sure I could see how peachy keen he was doing. Directions were given in a commanding voice but, as soon as "registered", he got the loving. I'm glad you have someone going with you. That might give you a different perspective.

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 Post subject: Re: obedience class problems
PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 8:11 am 
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May I ask why you are not allowed to use food for your training? When used right, it is a reward, not a bribe. I have been in the same down nightmare with my own Heidi at our very first obedience class almost 8 years ago.

I would suggest looking at Michael Ellis' training with food video. It teaches all of the positions well. And it taught me how to use food correctly as a reward.

Hang in there. Heidi has since become an obedience show dog and has won lots of ribbons.

Tell us what your friend finds out. First and foremost, establish your leadership and trust. Good luck!

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 Post subject: Re: obedience class problems
PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 8:56 am 
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The food issue is Daisy's. She doesn't like treats and is limited in her tastes at best..
Daisy is 5 now. She is very obedient with the commands that she has but it is difficult to add new ones. I wonder if she was over-trained in her previous life ( she is a rescue) and so training is icky to her.
On our own, she happily does 15-20 minute of off leash training walks most days. Between us,its all hand signals unless she is far away. The second she goes on leash her whole attitude changes, submissive and unhappy.
At home, I was using hot dogs because she liked them. Now she doesn't like them. I moved up to my leftover chicken.Now she doesn't like chicken. Same with fish, cheese and beef, liked them until I used them for training.
We are working with the "good girl" approach at the moment and we'll see how that goes.


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 Post subject: Re: obedience class problems
PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 9:38 am 
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I am glad you are taking someone else with you. I know how important this is for your future together and you may be anxious as a result. Daisy may be picking up on your stress and that could be interfering with the training. Not everyone likes the Cesar Milan methods but I do believe he is right that dogs respond best to a calm/assertive demeanor.I know how hard that is to maintain in your situation.

If you can, try to find a way to make it fun for Daisy so you can both relax a bit. I know that is way easier said than done. If she likes to play tug, maybe take a tug toy with you and a take a play break now and then. Most of all try not to focus on the potential bad consequences. Focus on projecting positive energy to her and really celebrating each accomplishment. If you can catch her in the act of going 'down' at home, praise her to the skies so she really understands what you want.

Let us know when your next class is and we'll send some positive thoughts your way.

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Mom to Jennie, born 4/24/2014, Gotcha Day 6/20/2014
Gone, but not forgotten: Honey, Punkin, Lady, Dusty and Chief


"If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." Will Rogers


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 Post subject: Re: obedience class problems
PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 11:39 am 
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Vickie wrote:
Yes....it may be you, it may be Daisy and it may be the class.


In all likelihood, its probably, you, Daisy AND the class. You guys just haven't found the right combo for the 3 of you yet

Keeping food in your cheeks is a good way to get her eyes on you anyways, so you might as well find some yummy-to-you food that you carry most of in a pocket and dole out from your mouth. If you want to get fancy, you can practice spitting the food directly into her mouth. That might entice her more.

Play drive can be built/encouraged. Also, physical attention and silly play with you can also be built upon - it definitely takes more work than a dog with a strong play or food drive, but it can be done.

Dont think of the food as a bribe - used correctly, it is a reward. Subtle difference but it is there. Even using food as a lure which should be done in the short term only can be a good way to bridge the gap between the behavior and the reward.

Example: you have a chunk of food in your hand to lure the dog into the down but do not feed until the correct down is achieved. Soon the dog understands the down and only the reward is needed. When the down is fast and accurate, you start to randomize the reward with a high frequency of rewards to behavior at first, then dwindling down to the occasional reward or even jackpot.

I dont have time now, but i'll see if I can find some articles on building play drive for you. If you google 'building play drive' + some of the dog sports (agility, flyball, schutzhund) you should be able to find some helpful stuff.


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 Post subject: Re: obedience class problems
PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 5:43 pm 
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Big discovery!!! I think it is the open hand as a signal that is freaking her out. Tapping and pointing seems to have her going down a better path and I hope that we have cracked this problem and have gained insight.
I watched her closely today when I had an open palm for any situation. She would start blinking really hard, lower and turn her head away from me as far as she could while keeping me in sight. Closed or relaxed hand she was my cheery, responsive doodle dog.
Our next class is tomorrow and we'll see how it goes.


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 Post subject: Re: obedience class problems
PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 11:17 pm 
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How about cooked chicken breast meat? Not store bought stuff.

Joe


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 Post subject: Re: obedience class problems
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2016 5:52 am 
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So we had a class on Saturday, unfortunately my friend couldn't go.
We went a little early and I told the trainer about the open hand thing. We have a private class booked for Thursday, at the trainers house instead of where it normally is. She is going to assess where we are really and how to go forward.
One of the reasons that we are at the class is for socializing with other dogs. The other dogs are all young, rowdy and big which terrifies Daisy but may actually be making a difference. We went to the dog park after class. There were small dogs there and she instigated a run. She is a happy, confident beast with dogs that are smaller and more timid than she is. She even managed to get a couple of dogs who only watch participating.
This weeks projects are things that we have as part of our life so I can put more time into the stuff that we don't have under control.


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 Post subject: Re: obedience class problems
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2016 7:39 pm 
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When you first mentioned the open hand issue, it made me wonder if she has been hit or slapped in the past. I have a neighbor who does that to her dog and it just makes me cringe. She will show him an open hand and tell him to stop whatever he is doing wrong and then if he doesn't, she slaps him on the rump. She says she doesn't hit hard but that it is 'just like giving the kids a spanking'.

It truly doesn't seem like she hits very hard, but I still think it establishes the wrong kind of relationship with your dog. What happens if he decided to challenge her leadership position... dog fight?

If something similar did happen to Daisy in the past, I can understand why giving commands while displaying an open hand might totally confuse or intimidate her. We'll keep sending positive thoughts your way. :sun

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Mom to Jennie, born 4/24/2014, Gotcha Day 6/20/2014
Gone, but not forgotten: Honey, Punkin, Lady, Dusty and Chief


"If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." Will Rogers


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 Post subject: Re: obedience class problems
PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2016 8:18 am 
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Oh poor girl, it sounds very like she has been hit in her previous home, if she's so scared of an open hand. Thank goodness you realised so now you can make training fun and avoid anything that will bring up those bad memories. Keep working going with trying to find tasty treats, and mix it up a bit so she doesn't always get the same treats for classes. I use sausage, ham, chicken, cheese, liver cake etc. And definitely don't manhandle her into the position you want, no matter how gently you do it, if she's been badly treated in the past she won't like anything as physical as that.

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Owned by Hetty & Lottie (blenheim CKCS) and Katie (tri CKCS). Always missing my Henry (blenheim CKCS) 13/4/02 - 4/6/10, George (buff cocker 10/4/02 - 6/8/16) and Ellie (tri CKCS) 7/12/04 - 22/12/17.

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 Post subject: Re: obedience class problems
PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2016 1:39 pm 
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We have aced the last two classes. Next week is graduation and we will be ready.


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 Post subject: Re: obedience class problems
PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2016 9:28 pm 
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Way to go! Give Daisy a nice belly rub from me. :love And pat yourself on the back... this is big! :joy

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Gone, but not forgotten: Honey, Punkin, Lady, Dusty and Chief


"If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." Will Rogers


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 Post subject: Re: obedience class problems
PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2016 7:41 am 
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:Clap

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 Post subject: Re: obedience class problems
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2016 12:32 pm 
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We did it!!!! How ready we are for the next series? Dunno but we won't be starting until the end of June so I have some time to work on weaknesses (mostly mine).


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 Post subject: Re: obedience class problems
PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2016 6:19 am 
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Excellent news! Hopefully you'll get at least one older, smaller dog in your next class that Daisy will warm up to. When I did the second level with Jennie it worked out the opposite. Her two class mates were 6 month old females... a German Shepherd Dog and a Pit Bull. Both were nice dogs, but their preferred play style was slow motion wrestling. Jennie prefers tag (I chase you, you chase me) with no physical contact. So she found them rather intimidating and was a bit distracted as a result.

Good luck and keep us posted.

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Mom to Jennie, born 4/24/2014, Gotcha Day 6/20/2014
Gone, but not forgotten: Honey, Punkin, Lady, Dusty and Chief


"If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." Will Rogers


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 Post subject: Re: obedience class problems
PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2016 12:03 pm 
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Great news!! :th-up

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Owned by Hetty & Lottie (blenheim CKCS) and Katie (tri CKCS). Always missing my Henry (blenheim CKCS) 13/4/02 - 4/6/10, George (buff cocker 10/4/02 - 6/8/16) and Ellie (tri CKCS) 7/12/04 - 22/12/17.

Spaniels are the best dogs!!


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