My dog is becoming LESS obedient, HELP!

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My dog is becoming LESS obedient, HELP!

This is a discussion on My dog is becoming LESS obedient, HELP! within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; She used to sit for me without hesitation. Now even that is a struggle. I have let her pull on the leash for too long. ...

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Old 01-19-2019, 12:36 PM
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My dog is becoming LESS obedient, HELP!

She used to sit for me without hesitation. Now even that is a struggle.

I have let her pull on the leash for too long. I indulge her too much. She is almost two and a half, 75 lbs black lab and coon hound mix. At this point, I've realized she is bossing me around, and I need to turn that tide. I need to do more than that I know, but one day at a time.

When she pulls, I am stopping now, and making her sit. And today, she wouldn't sit! How many times should I ask before cutting the walk short? Today, I must have ordered her to sit at least twenty times. Maybe just do three? Twenty is too many. I had clearly lost control before that. I am thinking three?

I know she knows how to sit. Today, I had to leave for about 20 minutes, and before that, I sat with her to let her know, and told her to sit. But she would not sit. I gave the command 3 times. Because it was only going to be 20 minutes, I put her in her (quite spacious) crate for the duration, even though I still would have trusted her to, say, not tear up the trash while I am gone, like she used to when she was younger. I crated her because she wouldn't listen. Was that a good choice? Was there a better choice? Would it have been better to not have bonding time at all with her and just sneak out the door (knowing she'd miss me).

She's has such a sweet disposition, but she is stubborn. She loves people and dogs, but she also loves to jump up on people and doesn't listen. I'm worried for her, and sometimes for me as well. I've been way too tolerant of her failures to obey.

Any advice appreciated.
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Old 01-19-2019, 01:37 PM
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Thanks for wanting to help your dog! You are already on the right track in my mind.

Sounds like you guys need better communication. Sounds like your dog honestly just doesn't know what you really want her to do. I am betting you have spent most training time telling her what NOT to do (ie saying no often) but have not told her what you would actually prefer her to do. Super common training error. We all do it, almost automatically, until we start to really focus on changing our training methodology.

So, I find, if instead of thinking your dog is bossy or trying to dominate you, etc just remind yourself that your dog simply hasn't learned yet what you would prefer. When you start working in this positive light with awesome praise, yummy food rewards, and lots of patience as they learn, you will start getting great results!!

I find that thinking like this helps me a lot to relax... and not got frustrated when my dog (or any dog that I am working with) isn't complying or listening.

As far as pulling, I personally do not make my dog sit while on a walk when she starts to pull. I simply stop walking, stay still, and say nothing! Very quickly she will look back at me as if "hey why aren't we moving, mom?"

When she either looks back at me, or relaxes her body, or offers me a sit (her pretty please) then I nod and start walking again. Rinse and repeat. Over and over again. No yelling, no frustration, no punishment, no repeated asking for sits. I like my dogs to learn that their own good behavior choices get them what they like.

Like sitting nicely at the door before exiting gets the door opened. Like sitting in stopped car gets them the "ok" release and they get to exit the car. No bolting in parking lot or out the door--dangerous. (and bad manners) Like sitting politely and patiently in their own spaces at meal times while I dole out all four feeding bowls to our pets.

Also, start using lots of positive reinforcement. If your dog checks in with you on a walk, give her a small yummy treat. If your dog sits when asked, treat. If your dog offers a sit on their own when you are talking to someone, treat.

In other words, I find if you start to reward all good behavior with treats and praise your dog will quickly learn what you prefer. And soon you will find your dog wills start offering the nice polite behavior on their own ---since they have been rewarded so often for the good behaviors!!

Last edited by AthenaLove; 01-19-2019 at 01:42 PM.
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Old 01-19-2019, 02:10 PM
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Your jumping dog is just wanting your attention or others and hasn't learned yet what you would like her to do instead to get attention.

Jumping is normal behavior for dogs (until they learn not to jump!) but not appreciated by some people. Jumping up, esp large strong dogs, can actually be dangerous, esp with small kids or people with strength/balance/mobility issues, etc. Knocking down a person like my mom who is on a blood thinner can actually have very serious consequences.

But kinda like toddlers, you got to teach dogs what you prefer.

As for jumping....

For me, if a dog is jumping up I simply say nothing, but turn around for a quick moment to let the dog know that I am not going to engage in that style. But then, when I turn back to the dog, I do ask for a sit or a touch or something easy that a dog knows how to do--- and then reward that heavily with happy praise and treats.

We spend a lot of time telling our dogs "No! Don't do this", but it works best when we tell them what we would prefer them to do. Simply saying "no" doesn't teach dogs what to do, so if you focus on teaching dogs what you want them to do, you will have great results.

I have found that doing this in a fun happy way quickly get the dog to learn that jumping up on people doesn't pay, but doing a trick or command does. The trick is to say nothing when they are jumping--no yelling or punishing voice. Don't engage in the jumping behavior with him or you will teach him that you are willing to play like this.

Also I love to reward all GOOD behavior (like laying down, sitting quiet, watching you, checking in with you on walks, etc) with praise and treats like small pieces of homemade chicken, kibble, deli turkey, cheese etc.

Teach your dog like this and soon your dog will be offering nice behavior on his own!! He won't need to "act up" to get your attention as you will be rewarding him frequently for his good actions.

If you are worried about him gaining weight from too many training rewards, you can do like I do, and give less food in your dog's bowls at meal time. Dogs loooove to earn praise and treats as they learn---- and it makes learning/training fun for both you and your dog!!
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Old 01-19-2019, 02:37 PM
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Treat her like a puppy in your training. Use treats or kibble and/or praise for good behavior. Don't forget to proof them by working her with distractions. Then start weaning her off any treats to the point where it's an unexpected but appreciated thing when it does happen.

To start getting across to her that she isn't the boss, don't put down food until she is sitting or laying down, I taught my dog 'ask' which is the same as laying down and staying (I used both to train it), just it's all in one command.

With walks, make her wait until she calms down before even leashing her up. Stop and just wait for her to calm down while giving her cold shoulder if she starts pulling. I consider four or five times enough. I had the tricky complication of teaching mine to differentiate between being hooked up to his collar which means 'behave, don't pull', and the harness which means 'work time!' That takes a lot more time as it's a confusing concept for a dog. However my parents usually put him on a leash when they take him outside if they're watching him for me, and a husky shepherd cross pulling is more than they can handle. Bonus, trips to the vet are muuuch easier.

With jumping. I found that doing an extra training session before the excitement can help reaffirm listening skills a bit, and making the pup sit or lay down when they start getting riled up like that can help remind them to calm down. They may sweep the floor or knock something over with that tail, but it's better than bowling someone over.
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