Where am i going wrong....

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Where am i going wrong....

This is a discussion on Where am i going wrong.... within the Puppy Help forums, part of the Dog Training and Behavior category; Last Sunday (14th Sept) we bought home our new puppy. 17 week old Black Labrador who we named Archie. This isn't one of those lovely ...

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Old 09-23-2014, 10:07 AM
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Where am i going wrong....

Last Sunday (14th Sept) we bought home our new puppy. 17 week old Black Labrador who we named Archie.
This isn't one of those lovely stories where the dog chose us. He was being rehomed by someone who had all manner of reasons for why they couldn't keep him. They weren't overly full of information about him either. Anyway, this wee dog needed a home so we took him in.
Archie isn't a cuddly/loving dog, he has very little interest in playing. First few nights hed happily occupy himself with toys but that seems to have withered away. We;ve bought ropes/balls/balls on ropes/kongs/rawhide/sqeeky toys but nothing seems to keep his interest for long. He won't come to us to play, we would have to instigate it & the chances are he'll leave the toy & wander off after a couple of minutes.
He LOVES food. A little too much but he will work for it.
Now, i knew having a pup wasn't going to be easy & to be honest, i rekon ive had it easier than most so far. Weve the usual biting, mouthing, stealing and eating everything in site....fine typical pup behaviour. We're lucky that he sleeps through the night in his crate & that he's not bouncing off the walls all day. If i need to stop do something, he'll go lay down!
Im no trainer & im struggling to teach him things. I know it's all to do with the way im doing it & not him but it's really frustrating me & i feel like ive not got a clue. Using the clicker & treats he will lay, give his paw & sit. Wont do it without though. The biggest thing is walks...
On a normal walk, well he walks me. I've tried the "be a tree" every time he reaches the end of the lead but he'll just sit there instead. I've called him back & used the clicker when he's reached my side & given a treat. We practised this in about 15-20 min blocks daily but still he would pull. So, i started using a slip rope & the difference was immediate - he walked so well on it my kids could walk him. He was starting to ignore other people. But today is was totally different. He kept refusing to walk. If someone walked by us he'd turn, pull towards them. So i stopped iwth my back to him & waited him out til he came back to my side which eventually he did, again click & treat - continued this for quite a while, then stepped forward & that was it, he refused point blank to move. He stood there iwth his head bowed down, tail between legs & would not shift. I called him to me, nothing. I tried pulling him gently; nothing. So i turned round & came home & he walked the entire way no problem. Feel like we'd taken one step forward only to take 3 back. I know he's not been with us long but i'm finding walks very frustrating (to the point of tears).
We've also a separation between Archie and the cats. My cats are 12,13 &14 yrs old. They've given him a couple of their claws already. Ive no worries about Archie hurting them, he seems naturally curious & playful (theyre not) but now the cats wont come downstairs as the dog will chase them back up. Weve a stair gate up so he'll leave them alone but i can see it reaching a point where the cats live upstairs & the dog down which isn't ideal. I'm probably over thinking & over worrying but i really want to do my best by Archie & help him become a gentle sociable dog....
Any help/advice will certainly be taken on board.
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Old 09-23-2014, 10:25 AM
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Practice the loose leash walking inside and in your yard/garden, if you have one. Dogs find our pace on walks hellishly slow and boring. Expecting it to happen in a short time period, with distractions is usually not successful. Make sure he understands what is getting rewarded. The second you have slack in the lead, click and treat. Don't wait for him to come back to you. Working on attention building skills will help. Again, do these inside, with no distractions.

There are tons of good articles and videos on the subject of loose leash walking and teaching a dog to focus on you in the training and behavior stickies section. One thing I've found is that teaching a nice heel position, off lead, helps tremendously. Naturally you do this in a secure place that is safe for him to be off lead and start in low distraction settings.
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Old 09-23-2014, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Emze17 View Post
Last Sunday (14th Sept) we bought home our new puppy. 17 week old Black Labrador who we named Archie.
This isn't one of those lovely stories where the dog chose us. He was being rehomed by someone who had all manner of reasons for why they couldn't keep him. They weren't overly full of information about him either. Anyway, this wee dog needed a home so we took him in.
Archie isn't a cuddly/loving dog, he has very little interest in playing. First few nights hed happily occupy himself with toys but that seems to have withered away. We;ve bought ropes/balls/balls on ropes/kongs/rawhide/sqeeky toys but nothing seems to keep his interest for long. He won't come to us to play, we would have to instigate it & the chances are he'll leave the toy & wander off after a couple of minutes.
He LOVES food. A little too much but he will work for it.
Now, i knew having a pup wasn't going to be easy & to be honest, i rekon ive had it easier than most so far. Weve the usual biting, mouthing, stealing and eating everything in site....fine typical pup behaviour. We're lucky that he sleeps through the night in his crate & that he's not bouncing off the walls all day. If i need to stop do something, he'll go lay down!
Im no trainer & im struggling to teach him things. I know it's all to do with the way im doing it & not him but it's really frustrating me & i feel like ive not got a clue. Using the clicker & treats he will lay, give his paw & sit. Wont do it without though. The biggest thing is walks...
On a normal walk, well he walks me. I've tried the "be a tree" every time he reaches the end of the lead but he'll just sit there instead. I've called him back & used the clicker when he's reached my side & given a treat. We practised this in about 15-20 min blocks daily but still he would pull. So, i started using a slip rope & the difference was immediate - he walked so well on it my kids could walk him. He was starting to ignore other people. But today is was totally different. He kept refusing to walk. If someone walked by us he'd turn, pull towards them. So i stopped iwth my back to him & waited him out til he came back to my side which eventually he did, again click & treat - continued this for quite a while, then stepped forward & that was it, he refused point blank to move. He stood there iwth his head bowed down, tail between legs & would not shift. I called him to me, nothing. I tried pulling him gently; nothing. So i turned round & came home & he walked the entire way no problem. Feel like we'd taken one step forward only to take 3 back. I know he's not been with us long but i'm finding walks very frustrating (to the point of tears).
We've also a separation between Archie and the cats. My cats are 12,13 &14 yrs old. They've given him a couple of their claws already. Ive no worries about Archie hurting them, he seems naturally curious & playful (theyre not) but now the cats wont come downstairs as the dog will chase them back up. Weve a stair gate up so he'll leave them alone but i can see it reaching a point where the cats live upstairs & the dog down which isn't ideal. I'm probably over thinking & over worrying but i really want to do my best by Archie & help him become a gentle sociable dog....
Any help/advice will certainly be taken on board.
Oh dear, please, please, please, take off that slip lead. You are teaching him that people, cats, and other things, cause bad things to happen to him and it will set him up to be a fearful, potentially reactive, dog. Imagine if you adopted a 4 year old child (that's about how old Archie is in human years), had him for a week, and every time he got excited and happy about seeing a dog and pulled towards it you jerked him back, how do you think he'd start to feel about dogs. Dogs are bad, dogs are causing bad things to happen to me.

Like I said, he's around 4 in human years, his attention span is very short, and he's in a new home with people he doesn't know and may not feel he can trust yet. You want to keep everything positive with him as much as possible. He'll start to show his true personality in the coming weeks, right now he's still adjusting.

For your training check out this thread, it'll help you use treats correctly https://www.dogforum.com/training-beh...ing-food-1219/ , what you are doing is bribing and what you want to do is reward, yep there's a difference. A bribe the dog needs to see in order to perform the command. A reward is like a pay check, they don't need to see it, that they know they are going to get for a job well done. A clicker or marker word helps communicate that the reward is coming.

His refusing to walk on that slip lead tells me a lot. It tells me that he's learned that walking on it is uncomfortable and he no longer wants to walk, it sounds like he's learning that walking = bad things happening to him. Smart pup, would you want to go on a walk if you randomly got choked? That's what he thinks is happening to him. If his pulling is a huge problem try one of the easy walk, no pull, harnesses. It won't cause him discomfort like a slip lead will, and it will lessen the pulling BUT you still need to work on leash manners. Keep in mind that to him going on a walk is like a small child going to Toys R Us, it's really hard to for him to even remember that he's supposed to be next to you, he just wants to run, see, and smell everything.

You have to start training leash manners inside first, where he's not distracted, once he's consistent inside then move to a boring place outside and practice there, once he's good there move somewhere with a bit more distractions, keep doing that till he's good at walking where ever you are. Leash manners take a while to teach, so don't expect instant results!

Don't let him chase the cats, that behavior is self reinforcing, he learns that it's fun to chase the cats so he keeps doing it. You'll have to work with both the cats and the dogs. Give the cats plenty of places to get up out of reach of Archie. Play and tire Archie out so he's less likely to chase the cats, and keep him on leash when the cats are downstairs so that he cannot chase them, then play LAT Look At That with him. Have him look at the cats, then look back at you for a treat, reward him for sitting calmly when the cats move around. Distract him with a toy when he looks like he's wanting to chase them, and if he still goes after them put him in his crate with a nice chew. Also check out this thread https://www.dogforum.com/training-beh...ts-dogs-23536/
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Old 09-23-2014, 12:03 PM
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Consider the lead gone. Ill stick to short but frequent walks in the garden or out front until we've mastered slack leash. He is an incredibly smart dog and i know ive probably come across as wanting everything yesterday but that's not the case, i know these things take time. I remember my uncle once telling me that training a dog lasts a life time. I just want to do it right for all our sakes. Ive seen how the best intentions can actually cause problems.

Thank you for the links also, i will take a very good look through them. Ive spent a long time watching videos on training and behaviours but i find many of them conflicting. I'm more than willing to put the time and effort in with him, he's an amazing little thing
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Old 09-23-2014, 12:33 PM
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Consider the lead gone. Ill stick to short but frequent walks in the garden or out front until we've mastered slack leash. He is an incredibly smart dog and i know ive probably come across as wanting everything yesterday but that's not the case, i know these things take time. I remember my uncle once telling me that training a dog lasts a life time. I just want to do it right for all our sakes. Ive seen how the best intentions can actually cause problems.

Thank you for the links also, i will take a very good look through them. Ive spent a long time watching videos on training and behaviours but i find many of them conflicting. I'm more than willing to put the time and effort in with him, he's an amazing little thing

I do know how incredibly frustrating being pulled around on walks can be, right now I'm working with my dog leash manners and at times I'm fighting the urge to just pick him up and move him since he's only 10 lbs and is refusing to go in the direction I want to , and I want the problem fixed yesterday LOL. I'd be tempted to try a slip lead on him if I hadn't learned the dangers of them, in the past I did try one on one of my dogs. He never became afraid of walks he was simply willing to choke the life out of himself to get to what he wanted

Check out Kikopup, or tab289, on Youtube, we have some of their youtubes posted here https://www.dogforum.com/training-beh...rticles-11426/ , they're some of the best and use positive reinforcement methods.
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Old 09-23-2014, 01:13 PM
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For your kids, I'd recommend picking up a front-buckle harness. While they won't 'teach' a dog to walk properly for you, they are awesome equipment for the interim, especially for kids and frailer people. I have actually gotten one for a client of mine while I taught their dog to walk loose-leash and they are really liking it; they have actually for the first time in months been able to take their dog for walks without getting pulled clear off their feet. I even borrow it from time to time when I'm polishing off her skills in high-distraction situations, such as obedience class. Our training school is nuts about them. Give them a shot.
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Old 09-27-2014, 01:26 PM
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Since you are already using a clicker try one of these. Kikopup is the best.
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...2002EA4B90960A
The freedom harness worker well for us
http://www.freedomnopullharness.com
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