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Peanut/Chug 6 years, Sashura/CollieX 7 months
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a six month old Golden Pyrenees and so far she's pretty well behaved but I'm having some trouble with training her:

Duchess does well with letting me know when she needs to go outside and she sleeps through most of the night without bothering me. However, although she sits well she does play the 'deaf dog' act that the Great Pyrenees breed is often associated with.

For example, I've been trying to train her to stay (I read somewhere that you should train puppies to sit, stay and come, and then lay down) but when I do she ignores me completely and its rather discouraging.

Some days I just want to lock her in her crate and pretend she doesn't exist I get so frustrated! (Don't worry I don't.)

Any tips on how to remain patient and calm with her during these trying trials?
 

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What techniques are you using to teach these commands? Are you using rewards? What kinds? How long do your training sessions run?
 

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Peanut/Chug 6 years, Sashura/CollieX 7 months
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, I've been using rewards. She gets a treat and praise when she gets a command. As for how long, they run about 15 minutes.
 

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There could be a number of things going on making your training less effective and frustrating:
- The treats and praise you're using might not be reinforcing enough. Do you use high value treats like real meat or cheese? There will be something your dog goes crazy over, try and find it!

- Alternately, she might not be terribly food motivated. You could try using tug or fetch games as rewards, and see if that makes her more motivated to train.

- You might be raising the criteria of your training too quickly. Stays and downs especially are quite difficult to build duration into, so make sure you're only increasing the difficulty gradually, and don't progressively make the training harder and harder. Throw in a few easy short tries that the dog will definitely be able to do, to keep them motivated. Only move on with difficulty when the dog can do it 8 or 9 times out of 10.

- Dogs don't generalise well. You might think that she has learned what "sit" means and should be able to do it whenever you command, but she has only learned it in the living room where you do your sessions. Make sure you proof behaviours by training them in lots of different positions and locations so that she knows that sit means sit, whatever the context.

- Do you use a clicker? Being able to accurately mark correct behaviours and precise times makes training much more efficient. It takes a bit of practice to get coordinated with it but it's worth it. The click can become motivating for the dog in itself, too.

- 15 minutes is quite a long session, especially if you're getting frustrated! Try doing a few 5 minute ones throughout the day, and start and end on a good note with something she finds easy and fun.

The Kikopup youtube channel has a video guide for training just about anything you can think of, and also will give you a bit more info on clicker training. Use the search function to find the specific thing you want to train. I highly recommend it!
https://www.youtube.com/user/kikopup

I'd also recommend Sue Ailsby's training levels, which have a comprehensive list of behaviours divided into levels by difficulty and include detailed methods of training them. Having that kind of structure and guidance is really really helpful. I know some people here use the updated version which you have to pay for, but the old version is available for free and is still really good. Here's the link:
Training Levels (originals)
 

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I feel like... when it comes right down to it; training and owning a dog in general takes an abundance of patience! Sure, the techniques you're using may need to be tweaked but over all going through that process still requires patience. I get frustrated really easily, and if training isn't going well I have to take a breather and just stop. If we're doing LLW practice and having bad day, I cut the walk short so I don't get too mad at Chewy. It's really hard sometimes to not freak out on this dog, lol. Another thing I do to calm myself down is stop what we're doing and I'll sit calmly (and usually he goes off to do dog-stuff on his own) and look at Chewy pictures on my phone. Somehow... this reinforces the fact that I DO love this knucklehead, despite wanting to strangle him. I shake it off (calming signal!) and go back into the ring open minded and wanting to hug him.
 
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I strongly recommend the ASPCA Virtual Pet Behaviorist as a go-to reference for training. Link is in my sig. There was a time when I literally dreaded walking a dog I look after, but I was actually able to provide the (extensive!) training she needed by referring to the ASPCA. It's a beautifully laid-out site; you basically pick your dog's problem out from the index and click to learn how to solve it!
 

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Peanut/Chug 6 years, Sashura/CollieX 7 months
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks everyone, I will definitely check out the ASPCA site and those YouTube videos and we'll find something that works. Lab4Life, I'll try the picture thing too!
 
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