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my Boston Terrier Evie is just about to hit six months. She did a basic obedience class from 3-4 months and was really great- she responded quickly to commands she knew and learned things within a few minutes. It was just her and 1 other puppy; the other pup was always wanting to play with her and was very vocal and yappy but Evie tuned it out and listened well to me.

Now she's starting to ignore commands I know she knows. I usually need to show her that I have treats before she'll even consider doing anything I ask.

I've started asking her to sit before I throw toys. She will sometimes take up to a full minute to do it- the entire time staring at me dead in the eyes.

If I ask her to stay (not during playtime, during training sessions with treats), I swear to god she understands what I want but she will instantly duck her head and play bow and dance and prance around looking for a toy.

I've had another Boston Terrier (now deceased) and a lab/maybe border collie/mutt (still with us) before this one. The first Boston was pretty untrained- she was housebroken and would sit and come and sometimes lie down but usually you needed to show her you had food before she would do anything. My lab mix pretty much trained herself- she's really smart and could know a lot more except that she is super vocal and barks whenever you try to work with her which makes it really annoying and my parents would put in 0 effort to have her retain what she knows once I move again (she's their dog, me and my pup have been living at home for a few months, but hopefully moving in 2-4 weeks) so I don't bother to work with her. The lab knows sit, down, stay, come, speak, touch (target command, touch nose to two outstretched fingers) and is a champ at loose leash walking/will respond to voice commands and walk at heel off leash in not too distracting areas most of the time.

Evie knows sit (with hand signal and voice, sometimes just with voice), down (with hand signal and voice), come, sort of knows 'touch', knows 'leave it' but will weirdly run away from whatever I have put on the ground for her to 'leave', usually will 'drop it', has grasped the concept of fetch (ie, ball must be returned to human nicely or the game can't continue, something the 6yr old lab still doesn't understand), like I said I'm convinced she understands 'stay' but chooses to ignore it (if I continue eye contact she will usually stay, if I look away she thinks we're starting a game). We're working on 'up' (right now if she lifts her front feet off the group she gets rewarded, eventually I want her to actually jump in the air) and 'spin' (this is hard with her because for some reason she isn't good at luring with treats, she gets overwhelmed and sometimes will just try to offer things she knows, usually down).

Is this a miscommunication on my part? is it something puppies go through or am I maybe expecting too much of her age (ie, reacting instantly to what I ask)? It just seems like she's lost the part that wants to please and just wants to play her own way now...
 

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try training with a leash on for a few weeks, it makes it easier to make the dog do what your asking because they cant run away. its really important to make the dog do what you ask of them the first time you say it (ie don't repeat a command... say it once then if they dont do it put them into a sit or whatever you asked manually). so if you arent 100% confident that she will do what you ask of her, keep the leash on.

Personally im not a fan of showing treats before asking for a command. I usually say the command then once the behaviour is performed then give the treat from a pocket or treat pouch. this way they are doing the behaviour more to please you rather than to simply get a treat reward. you can also use verbal praise or petting some of the time if this works for your dog... but it really depends on the dogs personality.

how long are your training sessions? you need to make them fun for the dog, make sure they don't get bored, and always end on a good note (for this i do a "jackpot" reward"-see below). Each dog has a different attention span, so watch for signs of boredom.

jakpot reward: when a dog does the behaviour exactly as asked without hesitation i usually give 2-3 treats followed by a game of tug or lots of pets (or whatever you dog really loves), then end the training session on a good note.
 
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