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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Most trainers I know of have breeds that are traditionally very handler oriented and eager to learn and work. These include herders, especially border collies and Australian shepherds; German shepherds; Belgian Malinois; Labrador retrievers; etc. Whenever I look up training videos on youtube it's usually with those breeds of dogs.
Mia was kind of similar to these breeds too- she's a poodle cocker spaniel mix and even if I hadn't trained her to do something, if I communicated to her to do something she would try to figure out what I want and do it. She's so well behaved everyone thought I was an amazing dog trainer, but it was really all her. I'd watch a training video or read a book and then train Mia and she would do exactly what it had said the dog would do if you followed the steps. Delilah on the other hand, even if she knows what I want her to do, she won't necessarily do it because she thinks that what she wants is more important than what I want. She's all terrier, very sassy and willful, she definitely has her own agenda.

Unfortunately e-collar training and balanced training is really disgustingly popular in my area. Whenever I ask someone with like, a terrier or husky or something what they do, they always say they can't trust their dog off leash because of its breed and so they use an e-collar.

So, people with difficult breeds and/or individual dogs, tell me your training success stories! Or tell me about trainers you like that work more with independent dogs such as hounds, terriers, huskies, Asian breeds, etc. Or recommend some books, videos, articles.
My trainer said I should read "Control Unleashed" so that's on the reading list right now but it'll be a few weeks before I have money to spend on books. I also had a book I got on sale used for like a buck called "Training the Hard-To-Train Dog." It's kind of weird because it's all positive reinforcement but talks a lot about dominance so I'm not sure what to make of it.

I'm very interested in having a well behaved terrier and also in hearing from others about struggles and successes with training in general. Delilah has some behavioral issues and I also hope to compete in a couple of sports with her. I'm finding motivating her to listen to me is difficult- if she doesn't know I have a treat or a toy she loses focus very quickly.
 

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I'm one of those people who owns two handler-driven breeds, so I often joke around that I'm a lazy trainer and my dogs make me look good. ;)

However, I'm currently helping my friend train her English Mastiff, and I help my sister with her two Mini Dachshunds. I'm having MUCH higher success with the Mastiff, simply because my sister doesn't follow through. :p

With Sasha, one of her big problems was springing out of position. You'd ask for a sit, and she would drop her butt, then instantly spring up. She wasn't crazy for any of the treats I'd been using, but just the other day, I found her ultimate treat: CHEESE! She goes absolutely crazy for it. She is definitely still a work in progress, but she's able to hold her sits for longer, and without a treat in my hand. Patience, patience, patience.

Also, I literally (like 10 minutes ago) just bought the Control Unleashed Puppy Program, so I will let you know what I think of that. :)
 
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The breed I own could be counted as "more independent" than the average go-to "trainer's dog." He's doing well, but it took persistence and yes, I absolutely think that many professional trainers would have given up on teaching him certain behaviors or underestimated his intelligence because they weren't used to his orientation.

You might like the book When Pigs Fly: Training Success With Impossible Dogs by Jane Killion, but I'll bet you've already heard of it.

Otherwise... Kyra Sundance has Weimaraners, and that's basically the one big appeal she has for me (because she's so darned gaudy otherwise, hehe). If you start branching out/using more trainers for specific skills, try favoring the all-breed trainer over a trainer that has Border Collie/herder tunnel vision. I've used certified trainers used to more handler-oriented breeds who, while they were nonetheless very helpful, demurred to handle my dog during sessions when they would have with other dogs because it was clear I could do a better job there. (Mind you that has not always been the case, either, but enough to be noticeable.)

Honestly, I think that even if I get a more handler focused breed in the future I will very likely always retain my preference for trainers that don't solely or primarily train high biddability breeds. A trainer that can train an Ovcharka to do 50% of the "trick" behaviors most trainers can do with an Aussie, ACD, etc. is probably well above average.
 

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I sympathize with that. I used to have dogs that were very, very awesome but also very, very easy (herders, mainly, and one Lab/BC mix). I made the mistake of being too judgmental, I think, of people who had difficult to control dogs because I would think, "if they'd only do X their dog would behave".

Then I got Chisum and it all changed. Seriously, he's like my karma.

Now I kind of hate people with super-easy dogs who preach about reactivity or challenging behaviors. Tell me how you've experienced it firsthand and dealt with it, otherwise just go away.

I also have a Terrier mix who isn't reactive (she kinda-sorta used to be, but not anymore) but is so sensitive in addition to being a bit hard-headed and stubborn. I walk a thin line between making sure she's not stressed in training - she's very serious and gets easily frustrated to the point of giving up - and noticing when she knows exactly what I want her to do and just doesn't feel like it.

My Chisum isn't much better - he's more fun to work with because he's an eager learner, especially if I have treats, but it's hard to keep his focus without food because he's a young, energetic, boy. He's all act-first-think-later, which doesn't help his reactivity in the least.

I've learned, personally, to take things slow and adjust my expectations. I almost hate training because I get easily overwhelmed/frustrated myself. So, I try to make it just one big game. Focus on the really great things that happen, shrug your shoulders when something goes wrong - we'll try again a different day.

I love the other answers, and @Liminal - that book looks great - I'll have to give it a read!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm one of those people who owns two handler-driven breeds, so I often joke around that I'm a lazy trainer and my dogs make me look good. ;)
Lol people with herders are anything but lazy! But I know what you mean because Mia's like that xD

However, I'm currently helping my friend train her English Mastiff, and I help my sister with her two Mini Dachshunds. I'm having MUCH higher success with the Mastiff, simply because my sister doesn't follow through. :p

With Sasha, one of her big problems was springing out of position. You'd ask for a sit, and she would drop her butt, then instantly spring up. She wasn't crazy for any of the treats I'd been using, but just the other day, I found her ultimate treat: CHEESE! She goes absolutely crazy for it. She is definitely still a work in progress, but she's able to hold her sits for longer, and without a treat in my hand. Patience, patience, patience.

Also, I literally (like 10 minutes ago) just bought the Control Unleashed Puppy Program, so I will let you know what I think of that. :)
Definitely let me know about Control Unleashed! From what I've heard about it, it sounds like a good program and I'll probably end up buying the book at some point.

Delilah has the same problem with popping up- more so in downs than in sits. I noticed when she's in a down-stay, each time I take a step back she raises herself a tiny little bit off the ground. And she doesn't really "sit up," she just lifts her head but she's so small her whole front end comes up with it. I think she's trying to watch my face as I back up. So we've been doing a ton of work with down and she's been getting better about it. I also have to be careful about having her stay for too long because she's very impulsive and gets distracted easily, so we have to work that up very slowly.

The breed I own could be counted as "more independent" than the average go-to "trainer's dog." He's doing well, but it took persistence and yes, I absolutely think that many professional trainers would have given up on teaching him certain behaviors or underestimated his intelligence because they weren't used to his orientation.

You might like the book When Pigs Fly: Training Success With Impossible Dogs by Jane Killion, but I'll bet you've already heard of it.

Otherwise... Kyra Sundance has Weimaraners, and that's basically the one big appeal she has for me (because she's so darned gaudy otherwise, hehe). If you start branching out/using more trainers for specific skills, try favoring the all-breed trainer over a trainer that has Border Collie/herder tunnel vision. I've used certified trainers used to more handler-oriented breeds who, while they were nonetheless very helpful, demurred to handle my dog during sessions when they would have with other dogs because it was clear I could do a better job there. (Mind you that has not always been the case, either, but enough to be noticeable.)

Honestly, I think that even if I get a more handler focused breed in the future I will very likely always retain my preference for trainers that don't solely or primarily train high biddability breeds. A trainer that can train an Ovcharka to do 50% of the "trick" behaviors most trainers can do with an Aussie, ACD, etc. is probably well above average.
I get what you're saying about trainers. Luckily the facility I go to, there are a few different trainers with different experience. Even the one who only owns border collies, she's fostered a variety of different rescue dogs, so she has experience with different breeds as well. But that's something I've noticed with some of the trainers I've seen on youtube or I've met in real life. There are some specialize in biddable breeds and have taught those dogs amazing things but don't know where to start with a more independent dog.

I've heard of that book but I haven't read it, I will definitely add it to the list! Thanks! I also have one of Kyra Sundance's Trick Training books, I know what you mean about her being "gaudy."

I sympathize with that. I used to have dogs that were very, very awesome but also very, very easy (herders, mainly, and one Lab/BC mix). I made the mistake of being too judgmental, I think, of people who had difficult to control dogs because I would think, "if they'd only do X their dog would behave".

Then I got Chisum and it all changed. Seriously, he's like my karma.

Now I kind of hate people with super-easy dogs who preach about reactivity or challenging behaviors. Tell me how you've experienced it firsthand and dealt with it, otherwise just go away.

I also have a Terrier mix who isn't reactive (she kinda-sorta used to be, but not anymore) but is so sensitive in addition to being a bit hard-headed and stubborn. I walk a thin line between making sure she's not stressed in training - she's very serious and gets easily frustrated to the point of giving up - and noticing when she knows exactly what I want her to do and just doesn't feel like it.

My Chisum isn't much better - he's more fun to work with because he's an eager learner, especially if I have treats, but it's hard to keep his focus without food because he's a young, energetic, boy. He's all act-first-think-later, which doesn't help his reactivity in the least.

I've learned, personally, to take things slow and adjust my expectations. I almost hate training because I get easily overwhelmed/frustrated myself. So, I try to make it just one big game. Focus on the really great things that happen, shrug your shoulders when something goes wrong - we'll try again a different day.
I can relate to this- especially with the last paragraph. That's great advice. I'd get overwhelmed in our training class sometimes. Most of the other students had young labs or goldens. Once one of the trainers was answering questions about problems we've been having at home and the other owners were like "My dog's so friendly, he just jumps all over people!" And I was thinking "I wish that was the only problem I had with my dog!" while she was yapping her little head off at everyone in class.

I knew having a terrier would be difficult, and having a rescue dog would be difficult, but it was a huge shock for me going from having a dog like Mia to having a dog like Delilah. It's good though, I think I'm going to become a better trainer learning how to work with the little monster.
 

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Jane Killion's book is a great recommendation! She trains bull terriers, btw.

Denise Fenzi (Denise Fenzi | a professional dog trainer specializing in relationship-building in competitive dog sport teams) has trained a bunch of Belgian Tervurens, but last year also adopted a one-year-old chihuahua mix and is teaching him the same level of obedience-related behaviors. Her blog has lots of videos of him, so you can see him go from "huh, what? oh look, a blade of grass that needs sniffing" to a pretty enthusiastic little obedience dog (search for "Brito"). She has a ton of great stuff about building motivation, drive, enthusiasm, engagement, and all that stuff, even with dogs that may be less-easy-to-motivate than some!

Off the top of my head...Nicole Wilde favors northern breed type dogs (her background is with wolf-dogs, but her current dogs are husky-type mixes); Patricia McConnell has had lots of border collies, but also great pyrenees and currently a cavalier king charles spaniel; Kathy Sdao and Grisha Stewart have gorgeous mystery mutts. All great trainers and good writers too :p

My experience is that every dog we have challenges us in some new way. Hopefully, in some new way that is survivable!! Trying to figure out a more complex dog can be tricky, but I think can lead to an incredibly rich relationship.
 

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I find Doppler pretty responsive to training, too. Terriers are great because you can motivate them with their own prey drive.

A lot of training is just learning what motivates your dog. If they're particularly unmotivated (we all know they type ;)) then creating motivation through controlled use of food, etc is really useful. Everyone wants something, you just have to figure out what that is and then start with what comes at you.
 

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Now I kind of hate people with super-easy dogs who preach about reactivity or challenging behaviors. Tell me how you've experienced it firsthand and dealt with it, otherwise just go away.
:p Just popping in to say thank you for this. LOL

It’s very easy to be judgmental of people with a truly reactive/fearful/aggressive dog until you have the experience of owning said dog.

I unfortunately don't have book recommendations, but what about some online articles? If you follow the links, there are a ton more links. http://www.patriciamcconnell.com/solving-behavior-problems
 

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Skipper is a hard dog to train because he is so durned distractable. And when something distracts him, nothing is going to get him to come back over to you for training (off-leash). He couldn't hold a down-stay for longer than two seconds until he was 12 months old. He still can't do a sit-stay and may never be able to. A sit is just so easy to get up from, lol.
Switching up his treats during a session really helps. It keeps his brain working--"Which one will I get next?".
I'll straight up admit that I had a sort of discussion with myself several months ago where I pretty much said "You know what, if he never gets trained, if he's this way his whole life and I can never do agility, or nosework, or any of the other things I've dreamed of doing with him, I'll still be fine. We'll do terrier racing or something. I'll keep him leashed on our hikes, and it'll be fine."
So after that moment, whenever I started to get frustrated in a training session I just ended it. I had started to honestly hate our training sessions--I know, le gasp, horrible owner, goshawful trainer to say that! But it was true. Giving myself permission not to train helped fix that. I put less pressure on myself, and so less pressure on Skipper.

Turns out, things are getting better, although it's always a dance of two steps forward, one step back, progress is being made.

I let him cuddle with me a lot, and consider that our bonding time more than training. If I try to feel bonded during training, I end up frustrated that he so frequently gives me the doggy version of the finger. Training with Quenya was our primary bonding activity so although it sounds simple this was a HUGE part of it. I'd feel disconnected and angry with my dog simply because training wasn't going well. In Skip's mind though, we were great--I was anthropomorphizing, taking his "rebellion" personally. Once I realized that and stopped, that made things better too.

So, that whole novel to say, my biggest focus when training my difficult dog is to put as minimal amount of expectations and pressure on the dog and myself as possible. For us, that has really paid off.
 

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My beagle/rott mix can be very independent and hard to keep her attention. When she's thinking about it, she wants to stay with me and she's very smart. But when that beagle nose goes to work, everything else vanishes and I cease to exist.

The biggest thing with her has been bonding time. She was initially very hard to bond with, because she wants to go go go go all the time. Now she wants her cuddle time every night and gets upset if she doesn't get it. Off leash has been the toughest to conquer, she tries her hardest to listen, but the hunting instincts are hard to overcome. The more we've bonded, the better it's been because she's more worried about staying with me. I still struggle at times with her, but she's gotten pretty good overall.

I also agree with others that finding trainers that train more independent dogs is a good idea. I'm much more impressed by them than one that trains the 'easier' breeds.
 

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A whole LOT of training aches is motivation. If the motivation isn't there, they are going to ask "Why" or "What's in it for me" more and more often. A lot of it has to do also with consistency and structure. The more "stubborn" or "independent" the dog, the more structure and consistency will be required.
 

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Even though border collies seem easy, they honestly aren't. It's a huge myth that drives me bonkers. It's one that even I learned the hard way after I got one. They're not comparable to labs by any means.

They are VERY flashy and showy and focused. And they learn things in a matter of seconds. And yes, they make things look easy. But their brain is so active that they are prone to getting superstitious trying to predict what you're going to ask. It's honestly on the verge of being neurotic. Total over achievers. They pick up on cues you don't mean them to. Cues you aren't even aware that you're giving. It can be your toe twitching. Or you taking a breath right before you say something. They see those subtle behaviors and they try to assign meaning to it. It can be very frustrating trying to isolate the cue you want to the behavior.

They also DO generalize. But sometimes they don't. It often depends on which is more convenient for them. They will take shortcuts and cut corners. You can train a behavior one way, and they are completely capable of finding different means to the same end.

It's honestly exhausting sometimes. And training a "difficult" dog like a husky would be a break because I can focus on motivating the dog instead of trying to stay one step ahead of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
A whole LOT of training aches is motivation. If the motivation isn't there, they are going to ask "Why" or "What's in it for me" more and more often. A lot of it has to do also with consistency and structure. The more "stubborn" or "independent" the dog, the more structure and consistency will be required.
Can you specify what you mean by structure? Like structure to their daily schedule, structure to a training session, or what?

Skipper is a hard dog to train because he is so durned distractable. And when something distracts him, nothing is going to get him to come back over to you for training (off-leash). He couldn't hold a down-stay for longer than two seconds until he was 12 months old. He still can't do a sit-stay and may never be able to. A sit is just so easy to get up from, lol.
Switching up his treats during a session really helps. It keeps his brain working--"Which one will I get next?".
I'll straight up admit that I had a sort of discussion with myself several months ago where I pretty much said "You know what, if he never gets trained, if he's this way his whole life and I can never do agility, or nosework, or any of the other things I've dreamed of doing with him, I'll still be fine. We'll do terrier racing or something. I'll keep him leashed on our hikes, and it'll be fine."
So after that moment, whenever I started to get frustrated in a training session I just ended it. I had started to honestly hate our training sessions--I know, le gasp, horrible owner, goshawful trainer to say that! But it was true. Giving myself permission not to train helped fix that. I put less pressure on myself, and so less pressure on Skipper.

Turns out, things are getting better, although it's always a dance of two steps forward, one step back, progress is being made.

I let him cuddle with me a lot, and consider that our bonding time more than training. If I try to feel bonded during training, I end up frustrated that he so frequently gives me the doggy version of the finger. Training with Quenya was our primary bonding activity so although it sounds simple this was a HUGE part of it. I'd feel disconnected and angry with my dog simply because training wasn't going well. In Skip's mind though, we were great--I was anthropomorphizing, taking his "rebellion" personally. Once I realized that and stopped, that made things better too.

So, that whole novel to say, my biggest focus when training my difficult dog is to put as minimal amount of expectations and pressure on the dog and myself as possible. For us, that has really paid off.
Thanks, that's really helpful and reminds me a little of Delilah. Mia and I did a lot of training and that played a big part in our bond so I guess I was kind of expecting that with Delilah too. I also need to remember that I've been training Mia for 11 years and I've only had Delilah for 4 months, so maybe someday she'll be as well behaved as Mia. Maybe. What you're saying about training Skipper and how you realized you need to put less pressure on yourself and on him reminds me of what PoppyKenna said too.

Even though border collies seem easy, they honestly aren't. It's a huge myth that drives me bonkers. It's one that even I learned the hard way after I got one. They're not comparable to labs by any means.

They are VERY flashy and showy and focused. And they learn things in a matter of seconds. And yes, they make things look easy. But their brain is so active that they are prone to getting superstitious trying to predict what you're going to ask. It's honestly on the verge of being neurotic. Total over achievers. They pick up on cues you don't mean them to. Cues you aren't even aware that you're giving. It can be your toe twitching. Or you taking a breath right before you say something. They see those subtle behaviors and they try to assign meaning to it. It can be very frustrating trying to isolate the cue you want to the behavior.

They also DO generalize. But sometimes they don't. It often depends on which is more convenient for them. They will take shortcuts and cut corners. You can train a behavior one way, and they are completely capable of finding different means to the same end.

It's honestly exhausting sometimes. And training a "difficult" dog like a husky would be a break because I can focus on motivating the dog instead of trying to stay one step ahead of it.
Oh, I didn't mean that they don't have their own difficulties, I just meant that they're typically very responsive to training. I was listing breeds that trainers prefer when they are looking for a sports or working dog in part because of that trait. I'm just interested in training advice for dogs that are more independent. It's like I said- I'll go to youtube and Zak George or Emily Larlham will demonstrate a trick or skill with a border collie and that dog gets it right away. Mia got it right away. Delilah for some reason doesn't, whether that's due to a lack of focus or motivation or interest. Or she'll get part of it and then get too bored or frustrated to learn the rest right away. Obviously part of the problem is me as a trainer not knowing how to work with a dog like this, this is new for me. I'm starting to get it, but sometimes it's frustrating.



Computer is about to die, but I'll try to respond to some other comments later.
 

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I have a terrier/corgi who is very hard headed and independent. No amount of positive reinforcement when we first got him would have gotten him as far as he is now. He was trained primarily with chokers and dominance, which worked very well with him. It has gotten us far in advanced obedience and agility. It was frustratingly hard to get his attention but with a little nudge he soon worked with me, happily and motivated.
My Belgian on the other hand is extremely sensitive. The slightest touch on the leash or the quietest command will immediately get her attention. She is very motivated, and it doesn't take much to get her into an activity. If I do not keep up with her speed of learning though, she will easily get bored and wander off to find something else to do.
 

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I have reread my post and decided what I said came out a bit wrong. Yes, we did use treats and encouragement to train our dog. We did not abuse him with the choker, it was simply a tool to keep him from getting distracted to much. We no longer use the chain, but instead use a well fitted martingale.
I was trying to make the point of how different breeds need different training.
 

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With my Mastiff, I have found doing exercises to increase prey drive and focus (pushing and tug) and eye contact (hold the treat with out-stretched arm and once he looks at me and not the treat he gets the treat and praise) have helped tremendously with his focus on me as his handler. He has always had good recall, but he now heels like a Malinois! He was also too interested in other dogs while on walks, and now he is able to focus on me even with a dog off leash running up to him, which is a huge improvement. He no longer pulls on the leash and he does as he is told more quickly than he used to and pretty much on the first request (big deal for a Mastiff), so for me we have gotten to the core of issue with these simple things, and I haven't had to concentrate on one thing at a time or use desensitization techniques.

I should add he has never been a problem dog, ie no behavioral issues like SA, addiction to owner, aggression etc, he just needed some tweaking, because I didn't get it quite right when he was a puppy, but he was a very quick fix.
 

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I think my dogs both were in the middle... they were not the easiest to train, but they were also not extremely difficult. With them it's more like training doesn't stop. Even basic behaviour has to be practised again from time to time, to make sure they still know what to do.

Both don't do commands "just because".
i think they are very sensitive when it comes to the mood of their handler.
If they felt that I wasn't paying attention or didn't mean it, they wouldn't do it.
but when they understood that what I wanted and understood that I really wanted them to do that and that I obviously have some kind of reason, then they were actually quite easy to control and train.

with Teo, Boxer, we were in a dog school for a while, but the dogs there were all much smaller or they were retrievers... the problems these people had were different from ours and the we couldn't get along with the dog humans (they didn't take teenage girls serious).
When sancho was fresh in the family (around 6-8 months) we were in a dog school that was lead by a policeman with several Dobermans. He had a very clear bodylanguage around the animals and was working with an abort command ( the cue translated to "what a pity!") and +R.
I liked him as a trainer, but he had a very classical approach that was fit for protection and police work, which didn't fit together with how I work with Sancho and what I need the dog to do.
we stopped going after a basic obedience lessons. We weren't interested in dog sports and we then found out that Sancho had severe HD.
 

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I have a dog who`s breed description reads:

The Greek Sheepdog is a strong willed dog that can be extremely hard to handle.

And it`s true to an extent. She will ALWAYS evaluate before following a command. If something else is more important, she will do that. It hasn`t been impossible - we went through CO class but I did have to do more work to keep her motivated than others there. She`s very independent and has a mind of her own... she does not live for pleasing me. She`s totally fine being outside on her own for hours on end. She loves interacting with people and loves us but she`s just very.. good on her own too.

For the first 1.5 years it felt a bit like I was talking to a brick-wall. Unless I had a beef tangling between my teeth, she wasn`t very interested in following commands.

It`s better now when she`s almost 3 .. when she`s outside and I call her inside, she will come... but she always lets me wait at least 3 minutes. No "oh my human is calling, I must run to her ASAP".. it`s more like "ok she`s calling.. hmm I wonder if it`s safe to leave the yard unguarded" - follows to check perimeter and then comes.

IMO the trick is motivation. And for Ella that is food. But I had to turn it up a notch - I would not give her dinner before classes.. so when we got there, she`s was very hungry (classes started at 8pm... she got breakfast at 9am) and that motivated her. If her belly was full, she`d work with me for first 15 minutes and then proceed to sniff around/do other things that really interested her.

I use it to this day. When we`re going on an off-leash hike, I don`t feed her for hours before that. Also when going on walks in very crowded places.

It sounds horrible but that`s the only way. She`s big and dog-reactive so I can`t risk her not listening to me.

So my suggestion - hunger is your best friend :D
 

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She will ALWAYS evaluate before following a command. If something else is more important, she will do that.
this is what i also notice with Sancho.
he does listen, but only when he things there's not something more important and/or I mean it seriously.
He won't come running, just because i call. He comes running because i call, when I mean business...and/or there's food involved.
You can basically see the gears working inside his head between the command and him deciding to listen.
- is there food involved?
- is this an emergency?
- is it safe to listen to this command?
- does she mean it seriously?

I can be 100% sure, that when I meant it seriously and he picks up in my voice or behaviour that there's something wrong, he'll run to me like a bolt.
But in other situations, I've got to have a bit of patience, 'til he finished sniffing at daisies. ^^"
 

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@revolutionrocknroll By structure I mean rules, boundaries, and if possible, a schedule. My pups wake, eat, sleep, poop, and walk at certain times. They know what they are allowed to do and what they are not allowed to do.

For example, they are not allowed to go out the gate unless I say they can, even if it's open. We have a feeding protocol, a threshold protocol, etc. They are fed in the kitchen or during training, but when I'm in the kitchen preparing their food (or for me and my wife), they are NOT to be in the kitchen. That way they are out of the way, not slinging slobber on our food, or getting scalded because we spilt something hot.

They know what to expect and what's expected of them for almost any given situation. That's what I mean by structure.
 
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