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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

First of all, I love my dog (1yr old cane corso male ), but at the same time, I'm starting to hate him. In recent weeks, he has completely lost all obedience training. Here's some of the things:

- He pulls on his lead,
- won't go into his basket when I tell him to
-jumps on me (he's a big dog, so it's painful)
- if i say sit, he lies down, if i say lay down, he sits.
-he growls on my bf
- he tries to break the baby gates, which wakes me up about three times a night. (the room is out of order atm, so i sleep on the couch)
-tries to get on the couch
-jumps on people in the street
- if i don't let him go to another dog in the street, he jumps up on me.
- destroys the garden
- steals clothes
-ate my ps3 controller
Basically, there is no obedience left.

Here's the problem.

- Took him to a dog trainer when he was a pup, to avoid having a dangerous dog. Was fine until now.
- Took him to the vet to figure out what the problem was : he said my dog was hyper and to give him meds. Won't that be more like hiding the problem than solving it?
- Just learned from the guy I got him from that his mama died during birth and he was raised by humans, away from other dogs and they didn't do the socialization properly.

I try to be consistent, follow through with the training etc etc, walk him more (I can't even run with him because of his joints) play etc but nothing works. He's becoming a nightmare and I'm really scared that an accident will happen, he will hurt someone or something. Plus, walking him used to be so nice, now it's just a chore.

What can I do? Please help me, I spent so much time and effort making this dog into a loved family dog and now it's all gone. Please, any advice would be appreciated.

PS: I don't want to give my dog away. I love him and his life is my responsibility.
Thanks for reading this big chunk of a text.
 

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Nobody is going to tell you to give him away! :) We would hate for anybody to have to do that!

The problems you are describing are actually mostly normal. At one year old, he's not fully an adult dog yet. You are not done raising and socializing him, and shaping him into the adult dog you wish for him to be. Right now, his body is changing and he's developing into an adult both psychologically and physically. His hormones are kicking in and we all know how hormones affect behavior. He's basically going through a teenager phase.

This is something that a LOT of people go through with their dogs and it's not a cause for alarm, even though it can be surprising when your previously perfectly obedient puppy starts to ignore you. Just keep pressing on and keep training.

Go back to square one on things that he has "forgotten". Pretend he's just a puppy again that doesn't know any better and work on all the basic obedience things. Pick up things off the floor to prevent chewing, and use a crate to confine him when you leave if he can't be trusted alone. Remind him through positive reinforcement (treats) what behaviors you want, and try to ignore those that you don't. Negative punishment is ok too...IE taking away something positive. Like if he jumps on you or starts to, ignore him, turn your back. Even you telling him he's naughty or yelling could be taken as reinforcement to him. Tell him to sit instead, then reward him. Just stay persistent!

It might be a good idea to keep treats on your person at all times so you can reward him when he's being good. You can also use his meals as rewards for extra training.

You can also hire a professional positive reinforcement dog trainer to come to your house for private lessons if you're not totally sure what to do. They will give you personalized help for each of those issues you listed.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for you reply. I guess I'm just panicking. He's a big boy so it's difficult to for me to be objective. Big dogs have a really bad rep around here and I'm scared he's going to do something that will get us in trouble. I don't want him to be punished because I couldn't do the right thing.

Back to puppy training it is. I hope it works.
Do you have any tips for negative reinforcement? Ignoring him doesn't work. The vet told me to give him very little attention when I'm at home and to keep cuddles only as a reward because he developed a maternal/puppy bond with me, so I can't ignore him anymore than I already do, or it would be neglect. Should I stop the whole ignoring thing and use it only as negative reinforcement?

Thanks for you advice, I really appreciate it. I just want to do right by him.
 

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Thank you for you reply. I guess I'm just panicking. He's a big boy so it's difficult to for me to be objective. Big dogs have a really bad rep around here and I'm scared he's going to do something that will get us in trouble. I don't want him to be punished because I couldn't do the right thing.

Back to puppy training it is. I hope it works.
Do you have any tips for negative reinforcement? Ignoring him doesn't work. The vet told me to give him very little attention when I'm at home and to keep cuddles only as a reward because he developed a maternal/puppy bond with me, so I can't ignore him anymore than I already do, or it would be neglect. Should I stop the whole ignoring thing and use it only as negative reinforcement?

Thanks for you advice, I really appreciate it. I just want to do right by him.
Oh dear! Vets really should stick to giving advice that they went to school to learn...Medical. They are not trained in behavior or training. Some individuals know what they are talking about, but unfortunately a lot of vets have some really strange (and incorrect) beliefs about dog behavior. Sounds like yours is one of those! :rolleyes:

It's ok that your dog has a maternal/puppy bond with you. They're dogs...Most of them are genetically wired to form a bond with their person. That's usually why people get dogs in the first place...Because they're so easy to bond to and provide good companionship! You should absolutely cuddle with him and give him attention. He needs you!

He will work for food right? That's usually a pretty clear reward for a desired behavior. Dogs will repeat behaviors that are being reinforced...It's always best to try and tell your dog what TO do rather than try and tell him what NOT to do. That's a part of why ignoring usually works. Some behaviors get him a reward, others don't. Which behavior do you think he'll choose to do? More often than not, he'll choose the behavior that gets the reward, and in turn, those unwanted behaviors will go away. Why would he do a behavior that gets nothing, when he can do a behavior that gets him attention and food?

So yes, DO ignore unwanted behavior, but also don't forget to reward alternative behaviors. Let him have that choice and have the opportunity to choose to get the reward.

Here's a thread that might help: http://www.dogforum.com/training-behavior-stickies/helpful-training-videos-articles-11426/

There are a lot of training videos and articles in that thread. You can probably go through it and take what you need.

Here's a link to Kikopup too: kikopup - YouTube

A lot of her videos are posted in that thread because she's very, VERY good. She'll probably have some helpful stuff too.

Also, you mentioned issues with pulling, here's another thread: http://www.dogforum.com/training-behavior-stickies/loose-leash-walking-1683/
 

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Oh, a few other things...

1) You MUST post pictures!!! Would love to see your handsome boy :)

And

2) In case you are interested in finding a trainer or behaviorist to help you, here's a couple links that should help you find a good one:

Int. Assoc. of Animal Behavior Consultants
The Certified Council of Pet Dog Trainers

You want to make sure that the trainer is positive reinforcement and force free, and doesn't believe in dominance theory.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Man, all those cuddles I missed... I will check out the links when I get back from our walk.

Thank you so much for your advice. It's so reassuring. And to know I don't actually have to ignore my buddy for no reason... thank you. You have no idea how wonderful it is to know that.

I hope you have a wonderful day, (or night/evening, whichever it is where you are). Thank you for your help. I'll do my best and see how it goes, now that I know it's ok, and normal. I feel so much better knowing he's not a lost cause, and you gave me renewed determination.

PS: I think people should be warned about vets. Mine made me think my dog was a nutcase that needed to be on medication, on top of ignoring him and all sorts of other things. I thought he knew what he was talking about. Thank you for correcting that assumption too.
 

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I actually had a trainer that was into dominance theory when he was a tiny little puppy and he traumatized my dog. He had this thing where you throw cans at the dog to punish him and now Slayer can't hear a metallic sound without cowering.

He didn't understand why I didn't want him near my dog after that....

I'll post some pics now ^^ He's a beauty. And he was so gentle before this whole thing started...
 

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Man, all those cuddles I missed... I will check out the links when I get back from our walk.

Thank you so much for your advice. It's so reassuring. And to know I don't actually have to ignore my buddy for no reason... thank you. You have no idea how wonderful it is to know that.

I hope you have a wonderful day, (or night/evening, whichever it is where you are). Thank you for your help. I'll do my best and see how it goes, now that I know it's ok, and normal. I feel so much better knowing he's not a lost cause, and you gave me renewed determination.

PS: I think people should be warned about vets. Mine made me think my dog was a nutcase that needed to be on medication, on top of ignoring him and all sorts of other things. I thought he knew what he was talking about. Thank you for correcting that assumption too.
I actually had a trainer that was into dominance theory when he was a tiny little puppy and he traumatized my dog. He had this thing where you throw cans at the dog to punish him and now Slayer can't hear a metallic sound without cowering.

He didn't understand why I didn't want him near my dog after that....

I'll post some pics now ^^ He's a beauty. And he was so gentle before this whole thing started...
Thanks :) You'll have to update us on how things progress and stick around! There's always a lot to learn on this forum. It's kinda late so that's why there's not too many people posting. Others will probably chime in with more support and advice later tomorrow.

That's a shame about the trainer..and the vet. I highly doubt your dog needs to be medicated...He honestly just sounds like he's acting like a typical 1 year old dog to me. They go through phases sometimes, and get pretty rambunctious or fearful, or both. Cain Corsos are pretty big, so they mature more slowly. He'll be 2-3 before he's fully mature.

The throw cans....Yeah, that's an old one. The idea behind that is to basically scare the crap out of a dog when it does something "bad". But as you can experienced, it probably didn't help much, and it only left you with fall out (unintended consequences, like how he is now afraid of metallic sounds). Using punishments like that typically just causes the dog to shut down. It'll become so afraid of the punishments that it it's too afraid to do much at all. This forum is actually a positive reinforcement/force free/aversive free forum, so you won't get any advice that suggests you scare or hurt your (very large) puppy.

Dominance in dogs is just a myth. That's why it's best to stay away from trainers who still believe that, or anybody who is a fan of Cesar Millan, really. Scientific studies show that feral dogs do not form any sort of hierarchy, there is no alpha, beta or omega. They may fight amongst each other for resources, but that's about it. The things that determine who wins has more to do with things like age and experience, not position or rank in the "pack". Ultimately what that means is that we don't have to worry about our dogs trying to dominate us, or use force or fear on them to "show them who's boss".
 

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Nkita, I so feel your pain. Meg aka Booger turned 1 on the 7th, let's just say the past two weeks have been a roller coaster ride. Just this morning she escaped while I was going thru the yard gate to close a different gate leading to the road. I live on a farm, the camp in front of the house is currently empty, so every once in a while the collies get let loose in it to go chase ground squirrel but it has a gate leading to the road that needs to be closed first otherwise they can take of and go chase the sheep. Boo ran off, refused to come when called and just generally went of a little adventure of her own. Took me probably a good ten mins to get her back. So just so you know, you're not alone. And don't hold out on the hugs and kisses, that's just plain unfair.
 

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Don't panic!

We all make mistakes; the important thing is that you're seeking positive help now for your pup. This is definitely the right place to come-you're about to be overwhelmed with everything you learn ;) Check out the stickies if you haven't under 'dog training and behaviour' - it'll be a good place to start to get to know all the weird terminology we use and forget isn't normal :rolleyes: Getting some professional help will be great, but only use someone who is going to train with positive reinforcement. Things will start getting better! It will take a lot of time but it's worth it to have a good relationship with your dog.

You definitely don't need to ignore your dog for no reason. When he's doing something you don't like, like mouthing, then you can ignore him. Also coming home and immediately paying attention to him and playing can cause seperation anxiety in some dogs, so you may want to wait (a minute or so, not forever!) before going into extreme play time if you're worried about him being anxious while you're away. You can also give him a treat every time you leave! No harm in that if it's safe. There are so many other ways to deal with that and other behaviors, but missing out on cuddles is terrible and you need to go that right away :D Cuddles are important.
 

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You have has some great advise already so all I am going to say is hugs & it is totally normal your dog is now a teen.

Leadership I like it
 

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Aww, your poor pup is probably driving himself (and you) crazy trying to get your attention. If he is bored, or being ignored of course he would be disobedient and destructive. Give him tons of treats and cuddles and love when he is doing the RIGHT thing and only ignore him when he is doing the wrong thing. You can also use positive interruptions if the naughty thing he is doing is self rewarding (like giving him a chew toy when he is gnawing on your game controller). Just go back to the basics with loose leash walking and other obedience commands and I'm sure he will be back to listening in no time.
 
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