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My dog Jasmine is 10 months old and occasionally gets frustrated when training, she manifests this by performing multiple commands when asked for one, pawing and barking while she does the command, at this point I usually switch the focus or pause the training session till she is calm. She has completed puppy training and 2 basic training courses, I have never had issues with her, we are postponing CGC till after the summer when everyone has more time.

Anyway today we were doing our usual PM training, I usually do one quick run through of each command she knows, just give each command, she does it, rewarding each 1 2 or 3 times (trying to reward more randomly) but she tends to get frustrated when she does 2-3 commands and doesn't get a reward, she still performs them though.

After that I wanted to work on sit-stay, her stay is really good when lying down, but she gets way more distracted when sitting, she was in a lay, so I told her to sit to get into a sit, she had real issues going from a lay to a sit. I usually release her from her stay with another command or just saying get up, but I never usually ask her to sit from laying down, so I asked her to get up then sit, which worked fine, I then had her lay down again but then when I asked her to sit from laying, she didn't seem to understand, so I lured her up, but she then lunged for the treat, and I thought we had eliminated lunging a long time ago! SO I rewound to some impulse control exercises for a few minutes, she stopped lunging and finally figured out that I wanted her to lay down then sit, I decided to repeat this a few times, sit, lay down, sit, lay down, rewarding every time, for some reason she found this really frustrating and barked aggressively enough to scare me and the kids. I kind of squealed like I used to when she nipped as a puppy and ignored her for a bit then when she finally calmed herself and lay down next to me looking happy, finished off with a bit of fetch. (which never frustrates her).

I am just wondering at what point I should have stopped the training session, if I stopped every training session when she got frustrated we would never train for more than a couple of minutes, and she often recovers after a bit of frustration to have a really good training session.
Today was a weird day she hasn't been outside much for the past 2-3 days because of the dangerously hot weather, but I have taken her to daycare, and tried to give her a lot of indoor exercise, there was a thunderstorm this afternoon, but they don't usually bother her. Her training sessions are usually 10 minutes twice a day, with spot training throughout the day, but if she hasn't been out much, I may go to 20 mins.

I really would like to teach her more, but I don't know if it will make training even more frustrating for her, like now when I ask her for a touch, she will touch, shake, wave, high five, like she is trying everything. She gives no stress signals, just high arousal signals
 

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I think given her age, she's in the teenage point of her development, you'd be better off either consistently rewarding her every time she completes the command or reward every other one. If you do the consistent reward you could offer low value and high value treats, and only use the high value treat ever 2nd or third cue. Real life rewards are also very useful when you want to taper off on food rewards. Things like a quick play session, continuing a walk, or being let to explore a bit, are ones I use a lot.

At her age, doing 6 short training sessions that are no more then 5 minutes long, will probably get you further then doing two 15 minute training sessions. You don't have to do a run through of known commands for each. What I usually do is 1 run through of all most of the commands he knows then start on the new command, next training session only ask for one or two known commands then again start working on the new command. If he gets two frustrated I'll ask for a known command so he can earn a treat (a low value one) and try to think how to better teach him the command.
 

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A dog doing its entire repertoire without being commanded to do as such is not a bad thing. It's only doing what it has learned to gain access to the reward because of conditioning. Linking certain behaviors together per one command has its advantages but not currently for you and the dog's particular level of training. Basically, the dog is smart and working its best to earn the reward by exhibiting all the predictable behavior you will request of the dog without being commanded as such but since you have worked with the dog in a fashion which is predictable, the results should not be that difficult to appreciate. Been there myself and my solution was to momentarily reset the dog and command for the desired behavior and when the dog got it right, the dog was rewarded otherwise we started anew, regardless of the simplicity. Verbal markers let her know whether she was on or off. I made my training routines too predictable and the dog was a step ahead of me but the dog finally learned down means down and sit means sit etc. Mix it up and don't move on to the next training skill until the dog nails it adequately. Teaching positions from a distance really tried my patience but when the dog finally hit each one properly, there was a party which let the dog know she had succeeded.

You have a smart dog which is being proactive even when not being commanded to be as such. You and your dog should do well once you communicate a bit better.
 

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I agree that shorter training sessions multiple times a day would likely result in less frustration for her, as would rewarding more consistently, at least for now at her age. You can slowly phase out to more verbal rewards as she gets older if you so choose. I wouldn't completely stop training when she gets frustrated, though taking a very short break isn't bad. Like it was mentioned, try asking for a really easy command and rewarding highly if she does it to remind her that training is fun and doable. Best of luck w your girl, she sounds like a good dog.
I think a lot of dogs have some trouble w down to sit at the beginning. My girl did, but when she doesn't understand something she just gets scared, not frustrated. Glad she's picking it up though. Also -- not sure if this will be applicable to you in any way but I couldn't get the command "sit" to work for down to sit, I have to use "sit up" for my girl, "sit" just confused her, I think because, like "deck" (what I use for down) she associates it w going closer to the ground in some way, not the opposite, if that makes any sense at all.
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I think the key is to work on not letting her get frustrated in any training session, not worrying about whether to stop once she's already frustrated. You don't need to stop a training session entirely if the dog is frustrated, but you do need to back up and change what you're doing. Either work on something really easy that she loves, or take a break to play for a minute while you think about your game plan, but don't try to "train through it".

I don't think shorter sessions are necessarily the answer either, at least not on their own. It's quite possible you are going on too long and that's the cause, but you mentioned that she gets frustrated pretty early on. I think she is probably confused by the reduction in reinforcement when she's done multiple behaviors - she's not sure what you'll reward or whether she's done them right, so then she just starts offering all of them. I would ask for a sit, reward, ask for another sit, praise only, ask for a sit again and reward. Work on a pattern like that with one behavior first, and clear praise for the times you don't reward. Then phase out the praise when she's getting it. Don't mix in other behaviors until she's solidly working one behavior on variable reinforcement. As others mentioned, don't feel like you have to run through everything she knows in every session. You can go right into something new, or break out something you want to polish in a behavior she already knows.

For the training on down to sit, it sounds like you were just focusing on too many different behaviors at once which confused her. If you are trying to lure from a down, you can't then break off and work on impulse control, and then go back and forth. You were basically teaching her not to go for the treat, then switched right back to luring where she is supposed to follow it. If her impulse control is terrible that day, then either break off and work on just taking treats nicely, or hold the treat in a way that it doesn't matter if she's a bit sharky. To her it's probably not clear that you want her to lure with the treat, but you want her to only do it in a specific way, but she'll figure that out eventually.

Some dogs just have a really low frustration tolerance and need to be right a lot, so it just means you have to be really clear about what you want from her. I have one like this and he has made me a much better trainer, so stick with it! Sounds like you guys are doing a great job already.
 

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I really appreciate all the answers and ideas here, she is the first dog that I have had from a puppy and really tried to teach new things (and the second dog ever), and aside from the frustration, she "gets" most stuff pretty fast

I definitely wish I could see into her little doggy head sometimes, and the comments here are really going to help with that.

The point about using the lure and then going to impulse control, I totally get, as that is basically contradictory training, I would like to move away from luring her, once I can get her to consistently "follow" my hand.

My husband usually just trains her in 2-3 minute increments a few times a day as he is really busy, and only trains her stuff from the printouts from the classes (he doesn't care about tricks!), and yesterday he was wondering why I cared that I had to put a command between lay down and sit. He has a lot more success than me.

I sometimes wonder if it is a bit selfish to train her to do things beyond what is needed for a nice family dog. We don't really have special aspirations for her, beyond being a good family member and eventually being a good doggy mentor to foster dogs, and maybe dabbling in agility just for fun. I still tell visitors and kids we meet at the park that she doesn't know any tricks, because I don't want her getting frustrated and scaring someone, but it would be kind of nice to be able to show off!
 

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Training tricks is awesome! Definitely not selfish or a bad idea. Training tricks really helps build your bond with your dog and it's tons of fun. At the end of the day everything we teach them should be "tricks" to them. The more you can make training fun for both of you the better.

And as far as luring goes, some dogs get very good at just following your hand but others don't. Since the food lure should be temporary anyway, I don't have a problem luring new behaviors with food and then fading it quickly. I tried to train my older dog to just follow my hand and for new behaviors he found it very frustrating.
 

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I really appreciate all the answers and ideas here, she is the first dog that I have had from a puppy and really tried to teach new things (and the second dog ever), and aside from the frustration, she "gets" most stuff pretty fast

I definitely wish I could see into her little doggy head sometimes, and the comments here are really going to help with that.

The point about using the lure and then going to impulse control, I totally get, as that is basically contradictory training, I would like to move away from luring her, once I can get her to consistently "follow" my hand.

My husband usually just trains her in 2-3 minute increments a few times a day as he is really busy, and only trains her stuff from the printouts from the classes (he doesn't care about tricks!), and yesterday he was wondering why I cared that I had to put a command between lay down and sit. He has a lot more success than me.

I sometimes wonder if it is a bit selfish to train her to do things beyond what is needed for a nice family dog. We don't really have special aspirations for her, beyond being a good family member and eventually being a good doggy mentor to foster dogs, and maybe dabbling in agility just for fun. I still tell visitors and kids we meet at the park that she doesn't know any tricks, because I don't want her getting frustrated and scaring someone, but it would be kind of nice to be able to show off!
Training tricks isn't selfish at all. Most dogs love learning, and it keeps their brains active and makes for a more content dog. It's also a great way to spend time with a dog and bond with it. Zody knows dig, speak, circle, and crawl, all useless but all fun to teach and cute to see.
 
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I sometimes wonder if it is a bit selfish to train her to do things beyond what is needed for a nice family dog. We don't really have special aspirations for her, beyond being a good family member and eventually being a good doggy mentor to foster dogs, and maybe dabbling in agility just for fun.
You will never go wrong training with your dog especially when it's fun for both parties. At the very least it provides engagement which most dogs seem to thrive on. The more in harmony you and your dog are, the better the bond becomes. The time simply spent with a dog training together is usually quality time. Dogs enjoy being challenged and most will do their damnedest, given proper guidance. And when they choose to just be a dog and indulge themselves and be "selfish" you'll appreciate it more just as the dog appreciates your "selfish" desires which aren't selfish at all.
 

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I'll add a few pointers...Hopefully they help

1) It's ok to reward more consistently, if not preferred. I think at this point most positive trainers view the reward as being a paycheck. Would you still go to work if you didn't get payed? I probably wouldn't. So why do we expect our dogs to work with no pay out? Learn to work with different value treats to communicate more with her. For cues she already knows, she doesn't need the super yummy delicious smelly treat. It can be a cheerio or a charlee bear treat. When she is learning something new, use better rewards. When she has a light bulb moment, use the best reward you have. You can also reward with toys too if she's toy motivated.

The other perk to using rewards consistently is that when you absolutely NEED her to respond to a cue, she very likely will. Even if you don't happen to have a reward. With enough consistency and proofing, she will begin to do commands out of habit.

2) Remember that cues are very context specific. You said she didn't seem to understand what sit meant when you were asking her to sit from a down position. That's because she truly did not know what you were asking. This wasn't a brain fart or being an adolescent. You didn't teach her that sit means to sit in that situation. You have to really, really proof cues so the dog knows what they mean in lots of different contexts and situations. Dogs just really suck at generalizing sometimes. You have to show her that sit means sit in different rooms inside, in the backyard, in the front yard, with her in different positions, with you in different positions. Asking her to go from a down to sit really was frustrating because she had no clue what you were asking. This could have contributed to the relapse in lunging, and then the drilling further caused frustration.

3) Finally, be weary of behavior chains with those drills. Drilling can make a dog frustrated because it's so repetitive. But it can also lead to behavior chains, which is basically when the dog starts to do a series of behaviors in succession almost mindlessly in hopes for the reward. So you do lots of sit-down drills....Then one day you ask for a sit, the dog sits, and then she automatically goes into a down because that's what she's anticipating you asking, and what's been rewarded in the past. I personally would avoid repetitive drills. But if you must, always remember to reward each behavior separately. It shouldn't be sit-down-treat. It should be sit-treat-down-treat, and make sure you reward the dog in the position your reinforcing.

What I would do is try capturing good behaviors and make training more an every day part of life rather than only during certain sessions. Try SMARTx50. See Mark And Reward Training with 50 treats. Keep 50 treats on hand and just capture her being good and making good choices. It doesn't aways have to be things you ask her to do. It can be for making a good choice like not jumping up on the counter, or you. Or leaving a food item dropped on the floor. The goal is for you to learn to see and reward her good choices so you can reinforce them, so she learns better manners in general.

I would also look into Kikopup's Its Yer Choice video, which is great for impulse control. It can help your dog realize that her choices control the reinforcement, which can really reduce frustration in training.
 
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