Feeling Frustrated

Discussion in 'Training Challenges' started by blacknym, Jun 19, 2013.

  1. blacknym Experienced Member

    Ok... So Deja is great... Love her to death. The thing is she is so damned stubborn. It does not show really in any of the videos you all have seen but she is.

    When she gets something in her head that's it. There is no convincing her otherwise. This a problem when trying to do obedience work. She likes tricks but obedience she would rather not. She does it grudgingly and looks at me like I'm the worst person ever for insisting she listen. :p

    I use high value treats like real meat(raw and cooked) and other treats she likes. If I lure her she will do it but no lure.... She would rather not.

    She is super smart and knows her own mind... She is not a pleaser I have to convince her it is worth her effort... But she would rather be off sniffing and doing other things.

    Help! I'm really loosing heart... I feel like giving up...
    MaryK likes this.

  2. Mutt Experienced Member

    Try keeping it fun by switching between exercises.
    Also for some dogs luring just isn't the method so try a different training method (I don't know which trick is especially hard at the moment).
    MaryK likes this.
  3. blacknym Experienced Member

    I've tried shaping with her and that does not work... She just get frustrated and leaves. Luring is what shows her what I want.

    I do change it up. All I ask for is the same behavior maybe five times and then we do something else.

    Might I be doing it at the wrong time? I usually take her for a walk and potty before we do training. Or maybe just ask for a specific behavior once or twice then something else? Or maybe train a couple sets of behaviors one day and then a few different ones an other day? Could she be getting bored?

    Ugh... Sorry for all the questions. :/
    MaryK likes this.
  4. Pawbla Experienced Member

    Is there any time she gets really really excited? For example, my dog gets really excited when I get home, so as soon as I get home we do a few tricks. He's so excited that he will do all tricks, no problem.

    Also, is she still learning the trick, still trying to "get it"? If so, changing exercises every 2-3 repetitions may confuse her. Better take a break than change the trick.
    MaryK likes this.
  5. blacknym Experienced Member

    She will work anytime... We are still working on distractions though.

    Some of the stuff she knows some we are working on. :)
    MaryK and Pawbla like this.
  6. Pawbla Experienced Member

    So the problem is with distractions? I think I didn't understand the post at all then, hahaha.
  7. blacknym Experienced Member

    Yes I think you did. I just mentioned that as a side note.

    She just is very smart and I'm thinking about this and think maybe she is getting bored. At the same time though I want her to concentrate and perfect what she already knows so don't want to add to much to the training schedule. Gurrr
    MaryK and Pawbla like this.
  8. Dlilly Honored Member

    What obedience cues are you trying to teach her?

    I know obedience and obedience competitions are supposed to be fun for the dog, but honestly, for most dogs they aren't... :sick:
    MaryK likes this.
  9. brody_smom Experienced Member

    I have the same problem with Brody. I think he is younger than Deja, and we haven't been at this as long, so you probably know a lot more than I do, but what I have been trying to remember to do is get him in the "zone" like what Jean Cote teaches in one of his videos. It can be tricky to get them right in that sweet spot between relaxed and over-aroused, but I find a little game of tug really helps to get Brody in the right frame of body and mind. Maybe it makes him feel a little like he's doing trick training, because his juices are pumping already. If you haven't tried this yet, it might just work.
    MaryK and Pawbla like this.
  10. blacknym Experienced Member

    Dilly... Basics like heel, come to heel position we call it "tuck", side position, front and stays. Working on duration for stays.

    Deja is hard to play with on leash Brodysmom. But I'll keep it in mind and see what I can do. Lol
    MaryK likes this.
  11. MaryK Honored Member

    LOL, sorry but your first post exactly describes my late dog Tiger Lily (Zeus' sister). Brought back memories and made me laugh:LOL:

    She hated obedience work, same look you're getting about to report to me all the Animal Welfare Associations for sheer cruelty to a dog, but loved Tricks and Agility work:rolleyes:

    As Dlilly said, most dogs don't like obedience work (Zeus does but then it's not overly energetic). Try to work for just very short periods of time on actual obedience work. Rakins isn't overly keen on obedience work either, though not as bad as Deja or my Tiger Lily.

    What I do and did, was to do some tricks they love, then throw some obedience work into the middle of trick work (when they're all happy and wanting to work) then finish with their most favorite tricks.

    If I tried to do just obedience work, the results were not overly good, but by mixing it up we finally achieved what was required. You do have to find tricks which can be done on the lead, not all tricks can be done on the lead, so for those tricks I do them in another session and don't do any formal obedience work.

    I may do some 'off leash' more making it fun, like tuck in and hey we can do 'sit pretty' if working off leash.

    Good luck and don't worry, she's a 'free spirit' and hey, I love that:love:
  12. blacknym Experienced Member

    I might have to try that. She is so much better off leash. She is reactive onlead and acts like the leash is a viper if it touches her. LOL. I have no idea why. :p

    Id do everything off leash but her attention and recall are not exactly stellar. :p
    MaryK likes this.
  13. MaryK Honored Member

    Work in your own garden off leash if her recall isn't stellar. LOL hey my Tiger Lily would be singing "I've got a friend" - she looked on the leash as a insult to her free spirit!

    Just a thought with the leash touching her. She so tiny, just the slightest touch may feel like a viper's getting to her. I know you don't use the leash in any in appropriate manner, but she's so tiny and delicate (in body - strong minded lady though) maybe even a light lead feels 'hard' against her. Or maybe she's just a free spirit!:rolleyes::D
  14. blacknym Experienced Member

    LOL maybe thats it. She does know her own mind! :D
    MaryK likes this.
  15. MaryK Honored Member

    LOL oh yes, typical female, strong minded, cute, adorable and all that but hey - don't think I'm a push over!:D
  16. 648117 Honored Member

    Holly doesn't like her leash either. I think she hates it touching her legs so she really really doesn't like dragging it. But she's ok if I'm holding it up so it isn't touching her legs. It could be a small dog thing.

    MaryK: I think it's a bit of a generalization to say that "most dogs don't like obedience", sure some dogs might not like obedience just like some don't like agility or tricks or running or playing but "most" is a bit of an overstatement.

    Holly loves obedience and I've just started to teach Lewis to heel and he is pretty excited about it and seems to love getting my undivided attention and lots of treats. They seem to love it when I'm concentrating so hard on them and give me that concentration back in equal measure.

    I would agree that you should teach heelwork without a leash (the leash really does get in the way and make treat delivery harder). I taught Holly at home without a leash and didn't have much of a problem with her walking off, if she did then it was fine and it just indicated that she didn't feel like doing obedience at that time and I would go and do something else (I stopped giving her attention if she stopped giving me attention). She only wears a leash for heelwork in class (and during distraction training when there is a pigs ear right next to our course :sneaky: just to make sure she doesn't get it which would reward not paying attention to me) and it was fine because she already knew how to do it and the leash is completely slack (and you have to use a leash in Novice Rally-o).

    She actually hardly ever left heelwork (she never does now, even if I randomly ask for some heelwork when she's off leash at the park and she doesn't know if I have treats). But she did tend to get sick of the formal retrieve if I asked for too many repetitions. It was pretty clear when she'd had enough because she would run off with the dumb-bell and chew it so I'd just take it off her and that would be the end of the training session. But now she is fine with the retrieve and is actually pretty enthusiastic about it (I never ask for more than 3 repetitions in a training session though).

    Do you give Deja treats while heeling? I would keep the reward frequency really high, like every 3 steps of good heeling give a treat (or even one step if that's all she can manage). When practicing I still give Holly a treat about every 4 meters or so. To keep it interesting you could sometimes throw the treat and tell her to "get it" to break up the heeling.
    To stop her following a treat lure you could teach a hand target so that she basically follows your empty hand as a lure and then you deliver the treat to the target hand so she learns that she doesn't have to be following the treat to earn it.

    Once you've got good heelwork in a distraction free area (off leash - I trained in our kitchen with no one else present), then you can add the leash. Since she should know how to heel by then you should be able to keep the leash completely slack and prevent it touching Deja. Then add some distractions. Maybe some food or a toy on the floor or a person watching, but make sure it is a good distance away at first, then bring it closer. Add more distraction until you are ready to go outside....and then to the park.....etc

    As for when you should be training. I don't think it should really matter (I'm sure you want her to be able to perform under all sorts of conditions) but a routine seems to help. I do most of Holly's training in the evening (an hour or two after she's had dinner so she shouldn't even be that hungry - but she's very food motivated, you might like to train before dinner if Deja is less food driven), she expects it now and will pester me when she wants to train, I don't do any special preparation (eg take her for a walk/toilet/play/whatever first).
    But she will still train at any time during the day that I ask her to. Her obedience class is 11am on a Saturday, I hardly ever train her in the morning at home but she doesn't have a problem with working in the morning if I ask her to. It would be very inconvenient if she would only work at a certain time after a certain activity (eg, a walk) because when we start competing I will not be able to meet those conditions very often.

    Sorry, that was a long post but I hope there is something in it that you can use :) .
    brodys_mom and MaryK like this.
  17. MaryK Honored Member

    Holly's Mom it was a generalization about most dogs not liking obedience work - Zeus loves it his sister hated it and Rakins tolerates it - all dogs are different but as a majority- especially with the energetic ones, they prefer anything to obedience work.

    I'll reply more later, right now having a really tough time with Rakins, his heads bobbing, kind of fit, trying to reach partner, his phone's shut off - booked for vet later tonight but sooner if I can reach partner.

    Sorry not derailing the thread, hope you all understand. Not thinking too well at present.
    brodys_mom likes this.
  18. blacknym Experienced Member


    Yes Deja gets lots of treats. :) far to many IMO. Lol but she is very food motivated. The only thing is she will wonder off when training even so.

    My problem is that she should work when I say work and go play when I say go play. When I ask for her attention she needs to give it. I am working on the attention excersises. I know play and fun is a motivator but life is not all play and games.

    Now please don't think I treat her badly because I don't. I just can not have her running off willy nilly just cause she wants to. Most of the time she can do what she wants but when it is training time... I need that focus.
  19. 648117 Honored Member

    I agree that dogs should be willing to work when there owner wants them to (within reason - obviously not if they are feeling unwell or if it's the middle of the night you might not expect good work).

    It's really hard to know if you are giving to many treats/not enough/the right amount. But maybe you are giving too many treats then (if you feel you give too many).
    Theres a BC in our obedience class that our trainer is constantly telling his owner that she needs to make him think and earn the treat. She helps him too much.
    All he has to do is follow the treat with his nose all the time, he doesn't think about what he's doing and his owner helps him too much when he isn't doing something correctly instead of letting him figure it out himself. He is clever but his owner does not require him to think.

    So maybe thats whats happening. If you are luring too much then Deja might not be thinking about what she's doing so the training seems boring to her.

    I just thought of a human equivalent: some people enjoy doing puzzles, all they are doing is finding pieces of cardboard that fit together to make a picture (and they usually already know what the picture looks like!), but they like doing them and will work on the same puzzle for hours a day, for weeks.
    But I think they would enjoy them a lot less if someone sat next to them and handed them each puzzle piece, one at a time, in order, untill the puzzles done. They wouldn't need to think so the puzzle would become amazingly boring, no one wants to do a puzzle like that.

    Maybe you could post a video of you heelwork practice so we can see whats going on better?
    brodys_mom likes this.
  20. blacknym Experienced Member

    It depends on what it is. She can get frustrated very easily and give up or act so crazy she is not thinking and just barks at me.

    I tried out a targeting to get her into front position and that seems to work. Ill keep working with that see if it get the muscle memory I'm looking for.

    Ill see about a vid. :)
    srdogtrainer likes this.

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