Question regarding obedience

Discussion in 'General Dog Training' started by itak, Jul 2, 2008.

  1. itak New Member

    My puppy is 4 months old. I have read that it is best to train a dog for no more than 15 minutes per session. my question is about getting my dog to come to me whenever I use "come" no matter how distracted she is, and knowing the difference between my dog being confused and flat out not listening. she knows the command and what it means perfectly yet when distracted she wont do it, how should I address the issue that my dog is not paying attention to me sometimes?
    I was specific about "come" but actually this goes for roll over as well and to some extent even to sit and down, I don't know when she is mentally worn out and will not do the command because she is tired or confused (due to early training session and what not) and when she gets distracted. For example I can get her to roll over for 4 out of 5 times but every once in a while she seems to refuse it and unless I let her know im going to heavily reward her I risk the fact that she won't do it at all. she is not consistent nor reliable with the commands and I am lost about what corrective measures I should take.
    I would suspect that im being unfair to demand obedience at all times but considering the fact that she might lose her life for not listening to me I had to post a thread about it.

  2. lizzyrd Experienced Member

    I have this same issue with my pup and will be keeping my eye on this thread. When we're actually outdoors, I have him on a leash or tie out. I don't want to crate him just to get the mail or get something out of the car, but he rushes out of the door everytime I open it. I've tried getting him to sit and telling him to stay but since I can't get out of the door without giving him enough room to dash out at the same time, I'm at a loss for how to train him to not get excited about the sound of kids playing outside or other stuff going on that he wants to stick his nose into.
  3. bdale777 New Member

    One thing I have done with Einstein is spend approximately 15 min a day or so training in front of the door. Each time I turn the knob and open the door I do it so slowly only for sound effects, as soon as he hears it he runs over, when I see him I say "ah-ah," and close the door back. Pretend to be doing something else away from the door so he ignores what your doing, then casually walk over to the door and repeat the exercise. Eventually your pup should not get up and run towards the door as soon as he hears it open, ideally he will ignore it.

    Once he got the first part down, I moved on to the next step....actually opening the door wide enough for him to see outside. I repeat the above steps of saying "ah-ah" and closing the door when he approaches it. You get the idea...basically just repeat at each stage until the pup understands what you expect of him, which is to ignore the door opening and being open for extended amounts of time.

    Einstein is still working on this, he has about an 80% rate of success at ignoring the door when it's open now :) I think for a 5 month old, that is pretty good!
  4. dogmom2six New Member

    Try teaching your dog to go to a specific place when the door opens or the doorbell rings. The "place" should be more fun and rewarding than running out the door. I have beds near the door and toss a bone or a stuffed kong on it when the doorbell rings or I need to go out the door. They'd rather have that. If you practice it enough times the dogs will go to their bed and wait EVERY time the doorbell rings. Think of it as training a trick - they hear the doorbell, their response is to go to bed, or they hear the handle being turned and their response is to go to bed.
  5. drgnrdr New Member

    itak: remember you still have a pup, they have very short attention spans, dogs live in the moment and they can only think and do one thing at a time, after you do 2 or 3 good rollovers, then stop, ask for something else, if they get bored they are more than likely going to stop and do something more fun, also if you get frustrated alot of dogs can tell and don't know why, so they try and diffuse the situation by doing puppy behaviors like looking cute and sniffing the floor or looking a way from you, which causes some ppl of getting madder, cause they aren't "looking at me"...I say practice about 15 mintues a day but break it up into small minute sessions all thru the day if you can, the more your dog learns the more things you can practice and change it up, if you get frustrated have the dog so something simple to end the session on a positive note, like a sit. And try later.
    Most Dogs need to do a behavior over 2000 times to actually get it, but be consistent and they will retain the info.
    Trying to teacha nd having distractions at the smae time is hard on dogs, they do one thing at a time...
    Try to teach it in a non distracting area first, then slowly add distractions, like teach in a quiet bathroom, then the hall then a busy area like the lvrm and then kitchen then out back or in the side yard etc.... you must practice the cues in every room of your home, dogs don't generalize either, you must practice in diff locals.
    At 5 months dogs become teenagers and they get flaky. be patient.
  6. itak New Member

    great reply, thanks a lot! I will implement what you wrote and I do realize now how I should deal with this issue.

    once again thanks, very much appreciated!
  7. drgnrdr New Member

    itak: I forgot to address your other problem "come". So sorry. Here's how I teach come
    Come: This word could save your dogs life one day. Never use the word come for anything the dog perceives as bad or non rewarding to him.
    This word should be kept in a locked box and only used when you know you will be 100% successful.
    Practice this in a distraction free zone and have a jackpot (more than 5) of treats ready. With your dog on leash (or long line), call their name 1 time and when they look to you, encourage them to move towards you (you can backup fast also if you want more distance), when they do, say the word “come” one time.
    They must be “in the act” of moving towards you for you to use the come word. When they get to you praise them and give them those treats one at a time (not all at once, the dog sees that as 1 treat, he can't count with his tongue).
    You can also practice this down your hallway, and play a recall game with another person. You both need to have a jackpot of treats and take turns calling the dog to come when they are in the act of moving towards you. Only do this about 4-5 times or the dog will start anticipating your name calling and just start going back and forth with no name calling just to get the treats. Stop so they want more later.
    Treats are very small ranging in size from a grain of rice to a pea. (depending on dog size).
    If you have ever used "come" to stop your dogs fun or give a bath or trim toenails, etc..anything the dog perceives as bad, you need a new word to teach him "get over here to me and get a great reward" , allot of times I have my ppl use "Aqui" (Ah-Key:spanish for "here"), just make sure and say the word ONE time AS they MOVE towards you, then make happy praise and dole out those treats one at a time.
    Eventually they will learn the "aqui" is never bad, always a jackpot, then one day when you need it, in an emergency even if you don't have treats, it will be there.
    Just make sure after that you practice with a jackpot so they know it was just that one time I had nothing for you.
    *just a note: I don't know how to spell ah-key in spanish, I took a guess. I'm not being disrespectful.
  8. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    These are all very good replies. As has been mentioned, remember that you have a pup, and pups have short attention spans. Break up your training sessions with play to keep the dog interested. Once she is 100% in a distraction-free zone, try increasing the distractions just slightly. Going from no distractions to the middle of Petsmart will be overwhelming. Perhaps find a park where there are some dogs and people, but enough room that you can get a good distance away where it is quiet. Here she can still see them and is completely aware of their presence, but they shouldn't be a huge distraction. Now, begin your training session. If she doesn't carry out the command, act as though she doesn't know it. Go back to "retraining" her the command. (She does know it...she just kind of forgets and needs a refresher with the new distractions.) Keep this first session short and reward her heavily when she does something correctly. Have her favorite toys and tasty treats on hand to ensure that you are much more interesting than the distractions. If she's completely oblivious to you, don't be afraid to look like a total idiot. Start waving toys around, tossing a few maybe. Run away from her(if she is on a long leash) to entice her to take interest in you. Bring a new treat and let the unfamiliar smell encourage her to pay attention. Do anything you can to stay more interesting than the joggers and other dogs, but try not to get her so riled up that she wants only to play and not to train. =)
    You can slowly increase the distractions and use these same methods to keep her obedient in all kinds of environments. Hope this helps!
  9. itak New Member

    Thanks a lot to all of you! I have tried the tips over the last few days and there seems to be an overall improvement :)
  10. irisha New Member

    Hey bdale777
    I was just thinking about how to teach my dogs to not run at the door when someone comes in. I know now how to do it.
    Cheers :D
  11. snooks Experienced Member

    come is the most important thing you'll teach so it deserves special care since some day his life may depend on it. with a puppy always always use good meaty stinky treats and reinforce at 100%. research shows that food esp for a young dog imprints the behavior more strongly than any other reward. 15 minutes can be a lot for a 4 mo puppy. i suggest less training duration per session like 1-3 minutes 4-5 times a day. always quit when the dog wants more so that next time he'll be raring to go and not bored. if you go until he loses interest you are losing the training advantage.

    set your dog up to succeed. never call come for anything the pup may possibly perceive as negative like crate, brush, nail trim, medicine, stopping play when he's going full tilt. call when you know there is a high likelihood he will like when he's hanging out looking around bored, not when he's in the middle of a wrestling match with another dog and having a high time. don't just call just when it's time to stop or go home or quit playing. do random calls all the time, reward with food and release to go back to the fun. make coming to you fun, treats, play, tug, a new toy.

    make high pitched sounds and squat down or run away when he doesn't come right away and be very enthusiastic and have a party when he does come. i take my dogs out to play 2x a day and just sniff around and sunbathe in addition to training and walks. during that time i randomly call them, grab a collar playfully, click/treat yay play go back to your thing. they know that coming doesn't always mean change or ending anything.

    if your dog is not coming it is because you are not as rewarding or distracting as whatever he's doing. you must figure out what it takes to overcome the distractions. if u need to train with fewer distractions do some work in the house, hall, or one room and make it easy to see how rewarding it must be. don't repeat come come come. you can move toss a toy squat down and reset then call again. i had trouble getting my pup to come back in after potty because of all the birds and started hiding a toy in my coat. when it was time to go back inside i produced it and said ohhhh look it's your toy do you want it?? it's soooo neat. wheee lets retrieve it back inside. this worked when roast and chicken did not. so it's all a matter of what it takes to make you more interesting.

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