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Discussion Starter #1
Caeda has been really good generally for her basic obedience, sit, down, stay (her stay is pretty impressive actually), "leave it" isn't too bad. Lately though she has started being either defiant or stubborn....or both.

We say sit and she just looks at us. Sometimes even if we have treats in hand. With down she'll either try going down half way expecting a treat, or flop in a really messy down. Other times when we say down she'll just look at us, and if we have a treat she REALLY wants she'll slide down while staring at us and I'd SWEAR she sighs....Her leash walking has gotten worse instead of better she bolts constantly. I've luckily learned to read her body language enough to know exactly when she is "winding up".

She is also going from super excited to see one of us when we get home to all of a sudden starting her overly excited play biting. She stopped doing that with any frequency quite a while ago.

We have tried not giving a treat for a really slow sit, or a really reluctant down, but when we do that, she'll often just walk away if we ask again, even with a treat in hand before she has eaten lunch. Trying to set her up for a success but sometimes its just seeming impossible! Oddly enough though if she will sit, her stay is still VERY good.

What is this? Teenage defiance? she is only 6 1/2 months! Is she being stubborn? I KNOW she knows these commands. Anybody have suggestions on how to deal with this?
 

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I think it's just their age/stage in life. Bella is going through the same thing basically-Her and Caeda are the same age.

I'm pretty sure the most you can really do is keep on trucking through her obedience training. Only rewarding the behavior you want of her.

As for walks, I've started making Bella sit every time she pulls (And since she's a pulling dog she pulls...a lot) for about a minute. Then trying to go and then if she pulls again making her sit. I also started tonight clipping her leash to the front of her harness and she -really- hates it. She doesn't pull at all like that. If you harness Caeda that could be something else to think about.

best of luck :)
 

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What is this? Teenage defiance? she is only 6 1/2 months! Is she being stubborn? I KNOW she knows these commands. Anybody have suggestions on how to deal with this?
Perfectly normal and common behavior at that age. There are a lot of hormonal changes going on that will effect her behavior. Lots of training may seem to break down as she tests her limits with you. Nothing special you need to do other than continue working with her.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
As for walks, I've started making Bella sit every time she pulls (And since she's a pulling dog she pulls...a lot) for about a minute. Then trying to go and then if she pulls again making her sit. I also started tonight clipping her leash to the front of her harness and she -really- hates it. She doesn't pull at all like that. If you harness Caeda that could be something else to think about.
best of luck :)
Tried this....she'll refuse to sit, wander as far from me as she can. Or wind up for another bolt. The only way she'll sit is to push her rump down, which I don't like doing and she really doesn't like....she'll start nipping/biting. We've got two harnesses for her (and she is a puller too!) one is a back leading harness the other is a front. She'll still bolt with the front lead on, but at least she can't get as much power behind it, and the confused look when she spins around is kind of funny....

I guess all we can do is keep trying :p This is looking like its going to be a painful few months (or a year yikes!).
 

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Welcome to adolescence.
This is all normal adolescent behaviour and pretty much all dogs (heck all mammals) go through it..though the timing can differ from dog to dog. Some behaviours you think you have under control revert to earlier stages, they go through another chewing/oral stage (so keep up the puppy proofing) and even sometimes regress a bit in housetraining. None of this is really defiance or stubborness but a stage of neural development where the brain building energy is working on different areas of the brain and sometimes that means that other areas backslide a bit..
Up the rewards, be consistent, use a no pull harness for regular walking while using "other" hardware (regular flat collar?) for training sessions only..this way the work you do won't go by the wayside (the harness is management to prevent her practicing the behaviour you DON'T want). I find using the Penalty yards method at this age for LLW work is very effective in training sessions.
Use time outs and make sure she has lots of good chews to work on while she's confined etc. This too shall pass..but remember that this is the time that most dogs get given up to shelters because people totally misinterpret it and think the dog is stubborn, stupid or untrainable..and none of this is true. It just takes a lot of patience and a lot of work. Once you get past the first 1 and a half to two years most dogs, if you've put in the work, settle into outstanding adults that you can enjoy for years and years.

Good luck!
 

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GreaterSwiss, once you survive the next 6 months to 1 year+, you'll be AMAZED at what a dog Caeda will have become.
I've really looked foward to reading about your problems, hearing the advice other posters give, and then seeing how far the two of you have come!
 

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We say sit and she just looks at us. Sometimes even if we have treats in hand. With down she'll either try going down half way expecting a treat, or flop in a really messy down. Other times when we say down she'll just look at us, and if we have a treat she REALLY wants she'll slide down while staring at us and I'd SWEAR she sighs....
Use human grade treats. Why? You're going to eat it if she doesn't earn it. Or feed it to your imaginary other dog (yes, really, I know it's crazy but it works). And if she misses out, and you get to eat her treat, tell her. Oh, poor puppy, you missed your chance! And that treat was so yummy too! Oh well, I guess you'll just have to wait until next time. And then make next time not for another 10 minutes or more. If she truly does know it, don't lower your criteria.

This might sound contradictory to Cracker's advice, but it's not really. The important thing is to work at a level your dog can be successful at. If this trick doesn't improve her response rate, try another tack. The most important thing is giving her lots of practice at being right, no matter what that is or what level you think she should be at, you have to work where the dog is.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
GreaterSwiss, once you survive the next 6 months to 1 year+, you'll be AMAZED at what a dog Caeda will have become.
I've really looked foward to reading about your problems, hearing the advice other posters give, and then seeing how far the two of you have come!
I've got a funny feeling that she will turn out fantastic....I'm more scared that we will be the ones to screw things up thanks to frustration lol....Oddly enough, despite her sliding back with SO much lately, she has all of a sudden started doing great with playing fetch, and isn't near as prone to freaking on the cats. I'm sure I'll have LOTS of problems for you to read about in the future though...lol
Cracker, we are at least using a front leading harness when we (try to) walk her, it helps a bit although there have been a couple of funny/scary spills when she does try to bolt. We're backing off on the hardcore leash training until we see the trainer in a week or two, just so we don't train her completely differently than the trainer might suggest.
RaeganW, we've used human grade treats....little hot dog bits, cheese. A little more persuasive, but not always. Sometimes she's just that stubborn. . I have pulled the stunt of eating it though, or giving it to the cats (the LOVE cheese). She usually just turns away like "oh, so now you DON'T have a treat, humph". But that is only in a particular mood.
So that's it eh? Adolescence has arrived. It could be worse....she could be locking herself in a bedroom, dressing in all black, listening to loud depressing music and complaining about her lame boyfriend or whatever (I think ya get the picture lol)....I'm sure we'll survive this, I just expected this a little further down the road :D
 

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Anybody have suggestions on how to deal with this?
Review as if she never once did it. Go back to the beginning of how you got the commands in the first place.

Premack to the extreme if you have to - using meals if need be. Wanna eat? Lie your butt down. I've taken it that far if need be.

Wally's been like that in the past, and tying everything he possible wants to one of those behaviors he didn't want to do (and missed meals when he was like "you're seriously aren't going to not feed me." and I'm like, "watch the food leave the room. Now watch it go back in the bag. Now watch the empty bowl get put up. Now watch me leave you standing there and I don't have a dog for a while.") Between that and me feeding him things that I'll actually eat in front of him (from his bowl to mine and I'll eat it right there, even if I'm not hungry) got him over his stubbornness REAL quick...He'll lie down while watching me eat his food up. When he does, I pour it back into his bowl and give it to him.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Review as if she never once did it. Go back to the beginning of how you got the commands in the first place.

Premack to the extreme if you have to - using meals if need be. Wanna eat? Lie your butt down. I've taken it that far if need be.
We've generally been doing NILIF with her, although we've been pretty free with the affection when she is in a reasonable mood and will play if she approaches with a toy (we usually try to make her sit before throwing, but not always). She ALWAYS sits before getting meals, she hasn't back-slid on that, and for some reason she has kept her "stay" really well if she isn't nuclear hyper. I opened the door the other day and wanted to get her long line which was across the carport out of sight. I managed to get her to sit-stay with the door open while I got it! Unfortunately sitting down to go back in, or when we get back in to take her leash off or even just randomly in or outside....NO WAY! And the nipping has gotten bad again, she seemed to have a short hiatus in her teething, so perhaps its going full force again. "Leave it" is getting worse by the day, and "give" is pretty much gone out the window. Training sessions she just tries to wander away from me, even if she is hungry and I've got good stuff. She is smart, and I swear she is trying to figure out how to extend her middle digit!
Oh rebellion! It'll take a while, but I've got the patent on stubbornness in this house....I'll win eventually lol
 

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I don't let mine walk away or do anything else until they have done as I ask. So they have the choice between sitting and being released to do what they want to do, or not sitting and not getting anywhere and being bored.
 

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Review as if she never once did it. Go back to the beginning of how you got the commands in the first place.

Premack to the extreme if you have to - using meals if need be. Wanna eat? Lie your butt down. I've taken it that far if need be.
THIS.
It's hard to think of it that way because her "Leave it" "Sit" or whatever other command might have been spot on just a few days ago. But make pretend you never taught her any of that and start over. Well, I take that back... REINFORCE what you're SURE she still knows (like sitting before meals), and the other stuff that's gone out the window, start over.

I also agree with the person who said to start using meals to get her to do stuff. Even if it's the easy stuff. I know you're using really great treats right now, but she already gets by on luxury #1: food. Treats are now an added luxury that she doesn't really 'need.' ... "Oh, I don't need to lie down, what's gonna happen if I don't? I don't get a treat, big deal." If you take out the mealtimes and make her earn every darn piece of kibble, food (and obeying) becomes a necessity.
If you're worried about her being REALLY stubborn on a particularly trying day and not getting all of her food... She can earn all of her dinner, piece by piece, by doing easy things like "Sit." But the point is she still needs to earn all of it.
When Soro had his stubborn phase I did away with 'mealtimes' and 'treats during training sessions.' Throughout the entire day he earned his meal, but I also jackpotted him with quick successions of kibble, or a treat somewhere in there (so there were still treats!). It also made the rewards less predictable.

(IMO, at least. Whatever way you choose, I KNOW you'll get through it! :D)
 

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I also agree with the person who said to start using meals to get her to do stuff. Even if it's the easy stuff. I know you're using really great treats right now, but she already gets by on luxury #1: food. Treats are now an added luxury that she doesn't really 'need.' ... "Oh, I don't need to lie down, what's gonna happen if I don't? I don't get a treat, big deal." If you take out the mealtimes and make her earn every darn piece of kibble, food (and obeying) becomes a necessity.
If you're worried about her being REALLY stubborn on a particularly trying day and not getting all of her food... She can earn all of her dinner, piece by piece, by doing easy things like "Sit." But the point is she still needs to earn all of it.
When Soro had his stubborn phase I did away with 'mealtimes' and 'treats during training sessions.' Throughout the entire day he earned his meal, but I also jackpotted him with quick successions of kibble, or a treat somewhere in there (so there were still treats!). It also made the rewards less predictable.
Could not agree with this more. Nothing should be free, especially meals.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
We were using the Kong Genius to feed her meals, and she had gone off of that, and trying to make her earn her meals isn't going so well. She's doing the walk away and ignore deal about part way through.
This all started up when she went off her food weeks ago around when we were gradually changing her food to Orijen plus we had a couple of weeks of craziness around the house.
Going to have to buckle down I guess and if she doesn't earn at least one whole meal a day she doesn't get the whole thing. I might start sticking to the Kong Genius for another meal as well because we really like that it stops her from gulping and she does have to earn it even if its not by doing commands.
I guess NILIF gets kicked back up a notch I guess. Look out Caeda no more easy ride! lol Hoping this works!!! :D
 

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I might start sticking to the Kong Genius for another meal as well because we really like that it stops her from gulping and she does have to earn it even if its not by doing commands.
I guess NILIF gets kicked back up a notch I guess. Look out Caeda no more easy ride! lol Hoping this works!!! :D
Not sure if this is what you meant, but if you're going for the 'make her earn her meals' thing I would suggest cutting back on the treat dispensers for now. I SWEAR BY THOSE THINGS as well, for mental stimulation and to prevent gulping too. But it's not the same as earning a meal through training. If gulping is the only issue you're worried about, she still can't gulp her food if you hand feed it to her (when she earns it), and it will still provide mental stimulation (if not more).

If she's walking away from kibble, I would even hazard to suggest just not giving her that portion of her meal if she isn't listening and just walks away. She's still used to 'eventually' getting her meal through her puzzle toys or some other way. Because she is a big dog, missing one or two meals won't hurt her and she will learn very fast what she has to do to eat. I would not recommend this for a small dog like a Chihuahua, but for you it might work... If you're comfortable with it :D
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Not sure if this is what you meant, but if you're going for the 'make her earn her meals' thing I would suggest cutting back on the treat dispensers for now. I SWEAR BY THOSE THINGS as well, for mental stimulation and to prevent gulping too.
But, considering the NILIF policy I'm trying to follow, doesn't it make sense to make her work for her food that way if I can't do a training meal? This is going to happen for sure for her lunch with my hours going up and my lunches being too short to train her over. I've never put treats in the Genius though....only meals (its big enough for a whole meal).
Not that I'm disagreeing that there could be a good reason to avoid the treat dispenser, but doesn't it make more sense to feed her this way for the meals during which we can't train her? I personally think so because she seems to be getting lazy, not wanting to work for anything....clarification on your suggestion?
 

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But, considering the NILIF policy I'm trying to follow, doesn't it make sense to make her work for her food that way if I can't do a training meal? This is going to happen for sure for her lunch with my hours going up and my lunches being too short to train her over. I've never put treats in the Genius though....only meals (its big enough for a whole meal).
Not that I'm disagreeing that there could be a good reason to avoid the treat dispenser, but doesn't it make more sense to feed her this way for the meals during which we can't train her? I personally think so because she seems to be getting lazy, not wanting to work for anything....clarification on your suggestion?
Sorry if what I wrote is confusing! :D
I guess what I'm trying to say is I *think* one reason why she might be getting lazy about working is because she knows she will get her meals through her treat dispensing toys, so she doesn't need to do any work in terms of following commands. With treat dispensers, she might not getting her food for free because she has to work it out... But the important difference here is she doesn't need to work with you to get her food. At this stage, I personally believe it's important for her to learn that she does need to work with you to get her food.

I'm assuming she gets three meals a day? Would it be possible to divide the lunch portion into her breakfast and dinner, and use those for training when you have time? She might still be fairly irresponsive at first, but once she gets hungry she won't really have a choice.

Hope this is more clear/helpful, and good luck no matter what you choose to do!
 
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