Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

Dumb dog, smart dog...dealing with frustration

5855 Views 23 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  ThoseWordsAtBest
I'm having a difficult time dealing with my frustration with training more than anything. I have two dogs. One is a 1.5 yr old cocker spaniel. He's a very sharp dog, eager to please, motivated by food and affection and learns very quickly. I can usually teach him a simple trick in just 5-6 repetitions and can get it down very solid in just a session or two. He's fun to train because he learns so quickly. My other dog is a 10 year old basset hound. I swear he's as dumb as a box of rocks. He's motivated only by food and even then, he's very easily distracted. I can be holding a hot dog and he's distracted and wondering what's on my counters or what's in the trash or what's behind the refrigerator or whatever. I'm still working on getting him to sit on a regular basis. He will sometimes do it on command to get something from me but other times he looks at me like he has no idea what is expected of him. Getting him to sit and getting him to sit calmly are a completely different thing. The latter seems to rarely happen. At one point I thought I had trained him to not jump on the counters. He never did this when I was around at least. Now he doesn't seem to care and seems to have forgotten all the training.

How do you deal with frustration in training two dogs with such different learning speeds and capacities? I'm afraid I'm getting really frustrated with the hound and it's not helping the training process.
1 - 2 of 24 Posts
But they have to be able to take human direction, do they not, even if they are doing a job close to what they were bred for?

Whenever I hear "bred to work independent of man/humans - I always wonder, "then how do you get them to work with you?" They don't take directions - yet they will need some direction to know what the human(s) want, no?
They just need trainers who understand what they are up against. Doesn't mean they are dumb at all, just means you have to give them a reason to listen to you. And if they don't then you are just not giving them enough reason to obey.
I don't know what my doxie's deal is. It's almost harder in a way to teach him with treats because he gets so focused on the treat that it's almost like he doesn't hear me at all. He just stares at the treat, a big stupid grin on his cute little face, wagging his tail. We can't even lure him into a sit. Just keep staring and smiling. We had to start kicking my mutt out of the room because SHE was the impatient one. At first she helped guide my Elkhound and he would learn by mirroring her, but now she'll immediately do whatever I'm directing them to do, and if they don't do it, she just barks and barks like "Give me the treat, I can clearly do it!!"
Always train them separately. If they stare at the treat don't give it to them, try training them to focus on you. Look at treat = no treat. Look at you = treat.
1 - 2 of 24 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.