Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

Looking for help with training my dog. She's a lab/pitbull mix. She only seems to respond to commands when food is involved. I've trained her to "go lay down" and if I have a treat in my hand she runs full speed to the couch (or to where ever I point to) and lays down instantly expecting a treat. If I try it without food she stares at me like I'm an idiot, or turns around with a sigh, walks away slowly, turns around halfway to the couch and stops. I say "go lay down" again and she stares at me. I say it again in a louder voice and she does it reluctantly. After a minute or so she comes back to me and the process starts again. I don't want to have to yell at my dog to make her listen.

Another thing she's notorious for is she'll go lay down, but when I turn my back she creeps up on me, kind of like a cat stalking prey. She'll lay down where I tell her, I turn my back and after a minute hearing a clawing sound, turn around she's 2 feet closer, turn around, hear her again, turn back to her and now she's closer... It's like when I was a kid playing "1, 2, 3, REDLIGHT!" with my dog. She constantly has to be near me and is devious as hell in meeting her needs.

This gets extremely frustrating when I'm working around the house and she's constantly underfoot. I want her out from under me, but unless I'm giving her treats, she either won't listen, or is back under me 2 minutes later. Can anyone tell me what it is I need to do to get her to listen without food motivating her?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,615 Posts
This is a common problem labs..lol. It's a common problem in training period, and gives reward training a bad name when it's not the food that is the problem, really it is the lack of knowledge of the trainer in how to "fade the lure".
See the sticky in the training section...it will help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
948 Posts
Use treats to teach a dog something it doesn't already know, and to reinforce that knowlege. Enticing a dog to comply with commands it already knows isn't training, it's bribery.

She learned the command, and now she's learned that you only mean it when you say it three times, with the last time being in a loud voice. She's also learned that it's a game of "redlight, greenlight" which she probably finds quite amusing.

Now that she knows what "go lay down" means, say it once, in a calm voice. When she fails to comply, say "No." Expect her to comply. Wait her out. You might have to say "no" again, but always calm. I command my dogs in a quiet voice, sometimes a whisper (unless they're focused on something else and more volume is need to get their attention). Preferably with no words at all, just hand gestures. And you don't always need the gesture, either -- they know what to do in certain situations, if you just look at 'em with that look, that says "you know the drill, why aren't you sitting already" they'll do it. Unless of course it's some kind of obedience champion who's not supposed to take any uncommanded action.

Actually, you don't really need to use the word "no" if you don't want to...any random clipped syllable like "hey!" or "bah!" or "shht!" Stay calm...when you shout, you increase the excitement level regardless of the words you use, but you need the dog calm, and he will mirror your level of excitement.

Don't just pretend to expect compliance, she'll know you don't mean it. Expect it, and don't stop until you get it. Calmly. Don't drag her over there either, that's just enabling her to not comply. You might have to body block her to keep her from moving in any direction other than the one you commanded.

If you want her to stay, you have to go through the steps of training that particular action. I'm not the guy to advise you on that, I've never managed a really reliable stay, I guess I haven't been really committed to it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,247 Posts
Ya, there's been some 'training' going on here, lol. I only wonder for how long, and how thoroughly ingrained it may have become though. Regardless, now it's time for some 'UNtraining'.:)




1) Prepare by discretely stashing food treats (so the dog doesn't see you do it) in pants pocket, and/or under hat, and/or behind ear, and/or under waistband, and/or on top of TV, etc etc., BEFORE training session begins. ... Seriously.

2) Gain your dog's attention with happy, encouraging words, ie: "wanna train ? you wanna ? c'mon then, let's do it !" or similar.

3) Move to couch area and stand only 1' away. Gesture, or even better .. WAIT for dog to get onto couch, no verbal cue yet.

4) AFTER, and only after dog gets on couch, mark, then reveal and feed one treat from one of the stashes, at the couch position.

5) Release off of couch.

6) Repeat steps 1) thru 5), ... ad nauseum.

7) Begin to introduce a 'down' on the couch. Again, no verbal cues yet. Down should come after 4) but before 5). Mark, reveal and feed one treat from one of the stashes, but AFTER, and only after the dog goes into a down. Repeat this, ad nauseum as well.

8) Eliminate step 4), and begin to reinforce only after step 7).

9) When your dog is performing this reliably, THEN you can add a verbal cue. I would suggest not using 'go lay down' as you've already poisoned it. Try using ie: 'couch'.

10) Gradually increase duration of the down (remaining on couch) before release.

11) Gradually increase the distance you are standing away from the couch when cueing your dog to go there.

12) Get dog onto VRS (variable reinforcement schedule) .... ASAP.



TIP: ensure that you have a clearly understood, consistent release .... EVERY TIME.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
145 Posts
I would have treats in my pocket and would choose a command the dog knows well, like sit. Wait til the dog sits THEN get the treat out and feed her, and do this a couple times, frequently throughout the day. Practicing sit, but really teaching her rewards are involved even when they aren't shown before hand to intice her. Get this reliable, then gradually introduce, stay and wait, and over time increase the distance and duration of her holding the 'stay' before you get out a treat and call her to you. Teach her that obedience is the first step in the reward process, and that you having a treat comes after.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top