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First I wanted to say that I got a lot of great help in this thread I recently posted: http://www.dogforums.com/2-general-dog-forum/50747-can-t-stop-my.html/. things have been much better, he is getting longer and more brisk walks, and he have been playing more games to "stimulate" his mind.

With that being said, I probably should have posted this first, but no big deal.

Let me give a little background here, because I think it might help (hopefully :(). We got my dog, Sebastian, close to three years ago. He just turned three recently, he was a rescue dog from down south who was in a kill shelter. There is three of us in the house, myself, my girlfriend and her mother. For the first two years of his life at the house my girlfriend and myself were in college during the week and home 1-2 days on the weekend. So the first few years my future mother-in-law was in charge.

For the last four-five months I now live with them, so I am home 5-6 days of the week.

Now that the history and living situation is done, let me get down to the problems. Sebastian has chosen me as the one he will listen to. Naturally, I have the deepest voice (being the only male), and I have always been the disciplinarian and the trainer. I believe he respects me, and will listen to me most of the time.

This is where the problem comes in. He listens to me most of the time, not all of the time. I don't know if he has chosen me as the pack leader (which I try to be), or he has put himself as the pack leader.

For example. Just this morning. He would not go to the bathroom for my girlfriend when she walked @ 6:30 a.m. When I woke up and tried to get him to go out a few hours later, he simply sat in the chair and stared at me while I was telling him to "come," and "go out," which are the commands I use daily. He simply just ignored me, I couldn't believe it. If he does not obey me, then he can't really respect my authority. I command in a very low and firm voice, but I do not yell.

What I have noticed is that if it is a situation that he doesn't want to listen, he simply will not. If he is downstairs and I tell him to come up for the night, and he doesn't want to, he will simply not listen to me or hide (though he usually doesn't hide). If I tell him to go outside for the bathroom and it is raining outside and he doesn't feel like going, he will just ignore me.

Sometimes I feel like he doesn't respect me. I want him to listen all the time, not most of the time. I want to be able to take him to a doggy park and let him off the leash, but I worry if he is having fun he will just ignore my calls to come back.

Another big problem (not really for me) is when both my girlfriend and myself are off to work. The only one left home with him is my future mother-in-law. She is retired, and for the most part home. But, if there is an instance where she has to go out for a doctors appointment or something similar, and he figures it out, he will hide under the bed and not come out.

Now, when he first started doing this, even when I was home. If I want to try and get him out from under the bed he would show his teeth and growl (Even to me) and sometimes nip (though he would never really bite). Once he did that I realized that it would not help any to try and get him out that way, so we don't really know what to do. This is not a situation that happens a lot, but it does happen.

I feel like Sebastian is to free spirited. He listens part of the time, but not all of the time. If there is something he really wants to do, he will do it no matter who tells him not go.

Please, I really could use some help here! sorry if I am a little un-clear at times, I am trying to explain the best that I can.

Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
 

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You just have a smart dog. You need to give him a reason to listen to you. Have you implemented NILIF? This will be very helpful for you.
 

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Your dog doesn't listen to you sometimes because he doesn't have to. He ignores you because he can. The problem is in teaching a command like "Come", you have to make sure that if he doesn't, you can make him follow through. Since he doesn't know this command (or doesn't know it's a command) you have to re-teach him. NEVER tell him to come unless you have a way of reinforcing it. For example, if he's on the couch and you want him to come, connect a leash to him, take a few steps away and say "come". That way, if he doesn't, you can reinforce it.

If I were in your position, I would really rethink my training methods. I don't know what they are or how he was trained in the first place, but you might want to think of a clean slate and start over with his training.

I don't know if it was mentioned in the other thread, but I suggest NILIF for your dog.

The way you said you don't know if he's chosen you as the pack leader that you try to be has me a bit concerned. It's not the dog's choice who is the leader. You be the leader (not "try" to be) and the dog will follow. There's a difference in seeing yourself as the dog's authoritative dictator and being a benevolent guide to create harmony in the house. I suggest the latter. Don't get me wrong, I call myself the "pack leader", but in my mind, it's not an overbearing, gruff or "bossy" position, it's a calm, assertive, "partnership" with my dogs.

As far as him hiding under the bed and refusing to come out for your MIL, she needs to be smarter than the dog. That's not an insult, I tell myself that all the time. If the dog sees her getting ready and going through the same routine she always does, OF COURSE he's going to figure it out. Her first action should be to get the dog where she wants him to be, THEN get her keys, shoes or whatever else she does to get ready to go.

Hope this helps some. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
It's a sticky, http://www.dogforums.com/3-dog-training-forum/6856-nilif-nothing-life-free.html

Once your dog understands that you control all his resources, he will listen to you a lot more.

Well, try to see it from your dog's perspective. Why should he listen to you? What does that get him?
I have already read the whole thing and it is fantastic, thanks! Interestingly enough, I have unconsciously started doing some of those things already. Such as sitting before we leave/enter the house, sitting before I give him his food, and always having a reward for a good behavior.

I am starting to think that the problem is the inconsistency. I am not always the one who walks him or feeds him. When the other two in the house help, they don't really require him to do what I usually do (such as "sit" in front of the door to leave the house). They are too lenient with him, and usually give him what he wants and don't require anything back.

Thank you for your help.

Your dog doesn't listen to you sometimes because he doesn't have to. He ignores you because he can. The problem is in teaching a command like "Come", you have to make sure that if he doesn't, you can make him follow through. Since he doesn't know this command (or doesn't know it's a command) you have to re-teach him. NEVER tell him to come unless you have a way of reinforcing it. For example, if he's on the couch and you want him to come, connect a leash to him, take a few steps away and say "come". That way, if he doesn't, you can reinforce it.
Very good points, and I will practice that with him! What should I do in a situation like downstairs, obviously I can't put him on the leash and pull him upstairs, any ideas?

If I were in your position, I would really rethink my training methods. I don't know what they are or how he was trained in the first place, but you might want to think of a clean slate and start over with his training.
This is part of the problem. He did not have much consistent training his first few years, I did what I could when I could, but I was in school an hour away. I would say the real training has begun since I started living in the house.

I don't know if it was mentioned in the other thread, but I suggest NILIF for your dog.
I think this is great, and as I explained up top, I have already began to implement some of the suggestions into my training.

The way you said you don't know if he's chosen you as the pack leader that you try to be has me a bit concerned. It's not the dog's choice who is the leader. You be the leader (not "try" to be) and the dog will follow. There's a difference in seeing yourself as the dog's authoritative dictator and being a benevolent guide to create harmony in the house. I suggest the latter. Don't get me wrong, I call myself the "pack leader", but in my mind, it's not an overbearing, gruff or "bossy" position, it's a calm, assertive, "partnership" with my dogs.
Maybe I should have said, I am the pack leader, but he still chooses not to listen to me. I am very firm in my commands, but I would not call myself overbearing.

As far as him hiding under the bed and refusing to come out for your MIL, she needs to be smarter than the dog. That's not an insult, I tell myself that all the time. If the dog sees her getting ready and going through the same routine she always does, OF COURSE he's going to figure it out. Her first action should be to get the dog where she wants him to be, THEN get her keys, shoes or whatever else she does to get ready to go.

Hope this helps some. :)
I totally agree. That is how she has been combating the situation. But, sometimes it doesn't work.

Thank you for your help!
 

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What should I do in a situation like downstairs, obviously I can't put him on the leash and pull him upstairs, any ideas?
Go down there and leash him before you tell him to come up. I always have to think ahead. Is this going to work? What can I do if it doesn't? Am I setting him up to ignore me again (because that's what you DON'T want to do). Am I setting him up to succeed and get rewarded? That's what you want to do.

Another thing you can do is start a nightly routine that incorporates a reward for him coming up. Maybe a special toy, bone or other treat that you keep in your room and ONLY for this occasion. Here's something I did: Jaia didn't like returning his frisbee to me after we were done playing. But I didn't want him playing with it by himself and chewing on it because it is easily destroyed. So, I got a bag of really yummy treats (he's food motivated!) and put them on the kitchen table. Every day, when we come in after playing, everyone gets one treat. Of course, he has to put down the frisbee to get the treat. That's when I say, "Thank you" and pick up the frisbee. So he got wise to me and would drop the frisbee right inside the doggy door so after he got the treat, he could rush back over and get the frisbee. So I had to be smarter than the dog and walk over to the frisbee, step on it, and then give him the treat. Well, he started leaving the frisbee outside. (He's way too smart!) So I told him, no frisbee, no treat, and went about my day. He knows what both words mean (frisbee and treat). Within minutes, he approached me with the frisbee and dropped it. MUCH PRAISE! And 2 treats! So now, after playing, he brings the frisbee in and drops it by me.

Side note: A couple of times, when Jaia left the frisbee outside, B'asia actually went outside and got it and brought it to me for another treat. She's smarter than my husband and I and all the other dogs put together... :eek:

Controlling the resources is going to give you a hefty advantage. :) Good luck!
 

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OP hasn't really mentioned any formal training methods he has used consistently and admits to being gone the 1st 2 years and MIL was in charge. Obedience is a habit that is attained by consistent dog work. Let's use this as a scenario. a teen-ager's mother is product of a divorce and gets remarried and now the new stepfather is in home. well you know the teen-ager is not really going to be too thrilled about the new parental boss or pack leader if those words are better suited. The dog is having stepfather problems. I think an obedience class is in order just so OP can get an idea of what training a dog formally is like.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
OP hasn't really mentioned any formal training methods he has used consistently and admits to being gone the 1st 2 years and MIL was in charge. Obedience is a habit that is attained by consistent dog work. Let's use this as a scenario. a teen-ager's mother is product of a divorce and gets remarried and now the new stepfather is in home. well you know the teen-ager is not really going to be too thrilled about the new parental boss or pack leader if those words are better suited. The dog is having stepfather problems. I think an obedience class is in order just so OP can get an idea of what training a dog formally is like.
He never had formal training classes. I am starting to think that they might be a good idea. The only problem is that he throws up all over the car every time he steps paw in one. I will see what I can do.

I don't know if I would use that analogy. He loves me big-time and will wait in the window for me hours before I get home from work. I think he is not used to a permanent live-in pack leader as opposed to the one to two days I used to be there for the first two years.

I do agree that an obedience class is in order though if I can figure something out.

Thanks for your reply.

 

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I don't know if I would use that analogy. He loves me big-time and will wait in the window for me hours before I get home from work. I think he is not used to a permanent live-in pack leader as opposed to the one to two days I used to be there for the first two years.
I wouldn't even dignify it by calling it an analogy let's just call it an online guesstimate. Sometimes my explanations sound good in my head but not so good when I get it all typed out in reply area. You might try a trainer that will come to home at least to give you a start program.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Desensitizing a Car Sick Dog

An obedience class is an excellent suggestion. :)
That is a great website. We shall start tonight! :D

I wouldn't even dignify it by calling it an anology let's just call it an online guesstimate. Sometimes my explanations sound good in my head but not so good when I get it all typed out in reply area. You might try a trainer that will come to home at least to give you a start program.
lol, your help is appreciated nonetheless. Give yourself some credit! :p
 

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One of the commonest misconceptions about dogs is that they want to please humans. They want to please themselves. "My dog understands what "X" means, but isn't consistent." Teaching your dog what a particular command means is only half the battle. There are different training methods for causing a dog to consider your wants more compelling than his own, but they all require repetition, consistency, and maintaining a high standard.
 

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One of the commonest misconceptions about dogs is that they want to please humans. They want to please themselves. "My dog understands what "X" means, but isn't consistent." Teaching your dog what a particular command means is only half the battle. There are different training methods for causing a dog to consider your wants more compelling than his own, but they all require repetition, consistency, and maintaining a high standard.
Amen. Dogs are so pure in their self-interest - it's why they are so fascinating to watch and to work with.
 
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