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Discussion Starter #1
So we've had Mandie almost a week now and while we've made feeble attempts at 'sit' and her name, it became rather obvious today that we need to intensify her training. After a super embarassing trip to Petsmart and a battle of a walk that ended up dragging my hubby out of the house, I'm exhausted and a little worried. I feel like whoever had her before was extremely indulgent as she is quite the beggar. We want to enroll her at a beginner class at petsmart that starts next week but we'd have to miss one of the classes since we're going out of town. Any thoughts?
We've been using positive reinforcement to teach her sit but does anyone have any ideas on how to keep treats handy without her seeing them? Any feedback would be great.
 

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Give us more info...how old is the dog? What is the breed or mix??
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Mandie is a two year old dachsund/lab mix. She's a real couch potato and love bug but I get the feeling that she hears us and ignores us. I should mention that a snap of the fingers usually stops whining or other bad behavior except when she's barking her head off.
 

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I'd recommend a clip on treat pouch. It's a little draw string pouch made of nylon or some other durable fabric that clips onto your belt, you can get one at petco for 3 dollars or so. Personally, I put a ziplock bag inside the treat pouch to hide the smell a little better (I'm required to wear one for work, and smelling like bacon treats all day isn't fun) it also keeps the treats from drying out if you use semi moist ones.

For the begging, I'd suggest considering crate training her. If you go slowly and use positive reinforcement it can be a really positive thing for your dog (though the initial whining can be a little heart breaking). Eventually you'll have her conditioned to know that when the humans sit down for dinner, she goes and relaxes in her crate (doesn't hurt if you feed her her dinner at the same time, inside the crate). Crate training also helps with house training, and potentially destructive behavior.

The dragging/walking problem, I'd think could be addressed with a training aid like the gentle leader or the easy walk harness (I prefer the gentle leader personally) and then later elaborated on in her training class. If those don't work, then maybe try a pinch collar when she gets older and ask your dog training instructor for advice on how to use one (they're not as simple as they look, at least in my opinion). A really fun way to train loose leash walking is to put her on the leash in the house, and then get a long handled spoon (like the kind you'd use to stir soup) and coat the end with a little peanut butter (or if she's not suppose to have that, wet dog food) and have her walk at your side with the treat on the stick in front of her. The treat stays by your side, and so does she.

Good luck with your puppy, a lab/dachshund mix sounds really cute!
 

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Also, try not to get discouraged. It is amazing what can happen once you get the training thing working. It is essential to help her understand that you are the bearer of all good things (ie, treats and other wonderful things) and once you convince her of that by associating the simple positive reinforcement methods espoused here, you'll see results quickly. I have had two rescue dogs and now have an 8 week old lab puppy and I can say that I knew absolutely nothing about training a dog but after working with a trainer and reading up on positive reinforcement, I was able to train very easily. There may still be some particular problems associated with your dog's personality but you'll learn how to manage those. It is well worth the time, effort and money to do proper training. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
So any suggestions for what to do when she goes bezerk when she sees another dog? And it's not all dog just certain ones, usually larger ones. My husband just picks her up but I think that defeats the purpose of a walk, plus she's heavy. I didn't realize she was so unpredictable and I'm not sure how to hchange that.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Lol we thought of that but she hears my husband whistle, the people who live above us, she even came when was she was called today (yeah!). I think if anything she has selective hearing.
 

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You could always try conditioning her with bigger dogs. The first step would be to find a friend with a large, friendly, and trustworthy dog (if you don't have any friends with a dog fitting that description, perhaps try a training class and express your desire to the instructor that your dog becomes conditioned to larger dogs). Next would be to bring the two together in a neutral environment, and while they're on their leads, let them sniff it out. Watch out for teeth baring and hackles being raised as warning signs, but just try to remain relaxed and positive, and if you do see these signs, just calmly step back and take a break (personally, I'd avoid picking the dog up, as that's only rewarding the bad behavior with attention). A lot of times when owners are stressed out and scared over a situation, the dog will pick up on it and react to it. Reward her with praise and treats when she greets the other dog nicely, and if she starts getting hostile (but the other dog is remaining polite) tell her no and flip her around so her head is facing you and her butt is toward the other dog (some people don't really feel comfortable flipping their dog like that, and in that case it's probably better to walk away, it's just something I've been told to do before and seems to work well).Then just repeat this with as many dogs as you can until she gets use to greeting larger dogs calmly and politely.
 
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