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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have a 4 month old puppy who has stopped listening to me unless I show her the treats. She used to be extremely diligent at sit, down, stay, etc. when I asked, but recently started to test what she can get away with.

Two questions:

1) Is this the result of something other than simply her testing me?
2) How do I handle it? If I say "sit" and she runs, do I wait until she comes back (if she comes back) and force her into the sit? Do I stick with giving her treats at all times?

Thoughts?

Quick edit:

I live with my girlfriend and while the puppy generally reacts more to me - follows me, waits for me, etc. - she is also much more aggressive with me (jumping and biting trying to elicit play).
 

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Prevent her from leaving the training area with a leash or being in a confined area like a closed hall or bathroom. Be patient, wait her out then praise her to the skies when she does it. You might count how many seconds it takes, will surprise you how short it really is. Seems like 5 minutes but is probably more like 20 seconds.

Keep the training sessions extremely short, maybe make a big deal of getting out the treats and clicker, clearing the training area then do 3 sits and put everything away. Puppies have short attention spans and doing too much is a bore.

If you think she knows the cues then use them. Ask for a sit or whatever before she gets dinner or the door opens or the leash goes on or she gets her favorite toy. She doesn't sit she doesn't get what she's expecting. She will be shocked and appalled. So go away and come back in a couple minutes and cue again.

I am hands off training and resent even using a leash so wait for what I want but restrict the dog's ability to leave the area and self reward.
 

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1) She's a baby. Roughly the equivalent of a human toddler. Things simply haven't "stuck" yet.

2) If you give a cue and she is slow to obey, forcing her isn't going to make her any faster. And forcing her once she comes back to you after wandering off is going to just make her not want to come back at all. Right now, yes, you stick with marking and treating all the time, luring if you have to. The more a behavior is "paid", the more automatically it will be done when cued. Even experienced competition dogs still get paid for working.
 

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In addition to the excellent advice above...

In preparation for her compliance when you don't have food in your hand: Once she has learned a behavior super well and can do it in multiple places in the house when you have food in your hand, practice doing it with the food out of your hand and in a bowl on a table/shelf within arms reach but where she can't get it. Ask for the cue, and then reward her from the bowl. You can gradually move further and further away from the bowl (over the course of several sessions), telling her she's such a good girl and excitedly running back to the bowl when she does the behavior that you asked for.

In addition to that, once you start working with the food off your body, it's helpful to stash a few puppy-proof containers (with pretty good but dry treats - freeze dried liver works well), and reward from those when she does something good or that you asked for. This helps to teach her that treats for being a good girl can come at any time, even if you aren't holding any right now.

The last thing that I'm going to suggest is that you read about Kathy Sdao's SMARTx50 method. It's simple to implement, and anyone in the house can help with it, even without any training background. The premise is simple: if you see your dog doing a behavior that you would like to happen again in the future, you mark it ("Good girl!") and reward with a treat. The "good" behavior can be anything - laying on her dog bed instead of on the couch (or instead of bothering you to play with her), keeping her feet on the ground when guests come, quietly watching things out the window, or ignoring the cat/squirrel/bird/whatever that's outside. (This method is NOT meant to teach your dog cued behaviors - things that the dog does on your command - but is meant just to encourage good behavior without the human having to tell the dog what to do all the time. To put things like "sit" and "lay down" and "Go to your bed" on a cue, you will need to specifically train the dog that those words mean do that specific thing.)
 

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At four weeks old she is still a baby. She is also now needing you less as she starts to explore away from you and notice other things (developing independence). Being a female she may have lower pack drive than a male.

How long are your training sessions? Honestly? At this age it is far better to play 90% of the time and throw in training here and there. You need to be interesting, not boring and a drill Sargent. Formal obedience sessions in too young a dog will backfire at some point because they are too long and boring (one of the problems with young dog obedience classes is they are usually an HOUR and you will be lucky to get 10 minutes of attention from a puppy under 6 months old).

Your biggest job at this age is not to teach sit or down but to train the dog that you are worthy of attention and a worthy play mate and build the dog's desire to be with you. While doing that you can toss in a little teaching. Keep your puppy engaged.. not glancing off, sniffing the ground, looking away, wandering away or needing to be kept with you on leash in an enclosed area.. that is your job. :)
 

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To the OP, have you enrolled in a training class? I feel like you are overwhelmed by your puppy (as you've directly stated in other threads), and whereas folks here have given you excellent advice across your posts, developing a relationship with a trainer who can SHOW you and follow up with you can really make your life easier. I would look for a trainer that uses positive reinforcement and is force-free. I'm not here to get into methodology debates. But any trainer worth their salt, regardless of methods, would likely agree that for puppies this is a good way to start.
 

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she is also much more aggressive with me (jumping and biting trying to elicit play).

this could also be "anxiety and frustration" reaction from your puppy puppies get tired, they can easily be overwhelm, overworked....... cranky.... wanting you to stop can cause the jumping and biting and getting aggressive. It is ok to just go spend some free time together.. no rules.. puppies are smart they don't need drilling all the time and for everything.... time off to just relax be yourselves wont ruin them.... puppies need mental rest of just being a puppy
 
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