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Hello!

I posted on here a few months ago about my Akita, who had been having accidents in her crate and received a lot of good advice. She's 5 months old now and she is much much better - although I am still wishing and hoping for the day when I give her more unsupervised time outside the crate. Oh well!

Anyway since then I have been working with her on training. We have sit, down, shake, roll over, circle, and stay all down fairly well. Walking loose leash is coming along, but still requires stopping and correcting her about 60% of the time.

My issue with the training is that with ALL of these commands I have come to periods of time when she acts really really snotty about it. For example roll over, I got her into the down position and lured her to do a roll over. We did it a number of times successfully, clicked, treated, big party and then suddenly she just decided "I am over this" walks away from me, sits in her crate with her back turned!

What I have been doing then is just pack up all of my training stuff, close her crate door and leave the room for about 5 minutes, then when I come back I completely ignore her.

Getting her to come is a similar issue, I will call "Tora come!" and I would say 50% of the time she will beeline out of her crate to me, sit down and wait for my praise. The other 50% of the time she will either turn her back to me in the crate and pretend like I don't exist or she will come halfway out and then decide she would rather go back into the crate. What should I do? Ignore her? Correct her? Put her back on a long leash and try to reel her over...? Come is such an important command and I would really like to feel that I could get her to reliably come.

On a second point we are also going through a submissive peeing thing. It started about 3 weeks ago. I would open the crate, ask her to stay down, walk to the door with her leash, call her to come (which is a 50/50 chance), have her sit down, put the leash on and wait for me to go out the door first. She started coming over and doing a little pee every time she came to me and I had the leash :\ So for the past 3 weeks I have been training her to come to me, I put the leash on, treat, then take the leash off, send her back to crate and repeat trying to reward the no peeing behavior.

We were good for about 4 days in a row and then suddenly this morning it happened again. When she does do the pee (and I watch for it) I will just say "uh uh" and point to the crate and ignore her. Today it happened on the first and second attempts, but by the third time we were okay.

I feel like the not always coming when called and submissive peeing are related, but I'm not sure where to start to remedy this.

Thanks for any suggestions!
 

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Hello!

I posted on here a few months ago about my Akita, who had been having accidents in her crate and received a lot of good advice. She's 5 months old now and she is much much better - although I am still wishing and hoping for the day when I give her more unsupervised time outside the crate. Oh well!

Anyway since then I have been working with her on training. We have sit, down, shake, roll over, circle, and stay all down fairly well. Walking loose leash is coming along, but still requires stopping and correcting her about 60% of the time.

My issue with the training is that with ALL of these commands I have come to periods of time when she acts really really snotty about it. For example roll over, I got her into the down position and lured her to do a roll over. We did it a number of times successfully, clicked, treated, big party and then suddenly she just decided "I am over this" walks away from me, sits in her crate with her back turned!

What I have been doing then is just pack up all of my training stuff, close her crate door and leave the room for about 5 minutes, then when I come back I completely ignore her.

Getting her to come is a similar issue, I will call "Tora come!" and I would say 50% of the time she will beeline out of her crate to me, sit down and wait for my praise. The other 50% of the time she will either turn her back to me in the crate and pretend like I don't exist or she will come halfway out and then decide she would rather go back into the crate. What should I do? Ignore her? Correct her? Put her back on a long leash and try to reel her over...? Come is such an important command and I would really like to feel that I could get her to reliably come.

On a second point we are also going through a submissive peeing thing. It started about 3 weeks ago. I would open the crate, ask her to stay down, walk to the door with her leash, call her to come (which is a 50/50 chance), have her sit down, put the leash on and wait for me to go out the door first. She started coming over and doing a little pee every time she came to me and I had the leash :\ So for the past 3 weeks I have been training her to come to me, I put the leash on, treat, then take the leash off, send her back to crate and repeat trying to reward the no peeing behavior.

We were good for about 4 days in a row and then suddenly this morning it happened again. When she does do the pee (and I watch for it) I will just say "uh uh" and point to the crate and ignore her. Today it happened on the first and second attempts, but by the third time we were okay.

I feel like the not always coming when called and submissive peeing are related, but I'm not sure where to start to remedy this.

Thanks for any suggestions!

I think, maybe, you're training more than she's ready for. At that point, it should not be work for her. She's a baby. It should be a game. Multiple short sessions in a day. Forcing her beyond that is obviously not going to work. She needs to be having fun, and she's. Not. And punishing for her (even by just going into a time out) is not going to make it more fun. You might also want to be looking for a higher value treat for her. Something that really gets her excited.
 

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Well she loves her walks and she is always excited to go out, and whenever she actually comes I give her a little bit of yogurt which is her very favorite treat. When we aren't doing training she gets really restless and when I set up our area to practice tricks she gets so excited bouncing up and down to start.

I don't want to punish her, but I am concerned that if I don't do anything for not responding to commands that she will just learn that it's okay to not always respond. Should I just refrain from doing the "come" command at all? Her ignoring behavior also doesn't happen with come after doing it multiple times, sometimes from the very first come she will just turn her back on me, even though every time she actually comes towards me she gets a high value treat.

So I am wondering to give up on come and just go to her to leash her or what should I do if half the time she won't come even on the first try?
 

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Welcome to the world of owning a Spitz breed. Spitz breeds are notorious for being "stubborn". Most are very, very concerned about "what is in it for me?". They are not dumb and they are not doing it just to make your life hard (though it seems like it sometimes), it is just in their nature to be more independent and to think about what they are doing and why they are doing it. Arguably these traits helped them when they were living in the colder climates. A lot of Spitz breeds were used as sled dogs and I have heard it said that this independent nature was important for survival. For example, a musher might try to get his team moving forward and the lead dog will stop and refuse to move, only to find out there was dangerously thin ice or some other hazard ahead. Something like a Golden who lives to please would take you into the ice. Is this true? I don't know, but I could see it.

Now this isn't to say that Spitz breeds are un-trainable, just that you are going to constantly be needing to work at it, practicing, coming up with new exciting things, and understanding that even with all the right training she may never be as reliable or as willing to please as something like a Golden or Lab or BC.

Firstly, make your training sessions shorter. When the puppy is really loving it and looking at you just waiting for more, quit. Don't try to squeeze in "just one more". This was one of my biggest problems. I loved training too much and I went too long. Shasta would start to go slower, be less responsive, etc. and I would get frustrated because "you did it perfect 5 minutes ago!". Now I do a lot of fun, quick, tiny sessions when it is hard stuff.

As an example, I am practicing fronts which are (for us) boring and repetitive. I will take her outside with 4 pieces of hot dog in my pocket and a very small tupperware container (smaller then a tuna can) filled with something good like cheese or liver. I will get excited and call her front and if it is ok Ill give her a treat and run away. She chases me, I call front, and if she nails it I say "WOW GOOD JOB!" and throw the tupperware! She gets to chase it and grab it and I run up and open it and she gets everything in it. Session over. She leaves these sessions going "That was awesome, I love fronts!" If they are just OK then she gets a piece of hot dog and more chasing. Out of those 5 times one will be better. I will jackpot that one and end. Even if that means I just did 1 front, doesn't matter. I'm not so much trying to train it perfectly moreso than just trying to build her enthusiasm to LOVE fronts, then I can fine tune.

Have you tried just doing the "treating for being around me" stuff? You go outside in the backyard, pocket full of treats. Let her out to run around. Just mozy around the yard and when she comes to check in on you click or say 'yes' and offer her a treat. She'll probably take it and run off again. Don't say anything, just let her choose. Do this with her breakfast so she is hungry. Eventually she will start choosing to be around you. Then, when she likes being around you, start encouraging her to come by kneeling, running away, saying something like exciting and fast like "pup-pup-puppy!" and when she comes over give her something super good like chicken or hamburger or something. Then run away as fast as you can! More than likely she will chase you, then give her more food. When she is getting into it, end the game. To be continued at dinner or the next day. Don't add the "come" cue until she loves this game and loves chasing you and being around you.

You could sit there and put a leash on her and say "come" and if she doesn't come you drag her over, but what are you teaching? How do you "correct" a recall? She will learn come means I get dragged around. Plus, when you make decisions for the dog by manipulation your dog isn't learning what they should be doing. They are learning that "Yes, you can in fact move their bodies". That's just my opinion. If you want to go that route then I guess go for it but I think you will see better results as she begins to mature and if you make the training super fun and exciting and less like work.

Also manage her environment. If you don't think she will come when called, don't call her! Don't put her in a situation where she might fail. Is she coming towards you on her own? Call her and treat her heavily! Also, do you always heavily reward a recall? Or do you sometimes pet her? Or just say good girl? You said you praise her but let me tell you, if a 5 month old Akita puppy came when I called I would be stuffing cheese down that dog's throat and praising like no tomorrow. If I said 'good girl' every time my Husky mix came when called she would stop after the 3rd time. I can get away with it sometimes now, but I had better heavily reinforce one of those 3 times just to remind her why coming to me versus chasing rabbits is the better decision. To me, while she is still so young and learning, make come the best thing ever. Once she is 97% reliable of coming when called, fade the treats. But seeing as how she doesn't come all the time, I would continue feeding the best things you can find to get her to really believe that coming when called is more beneficial to her than sniffing, cloud watching, bug chasing, butt sniffing, and chasing.

Now, there are some times I don't allow blowing me off. If I call my dog and say sit and she blows me off I will make it easier. I will give her a verbal cue and my hand cue. If she sits, I will treat her. Then I will try again with just the verbal. If she does it, I give her a little better treat. If she fails to sit from the verbal cue, I will cue a hand signal and verbal cue and then treat and release her and then go over my training plans. You don't want to make it scary or no fun but I do want to remind her that I said something and I will wait you out and help you know what I want but you are still doing it., even if I am back to luring it. But still be sure to treat her.

With the submissive peeing with the leash, have you used the leash negatively in any way before? Not to be mean or anything, but by the tone of your post it seems like you are the type to have expectations of this puppy that the puppy may or may not be ready for. Have you used intimidation for anything? Why do you point at her and say "uh uh"? What does that accomplish? It sounds like you have a puppy with a shyer personality and your actions are scaring her to some affect. If I was shy and nervous and all of a sudden somebody looming over me was acting kind disapproving and maybe a little angry, I think I would get pretty scared. Of course I am not there and I do not know, but what I do know is that this puppy sounds like she is a little overwhelmed. Have you tried kneeling and calling her over with the leash? Sideways to her? Are you standing? What happens when she breaks a stay, do you drag her back to that point and force her to do it again?

I'm not trying to sound like you are harsh or anything, I'm not. However what we may consider fair and good practice varies between puppies. Some puppies are very very confident and something like yelling at them gets them all happy and riled up! For some puppies, looking at them cross eyed gets them in the fetal position. I'm just trying to see if anything you are doing in particular is maybe too much for this individual puppy.




Edit: Even today I did too long a session. I had half her AM meal and I was free shaping just fun cute tricks. One was to go around a pole. She went around 4-5 times then would just lay down and stare at me. I kept quiet, she looked at the pole, starting sniffing the floor, and even though she did it perfect 5 times in a row that 6th time was too much. She had no zest for it and just got frustrated doing it over and eventually saw no point. I saw what I did and quickly took the prop out. I asked for a different trick and did that once or twice then ended the session. I made a note to myself that I can only ask for 2-3 times around the pole before I either need to end the session or do another trick. At least, that is the case in this point in time. Such is life. In time I can work on that 6th time but asking for more then would have made going around a pole a task that wasn't fun.
 
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