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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello! I've had some interesting encounters with Jax, my schipperke pup.

He knows quite a few commands including sit, down, shake, leave it, take it, come, roll over. Sit was the very first command he learned. Sometimes when I say sit, he will look me in the eye and remain standing. I honestly am not sure what to do next. Do I allow him to get away with that? Do I repeat the command? Do I just leave him alone?

Also I have run into a problem teaching him stay. He is still in the clingy puppy phase and wants to follow me everywhere. I can take one step away and he will remain sitting, but if I move any further back he starts whining or barking. Earlier today he threw a fit! When I told him stay, he replied by whining, barking, and rolling around on the floor. :laugh: The problem is after that, he seemed disconnected from the rest of our small training sessions so I usually just take a break with that scenario.

Any advice would be appreciated! Thank you!
 

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It depends. Most people think their dog really understands a cue way before they do. You mention this is a puppy? In most cases, I'd do what I needed to do to help him get it right. He may know sit in the kitchen. Does he also know it in the yard when there's a squirrel just past your head? Does he know it at Petsmart on a Saturday afternoon? So, if my dog doesn't respond to my cue, I ask myself what is different, and we train. If I am absolutely certain that the dog understands the cue, I may turn away for a split second to break up the sequence so I'm not chanting at my dog. Turn back and give the cue again. If the dog knows it, they generally respond. If they don't, I ask "why not?" and we train. How am I sure if my dog realkly understands the cue? Take ten treats. Treat for every correct response, put a treat aside for every incorrect response - with you standing, sitting, on the floor, with your back turned, with your face covered. In different locations. So you are sure your dog is responding to the actual word, not the situation or something you are doing with your face or body. If at the end of ten repetitions you have two or less treats in the fail pile, congratulations. Your dog is at 80% cue recognition. If you have three or more treats, you need to train some more.
On getting stays, I go very slowly - building duration one or two seconds at a time, with me RIGHT there. When the dog has 15 seconds with me right there, I start adding distance - a step at a time, but when I increase distance, I take duration right back to the beginning. And when I have both distance and duration, I add distrations, and take distance and duration right back to the beginning.
As to "letting the dog get away with" not obeying. If my dog wants the treat they'll obey. They don't tell me "no" very often, but if they do, I try to figure out why. It could be a physical issue, or it could be an incomplete understanding of what I am asking for. And of course, it's my responsibility to make sure we practice and maintain those behaviors.
 

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How old is Jax? I hope a schipperke expert will speak up, but what you describe isn't unusual for a pup.
1. Sit: No, don't let him get away with it. You have to be more persistent than him... more stubborn. Repeat it... but don't say sit... Sit... Sit!!... SIT!!! Instead, slow it down: sit ... .... Jax, ... Sit ... ... Jax! ... Sit ... ... Jax!! ... Sit ... ... Jax!! ... Sit (repeat)
In addition, you can say sit, then take a step toward him, and say Jax, ... ... Sit.

2. Stay is more difficult.... you'll just have to go slowly... He may be young for a solid Stay. You might take one step... and repeat for 3 days. Then, two steps and repeat for 3 days, and so on ???
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Jax is currently 5 months old, he has been learning sit since he came home from the breeder at 8 weeks. We usually train him in the kitchen, and it was in the kitchen he refused to sit. I was hoping that maybe he didn't understand the cue, but then again I was considering perhaps it was just stubbornness. In the past he sometimes half-sit, but wasn't really sitting, lol! I shall watch for inconsistencies in how I give him commands.

Thanks for the advice on stay! I shall continue to work on it with him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Okay, I literally just ran into the problem again today, I shall give some background information:

I literally just started teaching him stay today. Like I posted earlier, I have been teaching him sit since he was 8 weeks, and he nails it. I told him to sit, held my hand out (stay signal) and after releasing him with an "okay" rewarded him a treat and my cue word. I did this a few times. I then started to tell him to sit, stay, took a very small step back. I said okay, and he came running to me where I treated/cued him. I tried repeating it a 3rd time, but taking 2 small steps back, and he just shut down! This was all in the course of 15 minutes, so I am starting to understand maybe I was doing this way too quickly.

Everytime I tried telling him to stay after that he threw a fit. I told him to sit, stay, and he barks/whines. I took a break, and a couple hours later and he now has a very negative response to the word stay. I set up everything as I did the first attempt. I asked him to sit. I lifted my hand to signal stay, I said stay, and then he shut down again. It is to the point where he was freaking out about sitting, I think because I asked him to sit before saying stay. How can I fix this? Do I perhaps have to choose a new word now? :/ I took a video of the response. This was after failing to try to teach him stay again, and him refusing to sit because, I believe, he was anticipating a "stay".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gP9ciduWexI&feature=plcp

Please excuse the laundry. :p

I think I might just take a few days worth of a break with teaching stay. I'm getting frustrated, and I'm sure he is.
 

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Are you holding the reward way above his head? If so, you need to reinforce for position. Way up there seems to have gotten you exactly what he did - jump up on you.

Go to dogstardaily.com, search "sit", and click on the third option down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
He has never jumped up on me when I told him sit until today when I tried teaching him stay. I feel like the perspective of the phone makes it look higher than what it really is. I shall read the link you posted though, thanks!
 

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Okay, I literally just ran into the problem again today, I shall give some background information:

I literally just started teaching him stay today. Like I posted earlier, I have been teaching him sit since he was 8 weeks, and he nails it. I told him to sit, held my hand out (stay signal) and after releasing him with an "okay" rewarded him a treat and my cue word. I did this a few times. I then started to tell him to sit, stay, took a very small step back. I said okay, and he came running to me where I treated/cued him. I tried repeating it a 3rd time, but taking 2 small steps back, and he just shut down! This was all in the course of 15 minutes, so I am starting to understand maybe I was doing this way too quickly.

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Yes, I think you are probably moving too quickly. It's also not unsual to "break" behaviors we thought the dog knew when we try to add something new to the picture. The confusion usually doesn't last too long. When I am starting to teach "stay" I go back to the dog to treat him instead of call him to me. I suspect he'll (and you'll) get over the frustration pretty quickly. You could change the cue for stay to wait or something else. But I suspect it is probably one of those training glitches that every dog has.
 

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Are you holding the reward way above his head? If so, you need to reinforce for position. Way up there seems to have gotten you exactly what he did - jump up on you.

Go to dogstardaily.com, search "sit", and click on the third option down.
I couldn't tell if she had a lure in her hand or that was just her signal. I try to get rid of a lure (if I use one) after a couple of repetitions or the dog becomes dependent on seeing food. This is another good reason not to add a cue until the dog is pretty solid on the behavior. If she's called him to her by stepping backwards, he's probably wondering why she no longer wants that behavior.
 

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Try showing him what you want him to do. If he doesn't listen when you say it then you could put him in the correct position. Get his collar and put him into a sit by pushing down on his back, then reward him.
 

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Try showing him what you want him to do. If he doesn't listen when you say it then you could put him in the correct position. Get his collar and put him into a sit by pushing down on his back, then reward him.
Well, I'm never fond of telling people to push on a dog's bum to get a sit, but it's a whole lot safer for the dog than pushing down on his back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I couldn't tell if she had a lure in her hand or that was just her signal. I try to get rid of a lure (if I use one) after a couple of repetitions or the dog becomes dependent on seeing food. This is another good reason not to add a cue until the dog is pretty solid on the behavior. If she's called him to her by stepping backwards, he's probably wondering why she no longer wants that behavior.
Thanks for the advice thus far everyone! I appreciate it. I didn't have a lure in my hand, that is just the signal I used. I think you're definitely right on cues. He is much more responsive to my signals than he is my verbal commands, so I shall try to reinforce that!

Also on stay, I think I am going to just give it a break until he hits the adolescent stage and isn't so clingy to me. I might also have to use a word other than stay because it just seems so poisoned. He starts barking/whining/jumping like he did in the movie, and doesn't want to perform commands after. Next time we attempt stay, I shall try to teach it to him much slower so this doesn't happen again!
 

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Well, I'm never fond of telling people to push on a dog's bum to get a sit, but it's a whole lot safer for the dog than pushing down on his back.
That's what I meant. If you wanna get technical, then you can say bum. Anyone with common sense knows you aren't gonna get a dog into a sit by pushing down on the middle of his back.
 

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I wouldn't recommend pushing on his bum to get him to sit. It's the least effective way if you're going to PUT the dog in a sit. You will trigger the opposition reflex. The correct way to guide a dog into a sit is to grab the back of the collar and apply upwards pressure until the dog sits. It's very quick and easy, much easier than pushing a dog down while he struggles due to the opposition reflex.

It's not necessary to force him though. If he doesn't sit, he doesn't see enough value in it yet. That's just feedback for you to go back and build more value into the sit. You can do this by practising a lot and using high value rewards, but another way is to reward by asking for his favourite behaviour after the sit, and then reward that.

And in training you can set up situations to help the dog see the advantage in doing what you say. Put a bowl of high value treats down on the floor, or his favourite toy or similar. Something he really likes and wants. Have the dog right next to it and ask for a basic behaviour, such as sit or down. If he listens, great, reward him. If he doesn't, grab him by the collar and move him further away from what he wants. Repeat the command. If he does it, run back to what he wanted and reward him. If he doesn't, move further away again and repeat the command. As before, reward if he listens. If he doesn't, move him further away and out of sight of what he wants. Keep moving further away until the dog does it. It shouldn't take long if he actually knows the command. If he just doesn't do it at all, you have to assume he doesn't know the command as well as you thought.

By doing this you teach the dog that to get what he wants he has to do what you want first, and there is no other option and there is no reward at all until he listens. And when he listens it's great because he gets something cool.

You can use this method any time the dog wants anything. Pretty soon it will be a conditioned response where the dog knows that even if he doesn't want to, he still has to, and will do it anyway.
 
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