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what to do when a pup won't do as asked

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by spid, May 7, 2010.


  1. spid

    spid PetForums VIP

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    Okay, so Jinx is coming on very nicely but . . . sometimes she just won't do as we ask when in the normal household situation. (I expect it when we are outside). For example, (and this is just one example - she does more than this) we ask her to sit before we open the door and most of the time she does it before we even ask but sometimes she refuses, and even when we ask she still refuses, and I repeat the command again and she still ignores me. She is looking at me, concentrated on me, but just won't do it. Now, I know getting cross won't help, I don't want to reintroduce a treat at this stage (I do do it intermittently - but can't get my head around bribing her to sit at the door when I know she knows how to do it and has refused to do it when asked) What should I do? I am tending to just take her away from the door and popping her in her crate (with chews etc) for a couple of mins before trying again. Is this right? In the 'old days' I would have gently made her sit and then praised her and let her outside. So how do I get around this? Go backwards 10 steps? If I start treating her every time again, won't she always expect it? Any advise accepted - but be gentle.
     
  2. hutch6

    hutch6 PetForums VIP

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    You are going through exactly what I am.

    I just put it down to my own expectations exceed the dog's understanding of my cues. Therefore I am going over everything right from lured sit again. To be honest I can't wait to get started tonight as I have to do it with three dogs, three diferent dogs and three funny dogs. One knows the clicker, one knows how to throw himself on his back for a belly rub and one knows it all but is a bit shakey and works for frisbees so each session will be very different.

    I got slammed for calling it a bribe so try to think of it as a thank you gesture and it all seems a much brighter world.
     
  3. cutekiaro1

    cutekiaro1 PetForums VIP

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    If she refuses to do something when you ask, make her do it. IE If she refuses to sit when told (once) go over to her gently hold her collar and push gently down on her bum saying sit (in a stern voice) (never push down on the back)

    Try doing this everytime she refuses to do something but always have a treat ready for when she does it on her own. She will get the idea very quickly that she HAS to do what you say, its either a case of ignoring and not getting a treat or doing it and getting something yummy. I know which I would go for :thumbup:
     
  4. Colliepoodle

    Colliepoodle PetForums VIP

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    Go back to basics and teach her that ONLY obeying the first cue gets rewarded - either by using a treat/opening the door or whatever.

    "Sit" is often the most difficult behaviour because since it's usually the first one taught, it's the one that we often inadvertently teach multiple repetitions of the cue for.
     
  5. leashedForLife

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    this does not sound like *refusal*, spid -
    if she COMPLIES before U give the cue, she is taking her cue from the circs.
    that means that the cue itself may not mean whatever U think it means to her.

    how old is Jinx?
    my gut-hunch? whatever she learned the cue meant to her, differs significantly from what U intended it to mean.
    go back to step-One, lesson-One, and re-teach it -
    and i would lure to get her to sit, then fade the food to another hand/ pocket/nearby table/IOW stop luring,
    but STILL reward - when she hits 80% compliance (4 of 5 consistently RIGHT on the first arm/hand cue),
    add the VERBAL cue; the hand/arm signal is a modified luring-movement + serves as a non-verbal bridge to the vocal-cue.

    dogs learn body-language really easily, often un-intentionally - we tell them things without even knowing we are telling them.
    it is entirely conceivable that the times she DOES sit without U even spitting out a cue, U do something U do not notice -
    and she knows U are *about* to ask her to sit.

    i would lay $20 that she is confused about the cue/action pair, and by re-teaching U will eliminate the confusion -
    but this time, be VERY aware of how U stand, any eyes-on-eyes contact, context... walking to the door, pick-up the leash,
    any other Non-Cue clues that muddy comprehension.

    also of note -
    dogs do NOT begin to generalize until the same thing happens, with the same cue, in a minimum
    of FIVE different settings / contexts.
    so... SIT with a luring (empty) hand + verbal cue may be fluent in the kitchen, if thats where U taught it,
    and nonexistent in the living-room or on the sidewalk out front, the backyard, the vets-office, etcetera.

    SUBSTRATE makes a difference, too -
    sitting on bluestone, macadam, concrete, carpet, lino, hardwood, bark-chips, grass, ________ ,
    are all different under a dogs bare-feet + butt - and if U do most of the practicing on carpet + grass,
    HAVE * NO lino or hardwood in Ur house, and expect the dog to SIT on 1st-cue at the vets...
    U are very likely to be disappointed. :eek:
    * the vets is high-stress + not highly-familiar -
    most pet-owners do not do cookie-visits to make the vets familiar, pleasant, and mildly boring
    * the substrate is *wrong* or odd or slippery - dogs -hate- slippery surfaces, it takes time to get them accustomed.


    the more consistent U are in body-parl, cues + stance, the easier the dog finds learning - do U breathe? do U bend?
    do U stare into the dogs eyes? do U walk to the door FIRST? if so, all of them become part of the cue, for the dog.
    when U suddenly *drop* parts of the cue, the dog is lost.

    re-teaching is usually incredibly fast, as the dog already has the past-history of learning, and this time we are careful
    to keep things very-clean + precise
    ... re-teaching may take as little as One-Tenth the time of initial learning,
    don;t wring Ur hands and predict it will take 3-weeks to re-teach SIT on-cue -
    it takes whatever time it takes, but its generally a mere fraction of the first-time learning.

    don;t sweat it, hun; dogs are super-sensitive to body-cues, and easily confused by verbal.
    try NOT to talk a lot, and NOT to introduce the verbal-cue too early:
    4 times of 5 she SITs on ONE hand/arm signal without fail, for at least a full day, or at least 20 to 30 SITs on cue,
    before the verbal-label is stuck on it.

    doing NILIF for a few days to a week - SIT as pre-pay/please? for every single Need + every single Want -
    is a great way to polish + perfect *SIT on cue*.
    it provides simple, frequent practice in many different settings, ideal for starting *generalization* in the k9-mind:
    sit to be petted in the living-room in the evening; sit to get brekkie from counter to floor; sit to get the door open,
    to EXIT + to ENTER; sit to be leashed-up, sit to be Un-clipped; SIT to get a tidbit, sit to get out of/into the car;
    sit to run free in the park/on the beach...

    the more PLACES the dog gets to practice, the faster the dog will *generalize* the cue + pair it to the action. :thumbup1:

    happy re-teaching, hun,
    --- terry
     
  6. leashedForLife

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    forgot to say...
    PUSHING on a dog to get them to (sit, down, stand still...) will result in confusion, automatic resistance, + less learning.
    dogs being scavengers + not herd-animals, do not GIVE to body-pressure, they have an automatic, untaught Push-Back.
    this is not being difficult, rude, uncooperative, or any other rebellion -
    its an instinctive + untaught physical response, NOT the dogs fault or choice.


    when U push on the dog + the dog pushes back, U greatly confuse things + learning slows to a crawl or stops.

    OTOH when U have the DOG do the desired action - by luring, capturing, or shaping the behavior -
    U make learning incredibly rapid + *sticky* -- it literally sticks to the dogs mind,
    and helps the dog learn to learn.

    have fun! :thumbup: teaching + learning should be enjoyable for both student + teacher.
     
  7. spid

    spid PetForums VIP

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    I think that's it LFL - I taught sit in the living room (carpet) and outside on the grass - she's okay by the front door (carpet), the door she struggles with is the kitchen (lino) - I don't remember 'teaching' sit in the kitchen. So back tyo basics for a while.


    Lordy I am SOOOOO impatient! I want perfection NOW! Must do better!
     
  8. leashedForLife

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    she must be pretty young, then? :huh: or pretty new-to-U, if a pre-loved model? ;)
     
  9. spid

    spid PetForums VIP

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    4 months now - so new to everything. I'm just old and finding it lots harder than last time round and SOOOO impatient to get past the puppy stage.
     
  10. cutekiaro1

    cutekiaro1 PetForums VIP

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    My three dogs must be the only dogs in the world that sit when I touch their bum then :confused:
    never once have any of them ever tried to resist or push back against me and they could easily if they wanted to as I apply next to no pressure on them :eek6:
     
  11. leashedForLife

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    not really, hun -
    the younger they are when some human does this (push to get them to move with the pressure),
    the easier it is for the pup to *learn* to go with pressure.

    or if its a dog, and the dog is untrained/untaught, and the person persistently + without anger or arguing, pushes,
    the dog will eventually *learn*, aha! when s/he pushes, i bend, and then i;m praised!
    but it is not automatic - it is learned.

    lets face it - if i took Ur dog;s leash with Ur permission, and pushed on the dogs CHEST to make the dog back-up into a sit -
    how successful would i be? do U think ur dog would back-up? stand + look confused?
    lean into my hand + hope for petting? feel threatened + air-snap, stiffen + growl?
    it all depends on the dog, and their temp, past-exp, the threat they perceive (or not), etc.

    its also common for a fingertip on a butt to be a CUE to sit readily,
    while a full-hand firm pressure on a ribcage elicits push-back, at the groomers - which can cause a fall,
    if the groomer tries to push the dog ONTO the table, the dogs push-back may sent the dog over their arm to the floor.

    the difference?
    the dog knows the owner, and the fingertip/butt cue is familiar + not scary;
    the dog does Not KNow the groomer, and the grooming-table is an anxious situation - so they resist, often in panic.
    their instinctive resistance kicks in, and their cognitive (learned) behavior is lost amid the stress + worry.

    cheers,
    --- terry
     
  12. ArwenLune

    ArwenLune PetForums Senior

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    I have this little guideline for myself - really helps me figure out what's going wrong and how I could fix it instead of getting frustrated.

    Before I get 1001 responses that of course animals can disobey, I mean that (providing that the cue is understood!) what we take for disobediance is usually 'insufficient motivation'. The animal is asking 'Why should I do this?' - and I'm one of those people who thinks that is a fair enough question, because I'm not so special that my cues should be followed just because I'm me and my animal is an animal. It's okay for them to work for rewards - whether that is a fussing, kind words, rest, play or a treat.
     
    #12 ArwenLune, May 7, 2010
    Last edited: May 7, 2010
    babycham2002 likes this.
  13. rocco33

    rocco33 PetForums VIP

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    I completely agree with Leashedforlife - she has given some good advice.

    Great advice - well worth remembering.
     
  14. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

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    it is the way that every dog for hundreds of years has been taught to sit. I doubt if the dog has changed just because there are soft people that think it is wrong. If you do have the odd dog that pushes back at you use more of a flick, that will work.
    I am firm believer in ask the first time, tell the second time and make the third time.
    I cant stand this way of waiting till the dog does something then giving the command and a titbit.
    This is why we have so many badly behaved dogs and children around
     
  15. leashedForLife

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    then Ur odds of teaching a sneeze on-cue, body-shake on-cue, or to chase their tail, are exceedingly low to nonexistent. :lol:
    capturing such spontaneous behaviors on-offer is the simplest way to get them on cue.

    i never said that i do not FOLLOW* THRU on a cue - i do; my clients are specifically told not to say it, unless they mean it.
    but first the dog has to learn it - and know it. no amount of shoving will fix a miscommunication. ;)

    and an FYI-factoid -
    trainers + disabled-persons USE the instinctive resistance of dogs to help them in many instances -
    bracing to help them stand/get off the floor, stabilize them as they walk + lose balance, and more. :)

    cheers,
    --- terry
     
  16. rocco33

    rocco33 PetForums VIP

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    Nothing to do with being soft it is simply more effective. There is plenty of evidence that positive reinforcement is a much more effective training method (and that applies to children too)

    .

    The worst thing you can do when training your dog is to keep repeating the command.

    Then it would seem you are unaware how to use treats as either a reward or a lure.
     
  17. Colliepoodle

    Colliepoodle PetForums VIP

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    Exactly.

    People who pooh-pooh hands off, reward based training in favour of "make them" type methods tend to be the ones who don't understand ;)
     
  18. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

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    rubbish. How come most pet dog used to do as they were told as did children - now neither do because they have no real reason to.
    Of course there is a reward for obeying - I dont personally ever use titbits but if you do that is fine, whatever reward you want to give. But not half an hour after you actually wanted the behaviour but it has only just happened.
    The OP is asking for advice because her pup is looking at her and not carrying out the desired behaviour/obeying the command. If she pushes it into the sit then praises it will know what is wanted. If it works to hold a hand up high so the dog looks up and its bottom goes down that is fine too, whatever works. But do something to make sure the dog obeys the command.
     
  19. rocco33

    rocco33 PetForums VIP

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    rubbish - I have never had problems with either my dogs or my children and I am not alone in that. Force is not the only way to do things and is not the most effective way.

    .

    Well that's wrong training, nothing to do with the methods you use.

    Because the dog doesn't know what is being asked, not because they are disobeying. LFL has given a good explaination of why and this is so common. What we think dogs pick up as signals are often very different from what we think they should be picking up as signals.

    The most important of which is to make sure the dog understands the command which in most cases like this has not been clearly trained.
     
    #19 rocco33, May 7, 2010
    Last edited: May 7, 2010
  20. tripod

    tripod PetForums VIP

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    Really? Where is your evidence of this - for the most part 'hundreds of years' of dog training has had nothing to do with what would have been considerred 'tricks' e.g. sit.For the most part historical training documents particularly of hunting dogs has involved using the dog's motivation to get the opportunity to do something he enjoys e.g. chase, hunt etc. and is biologically made for. That, using motivation is R+.

    We have lots of badly behaved dogs and children 'around' because people (adults) don't do any training/teaching correctly - society as a whole has no idea how to use motivators effectively. From a learning theory point of view even that all powerful motivator (£££$$$) is used ineffectively.

    I have never told or made my dog do anything. I ask him - might sound 'soft' to you but my dog knows that I am the key to all good things so that if I ask he gets - simple as :) Plus thanks to having worked hard to develop that sort of relationship he associates my requests with nice things happening - he never has to worry about being intimidated or coerced. He had the first four years of his life full of that which is why he came to me such a basket case - I love him too much to ever expose him to anything like that again.

    Add to Arwen's list:
    Ya get it? The buck stops with the 2-legger at the other end of the leash :D
     
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