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Old 02-11-2013, 05:18 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Sounds like Jagger just needs more practice with distractions! : ) The recommendation by Fjm for the Jean Donaldson book is some of the best advice on this thread! Just because Jagger pays attention or sits when asked in a certain environment doesn't mean that he "knows" it and is therefore choosing to "forget" in other environments. Responding to your cues is a skill he needs to practice and build, in all environments and at all levels of distraction. And it's your job to control the level of distraction that you expose him to when you expect him to work with you. If he's not listening to you in any situation, the best choice is to leave the situation. You are beyond his current skill level at that time. Simply walk away with him and practice the cue he's not responding to at a greater distance from the distraction. Have walks where this is your goal. Instead of the goal being getting from a to b, set out to have him be responsive at X distance from whatever distracts him. Putting yourself in front of him or forcing him to look at you by holding his head or any other method like that will only teach him that you act strangely (or even scary!) around whatever distraction he's focused on. He may even start subduing his reaction or even looking away from the distraction, but it's only because he doesn't want the negative outcome of your behavior. Not because he's learned that walking nicely is rewarding. If your goal is to have him confidently and calmly take these distractions in stride, it's much better to have him willingly participate in training and practicing his cues when the distraction is less overwhelming for him. : ) He's still a youngster. He's not ready to maintain composure around all the exciting or unnerving things in this world yet! He will be soon enough, though! And you'll miss his silly puppy brain. : P Let him take his time growing up.
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Old 02-11-2013, 05:43 PM   #12 (permalink)
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You know what PammiPoodle? You are so right and have just given me a quick swift kick in the rear! I adore Jagger's sweet, charming, clown-ish puppy personality. He melts my heart when he lays his head on my knees or tries to gradually creep his way onto my lap; first his head, then right front paw, left one, then chest, belly and galumph...he's thrown himself all the way up! I'll work at putting aside crazy perfectionist expectations and lighten up (I'm sure Jagger would thank you!) and am going to work at putting a lot of the tips I've gotten in to practice--they make so much sense.
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Old 02-14-2013, 06:20 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Your first trainer should have utilized the Premack principal so that he would have learned that he can do what he wanted (check out the other puppies) if he first focused enough to down a sit or down or whatever. It would have been his reward and instilled impulse control and focus.

Your second trainer should have done this too instead of punishing the dog with a prong collar because they didn't know anything else better to do. Why punish the dog for the trainer's ineptitude?
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:25 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I saw this wonderfully described (by a poster on here?) as similar to teaching a child to add and subtract simple sums, then expecting them to be able to manage differential calculus, because they "knew how to do maths"! I now always keep those words in the back of my mind - coming when called from across the garden when not much is happening is primary school level; leaving off chasing a rabbit to return to me is post-graduate level, and needs to be taught and rewarded accordingly!
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Old 02-15-2013, 03:07 AM   #15 (permalink)
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One thing to combine with working with distractions is using the "cue" wait. This really comes in handy helping the dog with his impulse control. I have him wait when I open a door before he is allowed to proceed, wait till he is released for food ect.
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Old 02-15-2013, 11:13 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Hi there, I had the same experience with my little Lacey. All she wanted to do is go socialize with other dogs, licking them & then creating such a fuss by whining being on the leash. It was almost embarrassing. But, I thought this class was for her and eventually she settled down after 3 beginner classes. It will take alot of time and patience and in the end Jag will learn too. Sadie on the other hand, is so determined to please me - she does everything that I command her and she just finished advanced level. I admit that I did laugh when Lacey pounced on a 60lb lab but he was very calm with her.
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:56 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Yes, wait is really handy for many situations. For my dogs wait means don't do much of anything, don't wander off, etc. until I tell you otherwise. I don't consider it as formal as stay which means stay exactly as I left you (sit or down usually) until I return to you. I will call them to me from wait, but not from stay. If I have ordered a stay it means you must remain exactly here and I will come back to release you.
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Old 02-16-2013, 09:20 AM   #18 (permalink)
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We're working on incorporating a lot of the tips I received in response to my original "frustrated" post and definitely appreciate everyone's support! Jagger's becoming pretty good at accepting the "wait" command, especially when going out doors, and he's much better walking on loose leash since I've started stopping if starts to pull at the end of the leash. He looks at me and comes back, woohoo! I'm learning that I need to just continue to be consistent and to realize that it's going to take time to reinforce positive behaviors. I read Leslie McDevitt's "Control Unleashed" last week and have just started Jean Donaldson's "Train Your Dog Like a Pro". AND next week Jagger and I will start working with a well respected trainer who is also an AKC certified evaluator for pet therapy programs, canine good citizen animals and others. I think I'm on the right track thanks in great part to all of you
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Old 02-16-2013, 11:45 AM   #19 (permalink)
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It sounds like you have already made great progress. I am sure you will continue to see improvement especially with a qualified trainer to help fine tune your training.
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Old 02-16-2013, 01:55 PM   #20 (permalink)
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It is really nice to hear that you're feeling optimistic about what you've already accomplished and what you have to look forward to. Puppies are challenging, but patience and a positive attitude will pay off. You are doing great. Keep it up.
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