Author Topic: HELP - Riley is reversing his training on us!!  (Read 4909 times)

Offline SwissysRock

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HELP - Riley is reversing his training on us!!
« on: May 26, 2005, 12:49:45 pm »
Hi everyone, I've got an 8 month old Greater Swiss Mountain Dog named Riley.  At 5-6 months, we started him with a basic obedience training course offered at a local petstore.  We went every week for about 6 weeks and he learned how to sit, down, stay and we attempted the "heel" (thats a tough one!)  He was doing really well.  He graduated about 2 weeks ago.  For the past 2-3 weeks though, he has been NOT listening to us!  Like we'll tell him to sit, and he will look us straight in the eye and not sit.  We end up telling him like 5 times and then enforcing the sit.  I know he KNOWS how to do it, but he doesn't for some reason.  I feel like the training was a waste but people keep tell me that hes in the "teenager" phase where he is just testing us.  Has anyone else had a similar experience and how did you get your dog back on track?  :-\
Tina
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Offline mastiffmommy

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Re: HELP - Riley is reversing his training on us!!
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2005, 01:07:47 pm »
Hi swissysRock, it sounds like he is in the teenate stage, and is trying to "get his way", it is fairly common and of all the dogs I have had, I think it seems to more of a problem with the guys. Have you every tried or used a "clicker" when you train him?? I love them, and to combine the clicker with a real nice treat. It is a loooot of different training methods out there, one trainer I had, that used the clicker, said that a good way, was to have the clicker and a treat, let the dog know there is a treat, and then say "sit" (or whatever you are training) face him, let him know there is a treat too, but do not repeat the word more than two times, just stand there, when he finally does it, click as soon as he puts his butt down and then give him a treat. We did that a lot, and it seemed to work on most of the dogs in that class. I think the principal is that a dog does not like to be ignored, and wants the treat really bad, but tend to get death if you repeat it too many times. The dog I took to this perticular class, was a foster border collie, who was extremely timid and shy, so it was a perfect way to train him and worked real well, but there was also puppies and older dogs not all of them got the concept lol..... There was a few that just seemed to think "ohhh well, you stand there and I stand here, lets see who gets tired first" so obviously not working on all dogs. I used to compete with german shepherds and back then it was no clickers and a little bit more demanding training, so I think it is a matter of finding the method that workes for just that dog. Good luck and let us know what he decides to do, go back to being a good puppy or continue to be the bratty teenager (have one of those at home, a twolegged girl and ouch.... I know how bad it is)

Marit
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Offline jabear

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Re: HELP - Riley is reversing his training on us!!
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2005, 01:50:46 pm »
I think the not listening is a male thing sometimes. Bear knows how to do all the basic commands too, but whether he chooses to follow them is a whole different story.  :D For the most part he is great, but when he doesn't fee like listening I want to kill him! He'll look right at me, stare, then totally ignore me- on purpose. The best advice I can give is to stick with it and be consistent. Like with regular kids it takes over 100 repitions of something before you get it. And even after the all of the repitions they still choose to do what they want sometimes. Consistency in training and consequences (good & bad) are the key ingredients.
Hugs,
Jaime
  Mom to one handsome black Bear.

dohertyswissy

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Re: HELP - Riley is reversing his training on us!!
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2005, 02:22:04 pm »
Hey Swissysrock - which they do by the way - don't feel alone!  My 6 mo. old Swissy Ranger is entering the same "teenage" phase.  Like Jamie and Marit said, we've just got to stick with it.  Riley's definitely testing you!  No matter how cute he looks, don't give in!

It is recommended to keep Swissys in formal obedience classes on and off until they are 2 years of age, since they are a working dog and have a tendency to want to do things their own way.  I'm new to this too, but I've found that doing short intervals of training with Ranger really help, instead of doing a full 20 minute session.  When we do short intervals, it seems to keep his attention better.  Also, I'll be playing with Ranger in the yard and throw out a command, it makes it more of a "game," so it is fun for him, but he is still having to listen, learn, and pay attention.  We are also using hand signals with Ranger in our training.  He actually responds MUCH better to the hand signals then the verbal commands.  Our trainer says that is a good thing and many dogs get the hand signals first (dogs are better at reading body language) then the verbal commands.  We graduated from Puppy K about 4 weeks ago and are looking into getting Ranger into an adv. puppy class here soon.   
Also, if you are getting frustrated with Riley, he probably is sensing that.  I've gotten frustrated with Ranger a time or two (LOL) and when I do, he doesn't listen to me worth a squat.  Then, I just want to knock him out for not listening to me!!  It is a vicious cycle.   ;)

Another thought, I'm not sure if you stay in close contact with your breeder, but we have an open invitation to drop Ranger off for a couple days when he starts getting in his stubborn teenager mode.  Our breeder assures us that his Aunts will put him right back in line.   :D 

I hope this helps!  At least we are here for each other...when the boys look right at us and do their own thing anyhow.  AAARRRGGGHHH! 

Just keep at it! 

Heather and Ranger (the sometimes stubborn Swissy)  :)


Offline newflvr

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Re: HELP - Riley is reversing his training on us!!
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2005, 02:50:50 pm »
That happened with my first Newf as well, Otis.  He's was a passive rebeillion.... literally a sit-down strike!  If he didn't want to do what we wanted he would sit down and not move.  It was SO special when we were on a walk and for several months he decided that he didn't want to turn right!  Do you know how much of a fool you can feel like you are stuck only going one direction?  If we tried to force him to take a right, he'd lay down  and not move.  I tried to be stern and use a deep voice and "be intense" but I would be laughing SOOOO hard!  I couldn't even take me seriously.  He came through it and was a fabulous, marvelous, world's-very-best-companion-for-life

Offline Carolyn

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Re: HELP - Riley is reversing his training on us!!
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2005, 03:00:47 pm »
I had the same issues "selective obedience", until they know the commands & do them, you should have a lead on when training. This way you only give the command 1 time only. I also had to use "ok" before a lot of commands to get thier attention "ok, look, come" worked like a charm. In school Apache never wanted treats, Kiya likes her treats. I go to an open obediance class every wens. night. I felt bad because I haven't taken Apache (2-1/2) Kiya needs training right now she's 1. Anyway I took Apache last night to say hello. Before class I had time to do some healing ect. with Apache, I hate to brag...but he was so good. His eyes were glued to me, he was totally excellent! Still doesn't want treats at school. Kiya was good too, less of an attention span. It just takes a little time 1,2 or so times a day but don't make lessons long. Keep it short & sweet, repitition, repitition...
Carolyn
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Offline SwissysRock

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Re: HELP - Riley is reversing his training on us!!
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2005, 07:48:57 am »
Thanks for all the advice everyone... WE WON'T GIVE UP!  :)
Tina
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Riley's Momma

Offline NatsaintB

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Re: HELP - Riley is reversing his training on us!!
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2005, 09:09:45 am »
Hubby and I talked about taking Leo back for a refresher course last night.  He just seems to want to wander off and ignore us when we call him back.  Then when I catch up to him (he does the speed walk thing turning his head back every so often to see how close I am) and hold his collar he tries to take me for a ride!  I'm definately dealing with a teenager.   There seems to be a bunch of us going through it right now!  Good luck Everyone!