Deterioration of trust

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

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Barked: Mon Feb 25, '13 2:20pm PST 
I know it's easy to assume his change of "heart" towards your working relationship is due to the attention you're giving pupper, but could there be something medical going on instead?

Could he be in pain? Or having trouble with thyroid specifically?

Whippy- The- Whipador
Barked: Mon Feb 25, '13 2:23pm PST 
Sorry, nothing to add Mulder, but just wanted to say that this is a concern of mine in adding a third dog to my little pack! Missy & Ty ultimately would take a bit of a back seat while i'm training/working the new pup and i worry they would feel a lack of attention and become unhappy.

The Monster
Barked: Mon Feb 25, '13 4:13pm PST 
I was thinking along similar lines just earlier today. My relationship with Cohen isn't where I'd like for it to be. It's been over half a year since I last took an agility class, I haven't taken any obedience classes since December and to top it off, I didn't go to flyball practice this weekend. She gets an hour of exercise a day if she's lucky, compared to the 2-3 hours she had a year+ ago. She's out of shape and lacks the endurance she used to have. Now when I ask her to do something I feel like she's putting in the minimal amount of effort required to get a reward, and I know for certain that my criteria have slipped when it comes to dealing with her too.

I need to get back into classes and have more structured interactions with her. I need to push her to exert herself more both mentally and physically. That's my hope at least. My fear is that I'll not.


Do you even- lift?
Barked: Mon Feb 25, '13 4:46pm PST 
We've been missing a lot of our classes, too. Taking a class for school this semester that meets Monday nights at the time our agility class met, so that's out for a few months. Taking a class at the gym Friday mornings when we used to herd, so haven't done that for a couple months. And obedience has been hit and miss since December between the holidays, traveling, and rain. I've definitely noticed the decline in his obedience, especially in holding a long stay. And he's needed a lot more exercise without his herding class. I've tried to compensate with extra hikes, fun obedience sessions (more rewards than he usually gets), and a plethora of new toys.

Haven't seen any real deterioration of our relationship, but my time has been spent on me, not another dog, so that could make a difference. Hope things improve and regain some regularity for you guys soon! hug

Spooky Mulder
Barked: Mon Feb 25, '13 6:25pm PST 
You're ascribing anthropomorphic attributes to him. He's not being disobeying out of spite.

Hah, that's funny.

I don't believe he is sick- his behavior in every other regard is normal. When we go hiking or whatever, he is his usual active self, and he still rough houses and plays with Ridley and Sally. The only difference is, if we were doing the same activities 2 months ago, I could give him a command and he would actually listen to it.

Not to mention he just had a full blood panel and a complete physical just a few months back. Its POSSIBLE somethings come up, but I feel its unlikely.

I've though about doing some more OB classes with Mulder, to give him something else to do, but he's never really been into it. I mean, he DOES it, but its nothing he gets a joy from in the way he does with agility or bite work. Similar situation for tracking, else I would bring him out with me and Ridley... he's just not interested in it, gets bored, wanders off to look for better things to be doing.

I've thought about maybe a Rally class. Not really anything bigger or better than OB, but maybe the less rigid structure will get him into it more. I'd love to try some nose work, but the only person who does it near me holds the class literally the ONLY day of the week I absolutely cannot get out there.

I really don't want to try and go elsewhere for the agility or PP training. The only reason I'm even with my PP guy now, and I practically had to bust down this guy's door to get on with him, because he's the ONLY guy in the area who isn't a complete loon. And my agility trainer actually is the only trainer in the area I know who will charge by lesson if you want to do it that way- she's also the best I've worked with thus far. Hate to venture off to someone else and know I'm paying for maybe not the best.

I guess I'll just try and keep my chin up about it. I know when things go back to normal it will get better, its just waiting for that to come that is hard.

Lenny -The- Wrecking Ball
Barked: Mon Feb 25, '13 7:36pm PST 
It may not be out of spite in the sense humans think about it, but dogs notice and react to change. There's been some change in his activities, whatever the reasoning is in his head.

I had similar issues with Lenny, I couldn't attend Nosework classes and in general due to work/school loads had to decrease the amount of time I spent training and exercising him a little bit (not a significant amount in my eyes). He definitely had a change of attitude towards me. I'm mainly the one in the household who enforces all boundaries/rules and follows through with commands so when I would ask something of him even outside where he could easily get lost in himself he would usually listen or at least acknowledge me. Up until a couple weeks ago he wouldn't acknowledge me. Wouldn't listen to a darn thing I said even if it was something very simple like a sit. He just stared and trotted off. Like he gave me the finger. laugh out loud

Now that we've been doing a lot of training at home again, including a lot of Nosework practice (though we won't be back in classes until next month) and as far as the "red sports car" Tiller described I made a flirt pole and have been using that most days to spice up exercise and training time. I've seen SUCH a difference in the last two weeks. He's offering eye contact all the time, and has been much more mindful to the rules of the house such as not bolting through open doors and not begging right in my face (I don't care if he lays at my feet). He comes when called, doesn't give me trouble in waiting for his dinner and ASKS for affection again when before he seemed to make a point to love on everyone else.

We love our dogs and love the relationships we work for, so when a dog seems to view that relationship differently (especially for something out of our hands) we do feel some soreness. But we keep our chin up, we try a few new things that we can and hope we can get back to the things our dogs love when we can. hug
Jackson Tan

Lad about town
Barked: Mon Feb 25, '13 7:58pm PST 
I would definitely try and do some sort of other activity with him in the interim, even if it's only something simple and fun like rally. Something to engage him and cheer him up.

I know when I can't do a lot with JT due to weather or health issues or whatever he gets rather depressed and his obedience goes to pot a little bit. The only cure is getting back in the saddle and doing something. And he's a single dog (I don't think I would ever get a second because of his propensity towards going into a maudlin slump!)
Sarah, CWSR,- CWG1, CGC

Million Dollar- Mutt
Barked: Mon Feb 25, '13 8:09pm PST 
I've been having the same issues with Lizzie. I feel really badly about it too. I'd been taking Sarah with me once a week for our Rally League, taking her in a separate room or going to petsmart for training. I take the foster dogs to adoption events. Lizzie almost never gets to go anywhere "just us girls". I fee like she has been blowing me off lately. She won't even sit when I ask her to, and her recall has become nonexistant lately. I had her off-leash the the woods, called her to me, and she just kept walking away... Some of this I think might be health as she is a bit older, maybe her hearing is going, maybe her joints are hurting...

Anyhow it makes me feel guilty, but she doesn't enjoy obedience or rally or anything so I don't know what I can do to get her back on track. I just had a foster that I really liked and very briefly thought about keeping. I realized I couldn't do that to my girls. I can afford a third dog financially, but I would have to put Sarah AND Lizzie on the back burner and I am not ready to do that. frown
Augusta,- CGC, RN

Such a Good Dog!
Barked: Tue Feb 26, '13 6:44am PST 
You might even consider changing gears entirely and do something downright silly to take the pressure and seriousness off . . . .

I've realized lately, I've hit a wall with Gus and rally because the more determined I am to be ready for the next level the worse we seem to get--finally my instructor, after our recent class, called and relieved me of feeling pressure to go to the upcoming show, essentially saying just skip it, you can get it later in the summer or fall. . . With everything else going on in my life lately, it was a huge monkey off my back! laugh out loud

But thinking back, Gus was always right with me in "dancing with your dog" class . . . why? I think because it was a lot upbeat, silly face-paced moving around and I didn't take it seriously--it was just for fun . .. and she got into that--just happy, goofy energy.

Even if dancing's not your thing, just something entirely for fun where you can just forget yourself . . ..
Maci & Harley & Jigar

Golden butts
Barked: Tue Feb 26, '13 7:34am PST 
I second Gus's answer. I was never a trick kind of person but was pushed to try it to get Maci more willing to work/play with me. She had a bad experience during her first sit stay in a fun match...and did not want to do anything OB wise at all after. So I tried the tricks, got my happy girl back and then started asking for OB things while doing the tricks. It was just so non-pressure but learning was happening.

Oh and rally might work...at our rally practice nights we will literally run the whole course (giggling of course because us humans are not coordinated) to get a dog excited. Maybe he would love rally if you ran it like agility LOL
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