I need help!!

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: Wed May 25, '05 9:52am PST 
Louis is very smart and knows a lot of tricks, but isn't to keen on come or stay. When we are outside and I say come, he either runs the other way or completely ignores me. This worries me. Any suggestions? Also, he needs help on stay. I have tried everything that I know of, do you have any suggestions on this?

Lauren and Louis

Bringin' Sexy- Back!
Barked: Wed May 25, '05 1:27pm PST 
practice come on a light lead... just say come once! do not beg him to come or chase him. Say come, if he comes have a little party, lots of treats and praise. If he doesn't come use your lead to drag him and reward for coming just not as much. U might wanna start in a quiet place w/o lots of distractions. U have to get something that he just loves, food that he just can't get enough of or his absolute fav toy.
With lots of patience and practice it will happen.

And with stay, put him in a sit and say stay. keep him like that for just a short while ( a few seconds) then use your release word (we use OK)then lots of praise and treats. Keep repeating and increasing the time. Keep saying stay if you need to while his in a stay. Then when you're fairly confident he can hold it start moving around while his in a stay, jump, walk back and forth, whatever. if he can't handle it, decrease the time or the amount of distraction. He'll catch on eventually. Always remember to use your release word before praising him!!!

That's how we learned, we read it in a sheltie book. Worked well for us.

Oh and keep the sessions relatively short. He might get frustrated if he can't get it right. If it's just not happening have him do something he knows well so you don't end on a negative note.

A Doggie Scholar
Barked: Wed May 25, '05 4:22pm PST 
Snowy used to do that too. He would be the perfectly trained and well mannered dog at home, but once he steps outside and sees that big patch of green grass, he'd go crazy and completely ignore us.

For a while I thought he was just going through his puppy phase and figured out that if I took him out pretty often, he'd get used to it and snap out of it. It turns out (for Snowy at least) he'd only get worse because, with me not reprehending him for bad behaviors, he started thinking that it must be okay to do as he wishes once he is outside.

So one day, I took him out on a late afternoon just before his dinner time (he was sufficiently hungry) and started re-teaching him the tricks and manners we follow at home. I would give him a kibble or two everytime he would listen. He was very attentive because he was hungry. Three days after eating his "dinner" outside one kibble at a time, he is much improved.

He's still a little more excited when he's outside. However, he listens to all the commands (with little adjustments - he can only "stay" for 30 seconds, when he can do this at home for minutes), and I'm happy with that.


Bringin' Sexy- Back!
Barked: Thu May 26, '05 8:46am PST 
Snowy's mommy is right. It's a lot easier to get the doggie to do what you want when they're hungry. A lot more drive to get the food.

Yes, I am the- Center of the- Universe
Barked: Fri May 27, '05 2:36am PST 
Hi Louis,
That's such a frustrating problem, isn't it? And if you're like me, food or treats won't help. I've got a strong prey-drive, but NO food drive, so didn't care if treats were involved or not when Mom was training me.

One important thing when teaching "Come" is eye-contact. Dogs are really smart, but they are very much on the "If I can't see you, I don't have to listen to you" wavelength. Many dogs will deliberately refuse to look at you when you give a command they don't want to obey.

Shakespeare's right about the leash too. That was a really important tool for Mom to teach me to come. Actually, Mom bought a 25 foot-long training leash and used that outside in the yard to teach me come. Here's how we did it, and it worked for a headstrong little guy like me. Have your mom try:

1) Clip on your 25' long leash and take you out into the yard (or a park or whatever).
2) Let you wander away and get distracted sniffing or looking at stuff.
3) Say your name to get your attention.
4) IF you don't look up at your name, your mom can give the leash a light "pop" to get you to look at her.
5) When she has eye-contact with you, she should say "Louis, Come!" with authority. This is not a question. It's not a request. It's a command, and her tone of voice should tell you that.
6) Like Shakespeare said, if you come to her, she should have a party. Make a BIG deal out of it. Do a happy dance and don't worry about what the neighbors think. If you're a foodie, she can give you a little treat too.
7) If you DIDN'T come, she should NOT repeat the command. She should "reel you in" on your leash. Even if she has to drag you to her with your leash, she should still act all excited when you get to her and praise you lavishly.
8) Repeat. Again and again until you come EVERYTIME on the leash. Then and only then should she try it without a leash. Otherwise you'll just learn that she can't control you without the leash on.

It may take some time, but it'll work. It did for me, and trust me, I have very definite ideas about doing things my own way most of the time.

Good luck,
Keiko- (4/8/98-12/5- /12)

Queen fuddy- duddy
Barked: Sat May 28, '05 5:57pm PST 
I agree with what everyone is saying. I am posting this more for people of certain breeds who may try these suggestions.

I have a husky mix, and as most husky owners know, you can NEVER trust them off-leash. This includes most sled dog breeds. They could be perfectly trained in every way, but will take off the second they have a chance. It's just in their wolf ancestory. I was lucky with my girl, but I still couldn't let her off-leash until she was 4 yrs old, and even now I have to keep an eye on her b/c she doesn't always realize how far she's wandered off. But the second I call her, she's high tailing it back to mommy.