|Barked: Thu Mar 13, '08 12:34pm PST |
|The class setting is just intended to get you started with your dog, but as you can see, it will not go all the way. One thing to note is that dogs don't learn words. Humans can think of the word "Sit" in a billion different contexts and still be able to understand; dogs do not have speech capabilities, so they learn to associate your pitch, tone, and body language with the behavior you're asking for. They can also learn to differentiate between equipment (carting harness means pull, collar and leash means heel) and people (Mom lets me on the bed, Dad doesn't). Theoretically, the same thing could be said about setting. As you train your dog in different settings, he will learn that sitting and heeling and such are not just for when he's in that big building with other dogs.
You have to work him according to what he understands, though. My dad's Berner, Lucy, sounds like yours. I would be fooling myself if I thought she would come to me to end the romp in the park. (It is probably best to go get them in that scenario, too, if possible, because otherwise they will associate coming to you with negative things like ending their romp.) If I wanted her to come to me outside, I would first take her somewhere on a long line or a fully extended flex leash with as little distraction as possible. I would work on coming there on a leash where I can enforce it and she is more likely to listen to me. When she absolutely has it down pat, I would move on to, say, the low-traffic end of a large parking lot. Up the ante. Increase distractions. Only remove the leash when she absolutely can and will come on the leash around distractions.
Well, I can only say so much in a post. I hope that helps you. I would suggest reading up on clicker training and talking with your trainer. May you and your dog overcome your challenges and grow together.
God bless you,
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