|Barked: Sat Oct 6, '12 1:09pm PST |
###I am new to owning a large breed, so maybe I'm doing something wrong.
Lizzie, my 4 year old Chi knew 40+ tricks before she turned 2, very easy to train (clicker trained)
Rain is a 7 month old Golden/Lab. I cannot keep her focus for even a minute. For instance, I have been working on stay with her since she was 2 months old, she will not stay for longer than 10 seconds, when I'm standing right in front of her, or when I'm a few steps back ###
First, Rain is not Lizzie, she is a different breed, been bred to do a different job etc.
As I am not interested in competing I only teach my dogs to stay for a short time, if they will only stay for 10 seconds I keep them in stay for 9 seconds so I can reward my dog for doing what I want. The surprising thing is, when I need them to stay for longer they seem to know and will. Keep the stay very short so your can reward her.
###She knew come 100% when she was younger, i could let her off leash any where, around the time she turned 5 months it just all out the window and she has selective hearing. ###
Dogs do not have selective hearing, it sounds like Rain is a teenage hooligan, this is the stage from 6 months to 12 to 18 months old, dogs are typical teenagers, they test the boundaires. Puppies are wired to stay close to their mother, which now means us, until they are mature enough to test the big wide world which is what teenagers do. Take her right back to the beginning with recall but change the word you use, it is easier to teach it to a new word than to change her perception of the one you use now. Make sure she is 101% before moving on to the next stage, in the meantime have her on a long line clipped to a harness, this will give you control but to her she will be free. Extending leads keep pressure on the dog so they know they are under control.
###She is also OVERLY food motivated, her bottom lip even quivers and its just so hard to keep her focus with food around. Should I try using toys as her reward? ###
Goldens/Labs are known for being greedy, my Lab/Collie will do anything for a game with a ball, my Staffy is the same for a game of tugger, find out what Rain will work for. We expect wages when we work, a dog's reward is their wages.
###her counter surfing is HORRIBLE. I've seen all Kikopups youtube videos and have tried them, but I must still be doing something wrong ###
By trying to train this out of her you are going against her natural instincts, the only way you can do that is to replace the behaviour with something else, the problem with counter surfing is there isn't anything to replace it with. Dolly is only 10ins high but can jump onto my counters, the other 4 are counter surfers as has been quite a few dogs in the past. I don't attemtp to train it out of them, I make sure all food is put away so they can't get any. As long as you don't slip up and forget every now and again no food out will stop them looking eventually. Dogs won't do anything unless there is something in it for them, in this case food, consistantly no food they give up eventually.
The counter surfing is causing stress for you, you have tried quite a few ways but they haven't worked, that is to be expected, all they have done is get you more and more stressed, why put yourself through that when it is so much easier to put food away. If you have children then Rain would be better kept out of the kitchen, if she isn't a jumper a gate will do this and teach the children that the gate must be kept closed at all times as well as food put away. By keeping her behind a gate you have an extra thing to stop her from getting to left out food that others have left out.
Dogs do teach us to be a lot tidier
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