Strong-willed puppy.... need training advice

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Lickin your feet- all the time
Barked: Fri Nov 16, '12 11:57pm PST 
Lancer is the most strong-willed puppy I've ever met ro owned (though only the fourth)! He's showing more and more of that headstrong streak. He already knows the command "leave it", which I've been using constantly, because he's already teething at 9 weeks. He's listened immediately when I first got him last week, and I praise him right after.

But gradually.....

Today when he was tearing at a peepee pad and I said "leave it"... first reaction was he dropped and turned around and left it.
But then he SLOWLY turned his head and looked back at me and gave me this INCREDIBLY mischievious eye contact.... Can't even begin to descibe it LOL. And then he literally POUNCED back on the peepee pad and shook it with 10x more gusto! My goodness.
I said, leave it again, and this time he jumped off and ran off about 4 steps, FLIPPED around, CHARGED back, POUNCED back on and TORE at the peepee pad with all his might 50x more vigor and gusto than he did before!! It was insane. This time I YELLED "leave it", shoved him off, and he fled like the wind..... finally.

Of course, very deliberately disobeying me, and VERY strong-willed.

Goodness. thinking

To describe more of his personality: his feelings are never hurt and he's always happy. If we scold him or Kityra scolds him for bad behavior, he is COMPLETELY unfazed and simply frolics away to find something else to be happy about! He's very confident, already trying to defeat Kityra in play-fighting at 9 weeks old.. he doesn't roll over or "give up" anymore in rough-housing, after just 1 night of living with her (the first night, he easily flipped over for her when they played). Constantly happy, mind-blowingly confident, always enthusiastic, very testing, does NOT accept loss, vigorous and chaotic, thinks he is always be the center of attention, VERY crafty (has already outsmarted my mom) and TOO intelligent for such a young age. :o

Yes, a lot has happened in the last week that I've had him. LOL. To be honest, I'm rather proud at his mental strength and enthusiasm. laugh out loud He is precisely the polar opposite of Kityra.

So FINALLY: looking for any advice on training and raising this strong-willed pup? And correction without SPANKING or any of that physical jazz...
Games to play? Things to do that can improve obedience rate? I'm sure that with a spray bottle or a loud horn, he will quickly learn that it won't affect him and will challenge that too. and possibly even what problems I can expect to encounter in the future with a strong-willed adult dog?

(off-topic, but the little guy already comprehends television... he can focus on the TV with unbroken attention for up to 2 minutes at 9 weeks old! shock Kityra couldn't focus on the TV for that long until she was at least 5 months or so LOL)

Edited by author Sat Nov 17, '12 1:38am PST


Queen of my- castle.
Barked: Sat Nov 17, '12 3:18am PST 
Sounds like you need an EXTREMELY valuable treat lol! Hot dogs usually drive my puppies wild. You just need to start slow and have patience and reward him every time he obeys you with treats. It will take a while and his mischievousness will probably always be there but at least you'll be able to get a handle on him. Dreamy was always stubborn, smart, and strong willed. It took a while but she eventually slowed down. Good luck!
Shane DEC- '08-JAN '12- RIP

In dreams I walk- with you..
Barked: Sat Nov 17, '12 5:57am PST 
When describing the "pee pad" incident, you never mentioned giving him an immediate reward for listening or subbing something appropriate for him to play with. I highly doubt he was being headstrong, just unsure of what you were asking of him.


Lickin your feet- all the time
Barked: Sat Nov 17, '12 11:17am PST 
Unfortunately, he's only too sure of what he was doing. confused I know this because in multiple incidents prior (over 15?!), he DID immediately respond to "leave it" and didn't come back to the object. Of course he understands.

And yes, I did praise/reward him multiple times before!

The defiance started only 2 days ago and at an increasing rate... He full well knew what he was doing.

Another incident with a slipper, he left it, I rewarded him, he walked away a few steps, then eyed me for about 2 seconds again.... and leapt back on the slipper and shook it fiercely. LOL.

I mean, enough about that- any activities I can do with Lancer to lower the testiness?

Edited by author Sat Nov 17, '12 11:25am PST


Feisty- Girl
Barked: Sat Nov 17, '12 2:52pm PST 
I know this because in multiple incidents prior (over 15?!), he DID immediately respond to "leave it" and didn't come back to the object. Of course he understands.?

Honestly he doesn't sound defiant to me- he sounds like a typical 9 week old puppy. It takes A LOT more than a week and 15 or so repatations to really proof a cue.

When my pups were this age I focused on house training/crate training, conditioning them to their names w/treats, and beginning to lure sits and downs. I think it's fine to start training early with a pup, as long as you have realistic expections. If he starts to chew something inappropriate simply remove or redirect him. Good luck with the little guy, he's a cute boy!

Veteran Watchdog
Barked: Sat Nov 17, '12 4:02pm PST 
Hmm I guess I've just been very lucky with my last few then. wink Kityra, my last pekingese, and pomeranian were all in all very demure and strived to obey- Kityra in particular. My last dogs must have really raised the bar for me haha

I've already started training the things you've listed. smile He's doing VERY well in those areas. It's only when correcting a behavior that he will keep coming back for more.

And thanks! I can't wait to see what kind of superdog he'll grow up to be.

Edited by author Sat Nov 17, '12 4:03pm PST


Miss- Pig!
Barked: Sat Nov 17, '12 5:44pm PST 
I agree with Abbey. At such a young age it's unlikely he knew what you was exactly asking of him. What was you using as a reward too? I'd perhaps be calling him to me and rewarding him for good behaviour with a really tasty treat such as a smidgen of cheese or something. Not only redirecting him from the pee pad but practicing recall work at the same time. You could have a small game with him and/or direct him to another area if you wanted. Not that you can't start more formal training with him, but don't rely on a command just yet at his young age.

Don't read to much into his behaviour this early on. He sounds like a typically lively, confident puppy, which is good. He is adorable!

If you have a garden you could help take some of that puppy energy off by having a few games in the garden, playing hide and seek games, practicing recall training and getting him used to a collar/lead if he's not used to those yet. Even a ride in the car can help tire them out at that age too. Helping with socialization and getting used to the car and travelling. You can also play hide and seek games in the home and there are lots of good interactive games out there that he might find enjoyable. Keeping everything very light and fun of course.
Augusta,- CGC, RN

Such a Good Dog!
Barked: Sat Nov 17, '12 8:20pm PST 
I don't think your example of him pouncing on the pee pad after a leave it is a good example of strong willed or defiant---it sounds like a puppy being a puppy and having a roaring good time.

Even if he knows "leave it" means leave something alone--it's pretty hard to define for how long and with the object (toy in his mind) lying there begging to be attacked--it was it's own reward. Technically he did leave it, he just went right back to it . . .laugh out loud

I think he's too young to label as head strong or defiant . . ..what you call a "mischievous look" was probably his sheer joy in going in for another round of attack. . .. instead of just "leave it" with a young pup, keep it light hearted and fun and distract him from what he shouldn't have with a game of tug with you and an appropriate toy. He sounds hilarious!

Lickin your feet- all the time
Barked: Sat Nov 17, '12 8:30pm PST 
Oh LOL, alright thanks for the corrections people. smile I suppose I can switch to say that Lancer is the first incredibly PLAYFUL pup that I've had to train then. LOL

And woops, just realized that posting under two dog names is kind of confusing. Kityra and Lancer are both me.
Dr. Watson

Not a wiener- dawg!
Barked: Sun Nov 18, '12 5:17am PST 
I'm so jealous, you've got just the sort of puppy I love! As another poster said, he's having a roaring good time. wink You've got a little "monster" there, and he'll grow up to be the best dog ever. I bet he is clever as heck.

Don't worry about him not looking abashed. He's a naughty little guy, full of spirit that you don't want to dampen. Just play with him as the others directed.

Chase games and hide-and-seek would be great for a pup like this. Does he have any interest in balls? Try to teach him tug, too. Mine always loved to tug and shake those rope tug toys "to death."

What a lovely pup!big grin