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How can I train my dog to obey without treats? And other questions
Hey, I have a foster doberman/GSD mix. He's pretty settled into the home. I live alone with him. I have a few questions about training:
First off, he is good in grass, or in the house for training. Especially when I have treats. He gets super excited and obedient when I've got little hot dog slices or cheese cubes in the backyard. I tried training him that way at the park in grass, and he is the same way.
Problem is he isn't very obedient elsewhere. On the walking trail, which is paved, he will only come, and sit on command. Sometimes I have to have a little will battle with him to get him to sit, even. He just sits there and looks at me.
Do I need to just keep training him to obey in these places, too?
Also, how can I train him and get him excited to do stuff when there aren't treats involved, and just praise? Do I need to get him to learn to be in "obedience mode" or something? I'd like him to learn to obey anywhere if possible. Particularly the command "stay" and "heel" (I have not taught him heel, yet. he isn't much of a problem walker, but I'd like him to learn to hang close when bikes and cars go by.)
And my other question: He tends to have his tail between his legs a lot. He wags when he's getting trained, and when we're going out the door, or especially when I come out of my room in the morning. But at home even when he comes up to me and nudges for affection, his tail will hang very low or even be between his legs, completely immobile. He doesn't usually show submissive signs, though he is a fairly submissive dog. Not much makes him wag. Is this low set tail just the GSD in him?
Also, how can I get him more socialized? He hasn't been very socialized with people. He gets nervous around them. I try and get him in public, and I tell people they can pet him, but let him sniff them first. Then I tell him "good boy" as they pet him or talk to him.
He looks at me a lot for reassurance during interaction with other people, and his tail is often a bit between his legs. Then when it's over he gets excited and jumps around me a bit. He hasn't show much aggression (other than growling at men on his turf, and once a faint snarl towards a man on his turf), but I still get a bit worried and hold his collar when people or especially little kids get excited around him and want to pet him. Am I doing okay, or should I do anything else?
Sorry this was so long! Feel free to just respond to one part of it. XD