Join Date: Sep 2007
Dogs Name: Ori AKA Harold DogDog (Hairy Dog), RIP Caesar, Katana, Kip, Capri
Titles: DogDog Mouthe Extraordinaire; Kip Mr. Behavior; Capri Mis-Behavior
Dogs Age: DogDog 3 yrs?; RIP Kip 11 yrs; Capri 7 yrs; Katana 9 yrs; Caesar 13 yrs
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I think you have to look at the point a dobe is in during training of each command. Positive training is the way you want to go when you are training something for the first time. It is essential that the dog know what it is that you are asking him to do and you need to keep the dog interested in working with you. It is also important that you don't ask him to do things he is not ready for.
Take his training in steps, not huge leaps, for each command. "Sit" in your house is different from "sit" in your yard is different from "sit" in an open park. Don't set him up. Don't let him fail. If he is failing at a command over and over, you may be asking for too much—you need to take a step back and go back over material you thought he had learned.
But there generally comes a time, I daresay for most dobes, when they know what you are asking them to do and they choose to ignore it. Dogs can go through teenage phases too. At that point, you may need to enforce a command that is being ignored. That is called proofing the command. An e-collar (or other related methods) may help you at that stage of your training—provided you have training and guidance in how to use an e-collar properly.
I see so many people saying "…come, come, come…" when the dog obviously knows what "come" means and is choosing to ignore them, and those people are not in a position to make sure the dog actually HAS to obey. They've let him off leash too soon, and are using a command he is not 100% compliant in. At that point, an e-collar can be a helpful tool.