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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone Wrigley is 8 mos. tomorrow. We are having some issues with ignoring me during training sessions. We will be working just fine, then she decides she doesn't want to anymore, walks away or puts her nose to ground and does not respond to me at all! and will not re-engage no matter what. Someone suggested the book Ruff Love, by Susan Garrett. I need to re-build our relationship. The premise is she is kenneled unless she is with me working or eating (being hand fed), going out to potty or on exercise walk. She gets no toys unless as reward for working with me. suggested time was a week of this. would like your thoughts.
Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Adolescence and ignoring

How long are your training sessions? When does she stop paying attention? Are you trying to drill her with the same things over and over again?
Training sessions are any where from 15-30 mins depending on how she is doing. We are currently working through the discrimination phase of training. Knowing the difference between 'Around' and 'Finish', for example. It is not just during this type of exercise though that the ignoring occurs. At class last night she would not look at me to save her soul. I couldn't even get her attention to put her into a sit. She would look the other way, try to pull away. just being obstinate.
 

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Training sessions are any where from 15-30 mins depending on how she is doing. We are currently working through the discrimination phase of training. Knowing the difference between 'Around' and 'Finish', for example. It is not just during this type of exercise though that the ignoring occurs. At class last night she would not look at me to save her soul. I couldn't even get her attention to put her into a sit. She would look the other way, try to pull away. just being obstinate.
Are you certain, in every instance, that it is ignoring?

Could some of it be displacement behaviors?

Are you working over her threshold, maybe?

I'm making no excuses for adolescent SDS (Selective Deafness Syndrome), however, the way you fix this will depend in part on whether you're correctly reading your dog, about why she's ignoring you.

If you've really built in a strong reinforcement history, and your relationship is on solid footing, then it's very possible some of the behavior is just displacement behavior--she's getting overstimmed, by what's going on in her adolescent body, and by the cues from the environment. How is she, on calming behaviors? Does she have a solid "settle"? How is her impulse control?

Try the Control Unleashed stuff, use those assessments, play those games with your dog--and if you're truly having defiance/non-compliance issues, then the plan you outlined above might be helpful, yes.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Adolescence and ignoring

Are you certain, in every instance, that it is ignoring?

Could some of it be displacement behaviors?

Are you working over her threshold, maybe?

I'm making no excuses for adolescent SDS (Selective Deafness Syndrome), however, the way you fix this will depend in part on whether you're correctly reading your dog, about why she's ignoring you.

If you've really built in a strong reinforcement history, and your relationship is on solid footing, then it's very possible some of the behavior is just displacement behavior--she's getting overstimmed, by what's going on in her adolescent body, and by the cues from the environment. How is she, on calming behaviors? Does she have a solid "settle"? How is her impulse control?

Try the Control Unleashed stuff, use those assessments, play those games with your dog--and if you're truly having defiance/non-compliance issues, then the plan you outlined above might be helpful, yes.
We do have a strong reinforcement history and I believe our relationship is solid. What exactly do you mean my displacement behaviour? She does not have a solid 'settle' or impulse control. Impulse control is something I have been working on. Do you have any suggestions for that. And would like you to explain the displacement thing. Not real sure what that is. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well I just ordered Control Unleashed. I will put those into effect and see where it goes from here. Maybe I am pushing her through the program too fast, when we haven't conquered distractions and impulse control She could very well be having brain overload and getting overstimmed in class. Thanks so much!
 

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For impulse control, self control games. On Youtube look for Its Yer Choice games.
 
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We do have a strong reinforcement history and I believe our relationship is solid. What exactly do you mean my displacement behaviour? She does not have a solid 'settle' or impulse control. Impulse control is something I have been working on. Do you have any suggestions for that. And would like you to explain the displacement thing. Not real sure what that is. Thanks!
Sorry--I posted and then headed off to agility classes.

Displacement behaviors--things dogs (and other animals) do when they are stressed, to sort of cope with it, work thru it.

One example most folks are very familiar with is the cat who runs into something, then stops and suddenly has to groom an ear, or cats about to pounce on each other who suddenly break off and begin grooming their paws. It's a tension dissipator.

Many dogs who feel overstimmed and/or conflicted in a class setting will scratch, sniff the floor, yawn, that sort of thing.

Here is an article I found on a quick google that does a pretty good job of explaining it--in this case, the reader's dog gulps water when conflicted. The dog is not thirsty--it's a coping behavior.

Edit: Duh, forgot the link~ Reader's dog offers "displacement behavior" | Gail Fisher, All Dogs Gym & Inn | Behavi

Since you said you sort of have a feeling now you may have gone a bit fast--I'm going to hazard a guess this displacement is at least some of what is going on.

Often, when we hit the teen stage with our dogs, we have to take a few steps back towards more "kindergarten" stuff, review basics, pick things that it is easier for our dogs to give us correctly. It's *highly* frustrating to competive me, but I find if I don't take that extra time and effort, don't take those few steps back, as needed, we actually end up spending more time fixing the new stuff I tried to move on to too fast--and we end up losing more training time in the long run. Make sense?

Really cool you are getting the book, I think you'll like the exercises and even those of us who've been training for years find new tips in a good book like that.

As far as tips on reducing her conflict--have you been working on attention heeling a lot? The Watch Me stuff?

If so, use the Look at That! game, and teach your dog it's okay to look away for just a sec, to check things out, and that returning focus to you is a good thing, not a thing she has to fight to make herself do. She gets to reassure herself she isn't missing anything in the environment, but gets her reward for a quick glance and then a refocus on you (the book will explain all the steps of this finished behavior)--this has worked amazingly well with my problem girl Kylie and I have sooooo much focus from her now, I can hardly get her to look at anything else, but it's a whole different attitude with the focus now, she WANTS to stay focused on me, instead of doing it because she knows *I* want her to.

Good luck, let us know how it goes with your girl.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Adolescence and ignoring

I ordered the DVDs, should have ordered the book as well. when I mentioned this to my trainer, she said she is actually working through the book right now. And really encouraged me to do it as well. She also mentioned the exact same things you did regarding the whole training process. We can be making leaps and bounds, then hit adolescense and take two steps back, work through that, hit adult and start all over again. lol I was appreciative that she noticed my patience as I work through it with Wrigley. Told me to stick with it, set lower expectations for her in class, when there are more distractions and raise the criteria at home. Be sure and reward the little successes. Thanks again for your advice and I will keep you posted. Have a great night!
 

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I ordered the DVDs, should have ordered the book as well. when I mentioned this to my trainer, she said she is actually working through the book right now. And really encouraged me to do it as well. She also mentioned the exact same things you did regarding the whole training process. We can be making leaps and bounds, then hit adolescense and take two steps back, work through that, hit adult and start all over again. lol I was appreciative that she noticed my patience as I work through it with Wrigley. Told me to stick with it, set lower expectations for her in class, when there are more distractions and raise the criteria at home. Be sure and reward the little successes. Thanks again for your advice and I will keep you posted. Have a great night!

Oh hey, maybe you and your trainer can do an exchange/lend on the book v. the DVDs.

I admit, I got more out of the book than the DVDs, but I have had several people tell me they need to see the exercises being done, and therefore the DVDs helped them more.

She does ramble a bit--it's a four DVD set, but she's good and they're worth watching.

Either way, sounds like you will have plenty of good resources available to you, to work thru the terrible teens :)

And yes, patience, patience, and sense of humor!

I remind myself of that daily...
 

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Training sessions are any where from 15-30 mins depending on how she is doing. We are currently working through the discrimination phase of training. Knowing the difference between 'Around' and 'Finish', for example. It is not just during this type of exercise though that the ignoring occurs. At class last night she would not look at me to save her soul. I couldn't even get her attention to put her into a sit. She would look the other way, try to pull away. just being obstinate.
It is really difficult to say what is going on by just a description. Off the top I would say that the sessions are way too long for an 8 month old. I would keep it to less than 5 minutes.

What are you trying to accomplish?

What are you giving for reward? When do you give the reward? How often do you give the reward?
 

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Adolescence and ignoring

30 mins is on the way long end of it and truthfully that is a rarity. I usually stick to around 15-20 tops. I definitely can read when she is telling me she is done. We have been working through a couple of different things that she struggled with over the weekend. One being going from a down to a sit with me 5-10 steps away. Keep in mind this is in class, new group of dogs as we just started the next level of class and this is the first time I have been working with her off leash or leash on ground in class. So I really think focus on me is what is lacking.

Her treats vary depending on the distraction and the expectation. I use Natural Balance dog food rolls cut into small pieces, Bil-Jac, string cheese, and have in the past used cooked chicken breast.

I must say this week has been amazing. She is going into a sit from a down fluently, no butt movement at all and no moving toward me. Again this is at home with minimal distractions. We all know what fabulous 'kitchen dogs' we have. lol We will see what happens on Sunday in class.
 

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she a pet doberman? or a working 1 or a show doberman? she could be a pet doberman not usely used for working or shows just as a pet and they usely train for basic comans sit stay heel etc. working dobermans should be alot better when training is 15-30 min's long sessions. she could be low drive etc. and probly deaf?
 

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30 mins is on the way long end of it and truthfully that is a rarity. I usually stick to around 15-20 tops..

I gotta tell you, 15-20 is just too long as well. 30 is waaaaay too long for an 8 month old. I can truthfully say I'd never even work an adult dog on OB for 30 minutes straight.

IMO, there's a strong chance she's bored out of her gourd and is losing interest in working. Stick to 5 minutes. You can even 3 sessions a day. Short. Positive. DONE. Happy dog that is interested in working and enjoys it.

When I go to work my crew (two 1 year old and a visiting 5 month old) they know the phrase "Who wants to work?", and they start practically doing backflips. Strong rewards, both verbal and food, then a toy reward at the end of the session.

Today I took the 5 month old to a different location to work him, and the way he is acting was acting is similar to what you are saying, his attention wandered quickly, started ignoring me. All I did was up the reward levels, got a few good responses out of him, and that was it for the day. If I had kept pushing and pushing, it isn't going to make a positive imprint on him.


You have a very young dog still, increase time as she gets older and more mature.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
adolescence and ignoring

I gotta tell you, 15-20 is just too long as well. 30 is waaaaay too long for an 8 month old. I can truthfully say I'd never even work an adult dog on OB for 30 minutes straight.

IMO, there's a strong chance she's bored out of her gourd and is losing interest in working. Stick to 5 minutes. You can even 3 sessions a day. Short. Positive. DONE. Happy dog that is interested in working and enjoys it.

When I go to work my crew (two 1 year old and a visiting 5 month old) they know the phrase "Who wants to work?", and they start practically doing backflips. Strong rewards, both verbal and food, then a toy reward at the end of the session.

Today I took the 5 month old to a different location to work him, and the way he is acting was acting is similar to what you are saying, his attention wandered quickly, started ignoring me. All I did was up the reward levels, got a few good responses out of him, and that was it for the day. If I had kept pushing and pushing, it isn't going to make a positive imprint on him.


You have a very young dog still, increase time as she gets older and more mature.
Wow, it never occurred to me that 15 mins would be too long. Great to know. I will definitely back it down in time. I say the same thing to her to, before we get started, "Do you want to work?" She does get excited to start it's not that she doesn't want to. She loves to work, I really believe it is the distractions in class that stress her.

Thanks so much!
 

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Wow, it never occurred to me that 15 mins would be too long. Great to know. I will definitely back it down in time. I say the same thing to her to, before we get started, "Do you want to work?" She does get excited to start it's not that she doesn't want to. She loves to work, I really believe it is the distractions in class that stress her.

Thanks so much!
What do your sessions look like? I train for 10 minutes max probably even with my adult dogs. with the 12 month old, I might do right turns, 10 of them, then say ok and we run adn get the tug toy tug tug tug tug tug tug. Do some heeling back to the area in the house I train and then work on perch work. Release tug tug tug tug tug. I probably play as much as I train in those 10 minutes.
 

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30 mins is on the way long end of it and truthfully that is a rarity. I usually stick to around 15-20 tops. I definitely can read when she is telling me she is done. We have been working through a couple of different things that she struggled with over the weekend. One being going from a down to a sit with me 5-10 steps away. Keep in mind this is in class, new group of dogs as we just started the next level of class and this is the first time I have been working with her off leash or leash on ground in class. So I really think focus on me is what is lacking.

Her treats vary depending on the distraction and the expectation. I use Natural Balance dog food rolls cut into small pieces, Bil-Jac, string cheese, and have in the past used cooked chicken breast.

I must say this week has been amazing. She is going into a sit from a down fluently, no butt movement at all and no moving toward me. Again this is at home with minimal distractions. We all know what fabulous 'kitchen dogs' we have. lol We will see what happens on Sunday in class.
Bold mine.

Hey, it's great that you can read she's "telling you she is done," but think about this--if you GET to that point, you've failed in your training session.


You want your girl to be left wanting more, to end on an exuberant note. You don't want to end things when you've already lost her, she isn't engaged anymore, and the connection with her handler is broken.

Does that make sense?

I actually think we sort of need to distinguish, in this discussion, what "length of training session" means to us humans.

I think 15-20 minutes, even 30 minutes, even an hour, is just fine and dandy as a length of training session, so long as it's in short focused bursts, with the dog alternately learning a new skill, practicing an established one, and playing. Even relaxing on a mat, doing "go to place work" can keep the dog in a learning state of mind and ready to do more in the way of OB work, for that session.

I have a six month old who can easily do an hour class, staying happy and engaged, BUT I have to heavily manage what I do, to keep her interested and enthusiastic.

So, where folks are telling you five minutes, ten minutes, tops, you can still manage that, within an hour long class setting--and I encourage you to keep up with your classes. It's wonderful for her to work around new dogs, new distractions, in different settings. Those experiences are worth their weight in gold, for her.

Just have a plan, and adjust and tailor to her reactions/mood in any given training session, for giving her breaks, for keeping her exuberance up and for keeping her looking at "work" as a fun thing.



she a pet doberman? or a working 1 or a show doberman? she could be a pet doberman not usely used for working or shows just as a pet and they usely train for basic comans sit stay heel etc. working dobermans should be alot better when training is 15-30 min's long sessions. she could be low drive etc. and probly deaf?

HUH?


What do your sessions look like? I train for 10 minutes max probably even with my adult dogs. with the 12 month old, I might do right turns, 10 of them, then say ok and we run adn get the tug toy tug tug tug tug tug tug. Do some heeling back to the area in the house I train and then work on perch work. Release tug tug tug tug tug. I probably play as much as I train in those 10 minutes.
Yes, this is a good example of what I was trying to get across above (and not doing a very good job of it).

You need to really read your dog and know whether "tug" or "ball" or relaxing on a mat is what is needed, that day, that hour, that single moment, to help her work in the right frame of mind, to maintain that "learning" state of mind.

"Work" is just interaction with you--and she does not necessarily assign any value to "heeling" more than "sit" more than "go to place," she just wants your attention and interaction--and you want hers, obviously. Find ways in your sessions to keep her from ever getting to that "I'm done" look :)

Good luck, I think you guys are going to go far together.
 

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she a pet doberman? or a working 1 or a show doberman? she could be a pet doberman not usely used for working or shows just as a pet and they usely train for basic comans sit stay heel etc. working dobermans should be alot better when training is 15-30 min's long sessions. she could be low drive etc. and probly deaf?
Masterx,

You are pulling our leg aren't you? I don't expect an 8 month old PUPPY to work 15-30 minutes straight. I don't even expect that from my adults--particularly when they are learning something new.

It's much more likely that she's simply being a puppy--and that the OP pushed some of the training a little too fast.

Geeze--"probly deaf"--this is not very good advice--and certainly not useful.
 
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