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Hi

My boy is almost two years old, and he has very successfully completed beginning, intermediate, and advance training classes being at the top of his game. He also very successfully passed the Service dog and Therapy dog evaluations. About a week and a half ago I noticed that he has started to pull his leash tremendously. I have always let him be off leash while at the park, w/o any issues. But now, while off, he completely ignores the "come" command, which obviously creates a distrust between me and him= not that fun to not be able to play with all of his friends as usual :( I'll tell him to come, and he'll take off to he opposite direction. We were at my friends house the other night, and I was chocked by his behavior. He suddenly took it upon him self to do whatever he pleased to do!!! I told him to stay, he stayed for 2 sec then took off- repeatedly. I told him to leave it, and he went to steal food from the counter etc etc. He has NEVER done anything like this before and I was as embarrassed as upset. What happened??! Is this my fault, because after he did so good with the training, I admit that I trained him less- thinking that he is fine. Did he forget? Or does he not see me as the leader anymore? I am confused, and I'd love some feedback on this, since I want to re-establish the absolutely wonderful bond between me and him..As of now, I don't feel that I can trust him 100%...
 

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Easiest thing to do is to go back to the basics. We'll never know why until we can teach them to talk :) It's not uncommon to see some behavior changes at his age either. I'd go back to treating him like a puppy as far as no more freedoms until he earns it. Do a lot of basic obedience training on leash, lots of rewards for a good job done, etc.
 

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I agree with those who have suggested back-to-basics boot camp. At 2-1/2, our Jack still goes through episodes of testing the boundaries and behaving as if he has never had a moment's training.

When you were at your friend's house, for example, and Jajah broke the down repeatedly, I would probably have put him on lead so that he couldn't break without being corrected. Dobermans are smart and he may have figured out that he could get away with breaking in that situation.

How long were you expecting him to remain down? Did he have an opportunity to explore and become comfortable in that new setting? In a new situation with strange people around, I would make sure that he had frequent opportunities to walk around (on lead) with me, meet everyone, check out the surroundings and satisfy his curiosity before expecting him to settle and behave. Jajah may look mature, but he's still young.

And . . . you mentioned your upset and embarassment. How did you respond to his bad behaviour? For all that Jack can, on occasion, be a total brat and complete a--h---, he is also very sensitive. If he senses anger, he becomes stressed and this makes his behaviour even worse. So we really have to work at remaining calm and matter of fact. We're not always successful, but we try.
 

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Yes go back to basics, but with an added part to this. Keep him hungry!!! Cut his food in the bowl to half and give him everything else from your hand when he does behavior you want. It may not work for a few days until it clicks in his mind. Then he should show some improvement. Remember dogs in the wild eat once a week sometimes, a few days of starvation won't hurt him. Good luck
 

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Is your dobe Neutered? Could be a bitch in heat around also that makes for obedience breaking behaviors..
 
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