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Old 11-19-2012, 09:37 AM
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Not responding to treats.

Every day is a training day for Walnut, and he responds really well to treats/praise indoors.

He also used to respond really well to praise and treats outdoors (we used to do a lot of outdoor training).

Lately though, we simply cannot get his attention when other dogs, friends, family are around. Mostly just dogs though. We went to the park yesterday, and it was a hell trying to get his attention.

I was trying to walk him on leash to the off lease trail, and he just pulled like crazy. He's been trained to loose leash walk, but just completely loses it when he sees other dogs.

Anyway, we got to the off-leash trail, and he went deaf. He wouldn't respond to any commands, and would not come back when called.

So I put him back on his leash, and tried a few simple commands (sit, down, paw, etc). Nope. Nothing. I tried to give him a few treats for doing the commands, but nope...he won't even try smelling them. He actually avoids them because my hand gets in his face and blocks his view.

I've tried our home backed treats, peanut butter, boiled chicken, hotdogs, sweet potator etc.

It doesn't seem to matter what kind of treat I try to use. As long as there are other dogs around, he doesn't respond AT ALL to anything. He was never like this, and if anything, we've only stepped up the training.

As soon as we get back in the car, he responds to the clicker and treats no problem.

I emailed our trainer from puppy school for ideas, and he said to try taking him to the park on an empty stomach. Still no luck. Even using environmental rewards don't work.

Any suggestions?

Walnut is an (almost) 1 year old un-neutered male who get's about 16-18 hrs of exercise per week.

Thanks.
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:05 AM
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Sounds like the basics aren't firmly enough instilled in your pup. I would put a prong collar on him and give some good corrections along with a lot of praise and treats when he does respond correctly. They will all test you with this deaf ear but set him up to fail with distractions so corrections can be given


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Old 11-19-2012, 10:21 AM
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Is puppy class the last class he had taken? It seems as if he has not learned to work around distractions. I suggest taking a refresher course (or two) so he can learn to work around other dogs. It would be easier when the other dogs are working too and not running around at the dog park. Molly goes to class 3 times a week and has always been in classes since 11 weeks of age, except for a month off that we took when she had to wait until she was of age to take obedience. We train successfully in the dog park even doing stays.
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:33 AM
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I know if Cookie doesn't respond to treats, then I am way too close to the distraction and the only thing to do is to increase distance. Actually, not taking treats means that I lost her attention long before, and there are subtler signs I look for. The moment Cookie stops checking in with me, we back up and regroup.
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:36 AM
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I agree with training on an empty stomach (at least 3 hours after a meal), more obedience classes and no more off-leash time until you have a solid recall.

Have you tried clicker training?
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:36 AM
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Walnut is over stimulated at the sight of other dogs that is why he is refusing treats. Suggest working with him at a distance from other dogs, that he can maintain some self control, could be twenty feet, might be 50 ft. Once you figure out his threshold, the point he doesn't over react, reward him for looking and staying calm. Slowly decrease the distance over days, weeks, only moving closer when he is able to stay in control.
When you are going to the park he is anticipating the fun time, he is over excited and loses it. Don't expect him to listen to you inside the park, if he is already 'wired' and not listening outside the park. Practice approaching the park calmly. I use 'penalty yards' when my dog can't behave, as soon as he starts pulling, I stop moving, if he continues to pull, I cue 'this way' and we move further away from whatever he is onto. I get the sit, praise/reward it, and move closer, slowly, repeat. The only way he gets to go where he wants to go, is by keeping the leash loose and staying calm. Be consistent and practice calm approaches with anything that gets him excited, and don't let him approach if he is not staying calm, stop or move away if need be.
Once inside the park, have him sit to be released, once released, give him some time to burn some energy, time your recall for when he is taking a break from playing. When he comes, praise and reward if he will take it and immediately release him to go play, showing him that coming to you does not always mean the fun is over. Repeat, repeat. Dog owners often create dogs that won't come when at the dogpark by only calling the dog when it is time to leave, teach him that is not always the case.
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuggetsdad View Post
Sounds like the basics aren't firmly enough instilled in your pup. I would put a prong collar on him and give some good corrections along with a lot of praise and treats when he does respond correctly. They will all test you with this deaf ear but set him up to fail with distractions so corrections can be given


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Hmmm. This could be the case, although it's only when he's around other dogs.

I think part of the problem is that he had daily dog walks for for 6 months - which means he had total freedom to visit any dog he wanted. We never stopped training recall or any other basic command - ever.

He's not allowed to do anything without permission (seems harsh, i know).

I don't know about the prong collar though. Looks painful. We've always used clicker+treats, and until now, it's worked great.

Perhaps I can hook him up to a 15ft leash instead of his current 4ft. This way, if he doesn't respond to recall, i can "remind" him what it is.

Maybe we're too gentle with him??? He's also learned to mark (off-leash). On-leash, he's only allowed to mark when given permission to do so. When he's off-leash though, he'd rather sniff and mark than listen.
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vhuynh2 View Post
Is puppy class the last class he had taken? It seems as if he has not learned to work around distractions. I suggest taking a refresher course (or two) so he can learn to work around other dogs. It would be easier when the other dogs are working too and not running around at the dog park. Molly goes to class 3 times a week and has always been in classes since 11 weeks of age, except for a month off that we took when she had to wait until she was of age to take obedience. We train successfully in the dog park even doing stays.
Yes, puppy class was the last course (he was 8 weeks). We will be signing him up for the good neighbor course for January and possible the foundation course:

Dog Obedience Toronto - When Hounds Fly Dog Training
Canine Good Neighbour Test Toronto - When Hounds Fly Dog Training
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charliethree View Post
Walnut is over stimulated at the sight of other dogs that is why he is refusing treats. Suggest working with him at a distance from other dogs, that he can maintain some self control, could be twenty feet, might be 50 ft. Once you figure out his threshold, the point he doesn't over react, reward him for looking and staying calm. Slowly decrease the distance over days, weeks, only moving closer when he is able to stay in control.
When you are going to the park he is anticipating the fun time, he is over excited and loses it. Don't expect him to listen to you inside the park, if he is already 'wired' and not listening outside the park. Practice approaching the park calmly. I use 'penalty yards' when my dog can't behave, as soon as he starts pulling, I stop moving, if he continues to pull, I cue 'this way' and we move further away from whatever he is onto. I get the sit, praise/reward it, and move closer, slowly, repeat. The only way he gets to go where he wants to go, is by keeping the leash loose and staying calm. Be consistent and practice calm approaches with anything that gets him excited, and don't let him approach if he is not staying calm, stop or move away if need be.
Once inside the park, have him sit to be released, once released, give him some time to burn some energy, time your recall for when he is taking a break from playing. When he comes, praise and reward if he will take it and immediately release him to go play, showing him that coming to you does not always mean the fun is over. Repeat, repeat. Dog owners often create dogs that won't come when at the dogpark by only calling the dog when it is time to leave, teach him that is not always the case.
This is exactly what our training taught us, and precisely what we've been doing. We never call him to come to put the leash on. Instead, we wait till he's near us, then without saying anything, we put his leash on but don't immediately leave the park. We walk around a bit before leaving.

We also stop and move 3 steps back for every time he pulls to go to the park. It used to work great, but not anymore. Eventually he gets the idea, and knows the length of his leash (4ft), so he'll do this run-stop-run-stop thing to just before the point where his leash "ends". When he's doesn't pull, I say "good boy" and try to pet him, but even petting him excites him causing him to want to pull even more. And we do make him sit before entering the park. He sits and waits for our OKAY, but its obvious his mind/focus is somewhere else. He makes no eye contact. I once made him sit for almost 3 minutes before letting him in the park. Within those 3 minutes, he didn't make eye contact ONCE!

This is the ONLY problem we have with him. He is otherwise an amazing dog and knows a ton of stuff.
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:12 PM
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"This is exactly what our training taught us, and precisely what we've been doing. We never call him to come to put the leash on. Instead, we wait till he's near us, then without saying anything, we put his leash on but don't immediately leave the park. We walk around a bit before leaving"

Actually, what you are doing is different than what CharlieThree suggested.

Charliethree wrote: "Once inside the park, have him sit to be released, once released, give him some time to burn some energy, time your recall for when he is taking a break from playing. When he comes, praise and reward if he will take it and imm ediately release him to go play, showing him that coming to you does not always mean the fun is over. Repeat, repeat"

She also suggested something different for Walnut not obeying when distracted.

Charliethree wrote:The only way he gets to go where he wants to go, is by keeping the leash loose and staying calm. Be consistent and practice calm approaches with anything that gets him excited, and don't let him approach if he is not staying calm, stop or move away if need be.

You may even have to go to the park, get out of your car and train right there without Walnut even getting to play at the park when you first start training this.
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