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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-15-2008, 02:27 PM Thread Starter
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training ideas needed

I love my little dog, I really do, but she won't listen to me! She's 2 1/2 years old, I've had her since she was 9 weeks, and we are still working on sit. I don't know what to do anymore. I have this image in my mind of a dog that listens to my every command. And then I look at Daphne, and its really getting frustrating. I can't expect her to be perfect, but I should still be able to expect her to behave, right? Before I even got her, I read several books, including Chihuahuas for Dummies, and the Little Dog's Training Guide. I had a plan as to how I was going to train her, and it just never worked.
First off, she doesn't care about treats. From day one, I tried offering them, and she just wasn't interested. People food is pretty much off limits, although she does get a bite of chicken breast every now and then, when she sits for it. Its pretty much the only people food that she'll eat. She never played with toys, the only way to reward her was to pet her or pick her up. The trainers I talked to said that this would work as a substitute for treats. so we tried it with sit, and it didn't work. Now when she wants to be picked up, she'll sit and stare at you, expecting it. But she only sits maybe 50% of the time when told.
I really don't have money for a training instructor, but that might be my only option. My mom says that I need to not be so dissapointed when Daphne misbehaves, and just to get used to it. That can't be the answer. There has to be a better way.

4 cats: Radar, Oscar, Mackintosh, Qwilleran
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1 daddy-long leg spider: Spidey
8 assorted tarantulas
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1 corn snake: Charisma
1 California kingsnake: Honey
1 tortoise: Charlie
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-19-2008, 06:07 PM
 
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Hmm, that is a really tough situation. I definitely disagree with your mom. Ignoring Daphne's misbehaving will only make the problem worse. My pup is named Daphney as well- small world!

I have been overwhelmed with my puppy and trying to get her to listen so my fiancee and I read the dog whisperer books. We started with the second book and it wasreally helpful.

One point that might help you is that Cesear talks about how a person's energy will affect your dog. He says you should interact with you dog in a CALM, STRONG, and ASSERTIVE manner. He says that if you are upset and interact with the dog the dog will feel it and not listen. The same goes if you are passive, or angry, or any other emotion. So, if you can I'd suggest reading the book and following his advice in terms of reacting in a more assertive manner with you dog.

It took me awhile to learn this and frankly I'm still learning. Daphney is a lot better behaved now that I am reacting more calmly (I used to get very frustrated and upset) so hopefully some of these tips can help for your Daphne too.

All the best!
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-03-2008, 09:59 PM
 
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It can be really frustrating when your dog just isn't interested in the things you're trying so hard to teach! I think a dog who isn't food motivated is always a real challenge.

I've had a couple of them that way, but for one I eventually managed to find a treat that made him sit up and take notice - freeze dried liver (they sell it in Petsmart and those kind of pet stores). It's certainly not cheap, but it was worth every cent to me

He also liked the frozen Biljac (again in Petsmart, or in the freezer sections in most Walmarts).

If neither of these work, what about a really loud 'squeaky' toy. Most dogs can't resist those!

I know trainers cost money, but a set of basic obedience classes would probably be very (very!) helpful, and if that put you on the right road, it may be all you need.

Your mom is probably just trying to keep you from getting too disappointed, but as you've tried so hard up until now it would be a shame to give up. Best of luck!
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-04-2008, 01:41 PM
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Sounds like maybe Daphne has no idea that you are the alpha. She does what she wants, when she wants. How is she outside of doing "tricks"? Is she potty trained? Does she listen if you tell her NO when she's doing something bad (maybe chewing on something she isn't supposed to)? Just trying to get an idea of how bad it is.
I would take her to a PUPPY class at Petsmart or somewhere. The whole thing is only about $80, and you go once a week. The trainers can give you lots of idea, too.
Also, there is a way to teach tricks, and if you don't go about it the right way, it might not work. You said you read the books, so I assume you are doing it right. Hmmm...I just keep coming back to thinking she doesn't see you as alpha.
Try doing things that asserts your alpha-ness, like:
*"Nothing in life for free" - She never gets anything good without doing something you ask. She has to sit for dinner. She has to sit to go outside. She has to sit for a toy. All that.
*Every once in a while when you two are playing, gently pin her down on the floor (on her side or back) and just hold her there. If she whines and/or squirms, just keep holding her until she stops. Then let her go and keep playing.

Good luck!


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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-11-2008, 04:22 PM
 
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Well for one thing she is a small dog and small dogs are sometimes difficult to train. Try a professional trainer. It may cost alot of money but it may be the only way. What breed is she? I know bulldogs are the most untrainable dogs but her breed may be known for stubborness. Good luck!
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-11-2008, 05:15 PM
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ok this is just an idea

I assume you pick her up and love her even if she doesn't do what you want... Stop that.

if she wants to be held she has to work for it. Sit? no.. ok no lovin for you! Don't ever pick her up or pet her when shes being bad just turn your back to her. since she sits 50% of the time she knows what it is.. so thats not your problem she isn't dumb she has you under control and well trained.

Make her sit to go for a walk, sit to get her food dish, sit to go outside to potty

Try cat food for a treat. most dogs will eat a good cat food cause its meatier than dog food
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