Bolting and General Disobedience

Discussion in 'Puppy Forum' started by antipunt1, May 25, 2009.

  1. antipunt1

    antipunt1 New Member

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    Hi Chazhound, been a while since my last question. But it seems that I've run into an issue again :confused:

    This only started happening recently, but Wanta is starting to become increasingly 'disobedient'. She is so in a couple of specific ways that I'll list out to make it less vague

    1. She bolts out of the house onto the street whenever given the chance (in the past, she would just kind of walk out the door and back in. Now she bolts straight out of any crack leading to the outdoors). Why she does this -now- I totally do not know, but when she does, she ignores my commands and chases bikes/cars/runs on the street. It's incredibly dangerous and despite my angry commands/yells, she just keeps running around like it's a game. The game is apparently called 'dodge the car that will kill you' :eek:

    It always kind of bothered me when dogs did this. I mean, what exactly is she trying to say in doggie-language: "screw this prison, I'm outta here?...". Augh, this statement is kind of emo, but seriously, does she not like living here?... :( (it's even sadder that she wasn't like this at all when she was younger. She was much more 'attached')

    2. She is starting to manipulate my 'sit' command. Whenever I ask her to sit, it seems that she is totally expecting the treat that comes after. As a result, I can kind of sense the gleam in her eye saying (OK...here comes the treat...then I bolt!). Thus, the command is virtually useless. For example, when she bolts out onto the street, if I say the sit command she may half-fall-for-it the first time, but then she reacts after seeing I'm not giving her a treat and bolts off again.

    When I caught her I was furious, and gave her a 10 minute time out (I was mad at her for ignoring my commands and angry at myself for allowing this incident to occur more than once/lack of training her/whatnot). The time-out was the only thing I could think of as a 'deterrent' because I am aware she probably doesn't know that running on the street is 'dangerous' and 'wrong'. But then again...-maybe- she does..

    My rational mind is telling me Wanta is focused on 'play'...SO focused in fact, that she completely ignores the concept of 'boundaries' and 'danger'. I also realize that my sit command is being kind of a gimmick that doesn't at all serve its primary purpose: keeping Wanta safe in case of an accident.

    So yeah, help would be -great- Chazhound because I'm failing again :(
    So... alternative training methods? Obedience class? Or do most dogs bolt out of houses whenever given the chance (though my instinct is telling me: no).

    Thanks :hail:

    PS: Maybe Wanta is going through her 'rebellious-stage', though that would suggest that other dogs would've acted similarly at her age
     
  2. AllieMackie

    AllieMackie Wookie Collie

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    Yup, Wanta is a teenager. Welcome to the fun.

    Why is she gaining access to the road? Is someone letting her out the door? You have to be extremely careful, especially in the rebellious stage.

    Be vigilant with training. It often takes more than normal in this stage, but continue being consistent and firm. And take deep breaths. :p
     
  3. AgilityKrazii

    AgilityKrazii Addicted to Agility

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    Yes Wanta is at that wonderfull teenage stage, gotta love it.:rolleyes:

    As you know her dashing out the door and into traffic is very dangerous espically for a dog of her size.
    I would suggest giving her more excerise and time outside on leash, or take her to a fenced in park where she can run around and be a dog.
    To help with the door dashing, teach her she cannot go out the door unless you tell her, start with teaching her to wait at the door, open the door just a crack and reward her for maintaing position, a sit, down, stand whatever you want. Slowly make the opening in the door wider, but always keep her on leash. If she does break her wait, close the door so she cant get out.

    By giving her many opotunities to play outside and teaching her to wait untill realeased to go out the door should help your problem.

    Any dog can be taught to stay in the house even when the door is wide open, it just takes time.
     
  4. antipunt1

    antipunt1 New Member

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    we accidentally opened the front door with her semi-nearby. but we were unprepared, because she never 'bolted' in the past. We had no idea she would have such an urge, it was like she was -waiting for it- :(

    OK thanks. I was unaware that this was a 'stage' for dogs. Well, I was 'aware', but not -aware- you know what I mean? Like that it was happening -now- :eek:

    man, if you're BOTH saying it, but MUST be true :yikes:

    sounds a bit advanced for me, but thx, I'll just keep at it.

    unfortunately, my only method of 'teaching' Wanta -anything- is via food-bribery or deterrents (time outs). :rolleyes:

    And we all know how well that 'sit' command is working at the moment.
     
  5. corgipower

    corgipower Tweleve Enthusiest

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    For sitting at the door, life rewards are often better than food. She wants to go out and play. So when she sits, reward her by opening the door and taking her out (be sure to use a release word before she gets up and steps out the door). Have her on a long line so she can play but she can't run off.
     
  6. AllieMackie

    AllieMackie Wookie Collie

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    This.

    The action they want IS the reward. Finn has learned to sit and watch me until the door is open and I cue him to "go". It's not 100%, he has times where he wants to squeeze out the door... but he's six months, and for six months, he's got it down pretty solid. I wanted to train it before the terrible teens. Hope he retains it.

    Same principle applies to the "be a tree" method of teaching loose-leash walking. When the dog pulls, stop. When they walk on a loose leash, they get to walk, which is the reward in itself.
     
  7. BerryBye

    BerryBye New Member

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    (Sorry, this is totally off topic, but AllieMackie...your dog is absolutely adorable!!!!!
    Every time I read one of your posts I laugh at that little comical picture of him with his mouth wide open...too cute!!)
     
  8. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    I just want to touch on this. You should NEVER use bribery to teach dogs. I use food as rewards but I never bribe (also known as luring.. though you can bribe with out luring too)

    But in this case life rewards are good. Maybe a food reward AND a life reward as you go through the teenage stages.
     
  9. antipunt1

    antipunt1 New Member

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    you guys are all touching on a very valuable subject (thank you). I could use some advice however. So far I've read that 'life rewards' means they get what they are waiting for, etc. Any tips on how to employ 'life rewards' as opposed to 'food-rewards/bribery?'. I've tried to 'hide' the treat behind my back, etc., but I suspect that she's totally starting to expect it when I say 'sit' or 'come here' (though important to mention, it's not like I wave the food in front of me or in her vision, I always keep it hidden). How do I reward her if I don't give her food? (AKA how do I increase the probabilty of a desirable outcome without food. What is the positive affect. A pat on the head? A back scratch? A 'good girl!'?) Please advise :)
     
  10. corgipower

    corgipower Tweleve Enthusiest

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    Rewards are anything the dog finds enjoyable ~ food, toys, praise, petting, going outside, being allowed to walk, etc. Things like going outside, being allowed to continue on a walk, being allowed on the couch are "life rewards". Praise and petting is rewarding for some dogs but not for all.

    You can use food rewards without using bribery. Keep the treats on shelves around the house so you always have easy access to them and then you can go get one when you need to reward something. If treats are in a pocket, don't take out a treat until after the behavior is given. A clicker can help bridge the gap while you reach for a treat ~ you still only have about a second to deliver the treat, but the click will mark the behavior while you get that treat out.

    Also using a variable reward schedule will help.
     
  11. antipunt1

    antipunt1 New Member

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    thanks, :p
    and yes, I do think it was important you mentioned this. :eek:

     
  12. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    Try not to get angry when she doesn't give correct responses to your cues. Being angry or punishing will produce a dog who really doesn't want to come. You never want to associate anything bad with coming. She is not saying "screw you." She is not knowing that she should do the "right" thing and obey you, but choosing not to. Dogs are amoral and don't relate to our sense of right and wrong. This is all thinking that is reserved for humans. She is simply and purely motivated to go out the door and see something more than she is motivated to stay behind the door. Dogs will do what works best for them, what gives them what they want. It's just how they are. She is just untrained. That's all there is to it.

    Put a leash on her before you open the door. Keep working on sit in all kinds of locations and contexts. Gradually increase duration before she gets a treat. Don't let her see the treat first. Try luring her into the sit with an empty hand, (hand signal) then get the treat from various hiding places...some in your pocket, a fanny pack behind your back, some near you on a table or whatever. Be sure to work in your release word, meaning, now you can get up from your sit. Get it in before she's apt to break the sit or sit/stay and work up the duration. The learning of that release word is imperative because otherwise she learns to get up or run anytime she wants and your sit is then ineffective. The release word should be worked in to anything you teach her to let her know that she doesn't have to do that thing anymore...whatever she's doing. Say you're working on formal heeling and now you want to tell her she's finished with that and can walk more freely, let her know that heeling is over. ("okay" or "free" or "release"...whatever release word you use)

    Now take her by the door and have her sit. Open the door a crack. If she gets up, close the door. Don't say a word. Try again. Keep on trying until she figures it out that she needs to sit and wait. Get your release word in (don't make her wait too long at first) and open the door and let her out, but be sure to hang onto her leash. As she gets onto sitting and waiting for her release word in order to get the reward of going outside, gradually try opening the door a little wider, but be ready to close it fast before she runs out. Don't let her hurt herself by running hard into it or banging her head. If this is apt to happen, use your body to block her first....pivet around, step in front of her. Don't scold or give commands if you want this to become a default behavior for her. Practice this several very short sessions a day and use different doors. You can teach her to sit/wait until released if you practice. Make it easy for her to succeed at first by not asking for too long a wait.

    Eventually you can start varying your own body position and location. When she starts getting really good at it, you can step out a foot or so on the porch while she waits, then a few feet more away. Or you can stand behind her, off to the side, facing away from her, facing toward her and eventually clear out in the yard. (by this time, you'll need a second person to hold the leash.) You need to mix it all up so she doesn't learn that it is only when you stand a certain way or when other conditions are a very specific and the same way that she has to sit/wait for release. Dogs don't generalize behavior all that well so by varying these things, it helps them to learn to do a behavior in any situation. You can try this at a friend's house if possible so if you're ever visiting someone with your dog, she will be able to apply this skill at their house too.

    If you can't have a fence around your yard, then something should be done to lessen the odds that if she does get out, that she'll run into the street. That takes a tremendous amount of training to teach boundaries and it's still not fool proof. I don't like electric under ground fences, but it would be better than nothing.

    Another thing you can keep working on is a reliable recall. Be sure and not use your cue word unless she's already coming to you until she is reliable. There are threads on this skill and other good info online. (Clicker Solutions) is one place where there are lots of training articles.

    Life rewards are things the dog wants right then and there. If the dog wants to go outside badly, he's not going to care much about a treat or a pat. If she wants playtime with you or affection, she may not be as interested in a treat. So, try to see what it is she wants at given times and use those things as reinforcers for behavior you want. She does something you want first, then gets what she wants. If she's not doing something you want, you need to break it down into smaller segments and reward for those baby steps and once those baby steps are good, withold the reward and ask for a little more and reward for that. You can also capture behavior...when you see the dog doing something you like, even when you didn't elicit it, be sure to reinforce. Try setting the context or location up so that she is more apt to succeed. The more reinforcement instances she gets for good behavior, the quicker she'll learn.

    Treats, toys and other things she likes are also great rewards for certain things. It's important to vary the rewards to keep her interest high. Use higher value treats or toys only after using lower value treats within a block of time, not the other way around. Use higher value treats for more difficult tasks and reserve the mediocre things for simpler things that your dog can do easily and likes to do more. Those are just a few tips I can think of for the time being.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2009
  13. antipunt1

    antipunt1 New Member

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    Ah, dang it. I knew I forgot -something- :eek:

    :banana: Here is a dancing banana in return. -THANKS- for this useful advice! (and thx to everyone else too!)
     
  14. corgipower

    corgipower Tweleve Enthusiest

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    Ya know, we haven't had any Wanta pics in a while. :p
     
  15. antipunt1

    antipunt1 New Member

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  16. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    I can't open those links. :( It says I need a password.
     
  17. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    You're welcome Antipunt. That is basically how I taught my dogs to be "polite" at the door. I didn't use a leash because I have no road right outside and they weren't apt to run off. But it's pretty much what I did. I do recommend too, that you get a good, solid recall on your dog because there's still always a chance that she may bolt anyhow. You need a plan B. LOL. If you need tips on that, see what you can find by doing a search here. If you can't find anything, be sure to post again. :)
     
  18. corgipower

    corgipower Tweleve Enthusiest

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  19. antipunt1

    antipunt1 New Member

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    :eek: WAT
    *excuse me for a moment*
    Augh, it's cause of webshots. That's it, I'm switching to photobucket :eek:

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v79/Antipunt1/Wantamug.jpg
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v79/Antipunt1/Wantasit.jpg

    Couldn't agree more. Hence: the dodge cars on the road game; the video-game with 1-life and no 'continues' :rolleyes:

    I certainly do abuse my resources here. :p Thank ye
     
  20. corgipower

    corgipower Tweleve Enthusiest

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