Buddy has a little issue, is it me? :(

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by Dogdragoness, Jun 26, 2012.

  1. Dogdragoness

    Dogdragoness Happy Spring!!!!

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    Hi all, as you buys know I rescued buddy from Texas cattle dog rescue. He is a great dog & we are building a wonderful relationship, he has been with is since march 31 & even in this short time I already can't remember what it was like without him :) just thinking or talking about him makes my heart swell with joy :). He really has bonded with me as well & has become my shadow :). I hope I am as important to him as he is to me, I feel like I am :)

    Anyway, we still have one obstacle, when I try to teach him a trick, even with food (anything beyond sit & down... I was trying to yeah him to play dead lol) he seems to get intimidated & goes & hides when I ask too much of him, I know it's an appeasement gesture, I just want to know why & what I'm doing wrong to make him feel that way :(. The last thing I want to do is make him uncomfortable. I'm not overbearing when I'm working with him, I avoid looking him dead straight in the eye & I always talk quietly to him, so what is it? Does he not trust me? I don't think it's that because when a sudden thunderstorm moves in (in tx the weather can change suddenly during this time of yr thanks to heat storms) instead of running & hiding he runs straight to me for cuddles, then I put him in thr barn office wher he can hide under the desk.

    So, any insight, guys? Thanks for your time :)
     
  2. yoko

    yoko New Member

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    How long have you had him? Maybe he needs a little more time to settle?

    How confident is he with sit and down? Does he get nervous at all when doing those? What type of tricks/commands are you trying to work on now?
     
  3. stardogs

    stardogs Behavior Nerd

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    How long are the sessions? And how quickly does he run and hide? It could be that he needs shorter sessions to build up his frustration tolerance more.
     
  4. Maxy24

    Maxy24 Active Member

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    There could be any number of reasons. Maybe in the past training was unpleasant, maybe he gets confused and that causes it, maybe he's just super sensitive. How far into the training session does he usually do this? Perhaps you're training for too long at a time. Does he like to play tug or chase? If you incorporated these games into your training it might keep him in an upbeat mood. If it's a frustration/confusion issue you might just need to break things down into teeny tiny steps, so everything is very easy for him.
     
  5. Kaydee

    Kaydee Guest

    I know nothing about dog training at all but three months of having him isn't that long. Sophie was afraid of everything when we got her and it just takes time. IMHO it's about letting him bond to you, that will help him get comfortable enough to want to make you happy. Then you can start some simple training.

    Sophie was a trembling, pancaking, skeleton of nerves when we brought her home. Now she's mid-size muscular and jogging trails next to me with a huge smile. Best of luck!!!
     
  6. yoko

    yoko New Member

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    Sorry I skimmed the part where you said the date!

    Some dogs just take a while to get use to everything including a training schedule.

    I'd make sure you are doing easy to accomplish things. Right now just building confidence during training sessions would be your best bet
     
  7. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    If you're telling him "Bang!" or some kind of command that sounds forceful, he may have had that kind of training before but combined with a lot of intimidation (maybe unintentional) or he is super sensitive and perceives it as a punishing kind of thing, you might want to go another route. What you might do is look into clicker training (or even just the concepts) and use a shaping technique to get him to play dead. Clicker training can be very easy on dogs...Shaping would be clicking (which is marking or identifying a behavior) and then rewarding small approximations toward the ultimate behavior. So, if he lies down on his own, you can click/treat for that. Then raise the ante. Click/treat (c/t) for holding still for one second, then withhold the c/t next time until he holds still for 2 seconds. If he has a hard time holding still for 2 seconds, go back to c/t for 1 second until he gets more solid on that. And then wait for him to keep his head down flat on the floor, but only ask for 1 second, c/t. Then up the ante. Anyhow, that's the gist. You can Google or look around here for more info. It is a more fun way for dogs to learn I think.

    Also, you don't give a verbal cue or any cue at first. Just get the behavior going. Then once that's getting regular, like the dog is getting onto it, that's when you start adding in your verbal or visual cues to go with the behavior. But at first you don't use the cues to elicit the behavior, just to make an association...a pairing between the behavior and the cue so the cue comes while the behavior is happening. Once that gets on the road, then try using your cue to elicit the behavior...to ask for it. Hope that gives you a little idea of what might work better to avoid a fearful response to anything he perceives as forceful or scary. Remember, the clicker is not used forever with any one behavior or trick. It's just to get the initial learning under way. Then you can rely on your cues.

    And too, like the others said, he may come around and get braver as he continues to get use to his environment. There are also some games you can play to boost confidence. Tug is one such game. Obedience training not only has it's benefits in the skills themselves, but that also helps a dog in a more global way, with a tendency toward more confidence as he learns. But that's more apparent with positive reinforcement type training imo. Keep the sessions very short and quit on a good note, when he's having fun and wanting more. That's when you quit for the time being.;)

    I'm glad you're enjoying your dog so much and he is lucky to have an owner who cares a lot about his feelings and how his life goes. Kudos.
     
  8. Dogdragoness

    Dogdragoness Happy Spring!!!!

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    I don't know if he would be afraid of thr clicker or not lol he dislikes anything that resembles gunfire & I think the clicker would remind him of a gun cocking lol. Bc he hates the noise a soda can makes when it's opened & the sound is very similar lol. I have desensitized him to it using a marker word & treats, that's how I fond that using the word 'good!' or 'yes!' in a high cheery voice works for him.

    Someone also suggests that playing dead (he's only been with us since march 31 of this yr) is a vulnerable position & he may no be ready for it or gets stressed out bc he doesn't understand & is stressed out at the thought of disappointing me. So they suggested to do behaviors that he knows how to do, it knows sit & he loves to use his paws to connect (likes to rest them on me :) ). So I'm going to look into teaching him 'high five' :)

    Wish us luck :), he's had some bad treatment so it's hard not to intimidate him by accident right now, but if he does & hides I will just toss him thr treat & tell him it's ok & that's he's a good boy :).
     
  9. yoko

    yoko New Member

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    You could try making a clicking noise with your tongue or maybe a snap? That's what I used with Yoshi when I first got her. I also used 'good' as a marker word so it is similar you don't need a clicker there are a lot of other things you can use as a marker.

    I know for Yoshi if I get annoyed she gets stressed trying to figure out what I want so that is a possibility. The best thing to do is do short training sessions that you always stay upbeat during. And end it with something like sit that he is reliable on so it ends on a high note.


    My old dog Lady was abused before I got her and you had to be very soft with her. She learned I just had to build up the trust and work slow so I know you should be able to do it :D
     
  10. Dogdragoness

    Dogdragoness Happy Spring!!!!

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    Thanks for allthe advice guys, I will definately give it time :).
     
  11. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    Yes, you can either muffle a clicker with a cotton ball or use a ball point pen or something else....or a word. The distinctive sound of a clicker though, has been shown to be more effective than our voices. But it's best to do whatever makes your dog more at ease in the end.

    If he runs and hides and you toss him a treat, you may be reinforcing that running and hiding. You might wait for him to come back out of hiding and then toss him a treat. LOL. But I know what you mean. You want to comfort him in some way and that's okay.

    Yeah...if he feels vulnerable lying down, maybe it would be a good thing to work on some other behavior for now. There are all kinds of neat things you can teach him. High five is a fun trick. Just be careful not to reinforce it when you don't ask for it or he'll be bugging you, slapping his paws up on you uninvited. That can be annoying. But if you only reinforce when cued, that should keep that spontaneous behavior at bay.

    Here's something that could be very good for you and your dog:

    http://www.clickertraining.com/node/546
     

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