Coming when asked to...

Discussion in 'Puppy Forum' started by StephyMei1112, May 28, 2012.

  1. StephyMei1112

    StephyMei1112 Blackout

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    Hi All,

    I've a 7 month old Kuvasz female puppy on my hands...she is a joy to be around and live with and training is going relatively well. She walks well on a leash and doesn't go crazy...unless someone comes up to us and starts making a fuss over the "big poochie" (as she was referred to the other day).

    Now we've been working with a positive reinforcement trainer and things are going well - but Katalin (the puppy) does not come to me unless I've extremely good food in my hands or a tennis ball (her favorite toy). The trainer told me to keep up with working with her with the food but once there is no food (or even sometimes when there is)...there is still alot of hesitation when she is called to come. She might stare abit and wait a while and then walk over very slowly....pointers would be much appreciated =)
     
  2. Barb04

    Barb04 Love my pets Staff Member

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  3. ~Tucker&Me~

    ~Tucker&Me~ and Spy.

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    Where are you practicing come? Do you ever leash her up from the park and go home after you call her to come to you?

    Welcome to the forum :)
     
  4. StephyMei1112

    StephyMei1112 Blackout

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    Kuvasz indeed are very differently wired than your average dog. She is typical in her puppyhood in many ways like level of energy, excitement, curiosity, playfulness etc but untypical (for average puppys anyways) in ways of independence, desire of space, aloof manner and lack of interest in (most) toys (she goes crazy over tennis balls, loud, squeaky things easily ripped apart and cardboard/paper - whenever she can get her jaws around some).

    She's a aggravating joy to live with - great yet slightly dark sense of humor, sweet natured and somewhat guardy of our property. On the flip side she's stubborn, abit tricky, and just plain frustratingly goofy too sometimes (ok perhaps that's not so unusual after all).

    [​IMG]

    We've practiced come in the backyard, park on a long lead, and in the house of course - she's just rather...stubborn about it. A martingale and prong collar have been suggested by others - but the trainer we are working with is very against them, but her own methods are not the most....efficient. It is hard to apply advice when all (breeder, trainer, friends, net friends, dog people, so on and so forth) present you with their partial arguments of what is the best thing.
     
  5. Barb04

    Barb04 Love my pets Staff Member

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    Oh my, she is just beautiful! She looks like my Max did at that age.

    I can tell you that when they "have a mind of their own", they may listen most of the time but then decide when they need to listen to themselves. It was a difficult concept for us upon getting our first Anatolian. We went thru tough teenage years but the breeder said after the teenager stage is over, we will have the best dog ever. She was right.

    I would strongly advise talking to a Kuvasz breeder about the training for this breed. Just because you go to a "trainer", it doesn't mean they know all about your breed.
     
  6. Barb04

    Barb04 Love my pets Staff Member

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    I forgot to say that many dogs go thru phases where they know all their commands and then act like they never heard them before. This is natural.
     
  7. StephyMei1112

    StephyMei1112 Blackout

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    Much appreciated Barb!

    I've spoken to my breeder about training and she said that Kuvasz basically are just, well, not obedience stars - they're too independently wired. She did recommend obedience classes though and said that positive reinforcement training generally works well. Kuvasz/LGD type dogs are NOT common in my area unfortunately and there are not many trainers here familiar with Kuvasz - the trainer I'm working with is positive reinforcement based and has only worked with one adult Kuv previous to mine - she described him as "rather standoffish" lol

    So...erm...will be consistent with the positive reinforcement I guess and hope it brings about results...
     
  8. Maxy24

    Maxy24 Active Member

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    How exactly did you first start teaching the come command? I like positive reinforcement and would recommend you stick to it, but that doesn't mean the trainer you have is actually any good, she might be, she might not be. Not all positive trainers are equal.

    When you first teach this command you should find a way to get the dog to come to you without saying come or the dog's name and without using a food or toy lure. You can make funny noises, you can run away (that usually works well for most dogs), you can sit down on the floor, lie down on the floor, pant (dogs sometimes get concerned when people do this), go stand in the corner, jump up and down, imitate a play bow, spin in circles, anything that will make the dog come over and investigate (and that you won't be too embarrassed to do out in the yard lol). When they do come over you have a party, lots of treats. Then run off and do it again. This should begin inside. You should not use the come command at all until the dog is proficient at it in whatever environment you want to use it in.

    So you practice having the dog coming to you inside with your body language or funny noises. When the dog is coming over and over whenever you do the chosen action you can add the come command. So say "come!" and then do whatever action was making the dog come. Then give the treats when she gets to you. The order is important, say the command before doing the action. What you want to happen is for the dog to figure out that the word come always happens before you run away pr do whatever action, and just anticipate that and come before you do it. So give a brief pause between saying come and doing the action so you can see if she starts moving before the action at all. Once she starts anticipating and coming after the command but before you do any action you can usually stop doing the action. At the next training session she may regress a bit and need the action the first few times, but it'll be quick. Remember to keep all training sessions pretty short, you don't want to bore her. If you play tug you can incorporate the training into those games. When you win the tug run off and as she's chasing you to come get it call "come" and turn to let her run to you and continue the game. Make sure to end the game before she decides she's done. You never want to call her when she's not going to come in these early stages.

    Through all of this the treats should be in your pocket. Never in your hand, they come out either when she gets to you or when she's already well on her way. I suggest that you stash treats in containers around your house or carry treats in your pockets at all times so you can always randomly plunge into a training session, she doesn't watch you go get treats first. She never knows when you have treats, you could have them at any time, so she should listen to that command, it could pay off. In the early stages never call her to come unless you can reward her. You can call her to come, clip a leash and immediately go for a walk, that's a reward (if she likes walks). It doesn't have to always be treats (they just work well in sessions because you can use them over and over) but it needs to be something the dog really likes. If you're cooking and drop food one the floor that's safe for her call her to come and direct her to it (if you think she'll like it...so not lettuce or something like that). Come should be very profitable.

    Sometimes when you call her to come, even when she knows the command, be fun. Run away, be silly, don't always just stand there like a pole, poles are boring.

    So work on that for now,reteach the command, make come more fun, stop having treats in your hand, and start having treats all over the place so she thinks she could always get one, whether she saw it or not. We have treats in our fridge for when my dog listens in the kitchen and a container in the living room for when he listens in there. If we go outside I put some in my pocket. When I ask my dog to do something in the living room I praise him for doing it and make my way to the treat container. The dog learns that praise means a reward is going to happen, so he gets excited when you start praising and you get the reward ASAP. Don't make any move towards the container until after the dog is already coming or has already gotten to you. Otherwise you'll teach the dog to check whether or not your going to get a treat before coming to you.


    Much later in training you'll be able to do varied reinforcement (reward with treats sometimes, only praise/petting other times) but not for a long while.


    I also suggest reading The Other End of the Leash by Patricia McConnell. She talks about training her Great Pyr, it might be helpful to you.
     
  9. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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