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Undoing bad habits

March 24th, 2006, 09:37 AM
Hi all! My golden is now 9 months and we are having a few "issues". The main one is that I don't feel like I have her respect. Not always...but not enough for my liking. For example, originally we weren't going to let her on the furniture but we "caved" and she's allowed on the couch now. The thing is, she comes up when SHE feels like it and not when we invite her too. Most of the time, it's ok but sometimes, probably when she feels she needs attention, she jumps on the back of the couch and rebounds down near my head. Obviously, I don't like this! Now...this is where I am stuck. I don't want to give her the "attention" when she does this by tell her "off" or "no"...but I also don't want her to jump near my head. I realize I need to stop letting her on for awhile and re-teach her to come up by invitation. So, how do I get her to stop? If I help her off when she's already on it...does that just show her a way of getting attention? How do I get her to wait to be asked to come up?

The main problems are when are outside and there are distractions. For example, when we are in the backyard...I will call her name and even if I have a toy with me or something and want to play fetch with her, she just ignores me and does what she wants. I know she hears she's choosing to ignore me. Or she'll grab something she knows she's not supposed to have and run away with it. I know she's doing this because she knows she'll get attention...but what do I do? Just ignore that?

And I am still having trouble walking her. She will eat everything and anything in sight. I have gone back and started working on "leave it" again at home but if we are walking, and I see we are coming up on the dreaded "Someone elses dirty kleenex" then I will say, "Leave it". She'll pick it up anyway. Then I will say out, have to fight her to fish it out of her mouth and then once it's out...she'll pick it up again. Obviously, I have missed the boat somewhere on this command!

We do do the "nothing for free" thing. She has to sit and wait to eat, she sits before going out, when we play tug of war, if we are in the middle of the game and i say, "drop it"...she will and she'll sit and wait until I say "take it" again so there are times when she listens well. Sorry for the long post but...Help!

March 24th, 2006, 10:03 AM
I don't think you've missed the boat on any commands, I think you just have a pup in the "idiot phase". My guy was a handful at 9mths! He knew the commands, I KNEW he KNEW the commands, yet he seemed to "selectively" forget them, it was maddening at times. BUT there's light at the end of the tunnel! Now he's a year old, and back to respecting the commands. It's hard, but you're doing it right, just keep reinforcing those commands, praise (treat if you use treats) and correct the wrong choices.

that said... my own personal thoughts on your questions:

the couch - I taught the WAIT command, and frequently use it. I use the WAIT command when he needs to wait and watch me for the next direction. Near the couch (or bed) I instruct him to WAIT. I sit, then say "OK (release word), UP-UP (invitation to jump up)" - this is also particularly handy w/ doors - I tell him to WAIT, then give the OK to go through - he no longer darts through the door first.

ignoring you outside - I'd keep her on a long lead, so you can reel her in if she ignores you.

eating trash (leave it) - When my dog would ignore my LEAVE IT instruction, I'd lure him away w/ a treat or toy. To redirect his attention. I'm not saying to rely on food-lures, but it helped me & my dog get over the hurdle... now I say leave it, he leaves it, and we continue on our walk (no more food lures, the walk itself is the reward)

March 24th, 2006, 10:08 AM
She is 9 months now and seems to be acting like a typical goldie! She needs harsher corrections when she is being jumping on your head! When it comes to the recall start her again using a 10 or 12 foot line and a choker collar, call her name and then make her come; then reward her. call her name only once then pull-hard on your line, when she comes to you have her sit then reward her. Practice makes perfect. The leave it command is good too but a correction must follow if she ignores you.:)

March 24th, 2006, 10:17 AM
Thanks guys. I know people have said that they do go through this "idiot phase" (coupled with spring...egads!) but I just want to make sure that it's not me doing something wrong! She has been given a bit more freedom lately so perhaps we just need to go back a bit. She does know the "wait" command jessi as we use that before she can eat. I think that's a great idea. I will go back and re-teach her to wait before being allowed up on the couch. Thanks! Sometimes an answer is so obvious...but not when it's you in the situation! At least that's what I find!!

I"ll also go back to using a lead outside for the exact reason you meantioned dogbyte. I call her name...but don't then want to go and repeat it a million times because then she's just going to learn that she only has to come on the 10th time I say it! But then, when we'd be in the backyard...I would think, "ok! Now what?! I've called her...and she's not coming!". So, I'd walk away and try to make something else look more interesting...but it's getting harder! And my new neighbours think I am insane! ;)

My boss did lend me a choker caller to use for the next couple of weeks. Indy is "treat trained' But, that being said, I don't want her to only listen to me when I have a cookie in my hand!

Thanks! You are helping my sanity! Sometimes it helps just to get re-focused!

March 24th, 2006, 02:02 PM
LOL re the "Idiot Stage":evil: I`m still going through that with BOTH my dogs, especially the Labrdork.:D

toby's tracy
March 24th, 2006, 02:08 PM
LOL re the "Idiot Stage":evil: I`m still going through that with BOTH my dogs, especially the Labrdork.:D

They grow out of the idiot stage?! :rolleyes:

March 24th, 2006, 02:34 PM
Oh here's hoping!! :fingerscr
There were times I would have given my dog to the next person who walked by me and commented on how cute she is!!;)

March 24th, 2006, 03:03 PM
Oh here's hoping!! :fingerscr
There were times I would have given my dog to the next person who walked by me and commented on how cute she is!!;)

they do grow up, they do listen, and they do still have their moments. My trainer once told me "if you can get past the idiot phase, the 8-11 mth stage when they seem to know NOTHING and live to irritate you, then you will have a great dog" He told me this is a critical time, alot of people simply give up because it is so trying. It's important to continue with the training, reinforcing the commands & behaviors.

my guy just turned 1, and just in the past month I've noticed big changes. Sure he still needs an attitude adjustment every now & then, but for the most part, with continued effort, he's shown GREAT improvement.

March 26th, 2006, 09:28 PM
Do all dogs go through the "Idiot phase"? Lucy is 3 months old. Should I be waiting for that?!