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Old June 1st, 2011, 12:34 PM
Gordon325 Gordon325 is offline
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Question Dog Nervous when training

I have a three year old male Jack Russell mix named Jax, he is very intelligent.
When we got him a year ago he knew no commands and was only partially house broken, now he is house broken and knows about 10 commands flawlessly... recently i decided to teach him how to close doors and cupboards.... I started by holding a sticky note on my finger and rewarding him when he touches it with his nose.... he was doing very good I began to use the command "door" and put the sticky note on the door and would rewarded for touching the sticky note on the door....

he did it a few times then would just sit there and stare at me like he was scared.... wagging his tail short and quick (nervously)... I just assumed he didnt catch on quite yet so i put it back on my finger and said door... and he continued to sit there nervously... I brought the sticky note closer to his face and he would VERY LIGHTLY touch it but would not move from his sit position if i moved it further away...

I have NO idea what is going on ... he usually learns VERY quick...and seemingly began to learn this one quickly... but after about 5 min of training he does the nervous sitting thing....

I do not get after him when he does it... i use positive reinforcement i try to get him excited and jumping around and he just goes right back to sitting when i try to get him going on the sticky note again
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Old June 1st, 2011, 01:07 PM
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hazelrunpack hazelrunpack is offline
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We have a dog that hates loud and/or sudden noises. Did he once hit the sticky note hard enough to close the door it was on? I wonder if the noise startled him and now he's a bit shy of making it happen again?
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Old June 1st, 2011, 02:15 PM
Gordon325 Gordon325 is offline
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i did not think of this.... i dont know why i didnt.... he has never been affraid of noises before but he did close the cupboard door with his paw once... which closed it fairly hard to him i presume... i suppose just working at it over days he will become more used to it huh?..... now i just feel silly for not even thinking of that...


thank you
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Old June 1st, 2011, 03:01 PM
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hazelrunpack hazelrunpack is offline
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If there's a cupboard door anywhere near where he eats, try shutting it gently as he begins to eat the first night, then progressively louder at each successive meal. If he seems nervous at any point, then don't make it louder next time, instead go back to what he'll tolerate.

We broke Grace of her fear of her metal bowl by plunking it hard on the floor in front of her while she's waiting to eat. Eventually, she began to associated eating (something pleasant) with the clanging and is no longer fearful of her bowl.
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Old June 1st, 2011, 06:08 PM
pattymac pattymac is offline
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Is he this way just with this trick? Have you tried to teach him something else and had the same result?
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Old June 1st, 2011, 06:15 PM
Gordon325 Gordon325 is offline
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The last couple tricks I taught him (jumping into my arms and jumping over an obstacle [agility course pole]) he did fine, just the past few days when trying to get him to pay attention and learn this one he will just sit there and not move....

Another thing i thought of earlier today is when i originally taught him to wait (stay) i used to put my palm out in front of him (like a stop sign) so maybe he is just so darn smart that he still remembers this hand signal meaning don't move.....

Like i stated before i do not know why i hadn't thought of some of these explanations sooner. I will continue to work with him daily.... i may just start back at the beginning with some easier targeting exercises until he is back to his smart hyper self.
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