Training older dogs
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Thread: Training older dogs

  1. #1
    mosparky is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    St. Louis area Missouri

    DefaultTraining older dogs

    To make a long story short, please read my introduction thread.

    I just inherited a 1 1/2 yr old altered male named Spike. He is and has always been a fairly docile beast. Never one to jump on folks and such. Problem is he is relatively untrained.
    He came complete with e-collar which I am hesitant to use as I know that mis used or over used they can ruin a dog. I have no aspirations of training him to hunt as I'm afraid at this stage it's a little too late to start. I do however want to teach him some obedience. He knows some commands but may think they are mere suggestions. I almost got him to "give" on command reliably (indoors). He loves to play tug and that had to stop, at least until he fully understands that give means give, not let me get a grip on it first. Several lip pinches and he is starting to get the point. Outdoors he still wants to play tug or chase and give has little meaning.
    I don't want to tackle too many things at once so I decided we really need to work on "here" first. I bought a choke collar and leash. I tied a 20 ft rope on the leash and let him run then I grasped the rope and said "here" he looked at me like I was stupid. A slight tug and he moved forward, another here and tug and he came to me at a snails pace but not being reeled in. Several bouts of this and he started coming in without a tug. Now without the leash he still thinks here is only a suggestion.
    How do I get the point across to him ? Is it time to use the e-collar for a tickle when he is off lead ? He deffinately knows what the word means, just chooses not to obey.

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  3. #2
    kaytris is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009


    a good basic foundation includes come, sit and down stay, and walking on a loose leash.

    you have to give him a reason to heed your words - the reason can be a correction with the collar, or a reward of a treat or a toy. It's my opinion you will get further, faster, with reward based methods.

    For come, I would keep using the long line, but start with him just a few feet ahead of you, and just have it on the flat collar. Say his name and "come" in a enthusiastic upbeat tone, as you take a few steps back. As he approaches, enthusiastically praise him and offer him a reward (which was previously out of sight). If he loves to play tug, use the tugtoy as a reward. work up to increasingly longer distances and start adding distractions, always having the long line as an 'enforcer' if he chooses to ignore you.

  4. #3
    Bob Pr. is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Lawrence (ex-Topeka), KS


    Get and read and apply the methods described by Jean Donaldson in her book "Culture Clash" -- absolute mainstream. About $12 from Amazon.

    Last edited by Bob Pr.; 04-10-2010 at 01:10 PM.
    Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]

    Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":

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