I haven't posted for sometime now, but today I have a question. I've seen people discuss their dogs becoming unruley after working on training for several months. My dog Allie is approx 17 months old now and like a light switch has decided all rules are out the door! Shes in the garbage all the time, shes pulling tissue our of the bathroom, bring landscape bark into the house, etc. She's even broken her yard boundries and NOT returned on command for my wife.
Shannon and I have been working on Allie for a while now, we are in training for the AKC CGC program, but feel we hit a brick wall. We are both put back by her current behavors because she has become unpredicatable. Sometimes she acts like a princess and does exactly like shes told, but it seems every now and then she gets a wild hair and does what she wants with complete disregard to our commands.
Is this a phase? Should I meet her level of defiance with punishment? Am I possibily working her too hard in the field and shes showing signs of confusion? I'm not sure if I should bulldose over this issue, or if I should provide her with something else.
Our schedule is pretty rock solid. We train her every Tuesday for an hour in group classes and we have the trainer to our house or out to a location where we work with her (every 2 weeks). With in the past few weeks we visited: An Indoor Mall, An Outdoor Mall, a hockey rink, PetsMart, Home Depot, a Balloon Festival, a parade, heck we take her just about everywhere we can to get exposure. She handles wonderfully! People love to pet her because shes so mild mannered, but its when we are at home when she tends to get these wild hairs.
Are we holding her to a standard which is too high and she doesnt have enough time to act like a puppy? Not sure how to proceed. We haven't asked for our trainers advice yet, but we will soon if it continues.
It IS a phase -- people here will talk about the teenage years and the rebellion attached, and this is exactly what they're talking about it.
My advice is to stay the course w/the training but VARY YOUR ROUTINE. It might very well be that Allie is getting bored with how you train. Swap the order of your exercises. If you always heeled first and did a long sit/long down later, start w/the long sit and heel later. Do you retrieve last? Retrive in the middle now. Mix it up. Be unpredictable. Train in a new field just to throw her a curve ball and heighten her attention. Invite other dogs over to aid w/distractions.
Or try something new altogether. If you're going for CGC, try a rally class. Try an agility class. Start to work toward a CD or CDX. Always be moving Allie ONTO something else....
Keep it fun for both of you, but break that rut you may have found yourself in.
I see your training schedule but what is her exercise schedule?* She's at an age where her energy level is going to increase before settling off sometime around the age of 3 (with any luck).
Essy will be 2 on Mon and she's a pistol right now.* She's always looking for trouble.* She's a bundle of energy from the time she wakes up until we go to bed.* I can swim her, bike her, play fetch until her tongue reaches the ground but she recovers quickly and wants more, More, MORE. I'm exhausted.*
Exercise is about the same...We shoot for a hour a day. Many times its 2+ hours, but usually its at least an hour. On the weekends its like 3-4 hours a day. Our life is spent with our dog in some way...We retreive everything until she stops or doesn't return with the ball. Two sessions of 30 mins is usually all she will handle.
See, I dont understand the rut, we are visiting new places every week. Everytime we venture out, its a completely new places with new smells and everything. Like Saturday we took her back to the out door mall, she was wonderful.
Maybe its an exercise thing. Usually the wild hairs are when we are at home. Like last night, she took my wifes clothing and destroyed them and she found a small book and tore it to peices in the back yard.
Thanks for the responses... Maybe instead of having a bad day, it was more like a bad week...I'm still not trusting her out front, we are keeping a close eye. Before we never worried, not I won't take my eyes off her...