Rebellious Puppy Dog Behavior
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Thread: Rebellious Puppy Dog Behavior

  1. #1
    littlelola is offline Junior Member
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    DefaultRebellious Puppy Dog Behavior

    ok lola has been very complicated these past couple of week. she doesn't listen for anything or anyone. for example she knows what her lounge is and she would always go when i ask her to. now we tell her to go to her lounge and she will not listen she will just look at me. so i tell her in a firm voice and still nothing till i like almost got to yell at her to do it then she will go. now i wanna know if your pups went through this and how long did it take for it to pass. by the way shes 7 months thanks

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  3. #2
    DFWLab is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Rebellious Puppy Dog Behavior

    I'm coming up on that age as well, so others that have gone through it may know better. I've read several places that 6-9 months is where they will start to "test" the owner and see where they are going to fit in the social ladder in your house, and it's important to not cave or let them have their way.

    Mine will like to play this game as well, and will roll over on his back and go limp like rag doll making it very hard to lift him and 'scoot' him to his crate. But you need to follow through with commands.

    It's your way or the highway!


  4. #3
    luke from georgia is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Rebellious Puppy Dog Behavior

    personally, i don't think of this kind of change in behavior as rebellion. your dog is growing up. they become more curious and aware of themselves and their surroundings. instead of blindly and simply doing whatever you say because you said so, your dog starts to realize that she can think for herself and make her own choices. after all, she's not a robot. it's up to you to use your more powerful brain and resources to help your maturing dog understand that doing the things YOU want results in the dog getting the things the DOG wants.

    reward desirable behaviors. i'm not talking about bribery where you show the "reward" to elicit behaviors. when your dog does something you like, ie going to their bed on command, give your dog a reward. that means, give the reward immediately AFTER the good behavior is performed. when you reward behaviors, then the dog becomes more likely to repeat those behaviors. chose rewards that are truly rewarding for the dog, and in a situation of competition motivators, ie getting praise for recall or sniffing something interesting, sniffing is more rewarding for your dog, so he will continue sniffing.

    correcting for misbehavior or enforcing commands is all fine and good, but don't miss out on the fun and good bonding time you can gain in training your dog. yelling or manhandling to force a dog to do something he may or may not fully understand or have much of a desire to do is really not that effective for long time behavior control. usually the dog is simply reacting in order to avoid unpleasantness, and the reaction has very little to do with learning to perform good behaviors on their own.

    safety concerns aside, i don't force my dogs to do things against their will. i teach and train them to want to do the things i want them to do. instead of the dogs working against me, i train them to work with me, and we both enjoy this type of interaction. with repetition, the dogs get conditioned to have a cooperative mindset in how they behave and respond to my cues. your dog doesn't have to be the loser in a contest of wills. you can have win-win situations and have a well trained, well behaved companion.

    "Properly trained, a man can be dog's best friend." ~ Corey Ford

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  6. #4
    Bob Pr. is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Rebellious Puppy Dog Behavior

    The following is adapted from a previous post I made:

    ================================================== ========================

    My Puff had a number of episodes during her development between 5 - 13 months which some would call "teenage (mis)behavior," "rebelliousness," or testing authority.

    These episodes began around age 5 months and continued through about 13 months and her longest, most disruptive period was around 13 months.

    I VERY strongly disagree with viewing this as rebellion or normal "teenage" behavior because I think it misunderstands both human teen behavior AND dog behavior.

    Re: dog behavior -- my Puff had most basic commands quite well learned (sit, stay, come, down, etc.) by at least 5 mos. old. At that time we walked (as we do now) for about 60-70 minutes in a nature preserve with her off leash (she wore a check cord/long line then).

    I repeatedly found that for a couple days every few months until about 13 months Puff acted as if she forgot all her previously learned commands -- she didn't obey and acted very capriciously.

    When that happened, I retrained her at mealtimes using a NILIF (Nothing in Life is Free) protocol -- giving a command and, when it was obeyed, feeding her a few more kibbles from my hand. A few days of NILIF feeding/training and Puff relearned the forgotten commands and she was fine, completely restored, until the next eclipse, a month or so later.

    My strong belief is that in 99.999% of the cases it is NOT a testing of who has the authority but rather because this is during a time of rapid physiological and developmental change with some hormones coming on-line and others going off-line.

    I think that development interferes with learning and retention. There is such a thing as "state dependent learning" -- learning under the influence of certain drugs will be less when those drugs are removed, or added, etc.

    I think this is what is happening with our dogs when they lose learning during their first 13 or so months of development -- because of all the hormonal changes they're going through.

    Calling it "teenage" years and as if they're challenging authority is wrong on several counts.

    For one thing, the time this occurs is usually between 5-13 months of age which, for most dogs, is before their age of puberty or reproductive capacity.

    For another, equating this with human "teen age challenges of authority" shows a lack of understanding of the functional purpose of this human teen age behavior.

    Its major purpose in human societies is to produce a separation between fledgling adult and parents so the teen can begin building a life independent of parents.

    Think of what problems would exist if a teen was saying, "Gee, what wonderful parents -- I don't want to ever leave them" and if the parents were also saying, "what a wonderful child -- I don't want him/her to ever leave us" [instead of the child thinking the usual: "they are SO stupid, I can't wait until I can leave" while the parents are thinking "let me count the days until ...."]

    What would THAT result in?

    The functional purpose of human "teenage rebellion" is to provide a reason for separation between parent and child for ALL parties. That is certainly NOT the case with owner and dog.

    I think viewing this behavior in dogs as repeating blips in memory retention due to rapid development and internal chemical changes with a loss of previously learned commands is far more accurate and leads to far more useful actions.
    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":
    http://forum.justlabradors.com/showt...?p=748#post748

  7. #5
    imported_111@@@ is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Rebellious Puppy Dog Behavior

    so when we give her a comand and she doesn't do it do we try again then if she still ignores it do we use treat and make her do it or do we just ignore it? another example she knows how to roll over but when we tell her to she will just get limp and lay there

  8. #6
    luke from georgia is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Rebellious Puppy Dog Behavior

    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected]@@
    so when we give her a comand and she doesn't do it do we try again then if she still ignores it do we use treat and make her do it or do we just ignore it? another example she knows how to roll over but when we tell her to she will just get limp and lay there
    if your dog knows what rollover means when you say the word, rollover, why would she just lay limp? my guess is that she has no clue what rollover actually means or she has no motivation to rollover when you say rollover. perhaps the times that she has rolled over for you in the past was by chance or guessing. you can use food as a lure to help her make the movements in a roll over. repeat and reward, and she'll learn the meaning of the word and become more likely to respond correctly when you cue her for the rollover action you want.

    if you give her a command and she ignores you, don't give a treat. that is confusing for the dog.

    most of the commands we try to train for, the dogs already know how to do. they already know how to sit, lay down, come, stays, etc. the challenge and goal in training is to get the dog to perform these behaviors on our cue.

    if you have another specific training goal with which you need help, you should start a new tread or use the search feature to see if that particular topic has already been discussed.

    "Properly trained, a man can be dog's best friend." ~ Corey Ford

  9. #7
    DFWLab is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Rebellious Puppy Dog Behavior

    Interesting. But for discussion sake, and not to be argumentative, i'm curious....

    It is accepted,expected, (and encouraged ) in human society that the child grows up and moves on to lead a separate life from what was known as a child, under the 'strict' rules of his or her parent.

    However, what WE want with a dog, is as they mature, they still stay receptive to commands from US, and that they do not move towards an independent existence outside of the initial owner(pack leader)/parent relationship.

    Removing physiological analogies of "teenager" between dogs and humans(are they reproductive, etc...) , why wouldn't this be considered a phase where they have discovered that, a), they can think for themselves, and b) why am I following this person's instructions!! and that what we attempt to do is lay groundwork that they remain receptive to our commands, and that THIS is the reality that they are forced in to.

    Have there been studies of wild dogs, and what the behavior is at this transition phase(whatever the month old definition you want to define it as)? ie. Will a wild dog(male and female) stay with it's pack and follow the rules of the 'pack leader' or would it 'rebel' and move out on it's own where it does not have to follow a pack leader commands, and instead look to form a pack(family) of it's own?

  10. #8
    Bob Pr. is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Rebellious Puppy Dog Behavior

    I've just looked for my copy of Serpell's excellent book on dogs to refresh my memory but can't find it. It has a chapter or two on colonies of wild dogs, if I recall correctly, and they have little social structure in comparison to other canids. I also looked for my copy of L. David Mech's book on wolf society (he's written several) and maybe it's off exploring with my Serpell.

    why wouldn't this be considered a phase where they have discovered that, a), they can think for themselves, and b) why am I following this person's instructions!! and that what we attempt to do is lay groundwork that they remain receptive to our commands, and that THIS is the reality that they are forced in to.
    I think that's somewhat along the lines of Luke from Ga's post. I don't doubt that some of that could/might very well be going on. It would take some clever experimental designs to test it.

    What impressed me with Puff's episodes was how widespread the loss of her obedience to commands was and how several days of a NILIF retraining at meals brought her back to pre-episode levels. And after that, we'd go for 30-60 days with no further episodes until one happened again. To posit a "teenage rebellion" phase one would need to explain why it so completely disappears for that 30-60 days, IMO. That's why I thought of hormones and state-dependent learning.

    Have there been studies of wild dogs, and what the behavior is at this transition phase (whatever the month old definition you want to define it as)? ie. Will a wild dog(male and female) stay with it's pack and follow the rules of the 'pack leader' or would it 'rebel' and move out on it's own where it does not have to follow a pack leader commands, and instead look to form a pack (family) of it's own?
    The behavior of feral dogs (as best I remember from the studies I've read) show a very primitive social structure, temporary and changing alliances. Mother dogs care for their young on their own with no help from father (or other dogs).

    This is quite a contrast to other wild canids such as wolves or foxes. BUT the dog began becoming domesticated maybe 30-100,000 years ago and in the process has lost much of its former survival skills as a specie since forming a symbiotic relationship with us.

    Also, when we speak of "the dog" we need to bear in mind that dogs have been bred into many distinctive lines and so even when we get a mix, one mix is not like another or more representative of "the dog."

    [Again, all of this is from memory -- if someone sees an error or know of exceptions -- please, add it.]

    ================================================== ======

    state-dependent learning n. Learning associated with a specific state of sleep or wakefulness or with a chemically altered state, such that the learned information cannot be recalled or used unless the subject is restored to the state that existed when learning first occurred.
    from The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary, 2nd Edition Copyright © 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
    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":
    http://forum.justlabradors.com/showt...?p=748#post748

  11. #9
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    steveandginger is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Rebellious Puppy Dog Behavior

    This is a fascinating thread -- it relates alot to the question I asked in a different thread about my pup "forgetting" how to obey "come."

    Here is my take -- similar to DFWLab's -- my limited experience suggests that pups at some point (or perhaps, several times while growing) simply learn to "think for themselves" to some degree. I tell Misty to come (which she used to do), but now, she says "Why? Why shouldn't I keep exploring the neighbor's back porch?" What would be her motivation to obey me? Only, I suppose, if she saw me as a better alternative than the porch, might she come. For instance, if 5 young, exuberant, laughing, frolicking kids walked up to me, I bet Misty would have come running -- EVEN WITHOUT me saying "come," as those 5 kids would have been more interesting to her than either the neighbor's porch, OR than my "come" command. THIS is the problem I see with the whole "positive reinforcement ONLY" training. I think it has many applications, and I have used it extensively based on the advice on this forum. However, there is NO WAY that I know of to ALWAYS be more interesting to your dog than whatever else he or she may want to do at a particular time. I'm sorry, but nothing I can think of (other than having a nice T-bone steak in my pocket at ALL times, just in case) would give me that sure-fire way to get my dog to obey 100% of the time (from the positive reinforcement-only perspective). To me, positive is great and should be the first (and second and third) approach. But, I just think at some point, there is a place for "avoidance of consequences" to also enter into training. For instance, I have not tried it, but I would bet that in one day with an e-collar, I could solidify the come command nearly 100%. Some would say this is wrong, others would say that my pup would only be obeying in order to avoid punishment. Yes, this is true. But, since 100% recall is NECESSARY, does it matter WHY she obeys -- or is it just most important that she obeys? (Say I'm a hunter, and my dog takes off across the field after a running pheasant -- I sure don't want to lose the pup, and I've heard of this happening. We need to learn 100% recall before I ever consider taking Misty hunting -- so I want 100% recall, no matter how we accomplish it, with reason of course).

    Also...

    What impressed me with Puff's episodes was how widespread the loss of her obedience to commands was and how several days of a NILIF retraining at meals brought her back to pre-episode levels. And after that, we'd go for 30-60 days with no further episodes until one happened again. To posit a "teenage rebellion" phase one would need to explain why it so completely disappears for that 30-60 days, IMO. That's why I thought of hormones and state-dependent learning.
    Bob Pr. -- couldn't this possibly be just as likely that either "disobedience" OR hormones (DFWLabs or your perspective) could be equally possible, and that by using the NILIF, your dog was simply reminded that obeying you is important (no matter the original "cause" of her loss of response to commands?

    To make a further point, I guess I just don't really see a whole lot of difference in this type of teaching (NILIF or other positive reinforcement type of approach) versus, for instance, an e-collar or other form of "negative" reinforcement so to speak. If you boil a dog down to the basics, isn't it true that in the wild, they seek to do two things -- satisfy needs/desires (for instance, to eat), and to a roughly equal degree seek to avoid negatives (in other words, to hide from predators). I would think that playing on EITHER of these needs in a puppy would result in learning, neither of which might be better than another (until we humans place our own personal biases and philosophies and beliefs and personal morality upon the two methods -- similar, again, to the spanking vs. no spanking debates in child rearing).

    Thoughts?

    Steve

  12. #10
    DFWLab is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Rebellious Puppy Dog Behavior

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Pr.
    What impressed me with Puff's episodes was how widespread the loss of her obedience to commands was and how several days of a NILIF retraining at meals brought her back to pre-episode levels. And after that, we'd go for 30-60 days with no further episodes until one happened again. To posit a "teenage rebellion" phase one would need to explain why it so completely disappears for that 30-60 days, IMO. That's why I thought of hormones and state-dependent learning.
    with respect,(and for interesting discussion only!) i would have to say the same thing in regards to taking the position that it is the hormone change that occurs that would cause a physiological change for only 30-60 days time periods. So a state-dependent learned behavior (under some body chemistry ) disappears for a time period during a different hormonal balance, only to then reappear at another time period? So they would NEVER obey a command during this 30-60 time period? Then the several day NLIF retraining you mentioned, really had no impact, it was just a coincidental hormone shift back to the body chemistry where the commands were learned?

    it strikes me as a stronger possibility, that they are attempting to test their boundaries a bit once they get to a certain cognitive level, as with any animal, and humans as well. BUT we instinctively (well, most people ) realize that it is in their best interest to follow their societies rules, and fall into a natural pecking order under a certain set of rules. Just as a pack of wolves, pride of lions, etc.



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