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Thread: Relapse...?

  1. #1
    koabear is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRelapse...?

    Hey guys! It has been WAY too long, we have missed you.

    I was wondering if anyone has ever experienced training relapses in their dog(s). For example, having trained your dog something and having it down for the longest time and then all of a sudden your back at square one and it's like this rule or command had never been made for them...

    Recently, i have been having a few problems with Koa.

    Problem #1 Boundaries
    For a year and a half Koa was never aloud to go upstairs unless if he was getting a bath. For two nights, two months ago, he was aloud to sleep upstairs with me because my floors were being redone. Now when I wake up in the mornings ill hear a thumping down the stairs (which is Koa hearing that im awake and trying to be sneaky by going back downstairs to pretend he was down there all along). Gotta hand it to the boy he is pretty clever but when your a dog and your 80lbs. your just not as graceful and quiet as one might want to be...if only dogs could tip-toe.
    After catching him upstairs a few times he has held back to sleeping on the landing towards the bottom of the stairs, which is closer to being downstairs, and is even much easier to get away with, but i still know the boy is there.

    Problem #2 Stay
    HAHA forget stay, downstay, stay-in-your-crate, any stay that the dog knew and would gladly obey to two months ago. He will only participate in stay if he can see me. If i go around the corner his head will be poking around the corner... :

    Problem #3 Come (at the dog park)
    Ok, so this has always been a challenge for him at the park but at least he used to make the effort, come half way and look at me with an expression that’s like "do i have to" (then i'd shoot him that serious "yes you have to" look) and he would stroll on over to me...now its like "I CANT HEAR YOU NA NA NA" as he runs right past me. little shit

    I love my boy, but this is really bringing me down. I'm not quite sure how to attack these problems... As far as the issue with him being upstairs i guess i could just be flattered because he's only up there to be closer to me...He sleeps at the door, Im sure if i left the door open he would sleep at the foot of my bed...
    I guess he’s just going to have to start sleeping in his crate at night again. That would be the simple solution…

    Any advice would be welcome here
    Thanks
    Koa<br /><br />&amp; Brittanie

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  3. #2
    steveandginger's Avatar
    steveandginger is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Relapse...?

    koabear --

    I posted a similar question to this several weeks ago -- as my 4-month old pup seems to be forgetting commands. The general advice was that this is normal, EXPECT it to happen many more times in the future, and just to go back to square one. The good thing, I was told, was that it won't take NEAR as long to "re-train" the commands, since their knowledge of how to respond is already in there...

    I would bet, if you are anything like me, that you have, due to the feeling that "my dog is now 'trained', allowed a few "transgressions;" however, what you might call "transgressions," your pup sees as a new learning experience -- i.e. "Hey, human said "come" and I didn't; nothing happened! Woo Hoo -- come doesn't mean 'come' anymore!"

    When this happened to me, with the come command, I went back to using treats and a lead (to reel her rear end back in when she didn't listen!) It worked.

    Steve

  4. #3
    Trickster's Avatar
    Trickster is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Relapse...?

    Problem #1 Boundaries
    For a year and a half Koa was never aloud to go upstairs unless if he was getting a bath. For two nights, two months ago, he was aloud to sleep upstairs with me because my floors were being redone. Now when I wake up in the mornings ill hear a thumping down the stairs (which is Koa hearing that im awake and trying to be sneaky by going back downstairs to pretend he was down there all along). Gotta hand it to the boy he is pretty clever but when your a dog and your 80lbs. your just not as graceful and quiet as one might want to be...if only dogs could tip-toe.
    After catching him upstairs a few times he has held back to sleeping on the landing towards the bottom of the stairs, which is closer to being downstairs, and is even much easier to get away with, but i still know the boy is there.
    Ah hah...but on those two nights two months ago you invited him upstairs. The thing with dogs is that they don't generalize. They don't think "Even though I have been invited upstairs before, I can't go up any more". They think "Oh, I have been invited upstairs before, so it must be ok". This is the same for almost any situation. Getting up on the couch, the recall, pulling on the leash. If you let them do something once (get up on the couch for example) the chances are they will do it again especially if they get something desirable as a result.

    I think prevention is the best policy. Either shut him downstairs, like I do with my dogs, or use a stairgate. Or you could let him up with you.

    Problem #2 Stay
    HAHA forget stay, downstay, stay-in-your-crate, any stay that the dog knew and would gladly obey to two months ago. He will only participate in stay if he can see me. If i go around the corner his head will be poking around the corner...
    Although you don't say how old he is, I'm assuming he is a youngster. The only thing I can say here is keep working at it. 'Stay' is one of the tougher commands for a dog to grasp. Like everything, some are better at it than others. Train, train, train!

    Problem #3 Come (at the dog park)
    Ok, so this has always been a challenge for him at the park but at least he used to make the effort, come half way and look at me with an expression that’s like "do i have to" (then i'd shoot him that serious "yes you have to" look) and he would stroll on over to me...now its like "I CANT HEAR YOU NA NA NA" as he runs right past me. little shit
    Ok, look at it from his eyes...who is more exciting; you, bellowing at him to come (dogs are pretty intelligent -- he might of made the association that 'come' = home time) or a bunch of other dogs to run and play with? the other dogs, of course. Next time you are at the park, load up your pockets with some extra special treats and an extra special toy that comes out ONLY for a good recall. As soon as he comes, give the treat immediately and then throw his toy. Then clip the leash on and praise. All he needs to learn is that good things can also come from you.

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  6. #4
    Bob Pr. is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Relapse...?

    Trickster gave good advice.

    The problems of forgetting previously learned commands during the first year of puppy life has sometimes been blamed on "teen age rebellion" or other parallels with human teens.

    I very much object to that for a variety of reasons -- human developmental behavior does not parallel dog behavior plus the desired objectives are not the same (human kids leave the nest, dogs stay there).

    I suspect it's caused by all the rapid developmental, hormonal changes occurring within a dog within its first 12 months of life -- which mirrors roughly those occurring within humans during the first 17-18 years of life.

    MY solution is to use a NiLiF (Nothing in Life is Free)/NLF (No Free Lunch) protocol and go back to Square One.

    This happened often with my Puff from about 5-13 months.

    Whenever it occurred, I fed Puff all her meals on a NiLiF schedule -- she got a few kibbles from my hand in response to obeying each one of her commands: sit, stand, down, stay, come, etc. Each, whole meal was fed this way, a few kibbles at a time -- a command, the proper response, a few kibbles.

    A few days of this and Puff was back to her previous self.

    Worked very well for us.

    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_gabbys mom is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Relapse...?

    In addition to Trickster's advice, my trainer told us to never call the dog and end play time- make a point of calling the dog 6-7 times during play time and then releasing him. Coming should never equal going home. I always go get Gabby at the dog park when it's time to go.
    <br />U-CD Of Love and Other Demons, CD, RE, CGC (Gabby)<br />Maverick<br />Saint Louis

  8. #6
    TimC. is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Relapse...?

    All very good advice. The only thing I would add is to get your dog to come to you at the park start running the other direction. By doing this you have initiated one of the best dog games, CHASE!
    Olie

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