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Does anyone have trouble finding the right "balance" with their dog?

I can almost never find the right balance of authority/friendliness with Zeke. If I am too strict, he begins to totally act out/up snd then I get frustrated etc. The day can turn into a complete mess if that happens. So, then I try being less of a stickler....and I end up being too lenient and he thinks he can do whatever he wants....which ends up making me frustated, and it turns in to a mess again ::)

Now, when I get the balance *right* he generally does his obed/rally with enthusiasm and style, and its generally pretty good. Its just hard to get that right!

On a side note: I need to learn to not be so nervous in the ring - it ends in a mess too :p
 

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Hmm, no. I've not had this problem. I play and goof around with my dogs, but when I'm training or trialing, they know I'm the authority figure.

How old is Zeke? A lot of the goofiness will turn to focus as the dog get's older.
 

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I get it right most of the time, but sometimes I find myself giving a command in too much of a "question" , or "would you do this please?" tone, and other times, too much of a sharp command when it is not needed. I try try to give them in a gentle but firm tone for Emilu. We just need to keep listening to ourselves. I have more trouble finding the "balance" with our heeling pace. Still trying some things out so Emilu can do a trot that she and I can both sustain.
 

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No not really but I've been training dogs for a long time. I'm pretty good at reading body language so I usually know what Murray is thinking before he does. When we are training I give commands in a "matter of fact" tone all the time. I do not "ask" him to do anything. I tell him once then I enforce it. When he does it, then we celebrate and I use my silly voice which makes him all giddy/goofy. As soon as I get my serious voice back on, he knows it's back to business. If he looks like he's confused or shutting down, I break off and we play for awhile then we do something he knows well, then we go back to the troublesome exercise. I don't let him "win" by avoiding the problem exercise.
 
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