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Sit, Ubu, Sit. Good Dog

An-DAn-D Content EditorRaleighRegistered User regular
edited January 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
So after spending a few days at a friend's house who happens to have an amazingly trained dog, I began to think about my own dog and how great it would be if she were to obey a *few* commands.

Mandatory Picture:
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The one that *technically* is my dog is the red Shiba Inu in that picture. Kisa. She's eight years old and an AKC Grand Champion (I showed her as a puppy. She got her championship at about two than had three litters, most of which went on to be champions themselves). But, the only commands she learned from showing is some intense leesh training skills, and 'Stand Pretty' and 'Cookie.' The two vocal commands are pretty much useless unless she is on a leesh (stand pretty) or if she is in the house and knows where her treats are.

So, is Kisa too old to start training? And if not, how should I go about doing it? I really only want a few basic ones like 'sit', 'come', 'stay' and maybe 'lie down.'

Any PA Dog Whisperers out there willing to lend me some advice?

"Anything with the power to make you laugh over thirty years later isn't a waste of time. I think that's something very close to immortality"
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Posts

  • ApexMirageApexMirage Registered User
    edited December 2008
    Mythbusters proved that there's no basis for not being able to teach an old dog new tricks, so you should have no problem in theory. I know nothing of dogs myself and will therefore leave that up someone else.

    ApexMirage on
    I'd love to be the one disappoint you when I don't fall down
  • AurinAurin Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    I don't own dogs myself, but I do know that you can train them as long as you're determined. My sister had two separate incidents where she had dogs that would listen to no one... but as long as I was firm and gave em treats when they listened to me, they settled right down. :P

    Some people do the clicker training as well, though I don't know how effective that is. Now I want a doggie... I've always wanted a Shiba Inu and she is so pretty. :)

    Aurin on
  • burntheladleburntheladle Registered User
    edited December 2008
    Have you considered classes? There may be a dog club nearby that does classes fairly cheap, and they'll cater to all ages/experience level.

    Otherwise, the most important thing to remember is to make sure you're not confusing your dog. When you start off, only give the command AS your dog is performing the required action, and reward frequently.

    This is the way I've taught our dogs some simple actions.

    Sit - hold a treat in your hand, hold it just above and in front of your dog's face. Move your hand fowards, over the dog. The dog should lean back to follow the treat, causing it to sit. As its bum hits the ground, say "Sit", and then reward and praise.

    Drop - Get the dog in a sitting position. Hold a treat in front of its nose, and then lower the treat towards the ground. The dog should follow by lying down (not all dogs do this, we haven't had much luck teaching our youngest drop).

    Stay - Have your dog on a lead. Tell it to sit. Then hold your hand out (empty) with your palm towards the dog (essentially making a stop sign). Take one step backwards, and say "STAY" as you move - make sure your voice is calm, and elongate the word, so the dog is paying attention to your nice calm voice, not to your movement. Pause VERY briefly, and then step back in and reward/praise. Gradually you can increase the distance you move away and the time you require the dog to stay. Once you're several steps away, start practicing a Stay where you put the lead on the ground and then move away - this is particularly difficult as bending over and putting the lead down/picking it up will probably excite the dog and cause it to move.
    Once you have the basics of Stay down, practice making your dog STAY before it eats from its food bowl. You should be able to get your dog to sit and then wait for your permission before it starts its dinner.

    It may take more patience with an older dog, but it's certainly possible. Train often, in very short bursts (several 5 minute sessions a day, rather than a single 15 minute session).

    Good luck :)

    burntheladle on
    What would Zombie Pirate LeChuck Do?
  • The Green Eyed MonsterThe Green Eyed Monster i blame hip hop Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Above post is excellent advice.

    The biggest key is consistency. Every time an action is performed, use the SAME word (don't like talk to your dog like you might a friend, you're training and focusing on a word), and if possible, use the SAME hand gesture every time you say the word (my dog learned to sit whenever I pointed downwards with an index finger, and would stay as I raised a flat "STOP" hand), at the EXACT same time you say the word. Make different commands have visibly distinctive hand gestures. This will help re-enforce the command, and you might be surprised how easy it is to train dogs on hand gestures, especially since I heard a study that the actual phonetics of the word mean less than the dog's understanding of context and visual cues.

    ANOTHER BIG TIP that I find many dog owners don't quite get, is that, at least for me, it always helped to say the dog's name first, followed by the command. When the dog was drifting off and inattentive, I would say its name, generally snapping its attention to me, then say the command.

    "Fido. SIT! Fido. SIT!"

    as many times as necessary, but if you just say sit sit sit sit over and over again, it might never pick anything up. You need to make sure you HAVE its attention as you give the command you're training on.

    And yeah -- positive re-enforcement and in 5 minute bursts.

    The Green Eyed Monster on
    wisdom wrote:
    if knowledge is power and power corrupts, be smart, be evil
  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Watch some episodes of the Dog Wisperer. That guy is very good and you will probably pick up some tricks.
    Don't worry that the dog is having so many treats, it isn't like giving a kid candy or anything.

    Improvolone on
    Voice actor for hire. My time is free if your project is!
  • rfaliasrfalias Registered User
    edited December 2008
    Awwww so fluffy.
    Just want to squeeze them dont you?

    rfalias on
    1036440-1.png
  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Burntheladle gives excellent advice.

    Quid on
  • RUNN1NGMANRUNN1NGMAN Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Watch some episodes of the Dog Wisperer. That guy is very good and you will probably pick up some tricks.
    Don't worry that the dog is having so many treats, it isn't like giving a kid candy or anything.

    Try watching "Its Me or the Dog" instead on Animal Planet. The Dog Whisperer is kind considered a crock by most of the professional dog training community and a lot of his methods are considered inhumane.

    RUNN1NGMAN on
  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    I forgot about that show. I concur, it is very good. Plus the host is British, always a plus
    Mmmm, sassy domineering British women. Too bad Secret Santa is over...

    Improvolone on
    Voice actor for hire. My time is free if your project is!
  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    I've never heard of the dog whisperer but come time for my next dog I fully intend to pick up It's Me or the Dog. It's an excellent show and addresses a lot of the common problems people have with dogs.

    Quid on
  • LadyMLadyM Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    What a gorgeous dog!

    The "Dog Whisperer" is indeed full of shit, don't watch that show. I would recommend picking up some dog training books and visiting Chazhound.

    Dogs are trainable at any age, but keep in mind that you have an independent-minded shiba, so it may require different techniques and more time than training a labrador.

    LadyM on
  • Aoi TsukiAoi Tsuki Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    LadyM wrote: »
    What a gorgeous dog!

    The "Dog Whisperer" is indeed full of shit, don't watch that show.

    Agreed on both counts, though Cesar Milan is not a total charlatan so much as a trainer whose advice is just less easily followed and more easily misunderstood by the average layperson than Victoria Stilwell on It's Me Or The Dog. She puts less emphasis on being "dominant" (which people - no one in this thread that I know of, but acquaintances of mine - too readily interpret as "scream and bodyslam your dog to let him know who's boss") than clear, calm, consistent leadership through positive reinforcement and understanding dogs' behavior and body language. It sounds like a kind of pussy approach, but following it (and exercising the shit out of your dog!) works pretty damn well.

    It sounds like that's not quite the degree of work you need, though, thankfully. :D Just follow the excellent advice in this thread, and remember to be patient. Shiba inu are pretty strong-willed, so use her favorite treats or toys as rewards.

    ...Man, she is a beautiful dog. *jealous*

    Aoi Tsuki on
    Some people already have said stupid things, but I'm ignoring them because I just found a potato in my fridge that looks like it's smiling.
  • ChanceChance Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    ApexMirage wrote: »
    Mythbusters proved that there's no basis for not being able to teach an old dog new tricks, so you should have no problem in theory. I know nothing of dogs myself and will therefore leave that up someone else.

    God bless Mythbusters.

    Chance on
    OuFrYk0.jpg
    'Chance, you are the best kind of whore.' -Henroid
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