Stubborn Dog

Grrr!!! My dog used to listen to me. Every time. At some point I've messed up though and I've been trying to figure out what I did. I think it's a combination of me slacking off on obedience training and Luna's maturity - she's been testing me! She's been acting a little bit like a teenager, testing the limits and there have obviously been some times when I didn't enforce the rules. Used to she could be charging after wild geese and I could call her back and she would run full speed back to me.

UPDATE - while writing this post I found a likely source of the problem. I was walking in to work this week when I got a text from Laura (my wife) saying she found Gabe 'doing a little obedience' with Luna. The obedience consisted of Gabe chasing Luna around the house saying "Luna SIT. Luna STAY. Luna DOWN' while she played a merry game of chase. sigh. I know he means well and is trying to help. When I got home I talked to him about it and I couldn't help but give him a hug. Gabe is an awesome caring kid and he told me how well she listened to him but there were a few times where she didn't listen very good. I love this guy. I told him I really appreciated his help and that anytime he wants to work on obedience he can get me or Anna to help out.

Back to the post...

While at my father-in-law's farm this weekend I was spending some time clearing small trees and brush and took Luna and Charlie out with me. They would wander off at times but would come back when I called them. Things were great- my city dogs were getting to pretend to be farm dogs. Running through the grass, the soybeans, following rabbit trails and deer trails into the woods and swimming in the pond.

Swimming Pond

As we were sitting outside Sunday morning with my wife, Gabe, Jack and in-laws we let Charlie, Luna, Rex and Gabby out to run for a bit. Rex and Gabby are Llewellyn Setters and are excellent bird dogs. Luna tends to play rough with big dogs so we had to keep an eye on her so she didn't initiate a dog fight with Rex or Gabby. With all the dogs out she's in full play mode and is ignoring almost every command I give. angry face

Leave it - she stops for a half second then resumes chasing the other dogs
Stay - She pauses for a second then resumes the chase
Down - she goes down, but as soon as I take a few steps towards her she bolts
Come- This was laughable…I might as well not have even been there…

So I spend a few minutes essentially chasing my dog around the yard… she's not minding me one bit. I need to step my game up and work on my rewards and obedience. This is not only embarressing but it's a saftey issue!

Time to go back to the basics. My father-in-law helped me gather up Luna and gave me a good lesson on working on the 'Come' command and making sure you correct the dog when they test the limits and boundaries. Dogs like to test you. The importance of obedience and training can't be understated- it's the difference between life and death. Your dog could be headed for traffic chasing a squirrel, cat or other wild game or out of control at training around a lot of other high drive dogs.

We started with hooking her up to a long lead and having her go into a down and stay. I then walked away and called her keeping control with the long line so she couldn't run away. She already knows what to do, this was just a matter of reminding her what is expected. I had a nice bag of mixed treats to make it worth her while!

She was pouty and at first but we had a nice short training session that ended fun and positive.

I've obviously got some more reinforcement to do with her. I'll need to setup some scenarios with other dogs and distractions and so I can get her attention and stop this bad habit. If anyone has any other tips or guidance please let me know!

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