Positive reinforcement is the only method we use. Kosmo gets EXTREMELY excited whenever he sees me put my finger on his clicker, lol. I don't yell at him because I've found out in the short while that I've had him that he is SUPER sensitive. One time he got into something and I called him a "very very BAD dog" and he ran away on the stairs until I felt bad and came and apologized.. WHen I picked him up he was like a limp noodle. The worst he gets is the word "NO" acompanied by a glare and he knows to stop it. He does get quite a bit of "cookies" though so I am thinking of switching to snap peas or bites of bellpeppers.

Jay,

Thanks for your reply. I guess that's another "mistake" that I've inadvertently made with the word come. It's a word used very frequently around here because we're always going 100 miles an our. I am bad for using it for things like "come brush your teeth" (which is probably not his favorite thing). I also find myself unconsciously using it in phrases all the time like "come get it" and stuff like that. Kosmo is allowed off lead every once in a while but not too often. The only time I let him off is to play fetch in the big vacant field across from our house. The worst he's done was running away to the ball and finding a weed (he can't get enough of trying to eat the outside weeds which we are still working on) so cookie worked great to get his attention off of that.


Karlin,

Thanks for the response, I completely understand what you mean about this adolescent thing! I don't know if you read through it or not, but the other day I had to tell him to sit and stay TWELVE times before I got a positive response. It was brutal, lol, but he eventually got his cookie. He's testing me lately but he's going through his terrible 2s. I have to tell him to "drop" the sock he steals out of the basement about 5 times before he listens, lol. The only thing better than a smelly sock is a ball throw or a cookie, hehe.

I trained the word cookie for certian circumstances. For instance, the other day we were having our evening walk and someone lost their dinner on the left side of the sidewalk. By the time I noticed it, it was already too late and I panicked because of course that's what Kosmo (who was trailing behind at that point) was making a beeline for. Cookie was the only thing I could shout that would deter him. People laugh at me for having "conversations" with him on walks but it's the only thing that keeps him walking nice, lol.

Thanks for the advice of not calling come facing straight at him. That might be another reason why he doesn't do it. And now that you mention it when I get down at "His level" on the ground I do have better results with him. He does do MUCH better when I get excited with him though.

Molly,

Thanks for the advice about the hand signal. I will be incorporating that in. I actually saw a deaf dog on TV that was being taught the word come obviously only by hand signal and she was very very reliable. Also it seems like I get a better response whenever I use hand signals.

Ok Karlin, now you got me onto a whole different subject: Potty Training.. ..

Kos is excellent at going outside. We skipped the paper because when we tried it his kong ended up black and he thought of it as a chew toy. Plus it reaked and the trainer said "when you're looking through flyers later on in life and he sees it sitting on the floor and goes and takes a squat, you have to look at yourself because YOU were the one that trained him to do that!!" So I took him out every half hour when we were awake and woke up every 2 hours in the middle of the night. Thank GOD we are past that stage, but it was totally worth it as he maybe has gone in the house a handful of times since we had him. It's been maybe 2 months since he's had an accident. When he goes outside I still say "good boy!" and then try to add another few commands before he gets his treat. But he still gets it. When should I start tapering off the treats altogether? Or should I continue using his wee as an opportunity to work on other things with him? Maybe I should walk away and say "COME!" when he's finished