Our pup is a 6mo lab/pit mix. We have had her for 1mo.
Prev. owners treated her like a houseplant. She was never physically abused, but was definitely emotionally neglected.
She is very submissive. She is super sensitive to criticism and being told 'no'. But she is also a SUPER SLOW learner with any sort of obedience, and I really want her to have some success to counteract her rather low self-esteem.
Having difficulty understanding why we are struggling with obedience commands when she is naturally EXTREMELY obedient (she stays in either a sit or down until you tell her she can get up, she is potty training extremely fast for a dog used to going wherever, and she learned to sit before going outside in less than 24 hours). She also doesn't chew, doesn't dig, doesn't bark, doesn't steal the kids' toys or clothes, and waits relatively patiently to be fed. She's not the slightest bit hyper, and is well behaved with our 12yo dogs.
If I'm being honest, the only things I've managed to teach her (beyond the house rules that she's picked up just by living here and from the other dogs) is 'come' in the house, and... some basic leash manners. Nothing else. I don't expect CD type stuff here, but jeez considering that we work at something every day, and considering how eager she is to please, it just shouldn't be going this slowly. I haven't managed to break her of cat chasing, chicken chasing, or teach her lay down (that one we worked on for 3 weeks before I called it a temporary failure). I am ashamed to confess I had to get a bit tough while teaching her leash manners- basic lead popping wasn't working at all. But I only had to do that a few times. Once she realized there would be consequences, she did a 180 and is MUCH better. Not perfect, but better and now the leash pop DOES work. We are working on 'drop it' as well (not an official command, only as the situation arises), and this morning she "forgot" she knew it. I barked 'No, Rosie!" at her after time number 300 of the forcing her mouth open-thing. As soon as I got tough, she looked ashamed and opened right up (and of course, got an immediate "good girl!" for her trouble).
Again.. she is VERY sensitive to verbal corrections normally, but I don't give those for obedience training of sit, down, etc. (I praise train all the way, and assume if a dog is uncooperative, than he/she just doesn't understand). But can a dog be both stubborn and submissive at the same time? I just don't get it. I definitely need some ideas for my technique.
I realize she is very young, so again, I'm not looking for perfection, overnight success, or an ability to do EVERYTHING on the 'obedience check list'. I just want to see some better progress so she can gain confidence, and I can feel like training this puppy isn't just an exercise in boredom and frustration (for both of us).
Just to add to my last post.. puppy is apparently learning 'come' command.. maybe.
dd and I were working with her outside and dd accidently let go of the leash. My fault, not dd's. Things had been going great and I forgot the 'kids don't hold the leash if dog doesn't come back' rule. Puppy ran into woods, with leash on. I was scared to death. Pup disappeared for 15 minutes.
I walked the stone wall on my property, back into the woods. All was quiet. Whistled (I think she heard that), and then spotted her hopping up and down at the edge of a field through the trees. Called her name and said come, clapped my hands, and she froze, spotted me, and tore back through the woods to get to me. Acts like she was lost, honestly- was all over me when she got there, and practically dragged me back to the house, constantly looking over her shoulder to make sure I was there. 5 min later she peed on the floor (I think she was SOOOOO nervous out there that she must have held it). Poor her, poor me. That stunk. Soooo glad she came back. Lesson learned (at least for me!)
I wanted to post a follow-up in case anyone reads my thread at a later date.
Since the incident where I 'rescued' her (my prev. post), she seems to be doing MUCH better. She is sitting, laying down, and has even come to my husband when she accidently got out and he called her over.
We aren't using treats for basic obedience at this point. I have a number of reasons for that- first and foremost, that I think obedience training does MUCH MORE than just teach a dog the basic commands. I'm keeping it in my backpocket just in case I need it, and did a lot of research. No prob with treats for stupid pet tricks, though, so it's not that I think ALL treats are bad.
We are really working with her on a number of things that seem obvious- I feel like we are "filling her up with words" honestly. Lots of talking to her, lots of looking at her and connecting. She really needs help knowing that it's ok to play, it's ok to be a dog. She is learning, and she's young.
Our major issue right now is STILL the chasing. She actually bloodied my old cat's ear the other day, and today I caught her carrying my son's kitty by the scruff of his neck. We are working on that. Some of it is old habits from prev. home, so I know it will take time. Hopefully soon, though: I'm patient, but won't put up with actually injuring my cats, especially not my 11yo boy who adores dogs.
Quite honestly, you will probably never train her not to chase cats or chickens. A dog that chases them is NEVER safe to be around them. If she is allowed to continue to be around either she may very likely kill your cat and chickens. :(