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Stubborn, Unmotivated, Or Just Outsmarting Me? Help!


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Guest forcefeedbacon

I have been stalking you all silently for a while now - so first a quick thank you for all the great information and lovely pics here! All of my questions up until this point have been answered in other topic threads, but I am totally stumped on this one and am hoping to be enlightened...

 

My hubby and I adopted our first greyhound, Asha, just under six months ago. We 'fostered to adopt' which means we got her straight from the track, so we are the only retirement home she's ever known (which means this is our fault of course!). She is now 2.5 years old and is a very easy hound to live with, with very good house manners, and moderate leash and social ones :). She is also the least food motivated dog we have ever come across. As a result, while she is quite well trained in commands that are enforceable by a leash or my body - such as wait, leave it, let's go, this way, and to a lesser extent, come & up, my attempts at training her to do anything that requires her to move herself by herself have failed. This includes lie down, and go to your bed, among others.

 

The difficulty is two-fold: 1) getting her interested enough in some kind of a reward to take the action in the first place (she might not bother to follow a 'lure' and is not at all motivated to keep 'trying' things until she earns her treat) and 2) once she understands the command, motivating her enough that she will bother to do it.

 

On a side note: I have tried the 'lazy training' method of saying the command as she is about to do one of these things of her own volition, and then rewarding her for it. I'm not sure whether she just doesn't connect the dots, or doesn't care enough to do it on 'command' later, but I have not had any luck with it.

 

Considering most dog training assumes you can use food (or something your dog values highly) for luring/motivating/rewarding, I have tried a huge variety of foods to tempt her delicate palate. This includes: cream cheeses, cheeses, custard, ice cream, bacon, deli meats, raw and home dehydrated liver, heart etc, raw and cooked mince meats, peanut butter, bbq chicken, hot dog, fish (tinned and freshly cooked), butter, bread, fruit & veg, and so on. Many of these she won't even deign to eat in the comfort of her own home, freely given (even the ones she likes, and has eaten before on other occasions). She is a happy, relatively confident greyhound and is not at all anxious or distracted in these instances - she just doesn't care about food very much. The best response I can hope for is a low-moderate interest. She is on a raw diet, which I'm sure decreases the value of these other offerings, but I'd be reluctant to change her diet just to try and increase the value of treats. She is of course more interested in food around dinner time, but being slightly more interested doesn't go all that far when she is so disinterested to begin with. The bottom line is, that while I can use treats as training motivation/reward for low difficulty tasks, food is never going to be more important to her than an exciting situation (like spotting a kangaroo or cat) or avoiding something she'd prefer not to do. She is affectionate and loves attention and pets, but again, this has limited value for her when it comes to harder activities or more exciting environments. She does like toys too, but only when the mood suits her, so they can't really be used as a reward. The one thing she absolutely loves is walks (unless it's raining) and I have managed to use this in some training instances, but it's applications are fairly limited, at least as far as my poor brain can figure.

 

I think one of the best examples of this as a problem is getting her to jump into the car. As mentioned, Asha LOVES walks, and nine times out of ten, we drive somewhere to take her for a walk. She also comes with us on various social visits, day trips, errands, and even long road trips and is very happy in the car, enjoying all the sniffies that accompany it, and of course being close to her humans! The point is she likes the car and has very positive associations with it. We have taught her the command 'Up' and she definitely knows what it means (we use it to get over logs and streams etc as well as in the car and on the human bed). On the way TO a walk, or if we are otherwise going out, she jumps into the car on command very easily. However, once we have finished walking, or visiting a friend etc, a lot of the time she will refuse to jump into the car. Trust me when I say this is not about the different terrain etc when the car is parked in different places - under the right circumstances (i.e. it's raining and she wants to get out of it, or she's been out with us all day and is ready to go home, or she decides that high value treat might just be worth bothering to jump for) she jumps in without difficulty. She has jumped into the car literally hundreds of times. However, when we first got her she didn't know how to jump, at all, and we had to lift her into the car, over small logs, onto our bed and so on. She is very happy to be picked up and I suspect she would really just prefer us to lift her, thank you very much! We have tried a bunch of different strategies here - including all sorts of high value treats (which works, occasionally), sitting in the car ourselves ignoring her until she gets bored enough to jump in (worked 2-3 times), leaving her tied up while driving out of sight, then coming back 30 seconds later and trying again (again, worked, about 3 times), backing her up when she doesn't jump in the first time, then asking again (worked 2-3 times)... you get the idea. All of these have been followed by high praise and treats every time when she finally does get in. But nothing we've tried works without fail, and most only work a few times before she decides she doesn't care about that anymore. What does this mean? Is she being stubborn (or dare I ask, dominant)? Or is this standard greyhound behaviour if you haven't come up with sufficient motivation for them? As we have given in on a few occasions, is she too intelligent and just trying to train US to pick her up? I'm at a bit of a loss as to the implications of this obvious refusal to follow a command she knows - and also what the heck to try next!

 

She seems generally respectful from what I can tell - she waits until I tell her its ok to eat, she will drop/leave something she's found if I say 'leave it' (though she will try again multiple times if she is very into it and I don't take it away - but still drops it each time). She only gets off our bed slowly and with a fair bit of verbal encouragement - but she does get off, and I've noticed she takes her sweet time to get off even if someone's at the door or dinner is ready etc too. When we first got her we were very careful to always go out the door first, but we are more slack about it these days.

 

If anyone has any tips on motivating a very non-food-driven hound, or insight into what might be going through her mind, please chime in! Thanks for reading my essay :)

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I'm no expert, but 2 things:

1. Not all hounds are highly food-motivated. The ones that are might not be food motivated if nervous or stressed in a situation.

 

2. Can she find a foothold? Our boy has been reluctant to get into my car, a 4-door Civic. It helps to put his front feet somewhere where he can get up from.

We now transport him in my husband's car, a 2-door Civic, because the front seat rolls forward and the dog can securely plant 2 feet on floor of the car and then step up to the back seat. I would have thought the 4-door car would be better, but street to car seat is harder for him than street to floor to seat--more secure for him.

 

3. Greyhounds can be stubborn, and often don't find training interesting. It's "I did that once, now I'm bored and want to nap in the sun, thank you very much" Where a golden retriever would be like "Can we do it again? Huh? Again! Again! Oh boy!!!!"

My husband taught our dog "go to bed!" by physically walking him over there and standing there until he sat down. If need be, doing it 2 or 3 times in a row (stubborn dog kept returning to beg at table) He will do it now just from voice, but it took awhile.

Edited by Willowsmum
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I can relate exactly to what you are going through. My guy is the same. He is also fed raw so I think getting treats like meat is no biggie for him (he has little interest in working for toys or attention either). I can guarantee you that this behaviour is not out of stress or too high expectations as it can sometimes be. In general, I think if your dog is well behaved, I wouldn't try to force things or really worry about it. To me polite and being well-behaved are more important than knowing every command, so I don't sweat it.

 

I did start (and gave up, but restarted!) clicker training which has been fun. It did take quite some time for him to "get it" but now he enjoys it and has even learned 3 or 4 tricks. It was the only thing that encouraged him to actively offer behaviours on his own. He will rarely lure or follow food so I taught him to touch a "target" stick. This way he will follow and touch the target with his nose which helps me in showing him where and how to move his body.

 

The only thing that works for me is to train him when he is quite hungry and energetic. Usually in the late afternoon/early evening after he has rested a bit from a long walk and is just getting a bit restless and hungry. Even with this, our training sessions last maybe 10 minutes. :)

Edited by RedHead
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Guest normaandburrell

We had one grey who wanted to please us and tried to do just about anything we asked. Our new dog sounds like yours, and was described to us as being stubborn.

One time he didn't want to get out of the SUV and my husband had to slide him out of the back of the vehicle. The dog just kind of hit the ground and lay there looking at us as if to say "What are you going to do about it?" :lol Luckily it was soft ground and he did get up eventually. I agree with addicted that as long as she is basically well behaved and not doing anything that will endanger her, don't sweat it.

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Vehicle: I wouldn't sweat it. Usually if they won't jump and I don't have my handy-dandy step (or a ramp), I put their front feet up and then pick up their heinie. Lots less fun for the dog than being picked up altogether, and easier on the person.

 

Other things: There's likely *something* that motivates her; the trick is figuring out what it is. I have taught some dogs by Willowsmum's "go to bed" method, always with a "Good dog!" and always with a treat offered (and put on the bed if she won't take it). But, as others have said, if she's basically well behaved, I wouldn't worry over any of those things. Sometimes a dog gets more interested in training sorts of things later on, sometimes not. The important part is that she's cute and easy to live with, right? :)

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Does she like any particular sound of a toy? A squeaky or grunting sound? If so, use a toy as a luring device for training. You can also try training her with a clicker, as someone said above. Load the sound by hand feeding her meals - piece of food, click, piece of food, click, etc. You can also withhold her food for a bit so she gets hungrier.

 

I know lots of trainers here in the US use marshmallows as training rewards. Not as healthy for them, but it's for a limited time.

 

As far as the car goes, does it work to start a little ways away and get her up to a running start to jump in?

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

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Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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We went through a little of this with Rocket when he was younger. DW did clicker training which helped. We attributed much of it to him "testing his boundaries" as he was becoming a teenager. He can still be stubborn when he want, but has mellowed significantly and will usually do what you ask.

 

You will find at a year to eighteen months thatyour hound will figure out that she is "home" and not going anywhere, and it will be even more obvious with little things that she has settled in.

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Camp Broodie. The current home of Mark Kay Mark Jack and LaVida I've Got Life.  Always missing my boy Rocket Hi Noon Rocket,  Allie  Phoenix Dynamite, Kate Miss Kate, Starz Under Da Starz, Petunia MW Neptunia and Diva Astar Dashindiva 

 

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"On a side note: I have tried the 'lazy training' method of saying the command as she is about to do one of these things of her own volition, and then rewarding her for it. I'm not sure whether she just doesn't connect the dots, or doesn't care enough to do it on 'command' later, but I have not had any luck with it."

 

Darn, that's what I was gonna say... that's how we taught both dogs "down" and Ruby to "crate".

Kingsley never jumped into a car... but I do think for him it was physical. We just always lifted him him in half at-a-time.

 

so, in reality,Ii have no helpful advice... just understanding!

Amy and Tim in Beverly, MA, with Chase and Always missing Kingsley (Drama King) and Ruby (KB's Bee Bopper).

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I don't have anything to add except maybe trying the 'running start' method to jumping in the car. I pet-sat for a friend whose greyhound absolutely refused to jump in the car. I wasn't about to lift his 80 pound butt into my car, so I backed him up about 15 feet and ran with him toward the hatch. Voila! You have to be real easy on the leash- no pulling or tugging. The trick is to get enough speed that they're sufficiently distracted and just jump in without thinking.

 

FWIW, my friend's dog learned for me, but after he went home, he still refused to do it for mom. Sometimes they really do outsmart you when they've learned that you'll eventually give in. :lol It's a hard thing to reverse.

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She's not getting in the car because she doesn't want to leave the fun places you bring her. I'd ask her to jump up once. If she doesn't do it, lift her into the car. She'll learn that either she gets in on her own or you put her in. Either way, she's Lin the car.

 

As for the training, it sounds like she's not very interesting. The "lazy way" as you put it is called "capturing" the behavior. It's worked well for us. Have you tried using a clicker? What tone of voice are you using? I find these guys really like a happy, really enthusiastic voice while training. Sometimes me being goofy works as a reward for Bu. He joins in and gets wiggly. So, try different things.

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Guest forcefeedbacon

Thank you to everyone for taking the time to reply so far. I appreciate the support and advice!

 

For those of you who have suggested trying to make her more excited and/or getting a good run up for the jumping, we have tried both of these tactics too - and a few others I didn't list. IF you can get her excited enough it will work, but she's clever enough to know what you're trying to do, so once again it only worked a few times. And the running - she will run with you and then just stop at the car - even if I leap in myself (we have an SUV)! Most of the time she won't even think about jumping in - I can see whether or not she's considering it, and then the decision on her face when she decides to do so, or (more often) not to do so.

 

As some have pointed out, this of course isn't a big issue in the scheme of things. We love her to bits and are very happy and grateful she is generally well-behaved. And she is definitely extremely cute BatMom :). I've included a photo below to share the cuteness!

 

Rather than just the car scenario specifically, I was hoping to garner some wisdom on how to increase her motivation and/or otherwise increase her responsiveness to commands she knows. I wonder if we (somehow) refused to ever help her up into the car again once we'd already given the command to jump in herself, if she would eventually just jump in without any fuss because she stopped perceiving us lifting her as a favourable/possible alternative to doing it herself?

 

It would be lovely to be able to teach her a very good recall, but if I can't even get her to jump in the car, I can't see that happening!

 

Time4ANap - it will be interesting to see if her attitude to this changes after she has fully settled in, or perhaps grown out of the 'adolescent' boundary pushing stage.

Willowsmom - I have been thinking it might be time to try training 'on your bed' by physically taking her to it as you suggested. Glad to hear it worked for yours!

Greysmom - she isn't really into noisy toys (yet), though I will add marshmallows to the list of things to try - I suspect she won't even eat them though as she rarely likes human foods.

 

I haven't tried clicker training up to this point, as I have been assuming that it won't increase her interest in food, and therefore it won't increase her motivation.

 

I can relate exactly to what you are going through. My guy is the same. He is also fed raw so I think getting treats like meat is no biggie for him (he has little interest in working for toys or attention either). I can guarantee you that this behaviour is not out of stress or too high expectations as it can sometimes be. In general, I think if your dog is well behaved, I wouldn't try to force things or really worry about it. To me polite and being well-behaved are more important than knowing every command, so I don't sweat it.

 

I did start (and gave up, but restarted!) clicker training which has been fun. It did take quite some time for him to "get it" but now he enjoys it and has even learned 3 or 4 tricks. It was the only thing that encouraged him to actively offer behaviours on his own. He will rarely lure or follow food so I taught him to touch a "target" stick. This way he will follow and touch the target with his nose which helps me in showing him where and how to move his body.

 

The only thing that works for me is to train him when he is quite hungry and energetic. Usually in the late afternoon/early evening after he has rested a bit from a long walk and is just getting a bit restless and hungry. Even with this, our training sessions last maybe 10 minutes. :)

 

RedHead did you find that clicker training helped with more than just learning the tricks? For example did clicker training make him more interested in pleasing you in general, or is he just as likely to ignore you if he's not in the mood for food or otherwise distracted?

 

Thanks again to everyone for posting!

 

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Guest forcefeedbacon

Oh, she's a blue! Say no more! :lol

Blues can be really quirky, stubborn dogs.

 

Haha thanks a-daerr :)

 

Well, damn. That gorgeous dog should simply be waited on hand and foot!

 

:nod

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None of mine have cared enough about training to do much of anything. When I took Treasure to obedience school, she passed for being beautiful. She never did a single thing that I tried to get her to do, but it didn't really matter because she was so much better behaved than the rest of the dogs.

 

Phoenix did ok and Loca got kicked out for trying to eat small dogs.

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Xavi the galgo and Peter the cat. Missing Iker the galgo ?-Feb.9/19, Treasure (USS Treasure) April 12/01-May 6/13, Phoenix (Hallo Top Son) Dec.14/99-June 4/11 and Loca (Reko Swahili) Oct.9/95 - June 1/09, Allen the boss cat, died late November, 2021, age 19.

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Dogs aren't stubborn in the way that we think of it. If your dog isn't doing what you want her to do, you either haven't found the proper motivation (training is, after all, about getting our dogs to play our silly little games) or she doesn't understand what you want.

 

So a few quick suggestions:

 

1. Train only at mealtime, before you've fed her. Use her raw food if she seems disinterested in other treats. Or if you're feeding a premade raw that is difficult to use, I suggest getting some really yummy red meat, cutting it into tiny pieces and searing it off. We use beef heart for this a lot of the time. Keep sessions short and sweet for now.

 

2. Break behaviors you want to teach her down into tiny attainable pieces. I suspect with some of these you're asking for too much, she's not able to do what you're expecting and so she's not getting enough reinforcement. Training is a bit of an art - you have to manage increasing criteria quickly enough to keep things moving along with not doing so so quickly that the dog doesn't understand what you want adn the rate of reinforcement drops and the dog becomes disinterested. If you're not rewarding her a lot in a training session, you're not setting her up for success.

 

3. RE: her not following cues (I really prefer the term cue to command) she "knows". Again, this could be a function of not providing motivation that makes her want to do it, but I suspect you may be suffering from a bit of a saliency issue. As she's learning cues, you again need to be setting her up for success - gradually increasing the level of distraction in which you ask her to do it, making sure she is motivated to work at that time, etc. The more you say a cue without the behavior and then reinforcement happening, the less meaningful that word becomes, especially if you're repeating the cue multiple times in an attempt to try to get her to do it. The car example is actually a great one. You give the cue to get in the car. She doesn't for whatever reason. Then begins this whole process of you trying to get her in somehow and in the end you either lift her in, or she decides to get in after all of the rigamarole and then she gets a reward. What does the cue "up" mean to her now when given in the presence of the car? Sambuca's advice is excellent - with one tweak. Stop giving the cue until she's reliably getting right into the car when you approach. When she is, then you can start putting the cue back.

 

The other issue with saliency and capturing a behavior - if you just putting the cue in before the behavior happens, in order for the dog to learn the cue, it has to be said before the behavior starts. Otherwise, the dog won't learn it. This is harder than you'd imagine. That may be part of your problem as well.

 

In a nutshell, I think she hasn't learned it's fun to play your game. It's likely a combination of factors, but making it easy for her, using food she likes, and keeping things light hearted and fun are all the ways to get her there. I think clicker training some fun and EASY tricks with a clicker is probably a good place to start if you're familiar with and reasonably adept at clicker training. Once she figures out it's a fun game, she'll likely hang in longer and you can start using the clicker to teach some less "interesting" or more difficult behaviors.

 

Good luck. She is GORGEOUS. I agree with others that she should be waited on hand and foot. ;)

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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Good advice above re doing really tiny simple things and having FUN! Some things we "teach" --

 

-- Get your toy (pounce on your toy, who wouldn't?)

-- Shake hands (can take awhile for some dogs to do it on command but as long as they let you pick a foot up, easy peasy)

-- Touch your hand (most dogs will naturally nuzzle your closed hand, helps if there's a stinky treat in it, I'm told this is a really fun game :lol )

 

Time of day can be your friend. I've never had to wait until the dog is hungry, but we have our main "training" session at the same time every day, when the dogs tend to be alert and ready for something to happen. Good times for us are after the long post-meal naps, when the dog naturally wakes up for a stretch and potty and to see what's going on.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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what riverhound said! om gosh what a beautiful dog! i had trouble training mine for the same reason...they just didn't seem to care about food rewards. Over time, whenever I would get a treat out, they would automatically go lie in their beds and wait for the treat. I didn't teach them this.

anyway, i wish you much success with your gorgeous girl. :)

tracy

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Vehicle: I wouldn't sweat it. Usually if they won't jump and I don't have my handy-dandy step (or a ramp), I put their front feet up and then pick up their heinie. Lots less fun for the dog than being picked up altogether, and easier on the person.

 

Other things: There's likely *something* that motivates her; the trick is figuring out what it is. I have taught some dogs by Willowsmum's "go to bed" method, always with a "Good dog!" and always with a treat offered (and put on the bed if she won't take it). But, as others have said, if she's basically well behaved, I wouldn't worry over any of those things. Sometimes a dog gets more interested in training sorts of things later on, sometimes not. The important part is that she's cute and easy to live with, right? :)

This is basically the way I look at it. :)

 

You've not had her very long and it could be that she has yet to come out of her shell and really show you what motivates her.

 

Having said that, different things motivate different dogs - and it's true that some are really difficult to motivate at all. I had one who wouldn't work for food, but she'd work for praise and the touch of a hand on her. She adored being touched above all else. My Jeffie is the same; out on a walk I am training Sid to come or wait etc with food treats, but Jeffie won't touch them while we're out. However, a hand on his shoulder to tell him he's done well has him practically drooling with pleasure. I don't let Jeff off the lead for that reason, among others (he's also half blind, elderly and he's inclined to panic if something scares him).

 

Clicker training may work for your girl because the sound of the clicker is its own reward, once you have trained them to think so. Of course, you still have to find a way to teach them this in the first place, but if she is one of those who will work for the pleasure of being stroked, or an ear rub, a toy, or a really high-value treat (about which, more later) it can be done. Another thing to bear in mind is that many greyhounds find the noise too much at first, even on the lower setting. What you do then is to wrap your hand (holding the clicker) in a towel and hold it behind your back. This will muffle the noise enough that you can get through the first teaching phase and onto the good part. All the dogs I've used the clicker with got used to the loud CRACK it makes really quite quickly, even the ones who hi-tailed it out of the room at first.

 

High value treats. That's quite a list you've tried! I can only suggest you keep trying. Don't buy stuff specially for her, but keep an eye on her when you are preparing food for yourself. Two things that even Jeffie finds irresistible are Italian prosciutto crudo and warm, cooked sausages - the ordinary 'pork butcher' type of sausage. If they have yeast and garlic in them, so much the better. Watch her reaction when you're cooking and see if you can spot a flicker of interest. If so, try her with a little piece.

 

The other thing to remember is that training treats are to be kept ONLY for training sessions. If you give her that piece of warm cooked sausage outside of the training session it will lose its value. The treats must be rare and special for them to keep their appeal. And yes, as others have said, train while she's hungry, not after a good meal.

 

She's not getting in the car because she doesn't want to leave the fun places you bring her. I'd ask her to jump up once. If she doesn't do it, lift her into the car. She'll learn that either she gets in on her own or you put her in. Either way, she's Lin the car.

Not necessarily. It could also be that she is too tired to jump into the car or that she hurts after a long walk. Some of these dogs have injuries from their racing days, that may be healed enough for them to be adopted but may still pop up and trouble them from time to time. It also may be that it's simply too hot for her. Greyhounds do not tolerate heat terribly well, especially not combined with exercise.

 

Does she jump in after shorter walks, or in cooler weather? Is it mostly when it's hot, or you've been out for longer and walked further? Might be worth watching to see if you can see a pattern. Another thing may be that something about the area she's jumping into isn't very inviting for some reason. Might she slip on the floor or the bumper? Are there any holes she may have caught a toe in? In summer, it may be that the car is really, really hot. Have a think.

 

As for the training, it sounds like she's not very interesting. The "lazy way" as you put it is called "capturing" the behavior. It's worked well for us. Have you tried using a clicker? What tone of voice are you using? I find these guys really like a happy, really enthusiastic voice while training. Sometimes me being goofy works as a reward for Bu. He joins in and gets wiggly. So, try different things.

:nod

 

I'd also like to ask how you have been doing the 'capturing the behaviour'. With any training, you have to be consistent, and you have to do it right. For instance, if you're trying to teach her to lie down, make sure she really IS going to lie down before you tell her to do so. If when you say 'lie down' she stops and looks at you, or she changes her mind and wanders off, the spell is broken and she'll learn nothing. Don't worry about it, just carry on, over and over with the same command, capturing the exact moment her bottom sinks (or her front end goes down, whichever way she does it) and giving the OTT jolly, excited praise when she completes the action. She will look confused. This is normal! But eventually it should sink in.

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The plural of anecdote is not data

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Guest Greyt_dog_lover

You've had a lot of recommendations, I would say the best is to train when she is hungry. Train at dinner time before you feed her so she may be more food motivated.

 

Also, a side note: your hound definitely knows how to jump, all females are housed in the upper kennels at the track and have to jump into them (nearly 5') up. just FYI.

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Well now you've posted a picture it's obvious....she's a DIVA!!!!! just look at that face....she knows exactly what she wants and she now has somebody to provide it :beatheart:hehe

 

But seriously, don't give up it just takes more time usually, we would all love our dogs to do what we want on our timescale...but it has never worked like that for me....and I doubt it ever will. It sounds like she's a lovely dogs in all other respects...she just wants you to work a bit harder, so good luck (and keep us informed of your progress, which will require pictures of course)

<p>"One day I hope to be the person my dog thinks I am"Sadi's Pet Pages Sadi's Greyhound Data PageMulder1/9/95-21/3/04 Scully1/9/95-16/2/05Sadi 7/4/99 - 23/6/13 CroftviewRGT

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Guest forcefeedbacon

Thanks everyone for your wisdom and input! It does sound like some simple clicker training is worth trying. Just before dinner of course. I'll see if she gets into the 'game' of it and enjoys herself. If she does, we'll give some of the harder things a go, and if not, well we have a beautiful pup who we will delight in assisting into the car and waiting on hand and paw :)

 

To answer some questions: I did try the 'capturing' training in the first two months we got her, and only with praise and pets as a reward (as at that point she was even less interested in food), so perhaps it's worth giving another shot now that she's settled in with less things she's trying to learn at once. I figure if she takes to the clicker training, then the clicker will help me to pinpoint and her to figure out exactly what she's being rewarded for too. Also, I didn't mean any offence when I referred to it as the 'lazy method' - it's just how it was referred to in Retired Racing Greyhounds for Dummies. I think the word capturing captures it much better though :)

 

I know female greyhounds in the USA are crated on top and have to jump, but I'm not sure if it's the same in South Australia where our pup is from. She really didn't seem to know how to jump when we first got her - she wouldn't even step over a large stick outside or a broomstick in the house - and her confidence increased gradually with time, rather than all of a sudden seeming like she remembered how to do it.

 

I am quite certain her reluctance to jump in the car isn't that she is too hot (it's currently winter in Australia) or tired (she doesn't seem to change if its a short or long walk). It is possible that she is sore from an old injury I guess, though it doesn't stop her leaping up banks that are over my shoulder when the mood suits her during our walks, and she only raced four times (though I know that can be enough in some cases, especially with all the training leading up to it). I also find it suspect that she jumps in very quickly to get out of the rain, and is the least responsive if there is something interesting about the place like sheep or other dogs etc. I think the bottom line is that she feels mildly uncomfortable about making the leap itself, and so without the lure of a walk ahead of her, she doesn't feel like its worth doing. She certainly doesn't try to avoid us lifting her in, she just doesn't want to jump. In fact, there are times that she's looked into the back of the car, then looked up at me and whined as if to say 'Can't you just lift me please?'

 

Neylasmom your points about saliency are something I hadn't considered, and we will definitely stop using the cue until (if ever) she is jumping consistently into the car so it doesn't lose its impact on all the other occasions we use it successfully. Do you have any suggestions for encouraging her to jump into the car without using a cue, before we just lift her? I can't imagine her deciding to just do it if she has the free lifting option available, but stranger things have happened!

 

Anyway, thanks again to everyone for taking the time to respond. Asha has appreciated all the admiration too :)

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It sounds to me like Asha has fallen on her feet to end up with you and your husband as her servants ...erm, I meant carers :hehe I am sure that all you need is time and patience.

 

I have had my "new" boy for just over four months.....and to be honest it is very reminiscent of the early months with our last Grey, she earned herself the nickname "goldfish brain" because she had no apparent trouble learning new things, she just seemed completely unable to retain what she had learned :lol

 

With Sadi, our last girl took about a year, we did have to overcome terrible fear aggression towards other dogs but with hindsight I have realised that the time I spent dealing with that by rewarding her for calmness whilst micro-managing her life to avoid allowing her to go over threshold and need to be aggressive, she secretly learned the most wonderful recall :) so you see, it might seem that she's not really taking any notice, but I bet she's learning all sorts of things without even realising.

 

Just be kind, be patient and enjoy watching her flourish. If it's any consolation I know plenty of dogs of all kinds who have received very little actual training at all and they still seem to manage to be perfectly lovely dogs.....I know a few who aren't too, but that's not going to happen to you ;)

<p>"One day I hope to be the person my dog thinks I am"Sadi's Pet Pages Sadi's Greyhound Data PageMulder1/9/95-21/3/04 Scully1/9/95-16/2/05Sadi 7/4/99 - 23/6/13 CroftviewRGT

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She is gorgeous. Just gorgeous. And, IMO, she's also just not interested in learning what her humans want her to learn. Sounds like my Annie. She does a few things, thankfully one of them being "kennel up" into the SUV, but she would rather stand and stare into space, even being tempted with the most tempting foods possible, rather than do something she doesn't want to do. She just has no interest.

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Guest DogNewbie

Congrats on your new pup! She is absolutely gorgeous!! I love the blues. Anyways, have you considered a training class? We did two with Wiley. It really helped me as he is my first dog and I didnt know what I was doing! It might be something too look into. Maybe she would be more interested if she was in a group of dogs?

 

As for the car, Wiley won't jump in either. Although, I think it hurts him. He was some arthritis in one hip and he shakes when he tries to get in the vehicle. Does your girl seem in pain when jumping? Good luck :)

Congrats on your new pup! She is absolutely gorgeous!! I love the blues. Anyways, have you considered a training class? We did two with Wiley. It really helped me as he is my first dog and I didnt know what I was doing! It might be something too look into. Maybe she would be more interested if she was in a group of dogs?

 

As for the car, Wiley won't jump in either. Although, I think it hurts him. He was some arthritis in one hip and he shakes when he tries to get in the vehicle. Does your girl seem in pain when jumping? Good luck :)

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