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Foster boy Jasper arrived knowing none of his basic commands (sit, down and stay). This came as a big surprise because he went through a program where he was supposed to have been taught at least that top 3. He's also having trouble with stairs, which he was supposed to have been taught. He takes short staircases by leaping the entire thing and freezes up on steep staircases. I've encouraged Riley to go up and down to show Jasper how it's done. I've also been moving each his paws one at a time for him and placing them on the steps to get him up. When we get to the last few steps he leaps them.

 

Any adopter will expect that he has learned these things. He could also be spoken for at any time so we've got to work fast.

 

He is smart and well-behaved. He understood from the get-go that he wasn't supposed to pee in the house and never had an accident. He learned how to get into the car and how to use the dog door just by watching Riley do it. He isn't terribly food-motivated though.

 

All of my previous hounds have either come preprogrammed with the basics, or have learned stairs by watching their friends, or I haven't felt the need to teach certain commands (Raven never really needed to sit so I never taught her). What is the best way to teach Jasper?

 

FWIW, we are on totally flat prairie so there aren't a lot of hills to teach "sit" on, which is how I would have done it. I bought a clicker so we do have that to work with.

Kristen with

Penguin (L the Penguin) Flying Penske x L Alysana

Costarring The Fabulous Felines: Squeak, Merlin, Bailey & Mystic

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Guest Greyt_dog_lover

Depending on how much he trusts you, hug-and-tuck method works very well.

 

Also, do you really have adopters that "expect" greyhounds to know basic commands? Here in Chicago we emphasize that it is the adopters way of bonding with your new hound by teaching basic obedience. We even put on a 4 week greyhound only class for basic obedience. As far as stairs, well that is not to hard as well, when walking down, I hold onto the collar with my hand looped through the collar like a suitcase. Hold the hound's head at my hip and walk down at a slow pace ensuring that I support the hound the entire way down. I do not let go of the hound until we are at the last step. To go up I do the same thing you are doing with one foot in front of the other, and I push into the hound's rump so they dont try to turn on the stairs. Since this guy is leaping the last few steps, I would put a leash on him so that you can control him up the stairs as well as down.

 

Chad

Edited by Greyt_dog_lover
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Guest CleverJason

Baron was in a foster home for six months before I adopted him, and he hadn't been taught any basic commands. I would start with down: Everytime he is about to lay down, say "down" and give him a treat. He'll get the picture after a week or two. As for sit, I taught Baron by using the down command, only I'd place my hand gently beneath his neck and hold it up until his back end hit the floor, then I rewarded him. After a day or two, I changed the word to "sit," and he's been sitting ever since.

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Yep, the adopters will expect it. Jasper went through a cell dog program where he was supposed to learn all of these things. It's one of the ways the group makes the hounds more attractive to potential adopters - they come knowing basic obedience commands. The inmates benefit by learning how to train a dog. I have no clue what happened in this case.

 

The artificial dog bed "hill" sounds like a great idea. Jasper is still a little protective of his personal space so I'm not sure hug and tuck is the best option for him. Leashing him to keep him from bounding the stairs should work well. I'll keep the clicker and a few treats on me at all times so I can catch him lying down. He does that a lot so it should be pretty easy. :lol

Kristen with

Penguin (L the Penguin) Flying Penske x L Alysana

Costarring The Fabulous Felines: Squeak, Merlin, Bailey & Mystic

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Jasper might be more protective of his personal space because of previous training methods used. Also, some hounds that go through prison programs appear to lose their training in new environments with new people. Possibly from feeling overwhelmed by too many life changes too soon. They shut down from stress overload.

 

You're right to avoid any physical force in training. Many dogs will bite if physically forced, and/or will lose trust in humans.

 

Best to set Jasper up for success by watching for him to do things naturally. Capture desired action and teach the command word + immediate yummy meat treat with praise (special toy with praise, or whatever). It's easy with "down" and "stay". "Come" and "wait" are easy to practice at meal times (best when hound is hungry and eager). I use the word "release" to release dogs from a command exercise. Be clear using Jasper's name when calling him and keep command words clear: "Jasper come". If needed, use a leash to happily guide him when working on "come" to ensure he comes upon hearing the first "come". (Don't repeat a command multiple times before dog moves. That teaches dogs they can take their sweet time or come only if they feel like it; not good in an emergency.)

 

Please be careful to not overwhelm him with training. I'd suggest waiting to teach sit until after you have more time to build Jasper's trust in you. It's not an important command for Greyhounds, and many hounds should not ever be expected to sit. That said, below is my post about teaching "sit" for hounds who don't easily respond to the treat-over-head method, or rising up from a down position:

 

"I recommend not teaching sit to any hound who has any rear leg or spinal injury/discomfort. A straight sit is not a comfortable position even for physically healthy Greyhounds, and I don't expect them to stay in a sit for any extended length of time. (Greys are built for running or lying down, but not extended straight sitting like other dogs.) I don't sweat between a side sit or a straight sit. The Greyhound's physical comfort is most important. Keep sessions short (under 3-5 mintes), fun and happy. If frustration begins, stop immediately. Try again later or the next day.

 

Method below is highly effective once hound trusts their human:

Watch for hound to walk towards their bed (or carpet) to lie down naturally. Get ready with treat in hand, and quickly move closer to the hound. When hound's rear end touches ground/bed, calmly move over to stand in front of hound to block hound into a natural sit while preventing dog from lying down. Immediately say "sit" + treat, and praise, praise, praise.
Practice periodically when the dog goes to lie down naturally, and the hound will learn "sit".

 

A clicker can be used if you want to "click" immediately and treat when the hound's rear end touches the ground (or dog bed), but just treating with food works fine in most cases." End quote.

 

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Yep, the adopters will expect it. Jasper went through a cell dog program where he was supposed to learn all of these things. It's one of the ways the group makes the hounds more attractive to potential adopters - they come knowing basic obedience commands. The inmates benefit by learning how to train a dog. I have no clue what happened in this case.

 

The artificial dog bed "hill" sounds like a great idea. Jasper is still a little protective of his personal space so I'm not sure hug and tuck is the best option for him. Leashing him to keep him from bounding the stairs should work well. I'll keep the clicker and a few treats on me at all times so I can catch him lying down. He does that a lot so it should be pretty easy. :lol

If he's "expected" to know things - and he doesn't- I'd send him back to that program.

 

There's no way I could teach sit - down - and stay. And as a foster mom - nobody's ever expected me to.

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Excellent post by 3greytjoys. Has the group been in touch with the prison program to find out more about how Jasper did while there? Does your group truly expect you to quickly teach him everything he was supposed to have learned in the program? Every dog is different, and training isn't something that can forced, especially not within a rushed time frame.

Jennifer &

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Ollie (whippet), Gracie (whippet x), & Terra (whippet) + Just Saying + Just Alice

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I think the group will be as surprised as I was. I've gotten 2 dogs of my own through that program, both of whom were beautifully trained. It could be that 3greytjoys' theory that he's thrown by the change in people and environment is the cause, or it could be that the inmate he was with just didn't teach him. If the latter is the case, they need to know so it can be addressed.

 

It's almost 900 miles round trip to take him back so that's not happening. I am game to teach him, I just wasn't sure how best to go about it. He's a smart boy and eager to please, with no physical issues that I am aware of, so I think we can pull it off. I won't push him to learn faster than he's comfortable with... whatever he learns before he finds his forever home is whatever he learns. We'll just do our best.

 

He turned a corner today... this afternoon he tried to climb into my lap. When he realized he wouldn't fit (85 lbs.) he settled for hiding his head in my armpit. :wub: If he keeps THAT up he might not be going anywhere.

Edited by GreytNut

Kristen with

Penguin (L the Penguin) Flying Penske x L Alysana

Costarring The Fabulous Felines: Squeak, Merlin, Bailey & Mystic

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I like capturing for sit and down. As he's about to lie down he'll put his butt down first. Use the clicker as his butt is going towards the floor. This should teach sit. Same for laying down, click when his chest is about to touch the floor.

For stairs I put the dogs on leash. I stand behind them and put my knee in their crotch. I use the leash to prevent them from turning. Every time I take a step up, I lift them up a step or 2 with my knee. Going down, I go down first. I grab the collar and put their head in my butt and start walking. I pretty much drag them down. Me being in front keeps them from going to fast, stops them from falling/slipping, and from getting overwhelmed because they can't see the whole flight. Every foster I've had has learned to do it on their own within 2-3 days.

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Yep, the adopters will expect it. Jasper went through a cell dog program where he was supposed to learn all of these things. It's one of the ways the group makes the hounds more attractive to potential adopters - they come knowing basic obedience commands. The inmates benefit by learning how to train a dog. I have no clue what happened in this case.

Are you sure you have the right dog? That is only a half-joking question. There have been mix-ups before during transport and distribution. Before you assume he hasn't learned anything, check his tattoos.

 

After that, well, sometimes if a dog hasn't been taught thoroughly, they will know these commands but only seem able to apply them in the place where they were taught. The classic example of this is when a dog is taken out of the house - perhaps to visit another house with his owner - and won't 'show off' his party tricks. This is because the dog only thinks that (for example) 'sit' means 'place your hind end on the ground while keeping the front of yourself upright' when the command is spoken in the large, blue room with the stripey sofa and the birdcage in the corner, and has no idea he is supposed to do the same thing everywhere.

 

But I agree with those who said that you can't rush into training with a new dog. You need to take time to bond a little with them first and gain their trust. But I definitely wouldn't use any kind of force, and 'capturing' will probably be the way to go, here.

 

If he really has been taught the basics, all you'd be doing is reminding him and reinforcing what he already knows - perhaps also teaching him that the commands he has learned are to be applied everywhere that he hears those same words spoken. :)

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Guest Greyt_dog_lover

I teach sit to every foster that I have. It usually takes about 3 days to teach. Stairs, take about the same time. All of my fosters also are taught to lay down, go upstairs, go downstairs, shake, jump into cars, wait in the car patiently when the back hatch is opened. This usually takes about 3 months to get all of these things down. Oh, and almost all of my hounds are broken leg recovery hounds. I foster only the injury rehab hounds so I get to spend a lot more time with them than our "regular" foster program which is 1 week foster.

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IMO sit is overrated for greys. They can do it but stay works just as well and is much easier to teach. Stay and wait are the two big things in my book,

:nod

 

Wait / stay is a an absolute must......it's the first thing I teach.

 

I could really care less if my pet knows how to sit.

Mine all did learn it...eventually. But it's really not a requirement here in our house.

 

Do you really think all adopters want their hounds to know these commands?!?

 

I suppose if the dog has come from a live-in program where he is supposed to learn these commands, then that's great.

But part of the bonding with their new forever family should involve the new owners taking part in the training process.

My dogs will sit for me...but not for anyone else. Even DH sometimes has a hard time getting them or sit.

 

Nixon and Ruby came to us straight from the adoption kennel...no fostering.

They new nothing and I was perfectly fine with that. I wanted them to bond to me, learn to trust me .... then we'd work on some other skills.

 

Nigel came to us as a bounce ...he had 4+ months in his previous home. And he still new nothing.

 

Nancy...Mom to Sid (Peteles Tiger), Kibo (112 Carlota Galgos).   Missing Casey, Gomer, Mona, Penelope, BillieJean, Bandit, Nixon (Starz Sammie),  Ruby (Watch Me Dash) Nigel (Nigel), and especially little Mario, waiting at the Bridge.

 

 

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You're a nice adoption group. As an adopter, I didn't expect anything from my Greyhound -- and pretty much was told not to by my group, other than she was healthy, house broken and ready for adoption. Annie could not sit nor would she wait. She still doesn't sit or go down but she does wait. She could do the short flight of steps that led from the driveway to the second level of the terrace, but she had to be taught to do the 14 steps leading to the second floor of the house.

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