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I am both frustrated and frightened with my Trixie's attitude and behavior recently.  I think it is an adolescence thing and that she is challenging our authority (especially mine!).  Prime example:  this morning we took her to walk at her favorite place which is at some huge, fenced meadows. Because it is enclosed, we can let her off her leash and let her run, and often we meet other dogs with their parents there so she gets to play with them. She has a blast! In the past, we've been able to let her out the gate at the end of our walk and open the door of our car which is parked right in front.  She jumps in and away we go.  Today she decided that she didn't want to jump in...danced around in front of me barking just out of reach, darted off when I would advance, ran out into the street in front of a car (fortunately the driver saw her coming, so she didn't get hit).  I had my husband start driving off without us, but she didn't care.  I tried getting in the vehicle with my husband and closing the door - she came up to the door, but when I opened it she was off again.  This all went on for 15 minutes or so before I was finally able to catch her, and I was so angry at her by then that I honestly felt like striking her.  I know this wouldn't have helped, mind you, but that is how I felt.  I know it is a training issue, but I'm not exactly sure how to go about solving this.  She exhibits the same behavior at home when I get ready to put her leash on her to take her for her walk.  When she won't come and does the dancing, barking thing I have left her behind a couple of times recently.  My husband says she stands at the window by the front door and cries as I go off down the street, but she still carries on the next time.   Has anyone had anything similar, and if so, what did you do? 

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Comment by carol on December 28, 2013 at 12:56pm
I can so relate! Glad to hear we are not the only ones with the recall issue. We recently moved from the country with lots of room to run to a city lot and have has to keep McCoy on a leash. He has gotten used to it but on occasion he has escaped out the front door and plays the bouncing, barking game just out of my reach. One thing he likes is tug I war with the leash and recently ii was able to grab him when he caught the leash in his mouth. He had gotten his paw caught in the front loop/ handle of the leash and I was able to catch him. He was out in his kennel for a time out. We have learned to keep him on a leash, the problem is the off leash park which he loves but causes us great frustration to get him back to the vehicle. Personally I refuse to go back at this time as it is too aggravating. Once the snow is gone we will train again with the 30ft leash and recall. Anyways I wish I could go back to the beginning g puppy stage and train again when he was smaller, he is now 22mos and 80lb. But he is well loved, also I've learned to use a gentle leader on his nose for walks, it is a life saver bc he gets so excited around other dogs. :)
Comment by Jo Bill on November 30, 2013 at 8:36pm

Gizmo acts like that when he has something he knows he's not supposed to ... stolen socks, gloves, shoes, etc ... It took some doing, but I found that if I don't chase him and stand very tall with my hands on my hips, and in my most stern, low voice COMMAND him to SIT, I can usually get what I want.  He has been taught that when he is "naughty" and jumps on me when it's time to quit playing and go inside I make him sit and stay.  I go inside and then allow him to come ... or not.  From there I am able to use the SIT command for almost anything.  Like I said, it takes some time, but it works for us ... and we ALL know what a MONSTER he used to be!  LOL

Comment by Beverly and Eli on November 27, 2013 at 6:12pm

So understand this one. Until we got Chesney, we had dogs off leash all the time. No fencing, we'd let them out, they'd stay in the yard and sit by the door to come in. NOT THESE TWO. one goes anywhere off leash for safety's sake. In the spring we will invest in fencing to give them running space, but for now, it's just the rule. They sure can get frustrating and I perfectly understand. I really have to take deep breaths and calm myself when they are misbehaving, otherwise I'm ineffective. Good luck. Also...I do think it's a teenage thing.

Comment by Pedro & Alessandra on November 27, 2013 at 5:24pm

One more suggestion Debbie, maybe alternate giving her treats with lots of praise and lovin'. In my experience and with Pedro also being highly treat motivated, I can think of times (at the off leash dog park) when I ran out treats and I needed him to come to me, a very enthusiastic call and lots of lovin' would definitely get his attention. Hope her paw heals quickly, loving paws!

Comment by Debbie & Trixie on November 27, 2013 at 4:05pm

I am pretty sure you are right - she thinks she needs to work a little harder to get US completely trained!  To her it IS a big game, but we need to get her to respect us enough to at least come when called!  I was just working with her this morning a bit, and she does well at home - no distraction and the hope of her favorite treats!  She had to have a small procedure on her paw pad this morning, and the vet said not to let her run much for a couple of days, so we will have to save any hard core work until Friday I guess.  I've been randomly calling her from wherever I am in the house, and when she comes I have her sit and then treat her.  This may at least get her to thinking that coming to Mom might just be a good idea!

Comment by DonMarie & Picco on November 27, 2013 at 3:52pm

I haven't had this happen yet and hope it won't. I try to put trust in Picco and he hasn't given any reason not to. He can be loose near the house only because it's on a dead end and away from any traffic and it's only to get in/out of car or fetch the paper. He's loose at the park playing ball but I'm constantly on alert of anything that might attract his attention but he's so focused on his ball playing.   I'm sure starting over with the basics is good but there could always be the potential for "disobedience". Mostly (I think) they just think its a game and are having too much fun to tune into us and realize we are frantic.  Wish you all the luck with Trixie.

Comment by Lois - Izzi on November 27, 2013 at 3:47pm

you are on the correct track...   if all else fails start over..  somewhere along the line she has the idea basic training was for her humans..    lol     Another thought to take in is that this continual puppy state is shared by the Irish Setter...  Wonderful family dog also..    Don't take it personally, Izzi was in the trash this week.    My problem is that I allowed the table napkins to replace 'stuffies' without correction in the past two weeks...    Yesterday she took advantage...      Silly dog.   

Comment by Debbie & Trixie on November 27, 2013 at 8:32am

Jan, we are already in class at the moment, but advanced, not basic obedience.  I am thinking that after graduation (next week if she passes the test) we may have to sign back up for basic again!  Anyway...I have a 30' lead that I plan to start using immediately for the recall training, and have started insisting on some "sits", "downs", and "waits" before she receives her food or anything else she wants.  I think she has the idea that she is the boss, not me!  Thanks to all for the advice and encouragement!

Comment by Jan, Lily & Nessy on November 27, 2013 at 1:14am

My best suggestion - go back to basic obedience classes. )I always suggest this when the teenage dog forgets its training).  And also work on recall training with a long leash (20 - 50 foot leash).  Do not allow the dog off leash until you are certain they will come when called - this can take months of long-leash training, but so worth it...

Good luck! ;)

Comment by Catherine & Jasper on November 26, 2013 at 10:05pm
Sorry you are so frustrated!! But know that Trixie is being a 'bratty teenager" and it's part of her growing up. She will probably continue to push her boundaries for a while yet. Be firm, consistent, and patient with her. It will pay off!! I give Jasper a 'time out' when he repeatedly refuses to obey commands he knows very well. I put his leash on, hook the leash around a door handle and close the door so he can't pull the leash off. Then I go just out of his sight. He hates being separated from me! I leave him alone for just a minute or two, then go back, unleash him, and ask him to do the command he just refused. He almost always obeys immediately and tends to be on his best behavior afterwards. For outside, I wouldn't let her be off leash at all yet. She is too young. Have you taught her a whistle recall?? I think it is the best option for any dog who gets loose outside. Hang in will get better! We've all been there!!

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