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Which is worse? Dumb dog or smart dog that's stubborn?


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Our newest foster (Peaches) has a heart of gold, but could REALLY use some work on manners (lunging on leash, severing fingers with treats, darting out doors, no clue what "no" or "stay" mean). I was beginning to think she's kind of a well intentioned dim bulb, but we see that she has amazing problem solving skills where it suits her. For instance, she learned very quickly how to unlatch a gate with her nose if she thinks she's been on one side of it long enough. :o

I'm trying to decide if it's easier dealing with a not so smart dog (which I have a couple of :oops: ), or a dog who seems to have brains, but no desire to use them. We HAVE to get this leash thing under control. With my recently broken ankle, I can't be jerked all over the place. She lunged me the other day and something popped in my ankle and now I have to have it seen about again since it's very, very sore (and it was healing so well) :-? . Usually, when I've had pullers in the past, I could plant my feet firmly and not move and they got the message, so I've not had to deal with pulling dogs for very long. However, I can't really plant my feet that firmly right now to keep from getting pulled over. Despite the whole three legged thing, this dog has amazing strength.

I bought a halti thing the other day and not only did she not like it, I thought she was going to hurt herself. I don't know the nature of the abuse she was taken from, but apparently "restraining" her freaks her out. It took a long time to get her still enough to get it off of her as she was spinning, thrashing and doing alligator death rolls. Scratch that idea. Now she has a plain martingale collar. We really don't want to do any kind of aggressive training because she seems to panic and shut down if she thinks she's being "punished." She's very food motivated, but hasn't quite grasped the idea that fingers are attached to those treats. :-?


It really would be easier to deal with if we thought she was just a total moron, but the girl has smarts enough to figure out how to do things that benefit her. We're just going to have to figure out how to make that work for us, I reckon. :o

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[i]Hearing[/i] about stubborn dogs is certainly very entertaining! :lol: But it must be awfully frustrating to have to deal with. For a while Webby was pretending to be dumb (and deaf), and it was soo frustrating, because I knew that he knew what do do (and [u]could[/u] hear me too...). Luckily that was just his age. :wink:

Hope you figure out a way to get Peaches to act more civilized. :D

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I'll take a smart dog that is stubborn. It's always challenging to figure out what makes them tick, what makes them train.

I have a female Belgian Sheepdog puppy that is like that. She is very stubborn and very smart. To add insult to injury, she is very confident which adds a 3rd problem to her training process. She actually won't work for you unless you are doing something she likes to do :P

We are starting agility on Sunday to give her an outlet for all that intelligence.

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My Sheltie was unbelievably obedient but no where near as smart as Magic my German Shepherd. Magic is super intelligent yet super stubborn. I found her difficult to train I think mostly because I am such a softie and she would walk all over me, testing me and testing me and testing me! She is a dominant bitch. It took me a year to teach her to heel perfectly and I can’t think of any other way than by using a prong collar because I tried almost everything an it was the only thing that worked.
Peaches sounds like she needs a firm but not harsh and fair handler. I think you are the perfect person for her, she just needs time and someone with a lot patience to handle her. If she is intelligent and food is her motivator you have a good foundation to work with.
BTW intelligent and stubborn dogs are by far the best!
Also beware of Halti's I had one that Magic alligator death rolled in the air out of 3 times in the first week she had it before I flung the damn thing in the garbage. GLs they can't get out of easy.

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[quote name='hillside']I don't remember the exact reason why, but Haltis are a bad idea for Dobes. Sizzle! Where are you?


And oh yeah is Peaches "disabled" :roll:[/quote]
I remember reading something about that. It was an article from a Dobie rescue group and I think it's because they have bad backs or something but the article was recommending shock collars. :o
I'll see if I can dig up that info not that it is very useful.

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ok in my years of owning dogs, I have found two things. The smart ones can often be too smart for their own good, and the dumb ones are generally very laid back but slow in their training.

I dont think Peaches is dumb, or too smart. I think she's stubborn. My guess is that people have required less of her because she is disabled. "Awww, look, she only has three legs, go easy on her". what they dont seem to realize is that a three legged dog is just as able to get around as a four legged one. They quickly learn to adjust and really dont even seem to care. I dated a guy in HS who;s dog had three legs. And he was out on the farm with his dad every day, running along side the tractor. They didnt treat him any differently than the other 4 dogs, and that's the trick. She needs to be unspoiled and unstubborned. I have found with Free, who is a leash monstor, that a no-pull harness works the best.

You can get them at petco and Petsmart. It wraps around their front legs and comes together in the back under the collar. When they pull, it puts the pressure on their legs and chest, not their necks. It wont stop her in her tracks, but it will make it easier for YOU to stop and let her hang herself. It only took 3 walks to get Free to stop pulling. They still pull a little, but when you stop dead. so do they. They dont like the feel of the pressure on their front legs. You can also use it as a training tool. NO PULL and then stop dead. Free learned quite quickly this way.

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I like the more . . . limited dogs. They are often sweet and they may be slow to train but once they get something they generally are too thick to test you later - they just do it. Its like Zaphod and DOWN, took him months and months and then one day he just finally got it and he's been great about it ever since.
As for heeling tools - if the Halti makes Peaches crazy I wouldn't bother with the GL. If you aren't to concerned about people thinking your mean I might try the prong. Zaphod caused himself facial injury with the Halti but is perfectly happy to work on the prong.

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I have an extremely smart, extremely dominant, stubborn and hard-to-motivate Papillon, and a fairly smart, extremely dominant, kinda stubborn Border Collie pup, and I would say that, although I like the challenge of training the tough little buggers like Ripley, I have more patience for the slow ones. I like seeing that little 'light bulb' flash on in their brain when they get what you're trying to teach them.

personality-wise, I wouldn't trade my little firecrackers for anything. I think they are the most entertaining dogs. Buster, our not-so-smart lab, does cute stuff every once in a while, but he doesn't seem to live to make us laugh like the smarter guys do.

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I'm not ready for a prong collar :oops: . Peaches is just so.... well, sensitive (which might sound stupid, I know). Since she was taken from an abuse case (though I don't know the nature of the abuse), we've been trying to make it as easy on her as possible even if it's not so easy on us. ANY time she perceives something to be a punishment or anger or even a tug, she'll just flop right down and quiver and that's the end of that. She's a sweet girl, but she's easily intimidated.

The martingale is working pretty good and if it comes down to it, I might try a no pull harness like Court is talking about. I've seen those, but have never used one, so if I need to, I can. I won't be trying another face halter, I don't care the brand :-? ... I have never seen a dog freak out so bad in my life :o . I just knew she was going to get hurt and we weren't even doing anything... it was just on her.

I found out that Peaches has a perfect heel OFF lead :o . Someone has spent some time with her somewhere, or she's just faster than I thought, but off lead, she'll stay right by my side and stop and sit if I stop. So why she pulls like crazy on a leash is beyond me, but she is improving.

The snack grabbing is improving as well. We've been doing a lot of one on one, so it's much easier for her not to get excited when there are other dogs looming nearby. The open hand thing works well, thanks. :)

We're doing a little clicker stuff with her, too, and she's responding to it (thanks, newf, for the resources). We're just trying to figure out what makes her "click" (no pun intended). She's smart as can be... she just has to feel comfortable with you.

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if she heels perfectly off lead, and I hate to say this, maybe she was actually punished with a lead. or even a halti of sorts. Who knows? as long as she is getting better, I;m sure you're right. It's just a trust thing.

glad to hear she's doing better.

:angel:

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Since all i have are smart dogs, cant help ya much with the dumb part. I do have a stubborn smart dog. He sure can be a pain, but he also helps me with cleaning the house. Yes, he picks up things on the floor and brings them to me. Things that are not suppose to be on the floor. He also dusts the end tables with this tail :lol: He brings me my slippers when i say "my feet are cold". He finds the remote for me THANK GOD!
Im ALWAYS LOSING IT! :roll:
I would also recommend the pinch collar. I have a halti and a pinch and the pinch collar works excellent! I dont use it all the time. Only when we walk on trails where stupid people let there dogs loose, ignoring the "all dogs must be leashed" sign!
Hope your ankle is ok :wink:

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