Training ideas please

(17 Posts)
Princesspeach1980 Wed 04-May-16 14:32:17

I have a 9 months chi X jrt, he's adorable and really well behaved, but not very bright when it comes to learning commands like sit, stay etc. I'm having problems finding a way of getting out of the door to go out without him trying to run out after me. He doesn't run away, just tries to come with me.

Because he's so tiny, I can't just block him as I go out, as he weasels through the tiniest gap. I'm scared of catching him in the door. I used to be able to throw a treat in his bed and he would happily go and eat the treat as I left, but this doesn't work any more. The treat will still be there when I get home (when he wolfs it down as soon as I come in).

I'm resorting to picking him up, mostly closing the door and posting him through the gap, then shutting the door quickly, not the best solution obviously.

Any suggestions how to work on this one? It's been a long time since I had a puppy to train, and the last one was a super intelligent gsd who got things straight away. Not used to a slightly dim (but cute) tiny dog grin

pigsDOfly Wed 04-May-16 15:06:51

I've got a treat ball that I throw to my dog - not as small as yours but also small breed - as I leave the house and she's so taken up with it that she doesn't care about anything else.

I put in a small handful of Royal Canin dry puppy food, kept purely for this purpose, and she has to push the ball with her nose to get the food to fall out.

You have to get one that's fairly light, some of them are very heavy. My dog's is made by Trixy and is made of a material that looks like rubber. They come in two sizes, the big one is huge, well it would be to my dog.

You have to show the dog what to do before you start leaving him with the ball. But my dog loves it and behaves as if she can't wait for me to leave when she knows I'm about to throw it for her.

MiddleClassProblem Wed 04-May-16 15:14:16

When I used to have to leave puppy kennels at work I would through a small handful of kibble down to give me enough time to make a quick exit. Long term I would teach a stay command bur another option could be a baby gate. You can get extending ones for a wider hall but you can pop him over if he follows and also get in without knocking him with the door

Princesspeach1980 Wed 04-May-16 15:29:37

I think he's just not that motivated by food unfortunately, it doesn't catch his attention enough. Maybe I need to try again teaching Stay but that was a disaster at puppy class. His recall is great because he wants to come to me, but getting him to stay while I stepped away just never happened.

Baby gate would be a great idea, but annoyingly the layout of our hallway doesn't allow anywhere to put one unless I restrict him to one room, and that seems a shame when he's so good in the house.

MiddleClassProblem Wed 04-May-16 15:39:08

What about training with toys or praise? Anything there that works? Sometimes puppy classes they find it hard to focus or some trainers aren't as flexible so methods do t cover dogs that don't do it their method

StuRedman Wed 04-May-16 15:42:38

We crated our chi x jrt for the first year and a bit, she was happy to stay in there while we went out. She's now happy at 16months to stay in the kitchen while I leave her. Might be worth a go?

I have to say she is also rubbish at commands. I'm sure she understands but chooses to ignore me grin

Princesspeach1980 Wed 04-May-16 17:29:21

I suspect there's an element of that too Stu, I think he's just pretending he doesn't understand grin. We do have a crate but he hates it. I could work on that but he has such a lovely time laid in the sun spot in the lounge, that it seems a shame to restrict him.

Puppy class definitely didn't do it for him at all, but maybe I need to carry on working on the stay. I could use his favourite rag toy and see if that motivates him

fuzzyllama Wed 04-May-16 17:32:16

What about a Kong smeared inside with something tasty? We use peanut butter in ours, maybe more interesting for him than a regular treat.

georgedawes Wed 04-May-16 18:15:32

Is he not interested at all in food? I give a tasty chew like a pig snout or pizzle (lovely!) and my dog is desperate for me to go!

Princesspeach1980 Wed 04-May-16 18:24:25

He loves pigs ears, but he would choose following me over any food at all. I think he's just so tiny that he doesn't have much of an appetite. Same problem at puppy class, he would take tiny treats for a while, but would lose interest well before the end of the class.

parrotonmyshoulder Wed 04-May-16 18:25:01

Have you tried clicker training? Lots of good YouTube videos. The idea is to teach the dog what you want him to do - so in your situation, a sit command as you left through the door would be ideal. Mine is trained to 'go to bed' when the doorbell rings and waits there until he is allowed to get out. That's useful!

Princesspeach1980 Wed 04-May-16 19:29:33

No, haven't tried a clicker. That's a fab idea. smile

MiddleClassProblem Wed 04-May-16 20:16:10

Also clicker training is really fun because it's like pressing the top of a jar repeatedly. I'm that kind of grown upblush

Princesspeach1980 Wed 04-May-16 20:28:22

Ha ha, I do that too! Maybe I could just play with the clicker on my own grin

Rubberduckies Mon 16-May-16 08:50:13

I second clicker training it's a marvellous thing! Try using a towel/blanket or mat for him to target- then you can be very specific to train him to 'sit on the mat for 10 seconds even if I jump up and down, sing alleluia or go through the door without you'

You can start having the towel unfolded so it's big and then click and treat every time he accidentally steps on it. Eventually he'll start running over to it and you can then only click for sits or downs on it. Then you can start to fold it up to be smaller (I've even seen a video with a post it for sitting on which got smaller and smaller) and then start adding time distance and distractions. Remember each time you make one part harder to limit difficulty in other parts and ramp up the types of treat to make it worth it for the dog smile (ie when the distraction is you going through the door normal kibble won't cut it, try hot (smells better) roast chicken/cat food/liver cake)

Rubberduckies Mon 16-May-16 08:52:10

If he loses interest/gets full quickly do lots of short 2-3min sessions over a day. Always finish when he's still enjoying it and wanting more.

Rubberduckies Mon 16-May-16 08:53:21

Orrrr use his daily food ration for treats? So he gets his breakfast chucked a piece at a time for sitting on the other side of the door from you?

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