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Old 10-29-2009, 07:01 AM   #1
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Love Command training (and stairs) for adult yorkie

Hello, Lolli and I are just getting acquainted with each other. I've had her for about 2 days now and she seems to be settling in just fine!

I do have a couple questions about training with her to learn commands, I have read and people have told me that adult dogs are a bit more fickle to train than say puppies.

Shes 7 years old and I don't believe she ever had known any commands before, I do know her previous owner did not teach her any. She responds to "Lolli come" about 65% of the time, but thats it. She doesn't know sit or stay, either. She seems to respond a good bit to 'No', though.

I'd just like to know if anyone might know some tips that are more adult-dog specific. I know about using treats and an annoying noise for distracting from excessive barking but that's about all I know. What do you do when you're training with her and she doesn't respond?

Also, is there any way to ease her mind of using stairs? She seems to get really confused and unsure. I've tried putting her up all the stairs with her paws but she still doesn't seem to want to try on her own. We haven't even begun going down the stairs yet, I've just been carrying her until she settles in here a bit more.
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Old 10-29-2009, 07:59 AM   #2
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I'm not really sure how to train adult dogs, but my Riley is almost a year old and we just kinda started training her. Yeah, I know... took me forever. We let our little girl get away with murder. So we've been having a bit harder of a time training her versus our 9 week old Sheltie. Hopefully, these will help a bit. (Keep in mind that I read these out of a Dog Obedience book and everyone has different methods of dog training.)

Sit- Hold a treat over their nose and slowly push the treat back so they will kinda just 'fall' into the sit position. Do this while saying 'sit' and reward them when they do just kinda fall on their butt. If they can jump up to reach the treat, you're holding it too high over their head. It should be just above the nose. I put mine so close to where they can lick it. Seems to grab their attention more. Okay, so my Sheltie does this, but Riley doesn't. No matter how close I get to Riley's nose, she still jumps up or just backs up to get it. So, I just kinda put my hand on her butt and gently pushed her down while saying 'sit'. I only had to do that a couple of times. She got the idea real quickly.


Lay down- Get your dog into the 'sit' position, then take a treat and put it on the ground, in front of their legs and slowly move the treat towards you. Do this while saying 'Lay down' or 'Lay' or 'Down'... which ever you use. The same idea applies... the will just kinda plop down into the 'lay' position. Again, my Sheltie does this but my yorkie doesn't. I find I have to kind of force her into a 'lay' position. She really wasn't happy about it at first, but now there is hardly any struggle. We haven't really got this one down yet, but we're working on it.



I know people say 'only teach the dog one trick at a time', but I found when I was teaching them to 'sit', they would just sit automatically for their treat. So I had to do something else. The main one I'm teaching is sit. I do it with treats most of the time, but I do it without treats and just praise a few times as well. (Just so they won't expect it. They always expect to do something when I bring out the treats. )


Those are the two commands almost everyone starts with. Just remember... treats can make a dog do almost anything.


As for the stair thing. I think I would just try working on the 'come' command with some treats and then taking it one stair at a time. Saying 'come' and then forking over a treat for every step they do.

And the not responding thing. You just really have to keep her attentions with things she likes.


Good luck! I hope every thing goes well with little frustration.
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Old 10-29-2009, 10:35 AM   #3
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Thanks MommyLovesRiley, I have read those techniques in books, too. I just am not sure what do you do when they just blatantly do not respond. She tends not to, but it's only been 2 days. But I just have been giving up after an amount of time and try again later. So I'm hoping she'll get it eventually. I'm kind of assuming she's taking a little longer to really 'respond' at all to training because she's still settling in here.

As far as stairs, we tried today with the harness and leash and she seems to get it better that way because gently tugging on the leash gets her to understand better that you want her to come up. She didn't get all the way yet but we're getting there!
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Old 10-29-2009, 10:41 AM   #4
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Well maybe she is getting used to her surroundings.
Riley, kind of, has the same problem though. I can't get her to keep focusing on me. So, I try to get her to focus on the treat. I take the treat and put it to her nose and then put it to mine. So, technically she's focused on the treat but she's looking where she's supposed to be.


Just keep working with her I'm sure she'll get the hang of everything.
As a fellow Lolly (different spelling, but it's been a family nickname for me since I was little), I wish you both the best of luck.
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Old 10-29-2009, 02:38 PM   #5
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Huggsss Lolly, I really appreciate your input and everything. I hope to see more of you around here

Maybe I should get into crocheting again for the winter months Just a random thought, haha. Oops off topic.

Well I worked with her a bit on 'sit' today, she doesn't seem to get it quite yet and I have been pushing her butt down and she does sit then. And also I praise her when I notice her sitting on her own but only when I see her just then doing it as she might not understand if shes sitting for a bit and I then praise her. We'll see how this goes!
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Old 10-29-2009, 02:45 PM   #6
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Haha. No problem!

Ya know... I just had that thought the other day. ...About starting to crochet again. Haha. Maybe we can make something that will keep the furrbutts warm. I think I might just do a big blanket. Seems less complicated and she can come cuddle up with me... seeing as how she doesn't like clothes a whole lot. Haha.



Yeah, like I said it took Riley a bit before she would sit on her own. I still have to push her butt down every now and again... but it's coming along. Once again, good luck!
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Old 10-29-2009, 07:29 PM   #7
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I tried working with her a bit more with 'sit', but she has yet to seem to understand that 'sit' means butt-on-ground. I say it once and wait a few seconds and when she doesn't respond in any way, I will say it again while pushing her butt down til she sits. Then say 'Yay good sit!'

Is there any way I can improve this or am I doing it ok?
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Old 10-29-2009, 07:40 PM   #8
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I'm going to dog obedience class tomorrow, first lesson my boy already knows sit and down, "come" is abit of a mission, he'll be one next month and the stairs are no worries as I have stairs at home and work, but you could try tempting treats on the stairs
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Old 10-29-2009, 07:54 PM   #9
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Penny and I go to our second class tomorrow and I am supposed to have the "sit", "down" and loose leash walking down. Ha! I, or rather Penny, has the "sit" command down as long as I am in a chair and not on the floor with her.

She absolutely will not lay down for me. And loose leash walking is a complete joke! LOL

The trainer said that for those little dogs that don't have to lay down to get the treat after the sit position, to go to the bathroom with about 20 treats and shut door.

Once the dog gets bored and lays down, say "down" and throw them a treat that makes them get up to get the treat. Keep doing this and she says eventually they will connect the "down" command to them laying down.

Well, not today, but maybe some day. By about the 14th time, she realized that I had more treats and just wanted to dig the treats out of my hand instead of laying back down. She is too smart for this mama.
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Old 10-29-2009, 10:19 PM   #10
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Default Command training

I don't know if this will help or not, but I started Onegus at 11 wks, using frozen peas as a training aid because we couldn't find any small enough treats. Only took 2 peas for him to understand that if he sat he got one. (BTW, he will be 2 in Dec and still automatically sits everytime we go near the freezer, lol). Down was just a natural progression from sit because we had to do something since he was already sitting. Now we are working on "please" which is a modified down with his butt up. He won't do it for a regular treat, but works everytime with peas. He also is beginning to get up on his hind feet for the peas. He got "come" fairly easily. Stay is inconsistant. He is always watching everything going on around him so keeping his attention is my focus right now. We are using a clicker to get it. He comes running for the clicker and will look at me when he hears it, no matter what else is going on around him or where he is in the house. Even outside with squirls, birds and leaves blowing by him. It might be worth trying. They aren't expensive and work better then a noisy can shaken at them. We live in the county on 3 acres so there are too many distractions and dangers to attempt walking him dragging his leash, but I use the clicker when he gets too far from me or pulls and it brings him back where he should be. As for the stairs.....we have never had a problem with him going up from the first time he was told "up" at the bottom of the steps. However, he will not even attempt going down. Kind of a mixed blessing. He has to be carried from one level of the house to the other going down, but if someone accidently lets him out the door onto the porch, we don't have to worry about him running off either. He has on occassion "accidently" jumped up onto the couch or our laps but I don't think he KNOWS he can do it. He does jump down off the couch or laps though. I think I will wait until he figures it out on his own, or is more consistant with his attention outside before we work on going down steps.
I will say, once he gets the idea of something, he doesn't loose it and the transition from peas to praise is fast and easy. He is a real people pleaser and gets almost as happy about the good boys as the peas.
The funniest thing he does is get our attention, then turn around and back his butt toward us if he wants to be picked up. The only thing we can figure is that since he is so small, it is less "scary" for him not to have to see the "giants" reach for him.
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Old 10-30-2009, 06:29 AM   #11
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Haha OnegusMom, that sounds so cute. Well, some people say their doggies get some commands with treats down right away. So far I've probably tried 'sit' with having to push her butt down because she still doesn't seem to get it, about 10 times maybe in one day. I'm not in a hurry or anything, but it does seem odd that other peoples dogs get it way faster than my little girl seems to be getting it.

Is it maybe just her age that she might be taking longer?
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Old 10-30-2009, 07:37 PM   #12
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Default Commands training

Onegus is the most fun animal we have ever had, but I guess I don't need to say that to other Yorkie Lovers, do I?
When I work with Onegus I get right down on the floor, sitting in front of him. ( Like I said, we must look like giants to them, lol) Regular doggie treats just don't work for training him. He sees them as just another source of food, I guess. The peas are "special" and in order to get one or two he has to pay attention to me, look at me and do as I ask, or no peas. I don't push him. If he doesn't do something in 5 or 6 tries, I close up the baggie of peas, get up and start to walk away. Lots of times, I will look down and he is doing exactly what I asked him to do because he knows the peas are leaving. Stubborn little devil. When he does that I just give tons of happy praise, get back down on the floor and give him a pea and try a few more times. I know it sounds silly, but it works, and believe me, peas are lots cheaper, better for the furballs and if all else fails, you have peas for supper. I even went so far as to make home made doggie cookies and he loves them, goes goofy when he sees the cookie jar, but will not follow commands for them. I just take a few peas out of the freezer at a time and put them in a snack baggie in the fridge to use for training. If we need more, he will take them frozen, no difference to him. A pea is a pea. I don't know if it's her age, or just the fact that no one ever expected anything from her except love and cutsies. You just have to find an aid that triggers the "pleaser" response in her. Dried banana chips, carrot slivers, little bites of raw broccoli etc. might work. STAY AWAY from raisins, onions chocolate.....they will make her terribly sick if not kill her. Try making a game out of it, like you are playing with her, not expecting anything from her. Sit is usually the first command we teach, but maybe even hiding a treat under a wash cloth or something and cheering when she finds it will gear her up. A start is a start, even if it's out of order, lol. 2 isn't really very old. Onegus will be 2 in Dec and we learn new things every day.
Good luck and let me know how she does.
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Old 10-30-2009, 08:15 PM   #13
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It could just be because Lolli is a bit older that it's taking her awhile. Just keep practicing with her. She'll get it soon enough.

Just make sure she likes the treats you are giving her. You could try getting her more excited about the treat first. I just give them to Jasper and Riley randomly so they get more excited about them during practice. If she isn't too terribly excited about them try different treats. There's bound to be one that she loves. Riley is still really weird about treats. She doesn't like them too much. So, I give her baked chicken a lot. She really seems to like Pupperoni and Bully Sticks (although Bully Sticks take forever to chew).

Anywho, just keep up what your doing. Sounds like your doing fine. Just remember to put the treat over her nose and push the treat back (going over her head).


(On another note... I really recommend getting some Bully Stick. All four of my animals go nuts for them. Even the cats. In fact, my fiance tried them once (he can be a bit of a weird one. ) and he said they taste like really chewy beef jerky.)
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Old 10-31-2009, 10:18 AM   #14
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A WONDERFUL resource I've found is the website of YouTube videos by a dog trainer who goes by KikoPup. She has oodles and oodles of videos that show how to train a dog using positive, loving treatment. I started clicker training with Sophie because of the KikoPup videos, and it's going great so far! PetSmart sells clickers for around $2, so you could pick one up and try clicker training with your new furbaby. Here's a link to KikoPup's site

YouTube - kikopup's Channel
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Old 10-31-2009, 10:30 AM   #15
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So far the stair training has been going great. I got her to come up and down today without actually having a treat but using positive praise and pets.

She did a good sit on her own waiting for the treat but I think it was more natural than responding to me but I praised her with 'good sit, good lolli' I hope this is good!
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