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fiara
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Okay,so my 11 month husky knows a few commands. 'Sit' 'lie down' 'come' and 'paw' are the main ones and we are working on 'leave it' and 'stay'. The consistency isn't 100%. Today out on our walk i saw he was running towards broken glass so i used his recall command, nothing. Absolutely nothing. I tried multiple times during our walk but he would not listen. He would only sit if i kept him on the short lead and did not allow him to move until he sat, this took about a full 5 minutes each time. I also find myself repeating commands but i read somewhere that this shouldn't be done, what are you supposed to do when they don't comply, isnt moving on worse than repeating? I am willing to spend time to strengthen these commands but I dont know where to start. The first thing i want to do is build a strong recall that is near 100% (around 50% inside and 0% outside at the moment). The only times he will do a command instantly is if he knows I have a treat, how do i wean him off of these once he knows the command?

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50% is pretty good for the breed. At 11 months old he is still a puppy, a teen at that. It sounds like you are working with him off leash. I suggest stopping that and starting at basic long line work for the next two years. Realistically, you may NEVER have a dog that can reliably be off leash.

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He knows the commands, but he's now getting to the age where HE starts to decide whether to respond to them.

This is a VERY husky thing and is why you can never trust a husky offlead. from now on you'll find that everything from other people to other dogs to leaves blowing in the wind and errant crisp packets are far more important than your commands.

this is why we always say 

Offlead should ALWAYS be in a fully secure area.

you can get 50 - 100 foot training leads to give them some semblance of "Freedom" but still give YOU some control.

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Looks like Nix and Jaimie got you covered on the training tips. So I'll just say this: be aware that this breed is not like any other. There is good chance that he will never sit whenever you say "sit", or come back when called. They're highly independent and almost too smart for their own good. They're unlikely to do things just because you tell them to. Unless there's a very good (edible) reason why!

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Oh dear, and no I am working on lead but I dont want to have to forcefully pull him back to me. So there's no way of increasing the consistency of commands with him?

Thanks for the replies, anyone have any insight of what to do if he doesn't obey the first time, since you're not meant to repeat?

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Can you explain why you believe you're not allowed to repeat the command? With mine, I keep an eye on whether or not he's listening. If he's obviously not focused then I'll happily repeat myself. Why not? He didn't hear the first one anyway. If he's listening and focused but not doing what I say, his understanding of the command is off and must be re-worked from scratch. If he's listening but obviously not in the mood to do tricks... Well, I have homework anyway LOL

I'm not saying I guarantee 100% your dog will never have flawless consistency in performing commands. I just want you to know where to set your expectations because you can't change a breed trait :) that being said each individual is different. If you want him to pay more attention outdoors, though, carry high-value treats or his favorite squeaky toy (if he's toy-motivated). 

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In the house, with a treat in hand, Solo responds to hand signals. Outside ON lead Solo is deaf, blind and totally unresponsive if what he has seen is more important which it invariably is, he's 5 (ish) and been here 3 yrs and I still find myself arguing with him.  (Wouldn't change him though its what makes him him) so put on a long lead and enjoy xxx

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Just now, mydiamond said:

Can you explain why you believe you're not allowed to repeat the command? With mine, I keep an eye on whether or not he's listening. If he's obviously not focused then I'll happily repeat myself. Why not? He didn't hear the first one anyway. If he's listening and focused but not doing what I say, his understanding of the command is off and must be re-worked from scratch. If he's listening but obviously not in the mood to do tricks... Well, I have homework anyway LOL

I'm not saying I guarantee 100% your dog will never have flawless consistency in performing commands. I just want you to know where to set your expectations because you can't change a breed trait :) that being said each individual is different. If you want him to pay more attention outdoors, though, carry high-value treats or his favorite squeaky toy (if he's toy-motivated). 

Patricia McConnell covers this in a whole chapter of The Other End of the Leash. If you repeat the command you basically reward for not doing said command. It also goes into the canine understanding of sounds and commands. Highly recommend!

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I agree that you really shouldn't repeat commands.  If you have to, it means that you are progressing too fast in the level of distraction or you need a higher reward or both.  It is said you should get the desired response 9 out of every 10 times you ask for a behavior before you change anything (location, level of reward, etc).  If you don't get the response at that level, you need to go back to the previously successful level and repeat again.  Unless you can get a recall in your house 9 out of 10 times you shouldn't even try it in your backyard or elsewhere as you will essentially be setting your pup up to fail.

You will need to use some level of treats forever during training and to reinforce learned behaviors.  At some point you will be able to decrease the frequency of treats (ex. he gets a treat every third time you ask for a behavior instead of every time).  But he will get one often enough that it is worth his while to do what you are asking, just in case there is a treat.

Husky's are too smart.  If you teach him to sit (using treats of course), then you keep asking him to sit and he never gets anything for it, he will most likely stop sitting for you, because "what's the point" (unlike a border collie, who will sit just to please you, lol).  You will have to continue to train and occasionally reward him for sitting. 

Also, when training recall, you should be using the highest level of food reward there is for your dog.  There should be nothing more important to the dog then getting back to you.

 

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