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Old 08-15-2011, 05:06 PM   #1
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Question Temp Adolescent Memory Loss

Just as a general discussion, and by no means an excuse for bad behaviors... But doesn't it seem like dogs (both male and female/fixed and unfixed) go through a stage or three in their youth where even if one is diligent in training they suddenly seem to forget everything and it all unravels temporarily to a degree? If so, what age did you witness it at? What portions of their training did they seem to lose, and for how long? How did you get it back?

Myself and several others have been discussing this in relation to our own and other dogs we have experienced. Jokingly we have called it the 'brain-dead stage'. I'm curious to hear others experiences here from all levels.
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Old 08-15-2011, 05:22 PM   #2
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Since you are not speaking personally I can't even begin to answer. Personally I would say about 16. So that would be 1 1/2 dog years.
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Old 08-15-2011, 05:41 PM   #3
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Draco Iam sure it does happen! But I believe it might depend on how intense the training is on certain commands or it could be as dogs get older they will push the boundarys further to keep you on your toes. In my book training or top up training should never stop remiders are important to keep a dog good Nipper does try very hard at times with me ( She gets away with thing a lot more with my friend than me and that annoys me!!) but I think she realises she ain't going to get any where with me by playing up etc and gives up sooner than later! Interesting debate Draco ATB
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Old 08-15-2011, 06:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Draco View Post
Just as a general discussion, and by no means an excuse for bad behaviors... But doesn't it seem like dogs (both male and female/fixed and unfixed) go through a stage or three in their youth where even if one is diligent in training they suddenly seem to forget everything and it all unravels temporarily to a degree? If so, what age did you witness it at? What portions of their training did they seem to lose, and for how long? How did you get it back?

Myself and several others have been discussing this in relation to our own and other dogs we have experienced. Jokingly we have called it the 'brain-dead stage'. I'm curious to hear others experiences here from all levels.
I'm not so sure that it's a stage of 'forget everything' as it is a period where they try to spread their wings and fly independant of us. Kinda like a teenager and that's just about the time it most often happens...at that stage from about 12-14 months to 2 and a bit.

All of a sudden a dog that wouldn't think of snitching something from the counter discovers that he can reach things if no one is looking. Waiting for you to go through the door first..heck no, I'm a big boy now, I can go by myself.

And then there's the times that they think they're smarter than we are...

The smarter the dog, the more thinking they put into this whole thing as well!!

I never saw 'brain dead' in any of my three collies...I saw some awfully inventive tricks though...and not the ones I had taught...

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Old 08-15-2011, 06:49 PM   #5
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I think it has less to do with age and more to do with learning, generally. I've seen a number of foster Greys regress on their training, as full adults, ages 2-5. When it happens, I just started over from scratch on that behavior. It's like one day, they become completely clueless about a thing.
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Old 08-15-2011, 06:52 PM   #6
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LOL! That's kind of what I'm referring to, Kenzie'smom. That kind of thing, a dog that's typically really sharply obedient suddenly becomes less reliable for no apparent reason as training has not stopped or slackened in anyway.

And I actually am speaking from a little experience here as Ion's precision has gotten a little looser... rather acutely. And I haven't let him 'get away' with it. I like the 'spreading wings' description as I think it really is at the heart of what is going on at any age, more or less.
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Old 08-15-2011, 07:40 PM   #7
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Ion's experimenting to see what happens when he tries to do it his way, tis all!!

They're very thoughtful dogs, as you saw when he figured out how to get the treats out of that toy. Sometimes that thinking is used in ways we don't always appreciate...

MacKenzie went from having a reliable recall to ignoring me, wouldn't even look up, let alone return. Then as an excuse as to why he was doing it, he had to have another shot at a tree base before coming back with a 'I had to have another pee Mom, what's your problem?' attitude.

Still does it sometimes, the brat!!

He rewrote some of the rules on games we played as well...suddenly retrieve became more of a 'grab the stick and run around like a silly fool'!!..

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Old 08-15-2011, 09:50 PM   #8
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Oh yeah, he IS a thinking Collie. And I taught him how to do that, alright. I figure with persistence in making him do it right he will eventually get back to the precision dog that I was training before. I have known many who have had these types of issues before. Ion's recall used to be rock solid... now it's like you described MacKenzie's, "Be there in a moment..." I am not allowing that to be a 'correct' recall, but he seems to persist in trying his way.
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Old 08-16-2011, 09:31 AM   #9
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I thought it was just my dog that had this issue. Harley will be 3 in October. I'd say when he was around 2, he decided that certain commands no longer applied to him. Like the words "Harley, come." My neighbors out back have 4 dogs. 3 pugs and one bulldog. All 4 love to bark at the fence at my dogs, and of course Harley loves to bark back. So I usually go out on the back deck, and call Harley in. He would turn and look at me. He knew what I was saying, but would turn back and start barking again. So I had to get my nasty on, and developed the phrase, "let's go now!" The most annoying part of this phase was, the "look" he gave me. He would stop barking, turn and look at me as if to say, so sorry, I'm not coming. And then turn around and start barking at the dogs again. It made me nuts.

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Old 08-16-2011, 11:27 AM   #10
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The training method I'm using involves a pop to the leash as a correction. I was told never to say a command twice in a row but instead pop the leash and say no and then repeat the command. I can use other vocal inflections without popping the leash if I want to, to express my displeasure at my dog's naughtiness. I also us a little sarcasm to say"thankyou" if he obeys the command grudgingly. So if he is out in the yard off leash and I want him to come in because I'm getting chewed up by mosquitoes I usually use "lets go" because it doesn't imply the end of the fun. He is also usually good at "return". What should I do on the rare occasion that he totally ignores me, without "nagging" him of course?

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