So Incredibly Stubborn!

NewYork1303

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How much exercise is this puppy getting? My concern with a dog of this breed and with this level of stubborn is that their drive is extensive. A dog like this needs to be working both its brain and its body to an intense degree.

I have a dog that is of a different breed but very similar level of stubborn + drive. He's a cardigan welsh corgi. To keep him at a level of manageable at that age, he attended three training classes a week and went to my work at a dog daycare four times a week where he ran all day. Even now at 1 and a half he needs the exercise of going to my work plus time spent in training classes to not be a royal terror around the house.

My concern with your dog's breed is that these dogs need a lot of structure and a lot of training to be good dogs. Positive reinforcement alone is usually not something that will work with a dog like this. Taking away your attention when the dog does something wrong can be helpful. I would recommend going to a trainer that is familiar with the breed (so not like a petsmart or petco training class) or at least familiar with bully breeds in general.

There is a dog at my work similar to your dog who was terrible when he first came to my work, as they continued working with this dog and he continued spending four days a week running off his energy at daycare he's actually become a real sweetheart. This is a dog on his sixth home. The shelter had just about given up on him, but with the right trainer they were able to turn him around.

I have faith that you can do this and make this work if you really want to!
 
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Graceful-Lily

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She gets a mixture of walks, runs, and flirt pole/impulse control training. I tried to teach her tricks but what she knows is mostly obedience stuff like "Go inside your crate!" and "Drop it right now!".

I'm busy and tired most days so I'm not sure what to implement into her routine that will work her. But also not eat up too much of my time. My schedule for school next semester is basically catered to her so that I can spend as much time as possible home with her.
 

NewYork1303

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That's good. Training can be done easily in 15 minute sessions five or six times in a day whenever you have a chance. With her, I would work on teaching her that things she gets from you are on your schedule not hers. So with food, I'd tell her to go lay in her crate to wait. Put the bowl down. If she gets up or moves, she has to start again. Only when you release her can she come across the room and eat her food. You can use a good portion of her food as treats for training as well, this will make it so she has more motivation to work with you.

The biggest thing with a dog like this is that stubborn dogs reward themselves, so knocking food out of your hand gives her the reward that she's looking for and your disapproval or anger will mean nothing to her since it is "worth it" if she got what she wanted. A good resource is the book "Ruff Love" by Susan Garrett. I can not recommend this book enough.
 
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Graceful-Lily

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She's also developed a habit of eating her poop which drives me nuts because I have a problem with bacteria and germs.

We have actually been working on the waiting for food and stuff. Which seldom works because she's very persistent. I guess I'll have to wait for her to grow up. That time couldn't come sooner.
 

NewYork1303

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The problem with stubborn dogs is that you have to be more stubborn than they are. Things will probably get worse when she's older unless you persist with her now unfortunately. It isn't just a puppy thing. What I do with food is I start by only feeding puppies from my hands. They never get food from a bowl at all. It helps them learn I'm the boss and also that good things come from my hands.

Other question, where does she sleep at night?
 
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She is crate trained and sleeps in her crate at night time. I'm allergic to dogs so I can't have her in my room.
 

NewYork1303

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Perfect. Glad to hear she already sleeps in a crate. One of the biggest mistakes people make with dogs like this is to let them sleep with them in their beds.
 
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Yeah, people do that a lot - letting their dogs in the bed with them.

Any kind of contact whether it be fur or saliva, I break out in hives and my skin burns.

She is also in a small pen attached to her crate because she chases the cats and won't take no for an answer. This has also been an issue that I don't know how to stop.
 

NewYork1303

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Cat chasing is the hardest to fix because it is self rewarding behavior. Dogs love to chase things that move. All of my cats have trained the dogs on their own by turning around and smacking them. Not an ideal solution though and relies on cats standing up for themselves. The only way I know is to keep them on a leash around the cats so you can correct them when they lunge after them. Works best with a prong collar so they just correct themselves.
 
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Cat chasing is the hardest to fix because it is self rewarding behavior. Dogs love to chase things that move. All of my cats have trained the dogs on their own by turning around and smacking them. Not an ideal solution though and relies on cats standing up for themselves. The only way I know is to keep them on a leash around the cats so you can correct them when they lunge after them. Works best with a prong collar so they just correct themselves.
I use a martingale collar on her and she has a second leather collar for extra reinforcement. It's the only way I can control her.

The cats have stood up for themselves several times but she thinks it's play or something. She is so persistent on "playing" with them but they don't like it. It's gotten to the point where when one cat starts growling at her, the other jumps in so it's the two cats attacking the dog at once and Izellah still doesn't take the hint.

I've been correcting the behaviour for months now with no let up. She won't stop. If the cats pass her in her crate, she goes bonkers.
 

NewYork1303

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Hopefully she'll grow out of that behavior. Otherwise that's going to be a scary one when she's older.

A martingale is okay, but a prong gives a stronger correction. That's kind of an up to you thing though. My current dog did okay with one, but some dogs are too sensitive to them and some owners don't like them. So that's all well and good.
 
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Hopefully she'll grow out of that behavior. Otherwise that's going to be a scary one when she's older.

A martingale is okay, but a prong gives a stronger correction. That's kind of an up to you thing though. My current dog did okay with one, but some dogs are too sensitive to them and some owners don't like them. So that's all well and good.
Everywhere I look online tells me that it is inhumane and dangerous so I don't know. I've already been scrutinized for purchasing a puppy instead of adopting one so that added onto it, I'm afraid of what people will think/say.

I just read over the contract and the breeder has mentioned a temperament warranty because she doesn't breed her dogs to be aggressive or "hard to handle". I'm going to find a training class and sign her up.
 

NewYork1303

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A lot of members on the dog breed forum I belong to have attended workshops by this internationally known trainer and author - here is her take on the use of a prong collar: Training with the Prong Collar - Suzanne Clothier/Carpe Canem Inc.
That is an excellent article. :) At my work we use prong collars when a person is not able to control a dog due to size or strength or a unique level of stubborn. My dog no longer uses one since in the end it didn't work for him. The fur around his neck is so thick that he will continue to pull against it since it is "worth it" to him. He now uses a head halter which deters him from pulling far more. A good trainer can recommend a good tool to help, depending on the person and the dog. There will be some trial and error.

Everywhere I look online tells me that it is inhumane and dangerous so I don't know. I've already been scrutinized for purchasing a puppy instead of adopting one so that added onto it, I'm afraid of what people will think/say.

I just read over the contract and the breeder has mentioned a temperament warranty because she doesn't breed her dogs to be aggressive or "hard to handle". I'm going to find a training class and sign her up.
I definitely know that feeling. I got really nasty looks when I used mine and in the end it didn't really work. I hate that people are judgy about buying a dog and not getting one from a shelter. In general breeders produce dogs in the goal to create better and healthier animals. Dogs from the shelter are a gamble of genetics produced by irresponsible people not fixing dogs. Most breeders will take back any of their dogs for any reason at any time. They aren't contributing to dogs in shelters and no one should feel guilty about looking elsewhere for a dog that is a better fit for them and their life and their family.
 

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Dogs from the shelter are a gamble of genetics produced by irresponsible people not fixing dogs.
Not really. At least around here, there aren't a lot of accidental dog litters anymore, since leash laws are pretty well enforced. There are very few puppies in the local shelters. I think many if not most dogs in shelters came from planned litters, but then didn't work out with their families for whatever reason. I have a Rough Collie, a Chihuahua, and a Coonhound/herder mix, all second-hand (or third- or fourth- or fifth-hand, darned if I know)(though only the mix was actually at a shelter, the other 2 would soon have been if I didn't take them) and I'm pretty sure they were all from planned litters. Not that a planned litter is necessarily responsibly bred.

There may be a breed personality mismatch with the family. It happens. I know a family with an OEB and they love her personality because their kids are very rough-and-tumble, and the dog isn't delicate or sensitive so she's perfect for them. But that might not be perfect for every family.
 
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This is why this time around, I decided to look for a good breeder and buy one of her puppies (being Izellah).

For the past 3+ years in my search for a dog, I have been lied to, robbed, mislead, etc. And every time I visit the shelters website, the dogs they have available have an array of problems that I know I would not he able to manage.

Then, when I finally did find what I thought was the perfect dog (Mordecai) the shelter messed up and I had to give him back to his old owner.

I was just fed up and decided to take another route which is buying from a breeder. I researched her and her history. No one had anything bad to say about her. She was kind to me and still is helpful even now when I text her and need help.

With that being said, no matter what people tell me or who ever wants to judge me at the dog park, I stand by my decision. I just need to build a relationship with this dog and figure her out. I'm taking notes on her behaviour and triggers to see if that'll help.
 

NewYork1303

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You've got this! We rehab all kinds of dogs that are way worse than Izellah. A good trainer will help to get you on the right path, just make sure you avoid any that might have prejudices about bully breeds.
 
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