Sorry in advance for the long post & sorry for cross-posting, but I need some help..Is it possible for a dog to have ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder)? I have an 11 month old Aussie who is very eager to learn, is very smart, but also very dominant. When I try to teach him, let's say "stay", for instance, I tell him to sit (which he does very well), I put my hand up with my palm towards him and say stay, while holding his favorite ball in my other hand, backing up the entire time.

He'll watch the ball for a second, but if a bird comes by, a plane goes overhead, etc., he jumps up to go investigate, ignoring the ball and me. If I call his name and wave his ball at him and tell him to come, whatever object he was previously focusing his attention on gets ignored and he lunges for his ball.
His attention span was much, much, much worse as a little puppy so either he's outgrowing distractions or getting used to them.

When he *is* focused, however, it's downright impossible to get his attention. If a person walks by, a strange cat strolls along, or a car pulls up in the driveway and I call his name to get him away from the front gate to stop barking, it's like he can't hear or see me! I have to repeatedly smack my hands together loudly while calling his name to break his concentration; grabbing his collar does nothing.

If I can run him two or three times a day in a park or on the beach, he seems a little more focused, but that's not always possible - I don't have a car to take him to those places. I can only walk him on a leash (one downside to the walking is his extremely light blue eyes - they're very sensitive to the heat and sun, so he can only go out in very early morning or later evening). When he returns from a short 15 min. walk, he's so overheated, tongue flapping, that I have to water him down with the hose. Light blue eyes and long fur don't go well in a hot, bright, sunshiney state like Hawaii, but here he is, what are you gonna do?

He's a very sweet, affectionate guy. He'll lay on you and you can shift him in any position on your lap and he'll hang there for a moment. You can flip him on his back and pat his front paws together to play patty cake and he'll let you. He has large tongue-flapping smiles and his tail wags all the time. When you talk to him, he'll *** his head and give the appearance of listening, but, again, until something "better" distracts him.

He is very dominant. If I scold him for chasing the cats, he'll bark at me back. When I say "no", he'll bark. I say "no", he barks again. It's like little kids going, no, yes, no, yes, no, yes. He barges past you when you're going thru a door so that he makes it thru first, same with hallways. And if he isn't getting immediate attention, he claws you with his paws until you look at him and acknowledge him. Sometimes it really hurts - especially when you're sleeping.
I've heard our local shelter has obedience classes, but again, I don't have a car and the shelter is a 30 min. car ride away. I'm just wondering if anyone has any ideas to help me tame the wild beast! LOL. I've tried non-threatening methods that have worked very well on my three other dogs that I've had previous to this guy, but he's got a mind of his own. He's unique. He's stubborn, he doesn't forget things, he's dominant, but he's such a little lover.
Has anyone else ever had similar issues and if so, how did you conquer them??? I want to make him a peaceful part of our family existence. Right now, he's the wheel in that shopping cart that always wants to go the opposite way.
kili

"Beer, the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems." - - Homer Simpson
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Is it possible for a dog to have ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder)?

I suspect so, but don't really know.
... When I try to teach him, let's say "stay", for instance, I tell him to sit (which he does ... palm towards him and say stay, while holding his favorite ball in my other hand, backing up the entire time.

Backing up encourages the dog to follow you, or so I've observed. Start teaching "stay" without leaving the dog. Repeat until he'll hold position for 30-60 seconds don't expect this to be a one-day journey! Then repeat the exercise, but pivot directly in front of him. Then take one step away, pivot. Two steps. Etc.
He'll watch the ball for a second,

With respect, he should be watching you.
but if a bird comes by, a plane goes overhead, etc., he jumps up to go investigate, ignoring the ball and me.

Don't let him *do* that.
His attention span was much, much, much worse as a little puppy so either he's outgrowing distractions or getting used to them.

A little of both, I suppose.
When he *is* focused, however, it's downright impossible to get his attention.

Not if you stand directly in front of him, filling his entire field of vision, and gently direct his gaze to you.
If a person walks by, a strange cat strolls along, or a car pulls up in the driveway and I call his name to get him away from the front gate to stop barking, it's like he can't hear or see me!

Why are you giving commands you can't enforce?
He is very dominant. If I scold him for chasing the cats, he'll bark at me back. When I say "no", he'll bark. I say "no", he barks again. It's like little kids going, no, yes, no, yes, no, yes.

Then why do you engage him in this? Say "no", he barks, crate him. Or turn your back, leave the room, whatever.
He barges past you when you're going thru a door so that he makes it thru first, same with hallways.

Again, don't let him *do* that if it bothers you.
And if he isn't getting immediate attention, he claws you with his paws until you look at him and acknowledge him. Sometimes it really hurts - especially when you're sleeping.

Don't. Let. Him. Do. That.
... He's unique. He's stubborn, he doesn't forget things, he's dominant, but he's such a little lover.

He's not unique. He isn't even unusual. He may be, perhaps, a little bit spoiled, a little bit over-indulged, but you can change that if you want to.
Has anyone else ever had similar issues and if so, how did you conquer them???

You've got most of the puzzle pieces already. You know what he does that you consider unacceptable, you know what sets him off and how he behaves, and you know what he'll work for. Arrange things so he gets what he wants by doing what you want and isn't rewarded for behavior you want to discourage.
Stay - use a leash; start slowly and close up; only give commands you can physically enforce; reward for success
Doorways - "sit"/"stay"/"okay"; practice; be consistent; reward

Demanding attention - ignore him; crate him or leave the room if he persists (without discussion).
Sorry in advance for the long post & sorry for cross-posting, but I need some help.. Is it possible for ... I have an 11 month old Aussie who is very eager to learn, is very smart, but also very dominant.

I'm not sure how you are identifying the quality "very dominant".
When I try to teach him, let's say "stay", for instance, I

"Stay" has its uses, I think, but not in what you are trying to do. Instead your dog should learn that one command is to be carried out until you either give a new one, or release him to play.
tell him to sit (which he does very well),

Sounds like what you have taught him is that "sit" is an action rather than a position. If you have taught "sit" only from when he is standing then his concept may be that "sit" means the action of putting his butt on the ground. Start working on "sit" from lying down, as well as from standing. And give the command "sit" when he is already sitting. Praise if he continues to sit. Teach him "sit" whether you are at his side, in front, to the left or to the right.
I put my hand up with my palm towards him and say stay, while holding his favorite ball in my other hand, backing up the entire time.[/nq]Stop backing up. Don't give any command. There is no separate command, merely a learning that sit continues until told otherwise. First simply turn 1/4 toward him and praise him for holding his "sit". Take one step away. Turn and face him. In other words you first need to help him understand that the command continues. While standing next to him drop a ball. Praise him for holding his sit, then release him to play with the ball. As he grows to understand that sit continues you will increase the places you move to and the distance you mover from him.

Before you ever take more than three steps away you should be able to step to all four sides without him moving (i.e. turn 1/4 so you face the left side, then step directly in front, then to his right, then to his rear, then back to the front). Before you get more than five steps from him you should be able to walk around him. You need to build his ability to be patient. You need to help him understand what you want by taking it in small enough pieces that he can succeeed.
He'll watch the ball for a second, but if a bird comes by, a plane goes overhead, etc., he jumps ... him to come, whatever object he was previously focusing his attention on gets ignored and he lunges for his ball.

Sounds like a perfectly normal adolescent.
His attention span was much, much, much worse as a little puppy so either he's outgrowing distractions or getting used ... to repeatedly smack my hands together loudly while calling his name to break his concentration; grabbing his collar does nothing.

Sounds like a perfectly normal adolescent. Dogs vary. What does the instructor at your classes you are taking say about this? You ARE taking classes, right? The biggest benefit of taking a class from an experienced instructor is that the instructor can (1) help you sort out when the problem is YOU vs the dog (2) use their experience to creatively solve problems. Your ability to work with your dog will improve most rapidly if you learn concepts instead of recipes. And learning these concepts will be far easier if you can get instant feedback from someone who can see what you are doing.
If I can run him two or three times a day in a park or on the beach, he seems ... very sensitive to the heat and sun, so he can only go out in very early morning or later evening).

Get him some doggles.
http://www.doggles.com /
Use sunscreen for parts not adquately protected by fur. There are spray on sun screens that are appropriate. http://furlongspetsupply.com/dog sunscreen.htm
but I've found human sunscreens that are also appropriate.
When he returns from a short 15 min. walk, he's so overheated, tongue flapping, that I have to water him ... don't go well in a hot, bright, sunshiney state like Hawaii, but here he is, what are you gonna do?

Consider discussing with a groomer relieving him of his excess coat while leaving him enough for sun protection.
He's a very sweet, affectionate guy. He'll lay on you and you can shift him in any position on your ... "no", he'll bark. I say "no", he barks again. It's like little kids going, no, yes, no, yes, no, yes.

That's not "dominant" that's adolescent.
He barges past you when you're going thru a door so that he makes it thru first, same with hallways.

That's not "dominant" that's adolescent.
And if he isn't getting immediate attention, he claws you with his paws until you look at him and acknowledge him. Sometimes it really hurts - especially when you're sleeping.

Why would you allow this to happen? Consider what he wants - attention, and what you give him - attention. On the first pushy move deprive him of what he wants. Take him quickly, without speaking or scolding, to a quiet room. In that quiet room you will have attached a short length of chain to something he can't move, and placed where he can't reach anything fun. A wall is ideal. Leave him for about ten minutes. Too long won't help, the connection to the behavior will have been lost. Too short and there won't be a lesson. When you release him again do not speak or interact. Just release and go about your business. Repeat as necessary until he understands that no one likes a bully and it won't get him what he wants.
I've heard our local shelter has obedience classes, but again, I don't have a car and the shelter is a 30 min. car ride away. I'm just wondering if anyone has any ideas to help me tame the wild beast!

Network and find someone who also needs classes. Find a trainer nearer to you. Get video tapes on manners training. Although hes a bit old for it "Sirius puppy training" has good concepts you can learn from. Ian Dunbar has other tapes where you can SEE and get useful information. Also
The Dominant Dog (Video)
John Rogerson
Contact: Cheryl L. Trotter
(713)579-7131
http://www.clickersolutions.com/blog/blog12.htm
LOL. I've tried non-threatening methods that have worked very well on my three other dogs that I've had previous to ... our family existence. Right now, he's the wheel in that shopping cart that always wants to go the opposite way.

Spend more time with books that explain concepts e.g. Excel-Erated Learning, By Pamela Reid
Smart Trainers, Brilliant Dogs by Janet R Lewis

Diane Blackman
http://dog-play.com /
http://dog-play.com/shop2.html
Is it possible for a dog to have ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder)?

It's not possible for a HUMAN to have ADD. But we've already been through that argument. Emotion: smile
Sounds like what you've got is just going too fast with your dog. Your dog should first learn a stay inside with no disturbances. Once she gets that down then you start adding small distractions.
Dog training is all about successive approximations. Break down the final behavior into the tiniest bits and once the first bit is down THEN move onto the next. If she messes up the second bit, go back to working on the first. Just a "sit" command can have 4 or 5 approximations. A 30 minute down stay outside in a busy park could have hundreds! Emotion: smile
Is it possible for a dog to have ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder)?

I suppose. However, inability to concentrate in dogs is generally a sign of youth.
very dominant. When I try to teach him, let's say "stay", for instance, I tell him to sit (which he ... palm towards him and say stay, while holding his favorite ball in my other hand, backing up the entire time.[/nq]When you initially teach any command, do it in the least distracting environment you can find, for example, inside the house. After the dog has the concept down in one environment, move to another, with a little more distractions. Dogs are not good at generalizing, so just because they understand a command in one situation does not mean that they also understand it when the situation changes. One more thing. With a command like Stay, it is important that you not work on both the time and distance at the same time.

Work on having him hold the stay when you are right there. Increase the time slowly. Then, work on having him hold the stay when you are a foot away, then 5 ft. away, etc. Having the dog holding a stay for 30 minutes while you are out of sight (for example) is something you work towards, and you can't expect the puppy to learn it right away.
His attention span was much, much, much worse as a little puppy so either he's outgrowing distractions or getting used to them.

Puppies have short attention spans. They get longer as they mature. It is important that you keep the training time short and fun. Instead of doing two 10 minute sessions, you might want to do four 5 minute sessions, for example. The idea is for you to always finish up the training sessions on a positive note, while the puppy is succeeding, and before he gets tired or distracted.
When he *is* focused, however, it's downright impossible to get his attention. If a person walks by, a strange cat ... to repeatedly smack my hands together loudly while calling his name to break his concentration; grabbing his collar does nothing.

Two things. Do NOT give commands you cannot enforce. Do NOT train in such distracting environments when your pup is obviously not ready for it.
If I can run him two or three times a day in a park or on the beach, he seems a little more focused, but that's not always possible - I don't have a car to take him to those places.

You have a young puppy of a VERY energetic breed. He needs lots of exercise, both physical and mental. Can't you take him for walks right in the neighborhood where you live? If you have access to any enclosed space (baseball field, tennis/basketball courts, a friend's fenced in yard), you can use that for giving him a little running around time. Just be careful if you use something like tennis courts - the hard surface can be rough on their joints.
I can only walk him on a leash (one downside to the walking is his extremely light blue eyes - they're very sensitive to the heat and sun, so he can only go out in very early morning or later evening).

That's the first time I've heard anything like that. Have no idea if light eyes are more sensitive to light and heat.
When he returns from a short 15 min. walk, he's so overheated, tongue flapping, that I have to water him down with the hose.

Make sure to take plenty of water with you when you go for walks. You might want to consider clipping his belly ( I have no experience with this, just know of other people who do so) to keep him more comfortable. If it is possible for you to take him swimming, it's great exercise, and it will keep him cool.
He is very dominant. If I scold him for chasing the cats, he'll bark at me back. When I say ... with his paws until you look at him and acknowledge him. Sometimes it really hurts - especially when you're sleeping.

Seriously, he sounds a whole lot like a spoiled brat. He has found ways to make you do his bidding, and uses them. Smart dog. What you have to do is to not respond to inappropriate behavior from him, and give him alternate behavior to perform that you can reward him for. As an example, make him sit-stay at the door. Open it, step outside and release him, telling him what a good boy he is for listening to you. If he realizes that there is no way he is getting out the door without listening to you, he will do it.
that I've had previous to this guy, but he's got a mind of his own. He's unique. He's stubborn, he doesn't forget things, he's dominant, but he's such a little lover.

He's a puppy. Who has been allowed to get away with being a brat. Nothing you've said leads me to believe that he is in any way more difficult than your average puppy. Since you can't get to training classes, look for good puppy training books. In the meantime, you might want to look into the links here:
http://www.shepherdrescue.org/pages/links.html#B&T

Suja
LOL,..Sorry I don't have any answers for you on this. I'm laughing because he sounds so much like my Barney I'd swear you were describing my dog. ADD in dogs..I call it just plain old bull headedness, and a alpha who "thinks" he's the king. Barney is 11 now and just as full of himself now as when he was a pup.
Celeste
Okay, I'm going to start on this tomorrow. I appreciate this!

How do I stop him? Should I wave a piece of food under his nose to get his attention back?

I have a crate, but I don't want to use it for negative behavior. I want him to go there if I need him to, like if I have visitors. I dont want him to see a crate as a negative thing. Right now, when I'm really mad at him I make him lay down in a corner and I close the door to my bedroom, cutting him off socially from me and my cats - whom he adores.
He barges past you when you're going thru a door so that he makes it thru first, same withhallways.

Again, don't let him *do* that if it bothers you.

If I can catch him, I clamp his head between my knees so that he can't barge thu, but he still always tries.

Okay, I agree to the spoiling part. That's my fault. Now I'm trying to fix it because no one will come to my house. He's too rambunctious.
Has anyone else ever had similar issues and if so, how did you conquer them???

You've got most of the puzzle pieces already. You know what he does that you consider unacceptable, you know what ... practice; be consistent; reward Demanding attention - ignore him; crate him or leave the room if he persists (without discussion).

I'm taking your words to heart. I'll let you know the progress. Thank you.

kili
Sorry in advance for the long post & sorry for ... very eager to learn, is very smart, butalso very dominant.

I'm not sure how you are identifying the quality "very dominant".

He wants to be boss. He thinks he has the upper hand. It's only recently he's been feeling contrite if I scold him.
When I try to teach him, let's say "stay", for instance, I

"Stay" has its uses, I think, but not in what you are trying to do. Instead your dog should learn that one command is to be carried out until you either give a new one, or release him to play.

Okay, I'm going to work on the "stay" technique tomorrow. I will ask him to sit and I'll attempt to have him hold it - without me moving backwards. I can see what I did wrong here.
tell him to sit (which he does very well),

Sounds like what you have taught him is that "sit" is an action rather than a position. If you have ... to sit. Teach him "sit" whether you are at his side, in front, to the left or to the right.

And you're absolutely 100% correct. That's exactly what I've taught him - sit is an action. I never thought of having him go to a sit position from a laying down position. This is another thing I'm going to work on. Thanks.
I put my hand up with my palm towards him ... favorite ball in my otherhand, backing up the entire time.

Stop backing up. Don't give any command. There is no separate command, merely a learning that sit continues until told ... You need to help him understand what you want by taking it in small enough pieces that he can succeeed.

I'll start this tomorrow and I'll be filling you in with progress reports. (And or questions..!!!)
He'll watch the ball for a second, but if a ... hisattention on gets ignored and he lunges for his ball.

Sounds like a perfectly normal adolescent.

Okay, how do we stop it?
His attention span was much, much, much worse as a ... his name tobreak his concentration; grabbing his collar does nothing.

Sounds like a perfectly normal adolescent. Dogs vary. What does the instructor at your classes you are taking say about ... concepts will be far easier if you can get instant feedback from someone who can see what you are doing.

I understand. I wish I could do classes. Since I can't I came to the NG's for advice. You guys have already been a tremendous help!
If I can run him two or three times a ... can only go out in very earlymorning or later evening).

Get him some doggles. http://www.doggles.com /

Didn't know they existed! I really didn't! I looked on their website and there's actually a store in Kahului that carries them! AWESOME! Whoo hoo!
Use sunscreen for parts not adquately protected by fur. There are spray on sun screens that are appropriate. http://furlongspetsupply.com/dog sunscreen.htm but I've found human sunscreens that are also appropriate.

The breeder I got him from said that normal human sunblock is fine to use on his nose since it's a very light pink. I've been doing that if I know he'll be exposed to the sun. He doesn't like it tho, and tries to wipe it off with his paws, which is funny all on its own!
When he returns from a short 15 min. walk, he's ... Hawaii, but here he is, what are you gonna do?

Consider discussing with a groomer relieving him of his excess coat while leaving him enough for sun protection.

I asked my vet about getting him clipped and they advised me against it. I guess because he's a red merle (more white than red), he doesn't have much pigment in his skin to protect it from the sun. They said he'd get too sunburned. I believed it. Should I get a second opinion?

You're right, you're right. I've encouraged it because I don't want to hurt his feelings. It's my fault. I look in his eyes and I see, "oh, my baby", he looks in my eyes and he sees "SUCKER."

Thanks, Diane, I really, really appreciate your helpful comments. Now to implement them! I'll keep you posted as to how we're doing.

kili
Great ideas! I'd still have to practice this outside on my lanai, tho. My apartment is too small for any kind of training, but the lanai is HUGE; it's larger than the whole apartment. So, this morning, my buddy and I are having a session. I'll keep you posted.
His attention span was much, much, much worse as a little puppy soeither he's outgrowing distractions or getting used to them.

Puppies have short attention spans. They get longer as they mature. It is important that you keep the training time ... up the training sessions on a positive note, while the puppy is succeeding, and before he gets tired or distracted.

This I *do* try to do. Glad to know that there is something I'm doing right.
When he *is* focused, however, it's downright impossible to get ... his name tobreak his concentration; grabbing his collar does nothing.

Two things. Do NOT give commands you cannot enforce. Do NOT train in such distracting environments when your pup is obviously not ready for it.

I'm guilty here as well because if I give him a command and he flatly ignores me, sometimes I give up. So, I guess, in a dog's mind, why should he listen to me?
If I can run him two or three times a ... I don'thave a car to take him to those places.

You have a young puppy of a VERY energetic breed. He needs lots of exercise, both physical and mental. Can't ... Just be careful if you use something like tennis courts - the hard surface can be rough on their joints.

When I first got him he did have problems with his joints, but it almost proved to be a good thing. I got a crate because the vet suggested to keep him inside the crate for 2 weeks to rest his knees. From there, I didn't even have to "train" him for the crate. Now, it's easy to get him into the crate when workmen come over, for example.
I can only walk him on a leash (one downside ... can only go out in very earlymorning or later evening).

That's the first time I've heard anything like that. Have no idea if light eyes are more sensitive to light and heat.

His eyes are definitely more sensitive to the light. I was warned about that by the breeder as well.
When he returns from a short 15 min. walk, he's so overheated, tongue flapping, that I have to water him down with thehose.

Make sure to take plenty of water with you when you go for walks. You might want to consider clipping ... comfortable. If it is possible for you to take him swimming, it's great exercise, and it will keep him cool.

Swimming is one thing he definitely enjoys! When I can get him down to the ocean, he charges right in. Sometimes it's hard to get him back out!
He is very dominant. If I scold him for chasing ... him. Sometimes it really hurts - especially when you're sleeping.

Seriously, he sounds a whole lot like a spoiled brat. He has found ways to make you do his bidding, ... realizes that there is no way he is getting out the door without listening to you, he will do it.

Yep, you called that one perfectly. He's spoiled. Well, I start this morning when it gets light out to attempt to undo the damage I've already done.
that I've had previous to this guy, but he's got ... doesn't forget things, he's dominant, buthe's such a little lover.

He's a puppy. Who has been allowed to get away with being a brat. Nothing you've said leads me to ... look for good puppy training books. In the meantime, you might want to look into the links here: http://www.shepherdrescue.org/pages/links.html#B&T Suja

Thanks so much for your advice, I've listened and I'm going to heed it. Wish me luck and I'll keep you posted as to the little guy's progress.

kili
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