I discovered the other day that my 11 1/2 year old Lab knows what "Shut up" means. I've never taught it to him, I imagine its something he knows from his former life (I've only had him a little over a year). I'd never asked him to before, and I've tried various other methods to get him to be quiet with little success (he tends to get really excited when we get to the park, I've tried a number of things to get him to calm down, so far this works the best)
I don't particularly like telling my dog to "Shut up", but it does work. Tone of voice doesn't seem to matter overly much (I've never tried it in an 'angry' tone, but speaking voice works, as does a "shaaad uup" kind of tone. It gives me about 6 seconds of 'quiet time', during which I've been praising him to let him know he's doing the right thing. Each time he repeats, he seems to be getting better between (i.e. the high point is less high each time).
Just wondering, if it were you, would you
a) Use the command, proof it a bit better (so that I can get longer 'quiet time').
b) do (a) and then try to switch the command for it. c) switch the command, then proof it.
I don't particularly like telling my dog to shut up, regardless of tone, but it seems a shame not to take advantage of a repeatable behavior like this that generates desired results...
Dale
P.S. I'm fairly certain he was well treated in his former life (at least not abused). His former owner was an 84 year old lady who surrendered him 6 months before she died.
I'd try telling him quiet before the shut up. Maybe over time he'll put the two together and you can do away with the shut up all together.

Celeste
I'd try telling him quiet before the shut up. Maybe over time he'll put the two together and you can do away with the shut up all together. Celeste

I've tried quiet, I've tried Hush, I've tried distracting him as he comes up to the park so he doesn't realize, I've tried just about everything. Its almost as though he's just too wound up for anything to even make an impression on him.
Frankly I was pretty surprised when "Shut up" actually worked. (who knows if it will remain repeatable...).
What I'm thinking of doing, is telling him quiet...shut up...good quiet. Hopefully I can eventually get him to recognize the 'quiet' instead of the shut up. I'm just not sure if I should proof the "Shut up" before switching the command on him. I'm tempted to try, as he's not really all that good at it, but its what works best for him (when I got him, most of the commands I managed to work out that he knew were only 'so-so' nothing particularly well proofed).
Dale
I discovered the other day that my 11 1/2 year old Lab knows what "Shut up" means. I've never taught ... least not abused). His former owner was an 84 year old lady who surrendered him 6 months before she died.==

How about SHU! with a soft u.
I've tried quiet, I've tried Hush, I've tried distracting him as he comes up to the park so he doesn't ... impression on him. Frankly I was pretty surprised when "Shut up" actually worked. (who knows if it will remain repeatable...).

The only important point I can think of is that your dog is rewarded for following the command. It has to be worth it to him to be quiet when you tell him to shut up. The reward could be a little attention, some praise, a biscuit, anything that works. Just make sure you don't tell him to shut up, note that he has stopped making noise, then ignore him when he's doing what you want. That's all that I can think of that matters. It is surprising to me that he doesn't respond to a change in command, but I suppose it is possible even if I've never heard of it before. Generally dogs figure out quite quickly that another word means the same thing.
Lia
I find if you use it enough times it finally sinks in..Emotion: smile Some times it seems like it never will and they finally get it all at once this week was a perfect example.
Lady loves to play ball and sometimes in her excitement she will miss where the ball went. Finally after repeating the phrases a million times "backup", "behind you", "to your left" or "to your right" she's learning what they all mean. Mike look at me amazed today when I told her it's behind you and she whipped around and grabbed her ball and took off. Now if I can only get to understand " its by the fence"
Celeste
I find if you use it enough times it finally sinks in..Emotion: smile Some times it seems like it never will ... grabbed her ball and took off. Now if I can only get to understand " its by the fence" Celeste

I'm constantly amazed by this dog how large his vocabulary seems to be. The number of times I've said things, with no intention of him actually understanding, and he does (at least seems to), has more or less gone beyond count. Unfortunately 'quiet' is one word that isn't part of his vocabulary. Well actually given the rest of his vocabulary I suspect he knows what it means, he just gets so durned excited that he doesn't here me. Its basically "We're here! Horray we're here, I'm gonna play ball, and run and jump and swim and pee, and poop, and and and and and, ooh this is gonna be so much FUN!!!"
I'd been trying consistently for several months, every day when we get to the park. Best result I'd managed to get is for him not to notice that we're arriving at the park (although once he did notice, he turned in to his ol' self again).
Dale
I'm constantly amazed by this dog how large his vocabulary seems to be. The number of times I've said things, ... jump and swim and pee, and poop, and and and and and, ooh this is gonna be so much FUN!!!"

The best thing I have done was to take my dog through formal obedience classes. Now when she goes apeshit barking, I tell her to either sit or lay down and stay. It's hard for a dog to bark her fool head off when she's sitting or lying down and paying attention to you. It takes time to get them to the point where they will be able to focus on you when they are distracted (like at a park), but ultimately, it does work. Once my girl has sat for a few minutes (and been rewarded), she's usually over the excitement of whatever was making her go nuts. If not, another sit/stay or down/stay is in order.
You may be an adequate trainer (I felt I was), but good classes give you a lot of practical insight into effective training methods. An added bonus is the dog learns to focus on you despite lots of distractions.
I'd been trying consistently for several months, every day when we get to the park. Best result I'd managed to ... notice that we're arriving at the park (although once he did notice, he turned in to his ol' self again).

Lynne
The best thing I have done was to take my dog through formal obedience classes. Now when she goes apeshit ... insight into effective training methods. An added bonus is the dog learns to focus on you despite lots of distractions.

Haven't taken this boy to any formal classes, but my other boy has been to three separate classes at various times (this boy is technically my parent's dog...). I'm pretty well confident that I can extend the quiet time given some practice at it. My biggest concern was if I should proof it with the old command, or move directly to switching commands, then proof the new commands.
Benefits of proofing the old command:
He knows the command, I am pretty sure I proof it to work for extended periods.
This will help him learn that the action is desired, even if the command isn't what I want to use.
He may just learn not to go nuts, and not require a command.

Problems with proofing the old command first:
I don't want to use the old command
May be some bad associations with the old command If he learns the old command too well, will switching be more difficult.

Benefits of a new command:
Then we're working with the command we intend to use long term Won't be any bad associations with the new command

Problems with using the new command
We'll be messing with a command that isn't well proofed. He may get frustrated, and not really understand what I want him to do.
Dale