midwstrrnr (midwstrrnr) wrote in thequestionclub,

We're in the process of adopting an adorable, sweet, warm & cuddly rescue dog. She is ~2 years old, and got picked up as a stray off the streets of Chicago. We can't be sure about her past or her breed, but we suspect she is a basset hound/mastiff mix.

We've had her almost two weeks, and while she is adjusting wonderfully to our home, we are having a lot of problems

  1. teaching basic commands (sit, stay, come, etc)

  2. crate training/coping with separation anxiety

We've tried high-reward treats and clicker training and it doesn't seem to work. Supposedly bassets and mastiffs are both very stubborn breeds. Most of the time I can't even hold her interest, even with a delicious treat in my hand. The only thing that seems to change her behavior is praise as a form of positive reinforcement, but it doesn't seem to be helping her learn commands or adjust to her crate.

I care about teaching her obedience as quickly and effiencely as possible. While she isn't aggressive towards humans, she is HUGE -- weighs 100 lbs -- and is therefore could be a liability. Most people are great, and she's so friendly, but I worry about her knocking down small children or old people and hurting them on accident. A few times I've seen her scuff with other dogs as well. That really worries me, because she is almost as strong as me, and I'm not sure I could really control her if she got in a fight.

My question, TQC, is whether or not it's time to hire a trainer? Or if there is a training method I should be trying that I'm not?

I'm posting this here because I haven't found what I've been looking for doing research on my own or going to dog forums -- I'm hoping someone with experience training dogs can help me out.


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