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Thread: Japanese Spitz Training

  1. #1

    Default Japanese Spitz Training

    Hi guys!
    This is my first time on here so here it goes

    I have a 14 month old Japanese Spitz named Akira. She is the most gorgeous girl, but she is incredibly independent and it is impossible to get her to listen to me. As she was growing up, i was told so many different things about training her e.g.: when she bites tap her on the nose, when she barks growl at her and so on. Treat training was a disaster as she started being naughty so that when she was good, she would get her treat e.g. she would jump up on the couch and sit there waiting for me to tell her to get down so that when she did, she's get a treat for being good. We did puppy school and junior manners (which didn't go so well!)
    I blame all this entirely on myself for being confused. We are now having major issues with barking, and jumping, also she will not come back when i call her unless its on her terms so i cannot let her off lead.

    Has anyone had any experience training a japanese spitz before? She is wonderfully behaved with walking, sleeping, eating, playing and if very friendly (unless your a little boy for some reason).
    I just feel at a bit of a loss and the neighbour has companied about her.
    Ive tried a citronella collar but she liked it. Ive tried shaking a coke bottle with some rock to distract her but she didn't listen and I've tried taking her out on lead, which was fine but i want her to be able to run around the backyard. Ive had a trainer out but his methods seemed quite harsh and she seemed really scared so i have been hesitant to call him back in.

    Previously i had a samoyed and she was a dream to train but Akira is very much a handful!

    Any tips?

    Thanks in advance!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Melbourne VIC


    Well, it seems like you have been having a lot of "fun" there.

    I don't even know where to start, except look into the DVD 'really reliable recall' - featuring Leslie Nelson. It gives you a lot of good information about building a relationship with your dog as well as the recall training. It's very easy to follow

    The being naughty to get rewarded is perfectly normal. I assume you would tell her to get off and reward her immediately? Instead of rewarding her for getting off the couch you need to give her an alternative command. Eg, "off" she gets off, wait a few seconds, "on your bed" she goes to her bed or you take her to her bed (by lead if you need to). Once she's on her bed give her a reward. This way she'll see the reward is for going to her bed, not getting off the couch. This works better if you already have the "bed" command sorted

    If the biting is during play/excitement, when she bites, say "OUCH", get up and walk away. Game over. She will soon learn that biting ends the fun and will avoid biting. You can also use a 'time out' which means you take her to a room in the house and close the door for 30 seconds to 1 minute (no more than 2mins). It's similar to walking away only they aren't able to follow you. I'm not a fan of the time out but it's about what works for each dog.

    For jumping dogs I like to keep a lead on them so you are able to control them, particularly if they have sharp claws that hurt your legs. Because she is only small (not overly large anyway), I would ignore her and walk away until she calms down. I would also teach her to sit for attention. If she jumps up turn away, when she sits down turn back and give her pats. It is handy if you have a baby gate or something similar that you can use to block you from the dog. That way they can't scratch your legs or even touch you unless they are sitting calmly.

    With regard to the barking, you need to work out why she is barking. If there's no stimulus (person walking past, other dogs barking, possums, etc) then it's likely due to boredom and/or over-excited and full of energy. How often does she get walked? Does she walk next to you on lead or do you take her to the dog park for a mad run around? You need to work out the reason before you can come up with a solution.

    Where do you live? Perhaps we can recommend someone local to come out for a consult....?

    Let me know if you would like any of the above explained in more detail or if any of it is confusing.
    Last edited by The Pawfectionist; 07-12-2012 at 09:53 PM. Reason: because I'm a perfectionist :P

  3. #3


    Hi, wow, I have the same problem. So disobedient but gorgeous. If I command it to do something, it growls and snaps at me. I love it but am at a loss.did you get help? Regards, Olivetree

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    If I command it to do something, it growls and snaps at me.
    You need to learn how to train a dog. You can't command it if you haven't first trained it to do what you want.

    I suggest looking at youtube for kikopup training videos and pick something you want to train.

    For the first poster (tho that thread is 3 years old or more)... I would train a collar grab (pair grabbing collar with getting treats, aim for dog to be putting neck into your hand - only treat for average or better performance - ie it should get progressively harder to get the treat but at first - it's easy.

    Once have a nice collar grab if dog is doing something you don't want in the back yard - like barking. I would collar grab and hold until dog calms down. I would stay calm and see if I could get dog's attention by talking softly - or just say nothing until the dog is calm.

    Then I would let dog go to see what the choice is. If I don't like the choice - I would repeat the collar grab and hold. If I like the choice I'd tell the dog how clever it is and treat/pat/praise.

    If I think my dog is backchaining (eg being naughty then nice to get treat) - I reward with pats and praise and no food. Because that's not worth doing the both behaviours. If I wanted the dog not to jump on the couch - I would prevent it. Ie dog would go into room with couch - on lead, and then be asked to lie on mat. Pats and praise. If gets off mat without permission, collar grab, return to mat, pats and praise...

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