Because he will be a large dog - PWDs range from 42 to 60 lbs - I wanted him to be well trained. So we first went to Puppy Kindergarten, where he learned to socialize with the other puppies, and was introduced to basic obedience with a wee bit of agility for fun on the last day. Along with competing in Puppy Olympics. All good fun, and he did really well... caught on quickly to the commands and remembered them from week to week.
And then we enrolled in the Beginner level obedience class. For the past 6 weeks I've endured frustration every week. Give him a command and he'd bark at me. Reprimand that and he'd rebel another way. He didn't do much better at home. He'd learnt some things but I seemed to arrive home from class every week asking someone else to take him so I could get myself a glass of wine and go sit by myself somewhere. (like I need an excuse to pour myself a glass of red...)
I happened to be conversing by email with the breeder yesterday and mentioned in passing that there was no way he was gonna pass Beginner's, giving her a couple of examples of how he behaves. She totally called me on them - saying that he was 'making excuses' and to not put up with it. So a couple of hours before his final test I challenged him, eventually physically restraining him into a sit/stay. First of all he did the ragdoll manouvre that every human two-year-old pulls at some point. You know the one, where their bones become temporarily nonexistent and they ooze over your arms? Yeah, he did that. He also put his open mouth around my forearm, as if to say "I could totally bite you right now". But once I had him in that sit/stay he stayed. So then I tried doing a down/stay. First time he rebelled. It looked like this:
The down/stay had to be maintained for two minutes, so I made him hold the above rebelled version for four.
He hasn't done it again. He has listened and obeyed me every since that moment.
And not only did he pass his Beginner's test, he aced it.