My Coton is not too smart

by Elizabeth
(Chapel Hill, NC)

Are they feeding you?

Are they feeding you?

I read everywhere that Cotons are very intelligent and easy to train. Mine is now 16 wks. She is adorable and loves everyone! But I'm having a hard time training her. I take her to obedience class once a week. she knows how to sit but chooses not to and will walk around me instead. Forget about "Down" when I can't even get her to sit!


I bought some dog games where you hide the food and they figure how to get it. she can't seem to figure it out and then just gives up. I've been trying to teach her the name of 2 toys. She just isn't getting it. Are my expections too high? Is she still too young? Or perhaps I didn't get a good breeder and she's just not that smart. I play fetch with her but after a couple of times, she would rather jsut chew the toy. I love her to death, just feel a bit disappointed.

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Nov 15, 2015
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Sprite NEW
by: TRUFFLES MOM

I think your Sprite is adorbs! Cotons are the most loving yet STUBBORN dogs one could own & love. Be patient.

I find Zukes chicken training treats worked wonders with my boy. He still pulls me on walks but he dies all tricks EXCEPT roll on his back on demand. My little pack leader has no problem showing his junk when he's napping but he won't lay on his back on demand & will fight if I try to roll him over when he's on his side. STUBBORN.

He knows many tricks & all his toy names and I bet I could train him to make my coffee however I know he'll never roll over;

He still gets fed & loved - whose the smart one? 😉


Oct 30, 2015
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Thanks for the response NEW
by: Elizabeth

Thank you so much for all your feedback! It is very helpful and encouraging! I will definately update on Sprite's progress! : )

Oct 30, 2015
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Training NEW
by: Vicky & Jonah

So your puppy is 3 months old. U take her to obedience class which is great. How much time per day to u practice. I'm assuming 5-10mins 3 times a day.

R u a positive trainer or do u get disgusted if the 1st time is not a success. What does the trainer in your obedience class say. A trainer in a legitimate class will give u individual attn. In class if u ask.

This is only a personnel opinion. I think the world of dogs & training r new to u that u would expect a 3 month old baby puppy to perform perfectly. I feel that u possibly need training on how to teach & follow though positively.

Ask ur teacher in obedience class for help. If they say they can give u private lessons for a price tell them u r (probably) investing $65-$85 in the class & u find that unacceptable in a puppy class when at this age your doing good teaching sit, lay down & rollover b/ c their 1st puppy class basically is a class to help socialize & start them in the world of learning.

One obedience puppy class does not make an obedience trained dog & practice, practice, practice is the road to success.

Oct 30, 2015
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smart dog NEW
by: sherry candie cotton

Like others have said--she is young. Like children they go at their own pace and have attention spans of a knat so do not keep at it for long periods at a time.

I really should not be giving advice on training as mine do what they want but I really wanted to say how cute she is and congrats on getting her.

Hope to see more pics as she grows and good luck with her!!

They are really clever, you mentioned the puzzle toy for treats, I got mine one last Christmas. My one figured it out right away but it flipped up and hit her nose so she was done with it. My other just waited because she knew she would get something whether she did anything or not. And she did! Clever little girl.

Full of personality and most loving dogs ever.

Oct 30, 2015
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Smart NEW
by: Deb in TN

I broke my foot 4 times in the first six months that we had Saylor Jane so I was not able to do alot other than hold her. At six months, she was hit or miss with the potty training and forget the leash. At nine months I found a really reputable trainer (it is important to get a good trainer that understands different breeds mine had no previous experience with Cotons but he understood that not all dogs were alike)anyway...the rest is history. Within two weeks he had Saylor Jane doing all kinds of tricks, sitting, walking on a leash...etc. Find what works for her. Saylor Jane is very treat oriented (my trainer said he thought she would try to file taxes if she thought she would get a treat) Don't give up. She is still very young. Keep us posted on her progress.

Oct 30, 2015
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what a cute girl! NEW
by: lulu

She is still a baby. When I got my Socrates, He already know the command of Sit. But I did not teach him the command of down, so he will sit or down whatever he likes to do.
He understands and minds me perfectly, and he has not destroy anything in the house except for his toys.

He starated to play fetch with toy right away, and when he was around 9 months old, he loves to fetch a ball.

I think that your baby is a bit young to really into play. She probably wants to chew (due to teething) and to sleep a lot. Please giver her time, she will be as smart as other cotons.

Good Luck!

Oct 30, 2015
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Thanks NEW
by: Elizabeth

Thank you for your reply! You are right! There is hope! : )

Oct 30, 2015
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Slow learning doesn't mean lack of intelligence NEW
by: Gale

Every dog learns at their own pace. I remember when Luc was a puppy and couldn't figure out how to jump on the couch or climb up stairs. There was a brief panic that something was wrong with him. But of course he figured it out.

Even kids learn at different speeds - One child will learn to speak months before another, but it doesn't mean the slower learner is less intelligent. In fact, some of the slowest learners end up being the smartest.

Give your pup some time - she's very young. Just be consistent with your training so she understands what you want her to do. And then one day it will click with her. Don't give up!

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