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-   -   Focus and barking (http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/how-do-i-teach-my-dog/396553-focus-barking.html)

wyoung2153 01-15-2014 03:52 PM

Focus and barking
 
As of right now, Titan is a pretty focused dog ESPECIALLY when you have a ball in your hand.. makes SAR a bit easier when he knows that is his reward. However, I would like to work on his focus with me personally as opposed to the ball. Ex: When my BF and I are at the park and I am doing obedience with him while the BF is playing with a ball or kicking field goals, etc. Titan starts to lose focus with me. We have to start over the majority of the time when Dan brings out a ball of any kind. When Dan goes to the yard to practice chipping, I usually take titan out there and do obedience while all the golf balls are going everywhere. It is extremely difficult for Titan because he is so focused on the ball. Any suggestions?

Also, barking incessantly in my home. When someone comes to the door Titan will absolutely not stop barking until he meets the person. Typical scene: Door bell rings, or there's a knock. Titan barks his brains out. I tell him to go to bed. He goes to bed. If the person is a guest and comes inside he will bark in this high pitched excited bark, while I tell him enough, or ignore him. Then I let him meet the person when he is quiet and he goes about his business with no problem.. I don't mind the alert, infact I want one, but when I say enough.. I would like him to quit and let it be that.

Mary Beth 01-15-2014 09:50 PM

For the ball focus, you may want to try carrying a tennis ball tucked away in your pocket so when your BF is playing with his ball, you have Titan's ball. Try holding the ball first up by your eye, picture in your mind Titan looking up at you, when Titan looks at you - give him the ball. Practice that for a bit until he will look up right away when you have the ball, then instead of taking out the ball, just use your hand - like you are holding a ball - again, put the picture in your mind of a ball - when he looks up - praise - then get out the real ball. For the barking - Titan is very excited so has probably tuned you out. When he barks - go to the door - see who is there - try having Titan sit by your side instead of going to his bed - since he wants to greet the guest - it may help if he has a ball to hold in his mouth so he doesn't bark. You can also try putting your hand gently over the top of his nose to quiet him.

wyoung2153 01-15-2014 10:08 PM

That's very good advice thank you. I have not thought about the letting him greet. Do you think i should leash him in the beginning?

Also we have been working on the "eyes" command but maybe i will try it with a ball and see if that helps.

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Baillif 01-15-2014 10:32 PM

Teach them eyes on you focused attention away from distractions then add distraction and punish them for diverting their attention anywhere else while you are asking for it in working mode. Start with short time periods before rewarding for compliance with toy or food (3 to 5 seconds) Punishing a dog for glancing away seems strange to a lot of people but there you have it. Gotta stop those pups from hunting rewards or decoys when they are supposed to be doing something else.

wyoung2153 01-16-2014 09:34 AM

What exactly do you mean by punishing? Hard correction? Scold?

gsdsar 01-16-2014 09:54 AM

This is a common issue. High drive dogs like their toys, they make good rewards, except they don't. The reward should be the interaction WITH you, the ball is the vehicle. The reward should not be the ball. It's a subtle but very important difference. Your dog actually needs to learn that balls/toys are meaningless unless you are holding it.

Start working him in basic focus work, with balls toys laying all over. They need to become a non item. Then when you activate one, it's on and you play. You really need the dogs mind thinking "I get to play with a person!!!!" Not " where's my toy, where's my toy". This will also help with victim loyalty down the lane in SAR work.


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Mary Beth 01-16-2014 09:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wyoung2153 (Post 4841913)
That's very good advice thank you. I have not thought about the letting him greet. Do you think i should leash him in the beginning?

Also we have been working on the "eyes" command but maybe i will try it with a ball and see if that helps.

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I would try it off leash but practice first where there is little distraction and then gradually work up to more distractions.


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