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Old 02-01-2014, 10:57 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Engagement Problems

I have had my German Shepherd puppy for about 2 weeks now and I have a big problem holding his attention. He still doesn't respond to his name and when I want to train him he is very easily distracted. Also, on walks for the first week, I almost didn't need a leash because he followed me everywhere outside. Recently, however, he started wondering off and would prefer to do anything but follow/listen to me. I've tried the use of treats but after the third one he loses interest in them. I was wondering if there were any techniques to help with this. he gets vaccinated Wednesday in which he and myself will be enrolled in obedience and manners class. Any suggestions of what I could do?
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Old 02-01-2014, 11:12 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by tjpearse View Post
I have had my German Shepherd puppy for about 2 weeks now and I have a big problem holding his attention. He still doesn't respond to his name and when I want to train him he is very easily distracted. Also, on walks for the first week, I almost didn't need a leash because he followed me everywhere outside. Recently, however, he started wondering off and would prefer to do anything but follow/listen to me. I've tried the use of treats but after the third one he loses interest in them. I was wondering if there were any techniques to help with this. he gets vaccinated Wednesday in which he and myself will be enrolled in obedience and manners class. Any suggestions of what I could do?
On short walks, try changing directions quite often. Taking a dog for a predictable walk becomes exactly that...predictable. Do some 180's and when the dog doesn't follow, a gentle nudge on the leash to change his course will solidify your wishes. Do circles, do 90 degree turns, do all kinds of course changes....yes your neighbors might look at you odd...but who cares. This is just one of many exercises you can employ.

If my memory serves properly, there is a member in this group whose screen name is DJEtzel. I watched a short video of her working with her pup and she knows her "stuff" much more than I most likely ever will when it comes to training. I know there are many others as well but that name comes to mind first. Maybe you could solicit her for some advice, I'd bet you would get great advice.


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Old 02-01-2014, 11:15 AM   #3 (permalink)
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How old is the dog in question?
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Old 02-01-2014, 11:26 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the advice, I will certainly try that on walks. Hugo is almost 10 weeks.
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Old 02-01-2014, 11:29 AM   #5 (permalink)
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How long are you training for?
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Old 02-01-2014, 11:40 AM   #6 (permalink)
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That's the problem. I can hold his attention for maybe a minute then he wants to run off and do something else.
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Old 02-01-2014, 11:45 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Then train for 45 seconds - now is puppy goofy time. It's like a 6 month old baby. Hard to engage them for very long if there are other things to look. So set yourself up for success by doing truly tiny things in those brief times. I also would bet your minute is longer - I would use a timer. Get a clicker. Teach 1 thing. End on a high note with the puppy ready to do more. You can do that 10 times a day, slowly extending the time out. Doing fun things, using a high, happy voice, and big yay parties along with the food helps. I look like a total wackadoo with a puppy or a toddler!
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Old 02-01-2014, 12:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I would say that a minute of engagement is fine for 10 week old. You are not going to get sustained engagement in training for several more months... like 4 more months or so. Play play play with him so you become the fun distraction. 1 minute training and then increase it slowly but more time just playing. And walks can be a challenge but it will all improve. Don't push the puppy to hard to be perfectly obedient.
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Old 02-01-2014, 12:31 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thank you all. I actually started introducing the clicker today and he took to it pretty well. I understand that he's a puppy and we play as much as he has energy to do so. I was just a bit stressed that I might miss the prime training days for dogs because I really want my GSD to be as well trained as a service dog.
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Old 02-01-2014, 12:44 PM   #10 (permalink)
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10 weeks......hmmmmm....wouldn't get all too concerned about leashes and walks....I thought the dog was older.

Getting the pup used to a collar and a leash might not be the worst thing but not a priority....and not necessarily by walking the dog around the neighborhood.


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