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Eegore 11-22-2012 05:51 AM

Engagement situation for 9 month old
Hello all,

First off I really enjoy the wealth of knowledge listed on the forums here.

So I have had my 8-9 month old GSD for about a month now and the previous owner didnt do much with her besides potty-train and a sit command. My experience before with GSDs has been that the 8-13 month stage is the most stubborn but I have always had the dog trained with all the basics and boundries by then.

This dog here however is having a lot of trouble staying engaged. Even in the house I have to pull everything out of the room, water etc. or she just walks off. I'm out of new treats to try at this time and I'm really just trying to keep her focused so we can get her heel/follow and return commands going.

I've never gotten a dog this old before and was wondering if the lack of engagement/focus is normal for a GSD that hasnt had previous training at this age. I've seen people use a leash on older dogs to keep them near and redirected at the owner, especially when they arent interested in treats. Anyone ever try this?

Any ideas would be appreciated.


sit,stay 11-22-2012 03:52 PM

My best advice is to keep trying different foods for rewards. If your dog can't sustain interest in commercially prepared treats, start trying home made foods. I know a show dog that loves popcorn, and that is what he is baited with in the ring.

My 6 year old GSD is not overly food motivated. It took many, many months of trying different things before I discovered that he liked home prepared, baked liver. I only used it for training, and even then I would mix it up with a toy reward (his favorite tug toy, which he also only got when training). He never knew what he was going to get, the food reward or the toy reward.

If you can't get focus or engagement off leash at this point, by all means, keep the dog on leash.

Elaine 11-22-2012 04:05 PM

Spend a lot of quality time with her. Take her for walks, rides in the car, watch tv together, and pet her. Another good thing to do is to feed her only when she comes to you. No more meal time. All her food comes from you. If she goes hungry for a few days, to bad, she'll figure it out and won't starve to death.

MattLink 11-22-2012 04:54 PM

I use freeze-dried liver treats, buy honestly my dog will react just as well, if not better, to a tennis ball. I can use it to teach just about any trick that I could with treats.
Does the pup have a favourite toy you could use?

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Eegore 11-23-2012 08:12 AM

Thanks for the information.

I need to stay on the hunt for something the dog enjoys. So far she isnt interested in much more than other animals.

I have a 25 foot cable I can use as a long-line in the garden and use that to reel her in after each call for now.

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