How to make Training Fun and Interesting - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 02-24-2013, 12:45 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How to make Training Fun and Interesting


I'm wondering if anyone has any ideas on how to make training fun and interesting. I play hide and seek with my dogs when commanding "come". What are fun ways to train sit, down, heel, etc?
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Old 02-24-2013, 01:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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My two are treat driven. Do you treat after they sit, down, **** etc? Make training sessions short and a few times a day so they stay interested. Add distractions slowly. Start training in the house, then go outside etc...

Good luck!
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Old 02-24-2013, 01:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Make sure you have lots of energy and keep the training positive, even if you're getting frustrated. When I forget to keep up the energy and am getting to the point where I feel like pulling hair because she's just not getting it or becoming uninterested in what we're doing, I remember to pick up the energy and all of a sudden it's fun again and she's so much more interested in what we're doing. High pitched voice, treats, and lots of praise when they get it right. Especially with puppies, you have to be more fun/interesting then everything else around them. XD But with puppies you definitely need to keep it short and sweet, since their attention spans are still a work in progress. I also like to always end on a good note with the successful performance of a trick, usually one that they know and are fairly reliable with. Then lots of "Yay! Good dog!"

Training basic obedience is really all about getting the dog to focus on you and then to guide them into whatever position you want them to be in. Have you done any clicker training with them? It's a great tool for marking the desirable behavior.
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Old 02-24-2013, 03:16 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I found out the hard way that if you're flat, they're going to be flat. Keep in mind that right now you're TEACHING. They don't know anything. If you're a boring teacher, you're going to lose their attention. Lots of treats, lots of praise. Talk in an excited voice. I stopped giving "commands" so to speak, because the tone was wrong for my dog. I actually switched languages, and got a faster response and more reliable response. I also changed my tone when I changed languages. The faster the response (once they know it enough to be able to do it) the bigger the reward. I come from decades of 'forced' training. It worked, but it didn't make for a happy pup. Stop when the pup is still interested. Multiple short sessions no more than five minutes.
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Old 02-24-2013, 03:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I've found that if you can train when the dog wants to, it helps a lot. For example, I work mostly from home and after our morning walk the dog usually naps for a few hours. Then around 11AM she usually comes to me full of energy and wanting to play. This is when I think she learns best. At this point I intermix training and play for about 10 minutes. This is pretty much a routine now.
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