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Old 03-15-2014, 01:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default First obedience class WOW!

Well Darius and I went to our first obedience class tonight. I did not realize I have been doing things wrong! I guess I thought I was doing a good thing by teaching him to sit, however I was teaching him WRONG! I never knew there was a wrong way but now I know!
I was getting him to sit backing up and I should have been teaching him to come forward into a sit. I now need to fix it!
I also can not get him to keep paying attention to me! He will stay fairly in the right place but he will not keep looking at me.
My fingers are raw from puppy teeth! I need better treats! Any recommendations?
He did a really great sit stay with me at the end of the leash!
I am happy to be getting him out and training with him but boy I feel terrible teaching him the wrong way for the last 2 weeks.
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Old 03-15-2014, 01:30 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Congratulations, learning OB is very good for their behaviour and relationship with you.

I use Devon as treats when training http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devon_(sausage) not sure if you have this in the states, but anything like this which is not spicy and very soft is usually attractive to them. You don't want to use treats that are hard requiring a lot of chewing as he will spend too long trying to chew the treat than concentrating on you, so chose something easy to chew and swallow.

For his focus on you, just practice using treats. Have him in a sit and with a really yummy treat in your hand, wave it in front of his nose, give the command to 'look' or 'watch' then bring the treat up to your eye. The second he looks at you, mark it and treat him. Eg when he looks at you, say 'yes' or use a clicker and click then give him the reward. Keep practising and you will eventually be able to get him to look for longer periods of time and immediately on command. This command and a recall, imo are essential as there will be times you may need to distract him so if he knows the look command this will help you.
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if your GSD is eating and eating and eating and losing weight - please consider testing for EPI.

http://www.epi4dogs.com/epiinsnapshots.htm
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Old 03-15-2014, 01:36 AM   #3 (permalink)
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A good pup, working hard will cause pain in the fingers. My youngster will work for kibble. My older dog works better for the rolls of dog food cut into small pieces. Little bit of steak will work, too. However, better treats = higher drive = more bit fingers....

I teach most things by waiting until the pup volunteers the behavior. Then I name it, praise it and reward it. Haven't thought about whether or not my dog backs up to sit or walks forward to sit.

Don't worry about teaching the "wrong" thing - pups are flexible. She'll just figure you changed your mind (again.)
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