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-   -   Proud yet still have questions (http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/training-our-puppy-basic/439769-proud-yet-still-have-questions.html)

Ellimaybel 04-18-2014 12:02 AM

Proud yet still have questions
 
Gunther has spent the past two days training with me on staying on command. It's going really well and I'm proud of him. Yesterday he broke the stay 7 out of 10 times. Today, only twice but immediately sat back down when I gave the command. I spent some time with treat rewards but mostly toys. My issue is that the training isn't sticking when I'm not in training mode. When we are playing and he brings me the toy back he doesn't release it on command unless I'm redirecting with another toy. He does it perfectly when we are in training mode, just not play mode. What am I doing wrong? Is it just too soon to expect both or should I make every play time a training session until he gets it? He really only does this with his football and tire so should I remove those toys until we are done with training? Again, in training mode, he will sit with either of those toys right by his side and ignore them completely and focus only on me and my commands. This may have rambled on a bit but I'm distracted with his face in front of my screen and trying to cover every bit of information.

boomer11 04-18-2014 12:09 AM

Training and play should be the same thing. How do you differentiate between the two? Do you talking a more serious voice or something?

Ellimaybel 04-18-2014 12:25 AM

Before I begin training I start out saying "it's time to work". I would think that maybe my body language is probably different. In training mode I'm more distant from him (which is excruciating because he's so adorable) but when we play I'm much more up close and personal with him. Is using play time afterwards as a reward undoing my training work?

boomer11 04-18-2014 12:50 AM

Your dog not having as much fun during training than he does during play is going to undo your training. Especially when you no longer have a puppy.

Ellimaybel 04-18-2014 12:59 AM

I don't think he's not having as much fun. I'm distant but reward with a lot of attention, a hug and kiss every time. It's just that when he's playing he wants to play keep away from me. I feel he enjoys his training, just that when we are out of that mode he switches gears. If the word "work" is proving to be his trigger (which so far it seems to be) then I'll refocus my methods to trying to trigger mid-play so he knows that it's time to be serious. I'm new at this, figuring it out as I go. I know that every dog is different and so is every owner. I'm also waiting for a call from my trainer I'll be working with so his help will guide me as well. I'm just trying to get a jump start on things. I may be a little late in the game at 9 months but I have been slowly but surely chipping away at it.

boomer11 04-18-2014 01:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ellimaybel (Post 5393873)
It's just that when he's playing he wants to play keep away from me.

This is basically what I'm saying. Your dog doesn't want to be around you while "playing". Every time he's around you, you are asking him to do all these commands. You might think it's fun for him but for him it's work. If every time he's around you he has to work then why would he want to? The dog sees you as a source of work and not a source of fun. Your dog should listen 24\7. There shouldn't have to be a trigger word. My dog will stay when asked. He doesn't have to be put in a different mode. I would rethink your approach towards training. Your way of thinking right now is just going to create a dog that is unreliable in terms of commands and I'm willing to bet the speed of commands.

I'm willing to bet if you took the dog to a strange place like a park and tried to train the dog would check out and lose focus on you.

Ellimaybel 04-18-2014 01:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by boomer11 (Post 5393905)
This is basically what I'm saying. Your dog doesn't want to be around you while "playing". Every time he's around you, you are asking him to do all these commands. You might think it's fun for him but for him it's work. If every time he's around you he has to work then why would he want to? The dog sees you as a source of work and not a source of fun. Your dog should listen 24\7. There shouldn't have to be a trigger word. My dog will stay when asked. He doesn't have to be put in a different mode. I would rethink your approach towards training. Your way of thinking right now is just going to create a dog that is unreliable in terms of commands and I'm willing to bet the speed of commands.

Thank you for the criticism, I accept it because it's what I want. Now, do you have some tips to help me? I seek constructive criticism but also any tips and/or leadership would be greatly appreciated. :)

boomer11 04-18-2014 01:53 AM

Yes play with the dog with enthusiasm for a few minutes and then throw in a few commands and then play for a few more minutes. The entire point is that your dog needs to see what you call "training" as his play time. Making the dog sit and stay over and over is Not fun for a dog. The main point is the dog is having fun with you. He is eager to come because coming to you means the fun games are about to start.

Once the dog sees you as the source of fun instead of work then you can begin to ask more in terms of obedience from the dog. You can ask for longer times on stays and chain more commands together. The dog will willingly do it because he knows it ends in more play.

In terms of the stay just be consistent in correcting the dog. Meaning when he breaks the stay put him back in it every single time. If he is breaking his stay 7 out of 10 times then you're going too fast and asking for too much. I would also bring him back to the same spot if he breaks his stay. If he gets up and moves forward and you say stay then the dog slowly feels he can creep forward a few steps. Stay means stay in that exact spot.

Ellimaybel 04-18-2014 02:04 AM

That was very helpful! Now I can actually see what I have been doing wrong. I had been doing it over and over for 20 minutes and then having play. I see the validity of your point in mixing it up. I also had been making the mistake of letting him creep forward. Tomorrow I'll begin again with this new approach in mind. Thank you for the input, it was exactly what I was looking for.

njk 04-18-2014 07:46 PM

I thought the same thing when I got my pup - that training and play were two different things. When I read up on that NILIF method talked about her so often, I incorporated training into our play. Previously with fetch, she would chase and grab the ball, but not give it back. During training she would. I couldn't understand why, so I started using two balls when we played and used commands during it (specifically to get her to drop the ball and sit) . A couple days ago I couldn't find her second ball, so I decided we'd play with just one, and to my shock she followed through on commands perfectly and would drop the ball at my feet and sit patiently waiting for me to throw it. It was so awesome :)


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