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Old 05-12-2014, 07:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I have been trying to train my 3 month old in the yard and all he wants to do is eat the grass, twigs and whatever else he finds in the lawn. No amount of "leave it" works, even though he knows the command and he does it on other things. What can I do to prevent this or deal with it? I want to be able to train with him in the yard.

He trains great on the deck though.
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Old 05-12-2014, 07:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Let your pup be a pup. The outside world is exciting to him. What you're expecting is like taking a 5 year old kid to the playground and then asking him to sit there quietly and do his homework.

Take the fun out of training and in 7 months you'll have an 80 lb Shepherd blow off all your commands.
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Old 05-12-2014, 07:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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@ 12 weeks or 3 months I would get the dog out of the yard to do training. I started leash training at 8 weeks old, outside the immediate area's where new thing's could be explored. Gardner's, noises, (horns) smells, cars driving by in the street, kids in baby buggies, ect. Carry some kibble in your pocket or a bag. First have the dog stay in heal on your left, and work from there, it's actually very easy. You should have seen the "perk up" when we both found a "new stick" and she carried it in her mouth as a task, how happy she was to do it.

If it does not happen now, when the dog is 5 to 6 months old he or she will double in strength and then, you have to deal with a dog that can pull a full ox cart, then it becomes difficult, manners now, easy in 2 more months..

Enjoy !
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Old 05-12-2014, 08:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Our home yard is all rock (desert) so that is what my puppy is used to, but our trainer's yard has the most beautiful fluffy green grass ever! I started talking my puppy there at 3 months and he couldn't focus for the life of him! He was doing the same things you described. At the suggestion of my trainer, I got there 10 minutes early and let him explore a bit before the real training began. That helped a bit, but what has helped the most is his aging...so time will be on your side. He is now 5.5 months and every week gets better, but my trainer is great and says let him be a pup.

Beyond that...when you are outside, get the dog excited! Take off running and call his name and make some noise, squeak some toys (make a fool of yourself in other words) and puppy will definitely be interested in YOU! Then get one 30 second training and off you go again! Make it fun, fun, fun! Be better than the grass and twigs. It's all about engagement right now and making the dog love to be with you...then he will work for you!

I learned this from recent experience...except I had to act like a fool in front of the other dogs and their handlers! Lol
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Old 05-12-2014, 08:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simba405 View Post
Let your pup be a pup. The outside world is exciting to him. What you're expecting is like taking a 5 year old kid to the playground and then asking him to sit there quietly and do his homework.

Take the fun out of training and in 7 months you'll have an 80 lb Shepherd blow off all your commands.
Disagree. The younger the better to start imprinting and building up a solid foundation for OB. Letting the pup be a pup is what leads to an adult GSD that has no boundaries, manners, or focus as the world is more fun than their handler. Training should absolutely be fun and playing with the handler in different environments is the reward.

OP, search michael ellis engagement on youtube for some helpful videos and advice.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZlm-Oe0IGU
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Old 05-12-2014, 08:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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How are you doing the training? Some ideas... don't stand still, keep good constant motion, use perky voices, leash the dog so it can't get away from you, keep the sessions short (once he starts fading that should stop the session and likely less than 5 min). Food lure (let his nose touch the treat), keep it fun. Pure motivation. If he's hot, tired, too distracted, don't train. if he does better on the deck, for every 3 commands on the deck run to the grass to do one, while maintaining his focus and quickly run back to the deck (make him chase you). Train for engagement on the lawn first before commands. Find his motivator and use that on the lawn. Withhold his meals and use meals as the reward for those training sessions (feed by hand). You'll get there!
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Old 05-12-2014, 09:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thank you all for your comments. About Mr. Ellis, I have a few of his videos and have been doing engagement with my pup. I will continue that. He is very food motivated so that makes things a little easier. But I need to do more on my end to keep him interested in me more than the grass. I think my training sessions are far too long, I will cut back on them. I think I'm too static during training, I will keep it moving and try to get him more focused on me and toys instead of the grass.

About letting him be a puppy, I agree! But he is a puppy most of the time, I don't think I can let my puppy run around like a hooligan and expect him to be a great trained adult dog. I guess there has to be a balance and we are working on finding it.

Please keep your ideas coming. This is the area we need the most help on.
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Old 05-12-2014, 10:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by MustLoveGSDs View Post
Disagree. The younger the better to start imprinting and building up a solid foundation for OB. Letting the pup be a pup is what leads to an adult GSD that has no boundaries, manners, or focus as the world is more fun than their handler. Training should absolutely be fun and playing with the handler in different environments is the reward.

OP, search michael ellis engagement on youtube for some helpful videos and advice.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZlm-Oe0IGU
I guess we'll agree to disagree. Foundation with a puppy? A mature dog can learn sit/down/etc in 5 minutes. Why the rush to teach it to a pup?

Imo with Pups it's all about engagement and not at all about training commands. All I did was play with my pup for the first 6 months. Taking the dog outside and instead of playing you make him sit over and over Imo is a mistake that you will pay for down the road.
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