keep his attention and not to lay down - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-03-2009, 11:43 AM Thread Starter
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keep his attention and not to lay down

He does fine at first but not even 5 minutes into working with him when i tell him to come and sit he will but then he lays down. when we first start i call his name and he looks at me, a couple minutes later i have to say his name a couple times before he looks at me. i give him a treat when i say his name and he looks at me eye to eye each time. what do i need to do?
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-03-2009, 12:47 PM
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Re: keep his attention and not to lay down

He's young, he's bored, he doesn't know the difference between Sit and Down. Do you happen to be doing this indoors?

If so, take him outdoors, as he will have less of a tendency to lie down when there is so much more stimulating his senses.

5 minutes can be a long time, especially for a young puppy. Hold old is he?

Train one thing at a time, initially. Do not try to train his name, come, and sit, all at once.

Also, do not overdo his name, or the come command, if he already knows them. He could be getting bored.

I usually informally teach come, first. In that, I mean, I don't create training sessions to teach come. I just call the dog's name, then the come command. When he arrives, praise to death, or treat, in the beginning stages. But, I don't make a drill out of it, and do it least, not yet.

I then train the Sit command, and work only on that, using the conditioned come BEHAVIOR (not command) to get him to move to a new spot near me, then Sit again. If he lies down, move him into a Sit position to give him an idea that there is indeed a difference.

I then teach heel, interpersing in some Sits once they know heel to a certain extent. Aside from the obvious, this serves to help show a dog there are different things to learn, and that they indeed are all really different.

It is after he gets that when I move to training Down, and I think it helps to not confuse the dog, because at first, to them, Sit and Down positions are quite close, so with some dogs, if you teach them too closely together, they can easily not know the different positions for the different commands.

After he's learned a few different things, start doing them inetrchangably, the idea is to keep him on his toes. For example, go for a walk starting wih heel. Abruptly, issue a Sit. Continue heeling. Now, maybe a down. If you start keeping him on his toes, his natural instinct will be to start to pay more attention cause he never knows what's coming, so you're shaping the behavior here to pay attention. After that, when you start to teach Focus, he's already conditioned to doing so to some extent, and the rest should come easier.

Hope this helps.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-03-2009, 01:00 PM
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Re: keep his attention and not to lay down

Another thing to consider is when you are feeding your dog in relation to when you are training your dog. When I started training Bella I would feed her before "school" (hey, thats what my mom did for me right?) and quickly learned that treats for motivation doesn't do a whole lot of good if the dog has just eaten. If you're going to do the treat method, make sure your dog is hungry or he won't be interested in them (but I hope it goes without saying, don't starve your dog).

Maybe thats a pretty obvious solution and you already knew that, but like I said it took me a couple weeks to figure that one out.


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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-03-2009, 01:21 PM
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Re: keep his attention and not to lay down

Work on focus exercises. Before you start have a treat in each hand, with hands at your side. When he comes and sits get him to watch you, ie look into your eyes. When he makes eye contact, bring one of your hands to the front and treat him. Wait longer and longer before you treat.

When I'm walking and she sits upon stopping I wait until she looks at me then treat. This one is coming along slowly, but I think she is getting it.

As for laying down, mine used to do that too. I think I confused her so I left the down exercises and just worked exclusively on sit.

I am so jealous of the other dogs in my class who all look at their owners, and mind doesn't always and I think I really working hard on focus - but I guess I need to step it up.

I would break down your exercises to many 5 min. sessions, always ending on a positive note. I feel so much better when my dog delivers on the last command -I could only imagine how she feels when I'm happy that she did well.
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