How do I keep my dogs attention on me? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-14-2010, 01:24 PM Thread Starter
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How do I keep my dogs attention on me?

Ok, first off for background purposes, Loki is 7 months old and is 95% DDR working line. Loki aced Puppy Class with flying colors, but is failing Basic Obedience Class. I am having trouble with keeping Loki's attention, I know he is still young but I can't keep his attention at all during training. He acts like I do not exist and does what he wants to do. I have used all sorts of treats and even tried toys as rewards. I am currently using hot dogs now but he could care less most of the time, specially when out in public he gets distracted easy as if I do not exist and the treats don't even get his attention. Because of this I can not get him to heal at all, not even at home in the backyard with no distractions. I need words of wisdom as how I should go about keeping his attention on me? He knows the "watch me" command, but yet again only when he wants to "watch me". Thanks for any and all advice! Off to work now.

-Nicole
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Loki Von Hena-C, Sable GSD DOB 8/8/09

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~*RIP Harley, my 1st GSD, 7 yrs*~
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-14-2010, 03:36 PM
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Use "watch me" for everthing. "watch me" - then he gets his food. "watch me" - then you open the door. "watch me" - then you throw the ball. Get him in the habit of looking at you waiting for the command that he is expecting. Try holding a treat in your palm and don't let him have it until he looks at you. If he tries to take it, close your hand. Tell him once only to "watch me" and then wait. He knows what he needs to do and eventually he will look up. It takes a while to make it routine and it might not be the complete solution but it will help his focus.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-14-2010, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Nicnivin View Post
I need words of wisdom as how I should go about keeping his attention on me?
You need to be more exciting than ANY of the distractions.

Does he like to play tug? If so, use that as a reward instead of the treats.

Keep your pace brisk - a slow moving GSD is a BORED GSD, especially if it's a young dog.

Don't expect alot from a young dog and remember that they go through periods when they seem to have forgotten everything they learned.

Most importantly - keep it FUN for both the dog AND you.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-14-2010, 04:45 PM
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I'd back up and start with a super hungry dog, no distractions, REAL treats (chicken?liver?beef?) and a clicker.

Using the clicker takes away the confusion cause we have to shut up. No praise, you coaxing, no begging, no words. Just hungry dog, treats, clicker and our brain.

The best book I know that teaches this with the treats/toys/clicker and adds the prong collar in for attention (just as more of a reminder then correction when you start). Is Steppin Up to Success by Teri Arnold. REally well written, progresses week by week like classes, and you build gradually on the skills as you go.

SteppinUp - About Terri

Welcome to Dogwise.com







Better with a clicker but this is good also


I would do ALL that earlier stuff and here's onto using it for 'heeling'





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"Nothing new can come into your life unless you are grateful for what you already have. ~ "--- Michael Bernhard, gratitude

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-14-2010, 08:36 PM
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I went through something similar (https://www.germanshepherds.com/forum...ted-kinda.html) with Anna. I worked a lot on taking her new places and going to class BEFORE our class actually started. Being there for an hour with other dogs and people doing stuff gave her time to watch and calm down, allowing her to focus better on me when it came time for our class.

How many classes has he been through now? The first week or two are usually the toughest. Hang in there!


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Tiffany; mom to:
Annabelle "the Diva"- GSD born 9/21/08
Duncan- Shep Mix adopted on 2/14/00 TDI
The kitty amigos: Simon, Alley and Mia
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-14-2010, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks all for the suggestions!

We only have one class left and he will go as a hungry dog and I will pick a yummy meat treat for training uses only. Haven't really worked with a clicker, I have one maybe I should give that a try too.

I will check out all the links and look into the book. We are going to wait a bit before putting him in advanced class so I can keep working on his basic obedience skills while he is going through his rebellious stage.

-Nicole
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Loki Von Hena-C, Sable GSD DOB 8/8/09

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~*Maya Von Hena-C, Red Sable DOB 3/02, living with my ex*~
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~*RIP Hunter Von Hena-C, Black Sable GSD, 10 yrs*~
~*RIP Harley, my 1st GSD, 7 yrs*~
My breeder -
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-14-2010, 09:31 PM
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You might also want to just re-enroll in basic OB to help continue work on his focus issues. Just a thought.


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Tiffany; mom to:
Annabelle "the Diva"- GSD born 9/21/08
Duncan- Shep Mix adopted on 2/14/00 TDI
The kitty amigos: Simon, Alley and Mia
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-14-2010, 09:44 PM
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work with yor dog a lot. i find working in sessions helps. i work my
dog a lot but only 10 minutes or so at a time. we might have 10 sessions a day but each sesion is short and we always end
on a positive note.

i'm also thinking work your dog in private. you
can always add in the distractions. work your dog
everyday. work inside and outside.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-14-2010, 09:50 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aubie View Post
You might also want to just re-enroll in basic OB to help continue work on his focus issues. Just a thought.
Thought about this, but one good thing is my BF manages a Petsmart and their trainers, who both have Obedience titled dogs want to us my Loki and their "demo dog". He will go to work with my BF a day or two a week and walk around and work with the trainers. Then the trainers will work with me.

-Nicole
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Loki Von Hena-C, Sable GSD DOB 8/8/09

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~*Maya Von Hena-C, Red Sable DOB 3/02, living with my ex*~
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~*RIP Hunter Von Hena-C, Black Sable GSD, 10 yrs*~
~*RIP Harley, my 1st GSD, 7 yrs*~
My breeder -
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-15-2010, 01:51 PM
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There is a great sticky post on the subject of focus on this board: https://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/how-do-i-teach-my-dog/85869-teaching-focus.html

I've followed the suggestions there and it's worked wonders and instead of actually issuing a watch-me command I simply wait for prolonged eye contact from my GSD. She has to do this for her food, for any treats, to get out to the yard, for me to throw the ball, pretty much anything and everything that has value to her.

Also, if you reward your dog for automatically focusing on you in random situations your dog will look to you all the time as they know good things happen when they defer to you. My dog watches me so much my wife says she's my stalker, hehe.
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