Help with focus!! Please!!! - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-22-2011, 07:38 PM Thread Starter
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Question Help with focus!! Please!!!

My husband and I adopted an 11 month old PB female. She is 13 months old now. As far as we could tell she had no training before the the rescue got her. We completed group basic obedience training with the trainer the rescue uses. She knows her basics and will do them when asked.

But she lacks any kind of focus! She barely makes any eye contact and never keeps her attention on us, instead looks all around the room. It doesn't matter if we are in a room alone or in a crowded park.. I've read the posts about building focus and watched the videos, but nothing is working!

She doesn't seem to be motivated by anything either. I've tried tons of different treats, and even hot dogs and cheese at the suggestion of the trainer. She'll be excited about it for a treat or two then checks out. We're surprised she is not more food motivated too, because before the rescue got her she was nearly starved to death after being confined in a bathroom and not fed properly for who knows how long before animal control got and the owners agreed to turn her over...

I am out of ideas and could really use some suggestions. I see all the really trained pups out there, and I want our Molly to be the same way, I know it'll take a ton of work, but its so hard when she won't focus on us..

Thanks is advance!!

Last edited by taylorco; 12-22-2011 at 07:41 PM.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-03-2012, 11:01 PM
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hi, i have a 6mo old that i have taken to obedience classes, i walk her everyday for long periods of time and thats training also, sometimes she pays attention and sometimes she prefers smelling dirt (its more interesting) so ive also incorporated play time with her, that gets her undivided attention. i will go into the tennis court (enclosed area) and bounce the ball, if she doesnt pay attention ill run with it, she loves to chase things and then i dodge her throw it up in the air she catches it i run after her. or ill hide the ball. i dont play too long on the courts its hard on her joints so 10 minutes is good and its a nice bonding feeling, not to mention fun! when we leave she only has eyes for me anyway it might take longer for you, especially because she missed out on early socialization, but give her time she'll come around. i adopted a dog many years ago and she turned out to be a wonderful dog. hang in there and good luck
post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-03-2012, 11:13 PM
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Does she like any toys? I think she is just taking longer to trust you because of the abuse. She may not feel humans are trustworthy, and it's taking so much longer because of that. You might try a variety of things to see if she gets any joy out of anything.

How do you feed her? Out of a bowl, or out of hand? You could try some food toys first, mixed with some hand feeding. I feel she'll probably come around, but it may take a long time. I would try to see what brings her joy and try using those.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-03-2012, 11:18 PM
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make her believe treats come from your mouth.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-03-2012, 11:26 PM
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This might help even if you're dog isn't actually reactive. It's not the most exciting exercise in the world but it works.

Protocol for relaxation
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-03-2012, 11:31 PM
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How are you trying to teach eye contact? What's her food drive like around feeding time?
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-04-2012, 02:44 AM
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Perhaps because of her background she needs a little more time just to explore the world in general. Being she was kept in a bathroom, she surely must be very curious what is out there. Heck, a puppy that age that has been socialized would still be fairly curious at her age.

Maybe you need to take a step back in the focus arena and just let her be a dog and explore. Once she starts getting her curiosity satisfied, perhaps she would be more willing to focus on you rather than on "what is that? and that?"

Remember, she missed out on a lot in life.

What kind of off leash exercise is she getting?
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-04-2012, 07:59 AM
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I'd also be working on the exercise and play with her to get her comfortable with her new life.

Have you heard of clicker training? Absolutely perfect cause it removes the 'pressure' we may accidentally put into training...

Perfect for ALL dogs! --> click this -->


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