Differentiating Work and Play Time - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-22-2012, 10:01 AM Thread Starter
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Differentiating Work and Play Time

I recently adopted my black german shepherd, Sascha, 2 yrs old neutered male, from a local regional animal shelter in September 2011.

He has been a fast learner so far and can do watch me, sit, down, stand, stay, left side, wait, leave it and other basics before I start him on the more advanced things.

My problem is sometimes he can't differentiate play time and work time. I try to spend at least 10 minutes every day before work and ten mins after working with him on things, and i also correlate waits, sits, downs and so forth into his every day routine in general. However, for those ten minutes i want to spend focused on training, he seems to only want to play. I will get him into left side position and put on my treat bag to hopefully spark the "work time" cue. But if i tell him down, he lays down, then bounces right back up and runs around in circles. Then if i give him another down position, he lays down, then rolls over and wallows on the floor. So i sternly say no, then wait for him to realize I'm not going to pet or reward him. When he finally gets up, i try again.
Only about half the time he starts understanding I'm wanting him to obey verbal cues. The other half he continues to play around.

Does anyone else have this issue? How can I make him understand its not play time?


...and trust me, we do have play time as well, so he's not lacking exercise and play.

GSD Britney, Retired Clermont Police Dept 2008
GSD Aleksander (Sascha) 2 years old

"Many men have forgotten this, but you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed."
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-22-2012, 10:29 AM
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There shouldn't be a differentiation between work time and play time. Don't you want a dog that listens to you all the time, during play as well as "work?" Make training way more fun by rewarding him with play. Also train during playtime. You have a dog right now that is happy and motivated to be with you and do things with you. He doesn't know there are some things that are work and some things that are play. Don't screw that up by making work into drudgery. How cool would it be if your job was like play to you? How happy and motivated would you be to do your job? Hopefully MaggieRoseLee will be along shortly with her engagement videos that show how to blend work and play together seamlessly.


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-22-2012, 10:58 AM Thread Starter
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That would be great!! Sometimes, even at the dog park, i bring my reward bag and call him back to me and click/reward just to say, hey, i know you're busy having fun, but if i need you, you need to come back. But that's about as much as i blend. If i could see examples on how to blend the two more seamlessly, it would be awesome. I just need a little guidance. And during the time i do blocks of training, it would be nice to know how to make it more fun. We are starting some agility soon, and that might be more fun for him.

GSD Britney, Retired Clermont Police Dept 2008
GSD Aleksander (Sascha) 2 years old

"Many men have forgotten this, but you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed."
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-22-2012, 05:22 PM
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https://www.germanshepherds.com/forum...-training.html

If you hadn't had a chance yet to learn about how vital 'engagement' training is in our dog training, that link above has great info that we all refer to.

Good luck with your new dog!




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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-22-2012, 11:12 PM Thread Starter
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Awesome!! This is exactly what I'm looking for. I've been watching all the videos of Ellis on Youtube since I read this post. Engagement is definitely going to help with my situation.

GSD Britney, Retired Clermont Police Dept 2008
GSD Aleksander (Sascha) 2 years old

"Many men have forgotten this, but you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed."
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-23-2012, 01:30 AM
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Quote:
There shouldn't be a differentiation between work time and play time.
^ This.

However, I've found that a lot of people find it helpful to have a "start" and "end" word for training sessions or that they use if they are competing their dogs.

Some people use "READY?" for starting a training session or when they go into the ring to compete, to let their dog know that now's the time to work. Some people use "FREE" to release the dog, either at the end of the lesson or at the end of a command (like a long down/stay).

Maybe you could come up with a set of words to mark the beginning and end of a lesson for your dog?

I use "let's train!" and "all done" with my girl when I do choose to use them.

Malinois Ronja - fastest K-9 in VT
=^^= Finn, Ratchet & Ollie

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-23-2012, 10:18 AM Thread Starter
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i already use a start word, but sometimes he doesnt always recognize it. I use "are you ready?" and i do use "release" from long stays and sits. He knows the release cue. But sometimes he just doesnt wait for it. Hopefully with engagement training, he can start to recognize these cues as start and end words.

GSD Britney, Retired Clermont Police Dept 2008
GSD Aleksander (Sascha) 2 years old

"Many men have forgotten this, but you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed."
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-23-2012, 10:26 AM
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I got huge improvement with "stay" by rewarding during the stay, not after. So I'd say "stay" and drop a treat between his front paws. Step away, step back, drop another treat between his paws, remind him to stay, etc. If he got up, I'd calmly put him back in the stay and no treat, but treat a few seconds later for staying. Then I'd give the release word and not treat. So all the good stuff comes while he is staying. Then all you have to do is stretch out the time between treats during long stays until you're only treating once. If you only treat at the end they're more likely to want to break the stay so they can try to hurry up and get the reward.


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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-23-2012, 11:03 AM Thread Starter
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You know, thinking back, I always do this in my formal training sessions, but I never do this at home. Stupid me, I'm not being as consistent with that one method, and it actually is probably making a huge difference. Although he sometimes still blows me off in formal training...but definitely not as often. Usually he only blows me off after he runs through the tunnel and decides he doesnt want to come back to a recall.

GSD Britney, Retired Clermont Police Dept 2008
GSD Aleksander (Sascha) 2 years old

"Many men have forgotten this, but you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed."
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