2 year old that listens but gets bored - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-27-2012, 04:21 PM Thread Starter
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2 year old that listens but gets bored

I have a 2 year old german shepherd that listens to basic commands of sit, stay, lay, come. I recieved her from a family that was getting ready to have put to sleep because she wasn't "adjusting" to the kennel in a hotel. I adopted and she is an awesome dog, the problem lies within trying to lower her excited level when she is in the living room. It seems like she listens and then she becomes bored with what she is doing. However if I have a ball in my hand she is like mesmorized and listens non stop. I try not to raise my voice at her, and get her to obey by being calm and stern, and when she does not listen I turn the other way and ignore her trying to get attention from me. I have PTSD and recently retired and just working with her seems like it would be a good out for flashbacks and depression. I have noticed that she is always wanting to please me, but looses concentration. Anyone have any ideas that would help or do I need to just work with her more?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-27-2012, 04:30 PM
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Thanks for rescuing this girl, she sounds lovely

Sounds like she's toy motivated this is good. You should see me when I play with my boy in the yard...I sound and look like a nut but he loves it, keeps him engaged.

For right now...I would focus on bonding with her. Walks together, hiking and exploring together, letting her hang out and pet her while your watching tv, etc.

When she trusts you a strong bond will form. I'm sure others will chime in as well.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-27-2012, 04:44 PM
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One way to keep her attention and interest is to give her lots of rewards during a training session. At first the breaks to play with the ball come fast and furious: Sit, gets the ball. Down, gets the ball. Come! Gets the ball, and so on. Training sessions are short, and you stop BEFORE she looses interest. Take the ball away, session over. This keeps her from reaching the point of getting bored and loosing interest.

Then you gradually work up to longer sessions, more commands between play rewards, and longer periods of focus. Keep her in a state of focused interest, stop before she checks out. You should be able to watch her eyes and see when they sort of start to drift because her attention is wandering.

Eventually, by working with her on a regular basis, you should be able to extend her ability to stay focused for longer periods without getting bored. Still, for most adult dogs, 15 to 20 minutes of work at a time is plenty. She may not be able to give you that right now, but it is something to work towards.

I also found that there was a big incremental step between 2 years old and 3 years old in how much focus my dog was able to give me. Used to be 10 to 15 minutes, and I would see him checking out mentally (he was still able to perform through the obedience exercises, but I could see that his attention was gone). Then at three years old, his focus is about doubled to what it used to be, seemingly overnight. So with your rescue, another year might make a huge difference, but first you need to work on building up her attention span in baby-steps.


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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-27-2012, 09:54 PM Thread Starter
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Wow!!! I did exactly that with that with the ball for 15 minutes and it was awesome, she showed me a side of her i have never seen, she didn't get distracted or anything, when we quit with commands she just layed next to me and let me pet her. I thought that our basset hound would distract her, but she just played with my three year old and acted like nothing.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-27-2012, 10:11 PM
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That's fantastic! Congrats!
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-27-2012, 10:32 PM
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I agree 100% with keeping the training sessions short. As mine gets older, I see she is getting bored in class, so I take a 5 minute break and resume..she comes back like she was never in the class to begin with.

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