Can't get my pup's attention! - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-24-2013, 04:00 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Sep 2012
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Can't get my pup's attention!

She's about 8 months and is listens well at home but when we leave the front door, nothing else matters. I've been working on "watch me" and she doesn't listen when we are outside her comfort zone. How do I get her attention? I've been consistent with this since she was 8 weeks and it seems like she doesn't care for my attention but she listens to my husband! Funny thing is that he's barely around and I am the one who feeds/groom/play/train her but yet she chooses him over me. Why is that?

She's not food driven so even if I have a nice piece if fresh chicken in my hand, she can care less. Any advice?

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-24-2013, 06:00 AM
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Food drive can be helped if they're trained when hungry, if you feed kibble try feeding half the amount and use the other half as a training reward. If you feed RAW just cut back on the amount and use treats, you might have to try more then a few to find one that she likes

Otherwise does she have a favourite toy? Try a small squeaker in your pocket to get snap attention then a tug or whatever high value toy works. Have a very special toy set aside strictly for training which improves the value

Also if a dog is struggling at something you might have to strengthen the basic command, make sure you can get good focus in the house and backyard then build it on the walk. Really reward the good behaviour so she understands what you're expecting her to do

For me, I talk a lot on the walk using praise and very light corrections to keep Delgado in good position, he responds well to my voice so I use it most.


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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-24-2013, 08:43 AM
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you had your pup since she was 8 weeeks old. you train consistently.
your dog is 8 months but she's not listening to you. i think you're
doing something wrong or you're not connecting in some manner. find
a trainer. i read somewhere "when your dog isn't doing what you want you
have to stop and ask yourself what am i doing wrong".
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-24-2013, 09:40 AM
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You have to be more interesting than whatever is getting the pup's attention. Also training before feeding works better. A hungry dog will work for food. Or, if your pup is toy driven, toys are good rewards for good behavior - one that you can fit in your pocket is handy. At 8 months you are in the middle of adolescence - one of the hardest times to train but one of the most important. Don't give up. Find a trainer in your area to help. This seems to be more than you are going to be able to handle alone. Have you ever tried clicker training? Have you used a trainer before? There are many ways to keep your pup engaged in what you want, each dog is different in what they find important. Like Shade mentioned, I also talk to my dog while walking. It keeps their attention and trains them to listen.


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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-24-2013, 10:34 AM
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I understand the OPs problem. Find a good trainer who can tell you what you are doing wrong.

"And why do we fall, Bruce? So we can learn to pick ourselves up."
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-24-2013, 11:13 AM
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I transitioned from food to = ball, ie. prey drive (never lost focus with that!)

Also, have you established yourself as alpha, regarding her listening better to your husband? ie, her not going thru doors first, sit before being fed, ect (small things mean alot to a dog, pack structure)

Trainer or research needed!
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-24-2013, 09:28 PM Thread Starter
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Can't get my pup's attention!

Thanks for all the responses. I started out with clicker training and with high quality treats (boiled chicken, dried liver, dried sweet potatoes, raw beef, beef bone marrow, beef knuckles) I tried out petsmart training classes when she was about 12 weeks and have to say that the training was very basic teaching everything she already knew. I also hired a personal trainer that my neighbor recommended to me and it didn't work out with her because she was choking my pup with a rope and yanking her neck like no tomorrow. I did not like the way she was telling me to handle my dog so I let her go. We are now looking to enroll her in falco k9 in the next enrollment date.

One thing I did learn from my old personal trainer was that I did not give my dog boundaries (sitting before and after entrance/exits) which I've been working on. She sits and waits for her food and let's my daughters play with her and her food while she eats. Everything I trained her to do she does with my husband and not me. I know the problem is with me and that I wasn't keeping my foot down with her. Now I need to stand my ground and have her listen to me when we are out but am having a hard time getting her attention. I will try the special squeaky toy to see it that works since she loves to play catch!

Oh and one last thing, I always read on here and many other places that training works best when it's done before their meal but the PT that I had said the opposite. She told me that Meeka had to be fed and physically tired from playing before we start working on her brain. It didn't work in my case because she would rather play than eat.

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