Focus on me - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-23-2016, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
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Focus on me

Not sure how to word this right.... but pretty much how do I get my girl to better focus on me. Inside we practice "eyes" so she'll focus on my face and look me in the eyes and hold it for awhile and then I'll praise her. I also work this when we practice down and sit (inside) we practice keeping eye contact. But when we're outside it's hard to get her to focus on me even with treats toys whatever. When there's no one around I can get her to watch me while we go through commands (sit/stay down/stay) but if there's a person or a dog it's really hard to get her to look at me again. She's not lunging or barking or even excited it's just a dead stare at the person/dog. I can command her into a sit or down and she'll listen but she just won't look at me. She might quickly glance at me when she sits or lays down when i tell her to but I can't get her to focus her attention back on me entirely -.- oh and she's about 10 months now
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-23-2016, 07:07 PM
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Have you tried clicker /marker training? Short sessions built into longer ones, with small distractions and redirection on to you when she breaks would be my suggestion.. Praise and reward when she stays focused and/or refocuses on you.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-23-2016, 08:25 PM Thread Starter
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I did try this initially but she wouldn't take the treat.... normally she loves her training treats and I've done clicker training on different things with her in the past which worked well. But she ignores the treats (in this situation specifically) even when they're offered for the right behavior. For example in the past when she did focus back on me I marked it then went to reward with the treat, she sniffed it and then just turned her head away and focused back on the person/dog. I think I just need to work with a smaller distraction. I just need to find one that grabs her attention but nearly as much as the dog/person so I can be the main focus again and work from there
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-23-2016, 08:49 PM
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I would agree, smaller distraction and bigger reward... She is young and focus will come with age and work.. I would say keep working through this hurdle. Keep an open mind and try new ideas (scenarios, treats/rewards) until you see the desired response.. Just like humans, they have to mature and this takes time. They will go through different 'syndromes' and hiccups in their training until adulthood (and then hopefully you have pretty consistent wanted behavior that still needs practice).. Would love to see a pic of your pup
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-23-2016, 10:42 PM Thread Starter
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Ahh yes sometimes I forget that. She may not look like a little puppy anymore but she's still maturing mentally. I'll just have to get creative until I find something that works for her. Thanks for the advice but this is her! Millie or as my boyfriend calls her "miss fluffy butt"

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-23-2016, 10:49 PM
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She is beautiful and adorable at the same time! Yes, young minds take patience.. Hang in there I see intelligence in those eyes
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-23-2016, 11:02 PM
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Try using a lot of movement. A quick release and some play, moving around between each command will bring her energy and attention up. If she doesn't want the treat, your going to just be fighting that and trying to bribe her instead of developing her interest in paying attention to you.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-23-2016, 11:05 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you thank you I think sometimes I just need a reminder of these things. Helps me see clearer again.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-23-2016, 11:25 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah definitely feels more like bribing than rewarding and I didn't like that. I'll try that! I'll say this too it is easier to break her focus on people than it is the dogs. She generally doesn't do the staring thing with every person more like 1 in 10 persons we encounter and that's if we're just walking around the neighborhood. If we're at lowes or a store she doesn't pay any attention to people at all.

The dogs though... I try and move around a lot and sound more excited since the treats have little effect but it's hard. We get bombarded a lot on our walks by loose dogs and I try to protect her the best I can until the owners retrieve the loose dog. But whenever there's a dog walking by with its owner (leashed) she just looks like she's on a look out for another surprise attack. Especially if the dog is pulling its owner towards us... I usually at that point walk the opposite direction before it gets near us but she always keeps looking over her shoulder to watch that dog. This is usually the time I trying and get her to refocus but it's proved to be challenging.

But I'm determined to rethink my approach and try some different things until something works
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-23-2016, 11:30 PM
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Remember treats are anything the dog considers a reward, not necessarily food.. If she is not interested in food in those times, maybe a squeaky toy or tug will redirect her focus.. It is just something that she desires more and you are the giver of this desire.. Bribery only works if the bribe is stronger than the distractions desire, so it needs to be good or engages her prey/play drive and redirects to you..
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