Teaching Focus - Page 15 - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #141 of 146 (permalink) Old 07-04-2013, 01:05 PM
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How do you train this? What I did was use a word, one I'd remember but wasn't his name or anything else I might "dilute" the meaning of by using it "accidentally" (when I didn't want his focus). Then, in a quiet place where there were minimal distractions, I'd say the word and give him a small treat. I'd do this over an over for a minute or so. The important thing is to say the word and pause just a second before giving (or even starting to reach for) the treat, so he learns that the word means that, even though there's no other indication *right now* that he's about to get fed, good things are going to happen in a second. After a bunch of repetitions, he'll start focusing on you for that second after the word, anticipating the treat. Once he OBVIOUSLY understands that the word is significant (reacting with excitement to the word, not just the treat or your reaching for it), I stretch out the time until he gets the treat to two seconds, three, etc. Now my dog will stare at me for several minutes if I say that word - but he's full grown. As a pup I'd have been happy working my way up to several seconds. But now, while he's paying attention, I've got his complete focus, and I can give him another command if I want.
Thanks for this! I've started teaching my dog this one. It works. I even got her to ignore a bee, which she will normally rampage after...

- doesn't have a GSD yet

- does have a small, light GSDlike female dog who I strongly suspect is a Malinois
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post #142 of 146 (permalink) Old 08-10-2013, 12:04 PM
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Good stuff in here. One trainer told me to use treats and another praise. Tried it for months. Recently someone else told me to get rid of the food and use a ball and it was like having a different dog. Within one day he was perfect at everything I was trying for weeks and months. Totally amazing what happens when you understand what motivates the dog. The lesson learned-don't be afraid to experiment or ask other people for opinions. There is no one size fits all.

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post #143 of 146 (permalink) Old 09-09-2013, 01:53 PM
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I don't know if this was brought up seeing how I skimmed through this thread but it is important to know some variables as to why your dog might not be focusing much. I think it's important to know whether your GSD is of working or show lines and whether your GSD is an American or German bred dog. German bred dogs tend to mature slower than American bred dogs and having a show line GSD can greatly increase the time it takes for you to get total focus as opposed to a working line dog.

I have a German bred show line GSD who is 8 months old who lacks the same drive as a working line dog. When I train my pup I have to get him in "drive" first before he will focus on me. Then I can start the training because he is now focused on me. I see many show line GSD's at my Schutzhund club who have the same problem, especially with focus.

I am currently working with my pup to continuously look at me in the heeling position. I do this by having him sit next to me close to a wall. This works on two things. It teaches him good heel posture and position and also teaches him to focus on my eyes. When he looks up at me when I say "watch" I mark the behavior with a enthusiastic GOOD followed by a treat that is given to him inline with my body and above his head. If he tries to leave the position between me and the wall I encourage him back into the position with a treat and then mark and reward. You should never try to force your dog back into the position by pulling on his lead. Once he has mastered this I can start taking steps forward along the wall to get him to focus on me while walking while marking the behavior at the same time.

Like I said, I have a show line GSD so it's harder for me to keep my pup engaged as long so this will be a daunting task for a while.
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post #144 of 146 (permalink) Old 01-17-2017, 11:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Roemly's Mama View Post
Good stuff in here. One trainer told me to use treats and another praise. Tried it for months. Recently someone else told me to get rid of the food and use a ball and it was like having a different dog. Within one day he was perfect at everything I was trying for weeks and months. Totally amazing what happens when you understand what motivates the dog. The lesson learned-don't be afraid to experiment or ask other people for opinions. There is no one size fits all.
YES! Completely agree... it bothers me when people try to generalize something and claim it works for all dogs like dogs are cookie-cut in behavior or demeanor. I did the same thing with heel.. my 1 y/o is very toy driven, so it was hard to initially teach heel with something like a tennis ball or toy because he would be so focused on play that he wouldn't do the work... so I had to step back, use treats (well, kibble since he's allergic to what seems like everything) to lure him and teach him. eventually we were able to do it with a tennis ball and its coming along nicely! Like Roemly's Mama said, find what works for YOUR dog! =)

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post #145 of 146 (permalink) Old 01-18-2017, 07:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roemly's Mama View Post
Good stuff in here. One trainer told me to use treats and another praise. Tried it for months. Recently someone else told me to get rid of the food and use a ball and it was like having a different dog. Within one day he was perfect at everything I was trying for weeks and months. Totally amazing what happens when you understand what motivates the dog. The lesson learned-don't be afraid to experiment or ask other people for opinions. There is no one size fits all.
I have one dog that loves pine-cones. My other loves fallen leaves. Sometimes a frisbee will work.
But darn it all, sometimes when we find the perfect toy at home, out on the training field it is still a wash. (yeah, WGSL). I'm finding that my three year old boy is getting much better at understanding what we want him to do.

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post #146 of 146 (permalink) Old 02-24-2017, 02:01 PM
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There are so many great stickies on this site!

I've been enjoying reading through everything so far but it's definitely a lot to take in.
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