Tricks to make him focus on me? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-30-2010, 03:29 PM Thread Starter
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Red face Tricks to make him focus on me?

Everytime I watch those videos where the dog is so focus on the handler make me jalous

I try to make Phenix focus on me but it just don't work as well as I want it.

If I ask him "fix" he will. If I have a treat or a toy he like, he will fix, but only for a few seconds/minutes.

I can't get him focus more than a few seconds on walks......he can have a very nice focus when he doesn't move, but on walk is't different...

Any of you can help me?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-30-2010, 03:30 PM
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Well I'm not very good at stuff like this, but Motomo and Dakoda both "focus" when I tap them on the neck lightly then hold my hand to my chin.

Kymmey
Mom To~ Dakoda (b/t GSD), Acheron (black GSD)
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-30-2010, 03:36 PM
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shilo isnt so good at it either, are you trying focas while walking?? if you want that you have to walk back wards faceing your dog and ask for it then walk side ways then walk forward, with regular you can hold it to your eyes, call his/her name and when they look at you treat, or put food in your mouth and when the get eye contact drop the food, those are just things ive herd..

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-30-2010, 03:56 PM
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Don't know how old he is but you can use either a ball or food and a clicker depending on which he is most motivated for. There really aren't any tricks that I know of just working on it and it can take time. If you are using food just click and reward when he gives you attention and build up the time and don't rush it I watched someone do it with their dog and it was a long time before they added the heeling and then the dog heeled beautifully
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-30-2010, 04:01 PM
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Think about what you want from the dog and how to break it down. My dog did a BH this past weekend which is like 7 minutes of solid heeling, yet I don't really ask or expect *that* type of focus while going for a walk. If you are training focused formal heeling while on a walk, then I suspect the distraction is too great. This would be something to start at home in a familiar environment where you can control the environment and build the behavior you want before taking it on the road and introducing more distractions. I would first just reward and build eye contact with him sitting in basic position (left side) or front position. Once you have that, then literally start by taking one step and rewarding him for staying focused and keeping with you. I like to set the dog up so they try things on their own rather than always luring with food and treats so for me I would train focus and then start heeling and kind of feel out how far I think I can go before the dog will break focus and be sure to release and reward just before that point. For Schutzhund training, I rotate where I train during the week (churches, school yards, my work place, another dog club, etc) but don't reinforce this type of training while on walks because for us a walk is for enjoyment - fresh air and a bit of exercise. Also a lot of the focus comes because there is a strong bond and working relationship between the handler and the dog. Sometimes it's less of a training issue and more of an issue spending more time playing with the dog and building his confidence and desire to work with you so he is more likely to offer the behavior you want without a ton of training or having to lure it.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-30-2010, 04:07 PM Thread Starter
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Thank to all!

Phenis is going to have 2 yrs old in September.

He knows what "focus" is. If I ask him to "Fix" he will fix (obviously, better when I have a treat lol). In the house, his fix is much better, even on walk. But outside....my godness lol....he have a good fix on a sit or lay, but on walk, it's harder.

So, from what I've read, there is no "sucessful" trick, but only time and huge perseverance?
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-30-2010, 04:24 PM
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I guess it depends on why he's breaking focus and his temperament. Does he really understand it well enough in that context? Is he motivated enough to sustain it? Does he need a correction? Are your rewards high value enough? Any of these things could factor in. I would also make sure you're not nagging him or have overused the command to the point that he's blown it off so much it no longer means anything.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-30-2010, 04:53 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liesje View Post
I guess it depends on why he's breaking focus and his temperament. Does he really understand it well enough in that context? Is he motivated enough to sustain it? Does he need a correction? Are your rewards high value enough? Any of these things could factor in. I would also make sure you're not nagging him or have overused the command to the point that he's blown it off so much it no longer means anything.
No, I didn't overused it....I think it's more that I didn't use it enough

I try to make the reward valuable....but well...Phenix is on a special diet now....(try to find what are his allergies) so I cannot give him "special" food.....I use toy.....he like that more than food, but after a while....he don't care, even if I change toy.

I use the clicker also (before the reward). The biggest problem is, when I ask a fix....he will fix my eyes, but also take a look at the treat or toy lol (it's kind of funny because his eyebrows are moving funny LOL). I try to reward him more when he fix me longer and not take a look at the treat or toy.

He is young and very energetic so, each noise or movement distract him. If I ask him agin to fix me, he will do so, but I have to ask.

I think I don't know how to motivate him enough. It is getting a lot better than a few months before....but it is not perfect

Last edited by trish07; 06-30-2010 at 04:59 PM.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-30-2010, 05:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trish07 View Post
I can't get him focus more than a few seconds on walks......he can have a very nice focus when he doesn't move, but on walk is't different...

Any of you can help me?
Do you NEED him to focus on you for more than a few seconds at a time on walks?

As Liesje described, for Schutzhund you need to have several minutes of solid focused heeling, but I doubt she expects that of Nikon if she's just taking him for a walk.

If my dogs stay at my side on a slack leash without pulling or lagging and they look up at me occasionally, that's all I really need. But even that can take a lot of time and patience to train. I started seriously working on leash walking with Halo about a year ago, and she's good enough now that we get compliments all the time and I'm questioned on how I taught her that. It took hours and hours of time and miles and miles of walking to get where she is now, and I haven't even attempted to get her to keep her focus on me for minutes at a time while we're in motion. I don't need it for any reason, so it's not a priority - I'd rather spend my training time working on other things.

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-30-2010, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by trish07 View Post
Everytime I watch those videos where the dog is so focus on the handler make me jalous

I try to make Phenix focus on me but it just don't work as well as I want it.

If I ask him "fix" he will. If I have a treat or a toy he like, he will fix, but only for a few seconds/minutes.

I can't get him focus more than a few seconds on walks......he can have a very nice focus when he doesn't move, but on walk is't different...

Any of you can help me?
Anytime I tell Hondo to "look" he'll look straight into my eyes. Even when we are at a walk. If he looks away I tell him "Look" and he'll look again. When I tell him "Good Look" and praise and treat, then he is free to look away.

I'm sure my meathod isn't the best way to do it - but it was really fun. I sat on the floor with little bits of hot dog in my mouth. I told Hondo to look and as soon as he focused on my face, I'd spit the hot dog at him. Took him a while to figure out to catch it (I'm talking about a couple of weeks) ...but it was soooo much fun. I think because I was laughing....and hubby was laughing... we made it a lot of fun. Therefore Hondo got really good at it. I can have a treat in my hand and tell Hondo to "Look" and he'll look at my face.
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