Lacking Engagement? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-09-2018, 03:54 PM Thread Starter
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Lacking Engagement?

Hey all,

My puppy turns 6 months next week, and I honestly feel as though I'm at a standstill. We have been working engagement and fun obedience since he was 8 weeks old- I've always rewarded for eye contact, marked any correct behaviors that he's offered, and have been luring and free shaping commands.

I've noticed in the past week or so that our training sessions have felt...off. He's suddenly much more distracted by other people and dogs, and loves to sniff the ground instead of engaging with me. I have put no pressure whatsoever into his obedience so far, so I'm having a really hard time understanding what changed. I don't allow people or dogs to greet him, he gets limited interaction with my other dog at home, and I try my best not to drop food during training. It very much seems like he woke up one day and decided that I wasn't as fun as he thought I was anymore, which is pretty disheartening.

What should I be doing differently at this stage?
He's my first working puppy, so any advice is welcome. Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-09-2018, 04:55 PM
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Getting his last teeth is my guess
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-09-2018, 05:03 PM
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Just some thoughts...maybe you both find training a bit tedious?It's easier to remain enthusiastic if it's 90% play interspersed with short training periods.It should be fun for you both.Taking a break for a couple of weeks can be helpful too.Some down time to just enjoy each other's company.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-09-2018, 05:17 PM Thread Starter
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Getting his last teeth is my guess
That's definitely possible. He was a bloody mess for about a month, but seems to be on the tail end of things.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-09-2018, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
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Just some thoughts...maybe you both find training a bit tedious?It's easier to remain enthusiastic if it's 90% play interspersed with short training periods.It should be fun for you both.Taking a break for a couple of weeks can be helpful too.Some down time to just enjoy each other's company.
That could be. Is there something specific I should be doing differently during training then (other than taking a break)? Admittedly, his sessions have lasted longer than I intend because I'm determined to end on a positive note....and recently it's been taking a while to get there.

His tracking is right where it should be, and I have no worries about him in protection. Obedience has really been the only thing I've been "pushing" so to speak.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-09-2018, 06:02 PM
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When training obedience,I always work just a few minutes at time.Then play,play,play.A few more minutes.Play,play,play.In 30 minutes time only about 10 minutes total are actually practicing commands and only 30seconds at a time.If we're having a really good day I might string a few commands together,then play and done!No time to get bored and a blast for both of us!Eventually we can do an entire routine hugely rewarded at the end.Baby steps.

That's just what works well for me and my dogs
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Misty Husky Mix
Z-Z Terrier/potato mix
Devo Yorkie Mix at the bridge
Dakota Wht GSD at the bridge
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-09-2018, 06:09 PM Thread Starter
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When training obedience,I always work just a few minutes at time.Then play,play,play.A few more minutes.Play,play,play.In 30 minutes time only about 10 minutes total are actually practicing commands and only 30seconds at a time.If we're having a really good day I might string a few commands together,then play and done!No time to get bored and a blast for both of us!Eventually we can do an entire routine hugely rewarded at the end.Baby steps.

That's just what works well for me and my dogs
We'll definitely give it a try! Thanks for the insight!
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-09-2018, 06:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogma13 View Post
When training obedience,I always work just a few minutes at time.Then play,play,play.A few more minutes.Play,play,play.In 30 minutes time only about 10 minutes total are actually practicing commands and only 30seconds at a time.If we're having a really good day I might string a few commands together,then play and done!No time to get bored and a blast for both of us!Eventually we can do an entire routine hugely rewarded at the end.Baby steps.

That's just what works well for me and my dogs
Same. And my dog is much more motivated by toys than food. I did teach him a lot with food, positions and stuff, but food is not enough to get the good engagement i want from him, that comes from toys.

Some days I'm like ugh, I don't have time to train. But if I even run through some little routine for five minutes, play for ten more--- he feels like he did something and he has great enthusiasm next time because he didn't totally get as much as he wanted last time.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-09-2018, 09:37 PM
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Sometimes less is more. 6 mos old is a good time to just bend.
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Snitches get stitches.
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