Focus on everything, except where focus should be - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-21-2015, 08:39 AM Thread Starter
ViciousXUSMC's Avatar
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Focus on everything, except where focus should be

I had Novas second puppy class yesterday, what a disaster lol.

First class I was so proud of her as I think of all the dogs in the class besides being the youngest she was the most well behaved and also listened the best but yesterday was the complete opposite!

She pulled on her leash and tried to go run and play with other puppies almost the entire class session, she did not care one bit about me calling her name or having treats.

We did this walk with peanut butter on a spoon deal to teach her to walk at my side and she would rather sniff the grass and go off on a tangent.

Under the shelter she kept trying to chew the carpet or get leaves that had fallen on the ground.

I feel bad because the entire hour was me calling her and having to give leash corrections to try to get her to pay attention or come near me.

Funny thing is during the entire obedience part of the class when she wanted to play so bad, at the end of the class when puppies get play time, she was kind of not interested at that point.

Here is hoping next class goes better...

Anybody else had a puppy pull a 180 and have an "off day" like this?

Right now I really need to get her to pay more attention to me when I call her name, even at home when she is distracted by the cats or something else interesting she ignores completely, almost like she is deaf.

Other than focus, she is doing really good though. Almost completely house trained, up and down the stairs with ease, a good sit/down, pretty good in her crate, etc.

Also her leash walking is starting to come around I think, the same deal as above she gets a desire to focus on everything else besides me and wants to pull or investigate. I'll hold the leash until she stops and sits and looks at me. She will do this 20x in a row, I'll mix it up and walk backwards, sideways, etc until she gets the idea that she has to follow me. The last 2 walks after a while she finally started to follow right at my side with no leash tension.

Based on how I have seen her lean things in the past once she "gets it" she perfects it right after so lets hope that is the case with the leash.

As always open to tips, opinions, stories, etc.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-21-2015, 08:55 AM
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Ruger is an absolute dream when we're in public 99% of the time.
He went to his first obedience class on Sunday, and did AWESOME. He was following commands beautifully, little to no correction.

Last night when we were putting in our at-home practice, it was like he forgot everything and would focus on everything and anything BUT the commands This morning, he turned into even more of a terror and decided a case of the zooms in the empty lots next to my house and down to the pond was in order. So I feel you on the complete 180º out of the blue!


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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-21-2015, 09:11 AM
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Remember: toddler Just like the calmest toddler can have an off day (or two or ten), so too can puppies. Just keep on keepin' on. Keep trying to find what motivates her, and don't fry her by working too long on repetitive things (like doing leash work 20x in a row). Keep it short and FUN. Make obedience work a game- there are a ton of great links on engaging your puppy in the puppy section.

Puppy classes can be really overwhelming for young puppies. New place, new smells, new dogs, there's a LOT going on. Don't expect too much from her.

You sound like you have a normal puppy and perhaps expectations that are a tad too high. We've all been there, especially if this is your first dog. She's so very young still and she sounds like she's doing great
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-21-2015, 10:29 AM
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You can work on stuff at home like "eye attention" which is very simple. As soon as the puppy looks up at your face, click and treat. This teaches them to pay attention to you as good things can happen. They do have off days though just like children. Don't expect too much too soon. Take your time and always end training on a positive note. Make it fun and rewarding. If the puppy stops paying attention in class, go off a little ways and work on eye attention for a few minutes until the puppy brain clicks back on. As soon as you get a positive reaction stop the training, so that it always ends on a good note. Play afterwards and then dinner and I bet the puppy sleeps soundly.


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