Obedience training 6 month old litter mates - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 10-12-2018, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
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Obedience training 6 month old litter mates

Im at a lull in dog training with my now 6 month old pups.

I just need some advice and some training ideas and a little jump start of what to do next. Some tips with working with them and also some success stories would be nice.

They both know standard commands such as sit, wait, down.

They both know to go to their crates and wait to be released in order to eat.

Odin walks pretty good loose leash.He will always walk next to you or slightly in front but stays by your side when on walks for the majority of the time. He does really well at dogs parks and around other dogs off leash. And does a okay job when we have to walk past a dog though sometimes he will try and look back as we walk alway. I can even let go of his leash on our walk to the dog park and he will walk ahead but as soon as I say his name he will wait till I get close and give him the okay to continue. This we never really taught him he’s a good boy and has always done this since he was a baby.

Layla does okay on the leash. She will walk besides you though she does require a little correction. She I’ll try to hide behind me if a car is passing in the neighborhood while on walks. Usually I will put her in a sit till they pass so she focuses on me and not the car. Same for people and other dogs. She’s a little reactive in that way always trying to hide. She’s improved a lot but still work in progress. She does WAY better then she used to at dog parks even though she runs away from dogs when the come to her to be near me, she will approach them slowly and over time will just go about her business and okay. It’s only when they come to her she kinda of just come back to us if they are a little too enthusiastic. She used to screech bloody murder when a dog came near her so this is a huge improvement.

That’s the backstory on their training and what they know and how they are doing so far.

I really want to improve their commands outside of the house like the dog park.

My end goal with both of them is to have a dog I can take out to the beach, around people at restaurant patios. And off leash hiking.

Any tips and training ideas would be greatly appreciated!

I am still looking into trainers in my area, but most require shock collars and I don’t think I’m there yet with my dogs. They listen and learn fast and I’m thinking of only possibly using e-collars for off leash training.

We do use a rubber type choke collar which has improved odins slight pulling. He is a pretty strong puppy weighing at almost 60 pounds at 6 month old and the slight corrections have helped in the areas we needed too.

I just need some direction as to what to do and where to go next. They are super smart dogs and I know they need more exposure to certain situations I just need some help as in how to approach this that will lead to the best results.

They also do jump. And I blame that on my husband because he lets them jump all over him every morning when he comes home for work. I keep telling him he’s setting them back in training and when they are 80-100 pound dogs this won’t be cute anymore. They do not do this with me but with guest and people they met on leash.

Attached are some recent pictures. The bigger one with the white chest patch is Odin. The smaller one with all black chest is Layla Girl. Layla doesn’t like to sit still for pictures so I have way less of her. Odins always in my face or whenever I am so it’s easier to get pictures of him.
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 10-12-2018, 05:40 PM
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Beautiful dogs!

6 months can be a trying age for puppies, as they often start pressing their boundaries a bit at that age, mine certainly did! And working with litter mates probably makes that quite a bit more challenging as well. But it's also a crucial time to stay the course on obedience. Be firm and don't let them "get away" with non compliance!

If it were me I'd be working them both independently and together. When you have 2 dogs it's important from my perspective to teach them to discern when you're talking to each of them. I did this with my 2 (1 GSD and 1 Chihuahua) by having them do commands together...not sure in hindsight that that was the best approach though. But it worked out. After they were both able to follow simple commands (sit, down, wait, for example) I started giving them individual commands, like having one down and stay and then recalling the other. If they both did their task correctly, both got a treat. If not, the one who did got a treat, then we'd try again.

I would also recommend teaching them a more formal heel. For that do it inside with no distractions initially, and use food as a lure to get them in the proper position, then treat and praise. Practice that a bit, then take a step (sideways, forward, or even backward) and give the command again...lure them if needed with food. Make a game out of it, mix up the direction you step to keep them on their toes, and most of all have fun with it. Reward and praise profusely when they get it right! Make sure they "get" that heel means a certain position in relation to you before you start walking anywhere. Once the get that clearly, you can start walking a few steps...then more and more.

When you stop they should sit. But dogs tend to want to sit facing you, so it's likely they will be by your side, but with them facing toward you, which is not the proper heeling position. To address this I used the walls in the house. By stopping always with only 6 or 8 inches between me and the wall, the dog had no choice but to sit properly aligned. With my dog I practiced this a lot before venturing outside for practice.

Anyway, getting your puppies to mind you away from home, and particularly in places like a dog park with tons of distraction is a process. It won't happen overnight. And to achieve that level of obedience YOU have to be very disciplined. Don't give a command you can't enforce. Don't give a command and EVER allow non compliance. No need to be angry or mean about it, but firm, fair, and consistent is the mantra (to which I always like to add insistent!).

And throw in some fun, keep training sessions short, focus on a single behavior, and follow up your training with play time! Good luck, and again, gorgeous dogs you have there!
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It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog. Mark Twain

Tim
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