5 month old - focusing in public - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-28-2019, 11:22 PM Thread Starter
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5 month old - focusing in public

Hi all,

So got a 5 month old female. Having issues with focusing outside in public.

When we take her for walks she's not bad on a loose leash but not perfect. She has issues with staring at strangers or constantly sniffing grass. When approaching a dog or person, she pulls to greet them.

Additionally we are taking her to group classes at our local GSD club and she is the worst in the class. All she wants to do is sniff the grass or interact with strangers. She's always excited in this scenario. Trouble is when the trainers take over, she focuses on them simply because she wants to interact with them, not because they are doing something different to us for whatever training exercise the class is doing.

She's almost too sociable.

Anyone have a similar experience and what did you do to help improve the situation.

Our dog is fine at home (other than biting me but not my wife).

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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-01-2019, 12:37 AM
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Yeah, my girl still does it at 14mths

When I took her to a trainer, he said I need to make myself more exciting for her, so he suggested when walking to constantly move my upper body and arms so that she thinks that I have something or even place a favourite toy under my arm.

Also slowing and picking up your walking pace helps.

It worked but it was very tiring on a long walk

It was ok but I didn't want to do the funky chicken walk when out in public

I found it much better to just keep walking in the opposite direction to her each time she went to pull to sniff something, she finally learnt to stay by my side; she still does the occasional pull and sniff.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-01-2019, 08:57 AM
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You need to work on engagement. Watch how the trainers get her attention. Play with her and interact with her. Denise Fenzi and Dave Kroyer both have online videos and classes you can take just for this.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-01-2019, 09:35 AM
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She's still a puppy. Steel goes stupid for other people (ears back, wagging whole body), but he has a strong "leave it" command which I have trained for him to focus on me when I say it. We're still working on loose leash, but I'd like to think he's pretty good for a 7 month old with a stubborn streak on his mom's side.

Have you asked your trainers for advice on how to get her to watch you like they do in class? I agree with Jax - engagement is a great place to start. Do you try to keep her attention while in class? I'll ask Steel for sits, downs, spins, back up, etc while the class is being instructed. It just keeps him focused on me the whole time instead of the other dogs/people.
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