Engagement & training games? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-01-2019, 06:14 PM Thread Starter
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Engagement & training games?

This winter has been a long boring one, being unable to get out of the house for walks and such, and it shows in our training. He does great listening in the house, but not so great when we are out and there is all the new spring smells, and people, and most importantly dogs.
So I am looking for some fun ways to get Dean engaged with me when we are out, and some fun little training games to do in the house and while we are out and about.
So what are your favorite tips and tricks, and games for getting a scatterbrained male pup (Unfixed because we will be showing) to getting engaged on a newbie handler, and keep from getting bored with training. A lot of the new things I can think to teach him are all things that have to wait until his joints are good, and he is done growing lol
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~Melissa~
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-01-2019, 08:25 PM
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Leerburg.com has some great free videos and articles on engagement. I teach mine fun tricks. Ps I look at all obedience as tricks when I train. My GSD learned young to weave around my legs, spin, twirl. My Dutch Shepherd learned many more by his age. She's more into it. She backs around me, stands in front then flops around to back up between my legs. She marches by lifting the requested foot. Pam White has some neat you tubes. I use the tricks to break up a more boring exercise or to get them refocused on me.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-01-2019, 10:41 PM
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Few ideas for walks...(from pet owner only):

- on walks, if we go into an empty "cul-de-sac", I used to walk in random circles and turns, and practice his "Stay Close" command where he has to follow me and stay close to my leg to get a treat. Now he knows this command well, so we don't do this much anymore.

- on walks, teaching some kind of "stop" command (I use this to pick up poop, to wait at street corners, and to tie my sneaker laces when they come undone...also to let people pass us on sidewalk...a very handy command which is in daily use :-)

- passed another GSD owner on trail. Her big GSD started lunging and snarling at my dog. She whipped a squeaking red ball out of her pocket and said,"King! Go get it!" She tossed the ball a few feet in front of them and he had a total switch of focus...he went for the ball and then trotted along happily with the ball in his mouth. So this sure seems like it could also be a useful "play" to train on walks...I was sure grateful for it!

Rumo ~ rescue shepherd/husky mix
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-01-2019, 10:47 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by dogbyte View Post
Leerburg.com has some great free videos and articles on engagement. I teach mine fun tricks. Ps I look at all obedience as tricks when I train. My GSD learned young to weave around my legs, spin, twirl. My Dutch Shepherd learned many more by his age. She's more into it. She backs around me, stands in front then flops around to back up between my legs. She marches by lifting the requested foot. Pam White has some neat you tubes. I use the tricks to break up a more boring exercise or to get them refocused on me.
Thank you <3
We started the weaving through my legs last week, and he picked up shake the other day from watching my bulldog do it (It's her favorite trick lol) So he has been offering that now for everything lol He was focusing on something today while we were in the truck at the grocery store, and I asked him for a focus and he almost hit me in the face trying to offer a shake and keep watching what he was watching lol

I am going to look up Pam White, I have been trying to find stuff on youtube, but for some reason it's a lot of charging the clicker or the yes command type videos, and we already have that down lol
I've gone through some Leerburg, but that was closer to when I brought him home, I am going to take a peek back at their stuff too.

~Melissa~
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-01-2019, 11:13 PM
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Such a handsome boy! Does he sit, down, backup, roll over, play dead, shake hands, high five, stand, spin, and heel (both with verbal and hand commands)? What kinds of things do you do or want to do with him?

There is no end to what these (or nearly any) dogs can learn, but for me and my dog there has to be some practical application "usually"!
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-02-2019, 06:59 AM
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For me, engagement can be very simple things. For example, I use a ball on a string for obedience. That in and of itself creates engagement if the dog has sufficient drive. How you use it can create more engagement. For example, it is important to not just use it as a reinforce for correct heeling or sits and downs. When you release the ball, you want to play some tug and encourage the dog to bring the ball back to you to play tug and even put his front paws up on you to play with the ball. Keep him on a long line so he can't run away with the ball. Also, if you use a ball or a tug, you use it to teach the out, even if you don't plan to do bite work. It is important to quickly reinforce a fast out with another bite of the ball or the tug. With food for obedience or luring the dog into a stack since you are showing, after the correct behavior is performed, give the release command and lure the dog into a couple of fast spins and then reward with the food.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-04-2019, 05:40 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tim_s_adams View Post
Such a handsome boy! Does he sit, down, backup, roll over, play dead, shake hands, high five, stand, spin, and heel (both with verbal and hand commands)? What kinds of things do you do or want to do with him?

There is no end to what these (or nearly any) dogs can learn, but for me and my dog there has to be some practical application "usually"!
He does sit, down, stand, shake, high five (He is very excited for these ones lol), touch, place, wait, leave it, put your face in (Putting on his collar), come, take it, load up, bed time, heel, up, off, back up, focus, and move your butt mutt lol . Some of them he knows hand signals to others we are working on lol
Also he knows these inside, but still is having trouble outside with distractions.

We plan on showing in conformation. and doing some dock diving, maybe some rally, some barn hunt maybe, and also biking and I got some roller skates so when he is older we can do that. I also want to do some K9 parkour and maybe some trick dog stuff. So basically what ever catches our fancy lol

~Melissa~
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Ella the EB
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Cas the baby cat
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-04-2019, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Datura View Post
This winter has been a long boring one, being unable to get out of the house for walks and such, and it shows in our training. He does great listening in the house, but not so great when we are out and there is all the new spring smells, and people, and most importantly dogs.
So I am looking for some fun ways to get Dean engaged with me when we are out, and some fun little training games to do in the house and while we are out and about.
So what are your favorite tips and tricks, and games for getting a scatterbrained male pup (Unfixed because we will be showing) to getting engaged on a newbie handler, and keep from getting bored with training. A lot of the new things I can think to teach him are all things that have to wait until his joints are good, and he is done growing lol
Unrelated to the point of the post, but... please tell me your dog is named after Dean Winchester.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-04-2019, 05:50 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Chip Blasiole View Post
For me, engagement can be very simple things. For example, I use a ball on a string for obedience. That in and of itself creates engagement if the dog has sufficient drive. How you use it can create more engagement. For example, it is important to not just use it as a reinforce for correct heeling or sits and downs. When you release the ball, you want to play some tug and encourage the dog to bring the ball back to you to play tug and even put his front paws up on you to play with the ball. Keep him on a long line so he can't run away with the ball. Also, if you use a ball or a tug, you use it to teach the out, even if you don't plan to do bite work. It is important to quickly reinforce a fast out with another bite of the ball or the tug. With food for obedience or luring the dog into a stack since you are showing, after the correct behavior is performed, give the release command and lure the dog into a couple of fast spins and then reward with the food.
We play a lot of fetch and tug in the house. And we've started doing flirt pole outside now that we can get out into the yard. I keep it on the ground and have him run in circles around me. I've been working on using the command out, but he acts like he has no clue what that word means (Even though he has shown he does) But he will out when I say wait for some reason.
I really want him to be more toy crazy so I can use a toy for a reward, especially since i want to do dock diving with him, but while he loves to play, he doesn't really go toy crazy to where I can use it as a reward.

~Melissa~
Dean the gsd
Ella the EB
Minnie the cat
Herbie the cat
Cas the baby cat
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-04-2019, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
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Unrelated to the point of the post, but... please tell me your dog is named after Dean Winchester.
He is lol
I was going to name him Sam, and then have him have a bunch of moose themed gear, but so many dogs are named Sam, and then there was the episode where Dean was able to talk to animals and there was the GSD that he was talking to the whole episode lol
So Dean he became lol
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~Melissa~
Dean the gsd
Ella the EB
Minnie the cat
Herbie the cat
Cas the baby cat
Datura is offline  
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