Working with a distractible puppy - German Shepherd Dog Forums
  • 2 Post By Sabis mom
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-08-2019, 09:31 AM Thread Starter
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Working with a distractible puppy

I know what you are thinking. ALL puppies are distractible. Maybe it is just the lack of sleep but I feel like I have an extreme case.

The problems stems from where I live. My house is on 5 acres of Colorado pine forest. There is no grass nor can you grow it in the acidic soil. It is filled, edge to edge, with sticks, fallen branches, rose hip bushes, and deer poop. Oh my the deer poop. It is difficult to walk more than 10 feet and not find some. I consulted with fencing contractors and learned there really is no fence that is permitted in the county that will keep out deer. The yard is currently fenced with a six foot high wire fence but the deer jump / break it with ease. One contractor said he could put up something stronger for $22,000 but couldn't guarantee it would keep the deer out. That's a gamble I can't afford to take.

The point is my yard is a level 10 distraction zone. You know how you want to slowly increase distractions as you train? Well my only choice seems to be to go from inside training where I can completely eliminate distractions to outside training where chaos begins. Inside he loves a flirt pole but hard to get moving inside. Outside he loves it, oh look a stick!, back to it, wait was that some deer poop?, back to it ... you get the idea. Same with a ball. He will fetch a ball inside with great reliability. Outside he gets to the ball and 75% of the time gets distracted and leaves it for something.

I really want to be able to work outside. Both from a training perspective and an exercise perspective. I want to be able to tire him out. He's just over 13 weeks so I expect the answer is he will grow out of it. But I just want to make sure there isn't something I should be doing now to set him on the right path.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-08-2019, 09:56 AM
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At 13 weeks I would try short and rewarding. So sit, look at me, good dog, go get the deer poop. Lol. Come, look at me, go get a stick. Walk with me, look at me, go chase a bird.
I feel your pain. I raised the ADHD poster child, AKA Shadow, in a yard full of birds, squirrels and gophers with people, dogs, cats, strollers going by every 3 seconds. I went really heavy on the look at me, reward, reward, reward. I think I started with two seconds!
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-08-2019, 10:04 AM
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I agree with Sabis mom. Small steps for rewards and don't be afraid to let him just explore and be a puppy in between those steps. Over time, the sticks and poop and most everything else will be familiar and "old news" to him and it won't be quite so enticing.
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Yazzy the feisty GSD ~ Jan 6th, 2019

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-08-2019, 12:04 PM
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He's a baby. He is going to be easily distracted. Teach him and let him mature. My 7 month old still has a 15 ft drag line on her.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-08-2019, 12:27 PM
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Some people actually build a large box like enclosure to eliminate distractions, so I would train his obedience inside where there are less distractions and go outside for him to just exercise and burn off some energy. As his obedience improves and he matures, you will be able to go outside for obedience and as Jax said, keep a 15' light line on him when doing any obedience for now.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-08-2019, 03:12 PM
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The only thing I would add is to be very animated when you train outside. You want your pups attention then you need to exciting.
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