puppy is getting bored with training. - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-04-2008, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
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puppy is getting bored with training.

It had to happen. Sugar is getting bored with her training. I've limited the training to 5 minute sessions a couple of times a day in the hopes of avoiding boredom, but it didn't work. She is simply not getting excited over her treats and praise any more.

I'm planning on changing treats to get her attention again, but I'm wondering how everyone else deals with this problem.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-04-2008, 05:27 PM
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Re: puppy is getting bored with training.

Hmmmmm well what are you attempting to train the pup to do? Have you mixed that up or just focusing on one thing? Perhaps cut the 5 minutes down to 3 and keep the amount of sessions the same? If he or she responds better then maybe down the road you can expand the time of each session.

I think changing the treats is a good idea. I have several different kinds of treats that I use with Max and he seems to like the variation.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-04-2008, 06:49 PM Thread Starter
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Re: puppy is getting bored with training.

She's mastering the basics: sit, down, stay, come, leave it. I try to do them in random order for variety.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-04-2008, 06:56 PM
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Re: puppy is getting bored with training.

What exactly happens in a typical training routine? Can you describe what you do, how you act, and how your dog reacts in more detail?

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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-04-2008, 07:02 PM
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Re: puppy is getting bored with training.

How old is she?

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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-04-2008, 07:11 PM Thread Starter
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Re: puppy is getting bored with training.

Sugar 4 months today.

I take her outside where there is some room. I usually give her a treat to get her attention and so she knows I have them and it's time for training. I start with a sit command. Then either a sit-stay or down-stay. I then walk away and either come come back and award for the stay or practice the come command. The commands are shuffled depending on where I am and where she is.

The rewards are either a shot of cheeze-wiz or a slice of pupperoni combined with verbal and physical praise.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-04-2008, 07:46 PM
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Re: puppy is getting bored with training.

She is still very young. I know when Argos was that age, he started to look at hot dogs and liver like they were the enemy. He knew he was in for 10 minutes of watch me, sit, stand, down, watch me, stay, come, sit, down, sit whenever I broke out the treat bag.

I was told that I was not exciting enough. Puppy lessons shouldn't be like boot camp...they have to be FUN! We stopped "formal" sessions and started to PLAY with our puppy and incorporating maybe one or two commands when we played....Really super exciting voices, so that people look at you like you're stupid, and a lot of movement. Also we did not work in "sessions". We could be walking and I might have 3 or 4 treats and ask him to do something along the way. In the kitchen making dinner I might ask him for 3 sits with hot dogs and then let him go...So he never had the chance to get bored. He would start to follow me around and offer behaviors because "Hey Mom! I know you have more than 3 pieces of hot dog in there somewhere!"

We also started to use toys...Depending on your dog, toys can be more rewarding than food...After about a week of really backing off on the "obedience" and focusing on playing, Argos was much more into me and responded much more quickly when I asked him to do things.

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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-04-2008, 09:04 PM Thread Starter
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Re: puppy is getting bored with training.

I've been giving Sugar days off. The toys a probably a good idea, but Sugar doesn't have a lot of interest in most dog toys. She prefers her toys to be alive.

I've also started using play as a vehicle for training. For example, when there is something to chase in the yard, I'll tell her to sit and then tell her to "come", at which point I chase the object and she follows along. (Yes, I'm abusing the "come" command, but she is learning that "come" means to follow or to approach and sit.)

I haven't invented a game for the down and stay commands. Those aren't much fun.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-04-2008, 09:30 PM
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Re: puppy is getting bored with training.

My main goal in puppy training isn't the 'sit' or the 'down' or the 'stay' or any specific behaviors.

The ONLY thing I work on for the first months (year(s)) is ATTITUDE. Only and all. So with only THAT for me to look for, it helps simplify the training session.

Because my 'job' is to figure out what is motiviating TO MY PUPPY. I haven't (frankly) found that my verbal praise or many treats give the same drive and focus as say, a cat/squirrel tearing across the yard. So what that showed me is that TEACHING my dog 'toy drive' is my 100% goal in life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And so my job/work isn't to decide my puppy won't play with toys. It's for me to figure out how to make myself a whole heck of a lot more fun so they DO want to play and interact with me. When they don't it's cause I have sucked the fun out of the training and the resulting zero focus, slow behaviors (if at all), sniffing, walking off, not listening should be clear to me I have to WORK harder at this.

I've found I have an inclination to easily become the disciplinarian and authoritative when my pups don't listen, and (apparently) three out of 3 of my puppies respond very poorly to this.

So now it's all about how can I make myself more fun. More a leader they WANT to follow and be with. And so they choose to stay with me to play all these crazy fun games of 'sit' or the game of 'down' and the game of 'come' is best of all!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I know the clicker worked best for me because it did really make ME have to learn something new that directly benefited my puppy. So it wasn't her fault if I was slow with the click, or getting the treat, or playing after, it was clearly MY fault. Using the clicker as a marker really improved my timing. (and a good trainer who quickly recognizes when I train to much/long and am frying my puppies brain).

Some good ideas on how to Create a Motivating Toy are:

http://www.clickerdogs.com/createamotivatingtoy.htm

http://www.beardieagilitydiehards.or.../foodsock.html

http://siriusdog.com/articles/prey-d...n-winkler1.htm

I always tend to over train with puppies. When I see they are slowing or losing focus, that means I went MINUTES over the training session. The goal is always to STOP training when they are fully engaged and wanting to 'play' the training game. So if I need to do 5 one-minute training sessions during the day rather than 1 five-minute session, then that's what I do.




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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-04-2008, 10:57 PM
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Re: puppy is getting bored with training.

Quote:
Originally Posted By: MaggieRoseLeeMy main goal in puppy training isn't the 'sit' or the 'down' or the 'stay' or any specific behaviors.

The ONLY thing I work on for the first months (year(s)) is ATTITUDE. Only and all. So with only THAT for me to look for, it helps simplify the training session.

Because my 'job' is to figure out what is motiviating TO MY PUPPY. I haven't (frankly) found that my verbal praise or many treats give the same drive and focus as say, a cat/squirrel tearing across the yard. So what that showed me is that TEACHING my dog 'toy drive' is my 100% goal in life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And so my job/work isn't to decide my puppy won't play with toys. It's for me to figure out how to make myself a whole heck of a lot more fun so they DO want to play and interact with me. When they don't it's cause I have sucked the fun out of the training and the resulting zero focus, slow behaviors (if at all), sniffing, walking off, not listening should be clear to me I have to WORK harder at this.

So now it's all about how can I make myself more fun. More a leader they WANT to follow and be with. And so they choose to stay with me to play all these crazy fun games of 'sit' or the game of 'down' and the game of 'come' is best of all!!!!!!!!!!!!!
MRL, has anyone told you recently that you are an AMAZING GENIUS? 'cause you are!

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