I did not want to hijack THIS THREAD
but I am thinking that I need to start changing some of the ways that Lily and I train.
Some of the issues that I am having...
When there are certain distractions around, she does not pay attention to me. She may sometimes still do what I ask, but I can see that her focus is trained on something else and the command is done more as an after-thought if even done at all. For example, at puppy class the other week, I asked her for a sit-stay which she complied with...but her attention was focused on the puppy next to us, not me. I almost felt like I just got lucky that she sat the entire time, not that she was focusing on what I was asking from her.
She pulls on the leash constantly. The trainer recommended a choke chain for her but I am very leery using that on a pup. I stop walking when she pulls, but the nano-second that I move again she is off like a bat...especially when on our way back home or she sees a dog/duck/leaf blowing/etc. and she WANTS it NOW. Sometimes I feel like our walks are the worst part of our day because I think it becomes frustrating for both her and me.
When I ask Lily to sit and stay, quite often she'll lay down and stay. For stay I can only get about 5-6 feet away before she pops up.
She is still jumping up on people despite my attempts. Before meeting people, I tell her to sit and then let her be pet. She does really well with that, but the second the person stops petting her and goes to move away she jumps on them. Or when she gets really excited during those crazy puppy times she'll start jumping on people. She knows Off - just doesn't always do it.
She has taken to barking at other dogs and sometimes people. Sometimes she even puts her hair up. When meeting other people and dogs she is friendly, but it is the time before they meet that she'll bark loudly. I tell her 'No bark' and then distract her attention to something else.
She comes when something else has not completely stolen her focus. Sometimes late at night I'll take her out to potty without her leash on. Well one night someone happened to be walking past my house. She took off after the person. I yelled 'Lily, Come' but got completely ignored. I had to walk up to the person and take Lily by the collar to get her to come back with me. Now she only goes out with her leash on - but it doesn't make that problem go away. If I take her out in the yard and call her, she comes...but if she is completely focused on something else, I might as well be 100 miles away and calling her.
Lily is both food and toy motivated. She'd do most anything for a piece of turkey hot dog or a romp with her favorite toys. But I feel like we hit a plateau of trainig. She understands that commands I have taught her thus far (sit, down, go to your home (crate), come, stay/wait, up, off, drop it and shake) - but it's like she chooses whether she'll do them or not. For example, yesterday she had a piece of paper in her mouth she stole from the garbage can. I told her 'Drop it' which she does know, she started to mouth it like she was going to drop it and then decided nope, I going to run away with it and see if I can eat it before mom catches me. Thankfully I caught hold of her collar and repeated drop it, which she did that time. It worries me though that she seems to make the choice of whether to listen or not. And when I have her by the collar or leash she obeys so much better than when she has the freedom to choose or not (who knows, maybe that's my biggest problem
I'd REALLY appreciate some help. I really want to do the best by her, jsut not sure whether I am expecting too much from her at this age or am not applying the right and/or enough training with her. I try so hard not to get frustrated -- but I do fail at this sometimes. I know that to get the fantastic GSD that I want, I have to put the real effort in now, so just don't want to mess up. Help from this site would be just awesome because I know the people here have a much better grasp on all of this than me -- Lily is my first pup and I am trying my best as she grows.