Training Several things at Once: Issue? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-09-2011, 02:45 AM Thread Starter
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Training Several things at Once: Issue?

I was wondering if it was okay to train several things at the same time. Not in the same training session.

For example, right now, I've been working on Ozzy's heeling. He's been doing very well, however, he's far from mastering it.

Today I was also trying to teach him 'left' and 'right' paw.

I worked on his heeling in one session, then the L/R paw in another session in the same day.

Would this be overwhelming, or is this okay? I don't know if I've been doing this and just now caught myself, or if I've been letting him get one thing pretty much perfected before moving on.


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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-09-2011, 03:49 AM
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I work on multiple things. For example, we're working on proper position for heeling in Schutzhund and fast and correct downs and sits. I am also working on perch work and shaping the hold for the retrieve as well. I think if you have different sessions and limit to only a couple you're fine. Also, I suppose this depends on the dog but from what I've seen Ozzy is quite bright and puts things together well so I doubt he'd have any trouble.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-09-2011, 03:53 AM
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I'm always working on multiple things. Usually various things at all sorts of stages in each training session. Its very helpful to do, because when you're working on something new if the dog gets frustrated you can swing back to something they know. As long as your paying attention to signs of frustration in the dog its not a problem at all to be working on things in various stages of newness at the same time.


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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-09-2011, 11:55 AM
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No reason not to work on multiple things so long as you don't overwhelm your dog.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-09-2011, 12:02 PM
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I always work on multiple things. To overly focus on just one or two would bore both me and the dog to tears. In any given training session I'll pick 2-3 to focus on, but then the next training session it might be a different 2-3 things. The important thing is to not do too much in any session, and also not let performance in one thing slip to less than what the dog is capable of because your main focus is on something different. For example, if I'm working on auto-sit in heeling, or out of motion exercises, just because I'm working on those things and the focus of that training session isn't heeling itself doesn't mean I allow for sloppy heeling.


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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-09-2011, 12:06 PM
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Its also useful if you are not getting good performance on one thing and so the dog isn't getting rewarded as frequently, switch to something it knows well for a few exercise to keep the enthusiasm up, then return to what you're working on

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-09-2011, 12:06 PM
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I also work on a few things at once. When I start a session I "read" the dog's mood and drive, and then work on whatever is most appropriate. Last night I had intended to work with Pan on something that needs to be done with calm focus but he was overly amped up so I switched to working on heeling and fast sits instead.

I've also been working three dogs at a time, so when on dog starts to fade, I call another over. Then the other dogs get more excited for their turn. Last night I had a plate of sausage pieces and Coke worked on heeling, Nikon on left pivots and doing some dowel holds, and Pan on heeling and flip finishes. If they get too grabby I end up crating the ones not taking a turn but sometimes it's fun to have them all out and just work whatever dog is most attentive at the time.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-09-2011, 12:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liesje View Post
I also work on a few things at once. When I start a session I "read" the dog's mood and drive, and then work on whatever is most appropriate. Last night I had intended to work with Pan on something that needs to be done with calm focus but he was overly amped up so I switched to working on heeling and fast sits instead.
This is a very good point about the importance of tailoring the session, especially with young/inexperienced dogs, to maximize success.

In addition, I avoid also pairing together exercises that can conflict with one another or cause confusion to the dog in the same training session. Like I wouldn't work on stays and recalls in the same session, or right and left finish in the same session. Not until the dog is much further along and very proficient in both, and even with experienced dogs there are certain exercises I only very rarely will pair together as doing it too much could cause anticipation.


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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-09-2011, 12:25 PM
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How do you work on a recall without also working on stay?
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-09-2011, 12:37 PM
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I work on recall without a stay all the time. With a new puppy who has no idea what stay means, I'll do recalls by running backwards and calling the puppy to me, both around the house and on leash walks, and by tossing something - toy, treat, across the room and then calling them. If you have an extra person you can do restrained recalls, but there are lots of ways to practice on your own.

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