What training method is going to make results better... Sorry long read - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-17-2011, 06:56 AM Thread Starter
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What training method is going to make results better... Sorry long read

Well I'm pretty proud of my Joker he is amazing, and no one believes that he is allmost 9 months old. I had even stupid GSD haters loving him for his goodness. Well yesterday I went to see for the first time an obedience class (I was only watching, next January I will start taking part, and I will start taking a course on how to train dogs too.). It was so amazing.... anyways...

Using toys I play to teach Joker lots of things an he responds pretty well, but he gets too overly excited that he does not stay in one spot. I have noticed durring the obedience class when they would use the leash to keep the dog in one place, and they would really lightly jerk back the dog's face if he would get distracted at something else. Joker gets distracted easily after a few seconds. Should I do what they have done to get his full concentration (slightly jerk back the leash)? Sience he is a puppy I know he is not going to have a long concentration spand, but I think there should be a way I can get even better results. While we are on the street, and I try to do a little obedience with him it is way hard even if I start out slow. I can even have a toy in my hand, and I can even be jumping up and down saying "wohoo "to get his attention there is nothing I can do to get his concentration. The trainer told me it takes work, and little by little he will be able to focus on me which is true. I just want to know from everyone's point of view what everyone think will help. Is there video on youtube that can explain everthing better to me?

For example if I say "watch me" he knows what it means, he looks at me an then looks away (I say opps to let him know he is doing wrong), then he looks at me again borred.... glance away (calculate that when he looks at me I tell him to go on til I say release then praise). I keep things short.. I don't know I think I'm doing something wrong. I tried even using "watch me" to get him to not pulling towards other dogs to play, but like I said I can even have his most beloved toy nothing works, even at a distance (the clicker he barely cares about it while we are out). I was told to jerk him back, which I have admit it has been working better for me, at first I would pull out a toy to get him distracted from the other dog. Which never really worked (I have been using that technique for months, and months now), it did help me teach him to loose leash walk. If there is not another dog around he is perfect, and is allways by myside. I just feel like the toys are just loosing their value.

Any training examples? Advice? Scheldue ideas? Tips? Sorry for the long message? I have a mental block myself..... I have so many things to write I can talk about dogs for hours!
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-17-2011, 08:12 AM
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I don't think leash pops are the best training technique, especially for a puppy. It sounds like your pup is just not ready to be trained in this environment yet. You are dealing with too many distractions, and you need to take a couple steps back and work on training for focus (watch me) in a quieter situation until the command is more solid.

A leash pull or pop is a punishment, even though it probably doesn't hurt the dog, it is not a pleasant thing. So if you are in a class that you want your puppy to enjoy and come away with it being a positive experience, a leash pop is not a great idea. Your trainer is right, training focus does take time, and you may need to just work on it more at home in a quiet room with no distractions, then move it out to the backyard where there are more distractions, then move it to a parking lot or somewhere with more distractions, then a park where there might be other dogs, etc... And then maybe you will be ready to deal with the level of distractions that are present in a class.

Some people use a technique to teach focus where they hold a treat in their mouth (like a piece of hot dog or something) and spit the treat at the dog when he looks at them. I've never tried this method, maybe some others will have suggestions too.

Leah
Niko: American Showline GSD 5 years old
Rosa: American Muppet Dog (GSD/Border Collie mix) 5 years old
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-17-2011, 11:50 AM
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If you're trying to build focus and get the dog to relax at the same time try doing the Protocol for Relaxation. (it's online)
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-17-2011, 07:17 PM
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Remember with puppies we need to go slow. If your dog isn't 100% perfect for 30 seconds with attention at home, alone, with no distractions.

The do ask for attention with out and about with EXCITEMENT just isn't going to happen.

Keeping sessions short, fun, with the dog SUCCEEDING is the goal. So if I only get 3 sec of attention in a public place, THAT may be worth a puppy party. Not trying to get 5 seconds to watch my dog 'break' and look away.

Think about clicker training is many of us go too far too fast. Instead, maybe I still need to break 'attention' down with my dog and I have to be really close, with really great treats, REALLY FREQUENTLY!







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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-17-2011, 07:40 PM
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Check out MRL's videos - that's a great way to build a strong foundation of focus and attention from your dog. I do this from the time I bring home a new puppy. I just hang out with them, a clicker, and a treat bag full of tiny morsels. Very time puppy looks at me - click/treat. The more heavily you reinforce (reward) a behavior, the more likely the dog is to offer it up spontaneously. At that point you can start naming it and working on building duration, where you delay the click/treat for a few seconds, (increase the time very gradually, and mix it up so sometimes it's 2 seconds, sometimes 5 seconds, sometimes 1 second, sometimes 8 seconds, etc). Don't move too far too fast, you want the dog succeeding at each level before challenging him further.

The reason doing it this way (called "capturing" behaviors that are not cued) is so great is that the dog is learning to make the choice to pay attention to you, you're not constantly nagging your dog to look at you when there are more interesting things for him to be looking at instead. I do want my dogs to look at me when I tell them too, but I also want them to naturally look to me even when I DON'T specifically tell them to.

-Debbie-
Cava 1/6/18
Keefer 8/25/05-4/24/19 ~ The sweetest boy
Halo 11/9/08-6/17/18 ~ You left pawprints on our hearts
Dena 9/12/04-10/4/08 ~ Forever would have been too short
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 03:46 PM Thread Starter
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Hi guys! I love to see so many replies ! I love you all! It all makes sense! I'm starting to take things really slower, and I just realised it is a good thing that he is excited. I'm starting to train him more, and the past two days instead of having one session a day I'm starting to have 3 short sessions. It is making a huge diffrence. I'm starting to realise that the more I work with him (allways like a game) the more he is focusing on me. I love the idea of the Watch me game. It make sense I need to start adding that! Today I was the park (like allways), and I noticed that he kept on looking at me. At parks I keep him allways off leash (not on streets) because he does not run away from me, and he stays allways near me. I think we are starting to be so connected, and I'm so happy about it. At a certain point he kept on looking at me while there where tons of dogs near by, and I pulled out a toy asked him to spin in circles, and sit. Then he did it imediatly! Everyone was amazed, and I had everyone's dog comming up to me to play too that was funny. I think the fact that I'm less frustrated, and more concetrated myself helps out alot! Training a dog is good for his mind, and also mine!
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 05:51 PM
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I think having several short sessions is better than one long session. You really want training to be fun for him, so it's better to stop when he's still engaged than to drag it out until he's lost interest. Are you carrying tiny yummy treats with you so that when he looks at you you can mark and reward it?

-Debbie-
Cava 1/6/18
Keefer 8/25/05-4/24/19 ~ The sweetest boy
Halo 11/9/08-6/17/18 ~ You left pawprints on our hearts
Dena 9/12/04-10/4/08 ~ Forever would have been too short
Cassidy 6/8/00-10/4/04
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-22-2011, 08:16 AM Thread Starter
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I tried bringing yummy treats with me before, but he does not responds to them. Today for example he behave so well in the store I asked him to stay in one spot while I shoped, so I decided to buy him a treat to reward him, but he wasn’t that intrested in it. I bring usually toys with me (it is his fave treat)! So when I do noticed that he is looking at me I grab out the toy to play really quickly with him, or tease him with it. At first I would be grabbing out the toy every 10 mins, but it felt like the toys where loosing their value. I just really can not balance how much is enough. He is going through the period in his life where he is starting to be intrested in people like staring, glancing, so I got to watched out again that he does not jump on someone.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-22-2011, 10:00 AM
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If he won't take treats he may be over-stimulated. Try it in less distracting areas first. This is something you can easily do around the house. Also, make sure he's hungry if you're taking him out in public - work with him BEFORE a meal. And have really high value treats!

-Debbie-
Cava 1/6/18
Keefer 8/25/05-4/24/19 ~ The sweetest boy
Halo 11/9/08-6/17/18 ~ You left pawprints on our hearts
Dena 9/12/04-10/4/08 ~ Forever would have been too short
Cassidy 6/8/00-10/4/04
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-22-2011, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilddoggie View Post
Training a dog is good for his mind, and also mine!
Beautiful!!!
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