How to get focus.... - German Shepherd Dog Forums
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 09:16 AM Thread Starter
Elite Member
 
katdog5911's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: New Milford Ct
Posts: 1,622
How to get focus....

I am working on the ongoing dog reactivity with Stella. The trainer I have just started working with has me doing focused heeling. I am having a hard time getting Stella's focus on me. She does great inside or even in obedience...but forget it outside. She zeroes in on a dog or whatever and nothing can break her stare. The trainer has me using a choke collar. I know my timing is off so this is not helping Stella learn. How can I improve her focus on me? And I am not supposed to use treats....I AM THE TREAT! Any suggestions?
katdog5911 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 10:13 AM
Master Member
 
GSDkid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 658
Wow, I'm currently working on this and my trainer's methods are working great!

I don't know about choke collars but I was told they really don't correct. More like they just suffocate/choke. For your trainer to just say, you must be the treat right off the bat is kind of ridiculous. You have to work your way to that point, gradually. I'm using hot dogs. Again, I'm currently training focused heeling right now and it's working for me.

Here's what we're doing. To start off, get something that is the highest value for your dog. My girl has a moderate food drive and very low toy drive so she's somewhat difficult. However, if she see's that I enjoy the treat, it becomes SUPER value thus it being hot dogs. I started working on the "look" command. I did the look for about a week. Trainer evaluated and said progress was great so we started the focused heel. I held the leash with my left hand and Abby is on my left. I use my right hand to hold the hot dog on my left shoulder (on Abby's side).

Keep the focus and take only one step. If they take that step while looking at you, treat, praise, celebrate! That first step is the best thing that ever happened! I did this for 3 days and then gradually did more steps. We're at 6 steps now and my trainer is so happy with the progress.

Abby - Jan. 1, 2011 to Dec. 27, 2013
Bandit - Sept. 17, 2012
Rogue - Feb. 14, 2014
"A tired dog is a happy one
GSDkid is offline  
post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 10:34 AM
Crowned Member
 
llombardo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Illinois
Posts: 14,027
I would think that the watch me command would be ideal in getting a dog to focus...yes you do use treats and you work your way from inside the house, to outside, then on walks, then on walks with people/dogs present..etc. I think they need to learn to focus and just focus before that can be used with other commands. Put the dog in a sit say watch me, if dog doesn't look, DO NOT repeat command, make a noise, get the dogs attention, then give a treat once it looks at you..repeat as needed and the dog will get it. Once the dog gets it, use it in different settings. Hold the treat up to your eyes and say watch me, at first the dog is watching the treat, but eventually it learns to watch you.

Misty- Samoyed Mix, Tannor- Golden Retriever CGC
Robyn- GSD CGC, TC, Midnite-GSD CGC,TC, Brennan-Golden Retriever CGC, Batman-Husky/Greyhound , Apollo-GSD
llombardo is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 10:42 AM
Crowned Member
 
Jax08's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: NNE PA
Posts: 29,912
You need to break it down. Heel is a position, teach the position. Focus is eyes on you, teach her to watch you. Heeling with focus means her head has to be up while she's walking, teach her she can do that.

1) Teach Watch or Look. I sat Jax and held a treat chest high. She will watch the treat but as soon as she makes eye contact, mark and treat. do NOT treat for looking at your hand! Once she understand what you want, then give it a command. Once she understands that, start moving into different position.

2) Teaching position - Have you don't perch work? I used to that to teach Jax position.

3) Teach her to walk with her head up. While she's in heel position, put her hand flat out with a treat in your fingers. Do not move until she stops jumping for the treat, one step with her head up = Mark and treat. Two steps, four steps..

Then you put it all together!

And a choke chain for reactive dogs? Yikes! Something tightening around her throat can make it worse. I had zero success with correction collars and reactivity. Have you tried LAT?




Jax08 is offline  
post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 10:43 AM
Senior Member
 
Bismarck's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: San Diego
Posts: 400
Quote:
Originally Posted by GSDkid View Post
Wow, I'm currently working on this and my trainer's methods are working great!

I don't know about choke collars but I was told they really don't correct. More like they just suffocate/choke. For your trainer to just say, you must be the treat right off the bat is kind of ridiculous. You have to work your way to that point, gradually. I'm using hot dogs. Again, I'm currently training focused heeling right now and it's working for me.

Here's what we're doing. To start off, get something that is the highest value for your dog. My girl has a moderate food drive and very low toy drive so she's somewhat difficult. However, if she see's that I enjoy the treat, it becomes SUPER value thus it being hot dogs. I started working on the "look" command. I did the look for about a week. Trainer evaluated and said progress was great so we started the focused heel. I held the leash with my left hand and Abby is on my left. I use my right hand to hold the hot dog on my left shoulder (on Abby's side).

Keep the focus and take only one step. If they take that step while looking at you, treat, praise, celebrate! That first step is the best thing that ever happened! I did this for 3 days and then gradually did more steps. We're at 6 steps now and my trainer is so happy with the progress.
thank you for that information!!

i've always wondered how to train that.

Mom: russian blue 20yrs
Moose: cat 10 yrs
Del: lab/gsd 4yrs
Biz: Bi color GSD, 6 years
Bismarck is offline  
post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 10:47 AM
Crowned Member
 
llombardo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Illinois
Posts: 14,027
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jax08 View Post

3) Teach her to walk with her head up. While she's in heel position, put her hand flat out with a treat in your fingers. Do not move until she stops jumping for the treat, one step with her head up = Mark and treat. Two steps, four steps..

Then you put it all together!

And a choke chain for reactive dogs? Yikes! Something tightening around her throat can make it worse. I had zero success with correction collars and reactivity. Have you tried LAT?
I think once they learn the watch me command and you are constantly saying watch me, it becomes second nature for them to keep their eyes on you while walking and heeling...I agree 100% that it has to be broken down into steps(starting with watch me command) and put together..I did all the training with my dog on a flat..I have a prong that is required at a couple places that we do drop ins at, but I prefer not to use the prong or choke collar.

Misty- Samoyed Mix, Tannor- Golden Retriever CGC
Robyn- GSD CGC, TC, Midnite-GSD CGC,TC, Brennan-Golden Retriever CGC, Batman-Husky/Greyhound , Apollo-GSD
llombardo is offline  
post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 11:18 AM
Crowned Member
 
Jax08's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: NNE PA
Posts: 29,912
I don't agree that it's second nature and it makes it easier for the dog to break it down into steps, including teaching them that they can walk with their head up. But then there are 50 different ways to get to the same place and should be adjusted to fit your individual dog.




Jax08 is offline  
post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 12:01 PM
Senior Member
 
Marnie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Northern Illinois
Posts: 476
You might get some information from watching the Behavior Adjustment Training videos online. This technique helps desensitize dogs to things that make them uncomfortable or overexcited.

Behavior Adjustment Training (BAT) | Official site for BAT: dog-friendly training for reactivity (aggression, fear, frustration) by Grisha Stewart, MA
Marnie is offline  
post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 12:58 PM
No Stinkin' Leashes Moderator
 
Cassidy's Mom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 31,942
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jax08 View Post
You need to break it down. Heel is a position, teach the position. Focus is eyes on you, teach her to watch you. Heeling with focus means her head has to be up while she's walking, teach her she can do that.

1) Teach Watch or Look. I sat Jax and held a treat chest high. She will watch the treat but as soon as she makes eye contact, mark and treat. do NOT treat for looking at your hand! Once she understand what you want, then give it a command. Once she understands that, start moving into different position.

2) Teaching position - Have you don't perch work? I used to that to teach Jax position.

3) Teach her to walk with her head up. While she's in heel position, put her hand flat out with a treat in your fingers. Do not move until she stops jumping for the treat, one step with her head up = Mark and treat. Two steps, four steps..

Then you put it all together!

And a choke chain for reactive dogs? Yikes! Something tightening around her throat can make it worse. I had zero success with correction collars and reactivity. Have you tried LAT?
First, I'd ditch the trainer and find one that teaches motivationally rather than solely through corrections. There is nothing wrong with corrections and there is certainly a place for them, but that place is not the initial learning phase of a difficult behavior. Pretty much nobody uses choke chains anymore, and anyone who doesn't believe in using food rewards for training under any circumstances is demonstrating that they don't understand the concept of motivational training and is not someone I'd use.

Teach your dog what you DO want her to do, not what you DON'T want her to do, which is what's happening if all you're doing is correcting her for being wrong. And remember, the more you reinforce anything, the more your dog is going to offer it up. If you reward focus, you're going to get focus.

-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
Cassidy's Mom is offline  
post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 01:16 PM
Knighted Member
 
Twyla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Georgia
Posts: 2,028
Send a message via Yahoo to Twyla
My suggestion is to drop the choke collar ASAP. To much damage can occur when/if your dog goes into reactive mode. Prongs may work for some reactive dogs, others they just ramp up the reaction. Take a look at the martingale. Woolf has responded best using this. Less chance for damage, still provides for correction if needed.
Twyla is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the German Shepherd Dog Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome