Making yourself interesting to your dog. - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-06-2013, 04:17 PM Thread Starter
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Making yourself interesting to your dog.

So, as I am sure most of you know, I have WGSL dog that I am currently training (or at the very least just having fun) in IPO/SchH.

Lately, I feel like I have hit a wall with him. I cannot get through to him! He is going to be one year old in one week, is intact. I do plenty with him, we are always out and about, he goes everywhere, we spend alot of time together, outside.

I just cannot get him to engage with me anymore. He seems so *uniterested* in anything right now, balls on strings, tug, frisbees, stuffed toys, gee, even his beloved orange squeaky ball. He just loses interest SO fast lately. Even for food, his food drive (used to be pretty good) has just dropped. He hardly even cares for his actual meals now. And yeah, his toy drive probably was never up to the caliber of WL dogs, but it WAS there and was pretty good. His actual prey drive is ridiculous, but unfortunately, I cannot walk around training him with robins and chipmunks.

So my question: How do I make myself more interesting, how do I make him WANT to engage with me? I have been working on this for 3 weeks now, like, really just focusing on play and building it (errr well trying), but I have been playing with him since he was a little pup. I just am *so* frustrated right now...I feel like everything, even a piece of grass, is more interesting to my boy, than me. I have spent so much time with him, I have put in *all* the work with him, I dont get why he doesnt want to play with me.

And, if he does play ball/tug, once he 'wins' he doesnt want to bring it back. Like, he's perfectly content playing by himself.

The food drive ( or lack thereof now) is creating problems in tracking, he just blows right over everything - its like he cant even TELL theres food there. I use high value food, hot dogs, cheese (ive tried different types), raw food, those food rolls cut up etc..I only track him before a meal (so he should be hungry...)

At the rate this has been going downhill, I just am beginning to feel more and more stupid for trying in IPO with him (and no, I DO NOT expect great things with a SL in IPO - it's more like, if we can get a title or two, heck even a BH, great, but I was more attracted to the sport bc of the bond between handler and dog).

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Last edited by gsdlover91; 07-06-2013 at 04:20 PM.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-06-2013, 05:12 PM
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I'd back off of training for awhile and just do fun things. Hikes, walks, going to the park activities with no stress and no expectations. Go to the training club, let him watch other dogs work but resist the urge to do anything with him other than hang out. Often with this sort of thing, the more you worry about it and obsess over fixing it, the worse it gets and starts to sour all your training.

I'd do that for 3-4 weeks - just step back from training and enjoy your dog for being a dog. When you start adding training back in, do so in very, very, very short spurts. 2-5 minutes once a day. Fast, upbeat and easy for whatever he finds the most value in. Seriously set a timer and keep it very short. Shorter, faster paced, easy sessions will help build his interest back up. Working on restrains to his dinner can help build drive and excitement as well. Full his bowl up, put it down and pull him away from it by us collar or harness. Use an excitement building cue like "reeeeeeeady????" While holding him back. If he starts straining that's great! Mark the behavior and let him run to his dinner. If he is too polite to pull away from you, try putting him on leash and starting with the bowl just out of reach, marking and releasing as soon as you feel pressure against you then building up from there.

Good luck with your training!
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-06-2013, 06:13 PM
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Don't get discouraged. There will always be setbacks and down moments on the path. Just accept it as part of the journey. It happens to everyone.

Your guy is probably going through a lot of hormonal changes as he continues through adolescence, so that is likely a factor. This is a transitional period. Stick through it. It might not seem like much is happening now, but think of this as raising a teenager: your bratty 14-year-old might not want to listen to you now, but as an adult he will remember what you said and did back then, and he'll be grateful for your wisdom and patience (not to mention that he'll grow up with the tools he needs to make good decisions through some pretty rough years!). It will pay dividends in the future if you keep trucking through the bad times now.

AgileGSD had good advice. Relax. Don't push too hard.

It might be good to take some time to just be with your dog. Watch what he likes to do. Don't put any pressure on him, but watch and be aware. In the back of your mind, maybe make some notes about activities and toys that he finds reinforcing when he has his own total freedom to choose.

Maybe you'll be able to build those things into motivators, maybe not, but... see what they are. Step back from what you think should be motivating and try to find out what actually is.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-06-2013, 06:35 PM
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your dog comes from a long line of titled dogs. SL's can
achieve the samething as a WL. maybe you should back
off of training for a while. do fun and easy things. what's
your trainer think? this is a stretch but make sure your attitude
isn't effecting anything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gsdlover91 View Post
So, as I am sure most of you know, I have WGSL dog that I am currently training (or at the very least just having fun) in IPO/SchH.

Lately, I feel like I have hit a wall with him. I cannot get through to him! He is going to be one year old in one week, is intact. I do plenty with him, we are always out and about, he goes everywhere, we spend alot of time together, outside.

I just cannot get him to engage with me anymore. He seems so *uniterested* in anything right now, balls on strings, tug, frisbees, stuffed toys, gee, even his beloved orange squeaky ball. He just loses interest SO fast lately. Even for food, his food drive (used to be pretty good) has just dropped. He hardly even cares for his actual meals now. And yeah, his toy drive probably was never up to the caliber of WL dogs, but it WAS there and was pretty good. His actual prey drive is ridiculous, but unfortunately, I cannot walk around training him with robins and chipmunks.

So my question: How do I make myself more interesting, how do I make him WANT to engage with me? I have been working on this for 3 weeks now, like, really just focusing on play and building it (errr well trying), but I have been playing with him since he was a little pup. I just am *so* frustrated right now...I feel like everything, even a piece of grass, is more interesting to my boy, than me. I have spent so much time with him, I have put in *all* the work with him, I dont get why he doesnt want to play with me.

And, if he does play ball/tug, once he 'wins' he doesnt want to bring it back. Like, he's perfectly content playing by himself.

The food drive ( or lack thereof now) is creating problems in tracking, he just blows right over everything - its like he cant even TELL theres food there. I use high value food, hot dogs, cheese (ive tried different types), raw food, those food rolls cut up etc..I only track him before a meal (so he should be hungry...)

>>>>> At the rate this has been going downhill, I just am beginning to feel more and more stupid for trying in IPO with him (and no, I DO NOT expect great things with a SL in IPO - <<<<<


it's more like, if we can get a title or two, heck even a BH, great, but I was more attracted to the sport bc of the bond between handler and dog).
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-06-2013, 06:41 PM
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I agree with backing off on the training, maybe your trying to hard??

Try ignoring him for a day or so, feed him, ignore him..Mine HATE to be ignored, if I do it for a bit, they are ready to jump thru hoops to gain my attention

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-06-2013, 09:10 PM
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Maybe you are trying too hard and training too much. He's a puppy, give him some time off to play and be a puppy.


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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-08-2013, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
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I agree with you all, I might just be trying too hard. He just got diagnosed with Giardia, so that probably didnt help the situation either. Doggiedad, attitude isnt a long stretch, I think attitude can have a huge effect on it. If I am frustrated or stressed over the training, he can probably sense it. I havent done any training the past few days, we went on a run/hike Saturday night, and we enjoyed it, he played his version of 'tag' with me, and it was nice and worry free. The past two days he has been really lethargic due to the giardia (sleeping ALL day ) so I havent been able to do anything with him, not even go on a walk. Poor guy. But once he is feeling better, I am just gonna enjoy some times with him and take a break from training, besides doing some easy stuff here and there, and hopefully once we start up again, all will be good! Thanks for the advice!

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(2x) SG1 Rogue 'Tesla' v Huerta Hof AD UNJ HIC TKA TC
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-08-2013, 05:41 PM
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I have a high drive dog that I struggle to keep focused on me. My trainer suggested to ignore him...totally. I truly didn't think that would work...boy was I shocked.

He is 19 months now and I still 'play' ignore with him. I'll walk through the house and totally ignore him. Then I'll take off running and jump on my bed...or over the couch...or hide in the bathroom. This drives him crazy. 99% of the time he watches me like a hawk. He'll do everything to get ME engaged with him. Inside or outside. I try not to be predictable when it comes to play.

I'm not sure what it is about 'ignore' that works, but it was like magic for me.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-08-2013, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilie View Post
I have a high drive dog that I struggle to keep focused on me. My trainer suggested to ignore him...totally. I truly didn't think that would work...boy was I shocked.

He is 19 months now and I still 'play' ignore with him. I'll walk through the house and totally ignore him. Then I'll take off running and jump on my bed...or over the couch...or hide in the bathroom. This drives him crazy. 99% of the time he watches me like a hawk. He'll do everything to get ME engaged with him. Inside or outside. I try not to be predictable when it comes to play.

I'm not sure what it is about 'ignore' that works, but it was like magic for me.
Going to try this! You always give the best training advice! If I remember correctly, your the one who told me to 'spit' treats at my dog for focus also (worked like a charm)

SG1 Valco 'Berlin' Hokschhaus CGCA BA-1 UNJCH HIT TKA TC

(2x) SG1 Rogue 'Tesla' v Huerta Hof AD UNJ HIC TKA TC
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