CGC prep class issues, need some help! - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-17-2013, 05:59 PM Thread Starter
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Question CGC prep class issues, need some help!

So my dog and I are currently doing a CGC prep class(oh boy do we need it), I'm taking the advice from the trainer but also wouldn't mind some other opinions.

Our biggest issues are :
FOCUS
Other dogs and sniffing
Loose leash walking(related to sniffing)

Sometimes his focus was great! But it mostly all came apart with other dogs being close enough to sniff and during loose leash walking. He is SO dog focused(he wants to sniff and greet), is there a way to break him of this? We've stopped all off leash activities but he still plays with one of my other dogs at home... should I stop this as well? Our other issue when it comes to focus is he is not highly food motivated... I'd literally have to starve him a day or two to get him to care a little bit about the treats. He loves his tug and I haven't tried in class yet but I'm not seeing that going well either. I should mention the class is held in a busy outdoor park as well with many other dog training(flyball, rally) going on around us.

SNIFFING... This is a huge issue for us... so far it has been impossible to teach him to loose leash walk because his nose is ALWAYS to the ground, always forging ahead sniffing some invisible wondrous thing. The trainer suggested I do a stop and go walk over and over where I ask behaviors from him then release him to sniff but my question is how do I get him to not sniff when doing the walking portion, he will pull very hard to get his head down to the ground. Prong correction? Just pull him away with a no or leave it?

I will be honest and say we haven't done a ton of training under distractions, I can't drive atm so it's tough to get out as much as I'd like plus dogs are not allowed at parks here where I live so the ones we have to go to are about 20-30 min drive away. But my husband has agreed to help me out and schoeffer me around. I've only got 5 weeks before the test so I can use all the advise I can get!

On a side note... one thing I noticed whenever the trainer tried to demonstrate something with him he would do whatever she asked the first go around but after that just blew her off and kept turning towards me and JUMPING up on me! He's normally so independent at home, doesn't really follow me around, doesn't care if I leave the room... what's up with that?

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-17-2013, 06:07 PM
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I don't allow my dogs to sniff/track while we are on walks. If I were you I would do a prong correction to keep him from pulling/tracking on the walk. I will stop along the way to allow some sniffing in designated spots. I don't know how the CGC training works and others should have some better advice to help you with that.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-17-2013, 07:21 PM
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A bigger issue for you guys will probably be the part where you have to disappear for 3 minutes. That is a hard one.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-17-2013, 10:06 PM
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I used a head halter to help control the head for sniffs during walks. I also consistently release her to "sniff" as you say following a command.


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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-17-2013, 10:20 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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I used a head halter to help control the head for sniffs during walks. I also consistently release her to "sniff" as you say following a command.
I actually tried a head harness but he just pulls through it, he doesn't care. Granted I can pull his head back up but it doesn't stop him from trying plus they are not allowed in the CGC test. I will try correcting him with the prong for now(I was never firm with stopping him from sniffing I just didn't let him sniff for as long as he wanted so that was my mistake and now I'm paying for it!) along with making sniffing a reward.

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-17-2013, 10:32 PM
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A training collar, is for training, not for the test. Don't become reliant upon it, but if you use the head collar to teach him not to sniff, NO SNIFF and then to OK SNIFF, it can be helpful I guess.

You cannot use a prong for the test either, so becoming dependent on that, correcting with that for sniffing, etc, can also be an issue, because dogs can become very collar-smart, and may blow you off when it is not on. Hard to say. Lots of people train with the collar and take it off for the test and do fine.

Have you considered using a statement like, We're Working to let the dog know that no interactions with other dogs will be tolerated. When I go to class, when I start out, I say to the dog, We're Working. I really don't think it does all that much, but it is my go to statement when the dog I want the dog to ignore other stuff and pay attention.

Dogs should not be so close during the test that they can have a sniff-fest though. The only time a dog should be close at all, would be reaction to another dog, and we walk toward another handler with a dog, keeping the dogs on the outside, and give the dogs the SIT command, shake hands, exchange plesantries and walk on by. Dogs are never close enough to sniff each other.

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-18-2013, 01:27 AM
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if you use a prong, make darn sure he knows what he is getting corrected for. misuse it and he'll get anxious and just hate walks forever
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-18-2013, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by selzer View Post
A training collar, is for training, not for the test. Don't become reliant upon it, but if you use the head collar to teach him not to sniff, NO SNIFF and then to OK SNIFF, it can be helpful I guess.

You cannot use a prong for the test either, so becoming dependent on that, correcting with that for sniffing, etc, can also be an issue, because dogs can become very collar-smart, and may blow you off when it is not on. Hard to say. Lots of people train with the collar and take it off for the test and do fine.

Have you considered using a statement like, We're Working to let the dog know that no interactions with other dogs will be tolerated. When I go to class, when I start out, I say to the dog, We're Working. I really don't think it does all that much, but it is my go to statement when the dog I want the dog to ignore other stuff and pay attention.

Dogs should not be so close during the test that they can have a sniff-fest though. The only time a dog should be close at all, would be reaction to another dog, and we walk toward another handler with a dog, keeping the dogs on the outside, and give the dogs the SIT command, shake hands, exchange plesantries and walk on by. Dogs are never close enough to sniff each other.
This is how I used mine.
I put the collar on and walked, then when we reach where I deem "okay" to sniff, I take the collar off, and say go sniff.

We don't use a head halter anymore (instead we use the easy-walk harness, in which she walks beautifully), but the training is transitioned that she'll respond to a light tug on the harness for no sniff and will walk nicely.


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