Building Speed with Commands - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-11-2013, 01:13 PM Thread Starter
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Building Speed with Commands

HI! I have a 6mo female GSD. She is a great family dog and is also doing very well with her obedience. She knows and understands commands, but her speed is lacking. She used to have a high food drive, but within the past few weeks it hasn't been enough to keep her focused during heeling for example. She loves the teaser pole and seems to have a high prey drive. I've been using balls, tugs and a jute duck that she seems to love. I put her in place and am working on distance commands (sit, down, stand, come) She does them all, but even with the toy she isn't very fast. Does anyone have any recommendations to get her moving a little faster or things that I can do differently or better to help her get into a higher drive? Thank you!
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-11-2013, 01:20 PM
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How fun do you make obedience? Is she enjoying working with you going through her commands or is it more with a martyr "ok, I'll go down because you told me but I won't like it" attitude

She's still young, she should still see training as being extremely positive and rewarding

Shanna

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-11-2013, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
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I think she is enjoying it. She looks for the reward and seems to anticipate it. She runs after the ball or toy when the reward is released, she just seems to be slow in performing the commands.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-11-2013, 01:41 PM
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I agree with Shanna. Try to back off the OB a bit and really work on play. Play hard. You want to build drive. The drive for the reward will quicken the response.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-11-2013, 01:49 PM Thread Starter
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Ok! We will give that a go! Focus on play time! Is it ok to use the reward toy at play time to build the drive for it or will the special reward lose its luster with her?
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-11-2013, 03:01 PM
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That would depend on what the reward toy is. If it's a squeaker, then I'd get a couple of squeakers, keep them around at all times. Suddenly burst into a game.

A flirt pole is a great way to build drive and impulse control. You can make your own using her favorite type of toy.

Remember that if you really think about it, the toy isn't what is as important to the dog, it is your interaction with her. Some dogs love to fetch - although some types of toys really turns them on, it's the game they like. Some dogs love to carry a toy with them, but get really turned on when the handler engages in the game.

I've got a dog who loves to fetch. If I add a squeaker to the mix he goes nuts. So I know a squeaker (ball or stuffie doesn't matter) is added to the mix, he is over the top. But if I stop playing the game, he'll entertain himself, but at a much lower level (lay and tear up the toy).

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Lilie's Tug McGraw "Tug" - Golden Retriever
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-12-2013, 08:27 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the great tips! Its much appreciated! This is our first GSD and we loved her so much we got a 2nd! I am very interested in training and learning with her so I very much appreciate the feedback!
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-12-2013, 08:40 AM
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I would tease her up with the toy, but don't let her have it. Ask for commands as you tease her and then reward her with the toy when she does it with speed. You sometimes don't get accuracy when the dog is in drive.
I usually use food only for teaching something, then switch to a toy reward to keep the drive state higher. Depends on the dog though, some dogs can't focus or think when they are in that higher drive state.

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