Training problem - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-14-2015, 05:59 PM Thread Starter
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Training problem

My puppy is 5 months old and knows a lot of the basics, but recently when I go to try to teach him something new he gets in a weird mood where he'll start barking and jumping for the treat. I've been trying to teach him to heel luring him into position one time, and the next time he gets in a mood where he's jumping for the treat and starts barking at me. He did the same thing when I tried to teach him backup, stop in the middle and start barking. Curious what this could be... I just joined a group class at petsmart but I'd really like to be able to teach him more on my own. I try to keep training fun and use a toy sometimes. If anyone has been thru this or has any suggestions to fix this, I would really appreciate it. Thanks!
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-14-2015, 06:23 PM
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Apollo is almost the same age and tries the same thing. We are working on the off command along with he doesn't get anything unless all four of his feet are on the ground, it's working so far.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-14-2015, 07:17 PM Thread Starter
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The barking and looking at me like "why are you showing me something new" is more of a problem then the jumping on me. It just a strange mood he gets in.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-14-2015, 07:49 PM
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Some tricks might just be too early for a 5 month young pup to learn so they get frustrated or don't understand what they're being taught and start jumping.

Instead of that, try teaching your dog basic focusing skills. That allows them to calm down also and keep his attention on you. Keep increasing the duration until he can do this for 30 secs or more at a time. When he's got that down spot-on, then go up to other tricks.

The other thing also is keep training on a leash so you can do slight corrections. Doesn't have to be a prong because even a slight tug from their collar can do this. Especially for young puppies, they're too young to leave them off-leash because once they're distracted or bored, it's easy for them to run off and do other things.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-14-2015, 08:12 PM
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He is trying to engage you. I would do some fun tug or fetch before class to get out his need for movement. Heeling is boring, petsmart classes are boring for GSD's. They'd rather be more stimulated mentally and physically. You can do some UPs circles, turns and reward with food with him driving into it, not you giving it to him in position. Keep the session short and mix it up. After you train, put him up so he can process what he learned.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-14-2015, 08:38 PM
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This is a GOOD problem to have, because like Jane said, your pup WANTS to be interacting with you, but you are being boring.

I wouldn't sweat this. If this was my pup, I'd be happy that he was this playful, energetic, and wanting to push me to get his reward.
Jane gave some good pointers - also for a young dog like this, the rewards should come fast and furious. When expected to do long stretches of behaviours without reward, they lose their focus, or they think that they are doing the wrong things because the rewards aren't coming often enough, and GSDs being so smart, try to figure out what you REALLY want and start making things up and throwing all sorts of behaviours at your to hoping that they will hit the right one.

When teaching something new, make sure to really break down the new exercise into really small pieces and reward each one as they get it. For example to get them to heel backwards, you lure them back and your reward for following your hand with their head - reward. Then they shift their weight back to be able to follow your hand - reward. Then they move a rear foot back so as not to fall backwards when following your hand - reward. Then they make a bit of a shuffle move backwards - reward, etc - as you can see, if you are asking too much too soon before they understand, they can get frustrated and the frustration can express itself in some of the behaviours you see. But still good stuff!! What would worry me is a pup that shut down and disengaged because he was confused or bored. Yours is WANTING to work for you, he just not sure what you want.

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