German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
1. How old is to old to train and correct bad habits?
(He is 1 year and 4 months)

2. What is the best way to introduce distraction? EX: People being around, cars going by, other animals being around.
(I know I cant take him at this point to the super bowl put him in the middle of the field while the game is going and expect him to listen)

3. How should I correct him from running up to the neighbors every morning when hes off leash or chasing wild animals. EX: Birds, squirrels, rabbits, deer.

Tools I have for training:

E Collar - Petrainer 998DBB
Generic Harness with handle
Standard Collar
8' leash
Clicker
Training treats

What we are learning and working on:

Sit (In general sit or walking and straight to a sit while I continue)
Down (Same as sit)
Heel
Stay (Sit Stay, Down Stay)
Come
Wait (For when he starts walking to far ahead)
Here (Place)
In (Either in the house, or in the truck)
Sit/Stay at doors (until permission to come out)

Rewards I give while training:

Clicks
Loud happy verbal
Treats

Correction:

Have not been using the E collar lately
Quick repeats with hand gestures and guidance (pushing butt down till full sit)

Other:

Car chasing - Sitting along side the road waiting for cars making him sit holding harness handle enough but to where he can not feel it but can grab him if he tries to run gaining his focus on me, and rewarding with a click and treat and I release him completely after his focus is completely away from the car.
(I can see the car and hear them before they get to us, I dont believe he can see him them at the time I can)

People - We have heavy foot traffic in the back yard, we sit on our back porch in the afternoon just so he can get use to it, he only barks now at other animals.






As of right now I can not truly maintain his focus with many distractions around, how do I up the level slowly?

How do I stop him from going to the neighbors only in the morning? I know he has way to much energy and wants to play but the neighbor dogs hate him, he has never caused them problems but they cause him problems.

How do I stop the wild animal chase, I know pray drive...

Any other general training tips would be great, I can NOT afford a professional trainer, but I am trying my hardest, reading, watching videos, asking questions and learning.

You know the tools I have, you know what im working on and what im trying to teach. Thank you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
I work with him normally 10-15 minutes every hour when I get home from work at 5:00, or until his attention span is gone which is also something I need to work on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,990 Posts
1. How old is to old to train and correct bad habits?
(He is 1 year and 4 months)

2. What is the best way to introduce distraction? EX: People being around, cars going by, other animals being around.
(I know I cant take him at this point to the super bowl put him in the middle of the field while the game is going and expect him to listen)

3. How should I correct him from running up to the neighbors every morning when hes off leash or chasing wild animals. EX: Birds, squirrels, rabbits, deer.

Tools I have for training:

E Collar - Petrainer 998DBB
Generic Harness with handle
Standard Collar
8' leash
Clicker
Training treats

What we are learning and working on:

Sit (In general sit or walking and straight to a sit while I continue)
Down (Same as sit)
Heel
Stay (Sit Stay, Down Stay)
Come
Wait (For when he starts walking to far ahead)
Here (Place)
In (Either in the house, or in the truck)
Sit/Stay at doors (until permission to come out)

Rewards I give while training:

Clicks
Loud happy verbal
Treats

Correction:

Have not been using the E collar lately
Quick repeats with hand gestures and guidance (pushing butt down till full sit)

Other:

Car chasing - Sitting along side the road waiting for cars making him sit holding harness handle enough but to where he can not feel it but can grab him if he tries to run gaining his focus on me, and rewarding with a click and treat and I release him completely after his focus is completely away from the car.
(I can see the car and hear them before they get to us, I dont believe he can see him them at the time I can)

People - We have heavy foot traffic in the back yard, we sit on our back porch in the afternoon just so he can get use to it, he only barks now at other animals.






As of right now I can not truly maintain his focus with many distractions around, how do I up the level slowly?

How do I stop him from going to the neighbors only in the morning? I know he has way to much energy and wants to play but the neighbor dogs hate him, he has never caused them problems but they cause him problems.

How do I stop the wild animal chase, I know pray drive...

Any other general training tips would be great, I can NOT afford a professional trainer, but I am trying my hardest, reading, watching videos, asking questions and learning.

You know the tools I have, you know what im working on and what im trying to teach. Thank you.
I have trained dogs of all ages and can tell you there is no age limit.

Chasing cars is just a NO! It's dangerous and immediately life threatening and therefore warrants whatever measures are needed to prevent/stop it. I wouldn't let him sit and focus on them, I would just keep walking And correct if he gets out of line.
As far as rushing your neighbors and chasing wildlife, you have been here long enough to know the answer. If he isn't controllable off leash then he should not be off leash. Some dogs should never be off leash. I use a long line on Shadow so she can play and explore. She has proven repeatedly that her nose rules the world so she does not get to be loose.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
The running to the neighbors has just recently started, and its only in the morning literally no other time, so hes on his leash every morning now but if I could find away to prevent it and he didnt have to be on his leash I would like to do that.

The problem with wild life and correct it is it doesnt happen enough and its completely random so I cant prepare myself for it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
977 Posts
I have trained dogs of all ages and can tell you there is no age limit.

Chasing cars is just a NO! It's dangerous and immediately life threatening and therefore warrants whatever measures are needed to prevent/stop it. I wouldn't let him sit and focus on them, I would just keep walking And correct if he gets out of line.
As far as rushing your neighbors and chasing wildlife, you have been here long enough to know the answer. If he isn't controllable off leash then he should not be off leash. Some dogs should never be off leash.
I fully agree, particularly with the sections that I bolded.

OP, it reads to me as though the dog doesn't really understand/accept various commands (e.g., 'Sit) as commands. So, perhaps you should rethink/reschedule your training sessions and go back to basics, as it were. Try making your sessions shorter (e.g., 5 minutes only), ending on the first good note, and scattered more frequently over the course of the day. Focus on learning one thing only (e.g., Sit) for a week, at least, without physical intervention from you and without the E collar. Do it at home, with no distractions and lots of rewards first to shape the behavior that you want. Then, when it's clear that he knows and accepts the command, slowly introduce distractions (e.g., randomly practice Sit on walkies, hikes, etc). When you're absolutely certain that he's got it, roll a second command into the training sequence. Mind you, I'm not suggesting that you start retraining 'Sit,' it's just an example. In your situation, frankly, I might focus on establishing an outstanding recall first. YMMV.

I'd also suggest that you reach out to a good trainer to help with some basic stuff that you may have missed (e.g., recall). The car chasing is dangerous, but it also strikes me that he doesn't grasp the importance of listening and compliance. That lapse (on his part, I mean) is more fundamental than anything else; without that, issues will just continue to pile up.

Good luck,

Aly
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
977 Posts
The running to the neighbors has just recently started, and its only in the morning literally no other time, so hes on his leash every morning now but if I could find away to prevent it and he didnt have to be on his leash I would like to do that..
Given what you've described, he needs to be leashed everytime you go outside until you've established control of your dog. Full stop. This is for his safety, your safety, the safety of your neighbors and any random drivers who might be passing by. Further, he's got to earn the privilege of being offleash, it's not some kind of constitutionally guaranteed canine right, ya know. He's not earned it, so, you BOTH have to step up. Meanwhile, he should be leashed AT ALL TIMES. Otherwise you risk losing your dog and, depending on where you live, losing your assets as well.

The problem with wild life and correct it is it doesnt happen enough and its completely random so I cant prepare myself for it.
Training is what prepares you and him for such things. Training establishes default options (e.g., Come/Here/Heal, Sit, Down, Stay/Wait, Leave It), for all manner of surprises that we encounter. Training can save your dog's life.

Time to get started...

Aly
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,453 Posts
Where to start?

Dogs are NEVER too old to learn new things! My previous dog had never been on a leash until she was 3 1/2 yrs old and we moved to a big city. She learned to heel beautifully in about 3 months.

Chasing cars? I'm with Sabis mom on that one, but I've had some success in stopping that behavior by working on other things, so indirectly. You're teaching him to heel, so do it on a busy 4 lane road with lots of traffic! I do that frequently with my pup so she's used to traffic noises and using the crosswalk. Walk your dog around the home depot parking lot, and give him a firm correction anytime he breaks a heel, whether it's to focus on a car or a person or a bird...demand and expect focus. Of course, you have to start at a time interval your dog is comfortable with before increasing duration, but a dog that age should be able to give you 10 or 15 minutes with a little practice. And this way you're teaching him to heel, and flooding him with cars at the same time! If he's only chasing cars when they come by your house, again teach him to stay or leave it without cars around, then use that when you see him getting interested in an approaching car. It's all about correct timing. Catch him just as he's beginning to focus on a car, and he'll understand. Use a leave it command too early and he'll just get confused; too late and he won't hear you.

Incrementally increasing distractions? You can go about this in many ways. For me, because I like to take my dog with me everywhere, we go to the park a lot, but also to home depot, car shows, ball games etc. Doing that gets her used to lots of distraction, while still realising she has to watch me and follow along. Once she's done that enough, I do some obedience training there to get and keep her focus on me. So I prefer doing things sort of out of order as you can see LOL! Some trainers I know just take their dogs to similar distracting venues and play with them there first, start slow, 5 minutes. But my preference is to let the dog decide for himself that he needs to focus on me, so as not to get left behind, then gradually demand more focus once they've gotten used to all the distracting people and noises. Other people train at home, then do some training in increasingly busy spots. Either way you choose to go about it, it just takes time and repeated exposure for the dog to get used to it.

How to stop him from going to the neighbor's in the morning? These kinds of things are frustrating, because the answer is so obvious! Just stop allowing it! Of course, the longer answer is that it'll take work and vigilance on your part to break him of it! But again, do whatever it takes to stop allowing it to happen. That could mean taking him out on a long line for some time. I taught my dog to stay in our front yard by repeatedly showing her the boundary (in my case the yard is encircled by a swath of rock, so it's clearly discernable). I practice with that frequently by telling her to stay in the yard while I go and grab the mail (our mailbox is across the street), or while I talk with neighbors, so she gets lot of practice and knows the command. So again, you can't productively correct a dog for doing anything that you haven't first taught them. In this case, first teach him "home" or "yard" and practice it until he really gets it. Then if he decides to ignore the command a correction is appropriate and he'll understand. You can work on this with a long line or an e-collar. But FYI, the e-collar you have had horrible reviews for large dogs, so you may want to consider an upgrade.

Chasing wildlife can be a hard one to break. When Nyx was just 5 months old we were walking around a lake shore off leash and she kicked up a couple of quail, which she of course proceeded to chase. I yelled STOP, and she did, thank GOD! But more recently she's completely blown recall twice chasing after rabbits. Thankfully she didn't get hit by a car (it happened at our house both times), but I don't ever let her out of the car without a leash on now. I may consider an e-collar to squash this later on, but I'm hoping that a little more maturity and a strong recall will do the trick...time will tell.

You said:

I work with him normally 10-15 minutes every hour when I get home from work at 5:00, or until his attention span is gone which is also something I need to work on.
Wow! IMHO that's way too much! 2 maybe 3 times a day, but 10-15 minutes every hour? I might be alone in my thinking on this, but I think a lot of people have problems training their dog because they forget to make it fun for the dog! Training should be something your dog looks forward to, a game with lots of praise and goodies and laughter! I taught my dog to backup, then chased her backwards around the pool table to see how fast she could take the corners LOL the whole time! And, even though you might have a specific "thing" your training is focused on that day, throw in a couple spins or a crawl or a roll to break it up and keep it fun! And most of all, lighten your mood. Training is serious business, but to build focus make it fun for the dog! Keep it short enough that the dog isn't getting burnt out and checking out.

Good Luck, hopefully some of this is helpful!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,990 Posts
You said:

I work with him normally 10-15 minutes every hour when I get home from work at 5:00, or until his attention span is gone which is also something I need to work on.

Wow! IMHO that's way too much! 2 maybe 3 times a day, but 10-15 minutes every hour? I might be alone in my thinking on this, but I think a lot of people have problems training their dog because they forget to make it fun for the dog! Training should be something your dog looks forward to, a game with lots of praise and goodies and laughter! I taught my dog to backup, then chased her backwards around the pool table to see how fast she could take the corners LOL the whole time! And, even though you might have a specific "thing" your training is focused on that day, throw in a couple spins or a crawl or a roll to break it up and keep it fun! And most of all, lighten your mood. Training is serious business, but to build focus make it fun for the dog! Keep it short enough that the dog isn't getting burnt out and checking out.

Good Luck, hopefully some of this is helpful!
I smoke, yes I know.
To stop myself from sitting around smoking I go outside. So here is what I do, I go outside with Shadow, I have my smoke while she goofs around and removes any trespassing birds, goes pee, checks the fence for interesting smells. Then we play fetch for 5-10 minutes, then we do a few minutes of sit, stay, down, come, walk with me (her heel) followed by a few more minutes of fetch or tag, then some find it games, a few quick sits and in the house we go. I don't smoke much so this happens 6-7 times through the day, that's from get up time to bed time.
If I am heading out for a walk we do most of this first. It gets her focus on me and burns of some excess energy. Walks are always a combination of things so some free sniffing on leash as long as she isn't pulling and some walking/some running on a loose leash with a bit of heeling and some training as opportunities present.
Through the day I take what opportunities present. So if someone comes to the door we do a sit stay, If I need to run downstairs we do a down stay, I will wait until she is in another room and call her, etc.

If I constantly just hammered her with obedience she would soon lose interest, so everything is done with an eye to this dogs particular limits. If your dog is losing focus then you are not stimulating his brain enough and working him to long.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,065 Posts
Everything of the above. To add my 2 cents; at the level you both are at, I would not use the Ecollar before he has the basics well down. Then work with a trainer who shows you how to use it.
I use the Ecollar only in wild life areas or else they could never be off leash there. After the initial training on the E, if done right, you hardly have to use it (they still wear it though). I don't use it for obedience.
Have you considered a class?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
32,283 Posts
1. How old is to old to train and correct bad habits?
(He is 1 year and 4 months)

2. What is the best way to introduce distraction? EX: People being around, cars going by, other animals being around.
(I know I cant take him at this point to the super bowl put him in the middle of the field while the game is going and expect him to listen)

3. How should I correct him from running up to the neighbors every morning when hes off leash or chasing wild animals. EX: Birds, squirrels, rabbits, deer.
The short answers:

1) It's never too early or too late to train. Brand new puppies can be trained so can seniors, and well as any age in between. Generally, the sooner you start, the better, but if you missed that boat, start now!

2) I start working around distractions for a particular behavior when my dog is reasonably compliant with that behavior without distractions. I don't require 100% perfection before I up the ante by adding distractions, but I want at the least a good understanding of what I expect, especially with some generalization to a variety of low distraction environments. And when I do start addition distractions I like to proceed with small incremental steps and progress gradually, unless the dog is clearly capable of handling more. Just because they are compliant around distractions with one behavior that does not mean they will be compliant around distractions with all behaviors, so keep that in mind when you train.

3) If he's blowing you off and running up to people or chasing wild animals when he's off leash, he should not be off leash yet. If you're thinking of ways to correcting him for bad behavior you've already behind. What you need is by managing his environment.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top