German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Good Evening, this is my first post! I have seen similar posts on here and have tried some of the suggestions, but still no luck. We have a 5 month GSD and she has been doing great learning basic commands and loved to work for treats. I have swapped low value treats every week or 2, and alternate high value treats often too. I am seeing her drive for training starting to dwindle and im wondering if maybe i am training her to much? Should i cut back for a bit and focus on play? I also think she is just getting bored with the usual basic command followed up by a "yes" and treat. Since these are learned behaviors now should I stop rewarding with a treat every single time she obeys and sometimes just praise or a toy?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
Maybe she isn’t that food motivated? Eva likes cheese as a really high value treat, but usually she just prefers 30 secs to a minute of playing with a tug toy or affection.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,518 Posts
Maybe your dog would rather have the play as the reward....how does she do when you use a tug or ball as the reward? Maybe indulging her prey drive would get better results......


SuperG
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
32,109 Posts
There could be several factors. Are YOU having fun? If it's become a chore for you, it's probably not that fun for her either. Dare I ask - are you BORING??? 😂 If you're doing the same basic drills over and over again, it's no wonder she's losing interest. I ask that because men in general often have a harder time being animated during training. Puppies like energy and enthusiasm so find your high, happy voice! My husband is terrible about giving commands in practically a monotone. No wonder the dog tunes him out sometimes, lol.

How often do you train, and for how long? Several brief sessions a day is much better than one long session. How much training experience do you have? If it's not that much, I'd suggest finding a good group class to help you. And you definitely don't need to mark and reward every repetition of easy, learned behaviors. Basically, the newer and/or more difficult the behavior (such as in a novel environment with higher distractions), the higher the rate of reinforcement. The easier behaviors that she's been doing well for a while, the lower the rate of reinforcement. Even if you don't reward with food or a toy you can still give happy praise. And if you can find ways to incorporate play with training, all the better. I also like to build obedience into every day life, so the "reward" is to get access to something they like.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Maybe your dog would rather have the play as the reward....how does she do when you use a tug or ball as the reward? Maybe indulging her prey drive would get better results......


SuperG
Thanks for the responses! She loves toys, but wont necessarily tug all the time it almost seems like her teeth hurt since she's teething and she doesn't like the biting or tugging, other days she loves it.

is it possible to over-train to the point where she isnt entertained by it? maybe because its not challenging her?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
32,109 Posts
Is it possible to over-train to the point where she isnt entertained by it? maybe because its not challenging her?
Sure. Take the things she already knows and think of ways to make them a bit more challenging. If she'll reliably sit in front of you toe to toe in whatever place you normally train, work on it in a different room every day. Teach her to sit next to you in heel position. Teach her to sit while you're laying in bed, or with her in the car, or while you're sitting on the couch, a chair, or the floor. Teach distance commands, where you're several feet away or across the room. Get creative.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks a lot! That makes a lot of sense, I will start doing that with her! Is there a way to help her enjoy tugging? I think the tugs I have might be a bit big or too abrasive with her teething. I just recently bought a bite rag type toy that is cloth and a handle on it which is more like a towel vs a rope tug.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
32,109 Posts
Start with something softer. I like braided fleece for young puppies. And do be gentle while she's teething. Also, let her win a lot at first, then encourage her to bring it back for more.

This is pretty awesome:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
954 Posts
is it possible to over-train to the point where she isnt entertained by it? maybe because its not challenging her?
Definitely! My dog gets bored. Although he always obeyed, he stopped waiting for me to give the command and would anticipate it. Like, instead of "come" and "sit", he would run over and sit down in front of me before I even said a word. That's how I knew I had become super boring and predictable!! I think they are smart dogs who learn fast, so thinking up new training routines and changing the order makes it more fun for them...it's so easy to fall (even without intending to) into doing the same commands in the same order all the time...

I guess you can do what dog trainers do...try to vary factors like...
Distance
Duration
Distractions (i.e. try training at a park or a cafe or with other people around)

Now if only I could take my own advice :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,518 Posts
Thanks for the responses! She loves toys, but wont necessarily tug all the time it almost seems like her teeth hurt since she's teething and she doesn't like the biting or tugging, other days she loves it.

is it possible to over-train to the point where she isnt entertained by it? maybe because its not challenging her?

I'd say one can "over-train" ....ya gotta keep the dog's interest....once the interest is gone, it can get counterproductive.

I remember what helped me out with my current dog was building anticipation for the training sessions.......before we ever started a session, I'd get her amped up and then associating a simple " ya wanna train?" so she always knew what was coming. Eventually.......all I had to say was "wanna train" and she'd be by the door in a flash waiting for me. And when were done....it was always a "session's over".

If I noticed her interest fading when she was that young, I wouldn't press her.

Tugs worked good for me but the Kong frisbee was the ticket.......it worked both as a tug and a fetch object to chase down and kill.

I agree with Cassidy's Mom's suggestions on making the tasks more flexible rather than so predictable....assuming she has the basic behavior/obedience skill pretty well down pat. As well as the advice of being animated....I'm one of those monotone men and once I started raising my excitement level 10X.....which still isn't much.....I noticed it was a huge positive overall in the training sessions......lots of upbeat excitement to keep her amped up.

Numerous short sessions throughout the day generally worked better than a few long sessions at that age as I recall.


SuperG
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,046 Posts
Good Evening, this is my first post! I have seen similar posts on here and have tried some of the suggestions, but still no luck. We have a 5 month GSD and she has been doing great learning basic commands and loved to work for treats. I have swapped low value treats every week or 2, and alternate high value treats often too. I am seeing her drive for training starting to dwindle and im wondering if maybe i am training her to much? Should i cut back for a bit and focus on play? I also think she is just getting bored with the usual basic command followed up by a "yes" and treat. Since these are learned behaviors now should I stop rewarding with a treat every single time she obeys and sometimes just praise or a toy?
Perfect example of why I always say I don't train pups. Lol. Everyone assumes that means I have rotten dogs.
People listen to train your puppy, these dogs need training, you have to train them.
Play with your pup, learn with her, get stupid with her. Run, chase, nap, tug, crawl around, get silly. Dance like no one is watching. Go WAY over the top with praise! Yay! Good girl! Who's the best pup ever?!
Make it fun! For you, for her, for the neighbors who think you've lost your mind. Watch her, learn what makes her tick.
I don't train pups, I lay a rock solid foundation for whatever the future holds.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
195 Posts
Jupiter trained, up until about 9 months, 3X a day using just kibble and never lost any zip. As far as I can tell, at 14 months, he's just as into it. But that's probably extreme food motivation on his part.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
58 Posts
Hello mike32108 and welcome to the forum!

Not an expert but agree with posts above about keeping sessions short and fun! We brought Josie home at about 9 to 10 weeks we've been training most days of the week, twice daily and she's still looks excited when I ask 'are you ready to train?' (she is almost 15 months now). Our sessions range can from 5 to 15 minutes, I try to end it before she gets to that point where she's not as snappy.

Have fun with your new pup! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30,709 Posts
what exactly are you doing with training? Are you playing games and making it fun? Or are you making her do commands all the time like sit, down, heel that can be boring? How much stress are you putting on the dog while training?

No way to tell these answers unless we are there but maybe lighten up the training itself. Training SHOULD be play. Work is Play and Play is Work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
FWIW, I believe that training should always be fun for both of you. If it isn't, change it up until it is fun again.
You can change not only what you work on but also, duration, frequency, rewards, demeanor, excitement, location....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Start with something softer. I like braided fleece for young puppies. And do be gentle while she's teething. Also, let her win a lot at first, then encourage her to bring it back for more.

This is pretty awesome:
Okay update her puppy bite rag came today and she went absolutely berserk with that thing. I’ve never see. Her chase something down like she did that.
So I played with her for like 15 minutes with it, then put it away and did some training where I was super animated and excited I also didn’t treat her every time (which made her react to the next command instantly) we did that for like 10 minutes then went back to play for a bit now she’s relaxing.

So takeaway was I was definitely being boring, and the other tug toys were too abrasive and tough. I also ordered a braided fleece as well!

thanks to everyone for all the great tips!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
I ask that because men in general often have a harder time being animated during training. Puppies like energy and enthusiasm, so find your high, happy voice!
50 Year old male here.

I have been wondering about this. I have been trying to save the high energy and enthusiasm for exploring and playing. Then go into calm and soothing during training practice.

The pup is four months old, pretty reactive, and just started exploring the world a week ago.

I might be in a bit of a unique place in that 75% of our training is engagement. We have a couple of 'look at me,' 'Find it' and recall games which we practice in increasingly distracting environments. Every 1 or 2 minutes (or if his ears go from 'that is interesting' to 'hmmm, I am getting ready to bark'), I call him back. After a successful recall and 10-20 seconds of engagement, I send him off to explore some more.

We switch things up a bit with some sits and stays thrown in to keep things fresh. He is so proud of himself after a 30-second stay when he knows that piece of chicken was two feet in front of him.

Is a more calm, soothing approach useful in this scenario, or should I amp it up a bit?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
32,109 Posts
Dave, I would use the energy level of the dog as a cue. If he goes flat, seems bored, or starts to disengage, i’d bump up my own enthusiasm. If the dog gets so excited that he can’t focus, you can use your own calming energy to bring him down enough that he can learn.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
32,109 Posts
Sometimes, it's no more complicated than that, lol.
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
Top