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Discussion Starter #1
I would like to hear what you guys would consider different levels of distractions you use when you train new tricks or behaviors. Do you go out of your way to seek distracting training locations?

For example, here is an order I would consider.
Home
Backyard
Quiet sidewalk
University campus
In front of grocery store
Near school during recess
Downtown
In subway station

I think I'm missing a few steps in between, or might be taking it too slowly in the beginning. What is the order that you guys generally go in?
 

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I usually proof obedience I've taught her at home in Petsmart, I almost never teach anything new outside of home. I know some people dont like Petsmart, etc but Rayne's biggest distraction (outside of bitework) is other dogs, she just LOVES other dogs. So Petsmart is the best place for me to find dogs, people, kids, store noises all rolled into one place.

I haven't really used levels of distraction, other than going to the petstore on Saturday v. a weekday. If she knows the command, then she will do it with almost any distraction for something she really wants.

Honestly, I haven't done that much proofing outside of club training so I don't have many suggestions. Not much will take Rayne's attention and focus away from her ball (or me when I have it), other than the decoy. And we go through so much environmental stuff during club training for PSA, I really wouldn't find anything better elsewhere.
 

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When we were teaching Molly to heal we would walk downtown, at the beach, mall parking lots, parades, pet stores, anywhere where there would be allot of commotion
 

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i add distractions slowly meaning they get harder
and harder as we go along. i like training in the house
and the yard (back and front). the backyard is quiet
the front yard has traffic going by. i make sure i invite
family, friends and neighbors to visit daily with dogs
if they have them. i ask my neighbors to go out back
and play with my pup through the fence and treat him.
i do this several times a day. i like standing in front
of the Supermarket doors. there's lots of movement and lots
of people who want to pet a pup. when the guys are collecting the carts
i either walk near them or ask them to walk near the pup with
the carts. sometimes i ask them to circle the pup. when walking
i make sure we pass the barking dog that's in the yard.
the play ground is a good place to train and socialize around children.
i save the pet stores untill the pup has all of it's shots. i invite people
to from the puppy class to visit (with their pups) 3 or 4 times a week.
we go to the Vet 3 to 4 times a week for treats, mock exams,
walk around the office and play on the exam table. we go for rides
in the car daily. short rides in the begining. when going on car rides
i teach him how to ride in the car and no heads out the window.
i think of training and socializing is constant. whenever you're around your
pup i think of it as a training socializing moment. lets say your pup
is on free time (out of the crate and roaming around the house).
the fact that you're watching him and not allowing him to get into things
is training. as the pup gets older and starts to learn more
and i have more control the distractions get harder. when i train
at the dog park i start in the parking lot working our way
closer to the fenced in area. i train along the fence. once my dog
is following commands along the fence we go inside to train.
he's always allowed to go into the park after a training session. i always train in sessions.
each session last 5 to 10 minutes. i hold many sessions during the course of a
day. as our progresses so does the length of time of the session. i don't
think i ever go over a 1/2 hour of training in one session. now that i think
about it i probably don't go over 15 minutes because i have several
session a day and my GF trains him also.
 

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i add distractions slowly meaning they get harder
and harder as we go along. i like training in the house
and the yard (back and front). the backyard is quiet
the front yard has traffic going by. i make sure i invite
family, friends and neighbors to visit daily with dogs
if they have them. i ask my neighbors to go out back
and play with my pup through the fence and treat him.
i do this several times a day. i like standing in front
of the Supermarket doors. there's lots of movement and lots
of people who want to pet a pup. when the guys are collecting the carts
i either walk near them or ask them to walk near the pup with
the carts. sometimes i ask them to circle the pup. when walking
i make sure we pass the barking dog that's in the yard.
the play ground is a good place to train and socialize around children.
i save the pet stores untill the pup has all of it's shots. i invite people
to from the puppy class to visit (with their pups) 3 or 4 times a week.
we go to the Vet 3 to 4 times a week for treats, mock exams,
walk around the office and play on the exam table. we go for rides
in the car daily. short rides in the begining. when going on car rides
i teach him how to ride in the car and no heads out the window.
i think of training and socializing is constant. whenever you're around your
pup i think of it as a training socializing moment. lets say your pup
is on free time (out of the crate and roaming around the house).
the fact that you're watching him and not allowing him to get into things
is training. as the pup gets older and starts to learn more
and i have more control the distractions get harder. when i train
at the dog park i start in the parking lot working our way
closer to the fenced in area. i train along the fence. once my dog
is following commands along the fence we go inside to train.
he's always allowed to go into the park after a training session. i always train in sessions.
each session last 5 to 10 minutes. i hold many sessions during the course of a
day. as our progresses so does the length of time of the session. i don't
think i ever go over a 1/2 hour of training in one session. now that i think
about it i probably don't go over 15 minutes because i have several
session a day and my GF trains him also.
I have to totally agree with all this. This is exactly what I do. The more places the better but when I'm teaching new behavior I start in a quiet place then move up the distraction level and never make the training sessions too long.
 

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Do you go out of your way to seek distracting training locations?
Yes! But as others have said, I don't train new behaviors in highly distracting environments, we work on them a little bit at home first.

When you train at home, try using a different room each day. And don't just stand there, try sitting on the floor with your puppy, or in a chair. Have the puppy in front of you toe to toe, and also at your side in heel position. Work in the garage, if you have one, in the backyard, inside with the front door open, and then right outside the front door. If you live in a quiet neighborhood like I do, practice there first, and then move to a busy street corner with lots of traffic.

I also went to all three strip malls in town and worked outside the stores. I worked with Halo by the outdoor tables at Starbucks, I took her into the pet supply stores, outside the bowling alley, in front of the supermarket with the automatic doors opening and closing and people and carts going by.

I personally don't think you can take it too slowly at first, but you can definitely move too fast. Progress at the level that is working for you and your puppy - it's not always going to be the same for everyone. Dena was perfect indoors, but WAY too distracted to work on the sidewalk in front of the house the first time I tried it, so at the advice of our trainer, I added the interim step of inside with the front door open, and then right outside the front door, before we moved to the sidewalk.

Break things down as much as you need to. If your puppy is doing well at a particular level of distraction, it's time to up the ante a little and increase the challenge.
 

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Playground-I used to track and do obedience on a playground-in the begining Ror ran into the basketball court and stole their ball-the boys were amused-now i live in front of the school
 

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Agree with what has been said above.

On walks, when Ozzy was little, I'd kick gravel, smack signs, rustle bushes, etc. Not only as a distraction but also because I didn't want him to freak out at every little noise.
 

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I forgot about playgrounds! We have an elementary school and a rec center around the corner from us. No dogs allowed, but I'd walk Halo through the parking lot and work with her next to the baseball/soccer field, and on the sidewalk next to the basketball courts at the rec center. The school is gated off, but there are steps outside that I used too, we live in a single story house so we don't have any stairs.

There's a gas station nearby too, and I worked with her right next to the driveway, with cars going in and out. One woman actually stopped and rolled her window down as she was leaving, to compliment me on how well Halo was doing. Apparently she'd been watching us while she pumped her gas, lol!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the ideas guys!
Cassidy's Mom, I really love the door open and door close idea, I'll definitely be trying that.
4 more days! Can't wait to begin.
Did you guys start right away with sits and stuff? Or did you take it very easy for the first while?
 

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i never start any formal training untill the pup is 4 months old.
my pups know there names, house broken (lots more training
in progress) come, crate trained, working on car trained,
socializing and training daily (several times a day), etc.
i figure they have to be able to learn that's why i wait
untill they're 4 months old to really start to train.

Thanks for the ideas guys!
Cassidy's Mom, I really love the door open and door close idea, I'll definitely be trying that.
4 more days! Can't wait to begin.
Did you guys start right away with sits and stuff? Or did you take it very easy for the first while?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
i never start any formal training untill the pup is 4 months old.
my pups know there names, house broken (lots more training
in progress) come, crate trained, working on car trained,
socializing and training daily (several times a day), etc.
i figure they have to be able to learn that's why i wait
untill they're 4 months old to really start to train.
She'll be 16 weeks old, so about 4 months when she comes.
I'm confused by all that I'm reading online. One the one hand, I hear many advocating just bonding and no training for the first 2 weeks. On the other hand, I hear training IS bonding.
So...don't know what to think.
I guess I'll be working on leash breaking and house breaking. She is already fully crate trained.
 

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I start immediately! VERY short sessions, lots of fun, with tons of treats. Name recognition and attention are a great place to start. I actually did that with Dena on the way home from Oregon. I sat in the backseat next to her crate on the 10 hour drive, why waste that opportunity? :D

Recall is very important too, if you mark and reward every time your puppy comes towards you you'll have a great foundation once you start actually putting it on cue.
 
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