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Stark has just been shutting down lately when doing obedience work. I went a full two months of really not doing a whole lot of anything with him. I worked on his reactivity (or whatever you want to call it) and just had fun with him.

Recently we have been working on cleaning things up a bit and we were about ready to try for our BH. For the past two weeks or so he has totally shut down.

NO focus, heeling is a joke and when I correct him (prong or leash pop) he totally ignores me and goes staring off into 'la la land' with his ears back.

I took that as a sign that maybe he was just bored or frustrated and started doing retrieves because he LOVES it. He has a bounce in his step and you can tell he finds that more enjoyable.

Tonight while out working on heel (for like maybe 2-5 mins) and working on fronts/heir it was like he didn't even know what I asked of him and this is the dog who LOVES to flip finish and usually enjoys (and is very good at - it's his "flashy" part of obedience) this aspect of our training but tonight he was not even close.

Any suggestions? Questions to help you, help me? I am beyond frustrated at this point because we have worked so very hard to get to the point we were at/are and I feel like I just want to pull Stark out of schutzhund and just allow him to be my hiking buddy and companion.
 

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Frank started doing the same thing about the time he turned a year old in April, it was like he had no interest in heeling with me and was bored out of his mind. Like you said the popping/collar corrections didint' work with Frank either.
I started doing something with Frank I swore I would never do, and that's spit treats at him, I used string cheese, because I could hold it in my mouth for an extended amount of time and talk without gagging, my aim is not the greatest but it did turn his attention back to my face and his training really improved, now everytime my mouth opens he looks at me with attention, and is ready to go. I've weaned the spitting treats at him back down, but he's still paying attention.
 

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Sounds like Stark has lost interest for whatever reason, I bet he would more than be happy to just be that hiking buddy and companion. :)
 

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Obedience does get boring! Focused heeling is real fun, right?
Sometimes it is better to do the less is more thing, and get the enthusiasm built back up.
Changing up the toy reward or food may help but being a 'team' with the dog, you have to be more exciting(sometimes hard to do!) I am going thru the same thing right now with Karlo...unless I have a cuzball in my hand. I've been spitting treats too, cooked chicken and steak last night. Ick!
Even the cheese will lose its value after awhile.
 

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Do you think he's shutting down because of the corrections?

The one time I had a dog shut down totally like that, it was because of a pain issue that I didn't know of--he had broken his dewclaw joint in the car on the way to training. I couldn't figure out why he was totally shut down and ended up putting him back in the car. Later on, found the injury.

Any chance Stark was hurting or overheated?

Will he play ball with you when he shuts down like this or do other things he enjoys? Will he do some motivation-only obedience training then?
 

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I am going through the EXACT same thing. Texas has lost all focus on me and she will turn a year this month on the 21st. We have a trial this weekend, and I know we are just going to fail, not even qualify. If a dog or person walks into the room or area we are at, she completely loses focus and I no longer exist. I feel as if we took some HUGE steps backwards. I am hoping this is just a phase. I just wish it had occured after our trial. :(
 

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I am going through the EXACT same thing. Texas has lost all focus on me and she will turn a year this month on the 21st. We have a trial this weekend, and I know we are just going to fail, not even qualify. If a dog or person walks into the room or area we are at, she completely loses focus and I no longer exist. I feel as if we took some HUGE steps backwards. I am hoping this is just a phase. I just wish it had occured after our trial. :(
Don't push her too hard. A dog that isn't even a year old, shouldn't be entered into a trial.

Wait until the dog matured a little more, at least until the dog is 15 months old. Make it fun, make it a game, work on engagement instead on focused heeling. Once the dog is engaged with you, the heeling comes from itself.
 

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After 2 years of enjoying herself in the obedience ring, Echo began shutting down during training for what seemed no reason. I tried different treats, games, breaks, etc to no avail. She would do what I asked, but only because I asked, and certainly not with any enthusiasm. 6 months later she came up lame, and after a series of radiographs we discovered she had HD. My guilt over asking her to go over jumps when she was so obviously trying to tell me it hurt was astronomical (although at the time she never winced, yelped, whined, or limped). She is now retired from competition because everything at her level requires her to jump, although I may start her in Trieball soon. Take your boy for a full physical; hopefully the vet will discover nothing physical and you can work on his mind set. Trust me, you will never forgive yourself if you find out much later that there is a physical problem that was just never considered or treated.
 

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Hummm, Elisabeth didn't you say on Judges Topic that you always have the feeling that there is something not right? Maybe that is what it is. Maybe he is telling you that he's hurting, just like Echos dog did.
 

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I am going through the EXACT same thing. Texas has lost all focus on me and she will turn a year this month on the 21st. We have a trial this weekend, and I know we are just going to fail, not even qualify. If a dog or person walks into the room or area we are at, she completely loses focus and I no longer exist. I feel as if we took some HUGE steps backwards. I am hoping this is just a phase. I just wish it had occured after our trial. :(
Is she spayed? She might be getting ready to come into season. Fourteen-month-old Macha "forgot" how to sit about a week before she came into heat. She'd just look at me blankly.
 

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I am going through the EXACT same thing. Texas has lost all focus on me and she will turn a year this month on the 21st. We have a trial this weekend, and I know we are just going to fail, not even qualify. If a dog or person walks into the room or area we are at, she completely loses focus and I no longer exist. I feel as if we took some HUGE steps backwards. I am hoping this is just a phase. I just wish it had occured after our trial. :(
I have not much to say on this thread as a whole. I usually only train once a week with my youngins, and they do not usually get bored in that time, though pain or an injury might make a difference.

But I wanted to say, go to your trial, play your cards like you got aces. You paid the money, and the dog might surprise you. He may fall in and do what is required of him under the 'out of the ordinary' experience of the dog show. Since I had not worked with Babs or Heidi prior to our last trial, I thought they would flunk miserably, but Babsy finished her CD with a third placement, and Heidi took first to finish her RA and I moved her up to RE and she took first there too -- two decent scores of 97. So GO, have a good time, relax, and if the dog does not qualify, you have the experience, and hopefully a good one. Good luck.

Also do not cram for the trial. I did that once with Rushie. I learned that I needed my hands to be at my sides and not in front of me at the come front about a week before the trial. So that week I kept trying to get him to come front with my hands to my sides. He started breaking the stay -- prior to being called, then I decided to do something he did very well, so I could end on a good note, the stand for exam. He broke that too, and I was an idiot because I had him signed up for a two day trial in two day.

Well I took the boy, we NQd the first day, and I did not want him to get used to doing that, so I did not go the second day. That was my first attempt in the obedience ring, and Rush was really young.

Since then, I usually keep training the week prior to a show light and fun.
 

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Don't push her too hard. A dog that isn't even a year old, shouldn't be entered into a trial.

Wait until the dog matured a little more, at least until the dog is 15 months old. Make it fun, make it a game, work on engagement instead on focused heeling. Once the dog is engaged with you, the heeling comes from itself.
Thank you for the advice. We are still going to attend, since we made the arrangements already. Though, I am going to see it as an experience. I'll be able to see how she is in the ring (even though she is a bit off lately) and note if this is really something she would want to do. I honestly think maybe herding will be her calling, but we'll see about that in December. Thank you again. :)
 

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Is she spayed? She might be getting ready to come into season. Fourteen-month-old Macha "forgot" how to sit about a week before she came into heat. She'd just look at me blankly.
She has already gone through her first heat at around 8 months of age. I plan to have her fixed in late July or early August. I think 13 or 14 months of age would be a good time to fix her.
 

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I have not much to say on this thread as a whole. I usually only train once a week with my youngins, and they do not usually get bored in that time, though pain or an injury might make a difference.

But I wanted to say, go to your trial, play your cards like you got aces. You paid the money, and the dog might surprise you. He may fall in and do what is required of him under the 'out of the ordinary' experience of the dog show. Since I had not worked with Babs or Heidi prior to our last trial, I thought they would flunk miserably, but Babsy finished her CD with a third placement, and Heidi took first to finish her RA and I moved her up to RE and she took first there too -- two decent scores of 97. So GO, have a good time, relax, and if the dog does not qualify, you have the experience, and hopefully a good one. Good luck.

Also do not cram for the trial. I did that once with Rushie. I learned that I needed my hands to be at my sides and not in front of me at the come front about a week before the trial. So that week I kept trying to get him to come front with my hands to my sides. He started breaking the stay -- prior to being called, then I decided to do something he did very well, so I could end on a good note, the stand for exam. He broke that too, and I was an idiot because I had him signed up for a two day trial in two day.

Well I took the boy, we NQd the first day, and I did not want him to get used to doing that, so I did not go the second day. That was my first attempt in the obedience ring, and Rush was really young.

Since then, I usually keep training the week prior to a show light and fun.
Thank you for the advice. I really appreciate it. Yes, we are going to give it a try. A friend of mine told me the same thing, "what if she surprises us?! Have a little faith." Watch she does, and it will be my fault for not following directions hehe. I will not lie. I am a bit nervous, since an acquaintace I know, who competes in rally, will be there as well. She has watched my dog and I and has noticed her sudden disinterest in training. I have recieved a few remarks and stares from her, especially stating that the club will probably make face of how disinterested she is at the moment. This is honestly why I am so nervous. But, then again, the reason I signed up was for the fun of working with my dog. It just freaks me out that maybe others will be judging us as a whole, as opposed to just us in the ring. Or at least that is the impression I got from this individual.

This will be our first rally trial. It'll be interesting. Whether it goes well or bad, I'll keep everyone posted. Either way, its suppose be an event where we can bond and work together. As long as she is with me, it'll be a good day. Or at least, I will make it into a good day. :)
 

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She has already gone through her first heat at around 8 months of age. I plan to have her fixed in late July or early August. I think 13 or 14 months of age would be a good time to fix her.
Well, ya never know, keep an eye on that. Sometimes heat cycles are a little funny in young bitches and if it has been four months, it is possible. Let's hope for the best. Babsy and Heidi were both due to come in near their trial date. I had them entered morning and evening on Saturday, Babs came in on the Monday after, and Heidi, the Friday after.

ETA: if at all possible spay a month or three after the next heat, you do not want to spay her when she is in, coming in, or going out of heat.

Good luck.
 

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I did obedience trialing with my now passed girl, Sami,,she was not into obedience at all but 'did' it..I found with her, if I drilled to much, forgetabout it, she'd shut down and just go 'duh':(

What I did with her was, if she knew it , she knew it, I maybe did real quickie run thru type training, once or twice a week..Before a trial, I'd ignore her, I'd pay more attention to the other dogs, which peeved her to no end:) I wouldn't practice with her, I just went right into trial with a 'unpolished' dog so to speak..

Getting her in a ring, was totally different, she was always right on and ready to go. I promised her if we got a CD, we'd go in a different direction. She didn't fail me, we Qualified all 3 times in the ring, with scores of 192, 196, 198 respectively..also got two HITs.. We moved on to agility:))

Obedience CAN be boring for a dog, repetition repetition will shut a 'smart' dog down faster than I know what, IF they are bored with it..There are lots of dogs that LOVE obedience (masi being one!) and aren't bored or bothered by the repetition. Some dogs just are..
 

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This may be totally out there but....I know you have been having a great deal of worry about Stark's nose,,,treatments,,,,vet visits ....working on the reactivity..etc....I wonder if this doesn't have something to do with it? A lot of focus on him....for a lot of reasons....maybe he is just feeling pressured and overwhelmed from too many things going on? and tuning out for this reason?
 

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I did obedience trialing with my now passed girl, Sami,,she was not into obedience at all but 'did' it..I found with her, if I drilled to much, forgetabout it, she'd shut down and just go 'duh':(

What I did with her was, if she knew it , she knew it, I maybe did real quickie run thru type training, once or twice a week..Before a trial, I'd ignore her, I'd pay more attention to the other dogs, which peeved her to no end:) I wouldn't practice with her, I just went right into trial with a 'unpolished' dog so to speak..

Getting her in a ring, was totally different, she was always right on and ready to go. I promised her if we got a CD, we'd go in a different direction. She didn't fail me, we Qualified all 3 times in the ring, with scores of 192, 196, 198 respectively..also got two HITs.. We moved on to agility:))

Obedience CAN be boring for a dog, repetition repetition will shut a 'smart' dog down faster than I know what, IF they are bored with it..There are lots of dogs that LOVE obedience (masi being one!) and aren't bored or bothered by the repetition. Some dogs just are..
:wild: I promised Tori if she got her last leg of her RN, she would be done -- no more trials for her. Tori got a second or third placement that day -- not sure which, just that she ahs a red and a yellow. I did get her CGC after that I think with her, but I kept the promise. I am just glad that other sane people bargain with their dogs.
 

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Christine - that is funny...Kessy will do the exact same thing if she's coming into heat. I tell her sit - she just stares at me like I'm speaking some new language. So I'd spend a session re-teaching the sit - but then when the sit is good, I tell her platz, I get the blank look again...it is the only time it's frustrating to train her - otherwise she is a joy to work! But it wasn't worth the headache so she'd get some time off when that started happening...I never felt like it was intentional, she was just out of it.

With my first GSD I did too much structured obedience too soon, and I was never able to get her back to working "happily." She would shut down and she didn't have the drive to ever get her out of that rut no matter what I tried. But I have worked other dogs who were very "down" in their obedience and were able to get past that point with lots of praise and FUN. So...it really depends on Stark's temperament and how much work you want to put into it. And I would also get him checked out, maybe there is something going on physically that is making him feel down.
 
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