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Bandit is a 8 month old male GSD. I have taught him how to lay down, sit, stay and release, get it, turn off the lights, bow, stand, and high five. Some of the tricks are new and some aren't so new to him. I am finding when I am watching private parties throw commands at their dogs that they obey usually by the first asked command sometimes a couple times after. But what I am not noticing is that they are all not over the place wondering around there owner having a harder time focusing on what you are trying to command them to do. Bandit does that with me.:confused: He is highly trainable in my eyes because within this past couple of months with only about 10 to 30 minutes of training once or twice a day he is already doing all the tricks listed above. But I notice a couple problems in our training sessions.

1) he seems to have a hard time completely concentrating sometimes on what I am asking him to do. He wonders around within the area we are training at lays down, or he will be asked to preform a command and he will wonder behind me keep bumping into me wonder around me and sometimes even try to preform other commands that I haven't asked him to do.
2) He will preform a command perfectly all day and not the next or he will do the command great a time or two then act like he has no idea what you are talking about the next time you ask him to do it sometimes. He even seems to ignor me at times when we are trying to train when I will ask him to sit the very first trick he learned and is asked to do at least twice everyday and refuses to do it. Sometimes he just walks away from me other times he just looks at me like "what"?

It also seems that the "speak" command will be impossible! My GSD isn't much of a barker he wont even bark if someone knocks on the door. To a lot of people that is a blessing but to me I wish he would bark when someone knocks b/c being alone at home at night or even during the day with three small children it would be nice for him to alert people that he is there just to intimidate anyone who may have bad intentions. But that was kind off topic....
I would like to start with teaching him the speak command but everything I have learned so far about teaching the trick says lure them and encourage them to bark (speak) with something they like that will make them excited like a ball, toy, or treat. Well problem with this is not only is Bandit not much of a barker but he doesn't frequently get excited over anything. So when you ask him to speak and you try to make him all excited he just looks at you like what do you want me to do... After a bit he just lays down or walks off...... I am not a experienced dog trainer I am just a stay at home mom that has taken a passion to learning how to teach my dog tricks. I love the time with him but I am still learning myself. All of the tricks I start to teach him I research and practice in my head how I am going to train him to do this before trying to take part in training the specific command. Some commands I would love to teach him but haven't figured out yet how people really train their dogs to do that lol. Any advice from anyone would be great!! :D I don't know if this would change any suggestions or advice but Bandit's training does consist of treats and a clicker.:help: Thanks
 

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If he's like most young dogs he gets bored. Try cutting your training to 10-15 minute clips and see if that helps.

If he's doing things like laying down when you tell him to sit, he might be confused. Check to make sure you're consistent with hand signals and the words you're using. Give the command once, not over and over, they get immune to it. It's not Sit, sit, sit...come on sit!" It's just "sit". Try not to say the dogs name before the command.

Mix up the commands. If you have a habit of doing things one after the other in the same pattern, "sit, down, stand, come, sit" they can start to anticipate the next command before you give it.

Exercise him before training, sometimes that helps.

Don't put him on training overload. Keep it fun, take a few breaks and throw him the ball, give him a few tugs etc. in between the exercises.

The barking will come in time and then at 4 in the morning when he barks at the garbage truck you'll be wishing he barked less. ;)
 

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I agree that he's bored, not getting enought reinforcement (food?play?), fast enough or frequent enough.

He also may be confused if he does it and does it and you ask him again he may be thinking 'huh, maybe I'm wrong?'.........

ARE YOU CLICKER TRAINING? This is such a huge help with our timing and being clear to the pup. And the pup knowing exactly when it was right and the there WILL be a reward coming for sure.

I'd also not train more than 10 minutes at a time......
 

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Discussion Starter #4
If he's like most young dogs he gets bored. Try cutting your training to 10-15 minute clips and see if that helps.

If he's doing things like laying down when you tell him to sit, he might be confused. Check to make sure you're consistent with hand signals and the words you're using. Give the command once, not over and over, they get immune to it. It's not Sit, sit, sit...come on sit!" It's just "sit". Try not to say the dogs name before the command.

Mix up the commands. If you have a habit of doing things one after the other in the same pattern, "sit, down, stand, come, sit" they can start to anticipate the next command before you give it.

Exercise him before training, sometimes that helps.

Don't put him on training overload. Keep it fun, take a few breaks and throw him the ball, give him a few tugs etc. in between the exercises.

The barking will come in time and then at 4 in the morning when he barks at the garbage truck you'll be wishing he barked less. ;)
This was a huge help! I am going to try to take some of your advice and see if it changes anything. Beause I do use his name before a comand and I do repeat the command. Thanks!!:D An to the poster below this quoted post yes he is being clicker trained.
 

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Give one command at a time, never repeat, and make sure you are solidifying commands before moving ahead with a new one. It's like teaching a kid algebra, geometry, and statistics in a 2 week period- not going to be solid,lol

Never train for more than 15 minutes and always use reinforcement he likes- is he food crazy, ball crazy, tug crazy... Find what motivates him and use it to your advantage. I teach the watch command very young because you can use that to get his attention when his mind wonders off. Take a treat and hold it near his nose moving it toward your face and say watch, he'll look at the treat aka your face, you click the look and treat. Repeat 30 times in a row quickly. Do this 3x a day just these quick repetitions of 30 for a week or so and then start treating only 3rd time and so on until he watches every time you say watch. Then you can use it while training reliably getting his attention with the watch command, treating which holds his attention, and then giving a new command because he will be focused on you and your yummy treats:)
 

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Also, if you are using clicker training have you conditioned him to the clicker before using it to train with? Priming the pump so to speak so your pup knows what the clicker going off means?

And also remember that he is still a baby! Give him time to grow up a while.
 

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He wonders around within the area we are training at lays down, or he will be asked to preform a command and he will wonder behind me keep bumping into me wonder around me and sometimes even try to preform other commands that I haven't asked him to do.
Do you mean he wanders around? Wonder is a different word with a completely different meaning. It's hard for people to respond to your questions if they don't understand what you're asking.
 

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I strongly agree with what everyone else has said. I would also remind you that an 8-month old male GSD is like a 14-year old boy. So, uh, keep that in mind. :D
 

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I only just taught Karma ( 5 months old and to date very quiet ) to speak but I simply seized on an opportunity that presented itself when we were clicker training a couple of days ago. She barked a happy bark for some reason and my mind snapped and i rewarded her. She got speak within minutes and is now doing it on command though i now use GUARD. I was thinking this morning I should have taught her to bark using ON and then stop using OFF ;-)

Check out this video I made. Its pretty rough but it shows you ;

a) My dog is pretty excited during training and i really need to concentrate more on correcting her when she breaks and
b) At 1m30s you can see the bark come in........

 
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