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Discussion Starter #1
Granted, I have only had this sweetheart for 2 weeks and this is the first GSD that I've had in at least 25 years, but I'm a bit confused and concerned.

Three days after we got her, I started working with her. She would "come" every time I called her and we practice that one all day, inside and outside. As soon as I heard her get up or move around, I would say "come" and she came running. Outside, while she was doing her business, I would walk off, then when she was done I would say "come" and she ran to me. By the 3rd day of training, at 8.5 weeks old, she would come, sit, shake and down. At 9.5 weeks she could do all those plus stay (for a bit...not longer than 5 seconds before I would tell her to come bc I didn't want her to fail) and she has LOVED to play fetch since the day we got her and would "bring it" with the rope or ball that I threw, 100% of the time, in the house, in the yard, in the driveway and even at the park. She was AMAZING, all the things she could do.

That all came to a screeching halt, yesterday. I don't know why. Now, she will not come, even when I show her that I have a treat. She will not bring what I throw. Sometimes she brings it close, then drops it midway or sometimes she just runs, puts it in her mouth, drops it instantly and comes running on her own (not from me calling her back). She does still sit and shake every time but is 50/50 on the "down", right now (as of yesterday and today).

Right now, with all the "failures", Im afraid to work with her because I've never seen/experienced a dog who forgets everything (and it's not from lack of training since we did it 2-4x per day for 5 minutes each) and don't want training to become negative for her (she always had so much fun, before yesterday).


We start the Schutzhund socialization on 1/3/11 (they won't start working her until she is 12 weeks so said to just bring her for the socialization at first) so...
  1. do I stop all together and just let them help me or do we keep working at home?
  2. Is it normal for a 10-week-old to stop doing all the things she was doing every day for 2 weeks solid?
  3. We currently have guests in the house that arrived yesterday. Is that the reason? I haven't tried working with her while they are around, because I don't want to overwhelm her, so we only do this while they are sleeping or in/out of the house, away from us. That's the only change, though. No other envronmental/food/habit changes in the home.
 

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I would say that it is totally normal. She is still VERY young and probably has a very short attention span (BTW she's ADORABLE!). My puppy did this sometimes when he was very small. He would do great on his commands one day, and the next day wanted nothing to do with training.

Also, I'm not sure if you are giving her a treat each time she does something, but try and give out treats randomly so she doesn't know if there will be a reward or not, that might make her work harder instead of making the decision that whatever else she is doing is more interesting than food.

ALSO, work with her when she is VERY hungry. If my puppy had eaten within two hours of training, forget it. What really worked well for us, is that I would measure out his daily amount of food into a plastic container. I would take handfuls of food in my pocket, and make him work for his food throughout the day. As long as the container was gone by the end of the day, I knew he was getting the right amount of food, but he also paid MUCH better attention to me. He was always in-tune to what I was doing or saying all day long this way. When I would do this for a few days straight, he would just automatically pay attention to me probably by the 3rd day even if he had a full meal. GOOD LUCK!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Very good common sense advise (making me feel like a dumb schmuck for not thinking of the hunger thing, myself). I do treat every single time so will try it your way. Makes sense and certainly worth the trying!

What do I do when it doesn't work (ie. doesn't "come" or whatever ignored command)? Do I just drop it and ignore her, even though she didn't do it or do I keep trying until she does do it, then reward her, THEN stop it, knowing she is not interested at the moment?
 

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I wouldn't sweat it if I were you. I don't know if it is normal, but not the end of the world. Still such a little baby, who knows what goes on in their minds. You might be unconsciously putting a lot of pressure on her to perform, because you want her to do so well, and are worried, and she is reacting to that with confusion. Just enjoy her, play with her, find new games to engage her attention, find new ways to show her that she is THE BEST PUPPY IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD AND CAN DO ABSOLUTELY NO WRONG!!! Communicate this through your energy, your actions, your body language, your tone.

At 10 weeks, they don't "know" much. At this stage, training is luring and rewarding, not expecting them to consistently offer trained behaviours - you can start expecting them to consistently offer trained behaviours when they are a year old or older - so jumping the gun a bit if you are putting those expectations on a 10 week old. :)

That picture is just awesome, what a smart little dog, how sweet she is carrying that little toy!

Give the training a break, so she does not get into the habit of tuning you out when you ask for something, and just have fun with her. Focus on play, and building confidence. Stop before she wants to, so she is always looking for more.

Your club will help and give you pointers on how to proceed. At 10 weeks, what I would mostly work on is rewarding her when she looks at me, and rewarding her when she comes in to my left side on her own. As in you are walking on leash and she happens to come to your side, you say "Good Girl!" and reward her.

Good luck with her, don't sweat it, don't over-analyze, remember to relax and play play play play!!!
 

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at this age, (and she is a CUTIE!!) they have the attention span of a gnat..I'm sure as Lucia said, your club will be a ton of help.

I would do as Lucia has suggested, play play play and socialize socialize socialize;)
 
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