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ECHS Marching Indians
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Discussion Starter #1
I have trained Brutus to sit, shake, lie down, stay, come, and he is still learning fetch and not to jump on people as much. (Are there any other things I should teach him?) He knows the material, and performs it very well. But he wont respond to anything if there is a distraction like a noise of animal, etc. I have to get his attention before any verbal commands, mostly when told to come. Is there a certain way to get him to listen to me better? And are there any other things I should teach him?
 

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joie de vivre
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11,199 Posts
It just takes training. I play focus games with my 2 and I have gradually moved on to working in higher distraction areas as we've built their focus.

Most dogs need some training to have really good focus but I think this is especially true with a lot of Dobermans because they're so inclined to watch their environment. It's part of their instincts in order to do their job; they have to know what's going on around them so they can identify a threat if there is one. If they're watching you and tuning everything else out, they're not paying attention to potential situations that might arise around you.

Just keep working at it.
 
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First, I puppy train in the living room nightly, before proofing under outside distractions.
If I train a mature dog, I go straight for on-off OB first...I get the dogs eye focus on me...or we keep working outside, until it happens.

Six philosophy I have, training basics:
- no treats ever used...all in my voice, presence and bond...I want true eye focus on me, not lured by treat baite
- all potty breaks, in yard, are off leash...again the pup, learns my voice & direction...clearly from Day1
- much daily play builds quick eye focus and desire to be with me...fetch/tug/soft bite work practiced, with an early obsession...on my part
- much talking to dog, praise and fun interectation...and I constantly look in the dogs eyes / and dog comfortable, looking back directly, at me
- my voice can change in pitch ASAP, for expressing a "good or not-so-good" behavior / I am always sending feedback of clear expectations & promptly
(if negative voice used, still remain calm...dogs don't think in the past or future, only in the now...so remain there)
- timing & correction in 1 second or less, don't let bad habits foster
Dobe Amy controlled off-leash, walking city streets..wmv - YouTube

Here is another interesting read:
http://www.dobermantalk.com/puppy-corner/67336-mentally-stimulating-ideas.html
 

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Got mutt?
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Puppies basically have the attention span of a gnat. Although, sometimes, I think the gnat's is better. Like the others have said, you have to teach them to pay attention. If you normally train in the back yard, and he's good there, try the front yard. Once he's good there, go somewhere a bit busier. Always have really yummy treats on hand to reward attention. Don't punish him for not listening, but do reward the heck out of him paying attention.
 

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Great advise already given. I want to add keep your sessions very short. You want to keep it fun! I cant tell how old your pup is. (not sure if updated on the profile) Even with Kyrah who is 3 if I try to keep drilling the same thing over and over...she is done. I assume her thoughts are I have done this twice I know it...I have had enough...is that a squirrel on the fence or a bettle crawling on the ground?

I would do things like while sitting in the living/dinning room just take off running to another part of the house. If she wasnt paying attention playing or what not...I would go hide and call her. Outside if she was chewing on a stick I might get up and run behind the shed. I know these arent OB training but IMO they taught her to keep an eye on me.
 

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Sometimes it's easier to not have any 'sessions'. I gave up trying to 'train' Zeus. I suck. I'm lazy, I don't do it and I fail LOL - pretty bad for a trainer and a person that wants a puppy to do OB with huh? I train all day everyday :) Attention: cooking (GREAT time to keep that eye contact), brushing teeth, when following me into the bathroom, Heeling: when walking with me when I have food in my hand (also with attention and heeling), walking in heel in the house - he's actually notorious for this so it kinda works for him; Sit: again, brushing teeth, cooking, bathroom, commercials, doorways, etc; Wait: food, doorways, stairsways, etc....you get the idea. There are MANY ways to train in your every day activities without boring both of you. Zeus was horrible to 'train'. He was not food motivated, no real 'drives'. But he LOVES LOVES attention and me LOL. HOWEVER, not with squirrels, we are still working on that in the back yard ;) He's rock solid off lead, in house, out of house. His leave it is the BEST and was actually the saving grace for his dog reactivity at one point (still is if the dog is a pain and won't back off or has a stare down w/ him). I still train with him withoug even thinking about it anymore actually because a lot of it has become part of my routine and my thinking that it's not hard to do - it's just natural. It makes the rest come faster and easier.

Oh - and while I train others to use treats as lures, I also train them at the same time to quit using the treats. I personally don't use them, never have (mainly b/c he didn't care - took steak to class one night and he ignored them in favor of barking and acting like a jerk to the aussie he hated in class). I'm not a huge treat fan at home though either as in biscuits, etc. Our GSD's jackpot was ice. Zeus would rather just cuddle up w/ me but I give him sneaks of my stuff here and there. They do get pumpkin mixed in food, yogurt, etc throughout week though also.
 
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