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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok guys so I need some help with this one. Diesel has done an amazing job training inside and listens very well when we're inside but the second we go out it's like he knows nothing. I taught him the watch me command but he isn't interested in listening to anything while I'm outside. He's so fascinated by everything around us and living in an apartment there's a lot of people and dogs coming and going and he needs to learn to listen to me when we're not at home so my question is how do I train him with distractions?
 

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For a dog to focus on you during distractions you have to become more worth while than the distraction. This comes with lots and lots of cheese and hot dogs.


If I'm not mistaken your dog is still young. Don't expect to much from a puppy. Distraction training shouldn't even be a concern until your dog has thoroughly been trained in a no distraction environment. Putting a dog in a position to not focus on you causes more un-wanted behaviors. Especially if you are giving commands that the dog knows but are not able to get them to do. You will basically un-teach the commands you previously taught.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
For a dog to focus on you during distractions you have to become more worth while than the distraction. This comes with lots and lots of cheese and hot dogs.


If I'm not mistaken your dog is still young. Don't expect to much from a puppy. Distraction training shouldn't even be a concern until your dog has thoroughly been trained in a no distraction environment. Putting a dog in a position to not focus on you causes more un-wanted behaviors. Especially if you are giving commands that the dog knows but are not able to get them to do. You will basically un-teach the commands you previously taught.
He is still young. He's 4 momths. I didn't know that at all. Thanks for telling me that. I won't worry so much about it right now then. When do you suggest working distractions in? I don't want to miss the time to teach him that.
 

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Formal training and training under distraction are two totally different things. Like I said work with your dog teach him thing this is the right time to start. The point I was making is that when you are training under distractions you are in essence putting your dog in a position to do one of two things. 1. Obey the command under the distraction -or- 2. give in to the distraction and ignore the command.

With that being said you are limited in what you can do. With a puppy I will not give correction or use anything that will give a negative association. So the only other option to get his attention is smother him with treats. This is counter productive when he has just dis-obeyed you.

Now with an older dog that understands all the commands I have taught him, understands the language I use in obedience. When he disobeys a command under distraction, their will be a negative consequence.

At your dogs age it is all about building a bond and a working relationship with him. I started training on day one.I didn't mean for you to not train him, I meant for you to not put your dog in a position to fail. Maybe my definition of training under distraction is a bit different than others. I od my distraction training at petco/petsmart, the park, places that are new, have lots of visual movement, and people and animals of all sorts. I will only bring a dog to do this type of training if I have the utmost confidence he will pass. Or if he has problem with a certain distraction/scenario it gives me a opportunity to correct it. But none of this would pertain to a 4 months old puppy.

All of my basic obedience took place in my yard/house for the first few months. We went outside for socializing and walks but my expectation of him was relevant to his age. As in I didn't expect a puppy to heel perfectly, not investigate smells, and so on. Everything you do with a young puppy should be the funnest thing in the world. I don't think puppy classes are training under distractions, I think they give you basic knowledge and is a great place to socialize your dog. Things need to be short fun and with tons of energy.
 

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sufferin succotash
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At 13 weeks, Sam was in puppy kindergarten. At 24 weeks, he started a basic OB class at a kennel club. There are lots of distractions at kennel clubs; other dogs, handlers, spectators watching the class. A few of our classes were held outside so this adds to the distraction but still allows for a controlled, formal setting under the direction of a trainer.

Our puppy kindergarten class focused on general manners, sit, down, no jump, come, loose lead walk while keeping it fun and engaging.

Obviously you have to find what works for you. One size doesn't fit all with training.
 

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We're not working on distractions just yet, but rather working on the three or so commands that she has REALLY solidly in different areas. my moms house, my dad's place, a very quiet corner of the park. Its different, but quiet. Kikopup has some really good information about how dogs are horrible at generalizing... sit taught at home in the living room means sit in the living room, they have to be taught that sit means sit no matter where you are. I thought it was very interesting! I can't find the video now where she mentions it, but I know you watch them.. so I'm sure you'll come across it :)

Its hard to reel it back and go slow with the training and do baby steps when they're just so smart and picking things up so fast! Just as a side note.. I dont think we've had D pics in awhile....
 

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The point about dogs being able to generalize very poorly is worth repeating to yourself over and over.

For me and my dogs in training I have an assortment of rules.

Rule 1 If I am going to give a command that I have taught the dog will always be on leash. Even if the dog is very young I do expect that if I say sit and the dog knows "sit" in the house the next place I'm going to give that command is in the back yard--on leash and if he doesn't sit--I will correct that and treat when he is in the proper position.

Rule 2 I start training puppies from the minute they walk in the door--but the sessions are very short and very rewarding to the puppy in terms of treats and praise.

Rule 3 Unless you have years of training puppies and grown dogs under your belt you should find an obedience class (and I don't think most of the classes that aren't designed for someone who intends to try to title a dog in obedience are very useful.) Puppy classes are as SamandMacsmom said useful for basics but a formal obedience class is useful for learning how to get past the distractions and how to handle them with the dog.

Rule 4 The best thing that most people "get" out of a formal obedience class is the business of dogs not generalizing and finding out that's why their puppy who will sit, down, stay, stand and heel just fine in the living room becomes brainless out in public and often at the first several class meetings. Anyone who has ever set out to train a dog sufficiently to attempt to get even a basic obedience title quickly learns that "proofing" is every bit as important as the initial training. You take the dog everywhere possible and have them do everything they've learned until they understand that the command is THE COMMAND every place--not just the living room.

Good luck--it always takes longer than you thought because of the need to proof.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you all for the great advice. Clearly I didn't know the whole wait on distraction thing haha that's my fault it's been awhile since I trained a puppy.

We'll join a class probably in a few weeks. I want to do a little more in home training with him first then we'll start a class and go from there.

Thanks everyone! I really appreciate it. It's all been very helpful we'll definitely be using the tips.

Longshot- You must have read my mind because I'm about to post some haha so look for them!
 

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You can't kill the metal
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I'm guessing you've trained him a lot more inside than outside?

That was the case with me.

As soon as the weather got a little more mild I started training Lexi how to heel on walks. As long as I have treats she will listen for about 60% of the time. The other 40% is either seeing another dog, or finding something on the ground that she wants to investigate.

When I say treats I mean her regular food. I believe I could get faster results with higher quality treats, I'm just a little worried about diarrhea but I guess I have to give her the chance...I'm sure she is able to digest more things now then she was at 10 weeks old. I just have the fear of waking up to a pup who couldn't hold it.

I was at the off leash dog park last tuesday and couldn't believe when I called for her, she came to me and did all the things we worked on in the house with another 6 dogs running around...she sat down, focused on me, laid down, shook paw, stood up...I was so very proud! However, when I threw the ball, she fetched it, ran back towards me and right past me! lol...

Glad I have taken the time to add in training with distractions, can't wait until she's really good at it!

Just stay consistant, patient and set up your pup to succeed!
 
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