Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner
1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,027 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, because we missed two weeks of her puppy classes (due to a spay and then cancellation due to weather), Misty was absolutely frustrating in class yesterday. For the first thirty minutes, she did not listen to me at all--was much too interested in the other dogs. Finally, and thank God because I was getting discouraged, she began to pay full attention to me. She did terrible at her recall, though..

Let me explain my frustration.

At home, in the backyard, and now most of the time on walks, every one of her command is 100%. Sit, down, stay, wait, leave it, etc. She performs nearly flawlessly. But as soon as we got to the class, she was gone. Not to say she was completely disobedient, but it was more so than she's ever been in any other environment.

It was a very frustrating night until the end.

Regardless of that, I'm just wondering if anyone has any tips to help get Misty where she needs to be in the classroom. I know it's the other dogs--she wants to play. I made the mistake of allowing her to play with other dogs without having to obey commands beforehand, and it's made things very difficult now. Is it just practice I need to stick with, or is there something more I can do to help her do better when we are in class?

Oh, also, when on walks, she obeys even if another dog/cat crosses our path or walks by.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,423 Posts
Attention training is a long slow process. Typically, distraction training doesn't even happen until the advanced classes because you've got to work on the basics...how to get the attention and how to keep it. Keeping it is the hard part. You can say Watch Me and get that attention for 5 or 10 seconds but, that doesn't do anything to teach the dog that they're supposed to be watching you all the time....it's their responsibility to do that and not yours to constantly remind them.
That's the theory.....the reality is you're working with a puppy and an attention span of more than a nanosecond is quite hard under distracting conditions. But, here's something you can practice that will help with the attention: randomly toss a treat whenever she makes eye contact with you. Do that while watching tv, walking to the kitchen, walking into puppy class, anywhere/anytime that she makes eye contact. Don't forget the praise!
Be aware that this can create intense focus on you...she will be watching every little move you make and that can get a little unnerving at times. And, there is a little trap to this training....if you don't give her that eye contact/attention back (you stop reinforcing it) you can slowly lose her attention, have to start over and it may be slightly harder to recapture..this eye contact is a two way street.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,966 Posts
Tooney has really good advice on how to sustain a "watch me". The other thing I would do is start proofing, proofing, proofing. Besides your home and the classroom, where do you train? Try to increase the number of places and distractions that you train around. Take her to the pet store, to the dog park, to the gas station and ask for commands there. Train in a variety of settings. Remember, keep her on a leash at all times when she is in an unfenced area.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,027 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for the wonderful advice. I've been doing "focus" training for a while, and it works almost flawlessly anywhere but class. I think I may begin coming earlier and "warming her up" so to speak? Since it's a once a week class, the consistency is just that much harder for her. Or, inconsistency, rather.

I've worked with her in home, backyard, and in the neighborhood. I'll begin taking her to the pet store as that sounds to be very beneficial.
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top