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Discussion Starter #1
Hello! So my JaSlyn is finally done with her shots, yay! I'm ready to start socializing her and such. I want to get some basic obedience in as well.

I've owned a lot of larger dogs (rotties, chow chows, etc) and though they had "puppy spunk" you put any type of food in front of them and I had their entire attention. I had them sitting, laying down, heck rolling over even, in a matter of hours.

WELL this is my first small dog. And I refuse to have my dog suffer the "small dog syndrome". You know, where you have a very untrained dog just because it's small and not really bothersome? It's not the same to have a 60 lb dog jumping on you for treats than a 1 lb dog lol

SO I wanted to start as early as possible. She's 3 months old in a few days, wooohooo. But then I realized this dog is HYPER. And I'm not talking about "she needs more exercise" hyper, I mean short attention span everything is play time, hyper. I have NO idea how to start training her. I'm alone in the house, quiet as can be, and I can't keep her attention with ANYTHING for more than (counted) 5 Mississippi seconds :p I don't want to get her attention with being playful because then she won't do anything but want to play.

How do I train a dog who won't pay attention to me for more than 5 seconds? XD And has zero interest in ANY food? Chicken? Bacon? Cheese? Nope. Nope. NOPE.
 

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Everything you're experiencing is really common for small puppies. Some have more focus at that age, but it's not unusual for a 3 months old to have the attention span of a flea. It's also not uncommon for them to not be super interested in food yet. She may also not be hungry. Such a small dog has a small stomach. I wouldn't feed her out of a bowl at all - all food comes from you and you can get her to sit or lie down before giving her a few pieces of kibble.

If she likes playing so much, you could use a toy. Just hold the toy and wait until she makes eye contact or sits and then throw it for her or play tug.
 

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If all you've got is 2 seconds, work for 2 seconds. When I was training Kabota to stay, I literally had to start at rewarding 1 second of staying.

I agree with elrohwen, tiny little tummies fill up quickly, so don't waste food by putting it in a bowl. If she's still not that motivated by food, find a toy she likes.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I hadn't thought about her being full most of the time, great idea. I'll try it that way. If not, I'll just start rewarding her for ANY attention she gives me, associate paying attention to me with deliciousness.

Don't think toy will work though, she gets too excited with it just laying on the floor lol

Didn't think there'd be THIS much difference between a rott and a Chihuahua xD
 

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Rotties are comatose compared to Chihuahuas! I like Chis, don't get me wrong, but if someone said, "You can take 5 rotties or 1 chihuahua," I'd be paying a fortune in dog food, lol.
 

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Rotties are comatose compared to Chihuahuas! I like Chis, don't get me wrong, but if someone said, "You can take 5 rotties or 1 chihuahua," I'd be paying a fortune in dog food, lol.
That teaches me to do more homework on breeds xD I won't lie, I did research some, but I had my inflated ego all "Pfft, I can handle big dogs, small dogs are no problem! I'll take the little challenge" so I didn't do TOO much homework on them. NEVER. AGAIN.

Of course I love her and am paying the price of no homework... I might just NOT have a trained dog as soon as I would if I owned a rottie XD I'm falling for the "treat it like a child" syndrome too XD
 

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Does she like to chase balls, or laser spots, or you? If you run around, is that fun and motivating. Although food is the most common motivator, a toy or play can work just as well.
 

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I don't want to get her attention with being playful because then she won't do anything but want to play.
Training positively has a lot to do with learning how to control the resources in a kind and gentle way, in order to get the behaviours you want. You DO control the play ... right ???

I'd start with 3 or 4 seconds of attention in exchange for 3 or 4 seconds of interactive play. Wash/ rinse/ repeat, always limiting the amount of play, and extend attention gradually to ten seconds, then fifteen seconds, then twenty seconds etc. With this method, toys in general should not be left laying around at the dog's disposal. The exceptions possibly being chew toys for teething and kongs for when left alone. The remainder of toys / play should come THROUGH you. If your dog doesn't want to play this game by these rules, completely ignore her and try again in a short time.

Don't be too tough or overly demanding, keeping in mind she's a very young puppy who still needs to learn what your expectations are. Having at least a little flexibility and a LOT of patience is a good thing.


ETA: using a clicker will help you to 'pinpoint' the attention
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Training positively has a lot to do with learning how to control the resources in a kind and gentle way, in order to get the behaviours you want. You DO control the play ... right ???

I'd start with 3 or 4 seconds of attention in exchange for 3 or 4 seconds of interactive play. Wash/ rinse/ repeat, always limiting the amount of play, and extend attention gradually to ten seconds, then fifteen seconds, then twenty seconds etc. With this method, toys in general should not be left laying around at the dog's disposal. The exceptions possibly being chew toys for teething and kongs for when left alone. The remainder of toys / play should come THROUGH you. If your dog doesn't want to play this game by these rules, completely ignore her and try again in a short time.

Don't be too tough or overly demanding, keeping in mind she's a very young puppy who still needs to learn what your expectations are. Having at least a little flexibility and a LOT of patience is a good thing.


ETA: using a clicker will help you to 'pinpoint' the attention
How DO I control the play though? I get her attention, reward it with play, then when I stop offering the play she just won't stop playing. She doesn't need a toy to play, she's happy going around in circles or looking at the pretty picture on the wall xD I can't put a leash on her to control her either, because she's so small the lightest leash is too heavy for her (and the collar she has on is a cat collar rofl so it doesn't have the thingy to attach a leash to). And I refuse to use negative reinforcement just because she won't pay attention to me lol Th only firm "No!" She gets is when she's about to potty outside of the pads.

I'm thinking of just waiting a little more for her to get bigger and less puppy because right now I just can't keep her attention, with toys, with food, nothing xD I have a clicker and the sound of it doesn't even phase her at all. I have an ADHD dog rofl
 

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Update!

Figured out where she's calm and what to reward. She's calm on the bed lol Started with sit and stay with a breeze, full attention on me and rewarding her with lots of affection is her thing! :B yay!
 

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Sounds good, and glad you've found a way to begin. Maybe the next step .. once you've built a considerable amount of history, transfer the behavior to other situations. Gradually.

Also, about the clicker. You say "it doesn't phase her". If I'm understanding that correctly, it's not meant to gain her attention, not at all. Really it should be used to mark the exact moment attention is given. IOW, not before, but during. Perhaps you could use it in that way, in conjunction with being calm and attentive on the bed. It'll help to make that 'transfer' I mentioned much easier, when the time comes. Not sure how much background investigation you've done or how much practical experience you already have with a clicker, but just in case, Karen Pryor's site will explain it well. http://www.clickertraining.com/get-started
 

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Sounds good, and glad you've found a way to begin. Maybe the next step .. once you've built a considerable amount of history, transfer the behavior to other situations. Gradually.

Also, about the clicker. You say "it doesn't phase her". If I'm understanding that correctly, it's not meant to gain her attention, not at all. Really it should be used to mark the exact moment attention is given. IOW, not before, but during. Perhaps you could use it in that way, in conjunction with being calm and attentive on the bed. It'll help to make that 'transfer' I mentioned much easier, when the time comes. Not sure how much background investigation you've done or how much practical experience you already have with a clicker, but just in case, Karen Pryor's site will explain it well. http://www.clickertraining.com/get-started
Thanks for the sight I'll check it out! And I guess I used the wrong words x) (English not my first language) I meant that it didn't work yet. I wasn't nearly quick enough to click at the moment of her attention because the time was too short. But on the bed its definitely working! ^_^
 
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