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Discussion Starter #1
I have a german shepherd x labrador retriever mix (DANTE) pup who will turn 1 in a few days.
He was a shelter rescue. The first two weeks, he was a shy and afraid guy. I spent lots of time with him, and took him around to dog parks and friends houses to meet other people and dogs.

He would never leave my side. First few experiences at a dog park (off leash) I would run away from him and give him some distance and he would run to me. He later opened up and gained confidence and did not have to press against my legs and just stand there. He would go around doing dog stuff. - sniffing scents and walking around.

The trouble I am having with this guy is that he will not pay attention to me outdoors at a dog park. or any park.

At home in my backyard he listens and understands. He comes when called out to, plays catch, etc. Outdoors at a park I do not seem to be able to get his attention. He just wonders around and sniffs things.

I have taken him to a dog part on a couple of occasions where it has been just me and him and no one else, or any other dogs.

Any suggestions? I would love to be able to play catch with him or teach him to catch a frisbee at a much bigger space then a backyard.
 

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You need to work on recall, even with distractions.
I would suggest working with a 6' leash, even in the parks and such...then once he has a good recall on it getting a long line(15-20') and work with him with that, that way you always have control of the situation!:)
And remember, keep learning happy and fun! :D

(Im sure others will give you longer answers...but that is my suggestion short and simple.)
 

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We need pix! We have lots of GSDxLabs on the forum... see my avatar. You have an energetic, intelligent dog. If he looks more like a Lab (does he love water?), there is a good chance that he very scent driven... and you've taken him to smell equivalent of a 3 ring circus! As abi88 said, you do need a reliable recall, but don't expect him to play with you, until he has smelled everything in an empty park. In 2 - 3 years, he may be a bit more attentive, so keep at it.

My 11 yo loves to play catch, fetch, and chase in the backyard. However, tennis balls and frisbees don't exist for him in the park. Someone left a cookie on the ground, and he tracked it down from more than 100 feet, and inhaled it, before I knew what was happening. Someone else was eating a ham sandwich and he went over to share. They recognized that he wasn't aggressive, however he was persistent and I had to drag him away... You can train so these behaviors don't occur...
 

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If a year old pup paid attention to me in a dog park I would be worried. (he's a baby) The work in your back yard is great but dogs don't generalize . The dog park is another country to him especially if no work is done there.
 

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If a year old pup paid attention to me in a dog park I would be worried. (he's a baby) The work in your back yard is great but dogs don't generalize . The dog park is another country to him especially if no work is done there.
Sorry, but that is really an off statement, IMO.

You can EASILY have a well trained and attentive dog at a year old!
My soon to be 7 month old Border Collie is also attentive to my call, no matter where we are at...it CAN, and SHOULD, be done.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the advice everyone! I will try working with him with a leash.



This is Dante. Somedays he looks like a german shepherd and somedays he's just a silly lab
 

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Thanks for the advice everyone! I will try working with him with a leash.



This is Dante. Somedays he looks like a german shepherd and somedays he's just a silly lab
Yep, just remember, everything is about training!:)

AWWW...he is A-DOR-ABLE!!!:D What a handsome boy!:)
 

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What a handsome boy you have!:) (You should start a photo thread chocked FULL of shots!:D)
 

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Sorry, but that is really an off statement, IMO.

You can EASILY have a well trained and attentive dog at a year old!
My soon to be 7 month old Border Collie is also attentive to my call, no matter where we are at...it CAN, and SHOULD, be done.
I agree...my poodle is 10 mo and he is pretty attentive, even at dog parks. Is he 100% reliability? Nope...I would say he's at about 85-90% right now. And usually I can get his attention on the second try.

I think the OP's main problem is that since Dante hasn't been worked with in a dog park, he doesn't understand that "Come" there means the same thing as "come" at home. :) Pretty simple to fix, really. BTW, Dante is gorgeous...he looks so regal. :)
 

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Sorry, but that is really an off statement, IMO.

You can EASILY have a well trained and attentive dog at a year old!
My soon to be 7 month old Border Collie is also attentive to my call, no matter where we are at...it CAN, and SHOULD, be done.
That is excellent work and it might have been very easy for you with your particular dog. It's a mistake to think everybody would find it easy with their particular dogs and the knowledge/experience that they bring to the table. The average dog owner with a yr old dog (near the end of teenage yrs) is not going to find it easy. When a statement is made on how easy it is, it's very misleading. Maybe a poll is needed to see how many have year old dogs that are controllable in dog parks or elsewhere for that matter. A dog owner reading that looks at their year old dog that is wild and wooly could think that either the dog or owner is pretty stupid.

I'm not gonna even get into the reliability of a 7 month old dog because I might get rude and that is not where I want to go, your 7 month old dog is one in a million.
 

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We need pix! We have lots of GSDxLabs on the forum... see my avatar. You have an energetic, intelligent dog. If he looks more like a Lab (does he love water?), there is a good chance that he very scent driven... and you've taken him to smell equivalent of a 3 ring circus! As abi88 said, you do need a reliable recall, but don't expect him to play with you, until he has smelled everything in an empty park. In 2 - 3 years, he may be a bit more attentive, so keep at it.

My 11 yo loves to play catch, fetch, and chase in the backyard. However, tennis balls and frisbees don't exist for him in the park. Someone left a cookie on the ground, and he tracked it down from more than 100 feet, and inhaled it, before I knew what was happening. Someone else was eating a ham sandwich and he went over to share. They recognized that he wasn't aggressive, however he was persistent and I had to drag him away... You can train so these behaviors don't occur...
Hanksimon, I think we have the same dog!

I also agree with what everyone else has said so far. Start from the beginning when you're in the dog park and build up a recall from step 1.
P.S. Dante is GORGEOUS. I think Labs and Shepherds produce some of the best mixes.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thank you all. I'll update this post in the future with progress.

I love Dante's size turnout too. He'll be turning 1 tomorrow! he is only 40lbs and about 21 inches tall. Yet he is always fascinated by purebred german shepherds that are 2-3x times his size.

As for training, it has been fairly easy with Dante. He seems to have picked up a lot of things by himself. He potty trained himself, after one day of working with him, he knew the basics of sit, lay, stay, give, and such. and he seems to really enjoy watching movies..hah

I love this guy.
 

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I agree...my poodle is 10 mo and he is pretty attentive, even at dog parks. Is he 100% reliability? Nope...I would say he's at about 85-90% right now. And usually I can get his attention on the second try.
Yep...I dont believe that I EVER said that Rhett was PERFECT, I said he was ATTENTIVE....he has not yet been turned loose without a leash or long line dragging....but I like having complete control and not allowing "that one time" to happen and then that pattern to set in!:wink:

That is excellent work and it might have been very easy for you with your particular dog. It's a mistake to think everybody would find it easy with their particular dogs and the knowledge/experience that they bring to the table. The average dog owner with a yr old dog (near the end of teenage yrs) is not going to find it easy. When a statement is made on how easy it is, it's very misleading. Maybe a poll is needed to see how many have year old dogs that are controllable in dog parks or elsewhere for that matter. A dog owner reading that looks at their year old dog that is wild and wooly could think that either the dog or owner is pretty stupid.

I'm not gonna even get into the reliability of a 7 month old dog because I might get rude and that is not where I want to go, your 7 month old dog is one in a million.
If you work with your dog as you should in that first year and know the dog's needs before you get it then yes, it CAN be easy--or as easy as possible....that is why I always work with leashes/long lines attached, and why I got a breed that is perfect for me only after researching for the past MULTIPLE years!:wink:

And ya...you have no idea how Rhett is...so it wouldnt be wise at all for you to comment on his reliability!:wink: And yes, I believe he IS one in a million...but all dogs are...in their own way!:wink:
 

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If you work with your dog as you should in that first year and know the dog's needs before you get it then yes, it CAN be easy--or as easy as possible....that is why I always work with leashes/long lines attached, and why I got a breed that is perfect for me only after researching for the past MULTIPLE years!:wink:
Now I apologize because I thought you had your 7 month old pup turned loose in dog parks. (instead of on a long lead) only disclaimer I have is that average person just does not do research for years before getting a dog.

I have a personal problem because of years of working dogs and listening to some people explain on phone how smart their dogs are and all the things the dogs will do and then set up an appointment with me to start training the dog. Then when they come to kennel and the dog is unloaded from car/truck whatever he/she is as wild as the pure driven snow in a blizzard. I would compare it to going to a doctor when sick and telling him how great you feel, well why did you go to the doctor.

Now when people explain to me how well their dog works, the 1st thing we do is go to training bldg and I want to see what the dog does. I have had a few on phone that I actually tell them that there is nothing I can help them with as the dogs don't need a trainer. I have turned into a pessimist, but this is my problem.
 

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The trouble I have with Sydney at the dog park is my call sounds just like every other person's there! Whats one whistle over another? I had a neighbor that "yipped" at his dog and although it seemed to work, it was very annoying lol.
 

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Omg your dog is so handsome!! He looks very kind :)

I have a 1 year old poodle mix, and it is tough to get him to pay attention to you when there's 12 squirrels running around him. Don't be discouraged!!! Just keep practising what you're doing, and with time he will learn to pay attention more reliably :) I find that sometimes if a dog is really fixated on something, I get on their level, and meet them eye to eye, face to face, and once their focus is on me, I treat them. Every time Dante looks at you in the park, treat him! That way he's learning that looking at you/paying attention pays off! Eventually had in more distractions until he can reliably be left off leash ;)
 

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I find that sometimes if a dog is really fixated on something, I get on their level, and meet them eye to eye, face to face, and once their focus is on me, I treat them.
I thought I was weird at parks and on the street for doing that. but it does really work. Every time I need him to understand me Ill be on his level looking at his face and talking. haha

But I did not think about treats when he looks at me. I can see how that will work. Thanks everyone. will try all approaches.
 
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