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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We picked up our awesome Vizsla puppy, Ivy, yesterday. She’s 9 weeks old today. She has learned her name and I was trying to work on “sit”. With my previous two dogs, I taught them to sit by using a treat held at nose level, and then raising it up and over their head....they’d follow and end up in a sit position, at which point I’d say “sit” and give the treat. They learned super quick.
Ivy is super high energy, and she jumps at my hands, wraps her paws around my arms and won’t stay still at all. This method is definitely not working. She is very distracted and rarely makes eye contact because of it. I know she’s very smart, but I’m not sure how to teach her like this. Should I just give it a week and try again?
 

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I am also struggling with a super smart but totally unfocused puppy. She is a high energy border collie. In her puppy class, there is an adorable 5 mo old Vizsla pup who is a lot like my girl. The Vizsla is super smart and a fireball of energy.

I am a real novice at puppy training but since nobody else has responded, I'll give you my thoughts.

Is it possible that you are holding the treat too high over her head? If it's up too high, the pup might think she needs to reach up or jump up to get it. Try going from her nose and skimming right over the top of her head. If she still tries to paw at it, you might try teaching down first. Then from the down position, see if you can get her to come up and back into a sit and then back into a down, then up again to a sit. (puppy push-ups) Be sure she doesn't get hold of the treat when she's pawing or she might learn that pawing, not sitting, is what she needs to do to get a treat. If you are doing all the right things then it won't hurt to wait a week and try again.

It might be best to spend a few days teaching her to focus on you. In our puppy class, we were taught to feed, feed, feed tiny bits of meaty treats to get our pup to focus on us. Then, when we've got her attention, we go into the puppy push-ups (sit, down, sit, down, sit). No puppy playtime until every pup in the class is quietly focused on their owners. I use tiny slivers of hot dog to get my girl's attention. Kibble does not cut it during puppy class.

Also, you might want to work with Ivy in the bathroom or other small room with the door closed, especially if there is other activity going on in your home.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Turns out I was just using the wrong treats!! She’s not overly food motivated, today I decided to try bits of cheese and that was the key. If I have cheese, I have her total attention.....and she learned sit in no time this morning!! Thanks!
 
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