Gaining Focus/attention?

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Gaining Focus/attention?

This is a discussion on Gaining Focus/attention? within the Puppy Help forums, part of the Dog Training and Behavior category; Brora is 14 weeks old. Last week was her first puppy kindergarten class Nashe did fairly well, knew more commands than most of the other ...

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Old 01-11-2014, 02:04 PM
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Gaining Focus/attention?

Brora is 14 weeks old. Last week was her first puppy kindergarten class Nashe did fairly well, knew more commands than most of the other puppies, and although distracted, paid attention to me fairly well.

She is NOT a food motivated dog. We do not feed her before class and we use deli meat which she does like quite a bit.
We have been working on walking on the least correctly. She tends to pull (both forward and backward). We bought a harness so we can have nice relaxing walks, but also work with just the collar and she seemed to really be improving.

Today we had our second class. It was so frustrating. If the dogs were in their spaces and the instructor was off with other owners/dogs, she would do trick after trick and focus on me. Once the instructor came to check on us, I could not for the life of me get ANY attention on me- she was on the end of the leash pulling as hard as she could to get to the instructor. We tried using that as a reward (trick, then go say hi) which worked minimally and got her attention just long enough for a "yes" from me.

The worst was the loose leash walking. We were spread out around the room and everyone took turns walking from one pylon to another. I figured she would be good, is not great, because we have been working on this for weeks. The second I stood to walk, she was at the end of her leash, standing on her back legs pulling. I tried walking backwards, stepping on front of her... She could care less. The instructor tried to walk her and got some,but not much.

How the heck can I gain her attention in this atmosphere? I understand she is young, but it's like having my (diagnosed!) ADHD/OCD terrier.... While at home she will do anything to please. It was very deflating... She was by far the worst behaved, but clearly has much more training that most of the other dogs.
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Old 01-16-2014, 10:49 PM
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This is so normal and the problem is the puppy class. ironic I know. I had the exact same problem with my girl. at home it was 100% 'what does mum want me to do now' and even in class after the initial 'LOOK AT ALL THE OTHER PUPPIES' we got really good focus and a steady stream of tricks coming out. Then the instructor would come over and ask for the exact trick I was just doing but nope it had gone out the window.

the problem is my girl lovessss people. and when the instructor came over she wanted hugs and kisses and to heck with her favourite treat.

what I would do after I had minimal training of the whole 'don't jump on people' thing was allow a hello first then call her back to focus to preform the task.

so instructor comes over, nice 'hello' from Lexi then her 'look' command and sometimes have to lure her around with the treat shoved in her face, then we could preform.

I found that once she had said her hello she was more than willing to come back to focus on me because she had got what she wanted and it helped train 'all 4 paws on the ground' when greeting.

my advice is start training calm greetings, keeping all 4s on the ground then do focus games. hold the treat up to your face at first and then every once in a while I would fake having the treat but still ask for the focus and if using clicker, click as soon as you get the eye contact. c/t after a couple of seconds to hold the duration and then build from there

hope this helps or at least lets you know your not alone

Nic
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