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Need Training Help Please

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Wayne01, Sep 23, 2013.


  1. Wayne01

    Wayne01 PetForums Member

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    Hi

    I am hoping someone can help.

    This is my basic routibng with my dog (Alfie - Dobermann x pointer 9 - 10 months old)

    Up 0500hrs
    Walk 0530hrs - 0700hrs (Approx 40 mins of training in this time split)
    B fast 0730

    Walk again anywhere from 1600hrs - 2100hrs (for approx 1 hrs - approx 20 - 30mins of training)

    I am also walking my other dog at the same time now here are the issues.

    When with my other dog his focus on me is Zero.
    When on own he will focus on me but if he sees/scents another dog or person he loses focus on me and pulls towards them.

    Very poor recall.

    In the evening he really struggles to settle up to the point that I have to crate him to stop him pacing - and this is even after a walk.

    I really want to let my dog run loose (Which i do sometimes if i know no one is around - cannock chase approx 2000hrs)

    Please help
     
  2. LinznMilly

    LinznMilly Moderator
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    I'm no expert, so hopefully someone will be around soon to correct me if I'm wrong but here's my thoughts:

    Over an hour's worth of training seems like a lot of mental stimulation to me, especially when coupled with 2 and a half hours (approx) of physical exercise. Of course we know it's important - not saying mental stimulation isn't, but just wondering if that's a little excessive?

    At 9-10mnths, it's possible he's hitting his teenage stage. If he has no recall, really he needs to be kept on a long line, unless you're in a totally secure place.

    As for the pacing, sounds almost like he's so wired with the physical and mental work-out that he can't settle - dogs need to know how to settle too. ;) What's he like during the day - between his walks?
     
  3. Wayne01

    Wayne01 PetForums Member

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    after his morning walk he has breakfast and then flops
     
  4. ouesi

    ouesi Guest

    What kind of training are you doing for 40 minutes?
     
  5. Wayne01

    Wayne01 PetForums Member

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    Hi.

    I am doing a mix of the following.

    On lead
    Heel - Including directional changes.
    Recall
    Stay and wait
    Sit

    Lead dropped
    Walk away - Call to heel whilst walking - Including directional changes
    Stay and wait.
    Recall - This is only approx4 - 5 meters away.


    The issue is when other people or dogs are present he loses total focus on the exercise - me

    thank you
     
  6. Wayne01

    Wayne01 PetForums Member

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    the 40 minutes is split up over the whole walk and not in one go
     
  7. ouesi

    ouesi Guest

    Yes, but HOW do you do this training?

    For example, I do heelwork with a tug toy and get the dog all sorts of revved up and eager, I reward and play a lot to keep them wanting more. Training is really a giant game for us. I can't make the dog go away if I wanted to when in training mode.

    If you're losing him in the presence of distractions that means you're trying to get behaviors before you have engagement. The behaviors part is easy - heel, sit, stay, come... really that's all super easy stuff. The hard part is getting and maintaining engagement - the focus and attention on you. Dog has to be in the mode of "I want it I want it I want it I want it!" ("It" being whatever your reward is.) This is where I would put most of my efforts.

    If he would rather go see what that other person is doing than train with you, to me that says you and your training is either boring to him or just not worth it.
    I'd rather have five steps of engaged heel than 10 minutes of a blah heel. So for me, engagement trumps everything.
     
  8. Wayne01

    Wayne01 PetForums Member

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    Im using treat and toy based training
     
  9. Wayne01

    Wayne01 PetForums Member

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    Bit of a breakthrough last night.
    Took alfie for a quick 30 min walk and 5 min training and found a toy he went mad for.
    3 dogs walked past and he didn't even acknowledge them
     
  10. ouesi

    ouesi Guest

    That doesn't tell me much sorry...
    Does he go nuts for the toy you have? Is he in your face wanting more, more, more? Does he want what you have and is he eager to work out how to get it?
    That is engagement. If you don't have engagement, don't work on heel, don't work on stays, don't work on recalls, work on figuring out how to get and maintain his focus on you.

    It's not how much time you spend on training, it's the quality of that time.
    You've only had him a few months? At this point I'd be doing all sorts of attention exercises. The book "Control Unleashed" by Leslie McDevitt has some fabulous attention exercises. I'd work on these.

    Remember I told you he could go to rugby games? I used to take our "puppy" great dane to soccer games and do nothing but click her choosing to pay attention to me over all the fun stuff going on. From there we did many of the games in Control Unleashed like "Look at that" and "dog in your face". Also mat work - relax on a mat while there is commotion going on around you. All of this lays a solid foundation for your obedience so that it holds up under distractions.
    I'll say it again, getting a sit is easy. Getting and maintaining your dog's attention so that he'll "hear" you cue a sit under any distraction is the hard part.
     
  11. ouesi

    ouesi Guest

    Just read your other two threads this morning, and I'm going to go out on a limb and say your engagement issue is a relationship issue, not a training one....
     
  12. Wayne01

    Wayne01 PetForums Member

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    thanks for the heads up.

    the issue i think is other people not listening to what i am asking or respecting my / alfie requiremetns.

    my relationship with alfie is amazing - e.g we got lost on Cannock Chase the other night and coem accross a few undesireables - he spotted them before I did gave me a low throat warning growl and we managed to by pass them.

    I trust him and he trusts me I have been told he knows when my car is coming down the road as he sits at the window looking for me

    But i do feel i could do more
     
  13. Hopeattheendofthetunnel

    Hopeattheendofthetunnel PetForums VIP

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    My candid opinion - you are doing a swell job with Alfie. Really.

    Pointers are notoriously scatterbrained, impulsive and easily distracted, especially as youngsters. Expecting him to focus on you when out and about is akin to expecting a child to focus on the parent instead on the shiny toys whilst strolling in ToysRUs. Not going to happen easily.

    Be persistent, keep working on your recall, and, if at all possible, enroll him into a training class so he gets used to being recalled in the presence of lots of distractions ( other dogs!). He'll probably love to do agility, too. Check out some classes in your neighbourhood.

    As to the difficulties with settling at night, this will greatly improve as he matures. Years ago we had a Springer Spaniel with the same issue. No sooner had we, the humans, settled down after dinner than she became hyperactive. It was like someone flipped a switch in her head. No amount of exercise made the slightest bit of difference, she simply was a night owl and seemingly ready to party the night away :) Dare I tell you she was around 5 when she FINALLY got in synch with our rhythm?

    What could be worth trying is to establish an evening slow-down ritual. For instance, once YOU decide that play/fun/attention are over for the day, precede this with a grooming session combined with a chew (pigs ear, bulls twizzle, etc). And then its " settle now, good night" and ignore him. Regardless whether he prances about - which he likely will- chucks toys at you, tugs at your sleeve....make sure that the only interaction and instruction he gets is "settle down". He'll get the drift eventually.

    Hang on in there. Young, highly energetic dogs can be exhausting. This too shall pass..
     
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