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Training a distracted dog

11/7/17 @ 4:55 PM
User since 11/11/14

I have an 11 week old golden retriever.  My goals is to make her a shed dog and deer recovery dog.

I am in the process of obedience training now and it seems like whenever it’s time to train she is distracted and is all over the place.  I am keeping training sessions short (only a couple of minutes).  What can I do to get my dogs attention and be focused on training for the couple of minutes.  

This is my first dog I am ever training and will be more than happy to take any advice you guys are willing to give me.  Thanks.

5/15/18 @ 1:33 AM
User since 5/3/18

I think if you force your dog to focus, It will not work, You have arranged better circumstances for training. You can keep some toys, or you can give some rewards if your dog completes the task. Thanks. 

3/21/18 @ 8:51 PM
User since 10/3/12

I would agree on the that. I use one that also has a vibrate mode. Most often a little nick of vibration is all I need to get my dogs attention.

3/21/18 @ 7:47 PM
One shot one kill
MEMBER since 8/12/02

I have a prong collar , and it works well on walks .  But I don't really want it on him up north in case he gets away  . 

He is about 16 months old and knows some commands  , but is still a loose cannon when he wants to . Runs to his crate when yelled at .

And yes I'm retired,  but still held back a bit by my knee replacement and needing the other done . So no long walks for a while.  We have taken him to the dog park and let him go . Still doesn't wear him out !!

Thinking I'm going to need a shock collar .


3/21/18 @ 6:34 PM
User since 10/3/12

another option that you may look into is a prong collar. An all metal collar with prongs so when you have her walking on leash if she pulls too much or gets  rambunctious she pulls the prongs into her skin and causes herself discomfort and then she will decide to slow down her hyperdrive.  under $10 at menards

3/21/18 @ 6:11 PM
User since 10/3/12

How old is that dog One Shot? several miles per day of walking will calm dogs down.  and Now that your retired................

e collars help if used correctly but shouldnt start until 10 or 12 months of age as I understand it.  In fact you cannot use an ecollar to reinforce a command she doesnt know, they have to be taught the command first before using the ecollar.

3/21/18 @ 5:32 PM
One shot one kill
MEMBER since 8/12/02

He's more than distracted  ,  he's wild when he gets loose .  Just a small terrier  , but even when on a 50 foot check cord  if he's not held we are on the run . Gets into the tall grass to mouse hunt first then into the woods . Really worried he will get tangled and be coyote food before I find him  . 

Was a rescue dog , and does not listen the best . At least he's housebroken  . 

Would an electronic collar help here ? 

11/29/17 @ 1:13 PM
User since 7/7/05

Congrats on your pup!  With time and patience, your Golden will become an excellent hunter.  I've had 5 of them.  Be patient.  Make it fun.  Go slow and don't get frustrated.  Some training days will be awesome and you'll start feeling proud, then the next day it seems like its the first day of training.  

I am a believer in using treats in training.  One trick that will help quickly develop your dog's reliance on its nose is to take the dog out in the lawn and give it a few small treats.  Then take a treat, show it to the dog, and toss the treat out in the grass.  Most younger dogs rely heavily on their eyes to find things.  If your pup wants the treat, it will have to use its nose to find the treat.  Eventually pup will just know to use it's nose, and as time goes along, toss the treats out further.  As pup gets better and more confident, switch from treats to a pheasant wing (go to most hunting clubs on a weekend afternoon and bring your pup.  Tell them you'd really like a few wings from cleaned birds.  When you get home, drag the wing in the grass on a string and hide it.  Let pup find it.

Remember training is setting the foundation for a future hunting dog.  By next fall, instead of looking for a treat in the grass using its nose, it will be looking for a downed rooster or duck. Good luck.

11/28/17 @ 8:57 PM
User since 11/16/17

"Enjoy her puppyhood for now and continue keeping learning sessions short, fun and positive. She'll catch on."

I agree with this. My cousin did the same thing with his Labrador. Disciplined his dog while having fun, they would usually play fetch using a few dog toys. The tyke loved him more due to that, and became great at retrieving shot ducks for him.

11/14/17 @ 1:55 PM
User since 1/10/03

Many will likely disagree, but I found "treat" training to be very effective on young puppies (I use pieces of the dog's regular kibble, not treats).  You can very easily manipulate a dog into both the sit position (raise the kibble above his head) and from there, into the lay position (with the dog sitting move the kibble to between the front paws and then back towards the belly).  You simply say each command as the dog naturally goes into the position and then give the kibble and praise.  I found this to be a very simple way to a. keep the pups attention and b. teach what each command means.  Some will argue it makes it more difficult to get the dog to comply without food later, but I've not found that to be the case.  I've not had issues with compliance after obedience is formalized and the dog is conditioned to pressure (collar conditioning, force fetch, etc.). 

11/10/17 @ 11:34 AM
User since 3/13/17

I agree with everyone... keep sessions short and fun. End the session on a positive note and then its time to play again! Enjoy this time building trust and forming a relationship with your pup. Something will click and the pup will learn something and you'll both be so excited to keep training. I'm training a 16 week old Boykin and learned a lot from Bill Hillmans DVDs. Good luck. 

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