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 Distraction methods

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StaffySel
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PostSubject: Distraction methods   Thu 27 Jan 2011, 11:01 pm

How do you distract your dog?

When I am at training classes, this is the one thing that I can't seem to do, I can't get his attention because he is too interested in people and other dogs, he loves people and will pull my arm out the socket to get to them lol. I have to very sharply tug his lead which hurts my arm to get him to stop because he is so strong.

When I am at home practising he is 100% perfect at everything and when I am there I have to get very angry to get him to do it. By angry I mean very stern no's and tugs and then over the top 'good boy'. Within 5mins I am boiling hot and knackered!

Tonight when we did a playing excersice I refused to do it because I knew he wouldn't be interested in the silly toy I had. I could have big piece of steak on a plate and he would still want to be fussed by other people than eat that! So treats arn't enough distraction or toys.

Having said all this, he was quite good tonight and did 'send away', aparentley it was impressive.

Its not the end of the world if he won't do play exercises or down stay etc but what I don't like is the lunging towards people and dogs when we are there. The muscles in my arm will be massive lol!

I like the fact he likes to be fussed thats what makes him so friendly but I want to be able to control it if you know what I mean when we are at training lessons.

Any help appreciated, I don't know if any of that makes sense lol!




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Staffylover
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PostSubject: Re: Distraction methods   Thu 27 Jan 2011, 11:07 pm

Its very difficult if they are not interested in toys or treats. Luckily Reuben will do anything for a piece of chicken or liver and we have this week discovered primula light in a tube, he goes mad for it and it is something I would never have considered.

Does he not have one favourite toy that he will do anything for? What treats do you use? I find the smellier the better

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StaffySel
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PostSubject: Re: Distraction methods   Thu 27 Jan 2011, 11:20 pm

No he doesn't have a favorite toy really, its just getting him to turn around and look at me, I try facing him away from everyone but it doesn't last long he won't stay there for long.

We take cheese usually, yes the smellier the better, and I used the training treats I got from the comp prize as they have liver in them and they worked ok too.
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xclairex1
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PostSubject: Re: Distraction methods   Thu 27 Jan 2011, 11:21 pm

I know you say you have tried treats / toys.

You could try teach the " watch me " command with something really interesting, I have taught Kai this and it's really useful to get their attention.
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StaffySel
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PostSubject: Re: Distraction methods   Thu 27 Jan 2011, 11:32 pm

Ah yes that's one I haven't tried. I will look up how to do it, I see other people doing it but have never been shown how.

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xclairex1
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PostSubject: Re: Distraction methods   Thu 27 Jan 2011, 11:44 pm

Just hold up something they want in front of your face and say " watch me" keep his attention on you for a few seconds then reward.

You can gradually build up the time you keep his attention on you.

Good Luck!

It has been really handy for us at flyball and agility, and will hopefully help you at dog training. xx
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Eddi and Daisy
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PostSubject: Re: Distraction methods   Fri 28 Jan 2011, 11:36 am

What I do with Daisy is get her to "Watch me" to start off with say the words watch me the second she looks at me treat and praise they soon learn what they need to do.
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K999
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PostSubject: Re: Distraction methods   Thu 24 Feb 2011, 1:16 pm

I'd personally like to work the other angle, instead of a distraction from people/dogs which make him excited (excitement is a form of stress), I like to form a calm association with the stimulus inplace of an excited one.

Simply, I'll walk with such a dog, loose lead and next to me, towards a busy area (high street, playing field, bus stop etc) and as soon as the dog begins to show signs of stress, head up, ears forward, closed mouth, pulling, tensing of any muscles really, then I'd either stop untill he relaxed again, or turn and increase the distance from the stimulus. Either way, once he's relaxed move closer to the stimulus again. You should eventually be able to reduce the social distance to the people/dogs without your dog getting excited (stressed).
the hard part is (as always) your behaviour, you can only give your dog the confidence to remain calm if you yourself are the picture of calm. If you show tension (anger, frustration, fear or excitement) at a situation your faithful dog will only mirror your tension, and there aren't too many ways they can express these emotions, most of them we don't like to see!

I do alot with dog-dog aggression and this is a very complete way to alter associations. The idea is the dog doesn't need other influences in order to remain calm, they just remain confident and stress free!
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