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Attention problems?
  • I've really been getting into training Shiro some new tricks. Such as down, paw, crawl, and come( he sits on command pretty well) but I'm having trouble with him concentrating on me. I know we should be making him make eye contact but (especially when training for paw) he is so great driven that he's searching my hand that has nothing in it when I go for his paw. I hope I'm explaining this correctly. Anything that can help me would help!
  • I ran into this problem as well and I think this might help you out. I am by no means an expert at training but you should check out Zac Georges youtube page for dog training. His methods work and are not aggressive. He has so many videos it makes for hours of learning.
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495
    Are you showing him treats to bribe him to do tricks?
  • I have the same problem with Hoshi... once you show her the treat, all she looks at is the treats... then something floats pass, like a clump of fur or a leaf, and BAM... attention shifted... its like she has severe ADHD...
    Hoshi - Red, 6 months old, silly.
    Post edited by Narcolepsy at 2014-09-25 22:07:34
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495

    Yeah, this is why I asked if the original poster is "bribing". This is exactly what you're doing, bribing. You are not suppose to bribe your shiba, you are suppose to reward them. Totally different mindset.

    When you bribe, you show them the prize they would get if they obey, they analyze if the treat is worth the effort. If it is, they do any and all tricks they know to try to obtain the treat, instead of listening to you and processing what you want.

    When you reward, you don't show them the prize, they perform the trick/command your requested in HOPES they get a reward. Rewards can be treats, praise, toy, etc. By switching up rewards, it changes things up for them do they don't always expect something edible.

    My shiba does tricks for me even if I don't have a treat.

    Btw I use to bribe my shiba, but @sandrat888 brought me Into the light!!
  • Techically it's called luring....:) Which doesn't seem like a difference, but is, because bribing has negative connotations, and there is nothing wrong with luring, it's just that you have to phase out the lure at some point. It's why some clicker trainers don't like to use luring--they only using capturing/shaping a behavior.

    I think luring can be useful for training some behaviors, esp. with puppies and with new behaviors (for example, it was way easier to train my Kai Ken how to start on weave poles with luring than to try to capture that behavior!) but it's also not helpful if the dog is too focused on the treat. That's why people train the "look at me" or "watch me" to get the dog to make eye contact rather than just looking at the treat. You may need to start phasing out the lure with behavior your dog knows well. You might try shaping and capturing rather than luring.

    Of course, attention also depends on age....young dogs don't have the attention span of older ones. So sometimes the inability to focus is tied to that.

    Zac George does have some great videos! I'm trying to think of which books on clicker training deal with this issue, but none are coming to mind right now....Might look at Control Unleashed, though, because while I can't remember right off hand if it talks about this, it's aimed at agility basics, so it might.
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4786
    For very young puppies and dogs new to the "game" I will do everything I can to get their attention and keep it at first, and sometimes that is making a silly noise and even shoving a treat right in front of their nose so they go "oh hey! Is that for me? You have my undivided attention now" and phase it out as they progress.
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1269
    The first thing we learned at puppy class was little tricks to get the puppy to look at you. Basically it was different variations of holding a treat in your hand and not giving it to the puppy until they look you in the eye. I liked the one when you sit down and hold a treat in each hand, with closed fists and arms held out to the sides. At first the puppy will run to one arm and try to get the hand open, then maybe try the next and when nothing happens s/he will look at you for directions and then you praise and give the treat from the hand the puppy didn't try with last. They figure it out very quickly.
  • Wow... Okay this is very enlightening... Thanks!! Will try this with Hoshi when I get home! =D

    For us, we got Hoshi when she was 5.5months old and the breeder never really gave her any sort of training, so she is not used to making eye contact with us but we make sure she looks at us before giving any further commands or directions... I'm pretty sure with her getting older and calmer and our consistent efforts daily, she'll be way more focus in due time... =)
    Hoshi - Red, 6 months old, silly.
  • Agreeing with Zak George comments!!

    You should try teaching her "look at me/focus" whatever you want to call it to help with the attention span.

    I also linked a video that is part of an "essentials to training" playlist; it is a wonderful resource, and Zak is a super genuine trainer with a lot of great insight.

    Good luck!!
  • I trained Kira the "LOOK" command at a very young age, it's one of the commands that I use the most, actually. I use it when I take pictures of her, it works so well!
    Cynthia, Proudly owned by Kira
    Kira the Cream Shiba Inu 吉良 - Facebook Page
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    Kira's Life Story & Photo Thread - Chronicles of Kira

    “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”
  • @kira_kira, download an app called barkcam... its by the people who make barkbox.. the app makes a little noise so the dog looks at the phone =) (just in case Kira is in a "mommy, I am NOT going to do as you say" mood)

  • @kira_kira, download an app called barkcam... its by the people who make barkbox.. the app makes a little noise so the dog looks at the phone =) (just in case Kira is in a "mommy, I am NOT going to do as you say" mood)

    Oh, that's a cool app! I'm going to get that myself!

    I should also say that some dogs, even with training, are better at eye contact than others. I think the NKs in general are not dogs, like herding dogs, who give a lot of eye contact, but you can work with them so they learn to do it some. Some of my dogs tend to really avoid eye contact in general (like my big male Akita, and also my Kai Ken) and others are ok with it, and then of course, some like the Shiba mind control stare! :) But I don't expect any of my dogs to have the kind of obsessive eye contact that the herding dogs do (which is fine, because I find it kind of creepy anyway).
  • Oh my. Sorry I was away, but all these comments really help. I think I've been doing a lot of luring and will have to try all the examples given today. I do try not always treating and using toys as a reward, but that only works with certain tricks. Such as spin. But toys don't work when I'm trying to make Shiro go into the down command.

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