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Old 10-14-2005, 10:24 AM
Gempress Gempress is offline
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Default Ready to move on to the next level

I'm very proud of Zeus. He's doing fabulously well, but I have a few questions. He's now about 15 months old, and he's really starting to settle down. I normally do training sessions in a few short 15-minute sessions throughout the day, but that doesn't seem long enough to work on the more complicated stuff. I'd like to start working with him for a 1-hour block daily. Now that he's older, I think his attention span can handle it. But is this too long? Almost all the obedience books I read recommend very short sessions.

Also, can someone recommend a good book on dog training? Not basic stuff, but advanced obedience. I'd like to start Zeus on some utility dog training and tracking, and I'd feel more comfortable with a guide of some kind.
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Old 10-14-2005, 11:54 AM
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Renee750il Renee750il is offline
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I can't help you on the book question, but I'd start upping his training session time a little at a time to see how long his attention span is and to increase it - just like you would with a child.
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Old 10-16-2005, 04:29 AM
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i don't know if you use the clicker, if you do, morgan spector's book "clicker training for obedience: shaping top performance-positively" (ISBN 0962401781) is great. i love his writing style, it's easy to understand and follow and not dull at all. the book has lots of photos and discusses exercises all the way to utility level. what i like especially is that you learn fluencies from the ground level up, so you can build on exercises without having to re-teach things in a different way later on once you are ready for more advanced levels.

i read this book before we moved from regular obedience classes to competition level and was thrilled when i found out my competition trainer structures her classes based on the book.

don't overdo things with training sessions that are too long, even if you think the dog can handle it. 2-4 short sessions a day will be of more use than one long one and will help your dog to retain things better.
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Old 10-16-2005, 08:24 AM
bridey_01 bridey_01 is offline
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At the club we do one hour sessions, the dogs inevitably lose interest sometimes, and we do break it up with socialisation breaks. Get a good tug instinct going and you can break up the hour with tug sessions, whilst still maintaining interest. Write down exactly what you want to work on, then proof each excercise in multiple areas and multiple distractions. When an owner says to me "My dog knows sit", I say "Does he know sit at a "cats running everywhere" convention? Does he know sit when there are children running around screaming and flinging kibble?"
Proofing has got to be one of the biggest parts of training, especially advanced training. Just remember, keep it fun, break the session up, and if the dog loses interest or isn't learning, or seems stressed, end the session promptly and on a positive note.
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Old 10-16-2005, 09:00 AM
doberkim doberkim is offline
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i have to agree with mordy - i have morgan's book and its AWESOME.

my dog CAN work for an hour - but hes MUCH more attentive and learns a LOT more if we do more frequent short bursts of work - even when we go to classes that are an hour long, i often crate him, switch dogs, or let him hang out relaxing during some parts of the class to let him "defuse" and regroup.

and bridey also has a great point - proofing! when we learn new things, its always great to start to expand WHERE They know things. my dog learns most things at home in the living room or the driveway. we then move to a class situation - and then to other places outside.

when you are looking at the more complicated things, remember too dogs often get frustrated and want to give up - breaking things up into their components is a great way to look at things, and this is easy to do when you limit the time. i agree some things may need more than 15 minutes, but if i am going to do extensive stuff, at least part of the time in between for playing, laying down, etc.
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Old 10-16-2005, 05:35 PM
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Mordy Mordy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doberkim
and bridey also has a great point - proofing! when we learn new things, its always great to start to expand WHERE They know things. my dog learns most things at home in the living room or the driveway. we then move to a class situation - and then to other places outside.
yup, definitely! i tend to forget stressing this point, since the classes i attend are held in a public L.A. park and we always have lots of distractions around.
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Old 10-16-2005, 07:18 PM
doberkim doberkim is offline
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its awesome you live in ap lace that can have so many outdoor classes here in new england 75% of the year its too hot/cold/wet to have classes outside! we pretty much have 2-3 months when its possible! its what bowie needs most - doing obedience outside, and its also why we cant enter outdoor trials!
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Old 10-16-2005, 07:20 PM
poeluvr poeluvr is offline
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i wish there were outdoor classes here!
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