Hard time focusing

Please discuss Obedience Training for Competition here.....

Moderators: Barb Wright, Lisa

Hard time focusing

Postby jasafar » Tue May 23, 2006 8:26 am

I just wanted to explain our frustration with Mikey and his lack of focus towards us. What we are experiencing is that if he is interested in anything else that is going on (another animal, a smell, a sound or a leaf blowing...sometimes nothing at all) he will not pay attention.

He is a very nice dog and good boy, but rarely seeks affection. He generally always follows us around the house, but isn't a licker and doesn't usually seek to get petted. He seems to stare at other things then our faces sometimes.

However, other times he will look right at us and follow every command. He will also be very focused if dog food or a treat is involved. He is a smart dog...we've taught him how to sit, lie down, stay, shake both paws, rollover, and wait paitiently before he is allowed to start eating his food.

I'm not sure if this is a trait of many Brittanys... maybe he was mal-nourished during puppy development before he came to ABR... Maybe he will grow out of this when he gets a little older? He is still all pup and all he does is play and eat! I think he has doggie ADD!!!

I talked to an obedience trainer and she said there are focus drills we could work on that may help. What do you think? Should we be worried?

Image
I'm a good baby... :wink: most of the time!
Mikey & Sammie
Image
Image
jasafar
Senior Hunter
Senior Hunter
 
Posts: 417
Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 3:55 pm
Location: West Chester, PA

Postby jasafar » Tue May 23, 2006 8:57 am

Actually he just put his head on my knee and was looking for an ear rub...so I take back a little of what I said :)
Mikey & Sammie
Image
Image
jasafar
Senior Hunter
Senior Hunter
 
Posts: 417
Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 3:55 pm
Location: West Chester, PA

Postby Beth » Tue May 23, 2006 9:18 am

You don't say where he is at on the "other" times when he will pay attention.. mine are great indoors.. fewer distractions, in closer proximity to me, etc and they do great. Outside...well, it depends on what is going on! Mine have been trained to "look" which means, I am not kidding, look at me...I have done it by putting them on a leash, do a sit, then take the best treat in the world, hold it so they get a whiff, raise hand to side of eye, and say look. When they hold eye contact, praise them, give treat. do again. Mine have caught on pretty quick and it does work outside. Good luck. Instead of "it's a Jeep thing", it's " a Brittany thing". Also, do a little obedience work everyday. That also helps them. Good Luck.
Beth
Senior Hunter
Senior Hunter
 
Posts: 252
Joined: Mon May 10, 2004 8:03 am
Location: Missouri

Postby jasafar » Tue May 23, 2006 9:26 am

Yup, he is much more focused indoors, unless he hears a dog barking outside and then he is waiting at the door in hopes that we will let him out!

We do a lot of training in our screened in back porch... there is more room, but a little more as far as distractions compared to inside.

The "look" exercise is good... we will try that. I'm sure with a treat I can get him to do most anything. I guess the only other focus exercise we do is when we pour the food into his bowl, he has to sit, wait and look directly at us. He has to wait at least 30 seconds or more before we tell him "Ok!"...then he can eat. It's funny, sometimes he sits there staring at us, with drool pouring out the side of his mouth.

Thanks!
Mikey & Sammie
Image
Image
jasafar
Senior Hunter
Senior Hunter
 
Posts: 417
Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 3:55 pm
Location: West Chester, PA

Postby HOPE » Tue May 23, 2006 10:06 am

I think it's a Brittany thing. Hope does the same thing. When she is in the backyard or walking she is always into something. My other Brittany, Freckles used to do it too. I have to say it's their hunting nature. :lol: When I have Spotsie a cocker spaniel and Hope, usually Hope is into something, Spotsie just follows what ever Hope does or she is eating anything she can find in the backyard. I am still trying to work with Hope to listen to me. But if a bird is in the yard I can forget about practicing. :lol: I know she is busy. :lol: My husband say Hope is the smart one and Spotsie not the smart one. Oh well they are both cute in their way.
Jackie M.
I promise I will be good this year
Image
HOPE
Field Trial Champion
Field Trial Champion
 
Posts: 2216
Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 3:35 pm
Location: Houston, Texas

Postby HOPE » Tue May 23, 2006 10:08 am

Oh by the way, I love Mikey's picture. He looks so handsome.
Jackie M.
I promise I will be good this year
Image
HOPE
Field Trial Champion
Field Trial Champion
 
Posts: 2216
Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 3:35 pm
Location: Houston, Texas

Postby jasafar » Tue May 23, 2006 10:21 am

Thanks. I never clicked on Hope's picture before...very cute too. Nice big eyes! :)
Last edited by jasafar on Tue May 23, 2006 10:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
Mikey & Sammie
Image
Image
jasafar
Senior Hunter
Senior Hunter
 
Posts: 417
Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 3:55 pm
Location: West Chester, PA

Postby adleblanc » Tue May 23, 2006 10:21 am

PJ is almost a year and a half and he now is just starting to become affectionate. Each dog is different so I wouldn't say it a breed or gender issue...it all depends on the dog.

We have had issues with PJ not listening to us. If your dog is treat motivated try using small pieces of hotdogs when training. You don't have to cook the hotdogs and I usually use turkey hotdogs as they are healthier. The higher the value in treat the more they are willing to listen to you...in time you would fade out the treats. Now I can get PJ to come to me even when he is playing. It takes a lot of time and practice so don't give up...one day you will notice it just finally clicks in their head.

Andrea
adleblanc
Master Hunter
Master Hunter
 
Posts: 760
Joined: Sun Mar 19, 2006 8:12 am
Location: Westfield, MA

Postby CJ » Tue May 23, 2006 10:32 am

If he's young, it may be that he's developing some independance, which is good in normal situations because it shows they feel secure enough/have developed correctly, that they don't need to look to you for every need. I'm inclined to think that in this case because you mentioned it's better indoors and didn't mention any odd developemental issues. You gotta remember that even though many people do not use them as such, they are bird dogs. Their instinct is to scope out their suroundings for game, so paying attention to you will/should fall down on the list of things to do when they get outside.
I'd guess that trainer mentioned several things to do to help focus him/get his attention, and that's good. Even if he was/is going to be a hunting dog, he still needs to keep you in mind and in ANY case, you want to be able to get their attention and be "minded" if you give them a command. It's just a matter of basic safety to be able to get their attention and call them back to you if they are about to get into a dangerous situation.
But all in all sounds like you have a healthy developing pup on your hands. Enjoy it and good luck with training.
Image
CJ
Master Hunter
Master Hunter
 
Posts: 606
Joined: Wed May 19, 2004 10:59 am
Location: Utard (Very south eastern Idaho)

Postby jasafar » Tue May 23, 2006 10:47 am

It's good to hear that our Mikey is normal! Maybe when he ages a bit more things will get better .. patience and persistance I guess. He is estimated to be around 1.5 years old, but he still acts like a puppy!
Mikey & Sammie
Image
Image
jasafar
Senior Hunter
Senior Hunter
 
Posts: 417
Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 3:55 pm
Location: West Chester, PA

Postby CJ » Tue May 23, 2006 11:18 am

FYI, with most gun dog breeds (more so for Labs), even though growth mostly is finished by age 1, "puppy hood" lasts another .5-2 years past that.
Image
CJ
Master Hunter
Master Hunter
 
Posts: 606
Joined: Wed May 19, 2004 10:59 am
Location: Utard (Very south eastern Idaho)

Postby Annie'sRebecca » Tue May 23, 2006 3:03 pm

Annie is the exact same way as Mikey....she'll pay attention to me great if we are in the house or the backyard, but if we are at PetsMart or the park, I can just forget about it. She's a little over a year old now.
Everyone gave you great advice! We are working on the 'look' command. And to get Annie to look at me in exciting and distracting situations, I have to use sandwich meat or string cheese. Sometimes you've just got to find something a little more interesting....we are at about 60% now, and we're meeting with the trainer again this weekend. If she's got any new and helpful tips I'll let you know.
You are not alone :!: :!: :!: :!:
Image
Annie & Rowdy
Annie'sRebecca
Field Trial Champion
Field Trial Champion
 
Posts: 1212
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2005 10:54 am
Location: Central MS

Postby swillow66 » Tue May 23, 2006 3:35 pm

We use "watch me" (same thing as "look"). Brush a treat under his nose so he knows you have one, with the treat in the same hand, put your index finger on the side of your nose (kinda of like Santa Clause would) and say "watch me".

At first he will concentrate on the treat, but if you practice this randomly inside several times each day, you will soon be able to do it without bait.

Try the same steps in the backyard, then on a walk, in the park, etc. Make baby steps from where there is little distraction to where there is a higher level of skills needed to listen to you.

Lastly, make it FUN and exciting!! Would you want to look at someone you thought was mad at you?? GOOD LUCK and love the pic!
Madison and Riley "Waiting for Spring!"

Image
To the world you are just one person, but to one person you can mean the world
swillow66
Field Trial Champion
Field Trial Champion
 
Posts: 1898
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2005 1:31 pm
Location: Colorado

Postby jasafar » Tue May 23, 2006 7:04 pm

Hey, thanks everyone...awesome tips! We also have our first private obedience lesson this coming Saturday. Wish us luck! Glad to know our Mikey is a normal, playful pup and that we're not alone! :P
Mikey & Sammie
Image
Image
jasafar
Senior Hunter
Senior Hunter
 
Posts: 417
Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 3:55 pm
Location: West Chester, PA

Postby Mark » Wed May 24, 2006 7:07 am

You are not alone..

Monty is a VERY independant soul, for parts of the day. He takes his job of monitoring the neighborhood cats, squirrels and rabbits, VERY seriously, and you will get a bit of a cross look, should you disturb him from his perch looking out the window. He is VERY intense..

Funny thing is, as soon as he gets tired of it (after 6-8 hours), he suddenly becomes Mr. Snugglebunny..

As others said, I think it is "The Britt Way".. these dogs are hard wired to hunt/stalk- I think it might just be #2 on the priority scale:
1. Oxygen
2. Hunting/stalking
3. Water/food
Image
Wheeeeeeeee!!!

Monty.
He's so hot right now.
Monty.
Mark
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1231
Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2004 3:20 pm
Location: Rosemount, MN

Next

Return to Obedience

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest