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Insane for bugs = training difficulties

Posted: Wed Oct 01, 2014 10:11 pm
by sunshine809
We have a super high energy 8 month old Brittany pup and are having a difficult time with training. We successfully trained our other Brittany pup (1 yr 3 mo old) with basic obedience, and have tried the same methods with the younger one. In the house he is fine....sit, stay, come, down, off- no problem. But the second he goes outside.....all training is out the window. We know you typically have to retrain for different environments, but we can't even get is attention. He transforms to bug-hunting mode and does not respond to his name or treats in the slightest.

Any tips?

Re: Insane for bugs = training difficulties

Posted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 7:21 pm
by Lisa
First, you need to figure out what is more rewarding than hunting bugs. Will he work for a favorite toy? A dummy soaked in bird scent? A bird wing? Some super yummy treats? Even just a chance to chase bugs for a bit? Until you can figure out what is most rewarding outside, you're not going to get much training done.

Personally, I'd use chasing bugs as a reward at first, since he obviously likes that. Take him outside on leash, call his name - when he turns his head to look at you, tell him "ok, go see" and let him chase a bug. Call him back (or lead him back with the leash), repeat. Build up to other behaviors. Use environmental rewards at first. They may eventually lose their power and you can switch to something else.

Also, check out the book "Control Unleashed" which has some great games for teaching dogs to focus in highly stimulating environments.