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Thread: Need More Focus.

  1. #1

    Question Need More Focus.

    I am the proud owner of an one year old Alaskin Malamute who loves to be independant. I am running him in level two obediance and the only thing stopping us from moving forward is his focus on me. I ran a level five dog tonight and it was so nice to have a dog that responded instantly to every command. What are some good attention exercises that I could do with Baxter or will he get better when he loses his puppy ways?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    South West WA


    I have recently gotten back in to obedience with my 6 year old red cloud. We were up to the point of going for our CCD but then I got a pup and that all went by the way side so we are basically starting from scratch.

    A lady in my group was telling me about a focus exercise she does with her husky (spooky coincedence!) where she uses a clicker or a marker word along with food. She gets her husky to meet her gaze and then says 'yes' (thats her marker word) when he does and gives him a treat. She puts her hands close to her eyes when she does this. Then she does it again and again and then makes him hold her gaze longer before marking it and rewarding him. The puprose of having your hands by your eyes is that as you increase the time they hold your gaze you can also start to move your hands away so that eventually you should be able to wave your hands around like a looper and your dog should remain completely focused on holding your gaze.
    Owning a dog should be a partnership. Much like a good marriage it should be based on love, trust and devotion until death do you part.
    R.I.P Dali: 10th May 1998 – 20th December 2011

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    A malamute. And Huskies.

    Erm - the ADD of the dog crowd.

    Met a gorgeous Huski x BC this morning. Attention span - almost zero.

    It will improve as he gets older but there are lots of games you can play to help him learn to focus.

    A lot of them involve good timing and food. Really yummy food and really short training sessions. If he gets one thing right - especially something a little bit hard - party with him immediately. Woop it up, give him lots of little bits of treat or something that takes a little while to finish (Susan Garrett uses chicken necks dipped in salmon oil). Don't ask him to repeat the task he just got right without first having the big party. And maybe leaving it to the next training session.

    Break each training task into tiny little pieces and just work on one bit at a time - with 2 sets of 5 to 10 repeats, and a break (party) in between.

    Susan Garrett is about to start Recallers 3.0 which is an online course to aid with recall games - you get about 37 of them.
    Susan Garrett Agility Training

    She's also running something called "puppy peaks" which shows what she does when her dog loses focus. Mostly she ends the training session and reviews what she did with a view to helping her puppy get it right next time. So you get to see where it goes wrong, and what she does to fix it. She usually reduces the distractions and make it easy for the puppy to get right ie if you can limit the choices to just one or two things and make one of them much more attractive than the other...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    melbourne australia


    I have used Triangle of temptation on Bernie, that gives me the focus. I use the marker "yes", as tend to have my hands full of other stuff so a clicker would be dropped probably. I built the focus gradually, will waiting just 2 more seconds before i reward each session.
    My dog is frisbee obsessed. Every cell of his body quivvers for it.
    This is his reward after training. To run after the frisbee.
    Control of his drive is always required. I need to keep him out of peak drive or he's deaf. The only thing that will bring him out of peak drive is the frisbee.
    He will ignore the rottie biting his back legs in a stand. He'll ignore offers of food, other toys, other dogs, traffic, strangers in town etc. Providing i have his frisbee. Mind you, being in psychology, i tend to think i have developed OCD rather than an obedient dog lol

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