He Can't Focus With Food.

Discussion in 'Training Challenges' started by Mr-Remington, Nov 14, 2012.

  1. Mr-Remington Experienced Member

    I'm not sure where to put this so feel free to move it if its in the wrong place.

    My roommate has a Parson Russell Terrier, Chance. I decided to try training him, since she doesn't care for it. He is really smart and knows sit, down, stay, wait, shake, spin, around, play dead. But lately he gets so fixated in the treats that he can't sit still and will every trick he knows, and eventually will just play dead and lay there until I give him a treat. Or He won't listen to me at all, and just stares at the food.

    I'm not sure what to do because he isn't toy motivated either. He likes to play with the tennis ball but again he gets to fixated on it that he can't focus and will just bark at me to throw the ball. Is there something I can do to teach him to stay calm and focused on me so I can teach me new tricks?

    My roommate thinks he is a lost cause but I don't think so.
    MaryK likes this.

  2. southerngirl Honored Member

    Here's a video that might be helpful
  3. Mr-Remington Experienced Member

    Thanks Southerngirl I will try this with him today to see if he will stay more focused on me.
    Tâmara Vaz, MaryK and southerngirl like this.
  4. MaryK Honored Member

    Orpheum gave me some great advice re food rewards. She said that some dogs are so focused on food they shut down. So she suggested using a target stick instead.

    Sounds like this is the problem you're having with Chance, he's just shutting down totally on you.
    Tâmara Vaz likes this.
  5. Mr-Remington Experienced Member

    How do I use the target stick? Can you explain it to me?
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  6. MaryK Honored Member

    Here's a great video which shows exactly how to start using a target stick.

    And if you have problems buying one, you can make one using an old antenna, preferably retractable, with a ball on the end it will work just fine.:D
    Dogster and orpheum like this.
  7. orpheum Well-Known Member

    You're an excellent learner MaryK :D:ROFLMAO:
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  8. orpheum Well-Known Member

    :eek: :eek: Orpheum is a He, not a She :ROFLMAO::cool:
    MaryK likes this.
  9. Adrianna & Calvin Experienced Member

    Hi Mr Remi

    Is the problem that you can't lure him? Or that you can't solicit new behaviors? If it's the former, then he needs to learn some "zen" and self control. If it's the latter, just try some pure shaping, like the "101 things to do with a box" game. This should get him back into the zone.
    MaryK likes this.
  10. MaryK Honored Member

    Thank you. I had a good teacher:D(y)
  11. MaryK Honored Member

    Oooops:rolleyes: were was my mind must have had a 'blonde moment':whistle:
    orpheum likes this.
  12. Mr-Remington Experienced Member

    I can't lure him, or do anything really. He zones me out and is way to hyper and focused on the food. He can't sit still if he knows theres food. I'm going to try the "101 things to do with a box" game and see if that helps.
    MaryK likes this.
  13. orpheum Well-Known Member

    If he doesn't even leave the food or can't even sit I would try this. My most recent dog (jack russell) learned this as his first excercise. He is very motivated and can patiently wait for his treat/food even though he is a high drive dog.
    MaryK likes this.
  14. havenfun New Member

    Take the food out of the equation and put it in a bowl around the corner in the next room. The food is obviously a great reward as your little guy is getting so excited over the thought of it. The trick in using it as the reward is that it does not come into sight until you have got the behaviour and marked it with a click. you then go to the bowl, take a treat and bring it back to him. This way he still gets the treat, but you do not have to work with it on you or in your hand as you start. Begin this with something simple and gradually work closer to the reward bowl. If you find he starts getting too excited, take a break and start again next time further away from the food. All you need to do is set up the routine with him and then you will be able to use a treat pouch down the track. In short, teach him how to learn. Take it slow so he is getting it right and getting rewarded. Once he understands the system, he will work to get the rewards. Rewards are the result of the behaviour being marked, not something that is brought out beforehand (shaping not luring).
    Good luck. I hope my 2 cents helped a bit too.

    Mr-Remington and MaryK like this.

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