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Leerburg's Q&A database has 3352 entries from multiple categories.

 

Categories: Basic Obedience

Q. I’ve been training my 20 month old GSD for obedience competition and I felt we were ready for the ring. I took her to a 2 day trial last weekend and it was ugly. What am I missing here? Dog shows are not new to her, she’s been shown in conformation and has points.
I spent a lot of time training my 20 month old German Shepherd in AKC Novice obedience. I felt we where ready for the ring. Ugly 2 days, would not sit on the stops, did not heal close, left me on the about turns. It was like she was in another place. She did stand, long sits and downs. On the recall she which was one of her strongest-came sat off to the side and did not finish. I took her out this morning and she did great. I already ordered the DVD on jumps thinking we where ready too move on soon. Well, what am I missing in this? Dog shows are not new to her she has been shown in confirmation and has points. It was like there was nothing between the ears.

Thanks

A. It appears that your dog wasn't ready for the level of distraction found at a dog show. Have you done obedience fun matches with her in a show environment? Doing conformation is not at all like doing obedience from a dog's point of view. You may also have been behaving differently than you do in training and that can really throw a dog off.

I think your dog lacks engagement and motivation, so I would recommend going to the basics and working on that. I looked back through my emails and see that just 2 weeks ago you were asking questions in which I also recommended teaching focus and engagement. There aren’t any shortcuts, and it takes longer than a couple weeks to teach a skill well enough for the dog to be trial ready. I've shown multiple dogs in AKC obedience, Schutzhund and other dog sports, so I’m aware of the training it takes to get a dog able to handle the rigors of a trial situation.

I'd recommend:

The Power of Training Dogs with Food
Advanced Concepts in Motivation
Focused Heeling with Michael Ellis

I'd hold off on jumping training until you and your dog master the foundation of the system, engagement and focus.

Good luck with your training.

Cindy Rhodes
  
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