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Do you ever feel like your dog gets bored way too quickly? I've finally been able to get Galen into an introductory training class. The class has a collie, who spends most of her time gazing worshipfully at her owner, and a bunch of mixed breeds. We are doing the usual foundation work: sit, sit on a mat, look at me, etc. I feel like the other dogs will happily keep sitting for treats (or owner attention, in the case of the collie) all evening.

Galen, in contrast, wants to move on to the next thing right away. I was able to get three good sits out of him before he got bored. Then, I had to surreptitiously start throwing in down, touch, move to my left before sitting, and anything else I could think of to keep his attention. I feel a bit like I've got a kindergartener that wants to read the Chronicles of Narnia while the rest of the kids are still happy with Dr Seuss.
 

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Yup. I have to change things up every few repetitions for Fluffy, or he will start throwing out random things instead of what I ask. It’s funny, because if I stop our session early, he asks to do more!
 

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I have to do the same thing with Peggy. After a few puppy classes, I quickly realized my poodle would never be like the cattle dog, GSD, or Aussies. It was actually a wonderful aha moment.

I explained to our trainer what I was doing, just so she didn't think I wasn't following directions or that I was getting bored myself.

She was like, "Oh of course!! Typical poodle!" and now she commonly uses Peggy as an example. She also makes sure our station is loaded up with objects that Peggy can interact with—balance boards, buckets, that sort of thing.
 

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I have had the same thing with both my dogs. A few reps, then they assume they must be getting it wrong as I am still asking and try something else. At Poppy's puppy class I had to sit out half the games at the Christmas Party to give the other pups a chance - she was winning everything!
 

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Omg this is Annie. I struggled so much with teaching her basic obedience as a puppy - and then I stopped treating her like my old collie, and reduced repetitions to 3-5 and she rapidly learned a bunch of things. Even in our recent class, she came close to failing the assessment because the trainer wanted 5 recalls off leash in a row. Hah! She managed 2 or 3 lovely recalls before starting to wander off mid recall to sniff here or there. And after 3 or 4 reps, she gets bored and tries something else (like retrieving a different ball) or running over to someone else.

I liken her to a very clever child with ADHD and now tailor our training accordingly. Now we are sitting, now working at a down, now walking, now jumping, now down, now walking... etc.

I brought my mom came to see one of our classes, and she commented on how I needed to work with Annie so she was as attentive and focused to me as the herding dog that was there. Haha no chance of that. I chose not to fight losing battles. My dads corgi, with 5 min of work, is 5x as eyes on me as Annie is or ever will be.
 

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I brought my mom came to see one of our classes, and she commented on how I needed to work with Annie so she was as attentive and focused to me as the herding dog that was there. Haha no chance of that. I chose not to fight losing battles. My dads corgi, with 5 min of work, is 5x as eyes on me as Annie is or ever will be.
Galen was showing off his eyes on me because we had played so many games. The exercise was to take a few steps on a loose leash. He didn't really see the point of this. I threw in walking him in a circle and a figure eight back to our place. He snapped right to my heel, watching to see what I was about to do.
 

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Yes - eyes on me when I am doing something INTERESTING, like heeling, or asking for sitting or.... but eyes on me while we are just sitting there, gazing adoringly at me waiting for my next command with rapt attention like the herding breeds? Nope. I should have worked more at it when she was a puppy probably like you are but definitely not something that comes naturally to her. She is aware of me and positions herself so she can see me out of the corner of her eye - and is also aware of every other thing going on. It keeps me humble.
 

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Yes - eyes on me when I am doing something INTERESTING, like heeling, or asking for sitting or.... but eyes on me while we are just sitting there, gazing adoringly at me waiting for my next command with rapt attention like the herding breeds? Nope. I should have worked more at it when she was a puppy probably like you are but definitely not something that comes naturally to her. She is aware of me and positions herself so she can see me out of the corner of her eye - and is also aware of every other thing going on. It keeps me humble.
I could definitely tell a difference between the collie's worshipful gaze and Galen's curious gaze. He only had eyes on me because I was making a point to add a bit of randomness to my actions. If I had become predictable he would have definitely started tuning me out in favoring the rest of the class.
 

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Bobby definitely shuts down in clsss if there are too many repetitions. I remember when we picked up Bobby from the breeder that was one of the first things she told us. Poodles won’t keep doing things over and over and over. She said they learn best with variety and short repetitions. I would often forget that and feel like we weren’t doing well as often he would just shut down until the next thing began while all these other dogs would look adoringly at there people and do the same thing over and over again. I also noticed Bobby just loves to observe everything. While he has had excellent eye contact since he was a pup, it is often quick if there’s lots of action because he wants so badly to observe the world around him...unless I have treats of course. He is very, very food motivated so he keeps pretty focused if I have food. 😄
 
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