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Discussion Starter #1
Fred is now 11,5 weeks old and being a typical puppy.

She knows ‘sit’, ‘down’ and a very selective ‘no’. If she’s having fun with either a toy or tearing down our furniture, there’s no way to grab her attention. Yes, In our frustration we even yell “FRED NO” but as expected, no success. Outside, we are by far the most boring object. Recall never works. We went to puppy class and she was all over the place. But definitely not focused on us.

The trainer said to upgrade our treats but except from hotdogs, I haven’t found anything that grabs her full attention. And those hotdogs are really hard to bring with you all the time. Any great tips on “the best treat your dog does anything for”???

Also, any other advice on how to become “THE person her world totally revolves around”, even outside, with pidgeons and other dogs around?

We haven’t taken her into the woods, or off leash a lot. We tried to keep her exercise to a minimum and max out on her sleep. I feel we might be able to exercise her a bit more off leash.
 

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timing and chastisement are the key, imo,,,but timing is the key, don't confuse treats with bribery,,treats are for when pup HAS behaved,,hand feed pup treats when your pup has obeyed key commands. it can be a long slog and just typing the old "repetition and consistency" sometimes feels like a copout,,but it does work,,there ain't no shortcuts, some dogs get it straight away, some don;t,,how they end up is entirely up to us and the time we're willing to put in
 

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It's time to pretty much "up the game". 11-1/2weeks old is old enough to begin some "bench work". Obedience work.
Put a harness and leash on her and start taking her through basic "ground manners". Walk, heel, set, stay, come. Multiple, short session each day.
"Bench work" is exactly that. You build a bench about mid thigh high, 2.5m long, and 650mm wide. If you can set up a trolley cable, on posts, at each end of the table, you clip her lead to the trolley cable. I highly recommend the trolley cable. It will serve multiple purposes. I promise. ;)
The bench puts her off the ground at a more comfortable working height for you. On the bench, you will have more of her attention, and you work the commands as if on the ground. Some folks build ramps at each end for the dog to walk up and down on the leash, and these work well for the first few weeks, sometimes I use them, sometimes not.
The key to training is, as harrigab pointed out, timing. Timing is critical for correction.It is also to have a plan.
What do you expect of the puppy/dog by this time next year? By Christmas? Work your plan backwards from that goal, to today, and come up with a structured, predictable, plan. Have goals, and milestones to keep you on track.
Training is also a game of two steps forward and one step back.Celebrate your successes and focus on weak areas.
As of right now, your girl should be able to walk on the leash, walk at heel for a little bit, come when called, mostly, stay for a few seconds, and if teaching sit, she should know that command. She will only do these commands for a few seconds, that's why timing is everything.You have to be ready for her successes, and reward them.
The recall is handled with a check cord and and harness. She absolutely should still be on a leash, or check cord, outside during training sessions.
She should also be fetching and retrieving with some consistency.

As for becoming "The Person"? That comes in time. What you really want to be is "In Charge". You have to be the one in charge, making the decisions. She won't hold it against you, and she needs it for her confidence and security. If you're "In Charge", you're the center. ;)
 

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Treats: Rafa my Vizsla will do anything for either small pieces of hard 'cheddar cheese' or 'Liver cake' a curious blend of liver, flour and eggs baked as a cake and cut into small pieces, both carried on walks in small sealable plastic bags
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you @gunnr for the elaborate answer. Just to understand a bit better: the idea of a bench is to put her higher up, to gain better focus?
I assume only ‘sit’, ‘down’ and ‘stay’ would work.

She’s not too well on the leash, I haven’t spend time to work not that, but she’s getting strong so its definitely time to start.

I focused on her being perfectly crate trained. She’s coming to work every day so she needs to be OK with being in her crate. She is an absolute angel in her crate. Makes my life so much easier. It was my only set goal, and it worked out perfectly. So your comment about making goals really resonates. I should make a plan! I don’t know what I want from her in the end.

I do exactly know what I want next: to come when called, always! Being able to focus on me, so ‘look at me’ is top on my list. ‘Stay’ should definitely get more trained. And I think we need to start enjoying walks together: ‘heel’.

Just curious about one more thing: WHEN do you guys train? In the evening? In the morning? And for how long?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Treats: Rafa my Vizsla will do anything for either small pieces of hard 'cheddar cheese' or 'Liver cake' a curious blend of liver, flour and eggs baked as a cake and cut into small pieces, both carried on walks in small sealable plastic bags
Gross 😉 but I’m going to get busy baking this weekend!
 

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It is gross :sick: until after baked when it is fine for us humans to smell/touch!:)

Recipe for Dog's Liver Cake which they all love above anything else

300g Liver (Lamb or Pig is fine)
1 crushed garlic clove
1 Large Egg
150g wholemeal flour

Combine into bowl, blend until smooth slowly adding flour. Mixture should be gloopy. If too runny add more flour, if too dry add a little milk.
Place into baking tin/tray 180C for 15-20 minutes, place knife in centre to test if it comes out clean then cooked.

Consume within 3 days or freeze in small bags and defrost as needed
 

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Frida010
No, the bench is used for just about everything. I've been using it with Finn as of late with some retrieval work.
Finn is a super natural retriever, and he comes right back every single time, but then he dances around just out of reach, or gets behind me. so I have been using the bench, and a "cone chute" to work on his retrieve to hand. The "cone chute" is two sections of fencing that form a "V". I sit at end where the sides come together, and he cannot get past me. He has to come to me, and his ability to dance about, just out of arms reach, or get behind me, is significantly diminished.
Whether the "come here" command for the dog requires it to walk 3 steps, 30 steps, or 300 steps, it's the same. Recall is absolutely done on the bench, so is basic leash work.
I can post a photo of the bench, and cone chute for you, if that would help.
Right now, I am training in the early morning, 0630-0800, and again late in the evening. It's too hot and humid right now to really push Finn. We went for a walk this morning and in 30 minutes the temp went from 21.C to 28.5C. The sun also came up and it got nasty quick.
Our early morning work has been primarily water retrieval work for the past two weeks, and the evenings are short session on the "return to hand". The early morning sessions also incorporate some PT for me, post knee surgery, so Finn is my PT partner.:cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Frida010
No, the bench is used for just about everything. I've been using it with Finn as of late with some retrieval work.
Finn is a super natural retriever, and he comes right back every single time, but then he dances around just out of reach, or gets behind me. so I have been using the bench, and a "cone chute" to work on his retrieve to hand. The "cone chute" is two sections of fencing that form a "V". I sit at end where the sides come together, and he cannot get past me. He has to come to me, and his ability to dance about, just out of arms reach, or get behind me, is significantly diminished.
Whether the "come here" command for the dog requires it to walk 3 steps, 30 steps, or 300 steps, it's the same. Recall is absolutely done on the bench, so is basic leash work.
I can post a photo of the bench, and cone chute for you, if that would help.
Right now, I am training in the early morning, 0630-0800, and again late in the evening. It's too hot and humid right now to really push Finn. We went for a walk this morning and in 30 minutes the temp went from 21.C to 28.5C. The sun also came up and it got nasty quick.
Our early morning work has been primarily water retrieval work for the past two weeks, and the evenings are short session on the "return to hand". The early morning sessions also incorporate some PT for me, post knee surgery, so Finn is my PT partner.:cool:
If you could show a picture, yes please! Makes it easier to understand.
 

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The table I am using is nothing more than a flat surface on saw horses. the ramp is a section of an aluminum loading ramp for my truck.
I tried to use Finn for focus, but as usual, he likes to play around on the table.He also knows I'm not serious, and this isn't a training session. There is usually a bucket of training dummies on the right side post. I guess since he doesn't see the bucket, he knows were not doing anything.
102681


Here it is from the end.
102682

Nothing is exotic. The posts are "T" posts for pasture fencing, and the orange rope is just clothesline material.
I could attach Finn's harness to the rope with a carabiner and use a second small rope to move him, or hold him place.
He's actually to big now for that, but I can loop his leash over one of the "T" posts to hold him place to work on the return to hand. I can also set the object on one end, command him to fetch and bring it back to me.
A lot of work canbe done on the table.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The table I am using is nothing more than a flat surface on saw horses. the ramp is a section of an aluminum loading ramp for my truck.
I tried to use Finn for focus, but as usual, he likes to play around on the table.He also knows I'm not serious, and this isn't a training session. There is usually a bucket of training dummies on the right side post. I guess since he doesn't see the bucket, he knows were not doing anything.
View attachment 102681

Here it is from the end.
View attachment 102682
Nothing is exotic. The posts are "T" posts for pasture fencing, and the orange rope is just clothesline material.
I could attach Finn's harness to the rope with a carabiner and use a second small rope to move him, or hold him place.
He's actually to big now for that, but I can loop his leash over one of the "T" posts to hold him place to work on the return to hand. I can also set the object on one end, command him to fetch and bring it back to me.
A lot of work canbe done on the table.
So I tried putting her on a large table but she was sooo scared of the height 🤭 She couldn’t focus on me, at all!
I live in an apartment so we don’t have the room to create a bench situation. One day we move to the country side and I’ll definitely set this up.

However, I have been practicing at home the past few days and today we went to the woods and she behaved perfectly. Long leash (or check cord) worked perfectly. Even off leash she came to me every single time. Even while she didn’t always want the boiled chicken treat. She is getting better at ‘look at me’ now that I train her for this every morning and evening. But nowhere near focus during puppy class 😉

I’ll continue doing my homework and maybe in a few weeks we can start practicing ‘heel’.

P.S I’m so jealous at that garden!
 

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It's normal for them to get anxiety the first few times on the table. It's sort of the underlying purpose of the table, which is to place the puppy/dog in an uncomfortable situation. Keep doing it and she'll get better with it.
Finn did the same thing the first few times, and now he jumps up himself so he can look in the "dummy bucket", when it's there, and make off with one before I can catch him.
 

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I keep a treat pouch on me when I go for walks, and just use kibble as treats. Maui loves his kibble so much that using actual treats didn‘t make a difference. As others have indicated, I reward the desired behaviour exactly when it happens, and give encouraging excitement. The treat pouch allows me to do that instantly, and not have to go find a treat, delaying the response. My wife doesn’t think I look terribly cool wearing it, but who cares? If it trains the dog, I’d wear clown makeup!😂
We don’t starve Maui, but we don’t overfeed him either, so he’s always interested in kibble. Maui’s about 15 weeks old now. We feed him 3x per day, and training him to ‘sit’ and ‘wait’ with command and hand signal before he’s allowed to go to his food bowl. These were the first and easiest commands because of the motivation. When I walk him, I randomly whistle to call him, and by rewarding him when he comes, he’s pretty much 100% now. One great tip I got was to start by only giving the command to ’come’ when you can see that he’s started coming towards you on his own, and then rewarding him. He associates the command with what he’s doing, and helps avoid calling a command and him not doing anything.
Good luck with it... it can be very frustrating, but we’re starting to get in sync, and every improvement is a victory!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I keep a treat pouch on me when I go for walks, and just use kibble as treats. Maui loves his kibble so much that using actual treats didn‘t make a difference. As others have indicated, I reward the desired behaviour exactly when it happens, and give encouraging excitement. The treat pouch allows me to do that instantly, and not have to go find a treat, delaying the response. My wife doesn’t think I look terribly cool wearing it, but who cares? If it trains the dog, I’d wear clown makeup!😂
We don’t starve Maui, but we don’t overfeed him either, so he’s always interested in kibble. Maui’s about 15 weeks old now. We feed him 3x per day, and training him to ‘sit’ and ‘wait’ with command and hand signal before he’s allowed to go to his food bowl. These were the first and easiest commands because of the motivation. When I walk him, I randomly whistle to call him, and by rewarding him when he comes, he’s pretty much 100% now. One great tip I got was to start by only giving the command to ’come’ when you can see that he’s started coming towards you on his own, and then rewarding him. He associates the command with what he’s doing, and helps avoid calling a command and him not doing anything.
Good luck with it... it can be very frustrating, but we’re starting to get in sync, and every improvement is a victory!
IF Fred was food motivated, I guess it would be the same. But she is never finishing her bowl, getting her to eat enough is a struggle. She doesn’t like treats either. Outside, even boiled chicken doesn’t always motivate her. That is why I started this post. It is difficult to train for attention or any other command when your dog doesn’t care much about food. Giving her a reward that beats eating funky stuff off the streets is the challenge. Because for some reason, that she does want to eat.
 

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That’s a tough one... I know what you mean about wanting to eat everything they see on the street!

Have you tried reducing the amount of food so that you are only giving her the amount of food that she ate at the last meal? Or perhaps even slightly less? Like showmanship... Always leave her wanting more?

Also, have you tried a different food? Maybe she just doesn’t like the taste of the food?
 

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IF Fred was food motivated, I guess it would be the same. But she is never finishing her bowl, getting her to eat enough is a struggle. She doesn’t like treats either. Outside, even boiled chicken doesn’t always motivate her. That is why I started this post. It is difficult to train for attention or any other command when your dog doesn’t care much about food. Giving her a reward that beats eating funky stuff off the streets is the challenge. Because for some reason, that she does want to eat.
sounds like your pup likes “freedom.” I work in the woods all day, our pup is 6.5 months old. A common exercise we do is I or my partner will call her in, have her do some obedience (we train at every meal so she knows these commands well), then “free” her by saying “break.” (She’s then free do run or do as she pleases).

a free word is great because it lets them know when they are “on or off.”

instead of feeding her a bowl of food try using meal time as a training session and reward bits or handfuls for obedience. My pup gets way more excited about food knowing she’s doing a great job and she’s making me happy. She was free fed at the shelter we got her from so she was also pretty “meh” about food at first!
 

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My Vizsla also ignored me as a puppy and was terrible at recall until I decided when she was ~4 mos old to Whistle-train her. It was a radical change and she was at nearly 100% recall (unless she’s chasing a rabbit or something) within 48 hours. It was nothing short of miraculous and I’ve carried a whistle when we’re out ever since.

The process went like this:
1. let dog off leash in yard and 30-50 ft away
2. blow whistle loudly and say “Come” in command voice (you can eventually use coded bursts for certain commands!)
3. when she runs to you immediately reward her profusely with loud Praise and fresh cooked bacon. I occasionally used chicken or sausage but nothing ever worked as well as bacon which I can also easily carry with me on trails.

i think whistle training is so effective with my dog (I reinforce it weekly, however, once trained the treats become secondary and she comes for praise and because she knows she should) because: 1. It becomes a really fun game for them, 2. seems to fit their instincts for training, 3. may have worked faster with two dogs as they were falling all,over themselves to get to me first for treats.

Now, when we’re out in the field she will come and just bump my hand with her nose but not take the bacon because she wants to get back on the scent of something but she still always returns to me as soon as I blow the whistle. :)

Good luck, it should work for you too. Treats are important during the initial training. My Vizsla is a very fussy eater, but the bacon and whistle have never failed to get her flying to us!
 

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Wow, looks Interesting!! May I ask what you use this for? Can you carry it in the field??



It is gross :sick: until after baked when it is fine for us humans to smell/touch!:)

Recipe for Dog's Liver Cake which they all love above anything else

300g Liver (Lamb or Pig is fine)
1 crushed garlic clove
1 Large Egg
150g wholemeal flour

Combine into bowl, blend until smooth slowly adding flour. Mixture should be gloopy. If too runny add more flour, if too dry add a little milk.
Place into baking tin/tray 180C for 15-20 minutes, place knife in centre to test if it comes out clean then cooked.

Consume within 3 days or freeze in small bags and defrost as needed
 

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Wow, looks Interesting!! May I ask what you use this for? Can you carry it in the field??
It is a special tasty Vizsla treat as an alternative to other treats. It sets just like cake and you cut it into small chunks and freeze in small sealable plastic bags. defrost as needed and carry on walks/training, lasts 3 days in fridge after defrosting. You can take it with you and it isn't messy, stays quite solid, doesn't crumble easily but you can easily break it apart into smaller pieces in the field.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
My Vizsla also ignored me as a puppy and was terrible at recall until I decided when she was ~4 mos old to Whistle-train her. It was a radical change and she was at nearly 100% recall (unless she’s chasing a rabbit or something) within 48 hours. It was nothing short of miraculous and I’ve carried a whistle when we’re out ever since.

The process went like this:
1. let dog off leash in yard and 30-50 ft away
2. blow whistle loudly and say “Come” in command voice (you can eventually use coded bursts for certain commands!)
3. when she runs to you immediately reward her profusely with loud Praise and fresh cooked bacon. I occasionally used chicken or sausage but nothing ever worked as well as bacon which I can also easily carry with me on trails.

i think whistle training is so effective with my dog (I reinforce it weekly, however, once trained the treats become secondary and she comes for praise and because she knows she should) because: 1. It becomes a really fun game for them, 2. seems to fit their instincts for training, 3. may have worked faster with two dogs as they were falling all,over themselves to get to me first for treats.

Now, when we’re out in the field she will come and just bump my hand with her nose but not take the bacon because she wants to get back on the scent of something but she still always returns to me as soon as I blow the whistle. :)

Good luck, it should work for you too. Treats are important during the initial training. My Vizsla is a very fussy eater, but the bacon and whistle have never failed to get her flying to us!
Thanks! We actually bought a whistle before we got her, to train her for emergency recalls. Haven’t gotten to it yet, because we haven’t yet found her favorite treat. Boiled chicken is highest on the list, but still can’t beat junk in the streets. The bacon sounds interesting, I just googled hoe to prepare it and on some (Dutch) websites they write it’s dangerous to give your dog bacon 😳
Recall is getting a lot better now that we are practicing every day. She’ll even come when playing with other dogs now! But street junk still beats everything else.
 
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