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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Jesse is just over 5 months now and absolutely loves her training class once a week. I am loving it too....most of the time. My question is (and I am sure it varies from dog to dog), when do their attention spans get long enough to actually listen to you reasonably consistently in class? And is there any way I can help get her to pay more attention to me? Our classes generally go for about half an hour, and I find that when the instructor asks people to get their puppies to sit, Jesse will sit immediately. But by the time everyone gets their pups to sit as well she is bored of sitting and is up again sniffing around. She knows all of the commands we do in class and is pretty good during the exercises (heeling is still an issue if I don't have food in front of her) but as soon as I praise her she is also up and trying to engage any other dog she can see or just sniffing around. She knows "watch me" and does it consistently at home, but it's hit and miss when we are in class or out walking...there's too many other things going on.

I am probably being a little harsh (she is generally a great puppy) as we had a very frustrating class this morning...other problem is that the only other dogs I have trained have been adults and paid attention really well once they got the idea of the training...I need to know what expectations I should have for a puppy!!

Thanks in advance...
 

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Sully was awesome in her obedience classes and her agility training. She is quick to learn, but unless she is working she is bored. She is getting better with age (now 29 months), but we still say "squirrel", referring to Up (the movie). I worked with her on the basics while the instructor got the rest into the sit just to keep her mind busy. Hang in there.:crossfing
 

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Charlie was very much like that when she was that age. We took the summer off and enrolled in another basic class in September. I saw a great improvement in her attention span and her ability to keep focus on the task at hand.
 

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Hi and welcome!
It varies so much from dog to dog. My Tito seems like he was born with a 1/2 hour attention span. Very focused. My Tiny is 12-1/2 and we're STILL waiting for her to develop an attention span beyond a few minutes ....
 

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Brady Aedan Finch and Wren
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Sounds to me like Jesse is doing a very good job!! Sometimes in classes when your dog knows an exercise that others are struggling with, it can take long enough for your dog to get restless and/or bored. So I would reward her and release. Then set up again. If she can go 5 seconds without self releasing, treat and break out at 4 seconds, 3 seconds, 6 seconds etc and you still may have not all the other dogs sitting :)

I am currently working with a youngster who can't seem to sit still and 'scans' any room for things to interact with (dogs, people toys etc) .. so she is being taught that it is okay to look but she gets rewarded when she focuses (or re-orients) on me and her waits and stays are being trained very slowly since she will really need a solid foundation. This is her dogality.

Different dogs require different approaches and your Jesse sounds as if she is doing very well .. oh, and most instructors are completely on board with you doing what works for your dog as long as you don't disrupt the class so I usually find a corner with Towhee while I am in the middle of things for my calmer dogs.
 

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I am currently working with a youngster who can't seem to sit still
I bet I can guess which one that would be!;)

My puppy is brilliant at learning, but anything that requires him to hold a position (and in turn keep himself still) is just too much at this point. He needs to be actively engaged or his attention goes elsewhere. Be thinking of Jesse's attention increasing in seconds rather than minutes for the next several months.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the advice everyone. I am feeling much less frustrated after a good night's sleep and am ready to begin it all again today!! I will definitely try giving her a few extra commands while everyone else is getting into position - hopefully that will keep her interested and more focused on me. And will remember to take deep breaths and say "she's still a puppy" when she's trying my patience!!
 
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