The food thing is so true...my dogs are BAD about that. I KNOW it's something I'm doing, but I can't figure it out...they will sit, stay, come...all that just on command with no reward other than a "good dog." But focus, forget about it unless I have food. It IS a newer command, and by nature is more difficult (the whole point of the command being to ignore distractions)...but aside from regressing to giving them high reward treats and weaning off...I've yet to get them to listen to more than few focus commands once they realize I'm not giving them treats. And yes, I have corrected them...but Molly particularly is so intense about other dogs, particularly small ones, that all the corrections in the world don't matter sometimes. I'd have to yank her off her feet and draw blood to get her to pay attention in some scenarios, and I'm just not willing to do that. In those cases, once I've established that they won't focus, I just put them in a sit-stay, which they WILL do.
I don't know what to do, truthfully. I know the answer is probably right there...I'm not willing to correct them to the level they should be, especially since they DO, from what I've observed, understand what focus means. But that's the long and short of it...I am not willing to seriously hurt my dogs...I'm too much of a wuss I guess. I've bought a good handful of training books so I'm essentially trying to train myself...but anybody got any advice for here and now?