Saturday, May 14, 2011

Lesson 4 Week 1

Lesson 4

I miss videos from some participants… I hope you’re still posting it, it really doesn’t matter if you’re not finished with the trick just yet, you can always do that later, but it’s good to have some directions, that’s why I would like to see everybody’s videos!

But well, it’s time for a new to-do list:

1. see in what situations your dog gets really crazy and exited or runs as mad and name it – my “magic” word is “ajde, ajde” and you can really see how much speed they add when hearing it – in agility or when running in the fields. I got it by saying anytime they would be chasing each other in full speed or go crazy and run in circles on a wet grass.

2. make the front feet target lower&lower and smaller&smaller and then fade it completely, still circling away from the dog and have him follow your leg. Then, add movements to the side, forward and backward and reward your dog for being glued to the leg

3. side version of 2on2off: try to get side legs (the two left or the two right legs) on an object. The easiest is to choose an object that is angled (I put a pillow under the angle against the sofa or a wall), so that the dog can’t climb on it with all 4 feet. Because of 2on2off, they will probably try hind feet on, but position yourself next to an object so that the dog is parallel to it and will probably first try just one hind foot (it helps if you have a pee trick down already!): reward a couple of times so that he keeps it there as opposed to try to put the other hind leg on too and then see if you can get front foot on too. You can tell them to paw touch your hand that you keep close to an object and eventually fade the hand to have both feet on an object. Jackpot if the dog puts both feet on at the same time (vs. first hind, then front). Do it with both sides right from the start, you want to build muscle and balance on both sides.

4. one object into another: shape the dog to pick up an object, then to carry it around, then to carry it in the direction of another object, then to let it go close to it and eventually to actually put it in another object. I usually start directly with two bowls of the same size, but to make it easier, you can also use a toy and a box or something similar. Do try it with a bowl too, though, they require more precision.

5. hug the pole/umbrella trick, first clicking for any paw touch, then for sliding to the side and then for going more&more around the object, the final goal is a firm hug with one or both front feet around the object – see this video

6. stays with distractions: tell the dog to sit or down and continue with proofing the stay until the release word as we were practicing in 2on2off position already in the last lesson: have them stay in a position with you running passed them, throwing toys and treats, making different hand gestures etc. – then say “go” (sometimes standing still, sometimes while moving) and reward, preferably with a toy as you want a fast start out of the position on “go”


What I said,
"Our progress so far.
With the bowl into another bowl trick Tibby has started throwing the bowl. I’m not sure what the next step should be to get her to put the bowl into another bowl.

We are still working on pivoting. I really want Tibby to be able to heel someday. Was I moving around too much? What do you think?

We have so many tricks now it is too hard to get them all into a video (or into a training session). Good problem to have -- yay! for lots of tricks!

P.S. I worked hard to talk to Tibby, but I don’t talk very loud, so I hope you can hear it LOL!!"

What Silvia said,
"Yeap, I hear you talking! Very good! You both look happier today! Great progression with the tricks too, I see you’re getting there with left circling too! Position the target to close to the sofa she can’t pass it, it seems to be working well. Veeery cute sit up too! And a really good stay!

For bowl to bowl trick, position them so that she has the most chances to by accident hit the other bowl. Another way to make it easier is to always reward from the other bowl as that makes them move in that direction, in anticipation of the reward That would be called cheating a little, but it usually makes a great difference if you get stuck."

What a classmate Cheryl said,
I love watching you and Tibby work together It does seem that she is a little bit confused/frustrated because she doesn’t know exactly what you want.. Maybe if you can break things down into even smaller baby steps? Summer used to be like Tibby, but now I spend a lot of time in training plans to make everything as simple as possible so she is always succeeding. A training friends once told me to aim for as many clicks per minute as possible, so use an easier criteria. Now Summer seems to understand that a click means to keep repeating the behaviour, and then we build from there.

We also got stuck with the circling behaviour, but when I tried to step into the picture, she liked to stand next to me so we skipped a step. I think Silvia told me it was ok to walk around a little and cheat (like what you did), so its ok! Another tip would be to toss the treat off on your right side, so that when she goes back to the perch, she will turn a bit to the left to face you, you can click for that..

Just wanted to say don’t feel disheartened! When I first started clicker training with Summer it was VERY hard and I was sad everyday. Now we are a happy happy team! Keep up the good work!"


I think we are doing pretty good. Working, working, working. I wish you guys could see some of the puppies in this class. They are SO SMART!! The sideways 2o2o is a stumper for us so far, but some of the pups have it down already. And they are doing amazing handstands. Like everywhere, even in the front seat of a car!
If anyone has any tips on getting the bowl into another bowl let me know. Please!
Or on any of the tricks - input welcome! Suggestions requested! :)

1 comment:

Laura, Lance, and Vito said...

Which way does Tibby spin the best? To her right? If she likes spinning right then I would start with her at your left side and the 1st object out just a few inches in front and the 2nd bowl in front of you. In theory you are setting up a situation where Tibby will grab and TURN back to you/the bowl. Click the turning back instead of the cute flinging she does while standing still. I also put the treat in the bucket after I click to encourage movement there, and I sometimes cheat and move the bucket in the beginning so the object lands in it.

I kinda like the idea of using a chair to help on the pivoting, but really you should put it on the other side so that when she's going left she's not going into the chair, and when she's going right she'll end up hitting the wall/chair.

She's looking good!