A couple training questions in one post

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by Laurelin, Jul 6, 2012.

  1. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    30,963
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    a lot
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Home Page:
    1. Mia is still struggling with her stays. She's pretty good for one or two at first, and then quickly gets bored. I really think this is what is happening with her. She also still has trouble popping up if I walk back towards her. Releases to me work a lot better than me trying to walk back and have her hold a stay. Feeding her fast and down very low helps some.

    Start line stays are having the same problem. It's getting to actually be a problem since we're doing more complicated exercises. I spend more time trying to get her to set up and wait than actually do the exercise. First few are good and then she's off doing the jumps by herself repeatedly, looking at me and wondering why no treats. Or she's doing the Mia version of the cheater/creeper and she pops up and takes a few steps or runs then remembers she's supposed to be staying and freezes.

    My instructor suggested trying to do a standing stay for her instead and see if she does better. I would have thought that would be more likely for her to move and 'cheat'.

    She also can't stay if I move out of her line of sight. I've been taking baby steps but it feels like we're going very very slow to nowhere. The first couple are good then she regresses to where I can only go a couple feet away.

    I've been working her stays EXTENSIVELY the past three weeks. I'm seeing minor improvement but not as much as I'd like. Stays are the hardest thing to teach her. My trainer said it was because she's so action oriented and getting to go do something is incredibly rewarding. My problem is that I don't have anything more rewarding than her getting to go do the exercise. Any new suggestions? I think my method is just not right for her.

    2. Is it possible to teach an old dog that has never played in her life save once or twice to like toys? My trainer likes to train with toys or have the option for it but Summer has zero interest in them and zero prey drive. Trainer thinks she has enough food drive to do what we need but wanted me to see if I could get any interest out of her in regards to toys.

    So today our 'training' was to play with toys. I got them all riled up and let Mia at the toy and was giving food for any interest in it. Summer gets excited when Mia is so she was acting goofy and I got her to right away start batting at the toy with her paws. I really think she was just trying to target it with her paws but I treated any interaction with the toy for her and by the end she had even mouthed it a couple times.

    Going about this the right way? Any ideas or suggestions for that? I actually think she had a lot of fun 'playing' but it was mostly targeting behavior, not play. Is there a chance it could turn into play?

    I remember when I first got her I bought her all kinds of toys and she never even looked at them. I'd love it if I could get her to play.
     
  2. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    30,963
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    a lot
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Home Page:
    I should add, for the start lines, we've taken to having someone restrain her for a lot of the exercises for the time being until I can work through her stays better.
     
  3. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010
    Messages:
    8,893
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2 Pit bulls and 2 Malinois, We like to stay busy.
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    Home Page:
    Definitely clicker/treat training will help with tug and ball playing.

    Also working the start like before you go to agility will help. Being a stickler too, broke the line? Sorry, we're crating, not restarting or giving in. It sucks but it is effective.
     
  4. Finkie_Mom

    Finkie_Mom It's A Red Dog Revolution

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2012
    Messages:
    1,794
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    Bensalem, PA
    Home Page:
    I actually found that standing stays helped Kimma a lot. I also did the exercise that I think Greg Derrett did in one of his videos where you put the dog in the stand and throw toys/treats/etc. around them and they can't move (like crate games without the crate and she would be in a stay LOL). Also keep working crate games, too. Try it with things like her tennis ball, too, as well as food.

    I worked waits/stays in to EVERYTHING once Kimma started cheating. Want to go potty? Gotta wait. Want to get your collar/leash on? Gotta wait! Food? Wait time again.

    I also learned that working her impulse control in general (rev up/cool down) helped stop her from cheating.

    Now she has awesome startline stays where she used to be a creeper LOL. And I will vary it from sits to stands (never really downs - I should try those, too) so it doesn't get as boring for her. There are also some times that I would go back to her and treat her and release her to just play instead of running equipment while we are at home training. She never knows what we are going to do that way, and it makes her watch me more (I've done that during class, too, when I've had the opportunity to).

    I know that some people also won't let their dogs run if they break the stay. There are a couple of people in my class who, if the dog breaks, they just leash them up and don't run that course. I've not had to go that extreme.

    For the toys, I'd say just keep doing what you're doing. Kimma's love of toys really didn't start until I got Pen who is all about them. And even so she totally prefers food.
     
  5. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Messages:
    6,215
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    ^Yes yes yes to both of these statements.

    Every person I know with an action-oriented dog whose greatest joy in the world is to do agility has to be incredibly hardcore with regard to startline stays. If they break the game is over immediately. At home, at practice, and at trials (which really bites when you've paid your entry fee and have a QQ on the line but one thank-you and walk off saves so many future runs...). If the dog's gotten in the habit of breaking it's that much more important to not let them get away with it ever.
     
  6. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    30,963
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    a lot
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Home Page:
    I always work her stays when we play ball. I need to work them in other places. With ball playing (and this is after a lot of patient work) she can hold it IF I toss the ball gently and do not toss it behind her or over her head. Ball has to stay in the line of sight or she's gone.

    I haven't ever really worked it before since she usually only seems to have one or two good stays up her sleeve to start with.

    I've probably been too lax with her. I've been careful not to treat her if she breaks but to set her back up. But last night she was just off doing what she wanted even more than usual. The other dogs in class are of course perfect at staying and seem to never break stays. You can walk circles around them and they stay.

    I'm buying some new equipment so will hopefully be working more at home on real equipment. I will start being a stickler. Mia doesn't hold the stay, then it's Summer's turn to play.
     
  7. Danefied

    Danefied New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2010
    Messages:
    1,722
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    One husband of 15 years
    Location:
    Southeast
    Have you done crate games with this dog?

    I’m doing crate games with a 4 year old who has 3 rally titles and one leg away from his first ob. title. I figured yeah, yeah, how much can we really get out of this? OMG!! Doing the whole DVD, the exact way she explains makes SO much sense, and I’m seeing a difference! And this is a dog who does not have any significant impulse control issues.

    I can totally see crate games working really well for start line stays.
     
  8. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    30,963
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    a lot
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Home Page:
    Yeah we're baby stepping crate games. That's been another hard thing for her to learn. We're still working on the first step of crate games. We do some crate games every class and at home. Mia is also way behind the other dogs in the crate games. But she does the actual agility exercises right the first time and with a lot more drive than the other dogs in class.

    I did figure out last night that I have caused some of the crate problems. It took having Summer out there too to realize that both my dogs were doing the same thing. They both immediately test the locks on the crates and start trying to work out if they can get out. Though to be fair Summer's first intro to crate games was only last night.

    I need to pull out the DVD. I bought it then moved and it's vanished. I keep thinking I won't buy it again because I have it somewhere but I still haven't found it.
     
  9. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    30,963
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    a lot
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Home Page:
    Oh hey, just had an epiphany and found my crate games DVD stuck on a shelf and behind some books. Hadn't even been opened yet. :eek:
     
  10. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Messages:
    6,215
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    [​IMG]

    "I’ve just had an apostrophe."

    "I think you mean an epiphany."

    "Lightning just struck my brain!"

    (sorry, I just love that movie)
     
  11. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    30,963
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    a lot
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Home Page:
    Ha! I just watched that movie a week ago for the first time in forever.
     
  12. smeagle

    smeagle New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Messages:
    299
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Australia
    Boredom can definitely be an issue for many dogs with stays, especially as it often becomes quite predictable i.e. you leave the dog in a stay. Walk 10 steps away. Turn around. Look at the dog for 2 minutes. Return to the dog and reward it for staying in position etc.

    When I train stays I make it as unpredictable as possible. I always release to the reward (either to a remote or to me as it's in my hand) - I never reward in position. I could release the dog just after leaving them and have only walked two steps ahead; or as I turn around; or after 10 seconds or 2 minutes etc. My dog looks alert the entire time she is in a stay, almost like she is ready to break any second, because she is always thinking 'is it now? is it now? is it now?' not 'Ho hum, another 2 minutes of this boring crap'. I actually practice releasing in stays until the dog breaks in anticipation of getting the reward, because I want them to learn what happens when they do break before I have released them (NRM/end of game etc).

    The issue she has in stays is probably the same problem you have in the ring lining up at the start peg. Be less predictable so the dog can't learn to predict when they will get the reward. I often have my dog line up at heel at the start peg in training, take two steps then release her to the reward. I never want being in the ring to look the same.
     
  13. Kilter

    Kilter New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2012
    Messages:
    536
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    One game you can work with her for impulse control is to have her on a long line or slip leash, whatever's easier. Toss the ball a few feet ahead of her, hold the leash and stay put. Most dogs will of course pull to get to the ball, you want to wait till they stop pulling, then drop the leash. Then make it that they have to check in with you with even an ear before you let go, then start pulling on the leash a bit and have them move back (if you work this gradually they'll know a tight leash doesn't get dropped and back up themselves). Also up the challenge by tossing the ball further, out of sight if that's what she likes....

    You can also set up the start line with multiple choices so it's not clear what she is to do first. If she breaks, go to the jump she didn't take and inspect it, pay attention to it and if she comes to you wondering go 'oh there you are, this is what I wanted' and put her away.

    With bird work we will set up 2 young dogs on a line and have a bird tossed. If one dog breaks, they don't get to go get the bird. If they both break, nobody gets the bird. Doesn't take them long to clue in and they HATE when the other dog gets the bird. You could work the same with a ball.

    As for toys it's a tough one, try different ones but some dogs just don't like toys and it's hard to motivate them towards it. Unless it's a toy with food in it....
     
  14. SaraB

    SaraB New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    Messages:
    5,798
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    I was going to reccommend crate games too.. It really helps to make stays black and white to dogs that struggle with them because the door is an actual barrier. What's even cooler is that you can practice running a sequence with your crate at the start line to REALLY make it black and white. Zuma and I have done everything you can imagine with crate games and more just to work on her impulse control in general. I really see a difference when I skip it for a month or two.
     
  15. Emily

    Emily Rollin' with my bitches

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2008
    Messages:
    2,115
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    1 dog, 1 guinea pig, 1 hamster, 1 American toad, 1
    Location:
    Illinois
    I LOVE crate games... one more vote for them here. Keeva can't stay if there's a toy involved unless it's in her crate. But in her crate, she can do it, if even just for a bit. The physical place and visual barrier definitely help.
     
  16. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    30,963
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    a lot
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Home Page:
    Well I watched the intro to crate games then had to stop when they said you'd need a full hour for the first part. Hopefully I can get to that after class today.
     
  17. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2006
    Messages:
    8,854
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Environmental Science
    Location:
    Vermont
    Crate Games is tedious in the beginning for sure, but so very worth it. I think Gusto and Mia are a lot alike, and I have have never once "taught" Gusto a stay. You can see his head clicking, thinking "I know this game" whether it is on the start line, the table, or his contacts. He transferred it so easily.
     
  18. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    30,963
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    a lot
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Home Page:
    So far just watching the intro has clarified a lot and I see a couple areas where I haven't been so clear with her. I think it's great to have the trainer introduce the idea of crate games in class but it's hard to go over all the rules in a short amount of time (and keep the new handlers interested).
     
  19. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    30,963
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    a lot
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Home Page:
    One question about the first stages of crate games. I'm assuming when she says we're wanting 5-10 repetitions that we want correct repetitions? The GSD they're using in the video is really pretty calm and I am betting that Mia will be moving a lot more and doing a lot more incorrect behaviors, at least at first.

    If the dog is still popping up sometimes after 10 reps of round 1 do you wait and keep doing round 1 till they seem to get it better? Or do you progress and then just keep shutting the door if they make a movement to leave the crate?
     
  20. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Messages:
    6,215
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I go by the old Bob Bailey rule of at least 80% correct responses at the desired intensity level before moving on. But I don't linger at that 80%...I tend to raise criteria as soon as we get there, even if it's only in a small way. If we are at less than 50-60% correct or if we plateau I try to make it easier somehow.

    The more things they do wrong, the more possibilities they eliminate as potential alternatives. Trick is to make it just hard enough that they are offering majority good things (to reward) and a variety of wrong things (to eliminate). Keeps it interesting and moving along.

    I hope that actually answers your question lol
     

Share This Page