Didgie's Motion Fixation Progress

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by Linds, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. Pintage

    Pintage Mountain Dawg

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    You absolutely did! This forum is so awesome, I rattle off a ton of questions and within 24 hrs a bunch of people (far more knowledgeable and experienced than I) come to my rescue. xD

    Thanks everyone!
     
  2. DJEtzel

    DJEtzel New Member

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    Looks like she's coming around; you are doing a fantastic job, keep it up!

    I guess I never realized how much in bothered some people, and that it had a name until now. I just called it "my dog caring more about other things than me" and corrected that problem when Recon started displaying fixation around 4-5 months on Frag. Frag's not a dog that will typically tell another dog off, either, so Recon couldn't really learn from him. I just did a ton of recall and it helped avoid it, pretty much... but because I don't have high expectations there I guess, I still let Recon do it once in a while because a BC stalking is one of the cutest things I've ever seen, and I just recall him after he hits Frag's face once... because he won't do it to other dogs and then it's an even more distracting opportunity to work recall.

    But Recon was not nearly as fixated/driven as what you're working with, so I didn't need to alter much. He can go out in the park and as long as he's 25 or so feet from another dog he will stay engaged on me and not show any attention to them. When they get closer or really acknowledge him he either gets excited and too distracted because he's gonna meet someone or a little submissive and rolls over for the dog bounding our way. Then after their interaction if he's still close and they're not playing already/chasing, he will refocus on me and pay attention to recalls and commands. Sometimes they get running around and I have to wait for a break in their play when I know Recon will come to recall him.
     
  3. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    Summer tells Mia off. Mia thinks that Summer telling her off is tons of fun. So needless to say it escalates things instead of shutting them down. Mia's kind of a butt.
     
  4. DenoLo

    DenoLo New Member

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    You've made fantastic progress!!! I have a LOT of trouble with this with Lucy, I think it's the main reason why she has such bad leash reactivity problems. The only thing that's helped us so far is learning a really really good default sit.
     
  5. Pintage

    Pintage Mountain Dawg

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    I'm about to ask a really dumb question... I understand the importance of taking the puppy out on its own when doing offleash runs etc., but what about at home? Would it be okay to let the puppy run around in the house/backyard often with the adult dog, or would that "undo" all of the work put in when you're training/playing with them separately? Should you separate them if the puppy is starting to fixate on the older dog too much (at home)?
     
  6. Linds

    Linds Twin 2

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    If I was doing everything over I would still let Traveler and Didgie run and play together. I really think that if they are never around each other it would become a big novel thing rather than teaching the puppy HOW to be around another dog. And to be honest, I enjoy dogs that are together. I don't like keeping them separate. I would still let them play, wrestle, sleep together etc.

    I would have just really cracked down on calling Didgie off of Traveler, rewarding heavily and worked on the same stuff I'm doing now. Alternating fetch and building interest in the game and me rather than the other dog.

    I don't mean to make this seem like some big boogie man! I just was thrown by it and don't want others to be. I feel like no one talks about it but then it turns out a lot of people deal with it. Maybe not to the extent I'm dealing with but they deal with it all the same. But don't let it scare you and don't obsess about it! I would just pay attention and use your judgment!

    I hope Sara gets time in the next week or two and can write something up since she did a really great job managing it with Zinga and Zuma.
     
  7. Pintage

    Pintage Mountain Dawg

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    Okay, that's great to hear! I was silently freaking out for a day or two because importantly, I want this new puppy to be really good friends with Lugia BUT I also want to be this puppy's *best* friend. I'm really thankful to have the experiences of others to learn from, so it's just awesome that you've been posting Didgie's progress videos. :D
     
  8. Linds

    Linds Twin 2

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    :rofl1: I kinda figured! I didn't want that to happen, I don't want people to freak out and think their puppy isn't going to care about them!

    I just REALLY didn't think about this when I got Didgie. If I would have stopped for a minute and thought it would have made sense and crossed my mind but I didn't. So I just don't want that to happen to anyone else!

    Plus, this helps me keep track of my progress!
     
  9. Linds

    Linds Twin 2

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    So I'm just going to keep updating this thread because it's here and helps me keep track of it all. Anyone that has any tips or helpful info still welcome to chime in! I could use all the help I can get.

    Here's today's progress:

    [YOUTUBE]AYSLMaaOWNQ[/YOUTUBE]

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYSLMaaOWNQ

    The first 50 seconds are the hectic part and the last two minutes are the real progress.

    We went to a new place today to practice. Well, not a new place since she's been there many times, but new to working on this and the first time working on it out of the yard/house.

    It started out not great but not terrible. She was super scatted, her arousal level was high, she went after Traveler a few times and was not following through with her retrieve. I was really happy that I had worked on making her fight for the tug months ago to teach a retrieve (I would race her to the tug, beat her to it and make a huge deal about not giving it to her) because it seriously helps get her back into the game and me.

    After a few minutes though she 'calmed' down and started focusing in on me and I was able to throw the toy in the same direction as Traveler was running and she would bring it back. The last retrieve in the video she is running back AT THE SAME TIME AS TRAVELER! YOOHOO!!
     
  10. Linds

    Linds Twin 2

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    Great session today! I went longer than I should have and she got scattered at the end but the first part was great. She was able to retrieve when Traveler was staying, she was able to retrieve at the same time, she was able to hold her focus on me while he fetched.

    I started paying more attention to Traveler, having him go around, do positions. That was harder for her but she got it pretty fast. I also am slowly starting to have her do things like go around, go through my legs. In essence, pay more attention. It's all starting to come together. I'm so proud of her

    [YOUTUBE]8X4Ro0GW2Vo[/YOUTUBE]

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8X4Ro0GW2Vo
     
  11. CaliTerp07

    CaliTerp07 New Member

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    We've dealt with (are dealing with) this BIG time in Lucy. She is extremely reactive to motion, which is a major problem in agility when you have to walk out to the start line while another dog is still running the course. Our runs are MUCH prettier when it's a calm, collected dog before us vs. a super drivey one with limited self control. The more exciting the dog, the less brains my dog has when I take off her leash.

    We've done a lot a lot of work, but it's all in an agility setting. I'll send her through the weaves and have someone run the opposite direction past her. I'll run her down a straight line of 4-5 jumps while someone runs parallel to me (or even harder, the opposite direction) with their dog. My trainer will send her crazy dog through the tunnel or over the a-frame while I'll demand focus from Lucy and stuff her with cheese.

    We're making progress, but it's SLOW. It's a million times better than it was when we started 4 years ago, but it's a battle I think I'm going to fight her entire life.

    Good work with Didgie!
     
  12. SaraB

    SaraB New Member

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    I'll write something up tomorrow when I'm working because I *think* I have videos uploaded too. If I don't, I'll have plenty of a chance to get new ones since it looks like Zip Tie is a motion-junky too.

    Also, awesome job with Didgie!! She's come such a long ways. :)
     
  13. SaraB

    SaraB New Member

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    Here's the deal with motion fixation. Herding dogs have been bred for generations to watch movement of whatever they are herding, they have to be able to pinpoint that rogue sheep who is about to dart away from the mob and they have to be constantly aware of the direction/speed/body language of the stock. Not only that, but they have a very specialized version of prey drive that makes them chase automatically. For some dogs this isn't a big deal, working with their handler automatically outweighs the reward of watching movement. However, for a lot of dogs, that drive to herd is far more rewarding than anything else in the world.

    Instinct really is a big part of this, however it's hardly the only thing. A dog with instinct to herd but no chance to practice it will most likely not develop as much of an obsession as a dog that is allowed to practice the behavior repeatedly. Think reinforcement history here. The more times we reward the dog for coming when called, the more enthusiastic their recall will be. The more times a dog is allowed to fixate on other dogs (whether or not they are allowed to actually chase), they more times they are being rewarded (it's FUN to fixate!) and the more enthusiastic their fixation will become. By putting the dog in a situation where they are allowed to fixate, all you are doing is building drive for that behavior. Lesson here: Set the dog up for success.

    The other part of this is the handler/dog relationship and the drive/desire to preform the task being asked of them in place of fixating. This is a pretty educated forum, everyone pretty much knows (if they are reading this thread anyways) that in order to stop a dog from doing an unwanted behavior, you should give them something else to do. That something else needs to be rewarding in itself for the dog. Build drive for your replacement behavior before trying it around a moving dog.

    Impulse control is another factor in this. A dog with little impulse control will have a difficult time staying engaged with their handler when another dog is running. Susan Garrett's Crate Games is a great way to improve impulse control and is honestly one of the first things I do with a new dog. I work on this independently at first but as quickly as I can, I incorporate it into training sessions with all of the dogs. What I mean is, I have one dog stay in their crate with the door open while I'm working another dog. This teaches them that even though I am playing with another dog, they need to stay focused on their task.

    Here's a video of what I mean:
    [YOUTUBE]mqZ_Wt6ZcR8[/YOUTUBE]

    If at any time Zuma leaves the crate, Crate Games rules are in effect. The door gets shut to reset her and then opened again. I like this more than "spot" training for new dogs/puppies because it has the consequence of the door shutting if they make an error, it's black and white versus the abstract boundaries of a spot. However, I do work "spots" (exercise ball, on top of the crate, cat tree, perch, etc) once they have this concept.

    At this same time, I'm building tug drive and handler focus. We do mini-play sessions inside where my main focus is on the puppy but I slowly increase other dog play as well. Eventually working up to what Linds' is doing with Didgie right now.

    Here is a video of one of our beginning play sessions inside. I am mostly tugging with Zinga and throwing for Zuma at the same time. I'm setting her up for success, it's hard to focus on Zuma while she's tugging. I also have a rule that each dog can only play with their toy. If at any point they steal the other dog's toy, play stops until we get it situated out again.
    [YOUTUBE]4ybD7ekB0xU[/YOUTUBE]

    At this point, Zinga has very little dog focus when she's working. She will still stalk/chase Zuma in the backyard when they are playing but it is not an obsessive thing and very much a relaxed play. I can play disc with both dogs at the same time and not have to worry about potential injuries because they each go for their own discs. I'll try to get an updated video sometime of a two dog disc session.

    So really, it's a very avoidable problem if you watch for it early. The above things are what I do normally for new dogs, so it just never developed into a problem even though Zinga was very much interested in motion as a puppy.

    ETA: apparently I need to not wear scrubs so much. :rofl1:
     
  14. JustaLilBitaLuck

    JustaLilBitaLuck New Member

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    But they're so comfy!

    Also, I love how Grover is always hanging out in the background of your videos. That cat is awesome.
     
  15. Pintage

    Pintage Mountain Dawg

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    :hail: Thank you sssooo much, Sara! That was extremely helpful -- I haven't watched Crate Games yet, but I'll definitely get my hands on it in the next few weeks or so.

    Yes! I'd love to see this!
     
  16. SaraB

    SaraB New Member

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    I've started to do spot training with him too. I have that in a trick video somewhere. "Reward for dog I'm training, reward for dog in crate, reward for Grover on top of the crate". :rofl1:
     
  17. SaraB

    SaraB New Member

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    I highly, highly recommend it! If you can get into a Crate Games class, even better. :D
     
  18. JustaLilBitaLuck

    JustaLilBitaLuck New Member

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    Hahaha, oh Grover. He's building your multi-tasking skills!

    The first time I ever heard/read about clicker training was before I had the dogs. I just had Sassy, so I attempted to clicker train her. I got her favorite treats, one of those clickers with the pointer thing, everything. I was prepared. I did manage to get a few behaviors (wave, sit up pretty) on cue, but she had this "Go away. Get that out of my face." attitude the whole time. Oh, cats.
     

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