Rally Training Tips?

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by PlottMom, Mar 13, 2010.

  1. PlottMom

    PlottMom The Littlest Hound

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    I have the utmost confidence in my dog, unfortunately I think we may have bitten off more than we could chew. She finished her Rally Novice title so easily and with two second places, I've entered her into two Rally Advanced classes that are (way too) quickly approaching. So, here's our trouble spots - desperately seeking advice here!

    Jumping: Pretty sure she'll have this down by the time we go in the ring, but it never hurts to get some more opinions. She can do the jump easy, but still wants to go around it! It's driving me nuts. I still have to kind of half-lure it for her to get the picture. I'm also starting from a sit, though... perhaps tomorrow when I start doing it moving rapidly she'll just go.

    Stand: This is the HARDEST for us! Daisy is naturally inclined to sit whenever we stop - it is really starting to scare me! This standing thing is really not going my way, so any advice would be great. I've tried luring it - she lies down or just refuses to go for the bait. I've tried "helping" her up - she thinks it's great fun to leap to the side to avoid me picking her up and doing zoomies and ending up in my lap. :wall:

    Pivot: Being a basset, she is a rather long dog - any good tips for teaching her she can in fact figure out where her back legs are and stay in heel position?

    Thanks everyone !
     
  2. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    Click/mark the act of jumping. (lol this is why I never lure) Or toss a toy/treat whilst she is in the air.

    Does she have to stop in a stand? If so try cuing stay whilst heeling and keep walking then stop, reward for the stand stay. IF this works well then do this and slowly reduce the amount you walk ahead till you cue stay and then stop with her.

    Pivoting.. teach her to heel backwards, then back a small circle, then it ends up being one of those awesome pivots. Its much easier than it sounds. You only need a few steps of back to get the ball rolling. Click for any backwards movement to begin with. DO.NOT.LURE. :D
     
  3. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    I do agree with Dekka's advice, just a few things to add:

    I've noticed that a lot of times when people do a jump starting with their dog in a sit, they sit the dog too close to the jump, and the dog ends up refusing the jump. Bassets especially, IMO, will probably need more space to get up the speed to do the jump. So I wouldn't start in a sit until she has a good grasp on what the behavior is. So yeah, try it with some speed, and click the highest point of her jump, when she's right over the jump.

    What exactly does she have to do for the stand, does she have to stand from a sit or just remain standing when you stop in heel?

    To teach her to stand from a sit, I start with the dog sitting in heel position. Then I turn into them, basically crowding them and getting in their space, until they decide they need to back up. As soon as they stand, I click and move back out of their space so they hopefully won't back up as much (but if they back up a step or two that's ok). After about 5 clicks they should be standing without backing up; if not, you can work with a barrier behind her (use a piece of furniture or work in a corner) so that she can't back up. I know that most people lure the dog forward to get them to stand, but with the method I described, the dogs tend to end up just lifting their backside; with luring they tend to end up taking a step forward with their front feet.

    If you're heeling and you don't want her to sit when you stop, an easy trick is to stick your left foot under her in front of her back legs, so that if she tries to sit she will hit your foot and stand back up. You are not kicking her or anything, just providing a barrier so that she can't sit. Of course you will need to cue the stand when you stop from the beginning, otherwise you will loose your automatic sits.

    Dekka's method of heeling backwards in a circle is what I do too. I also make sure to click the back legs moving inwards. It takes quite a few reps for the dogs to figure out exactly what you're clicking them for, but once they do they become very good at pivoting in.
     
  4. ihartgonzo

    ihartgonzo and Fozzie B!

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    When I was teaching Fozzie jumps, he would refuse them often, too... I made one out of PVC pipes and brought it inside, set it up in between a wall and the couch, and made the whole thing VERY exciting, using his favorite teaser pole toy and click/treating him just as he was taking the jump. Set her up for success and make it impossible for her to refuse the jump until she's consistently taking it. :)

    For standing, I find that it's easiest to teach a stand without allowing the dog to step forward on their front feet. You want them to fold up with their back feet, so they aren't stepping forward. This will require lots of positioning, capturing and being very quick with a clicker... but she'll catch on after just a few successful stands! When I started Rally, I stopped asking him to sit when I halted, and was very quick to reward stopping while he was still standing; slowlyyyy stretch out the time that she's standing before you mark/reward it.
     
  5. PlottMom

    PlottMom The Littlest Hound

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    I never started Daisy with a clicker :( honestly I'm not really sure how I got her to this point... lol

    We went to run-thrus today, which was terribly helpful... we ran the advanced course and she TOOK THE JUMP! Trotted right up to it, looked hesitant for a second, but I had already kinda yelled "jump" and she just hopped right over it! Then of course I made a huge party about it and she got excited and zoomied out of the ring, but you'll have this ;) So now I just need to make ours at home impossible to get around so she can't refuse, and I think we'll have it... amazing, the one thing I thought she'd never do, she did great this morning.

    As for standing, my rally trainer told me that in advanced, you're allowed to "help" the dog, so that's what I did today ;) she's getting better about staying once I put her there, but I will certainly use you guys' tips. (to answer questions, eventually she'll have to learn a 'stand for exam' [stand your dog, leave your dog, judge comes in and touches dog, return to your dog], and in rally for example our station today was a sit, stand & walk around dog, and forward.)

    Pivots were our worst (except when we joined the obe run-thrus for their long sit and down stays... :wall: ) so I'm going to start immediately on the backwards heeling stuff... we messed with it some at the club building against pieces of fencing, and she seemed to pick up the concept pretty fast, so I'm thinking we'll practice in my skinny hallway first and graduate to corners and circles. Thanks for all your help, guys!
     
  6. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    I personally LOVE the clicker for Rally/obed stuff. Makes it a zillion times faster to train. But I am sure you have some sort of marker word like Yesss? That works too. Try NOT to reverse beside things too much. It will also become a crutch. You want her to think about what she is doing.
     
  7. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    Right. I start teaching heel next to a barrier, but I rarely do pivots next to barriers. Cause really, YOU are the barrier. :)

    BTW, think standing pivots are hard? Just for fun, you should try teaching pivots next to a wheelchair. :D It's fun though, I love wheelchair work... but it is challenging.
     
  8. PlottMom

    PlottMom The Littlest Hound

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    I worked her up and down the barrier like 4 or 5 times until i thought she was getting the idea of the word "back", and then moved out to the floor. She retained it pretty well.

    And yes, when they get something right, i just use "YES!" I'm not very coordinated with leash+clicker+cookie.

    I cannot even imagine doing wheelchair work - I used my friends once when I broke my ankle, and I also sit in it at the gym when he plays wheelchair bball - I'm afraid of it rolling away with me, I can't begin to consider training from one ;)
     

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