Training Opportunity

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by Lizmo, Jun 8, 2010.

  1. Lizmo

    Lizmo Water Junkie

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    I have the opportunity to help a lady out with her young (6 months, I believe) Rat Terrier.

    Basically the dog is just being a puppy. Not coming 100% when called, proofing the stay, etc. Not hard, but it's been a while since I've taught these things! lol

    I'd just like some imput to make sure I'm doing this correct. The dog is allowed to run on the property (country, farm, cows, etc). The said dog is blowing owner off when called and going in to pasture with the cows. My thoughts are the dog needs to be on leash till it's reliably coming when called. While working on the recall. Correct?
     
  2. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    Yeah..... Do NOT call the dog unless she's 100% sure the dog will come. Then give super awesome treats when he comes, huge reward.

    You might also want to work on an emergency recall.

    Have fun!
     
  3. wagthedog

    wagthedog New Member

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    I agree, the recall should never be used unless the owner is positive the dog will come. I usually recommend a long line be used so the dog can be reeled in (very gently with encouragement and praise all the way) if the cue is ignored...then lots of treats and praise even though the dog didn't actually come on his own accord! So many dog owners are surprised that you would reward the dog (for not listening!) in this situation, so I always explain and stress that "come" should NEVER be associated with anything negative!
     
  4. Maura

    Maura New Member

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    She needs to do long line work with the dog.
     
  5. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    I agree and actually, the dog is not "blowing" her off. That, I think is important to not have in one's mind-set. It's not like the dog "knows" but is being "stubborn." It is simply that the dog is motivated by something else in the environment more than he's motivated by what she has historically had to offer. That's it. It stops there in his little predator brain. So, like it was said, (I'll just reiterate) no using the cue to come unless he is already coming. No opportunity to get into situations where she has no control over whether he comes or not. Get the dog to come by some other means (a long line or enticement by running away squeeking a toy or being more exciting than what he's motivated by etc) rather than the cue until very reliable. And heavy reinforcement when he does come. Practice in very boring places, where he isn't interested in anything else...like in the house (to start) is helpful. When the behavior gets more regular, start adding the cue WHEN you're sure he's going to come. One or two times where the cue doesn't get him coming and you've just lost him. Remember, cues don't drive behavior. Reinforcement (or rather consequences) do.

    Long lines are great except most dogs will come when on them because they know they have no choice. But you can prevent him from going in the pasture with one. I like lots of practice without a line in an easy-to-comply location, free of a lot of distractions. That way it's the dog's choice. Making the "right" choice, using his own head.... and then being reinforced heavily really makes them learn how to learn better than force or reeling them in with a long line.

    A few other things that people don't always think of and as a result, inadvertently punish the dog when he comes. He's outside having fun and is called, put in the house and the owner leaves for a few hours to do errands. All the fun just stopped and he was left alone. Or they'll call him to come and clip his nails. If the dog is having fun outside and is called inside...if he'd rather be outside, then continue with some game or something fun inside. It's not just about a treat and that's it. What follows for a few minutes should also be something good so if the dog comes, make sure there's a big pay off for him. A treat and when possible, returning him to what he was doing that was fun....as long as it's something that is okay for him to be doing or create some other little thing that he enjoys when he has to stop what might have been or was... motivating for him before.

    When I use to hike with my Doberman, he'd be running, chasing squirrels, having a wee of a time. I'd call him to come (he had a pretty darn good handle on coming already) or I'd just wait until he came near on his own. Then I'd hold his collar, give him a scrumptious treat, praise and release him back to do what he was doing. He got so he'd come on his own or if I called him. He'd come, check in, get a treat and go back to his fun. This helped develop a very good recall. No skin off his nose if he came. He got a great treat PLUS the fun didn't end.
     
  6. Lizmo

    Lizmo Water Junkie

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    My answers/questions in purple. Thanks Doberluv!
     
  7. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    A lot of trainers recommend changing to a new cue. The old cue has been lost on the dog from repeatedly hearing it, but not being able to pair it or associate it with the wanted behavior. And sometimes it becomes associated with something entirely different...perhaps something the dog was doing when he heard the cue. If he hears it enough times paired with that other something, that cue then represents that other thing he was doing.

    However, it has been my experience that it doesn't much matter if you change the cue. If you start fresh and use the cue correctly...ONLY when the behavior is happening...never missing an association, the dog seems to be able to re-create the association and the cue will come to have meaning to the dog. So, it's personal preference, imo. (but that's just my opinion) It's hard to change some cues for people. I mean, if you've always said, "come" or "let's go" and it's such a strong habit, it may be difficult to remember to use something else every time. (we're harder to train than dogs, I think. LOL)

    Anyhow, I've had with my own dogs, times where I've screwed up a cue, like "let's go" with Jose`. With his recall in particular, the behavior regresses easily. So, I've had to give him refresher courses periodically and raise the frequency that he gets reinforced. But I just kept the same cue. And he comes to realize that when he hears those words, it's worth it to come. LOL. He's extremely food motivated and it doesn't take long to spruce up his recall. But yeah....if I go too long inbetween without a real reinforcer, the behavior falls apart. My Doberman wasn't like that. It took very little to keep him sharp and Johnny on the spot.

    Yes, isn't that nice? It keeps them from running way out of sight, which I don't like when hiking in the woods. I mean...I let the big dogs run a little out of sight but I don't like it for more than a very short time. So, I would call them back to "check in" if they don't do it on their own in short order. Of course, now, Toker is gone to live with my son. She's his dog after all. :( So, I just have the Chi's and they really need to stay closer to me. Just after Lyric died one of many poems I wrote about him, with many tears and sobbing, was about that very thing.


    Mountain Hike

    Turn you loose, in the woods, on a mountain hike,
    Like a Thoroughbred you would run,
    Never miss a stride.

    Back to me you’d run to see,
    If I would catch up,
    Making sure I was still there…

    So you could run without a care,
    But only for a minute there,
    For back to me you’d run.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2010
  8. Snark

    Snark Mutts to you

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    That's a nice poem...

    The boys (Mick & Murph) will check up on me if I'm too slow (usually because I've found something to photograph) and I'll reward them and send them off again. Riley is starting to pick up the 'check in', too; although with typical teenage exuberance, he doesn't stop as much as he zooms by, then doubles back to zoom past me again. He will come when I call and I make sure he's heavily rewarded for it (and then I let him go again, too).

    We walk in fenced acreage (60+) so I'm not too worried if Riley gets out of sight for a little bit but I'm not ready to let him go off leash in any place where he could get to a road... don't take the older boys either; they're notorious car chasers.
     
  9. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    Thanks Snark. I had to laugh when visualizing Riley zooming past, then zooming past the other way. I can just see it.

    The only reason I worry a little bit when the dogs get out of sight in the woods here is that once Toker ran off a ways off the trail and I heard a baby deer cry out to his mother. I think Toker might have spooked him or something. Toker came back after I called her. But that was the time (I wrote a long story about that) when the mama doe stalked me all the way back down this long trail...like for 2 miles or so... and it freaked me out. She was p.o'd. I'm always worried a little about bear or whatever if the dogs should run off and bother them. Then the dogs might run back and bring whatever it is they've annoyed to me. :eek: Thanks, but no thanks. LOL.
     
  10. dogloverstraining

    dogloverstraining New Member

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    I admire your kindness in helping the lady with her puppy, soon to be a dog. I know that you really like dogs and even puppies. Well, I think that dog needs a little bit of consideration being allowed to run around the farm. It might get kicked by a horse or the dog might even chased some chickens. A lot of unexpected things might happened. I wish I could have that dog.
     
  11. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    :spam:

    :rofl1:
     
  12. Lizmo

    Lizmo Water Junkie

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    I don't even get the point. :lol-sign:


    Anywhooooo...thanks for all the advice, guys! :)
     
  13. Lizmo

    Lizmo Water Junkie

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    I thought I would give an update for those of you who gave advice. We had our lesson. The dog is smart as a whip, got the 'leave it' command in about 2-3 times. Was looking at me when I said her name and the recall was a breeze with the help of a long line. We worked on an 'off' command by having her get on the couch, then throwing a treat on the ground and saying 'off'. She wouldn't do this more than 2 times with each family member because she figured out that when she got up, she had to jump right back down.

    Anyways, I had a really good time. I think I suprised myself at the answers I was giving and how easily they came out! LOL
     
  14. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    Sounds like she's really into working with you. Just a side note....when working with her on the "off" command, I recommend NOT tossing the treat first. This is bribery. LOL. Get her to get off first, then give her the treat/praise. When it's the other way around, dogs often will only respond when shown the treat first. If she only wants to do it a couple of times with each family member, make sure it's way cool (fun, lots of praise, super treats) for her to jump down when cued. Be sure and not treat her for jumping up....only a mild word of praise, (because getting on is probably a reinforcer in itself because it's comfortable) but yummy treats for getting off. She may be getting bored with too many repititions. The other thing you can do is whenever it's time to go for a walk, eat dinner or anything that's a natural reinforcer....if she's on the couch, use that opportunity to insert your "off" cue. "Off" then...."wanna go for a walk?" (then immediately take her out for a walk) "Hungry?" (immediately get her dinner) Whatever words are used. But precede those really cool things with the "off" cue. So, if you're going to do something she really loves anyhow, take advantage of it and precede it with a cue and task you're working on. Then she gets a wider variety of cool reinforcers and will get surprised by some...keeps the interest high.

    It sounds like she's a whiz kid and enjoys learning. Keep up the good work!:)
     

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