What different things do you guys do to mix up your training?

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by Kayla, Sep 2, 2008.

  1. Kayla

    Kayla New Member

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    I'm just curious to hear what everyone does to keep they're training fun, upbeat and exciting for their dogs, especially when working on long duration behaviours like heeling etc?

    I have one week until Duke and I enter our first Rally and OB trial and were trying to work in tons of different areas inside and outside the home and I've just found Im starting to run into a rut of not having as much variety during out fundamental work as I'd like.

    I had to start alot of our fundamental behaviours ( like heeling, fronts, sits, downs, stands) from scratch and re shape them because we previously learned using traditional methods which I am not fond of. Everything is starting to get fluent, and we are now upping our criteria to add our last performance cue on everything, and start shaping for zero latency but I just can't get out of my own habits of not mixing things up enough.

    It's usually easy for me to do this but we usually keep our sessions very short under 5 mins to keep it fun, but now we have so much to work on and practice I am starting to stretch into 10-15-20 miniutes at a time and this is where I'm running into problems keeping everything mixed up.

    Any ideas? Tips? Things you guys like to throw into your training mix?

    Thanks
    Kayla
     
  2. elegy

    elegy overdogged

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    play! tug for luce, jumping/running/hand targeting for mushroom.

    also, leslie mcdevitt's "give me a break" game- a short burst of highly rewarded whatever you're trying to improve (ie, heeling), and then you release the dog and go sit down. the moment the dog begins to re-engage with you (or after a minute has gone by, whichever comes first), jump up and start playing the game again. great for building enthusiasm.
     
  3. Kayla

    Kayla New Member

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    Okay thanks, I usually switch between using food as a reward and tug games, chase games I try and use more of the latter as he really loves it but I try and keep it varied either way. Im going to take a few videos of our sessions later on would guys mind watching them and giving feed back, I took a few earlier today and they were very good at pointing out a few things I am going to try and improve next session.

    I just have to keep reminding myself this weekend is just for fun, it's just for fun, it's just for fun... Im getting sooo anxious already.

    I have found doing visualiztion at night of how the trial is going to be is really helping curb some of it but stil OMG its only 6 days away now!!!!!
     
  4. I work all the time to build enthusiasm in my dog. I do not collar correct. I use lots of food, smiles, eye expression, and body language to motivate my dog and keep him having fun.

    I work in short bursts, and then break for tug, or retrieve. I play tug with the leash with the dog. I toss the leash for fun retrieves. My dogs LOVE to see the collar and leash come out, and will run up to put their head through the collar if I hold it out.

    I always try to stop working while the dog is really having fun. I often crate confine dogs for an hour or so before working them. I let dogs observe me working with other dogs to build drive.
     
  5. Kayla

    Kayla New Member

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    Thanks Red, Unfortunatly I only have access to Duke for training so I can't let him watch me train other dogs but I do like the idea of putting more time in between my sessions as I always try and end on a high fun note.

    And Im with you 100% on the no collar corrections, been there done that- shitty way to train a dog IMO, no we almost always train naked ( HAHAH no not me) I won't be adding a leash back on to his heel until it's 100% how I want it offleash, then the leash can come back on as a decoration.
     
  6. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

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    Hi,
    With your trial so close, I have a question... are you adding the leash now?? If not you need to if you are using one in the trial. For the simple reason that if you have been training without it, it can now be a distraction for both of you.
    I would also back off in training for a couple of days before your trial. I never train the last few days because what you have a few days before the trial is what you have got. Working/training harder in the last days often gets stressful for both of you and if you run into a little problem that is all you will think about the morning of the trial.
    It is really easy to fall into the trap of drilling before competing and it wont do you any favours :)
    I tend to take them swimming, long walks, play focus games and keep the edge off of them, so they are not over the top on trial day.

    Good luck
     
  7. Kayla

    Kayla New Member

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    Good tips Adojrts,

    I'm adding the lead back in tommorow, and am going to stop all training on Thursday so he has Friday and Saturday off.

    Thanks for all the tips I will let everyone know how it goes when were done.

    Kayla
     
  8. Often I loop the leash through my belt loop on the left so I can train the dog hands free.

    :D

    Great thread, I love the "take a break" idea. :)
     
  9. corgipower

    corgipower Tweleve Enthusiest

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    I keep my dog guessing. He doesn't know what's coming next - another command, a release, petting and praise, toys, food...

    My two favorite things to do when training are rapid fire training and one session imprinting...

    Rapid fire training is where it's one thing after another after another where they don't have time to think. They have to really stay tuned in and it's constantly changing so they don't get bored.

    One session imprinting is where they do it once and the reward is so huge and fun that it sticks with them.

    Building duration for heeling for competition OB isn't as hard as it sounds - you don't heel endlessly. In the ring, you only get a few steps before there's a turn or a halt or a change of pace. The brisker you walk the more the dog is going to stay engaged.

    Taking a break the last couple days before a trial didn't work for me - we'd get a little out of sync when we tried that. I usually train harder right before a trial. I also give my dogs a few weeks off from training during the year when I'm not competing.
     

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