Ahhh I Need Help

Discussion in 'Dog Tricks' started by driven, Oct 30, 2009.

  1. driven New Member

    I'm trying to teach Nevada (my 1 year old BC/Lab mix) how to cross his paws, but he's just not getting it. And he's not very interested in clicker training, honestly. He's not the most food motivated dog. He gets very bored and just wants to play instead of training. When we were at the dog park about a week ago I had him very focused on me with play reinforcement instead of treats and we did training that way and it seems to work much better, but I know I can't really do that with clicker training, especially because if I were to use play instead of treats it would distract him. I'm so confused and not sure what to do about this...

    But anyways, back to the "cross your paws" trick. I went off of this video: [media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GlctAeBv44[/media] but we are having trouble. He understands that he needs to touch the object with his paw and ONLY his right paw, but as soon as I start putting it to the other side of him for him to have to cross his paws to touch it, he just moves over to where he can get a straight shot at it instead of having to cross his paws. I'm not sure what I can do to keep him still. Plus, he has a tendency of laying down with one back leg under him so he can roll over onto his side easier for a tummy rub.:dogtongue2: Well, this doesn't really help when I'm trying to get him to lift up one of his paws to do something because it makes him not completely steady anymore. lol

    Please help! Any advice on both of these subjects that I have mentioned (Nevada not being much into clicker training because he isn't very food motivated and help on the "cross your paws" trick) would be very much appreciated! Thank you!

  2. fickla Experienced Member

    While you can do clicker training with a toy pretty easily, it is very hard to do shaping with one. This is because you are doing so many little steps that pausing to play can be hard. Have you tried using really high valued treats like actual chicken or liverwurst? Really just experiment to see what Nevada really really likes and make sure she's hungry when you train. But I do use a lot of toys when clicker training my toller, just not when I'm shaping him for stationary behaviors.

    She's not free fed is she? I'm not saying this is your dog, but most of the dogs I've met who owners say their dog isn't food motivated leave food out all day for their dogs to nibble at. And then usually they say their dog just picks at it, but the dog is usually slightly overweight. you should be easily able to feel your dogs ribs. I don't mean to offend you and this may not be your dog, but usually it's the case that the dogs are getting too much food whenever they want to.

    As for crossing the paws, have you tried holding the target in your hand so that it's raised and slightly across the other paw? Or I actually taught this trick without a target, I just had my dogs "target" my hand (aka "shake" without me saying shake). I could then move my hand out of the way before they touched it and let thier paw hit their other leg.

    This may just take time too. While my toller picked up the gists of it fairly quickly (we still don't have a nice hold) my corgi took ages to learn this trick (he blamed it on his stubby legs!). I did very tiny baby steps with the corgi, using my hand as a target. He would also move a bit so he could get a straight shot, and my toller still sometimes does this too. just keep at it!
  3. driven New Member

    Thank you so much for the reply, fickla! I've tried using hotdogs before and this does seem to help a bit better, but he still gets bored quickly and is just not much into it. I try to make it exciting, but he still gets bored. lol

    No, he is not free fed at all. He gets 1 cup of innova kibble twice a day. He is slim and fit, not even close to be overweight even in the least bit. So, no problems there.

    I've tried all of what you've said, but I guess I will need to keep trying. It was just frustrating because he kept rolling over for a tummy rub and then he would get annoyed and bark. I just felt kind of bad that I couldn't get him to understand what I wanted. I did kind of get him to do it 2 times barely, but the light bulb never went off to say "Hey, this is it! This is what you're supposed to do!" and he kept going back to not getting it. lol He is a very very smart dog and learns very quickly. I taught him "wave" and "bow" in a minute max. That's how smart he is. So, I don't have a lot of doubt that he can figure this out. I think maybe I am doing something wrong... I don't know. I don't know how to get him to stop moving to get a straight shot at it though. What did you do when your dog did this?

    Ok, thanks again so much!
  4. fickla Experienced Member

    Oh good, glad to see Nevada isn't one of those chunky dogs I see all the time :) I don't see anything with training with real food then if hot dogs produced some more enthusiasm. My corgi is very food motivated (what corgis aren't?!) and I still mix in hot dogs and cheese whenever I train someplace new. He will work for just kibble in new places, but I want him to be really excited about it. At obedience shows, I actually give Lance canned cat food as his reward for coming out of the ring!

    I think you're doing everything right, it just takes time. I wasn't exaggerating when I said it took Lance months to learn this trick. I would just do very tiny baby steps. With Vito, he was the one who likes to go on his side like you describe sometimes but would mainly adjust so that he could hit my hand without having to cross his paws. It was really annoying to since it was so fast, he would just do a little bounce, while still lying down, so both feet moved to the right as he touched my hand. I can't really punish this since he still had no clue what I wanted, so I would just try and withhold the reward (unless I already clicked which unfortunately happened a lot). Next time I wouldn't have my hand as far over. But like I said, I didn't use a target for this, my dogs had to touch thier paw to my hand. I also experimented a lot with the right angle and position to make it easiest. i don't think there's an easy solution for your dog, Nevada just needs time and small little steps that will make it so he doesn't move his body.

Share This Page

Real Time Analytics