Are Some Tricks Over-stimulating?

Discussion in 'General Dog Training' started by brodys_mom, Apr 23, 2013.

  1. brody_smom Experienced Member

    When teaching Brody figure 8's through my legs and going through a hoop, he seems to get very excited and barks and nips at my pants or bites the hoop. I have noticed that some dogs are very vocal when they are doing their agility courses. Is this something that happens when training these types of behaviors? I don't mind the vocalizing so much, but the nipping is no fun!
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  2. blacknym Experienced Member

    I think so. I have to be really calm and centered when training with Deja because she can go from calm to loopy in about .5 seconds. LOL
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  3. 648117 Honored Member

    Holly got over excited when learning figure 8's through my legs too!
    Especially when I started to turn it into weaving between my legs, she growls and tries to do it as quick as she can and if we keep doing the trick then she can get into a bit of a state.

    And now that she can do the agility weave poles she also finds them extremely stimulating and sometimes growls. If she gets too over the top about it then she starts to make mistakes, the more I try to get her to do them correctly the more excited she gets until I have to stop her and not let her enter the weave poles again until she calms down.

    But those are the only tricks that really make her too excited.

    Lewis starts to go a bit nuts if I just ask him to "sit", he pants and flicks his head around, if I'm too slow with the treat he starts to drum his paws on the ground and leaps sideways into another sit. Then he slams himself into a "down" without me asking O_o but he is just a crazy dog in general and gets too excited to learn anything :LOL:
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  4. Caiti Experienced Member

    Yes, there are some tricks that tend to make dogs excited. Wylie gets really excited when he spins. Maybe you could solve this by only rewarding him when he does it without nipping?
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  5. srdogtrainer Experienced Member

    I think it depends on the dog's energy level, excitability and circumstance. My dog gets really excited for backwards movement tricks and any tricks during meal time. If he is getting to excited I will say settttttttllllllllleeeeee (settle) in a very calm relaxing way. Sometimes I will give him a break or just hold onto his collar for a minute and let him relax. I tend to change my voice to match how I want my dog to act. If he is too mellow I use an excited voice and then if he is getting too excited I will start to use a calmer voice.
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  6. srdogtrainer Experienced Member

    What method are you using to teach Brody to weave. Are you using treats to lure him? Movement can create excitement so I might drop/ toss the treat in order to get his focus on that rather then on you, or move the treat very slowly and maintain a calm voice. I would also try 'time outs'. If he bites the hoop it goes away and comes back when he is calmer.
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  7. brody_smom Experienced Member

    I use the method that Jean Cote used in his video, with a piece of food in each hand. It works really well, and he learned it in just a couple of sessions. I got him to do it today without the lure and without any treats on me, which is odd for him. He often won't do a sit or a down if he knows I don't have food in my pocket. I have him sit in front of me then I say "figure eights?" and away he goes. The last time he did it he bit my thigh at the end. Not hard, but still.
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  8. srdogtrainer Experienced Member

    Oh, that most be that when he gets excited he starts to go into herding mode. When my dog gets excited he wants something in his mouth.
    Maybe you could work on a lot of retrieving tricks, so he can't nip when he is doing a trick.
    For the weaves you can try to make it a calm behavior and have him do it slowly. ...and as others have said, take a timeout when he gets nippy.
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  9. brody_smom Experienced Member

    I can see that. I have been getting him to do several 8's in a row. I should probably just ask for one, then get him to sit calmly before he gets his reward.

    What do you mean by retrieving tricks? He is not a great retriever, just a great chaser!
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  10. srdogtrainer Experienced Member

    By retrieving tricks I meant bringing items, putting items away etc.
    Maybe you should get him into lure coursing then. :D
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  11. brody_smom Experienced Member

    I'll look into lure coursing. I know there is a treibball trainer not far from me.

    I taught him to bring a ball back and drop it in an ice cream bucket. (I wanted to use something smaller, like a big yogurt container, but his aim needs to improve. Don't want to be carrying an ice cream bucket to the park.) Still only in the house so far, but we will work on out in the yard this evening, then maybe the park. How long do you usually spend reinforcing behaviors/tricks inside, then outside without distractions, before moving to somewhere with distractions. I mean, how many training sessions per day for how many days. I know this will vary with each dog and also for different behaviors, but I think I may be expecting him to be able to do this a lot sooner than he really can.
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  12. srdogtrainer Experienced Member

    Yeah, I'm not really sure I can give a specific answer to that, it varies greatly. But I would say that you should look at their accuracy. If my dog is reliable inside then I will start adding distractions. I want to be able to know that if I say it they are most likely going to do it before I add too many distractions. I have started teaching dogs tricks outside as well. Or some tricks I only work on outside, like frisbee. I also look out how comfortable they are in a specific environment. Will they take a treat? Will they do a sit? If they won't they won't be ready to do any advanced tricks at that moment and in that specific environment. If I ask them to do something that they 'know' and they don't do it in the new environment I will go back a step and make it easier (give more signals/ use a lure etc.) or I will find a quieter spot, or give up on that trick at that time and do something really easy. Depending on how training is going I may try it again later on when they seem more comfortable/ focused or I might hold off on that one altogether until we work more on it at home.
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  13. brody_smom Experienced Member

    Fair enough. I just feel like I have taught Brody quite a few tricks/behaviors, but he's not reliable on a lot of them and seems to need a lot of prompting for basics like sit and down. We use them all the time, but he will still stand there looking at me like he knows what I want, he just doesn't want to do it. When I watch Jean Cote with Onyx and see how eagerly she "gets in", I think, "how can I get Brody to respond that quickly to the basic commands I know he knows?" Do I need to go back to the beginning and use food lures? He is really smart and picks up new things very quickly, but his response time is slow. I have been reading Culture Clash, so I know that the excuses of age and stubbornness don't really hold water. It's my training that needs adjusting, but he seems to get bored by repeating the same commands over and over in the same session. Is it better to maybe choose 2 or 3 different things to focus on and cycle through them over a 5-10 minute session?
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  14. blacknym Experienced Member

    I believe so. I usually do a few different things in a ten or so minute training session. Deja gets bored doing the same thing over an over. Try shaking it up with a few different behaviors for like two minutes at a time multiple times a day. You can also just randomly tell him to sit or down and then treat (just one behavior and end).
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  15. srdogtrainer Experienced Member

    Do you have any training videos of Brody on youtube?

    I definitely like to change it up, River loves variety. I also think it makes a difference how you say the command. I like to say them like it is the most exciting thing every. To get a dog to sit or lay down faster I use a quick hand signal, and excited voice. Sometimes I might hype up my dog. So I might say...are you READY?, Do You Want To?, okay weeeerrrrreee goinggggg tooooo SIT!
    I also do tricks that I want a fast response for, when I know my dog is going to be the most excited. So for my dog meal time so that is when I do tricks that I want a quick response or lots of enthusiasm.
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  16. brody_smom Experienced Member

    Noooo, I am very camera shy. That's why you don't see me in my avatar. I don't even have a video camera. Plus, my training is very unpolished, I wouldn't put it where anyone else could see it!
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  17. srdogtrainer Experienced Member

    Oh, well you can learn a lot from seeing yourself train. I used to be very camera shy, I've gotten better.
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  18. blacknym Experienced Member

    If your shy maybe you can video yourself and just share it with one person. :) Someone you know will have your back and not be negative. :)
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  19. brody_smom Experienced Member

    I don't know anyone in real life who does positive reinforcement/clicker training with their dog!
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  20. blacknym Experienced Member

    I volunteer myself. You can email me your videos if you like. Or maybe SRdogtrainer would be willing?
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