Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Lotta

Discussion in 'Meet the Dogs' started by myraellen, Jun 1, 2014.

  1. running_dog Honored Member

    Myraellen both of those new videos confirm to me that Lotta really is what I would call frustrated. You could also call it confused or impatient. She is not too excited to listen if you trained her how I told you. I train with two dogs that do get too excited to listen. I know what that looks like. Lotta is not like that.

    Lotta does not know how to earn a treat in the first video.
    Your friend has not helped Lotta understand what to do.
    Because she does not know what to do she gets frustrated and this makes her "act silly".
    If your friend had clicked and treated when Lotta stood still Lotta would learn to wait nicely instead of "acting silly".

    Lotta works well in the second video.
    This is because she knows what she has to do.
    She knows what she has to do because she is getting rewarded a lot.
    Your friend trains Lotta very very well in that video (y)

    Lotta is not silly. She just needs to understand what she is supposed to do.

    The dog in that video does not know "Take a bow" nor "Roll over".
    I train that way because it works.
    I tried both ways.
    Using the cues from the beginning works best for me. It works with all the dogs I train with.
    It works because it helps the dog to understand it has to build on what it got rewarded for last time it heard that cue.
    kassidybc and MaryK like this.

  2. MaryK Honored Member

    I too have watched all the videos and am in agreement with Running Dog that Lotta is a very frustrated dog.

    She is definitely not too excited to listen, she's just frustrated as your friend is not making it clear to here what she wants Lotta to do and not rewarding when she does 'get it', albeit not perfectly you reward for even the slightest movement in the right direction.

    I too have trained dogs who get over excited, as opposed to frustrated, and like Running Dog I know only too well the difference.

    As Running Dog has said, your friend needs to help Lotta to know what to do because in the 'barking' video Lotta hasn't got a clue what's wanted of her. She's not silly, she knows your friend wants her to do something - but what??? Think about a time when you knew someone wanted you to do something but you hadn't a clue what they wanted. How did you feel? I bet it was frustrated! In dog training, no matter what the temperament of the dog, you MUST be very clear in what you want. First in your own head. Secondly, convey clearly to the dog what you want them to do. One of the first lessons you learn when becoming a dog trainer is that YOU make the mistakes, not the dog, YOU need to be clear in your directions and don't blame the dog if you're not. And believe me some of the people I learned under where darned hard on this one, so I'm not being hard on you or your friend, just trying to help you understand that when training a dog it's no use being just clear on what you want but it's equally important to be clear in how you convey that to the dog. Fail to do that and you've got one frustrated dog - just like Lotta.

    In the video where Lotta is learning to touch a target (the lid) and bow, your friend is training her really well, hence Lotta is responding very happily - that tail never stopped wagging so good to see:)

    I've known Running Dog for some time and if she said she hasn't trained a dog to do a particular trick before, I believe her. She's a very good trainer and has worked with all types of dogs, her advice is excellent, and never given in malice, she always wants to help.
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  3. MaryK Honored Member

    Sorry edit icon isn't working, keep getting the 'error message'. I haven't addressed your other question about 'cues'.

    There is a group of trainers who advise not using the cue before the dog has learned the trick. I have used this method, but frankly I find using the cue from the start has produced better results for me and the dogs I've been working with. So I am in favor of using a cue, both verbal and hand, from the beginning.

    For example, a simple trick learned at Level 1 is sit. The hand cue is a palm up, with arm held bent at the elbow and around waist high, then the hand is moved upwards. I have used this, together with the word sit, from the start of training with great success. With a very new puppy or dog, I use my left hand to lure with the treat etc. I know Lotta knows sit so have just used this as an easy example.

    Once the dog has a got it very strongly you can 'fade out' a verbal cue/lure. If the dog doesn't sit on the hand only cue, take a step or two back and try again. Same goes for any other trick you're teaching.

    My dog Leaf will work with all her strong tricks with just the very slightest hand/finger movement, even just by using my eyes she will do what I want. For example, we were in a very crowded shop, I was chatting to the owners, but customers kept coming up to the counter to be served so Leaf and I had to keep moving back down a narrow aisle. All I had to do was 'use my eyes' or just a slight finger movement to indicate 'back' to Leaf and she did just that. Got her loads of praise too, always lovely to have. But with a new trick, one she is currently learning 'wide circles' I still need to use a verbal cue and the target stick, if I don't she just looks at me with her 'frown' look.

    But, as always, so long as it's POSITIVE you need to watch and observe the dog in question and work with what is best for that dog.
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  4. kassidybc Experienced Member

    I sometimes introduce the cue right away and sometimes I wait until the dog knows the trick before introducing the cue. It depends on the dog. With Chloe I have to wait util she pretty much knows it until introducing the cue just because when she hears me say a cue to her, she knows that she is supposed to do something, and if she doesn't know what the cue means she just starts getting frustrated. This happens even if I am luring her right after I say the cue. So I wait until she knows the trick, then introduce the verbal cue. I admit, it does take much longer for her to learn what the verbal cue is if I wait to introduce it until after she knows the trick, but this is the best way for her to learn. Whereas when I train my friend's dogs, I introduce the cue right away.
    running_dog likes this.
  5. myraellen Well-Known Member

    First of all, although my friend doesn't have much experience on dog training, she can tell you what is happening in the training sessions and how Lotta behaves in them. She has read about dog language and calming signals. Although my friend doesn't know much about that subject yet, she can read Lotta's behavior and body language.

    We couldn't quote this message due to server issues, but MaryK wrote:
    "I too have watched all the videos and am in agreement with Running Dog that Lotta is a very frustrated dog.

    She is definitely not too excited to listen, she's just frustrated as your friend is not making it clear to here what she wants Lotta to do and not rewarding when she does 'get it', albeit not perfectly you reward for even the slightest movement in the right direction.

    I too have trained dogs who get over excited, as opposed to frustrated, and like Running Dog I know only too well the difference.

    As Running Dog has said, your friend needs to help Lotta to know what to do because in the 'barking' video Lotta hasn't got a clue what's wanted of her. She's not silly, she knows your friend wants her to do something - but what??? "

    So, both of you are saying that Lotta would be frustrated in our video because my friend hasn't told her what to do. We should've told this in the previous message: In that video my friend has not even started the training yet. She usually starts training right away. My friend just wanted to show you how Lotta behaves when she notices that my friend is going to start training her. Here is a video of a dog that gets frustrated and also nervous:


    That dog uses different kind of body language than Lotta does. He uses calming signals. That dog for example turns his head away. He doesn't wag his tail much and when he does it, he wags it nervously. Lotta often stares at my friend also in training sessions. She also wags her tail happily and also barks playfully.

    The reason Lotta acts silly is that she gets very excited when she notices that my friend is going to start training her. Lotta has a different idea of what she should do than my friend does. Then she behaves like she would like to play with my friend. We are not able to make proper videos of Lotta when my friend is not training her but she behaves in the similar ways than the dogs in the following videos do:




  6. myraellen Well-Known Member

    My friend is interested in reading and hearing new things about dog training that she doesn't know yet.

    My friend has read earlier that in clicker training the verbal cue is not used before the dog knows the behavior. She has also read why it isn't used before the dog knows the behavior and she just found an article about it:
    Understanding Learned Irrelevance in Dog Training.

    In the section: "Adding the Command Too Early" it says that you should not name the behaviors before the dog knows them.

    However, MaryK is saying that (We couldn't quote now either your message):
    "There is a group of trainers who advise not using the cue before the dog has learned the trick. I have used this method, but frankly I find using the cue from the start has produced better results for me and the dogs I've been working with. So I am in favor of using a cue, both verbal and hand, from the beginning..."








    She thought before that she couldn't name the behavior immeadiately at the beginning, because when her dog does it at the beginning, it doesn't look similar as the end behavior. So, both of you are saying that they could be named already when you start to teach them.

    My friend has some additional questions about your video:
    When you are using the cue already at the beginning, how do you do it so that the cues won't become something that doesn't mean anything to the dog or means something else to him/her than they should mean? For example, in that video you are saying to the dog: "Roll over" and s/he only turns her/his head. How doesn't that dog associate that cue for example to just turning the head? There are tricks where the dog only turns her/his head.

    And by the way, we've forgotten to thank you for your long answers (y)
    running_dog likes this.
  7. running_dog Honored Member

    I'm reading something different to your friend in the videos you have posted of Lotta.
    The videos that you have posted of Lotta show a dog that is frustrated.
    The other videos of dogs that you say are behaving like Lotta do show dogs that are excited/playful.

    You have just proved our point.
    Lotta is used to your friend starting training right away.
    Instead your friend waits.
    Lotta does not understand why your friend is waiting.
    She doesn't know what she is supposed to do.
    Lotta may get over excited sometimes but that is not what the video shows.

    That dog knows what he is supposed to do but doesn't want to do it.
    This is because the person (I refuse to call them a "trainer") is not rewarding at the right frequency for the dog's experience.
    So the dog does not see the point in obeying.
    This is totally different to Lotta's frustration.
    Lotta wants to do what you want but doesn't know what it is.
    Obviously they give off different body language.
    Their frustrations are caused by completely opposite things.


    Perhaps this is the case but it is definitely not what the videos you have posted of Lotta show.

    I find it worrying that you cannot see the difference between the behaviour of Lotta in the videos you posted of her and the behaviour of the playful/excited dogs in the other videos you posted.
    I find it worrying that you cannot see the training sessions from Lotta's point of view.
    I find it worrying that you cannot understand why there is a the difference between Lotta and the other frustrated dog video you posted when the causes of their frustrations are opposites.
    That means I can't be sure that you are diagnosing Lotta's behaviour right.

    However if you are right and Lotta is behaving like the playful/excited dogs in the video and you really want her to stop you need to ignore her. No excuses about her walking round to look at you again. You could walk out the room and close the door behind you, leaving Lotta inside alone for 20 seconds, it isn't that hard if you really want to solve the problem.

    If she was a bigger dog you'd have to deal with it or lose furniture, fingers and friends.
    I've had to stand with my arms folded (so the dog couldn't self reward by touching/nipping my hands) looking into the sky above my head (so there was no way he could make eye contact) for 10 minutes waiting for a large dog to calm down, and then when he was quiet I made eye contact, and that was enough to send him berserk all over again, and I waited him out again... and again... and again... he's a great dog to train now, focussed, bright, energetic, and tremendously eager to please.

    So no more excuses about it being hard to ignore Lotta, if you really believe she is being over excited and you want her to stop then that is the solution. If you don't at least try the advice we have given then I have to believe that you like Lotta behaving like that so there is no point discussing it further.
    MaryK, southerngirl and kassidybc like this.
  8. kassidybc Experienced Member

    Please follow running_dog's advice, she knows what she is talking about, and you admitted yourself that you nor your friend know much about dog training. That just means that you have to be open to learning. Maybe it would be helpful for you/your friend to attend a formal obedience class with Lotta. Just make sure it's postive reinforcement only.
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  9. running_dog Honored Member

    Good suggestion Kassidy.
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  10. running_dog Honored Member

    Every time I use the cue I am pushing the dog a little beyond it's comfort zone and adding a little to it's knowledge, so there is not repetition so much as building. Each time the dog is asked to turn it's head a little further and relax downwards a little more so it is not becoming secure in a "wrong" behaviour for the cue. Where I repeat the cue I am often luring a second later, if I am not luring/explaining I am deliberately challenging the dog to think through to the next level of learning - It is like I am saying, "you know these words, you have heard them before, what did you do when you heard them before? what did you do to get a treat?"

    Here are just some of the benefits of using cues from the start of training:

    It keeps a dialogue going with the dog. If you are not using verbal cues it is all too easy to become almost completely silent when training. If that happens you miss out on some wonderful learning experiences with your dog. I said "head down" to Zac the other day, he immediately put his head on his paws, I didn't even know he knew that trick. This often happens with Zac. By keeping a conversation going with my dog he has learned to listen for clues to what I want him to do. Because I reward him for the things I like he does not consider my words and phrases to be irrelevant, he thinks they are important and worth listening to... which is more than most people do :LOL:.

    I might train 3-5 tricks at once, some proofing, some simple chaining, some expanding, some new. I found that without a cue from the beginning Zac did not know what trick we were working on. If I didn't give him a cue of some kind he invented his own, these canine inventions can be a real nuisance - it took ages for me to realise why when I told my dog to sit at the kerb he would reverse behind me and fall off the kerb backwards :rolleyes:. I was making a movement that he had decided meant reverse circle :oops:. I prefer to choose the cues my dog is learning.

    Using cues from the beginning doesn't underestimate the dog's intelligence. So many people seem to think the dog is a robot that requires repetition repetition repetition, but give him the right clues and your dog can make INCREDIBLE leaps of comprehension.

    But ultimately like me, Mary and Kassidy you should try out the options and find what works for you and your dog.
    MaryK likes this.
  11. running_dog Honored Member

    Thanks Mary, I'm not sure I deserve such an accolade but it means a lot to me that you think I am worthy of it :). I'm always so challenged when I hear and see what you can do with Leaf, I have such a long way to go with Zac and my other 4 legged friends.
    MaryK likes this.
  12. myraellen Well-Known Member

    One of you suggested courses. My friend has taken Lotta to them and she has been seeing one dog trainer, not that often though. She is going to see her very soon. We live in Finland and my friend has noticed that many dog trainers (not all of them) use only positive methods. Of course my friend would still like to discuss about dog training in this forum although she is seeing the dog trainer.

    We mentioned earlier that we are not able to make proper videos of Lotta when my friend is not training her. Maybe we are not able to make them either when my friend is training Lotta. Maybe we simply aren't able to capture the way Lotta behaves on tape. However, we have tried to explain to you what kind of dog Lotta is and how does she behave.

    The dog in the video we linked uses different kind of body language than Lotta does. He uses calming signals. That dog for example turns his head away. He doesn't wag his tail much and when he does it, he wags it nervously. That dog gets frustrated and nervous because he is probably not asked or teached to do any kind of behaviors in a row before.

    Wouldn't you wait little longer before doing something if you were trying to get something on tape that is happening in certain situations? My friend means that if you needed to show it to others.


    Lotta behaves the same way even when my friend starts to train her right away. When Lotta notices that my friend is going to start training her she gets very excited. Lotta has a different ideas of what she should do than my friend does. She behaves like she would like to play with my friend and then she also wags her tail happily and also barks playfully. So, Lotta behaves the same way than those dogs in the videos. My friend didn't explain this completely but she discussed about this shortly with the trainer she is seeing. That trainer has seen Lotta many times. She said that Lotta becomes happy and excited when she notices that my friend is going to start doing things with her. According to her, it doesn't matter if Lotta gets little excited. Since Lotta is a little bit over two years old, she's not as wild as the puppy in one of the videos. My friend could wait first that Lotta would get calm before she starts training her. However, Lotta starts getting calm also if my friend just starts training her.

    If my friend just walked away, wouldn't Lotta concider it as a punishment of her excitedness? Wouldn't she start becoming unwilling to do things then?
  13. running_dog Honored Member

    Myraellen, there is no point discussing this further.
    Even when I write in short sentences you are not understanding a great deal of what I am saying, or trying to say.
    Most of the time you are not seeing our key points.
    Perhaps I am not seeing your key points.
    This is not your fault, I know you are communicating in a second language.
    I would not understand anything you say in Finnish!:rolleyes:
    I think that you being able to join in on this forum in english like you do is amazing.
    Lets just leave this whole "acting silly" business alone for now and move on.

    I hope things work out well with the trainer.

    What did you think about the giving cues from the beginning of training?
    Have you looked at the easy tricks I suggested in the other thread?
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  14. myraellen Well-Known Member

    My friend understands what you have written here since she speaks english and she has also studied it. Maybe it only seems like she wouldn't understand since she sometimes explains things too much. It may be because of this: We haven't told this before (maybe we should have) my friend has Asperger's. We just created a thread about it if you for example have questions about it.

    The purpose of this thread was to tell what kind of dog Lotta is and also tell about her behavior. Maybe we just haven't been able to tell it clearly enough.

    My friend has seen that trainer many times. My friend says that she is quite good.

    My friend has seen the list of tricks that you had put in that thread. We just haven't been able to write in it earlier.

    She suspects that she couldn't name the behaviors immeadiately at the beginning because of this:
    This is not only about training sessions: Lotta often concentrates on something else and behaves sometimes like no one has said anything and like she wouldn't "hear" anything like those dogs in this video:


    So, Lotta may not notice that one is saying something. My friend suspects that in that case those cues wouldn't mean anything to Lotta. So, she's not sure if it worked with Lotta.

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  15. running_dog Honored Member

    I don't think that your friend does always understand, I think this because the way you reply shows you don't comprehend what I was trying to say. It is probably to do with the way I try to explain things. I am sorry. Maybe I can find a better way of explaining. Thank you for sharing that your friend has Aspergers. I think it is brave to share that.

    Another good reason for letting this "Acting silly" topic go for a while... it might give you time to catch up with the other threads :).

    That makes sense. Lotta is maybe not very sensitive to people's voices. My dog Zac does not naturally listen to my voice, I had to teach him. My mum's dog Gus has always listened to our voices even from being a little puppy.
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  16. southerngirl Honored Member

    How about like Rdog said we drop the "acting silly" for now and reevaluate it later. Let's focus on teaching Lotta some tricks. I would be glad to make a tutorial for a trick for you to teach Lotta. Just tell me a trick you would like to teach Lotta and I will make a tutorial.
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  17. MaryK Honored Member

    First, so sorry for the delay in replying. I was stung by a Glaucumus Atlanticus (sea creature) and the sting is equivalent to being stung by a Portuguese-Man-of-War, they feed on them and keep the sting for their protection. So have spent an agonizing week with extremely swollen, violently itching painful foot up or in very hot water (to ease the itching). Couldn't train poor Leaf, partner has been walking her but training, LOL I wasn't in any condition to train him, so he could train Leaf!

    Don't feel challenged with what I can do with Leaf:) I've been blessed with the smartest dog I've ever trained, and I've trained some pretty smart dogs, like my beautiful Rakins (who 'found' Leaf for me as you know when he tragically died so young). She makes training so easy it's almost unfair to other dogs. At Doggy School she was always the 'teacher's pet' because she learned so quickly, was and still is, so friendly and always so willing to do what was asked of her. I do hate to think though what would have happened to her had she been with someone who didn't use Positive + training because she was so timid and shy when I first adopted her. LOL no sign of that now as a whole but she will still have the odd 'panic' attack when something strange, in her mind, happens.

    Plus don't forget I also had my adored Zeus, my bomb proof boy, not the smartest laddie when it came to any trick work other than the basics though he knew shake and high five and sometimes peek-a-boo, but so chilled out nothing ever, in his entire long life, ever phased him. He worked hard with Leaf to help her over come her fear of just about everything. Dogs barking behind fences, big boy toys, automatic gates opening/closing, you name it Leaf was in a flat panic, but Zeus just calmly came alongside her, put his beautiful self between her and the 'scary monsters' and encouraged her to walk past.

    So I had a lot of help with Leaf in her very young days.

    You've come such a long way with Zac and he's not the easiest of breeds to train for trick work. I've learned a lot from you, you always have such sensible and practical advice and it works!!!!!!!!!!!!(y)
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  18. MaryK Honored Member

    Good advice Kassidy.
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  19. MaryK Honored Member

    Yes, I agree. We seem to be going round in circles.

    Get back to basics. Sometimes we have to do that with a dog.

    I've really got nothing more to add at this point. Sorry for the delay in replying, see above post.
    kassidybc likes this.
  20. myraellen Well-Known Member

    Of course you could do a tutorial about something, that would be very very kind of you. :p My friend should figure out first what it could be. :D When she does figure it out, how could we tell you about it? Would we tell about it in some thread or should we possibly send you a PM?:)

    Maybe you could start by answering to the questions we put in this thread:
    Increasing Drive
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