Cgc Prep Help?! Need A Bit Of Advice

Discussion in 'Obedience Training' started by reveuse, Feb 17, 2011.

  1. reveuse Well-Known Member

    SO I found out today that there is a test being offered next Friday and since we've been waiting for a chance to do one for a while now I decided why not. (especially since if you don't pass all sections on the first try you then only need to retest the ones that you don't pass).

    Skills wise Romeo is excellent, I'm not at all concerned about the dog to dog interaction or any of the others (since the evaluator is going to be a woman especially!). His stay at 20ft is great and his wait is excellent.

    Now that i've tooted my horn on all those counts I would much prefer to pass all 10 tests come Friday. The walking through a crowd is going to depend largely on WHO is in the crowd - something I can't really control.

    SOOOOOOOOOOOO here is where the help part comes in......... I need to make it so that he doesn't realize by test #4 or 5 that " oh hey nobody is feeding me , time to not listen" ...(I seriously can imagine him doing this when he does "wait & come" and then doesn't get fed and then i put him in stay for the next test item (as he's done this more than a few times when we did a practice run through)..... I cant go so far as to dribble peanut butter or chicken down my jeans or anything of the sort because that would make him TOO excited and result in the direct opposite of what I want behavior wise. (and also because I know he is beyond capable of doing it all on his own)

    And EVEN MORE IMPORTANT - The Separation Test. He will be in an actual classroom (that he is very comfortable and happy in generally) but even leaving him with someone he knows somewhat well he still is a bit on the pacey side. (he has a tendancy to circle anyhow - he does it during camp , and even sometimes runs circles in my living room when bored) but he can't pass with that sort of reaction. (he used to whine and require a ton of food when we first started practicing this last spring so I consider the circling to be an improvement ..... but still - any suggestions?!?!

  2. Jean Cote Administrator

    Well when you can't use food, you have to amp up your voice and praise. That's what I do anyways, if there is a test going on keep your dog's attention on you. Amp it up when there is a distraction coming. :) Sorry I can't be much more help than that...
    wenryder likes this.
  3. reveuse Well-Known Member

    I totally agree but Romeo is telling me that he doesn't want praise - he wants cookies. SO STUBBORN.... lol [IMG]
  4. reveuse Well-Known Member

  5. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    I'm not sure about this one, since you are working on it already. I think it's just something that will improve the more you work on it using whatever method you're using now. But some ideas, anyway...
    Have you tried giving him commands with your back turned?
    And also, on stays I don't only work on distance, but I'll maybe have them in a stay, in the house, and I'll duck around the corner and then come back. When safe, I will have them in a stay and then walk out of view for a while. At my job, I'll have my dogs stay on one aisle and I'll walk around the next aisle and then come back to them. (This is a safe situation though, no chance of any mishaps, even if they were to break their stay.) I work on them holding their stay even when I'm out of sight. Just slowly increase the time that you are out of sight, starting with just a second or so. I know for CGC the point of that portion is not a solid stay, but for him to be calm while you are away; regardless I think it could help him.

    As for burning out waiting for the treats to come, as Jean said, use praise and your voice to keep him interested. When you click and treat him, do you just click and treat, or do you also verbally praise him and pet him? If you aren't praising him along with the treats, it'd be good to start, that way he thinks praise is a cue that treats are coming. Even if they aren't coming for a while. I click, and praise enthusiastically while I am treating, starting just a split second before the treats actually hit their mouth. I usually click, and immediately start praising while I'm getting a treat out of my treat back and reaching out to give it to them. All happens pretty quick, but still makes a difference I think.

    Hope this helps. Good luck!
    Dodge likes this.
  6. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Oh, and examples of when I use the stay-with-me-out-of-view at home...

    Bathtime. I am constantly not 100% prepared, so I usually have to tell them to stay in the tub while I go grab shampoo or scrubber or towel, lol. And, I usually am not prepared for drying either, lol, so they have to stay on the towel while I go grab the dryer and brush. So I completely leave the room and they still have to stay there. Really handy. :)
    Dodge likes this.
  7. reveuse Well-Known Member

    for the working on stay do you mean leaving him in stay for the purposes of the separation test? (my sleep deprived brain is confused) I think thats what you mean ... *EDIT * - yes thats what you meant LOL.m
    Ill do stay and then disappear that way too (but in the house .....for other reasons ; ) but i was just think of that as being adding distance and a bit of duration --- like if i go to brush my teeth or something and just plant him in the living room.
    I see how that kind of helps with separation tho now that i am typing....

    I DO use praise with the clicker and the treats , he isn't very big on petting during training for some reason - accepts it but yeah - maybe because he is sooooooooooooo super focused. The exception to this is his "RELEASE" from stay (since that doesn't get fed) (feed for stay , pet for release)...At home or when we aren't in practice mode he is a total mush so im kind of ok with that. --- also if i dont have the treat handy the click and praise willl give me enough time to get some out like you said.

    interestingly when I first started SA work and i'd leave him in class with trainer he would get louder and louder as time would pass (not that we ever let too much time lapse but he would get louder is the point). today i tried leaving him just as a practice and instead he yelped a few times at the beginning and then was quite fine (but with some of the circling he always does)

    ummmmmmm i dunno - maybe ill just do a ton of jumping pre-test time so that he will be so tired he will hit the deck when I leave the room....... HAHAAHA
    Dodge likes this.
  8. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    You don't actually have to leave him in a stay for the test; really it'd just be prep for helping him get used to being without you. But you know, come to think of it...leaving him in a stay would give him something to focus on other than, "OH MY GOSH WHERE'S MOM?!?!?!" Might be a good thing.
    reveuse likes this.
  9. reveuse Well-Known Member

    I need to try that tomorrow
  10. reveuse Well-Known Member

    also as a side note he used to bark horribly when i would leave the house....... now he is always completely calm so he is really loads loads better than he was ....
  11. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Let us know how it goes! :)
  12. reveuse Well-Known Member

    so yesterday i tried two different times to leave him with trainer ....... the first time just saying bye , the second time doing stay as you suggested TX ... (and even (tho there is no food during the test) tossing cookies at him as i left him in stay to see if it would change things any.....

    It didn't really seem to make a difference he was equally whiny both times (but we WERE in the hotel lobby as opposed to the actual classroom)...... I'm going to go pick him up from camp now and then at 7:15 i'm going to try him in the class room , no feeding, and leaving him with the OTHER trainer (whom he knows but not nearly as well since he doesn't see her for classes and also not even really on a weekly basis to say hi when we do run into her.)

    Ill report back as to how it goes and might also leave him with one of the managers if they arent busy
  13. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Good luck, maybe something will work for him. :) Or, just time and more practice. Either way, hope all goes well!
  14. reveuse Well-Known Member

    Well fortunately and unfortunately I know exactly what works for him and renders him oblivious to my absence (or rather from my walking out of the class door). CHICKEN.
    when peppering chicken bits all over the classroom floor my dog not only does not care about the act of me leaving the room or the fact that i'm gone, he doesn't even notice that i've come back.'
    he literally has eyes only for the dispenser of the chicken ....... hahaha

    I knew this already but oh well.............. more practice tonight...... and then possibly tom and thursday.
  15. jackienmutts Honored Member

    Just read this tread - don't really have any more suggestions than those already given. I know when Alfie took his CGC (and passed - yay!), altho I felt he'd be fine on his separation, I was so happy to see him being led away to the bathroom (that was where they had chosen to take the dogs, and close the door). I just knew there were soooo many great smells in there - from the dogs point of view - that he wouldn't even notice I was gone. I was nervous beforehand, but once I saw where he was headed, I felt a sigh of relief. He did great - they said he just sniffed around the floor, etc, all relaxed. Maybe something like that will happen (much to your surprise - and relief!). I sure hope so, I know how nerve-wracking it is.

    I also practiced long stays in different rooms at home, and lots of praise-only, no treats. I remember before his test, I took him for a loooooooong walk - I wanted him good and tired, I had visions of him bouncing off the walls (cuz I was nervous) - I think it helped both of us. He just did his Alfie thing and sailed right thru. I just bet Romeo does great, can't wait to hear! Good luck!!!
    Dodge likes this.
  16. reveuse Well-Known Member

    Congrats Alfie!!!

    only had enough time to try two quickie practice Separations tonight.
    The first was about 40 seconds , with chicken here and there. - he did well, tho gave a loud yelp when he wanted more chicken than he was being given (towards the end)
    Second was a minute and a half and would've counted as passing behavior BUT she tossed him a piece of chicken at the exact moment i stepped out so he didn't see me go out the door. (so one piece of food ..) - no feeding while i was away at all tho.

    Tomorrow my trainer is there i'm going to see if i can do a few more....

    Making progress
  17. srdogtrainer Experienced Member

    That's great to here that he is making progress! It may seem like quite a challenge now, but I am sure once he masters this it will be an incredible feeling of accomplishment.
    reveuse likes this.
  18. reveuse Well-Known Member

    This afternoon I got double lucky , my trainer was there along with a trainer who works in another store (someone we "know" but haven't seen in months...)
    Ro did NOT enjoy the idea of being left with this person who he didn't remember (kind of an identical situation to what we will face tomorrow since he also knows the evaluator sort of but hasnt seen her since summer)

    BUT ......... GOOD NEWS! there is a second test offered NEXT Friday. So we can retake the separation portion then and hopefully it will be more passable (since less time will have gone by in the interim
    Dodge and Jean like this.
  19. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Glad to hear he is doing well!!!
    GOOD LUCK!!!
    Don't worry about it. Just a normal day in training....just happen to be getting certification for it. :)
    Jean, reveuse and srdogtrainer like this.
  20. srdogtrainer Experienced Member

    Good Luck!!!
    Jean likes this.

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