Ellie Saves Some Money...

Discussion in 'Off-Topic & Chit Chat' started by CollieMan, Apr 6, 2009.

  1. CollieMan Experienced Member

    In the grip of a global credit crunch, even the dog has to pull its weight and make some savings... :)



  2. CollieMan Experienced Member

    Not sure what's happened to the video thumbnail. I'm assured that it will appear in time.
  3. Jean Cote Administrator

    LOL. Nice job CollieMan!!! That looks pretty hard for Ellie to do. I should train my dogs to do this... Its a great challenge idea too! :)
  4. jasperaliceuk Experienced Member

    Great Collieman - well done Ellie.

    I should see if a ball works as an incentive for Milo as he is quite ballcentric. It works well for agility but I never think of using it as a reward in clicker training tricks.

  5. CollieMan Experienced Member

    Food has just just never worked as well as a ball for Ellie. I think she'd happily jump through fire to get to her beloved ball!
  6. bnwalker2 New Member

    That is awesome!
  7. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Nice job CM. ^^

    Do you use food initially? Will she take treats at all?

    With Zeke he will not take anything, be it cooked meats, vegetables, fruits, bought treats, anything. But like Ellie, he would jump the moon for his tennis ball. He never has, even as a pup.

    I'm not brave enough to try this one with Mudflap yet. I must admit her 'drop it' is awful. Needs a lot of work before I'd feel safe with this trick. It is very cute though and it's been on the to-do list for a while. ^^
  8. CollieMan Experienced Member

    If I don't mind seeing a lack of enthusiasm, I can use food. But it's made very clear by Ellie that food isn't her motivation. When she does take food, she bores of it very quickly and so it has to be rotated to ensure a constant change in smell, texture, and taste. All in all, everyone is happier sticking to the ball!
  9. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    So when you first start a trick, does she usually just catch on with the tennis ball?

    I haven't tried it yet, but with advanced tricks I'm not sure how shaping would work with a tennis ball alone. He rarely lures with a tennis ball. He did recently learn spin using luring(with the tennis ball), but aside from that I can't get him to lure for anything. If I were to teach him to say, get me a kleenex, I just don't think it would go anywhere. Luring and shaping are just kind of complex when he's ball-obsessed. We are starting a training course in a few weeks though and I'm hoping I can get some tips there...
  10. CollieMan Experienced Member

    Yes, she does. If I start to teach a new behaviour with food, then, because she sees food as extremely secondary to the ball, the behaviour is also done with less enthusiasm (and most certainly less speed). If, on the other hand, I start with the ball, then she will generally be much faster and much more enthusiastic because she wants to get to the ball at the end.

    You are absolutely right though, shaping with a tennis ball does make teaching some behaviours more convoluted and, dare I say, 'trickier'. However, I've long since got used to the fact that Ellie is a tough dog to train (by far the hardest I've ever had to work with). My life (and yours by the sound of it) would be so much easier if we each had dogs that were motivated by food.

    If you take the example of the kleenex, it would be just the same as shaping with food, but it's overall much slower because you have to bounce the ball, and the dog has to catch it, etc. (As opposed to just passing a piece of food from your hand to the dog's mouth.) So shaping isn't quite as fluid or as quick as it is with food, but I think when you have a dog with the makeup that we evidently have, the overall result, when using a ball, is just as good as that achieved by a food-motivated dog.

    If you're looking for a specific example, and I haven't already taught her it, I'll video it with a tennis ball from the start to show you what I mean.
  11. marieke New Member

    That's a great trick!

    I train Guus with both food and toys. He prefers the toys most of the time but only if I play with him. Just giving the toy isn't enough. Training with a toy/ball does take more time but I noticed I can extend the training time compared with food-training. When training with food he'll get bored after 15-20 minutes, with a toy he's much longer focussed.
  12. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Indeed Z is by far my most difficult as well. He will literally turn down steak or chicken for a tennis ball.

    I haven't tried clicker training with him although I know it can work very well even with toys. Zeke has a flawless catch, so the issue of getting his reward fast enough would not really be an issue. He rarely ever misses. He knows only seven commands(err, requests, ;) ) right now (and directed jumping) because I'm just not sure how to work with him I suppose. We are making progress, which is exciting, but I'm just not exactly sure how to get him to do more advanced tricks.

    I guess my question is, do you teach new tricks entirely with the tennis ball, or with both food and tennis ball? If you would like to film a vid I would be very very grateful. :) But if you're busy or anything then that's fine. Just your advice is greatly appreciated. ^^
  13. CollieMan Experienced Member

    It used to be with food and ball. These days, I've grown to realise that I get better results using just the ball. If I use food, she'll just grow to resent or become bored with the behaviour because she doesn't see food as a good enough reward. That will then show in the end result. (Performed much more slowly and with far less enthusiasm.)
  14. snooks Experienced Member

    Very nice work with ur smart girl. She catches a ball like my Goldens with that POK sound b/c she's so into it. I think it's amazing that you've done all this with a low food motivated dog. Bravo!

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