Go To Your Mat/place

Discussion in 'Training Challenges' started by JazzyandVeronica, Jun 1, 2012.

  1. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    Plus, one good thing about dogs,
    they always give us another chance to get it right, if we DO mess up.

    I have botched up many tricks, oh have i ever!!!:ROFLMAO: yet, buddy always stands ready to let me try again.

  2. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    one thing i think i do, to help my dog "get it" and enjoy his lessons, is,
    i tend to keep lessons short, usually 5 or 10 minutes,
    and i tend to teach him DAILY.
    and sometimes, a few quickie lessons per day.
    It doesn't take long, really, just minutes per day.
    but i do it EVERY day.

    I also move Buddy room to room, or bring him outdoors, if he is having a lil trouble getting it, to further perk up his idea this is FUN! (those are tips i got here on DTA from Jean, the site admin)

    I vary his rewards.

    I praise him enthusiastically. Most anything i am enthusiastic about = my dog will be enthusiastic about. My dog is all about compliments and praise, he is very conceited dog.

    and probably some other stuff,
    and i know, most everyone else does many of these things too, but, i think the DAILY part can really help a dog put it all together.
    i've never ever tried it,
    but, i'd guess, if i showed Buddy step#1 of a trick on Tuesday,
    and then did not show him step#2 til Saturday, he'd struggle to put it all together........i just don't believe Buddy would ever "get it" ever.

    but, i don't know, cuz i have never tried that way of teaching a dog.
  3. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    Neat video, it almost looks like there is still a wisp of luring going on there, as human sort of lures dog down and backwards to get his treats,
    but, what do i know.

    It's also adorable,
    how that one click for a lifted paw,
    caused dog to offer THAT leg lift about dozen more times. Even as video ends, the dog still wants to know, "This here leg lift that you rewarded one(1) time, you wanna see that again?":ROFLMAO:

    the power of a reward, even once,:eek: to a dog,
    is so so strong.
  4. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    Jazzy, you use a clicker, right?
  5. JazzyandVeronica Experienced Member

    I do; but not all the time; I also use a verbal marker "X" with the "intermediate bridge" taught in bridge and target "xxxx xxxx"...so if you're doing that out in public; it can look like you're walking around talking to either yourself or the dog and saying "sex,sex,sex,sex..."O_o

    I do allot of luring; and bridge and target has you do allot of explaining to the dog and showing it what you want and using targeting of body parts to various objects to explain and get a behavior (we've done well with naming/learning body parts; but we are still in the infancy stage of then targeting to various targets.) But now that I think about it and that article that Sara posted; I do as much targeting as I do luring.

    I've done a little shaping; but definitely an area I need to apply myself more to;

    and we've had a couple of attempts at free shaping (101 things to do with a box). The first attempt ended in Veronica laying down and looking at me and if she could talk I swear she would have said, "Look, clearly you don't know what you want me to do; so instead of wasting my time, I'm just going to chill until you figure it out and when you do, you get back to me". :rolleyes: Obviously I need to find more to click and look for smaller increments of behavior; but I swear to God it seemed all she did was stare at me then bark in frustration.

    *Maybe we could have a free shaping thread for newbies where we all try a *basic* exercise; video it and then get feedback. I would LOVE that!

    I think you convinced me to look for something easier to try than the paws crossed exercise...Don't want me and V.'s heads to explode simultaneously. :LOL:

    Oh and then the 2nd time I tried 101 things to do with a box; Veronica walked away. DISMISSED!
  6. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    // The first attempt ended in Veronica laying down and looking at me and if she could talk I swear she would have said, "Look, clearly you don't know what you want me to do; so instead of wasting my time, I'm just going to chill until you figure it out and when you do, you get back to me". :rolleyes://

  7. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    //*Maybe we could have a free shaping thread for newbies where we all try a *basic* exercise; video it and them get feedback. I would LOVE that!//
    YES! LET'S DO IT!!

    see, this is novel idea to me, to have ME pick out the free-shaped trick, i always feel i am just choosing from offered behaviors, and my DOG himself, is inventing the trick! Lol, i am probably doing it wrong then!!:ROFLMAO: Usually, when i free-shape, i have no specific cue in mind, my dog sees the clicker, and begins offering stuff and i just click from among the choices he offers me. I have no specific trick in mind, at all, so i am doing it wrong!!:LOL: My dog does invent weird looking tricks, btw, talk about "pointless"!! rofl!:ROFLMAO:
  8. Anneke Honored Member

    How did I miss this thread????
    Little late to jump in with advice, because it has all been said:D
    But I'll comment on your video... In the first part I see myself about 3 years ago...:ROFLMAO: NO PATIENCE. Not waiting for the dog to offer behaviour, walking around to try to get a movement to click. And missing all the tiny movements I COULD have clicked for:D
    I am not a free shaper(yet) as I consider myself still a beginner, well maybe a bit more, but not advanced.
    My trainer still tells me: GIVE HER TIME TO THINK!!!!:LOL::oops:
    I find this easier with Jinx, because she will offer behaviour. But boy, am I having trouble to be patient with Cooper.
    He was trained in the traditional way of luring(without a clicker).
    By the way, I think a dog is thinking while luring, just not thinking for himself;)
    And the first time I did the box thing, he would just stand there. So I would move around so the box was between me and him. I ended up tossing a treat in the box, so that he would move to it. Ooops luring!!!
    My problem with Cooper is, that when he doesn't know what to do, and I don't "help", he will lie down and face away from me(shut down)
    But over the years, after a few clicker workshops, a lot of reading, following Karen Pryor and Susan Garrett and Kikopup, I have learned a lot. But still my patience is a problem:D I can't help it. I AM IMPATIENT:cool: But being aware of it helps, so I have improved.
    I don't think I will ever use free shaping a lot, but I do use shaping.
  9. orpheum Well-Known Member

    The correct timing of clicking or treating is a constant factor in any form of training (shaping, luring, ...). Even the location of the treat delivery is important if you start thinking about it.
    I teach my dogs a leg weave by first making sure they have no other option than going trough my legs. After that I start tossing the treats in a very specific direction. By repositioning my reward line (where the treat is going) I build up a weave.
    If you teach a dog to spin and you constantly feed your dog in front of you he will 'stop' after every spin to check if he's earned his treat. There are a lot of things that you need to consider in training and that's what makes it challenging and fun.

    I can teach my dog a trick in one session ... But there's a difference in knowing a trick and KNOWING a trick. I sometimes wonder, when I see a list of all these tricks that the dogs "know", if they could put on a camera and in one shot/non edited let their dogs perform all these tricks with a high accuracy. Just letting a dog do something for a moment is okay and definitly helps to build up your skills as a handler. Nothing wrong with that. But they don't always know it. Just thinking out loud.

    I'm teaching my dog to stretch her hind legs on command and I've allready done +100 reps each side easily. She is starting to respond with knowledge and accurate, but to realy know it ... I'm guessing a 100 reps more isn't going to be enough. But I want to put it in a routine, so she realy has to know it. Last year I didn't train everything like I should have done and this showed in competition.
  10. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    //After that I start tossing the treats in a very specific direction. By repositioning my reward line (where the treat is going) I build up a weave.//

    Is this luring then?

    See, Orpheum, i told you, :ROFLMAO: most ppl do or would agree, "lured dogs don't think"
    Anneke says this too----
    //By the way, I think a dog is thinking while luring, just not thinking for himself;)//
    but, i disagree. This is an opinion, that lured dogs don't think, and it is an opinion that we are taught to believe, by others. It is not a "fact".
    I can even SEE my dog "thinking" in his eyes, i can spot the lightbulb moment on his face, he IS thinking! If he wasn't thinking, he would stop the behavior when i fade the lure.
    and i do NOT fade the lure, til he HAS figured out the trick (usually).
    I like freeshaping okay, but, i just disagree with the "lured dogs don't think" mantra that we all are taught to believe is some type of "fact".:ROFLMAO:
    I think tricks training, by any method, IN AND OF ITSELF, helps a dog become a better thinker.

    Orpheum, your english IS magnificent, not sure that last line will easily translate, i mean to say, i think tricks training, by any method, that is the LEARNING and interaction itself, which sharpens a dogs mind.

    Probably even dogs who have sat around for years, and never had much training, (eat/sleep/walk dogs) probably sort of come alive,:D and become more interactive, more clever, faster to "get it" with daily lessons, just sharper minded, more tuned in to lessons, and rewards,
    with even short quickie but DAILY lessons, seem to really sharpen up a dog, don't you agree?

    and btw, Orpheum, i missed your videos on page 1, we must have moved to page 2 and i missed your wonderful work there, just very excellent work there! KUDOS!!
  11. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    //I sometimes wonder, when I see a list of all these tricks that the dogs "know", if they could put on a camera and in one shot/non edited let their dogs perform all these tricks with a high accuracy. //

    Not all of tricks on my list, can always be done perfectly, every single time i ask!!! I can't speak for the others who posted lists, only just for buddy, and no, no, my dog is NOT perfect!! He can mess up a trick sometimes, and he especially enjoys messing up a trick if someone is watching him do his trick!!:ROFLMAO: Yes, we might make a terrible video, just like you said!! My dog, or i, could make mistakes.

    Perfectly precise---my dog?
    NOt every single trick, no!!!
    But most of them, yes, but not all of them, nope!!
    Also, my dog has terrible habit, of speeding up all his tricks to warp speed, and sometimes that messes up the "look" of the trick.
    And every once in while, my dog can and does occasionally mess up a trick he DOES know well, (usually, if i am trying to show him off, who hasn't had that happen? lol!:ROFLMAO: )

    And i can tell you just which ones, my dog might mess up, if he hasn't had a lil refresher course the day before. :rolleyes: A small handful of *my* trick list is old tricks, that we rarely do anymore, and THOSE tricks, Buddy might indeed, be a bit rusty on if he hasn't done that trick in a few months.
    there's a few tricks, i left off my list entirely, as i no longer do those tricks at all.

    but, give me about 10 minutes or so, to help my dog bone up on the tricks he hasn't done for a while, and he *might* do fine on an uneditted video of his trick list. but, you are right, he is a dog, and he might mess up a trick here or there, now and then. Or i might! i mess up his tricks sometimes, too, not him, but ME!
    When i posted my dog's trick list, i didn't mean to imply he does every one of those tricks perfectly 100% of the time, cuz he does not!!:ROFLMAO:

    Some of my dogs tricks, he can not yet do well amidst strong distractions:rolleyes: , like, in heelwork, oh he looks goooood,:D AND I AM SO SO SO PROUD OF THIS ------- BUT one fly buzzing him, i've lost my student.:( I have no idea how to solve this, as i do not have regular access to flies to desensitize him to ignore flies.-------- But til that fly buzzes us, my dog looks grand,:D and stays in perfect position. I've worked especially hard on precision on this heelwork, cuz it seems to be THE key thing for that particular trick---positioning.

    i can get Buddy to stay "eyes on me heelwork" around steaks on the floor,:D but usually if his daddy walks through the room, Buddy will break focus,:oops: and we are *trying* to get Buddy to stay eyes on me in perfect postion, when a toy is squeaked in room, but i can't say we are winning there....YET anyway.
    Buddy will look over at squeaking toy, a good most of the time.:cry: but, we will not give up, and who knows? maybe maybe, Buddy will learn to stay in focus/position, even if someone is squeaking a toy...or maybe not. Maybe my dog will never be able to stay in focus if someone is squeaking a toy, or if a fly buzzes him.

    but a good % of my dog's trick list, he just rocks at the tricks,
    but not every single one, every single time, nope! you are right!!!

    I've been training my dog FOR YEARSssss now.
    My dog gets most tricks in a few days, and has it down in a week, and remembers it forevvvvvvvvvver. (usually).and yes, he does KNOW it.
    he does.
    buddy is still doing tricks he learned years ago, that he did learn in about a week. I guess my dog has me fooled, when i believe, that yes, my dog "KNOWS" that trick.:ROFLMAO:

    BUT we DO lessons every DAY....even if only for a few minutes------- we don't often miss a day. I think, more and more, THAT "every day" IS A KEY thing to learning tricks. some ppl only train once a week or so, and seem to struggle with some even basic stuff a bit more. I do not think my dog could/would learn ANY trick, if he only saw the trick once a week, or once every two weeks. I think i would be struggling too, and probably very frustrated:cautious: and confused why my dog "can't learn":cry: if i only gave him a few lessons per month.

    so, anyway, when you look at it like that, tricks taught to one dog (i only have one dog) over several years, it's not really that hard to believe, is it??? If i had multiple dogs, the list would be wayyyyyyyy shorter, and spread out over many dogs.
    really, for one dog, I should have a list of 400 tricks with all the years i've spent on him. It's really not that hard to believe, imo, for one dog, given daily lessons, for years, it's a bit underwhelming when you look at my dog's list:( that way.
  12. orpheum Well-Known Member

    Let me start by saying ... My dogs are not perfect either (thank God, 'cause life would be boring). I was just thinking out loud when I questioned the lists of people in general, not yours specificly ;). I don't put an item on the list when they don't know it like I want them to know it. And yes, I'm a bit of a freak.

    I do think that a day of non-training can help a dog to clear his mind and work faster/more focused the next session. Here we have play days in between, long walk days (+15km walks), ... But I 'm talking about 1 or 2 days MAX/week. All the other days it's walking, playing and training.

    YES, we can almost agree on something :ROFLMAO:. I always say to "my" students that trick training helps to get a better bond with their dog. And a lot of times they end up saying after a few lessons "I did not know my dog could think like that". That's where I bring up this line again.
    You sharpen a dogs mind, but you will also see and understand how your dog thinks. In the end it's not about the amount of tricks a dog can do, but the way you explain these tricks to YOUR dog. Clear communication will help your dog and stimulate him to think in the same line as you are.
    But ... are we only stimulating our dog's mind, or do we force ourselves to look at our dog differently? We say that our dogs become smarter, but isn't our human way of thinking making place for a doggy way of thinking? Dogs can survive on their own. They are "street smart" and every dog can teach himself a behaviour that's so strong you'll go crazy when you want to stop this behaviour (leash barking, territorial behaviour problems, trying to speed up training to get more treats faster, ...). Most of the time the dog is outsmarting the human in these cases, even though we don't like to admit it being the "superior species" (that's why people have developed dominance theories in my opinion :D) .
    In my classes I rarely see a dog becoming "oh so smart", but owners becoming better communicators with their dogs.

    This could be considered luring (but I never call it luring). I'm rewarding the dog by pulling him out of his position in a certain way. I click for the dog to go through my legs (no luring), I program the muscles for the next step by maintaining a well defined reward line. The main idea I got from the "2by2 weave pole training" DVD from Susan Garett. Look it up and you'll see it's not realy luring.
    I also often train my dogs by clicking for a behaviour and rewarding them out of position. But I'm actualy setting them back up for succes. Like in this clip. This is'nt luring, allthough people could consider it like that.
    BUT once again. I'm not a term freak, luring shaping etc. If it works and it doesn't stress a dog it's good, no matter what it's called.
    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  13. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    //I do think that a day of non-training can help a dog to clear his mind and work faster/more focused the next session. Here we have play days in between, long walk days (+15km walks), ... But I 'm talking about 1 or 2 days MAX/week//

    oh i think that makes sense, now i don't feel so bad for days i do miss his lessons.:ROFLMAO: My dogs lessons are typically fairly short, about 10minutes each. sometimes i do go longer, my dog can pay att'n longer, but usually, it's only 10 to 20 minutes.

    //In my classes I rarely see a dog becoming "oh so smart", but owners becoming better communicators with their dogs.//

    Yes, "smart" is probably wrong word, but, that wasn't really the word i used to try to explain the changes i see in a dog who is getting training....it's not that the dog is now "more smart"...but, there is a shift in a dog who is getting training, imo, but it is not "smart".
    and Yes, i know what you mean, i completely agree we humans do become much better communicators with dogs, and i think that has to be a huge part of success in dog training. I so agree!! And i really suspect, that when a dog/human combo is not making much progress in training, that it's probably the human's deficits or mistakes or lack of persistence, not the dogs.

    but, i also think a dog himself changes a bit, too, becoming more interactive, more creative, more attentive, more focused, etc etc. I really think so. I think brains are a bit like muscles, "use it or lose it" kind of thing. And i believe tricks training helps a dog become a more thinking dog, more creative, more biddable, more tuned-in, more focused, or maybe, maybe, i do not have a word that explains the change or improvement i see or hear about in dogs who ARE getting training, but, i see (besides improvements in the human ability to communicate to a dog) i see changes in the dog himself, as well, i will have to think for a while, to see if i can think of exact perfect word for that change.
    orpheum likes this.
  14. orpheum Well-Known Member

    Smart is not sharp ... Fast reading + early hours = oops :oops:
    I do understand you and I even agree. Dogs become more open, spontanious and more confident. Let's say that both parties evolve as a species and get clearer in their communication. (y)
    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  15. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    Yes, yes, "sharp" is a very good word to use to describe what i see happening to my dog when he gets regular and frequent training! THANK YOU! *that's* the word!
    and i am the one who is native english user? rofl!
    this IS kind of funny, isn't it!? that you did better job, of finding a better word, even though english is not your native language?? rofl!! HOPE YOU ARE VERY PROUD OF YOURSELF!:ROFLMAO: I could not even ask one question in YOUR language!:notworthy:
    orpheum likes this.
  16. orpheum Well-Known Member

    Actualy, you used the word "sharp" a few posts earlier. :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO: I misread your post this morning.
    But because I'm so honest, I'll click for myself and go treat myself with a yummie cookie.
    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  17. tigerlily46514 Honored Member


    lol, i didn't realize that! ha, i am now agreeing with my own self, but didn't realize that? sounds like me!!:LOL:
    orpheum likes this.
  18. running_dog Honored Member

    Shaping cross paws, work in progress, about 1 week on, using incremental shaping, no verbal instruction, no targeting, no luring. Most days had 2 training sessions some had none.

    Session 1: Clicked lying down, clicked any motion of the legs (including just about to get up stiffening and front legs sliding as he settled more comfortably). He is used to "marching feet" as it was the last trick we shaped so he maybe found offering paw movements in a laid down position similar?

    Session 2-3: reliably offering pawing movements but often these were directed at me - that is away from his other paw, for a while we stagnated here because I had not thought about how to mark progress.

    Session 4: having thought about markers I clicked any motion of his paws where the paw on landing was in line with his shoulder or pointing towards his other paw (I click movement by either paw). By the end of the session his paws were pointing towards or touching each other on almost all attempts. When I run the sessions too long he starts to try to target me and his paws end up way out, targetting is a hinderance not a help!

    Session 5-7: paws reliably touching almost every time but seemed unable to progress. Tried not clicking a touch to see if he would emphasise the movement next time but just ended up making him fed up. Realised that one of the problems is that clicking him when his paws touched also meant I was clicking his paws touching the floor so he won't rest one paw on another because he thinks the paw must be on the floor O_o.

    Session 8: after some thought I began to click when the paw was in the air or brushing the other paw on the way down. No click for paws not touching. By the end of the session the right paw was brushing side/top of left paw almost every time to ensure paws would touch on landing.

    Session 9-10: Still clicked right paw brushing left paw. No click for paws not brushing (sliding paws sideways to touch eliminated). Holding back on a click still doesn't work but gave jackpots for any split second extension of the time the right paw was resting on the left paw and for any movement to further cover the left paw. At the end of session 9 he deliberately placed right on left for a moment, at the end of session 10 he deliberately placed right on left for 4 attempts out of 6.

    Right paw still slips onto ground after touching but we've made a lot of progress and it certainly looks like this trick is shapeable. I'm sure Zac could have got this far so much quicker (maybe 4 or 5 sessions earlier) if I had been clearer about progressive criteria from the start (any paw movement, paw in line with shoulder, paw pointing inwards, paws touching) and hadn't given him the wrong message (paw on floor) and had better timing (to mark the paw in air/paw brushing).

    I'll let you know what happens next :), you might even get a video if I find a memory card with space.
    JazzyandVeronica and orpheum like this.
  19. JazzyandVeronica Experienced Member

    Oh dear, I am going to be the worst free shaper...EVER!!!

    That sounds like really wonderful stuff RR...but dare I say it...painstaking and tedious.

    I'm afraid I really don't have the patience. :(

    I will have to pick something super easy to start with. I think I am more impatient than my dog. When I try to free shape, she is like "What the hell! Figure out what you want and get back to me"!! and I am like, "Oh my God!! Let me just show/tell you what I want you to do"!! :oops:
  20. running_dog Honored Member

    Jazzy you will need to teach Veronica how to free shape before you will get anywhere and that takes practice with really simple tricks - like looking at an object, touching an object, nudging a ball, paws on an object, tipping a box over... Veronica doesn't understand free shaping yet, that's all. If you want to feel encouraged then bear in mind that less than a year ago Zac would have just fallen asleep if I tried to shape this trick. In a few months of occasional training he learned to be a reasonably competent free shaping dog despite my failings in timing and recognition of clickable behaviours.

    I posted the training in detail because I thought it would be interesting for you to see the progression of how one behaviour leads to another - we've gone from clicking front leg muscle tension to Zac deliberately placing one paw on top of another by free shaping alone... despite me making so many of the mistakes we already noted in this thread :rolleyes:.

    No I haven't found the training tedious so far because once we figure out the block each time we are always making a little progress, not repetition so much as incremental progression, once Zac's says "this is repetition" I know I've made a mistake. We have tried to learn cross paws other ways and gave up, this is the best we have ever done with this trick. Cross paws is a tedious trick that many dogs don't really get very quickly whatever the method - that's why Tigerlily said don't start free shaping with cross paws.
    JazzyandVeronica likes this.

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