Learning To Count

Discussion in 'Dog Tricks' started by CJSophie, Mar 1, 2013.

  1. CJSophie Well-Known Member

    I recently began teaching my dog to count. She is a 2 yr old jack Russell and she's a bottle of crazy. The reason thats so important is because it's hard to get her to focus.

    We are only on step 1: speaking upon my subtile cue.
    My subtile cue is looking directly into her right eye to begin barking, and breaking eye contact to stop barking. This was a cue that someone else used with their dog. My problem with this is, I don't know when to click and reward.

    Do I click the moment she starts barking when I'm doing the cue to begin barking (right now I still have to use voice command too)? Or do I click when I cue her to stop barking? I'm not sure how to correctly distinguish when to bark and when to stop.

    Also another thing I thought of today was, when ever I'm training her, I always look at her like I described as my subtile cue to start barking, I mean, I always make her "Look" then I proceed with the training. But I'm almost certain this will confuse her and I'm afraid that once she learns the subtil cue, she might begin speaking whenever I do look at her.

    So I thought maybe by saying "Ready" or "What is..?" Might be as a prep for her to know that when I look at her to begin "counting." But how do I teach this?

    I am really determined to get her to do this and I'm super excited if only I could get some help.

  2. Mutt Experienced Member

    Click = you earned a treat for the thing you were doing.
    It also means that the dog doesn't have to show the desired behavior anymore.
    So I would click when she is barking if you want to reinforce the barking.
    If you are working on being quiet, than you reward after you break eyecontact and she stops barking.
    Than you are reinforcing to be quiet.
    One thing: when I taught barking I would always show a signal (verbal/hand etc.) before the dog barked or only reward only after I showed the signal. This to prevent my dog to bark whenever he wanted a treat.

    I personally would chose an other sublte cue. Eye contact is something I personally reinforce a lot and also use a lot.
    It would be quite unhandy if looking at your dog means barking, as barking excites dogs and will make it harder when you are working on precision.
    You are now indeed reinforcing that looking at her = barking. My hand signal for barking is opening/closing my hand like a dog mouth. If I would go for a more subtle sign I would very lightly tap my tumb against my palm.

    You could also use a word (than it would be a verbal cue). Than you would want ready to be the cue to start barking (a hand signal wouldn't really be nessecary anymore as the word already is the cue to start barking).

    I hope this helps, good luck with the training, let us now how it goes :)
  3. CJSophie Well-Known Member

    Ok, I agree with the eye contact not being such a good idea. Thank you for the information. However, I'm trying to teach her to count and right not we are still on the first step "learning subtile cue to start/stop barking." So with out verbal commands, and not so noticeable (to spectators) cues I want her to bark and stop barking to take the illusion of counting.

    So if I say "What is 1+1?" Then present her with a subtile cue, that people aren't noticing me doing because all attention is on Sophie, she will bark 2 times (or whatever the answer is) then I will show the subtile cue to stop barking.

    So for me, it seems difficult to teach these subtile cues (start & stop barking.)
    First thing; I show subtile cue to start barking (I.e. hands on hips), Second; she begins to bark (but only a few times, at this point I still have to command to speak), Third; I should click & treat-----but now how do I teach her the subtile cue to stop barking if I have already clicked and treated? This is where I'm confused.
  4. Mutt Experienced Member

    I understand but you saying the frase 1 + 1 could already be the cue for her to bark twice :)
    If she unserstands to start barking than you don't click for that anymore. You should see the stopping also as a 'trick' so if you are workin on that you click&treat when she has stopped barking.
  5. threenorns Well-Known Member

    you don't have to start with the subtle cue - you have to start by her learning the behaviour. the subtle cue will develop on its own bec dogs are WAY better at the little things - ppl say "oh, your dog dogs hand signals!? that's incredible!" when really they should be amazed he knows verbal instructions bec dogs don't talk verbally.

    dandy does "peekaboo" when i wink at him. thing is, he learned peekaboo by me telling him "peekaboo!". then once he got it down, i started saying "peekaboo!" while tapping the side of my nose. he, himself, decided that a wink was the thing - i'm wondering if tapping the side of my nose made that eye flicker.

    if i want him to heel, i say "yumyum!" or i hold my left arm sharply bent up at my waist (as if i have a heavy bag hooked over it). extending my arm means he can wander about - but it started by my saying "yumyum!" and patting my pocket to remind him i've got a bag of gravlax in there or flinging out my arm to say "go on, then".


    "sit" is a fingersnap - or i could say "sit".

    "lie down" is a downward flick of my right forefinger (not the left, only the right).

    so first teach him to bark on command and stop barking on command (two separate things) - then associate the verbal command with a subtle cue, then fade out the verbal command.
    Mutt likes this.

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