Me And My Pup Asher

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by JoAnne, Apr 11, 2011.

  1. JoAnne Well-Known Member

    You guys make it sound so simple. Ash is still mouthing the dowel rod and won't hold it long enough to even get the click. And no, there's nothing wrong with his mouth; he's chompin' on a cowtail about the same size and shape as the rod. He'll accept it in his mouth, but then just wants to chew on it followed by spitting it out. He is however doing the touch and will, (eventually) jump to get one over his head:poop:.

    Bird on the other hand, still won't let me pet her head, (which is what I'm going for) B U T has already learned to immitate the sound of her clicker; sheeeeeeeesh.

    I'm starting to consider crossing back over.:cry:

  2. JoAnne Well-Known Member

  3. JoAnne Well-Known Member

    Treat question here...what's the best way to keep liver fresh and tasty? Can it be frozen after its cooked and be thawed out like one chunk a day?
  4. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    JoAnne, i feel bad you are hitting a lil block there in getting Asher to hold the item. I do that too, sometimes, hit a lil block in getting my dog to go along. Hopefully, someone smarter than me can come along and give you good advice, at any rate, hang in there.
    My dog definitly prefers and enjoys some tricks more than others, and sometimes, rarely, but sometimes he just doens't "get" a trick, ha ha! If he isn't getting it, or making much progress, i shelve that trick, and begin new one. Usually, for reasons i can not explain, when i REintroduce a trick, he "gets" it then, go figure.
    Not that THAT is the sol'n for YOUR dog with this, there may be better idea, stand by for someone smarter.

    Re: liver, ha, i am embarrassed to admit here, that i was once told Liver is too too rich for dogs to get much of it, too much vitamin A or something, and we should only give dogs small amts of it. See, i don't know for certain if that is true, or not, <----is why i'm embarrassed. I find conflicting info on the net on that topic, but,
    to be safe,
    i make THESE treats, so that each crumb i give is only 1/3 liver, not pure liver.
    And someone smarter may come along and say, "Joanne, disregard Jean's advice about liver has to be limited, is poppycock", and i readily admit, *i* do not know for sure!! rofl!!! So go with their advice, mine is just caution.

    however, for MY dog, if i use those, sometimes he gets TOO excited about the treat, and doesn't focus as well. Honestly, that is what happens sometimes!!

    Be sure you never say "no"
    Be sure you keep lessons short, stopping before dogs zones out
    Be sure you end all lessons on positive note(trick dog does well) and follow with playtime.
    Be sure you use tiny treats so dog doesnt get full...
    and Be sure to advance slooooowly, going from rewarding a two second hold, to rewarding a five second hold, to an eight second hold,
    not straight to full minute hold....

    that's all i got, BUT, Joanne, stand by, someone else smarter will be along to help discover what is Asher's hangup here!!!!
    JoAnne likes this.
  5. JoAnne Well-Known Member

  6. JoAnne Well-Known Member

    Actually your advice might have been better than you gave yourself credit for. After posting that, I tried hold with a different size dowel and had better luck and then rewarded him with a game of retrieve. It may be as you mentioned that the food reward was actually distracting. I notice that with Labs in my class on numerous occassions. The idea of liver is enough to make him want to play the game, but then clouds the progress or maybe he just rewards better with the toy. In either case, we'll try tomorrow fresh.

    Another question: is it too early to start getting him use to a service vest? I don't have one, I'm just wondering, as in my experience I've found it's never too early to get them used to anything they're going to be expected to do. And is there such a thing as a 'service dog in training' vest?
  7. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    yeah, Buddy focuses better (Buddy easily gets overly excited) for hotdogs or bits of meat, but, my homemade liver treats, he goes TOO bananazzzzzz.....he then acts like that dog in the "Bacon! I want Bacon!" dog treat commercial.....

    WOW, KUDOS Joanne, sounds like you are figuring out what Asher needs to do the trick!! (doing handsprings)

    I do know they sell Dogs in Training vests, online. There are words on them, somehting like, "Don't pet me, i am IN TRAINING" or something. Google Dogs in TRaining vests. or Service Dog training vests. I once thought i had to bring Buddy on plane, and (don't everyone slam me) i was considering having him pose as my service dog, you can get cards and vests right online) and then, instead of being in cargo, Buddy would sit between my feet for entire trip.
    NO place in US can question WHAT kind of service dog he is, whether it is a dog for blind, or anxiety prone person, or seizure detection, or whatever, they are NOT allowed to ask that.
    and i really didn't want Buddy in cargo....nope.
    but, turns out, we drove instead. Which is good, cuz, airports are chockful of german shepherds, and although i LOVE GSDs, Buddy HATES allllllllll GSDs, and he would have acted a fool if he saw one, and gave us away as decoy service dog fakers. (okay, now everyone can come in and slap around on me for ever even thinking up my cockamamie idea)

    I have no idea how to train or accustomize the dog to those vests, but, i'd bet, one thing is, you probably have to figure out way to have dog associate that vest with something great, at least at first,
    to get off on good treats, or going for walks, or going bye bye, car rides, or something. I think, if you just stuck the vest on him, and he just hangs around the house, he *might* be like, "What the heck is this nonsense all about? Get this off of me!" ha ha!!

    someone else here might know more, OR you might look through the service dog areas in forum.
    JoAnne likes this.
  8. sara Moderator

    NOPE no finals for me! Just work and dogs! LOL
    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  9. sara Moderator

    Another thing, Joanne, If you hit a block, stop and think about why Asher isn't getting it. Maybe you have to go back to the beginning, and click for a very short time, then work back up, time-wise. Also maybe, instead of using a wooden dowl, consider a different material. maybe a metal training dumbell would work better, or a mall peice of alumenum pipe

    OR train the retreive first, then start adding time before you take it out of his mouth. he may think differently about it. Sometimes it's US that need to think... not the dogs LOL
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  10. JoAnne Well-Known Member

    He'sooooo smart but I guess everyone thinks that. He's been picking up toys and going back out to get somethings he's forgotten on cue for four months, (he's seven months now). Some of the things he does are absolutely amazing. I just simply cannot figure out how to communicate certain things with him.

    If nothing else, now that I've admitted to the whole universe, that I really don't know nearly as much about dog training as I thought...that perhaps in this moment of ultimate humbleness something truely life changing will happen....I know it does when I'm stuck in a video game anyways.:LOL:

    Wake up Ashy, we gotta go to the nursing home.
    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  11. Pei Pei Active Member

    I'm new to this site too and am brand new to clicker training as of January for my now 13 month old. I had already taught him a bunch of tricks and commands but when I started using the clicker it was amazing. I read or am reading all the top positive reinforcement training people's books which have really helped and taken intermediate obedience too. I can't believe what a clicker does. I went to visit my daughter last weekend and told her I would help with her unruly one year old. In a day and a half he no longer jumped and happily knew all the basic commands with a short focus for now. My daughter is thrilled and they tell me he is a different dog now. Relaxed and calmer and he loves his sessions with my daughter. I can't believe it was that effective!!!!
    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  12. JoAnne Well-Known Member

    YEAY YOU and nice to have you here!
    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  13. JoAnne Well-Known Member

  14. JoAnne Well-Known Member

    If my breeder found out I had a vest w/o him passing the requirements she would never speak to me or answer an email/question again. That's why the "In Training" part and in my heart I feel the same way and why I'm so motivated to break thru here.

    :):):):):) I was just working with him and huge progress yet we're still far off. Here's what happened:
    We got back from his nursing home visit and I could tell he was in the mood, so I asked "Wanna do a trick?" Saw the head cock so off we went. He kept wanting to grab/chew the end of the rod which made me have to hold both ends presenting him with just the middle. With no more hands left, I put the clicker under my foot to operate it, (that's why I'M the human!). It was hysterical, he stared at the dowel rod and he barked at it, whined, howled at it and pawed at it relentlessly. I just sat there, calmly smiling at him and speaking in almost a whisper. Finally he took it (click) but backed away and spit it out (treat). Then we did it again, (and again and again) with pretty much the same results. I couldn't get him to really hold it and the closest he would come was to chew on it.

    We tried again, he's still so pissed off at this stick, you can actually see it while he's just yiping and howling and swearing at it all the while still pawing at it. I remain calm, knowing not to laugh. He's still very focused so we continue, but now I ever so calmly lower my hand and put one finger just under his chin...NO pressure, it's just under there for a count of three, woohoo he's h o l d i n g i t ! click, treat, hug kisssssssss! Wanna do it again? Sucess again! "OK, that's all; I pick up his ball and throw it. Training session over.

    The next time we do this I'm going to try it in a comfy corner to help keeping him from backing up because I've taken the advice of not having him on a leash. Not being able to say 'no' is a real test of my self control, lemme tell ya!
  15. sara Moderator

    He's going through an extinction phase... what worked before is no longer working. Like a temper tantrum in a child. KP has a chapter on it in the book you're reading, if you haven't got there yet. Keep at it, he'll figure it out!
    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  16. Ina Well-Known Member

    Hi JoAnne,

    don't forget that you puppy is only 7 months old. You have to be patient.
    I am new to clicker training myself - I watched lot's and lot's of videos to get the idea just how a dog learns.

    I am trying to get Smokey to bring a note to one of my kids. This means he also has to learn to hold on to something first. First I tried with a piece of paper. He does put his nose to it, but isn't opening his mouth to hold it. So we quickly discarded the idea of holding a piece of paper at this stage.
    Instead we use a toy now that he likes to play tug-o-war with. He happily takes it in his mouth and I click. The sound of the click will make him drop it because he knows there is a treat coming. I repeated the same thing 20 times in one session without adding a verbal cue to it yet. In our next session I will wait with the click just a tiny bit longer before I click. If it works I will try to increase the duration to one second, maybe 2 seconds in the same session.
    If the dog gets frustrated with one trick I set him up for success - meaning I ask for tricks that he knows and then rewarding him. Once training time is up (max 5 minutes) we play for another 5-10 minutes. No training - just play.
    Once the dog holds the item reliably for 5 seconds I add a verbal cue.
    This means you have to have a LOT of short sessions before the dog knows just one part of a trick.
    First session - taking it in his mouth (repeat 20 times, click and reward)
    Second session - Holding it for one second (repeat at least 20 times, click and reward)
    Third session - Increasing the time to hold the item for 2,3,4 and finally 5 seconds
    Fourth session - Adding the verbal cue "Hold it" and clicking after 5 seconds.
    It's a slow process - don't try to go too fast. It is tempting to combine all these sessions into one, but if the dog has any issue with a trick SLOW DOWN. Don't get overexcited and end the session when he does it right. Rather repeat the same thing 20 more times before ending the session. This way you can START the next session from this point on.

    What REALLY helped me with my clicker training was to record one session and play it back later. You can see your mistakes immediately and fix them.
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  17. jackienmutts Honored Member

    All really good advice here. JoAnne, don't forget one thing ... it's not only you who's trying to figure out this whole clicker thing. Asher is trying to figure it out too. Ok, so what the heck does she want me to do with this thing in my mouth?? If I pick it up, she makes that sound, and gives me a treat - GREAT! Now what do I do to make her give me another one? Think like your dog. Make it PERFECTLY clear to Asher - do whatever it's gonna take to make it clear to him. Give him the rod, the dumbell, whatever you're using - his mouth is ON it, click/treat. Make sure you're clicking when his mouth is ON it - then keep increasing the time his mouth is ON it BEFORE you click/treat again. If he releases his mouth, no click. That's why you only increase in a couple seconds at a time - and repeat so many times. It gives him a chance to say hmmmm, ok, so it has to do with my mouth, it's on that stupid stick, she wants me to hold it - I GET IT NOW!!!! :rolleyes: He'll suddenly have his ah-ha moment, and it'll be smooth sailing. The second you see he's GOT IT!! (and you'll know), really really praise him, don't hesitate to let him know that's what I'm looking for!!! along with the click/treat - and he'll just sail!! You'll develop a whole new communication between the two of you, once you really get going. You'll start shaping new things, it will go really fast once you both really learn how it's done. Right now tho, be patient. Be patient with each other. You're both new at this.

    I read your scenario of your session again. If you're holding it with both hands - how about holding it with one hand (so you can click with the other), and the second he puts his mouth on it, click/treat. Don't give him the opportunity to even begin to chew or take it. Don't let him get that involved or think that far. Then again, and again. Then, when he puts his mouth on it, make him wait a second or two longer - cuz this time, when there's no click, he's gonna wonder why not. See if he thinks about it???? Let him wonder what just happened. If he tries to take it - stop. Let him stew on it for a bit. Sometimes it good to let them think. Then try again later - with the quick sessions of clicking the instant the mouth touches the dowel, then increasing the time again. See what happens, see if you can maybe increase by a second or two before he tries to grab it and chew.

    As Ina said above, Asher is only 7 mos old - so if he's like most pups his age, the whole world is kind of like one big ol' chew toy, and heck, you're waving one right in front of his face. :p Anyway, it's a thought... Keep up the good work, don't give up, you're both gonna have your AH-HA!! moment, and it's gonna get waaay easier for you (and you're also not gonna feel clumsy forever, I guarantee it!! - we've all been there).
    tigerlily46514, JoAnne and sara like this.
  18. Pei Pei Active Member

    Tiger Lily,

    Thanks for the treat recipe, they look yummy!. I have to stop using flour since my other dog may be allergic. I have been making my own treats for some time because I don't like paying for Natural Balance, hot dogs, liverwurst, spam, etc all the time, plus several of the ones my training institute has recommended are not very healthy but I have been using flour in most of them Making your own is inexpensive and they love them. I have a great one with tuna or salmon that I think I will post on the food place. I have not found a liver one that they go crazy over yet so I am hoping this one will do the trick. Do you think I can substitute liver powder for the chicken livers?

    I have really liked reading this thread and i have learned a lot. I want to teach my pup so many things that i think I get overwhelmed and don't focus on any one for too long and then pick it back up again. I go through most of his tricks every day which take some time because I think if I don't he won't remember them when I go back to them. This can make the training session too long. What do you think about them forgetting a trick if you don't do it for awhile when they know it well?
  19. jackienmutts Honored Member

    Hi Sandy, welcome aboard! Cute pups!!! :) If you don't go thru all your dogs tricks every day, he'll still remember them. It's more important to focus on giving them all the steps they need and allowing them to learn the tricks well. Yes, practice makes perfect - and do practice a lot. But you certainly don't need to run thru everything each day.

    Teach your dog a trick, practice it a lot, make sure he's really got it, make sure it's reliable, meaning, he can and will do it for you every single time you ask, and he'll do it just like you want. When he can do that, you don't need practice every single day. I recently asked one of my dogs to do something she hadn't done in a year (cuz I forgot she knew how!). :ROFLMAO: A friend was over, we were doing tricks, we were running thru everything I could think of (yeah, kind of showing off a bit). Then, oh yeah, I forgot about "crossing paws" - I asked her to, and she looked at me like "huh?" I asked again, HUH? (blank look) I knelt down, got the clicker/treats out, had her lay down, went slow, just like a regular session, she followed my finger as it crossed over her one paw/leg, she looked at me - and literally within a minute, she looked at me like OH YEAH, I remember this one now!!! and was back to 'crossing paws' like an old pro. So yeah, they definitly remember. :p They get rusty when you don't practice (as I just proved - so we've practiced that one several times, and she flies thru it now), but if you practice regularly, they don't forget. Don't sweat the daily routine - you want to keep things interesting for both you and your dog.

    Keep your sessions short - dogs do much better with short sessions. One or two 5-10 minute sessions in a day are much better than a long session. And if you're teaching a new trick, work on that for maybe 5 minutes, end with something really simple and fun that your dog doesn't have to think about, then play for a couple minutes. Always end with something light and fun - that way your pup(s) will always look forward to training sessions!
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  20. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    //"If my breeder found out I had a vest w/o him passing the requirements she would never speak to me or answer an email/question again."//

    Guess how interested *i* am in pleasing those who would use dog uteruses to make a living? ha ha, in the midst of this severe dog overpopulation crisis, with less than 5% of breeders doing proper health screening, all the way back through both parents family trees? It is so so sdifficult to find a purebred dog without inherent health problems. CAn be done, but, it's hard, and some breeds, are completely disabled by inbreeding. (like King Charles spaniels, for example, almost impossible to find a healthy KC spaniel.) AKC registration means nothing as far as health goes, absolutely nothing........ the nightmare place Buddy was born in sold AKC registered dogs. AKC will even register mom/son matings.

    If your breeder does stop talking to you, then you can rescue next time, and avoid $upporting breeders with your wallet, and find your next pal on Or whatever similar site is in each country.
    RESCUE, DON'T BUY!! i say!!:)
    and yes, like i said, they sell vests that say, "in training" online.

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