Obedience Basics

Discussion in 'Obedience Training' started by Keeper, Jul 4, 2012.

  1. Keeper Active Member

    Well, I got my new dog as some of you know and I think the time has come to train him past 'sit'. But, alas, there is an issue. He is SO food oriented he has become very hard to train. Whenever I go to teach him I use treats and NOT a clicker. Should I use the clicker only for trick training or with obedience, too? Anyway, here's what I'm doing:

    I quietly pull out the treat from the bag, a small roasted chicken one :) and allow him to know its there only by scent. He goes berserk.
    I tell him to sit and he gives me that face: "Do you want to starve me, mommy? Cans I have it noww? Pwease?"
    I dont give it to him. I tell him to lie down using the command "down" as I lower my treat hand. He lowers with it and accepts it.
    Now, the first time he did this I thought I saw progress, but really the more I do it I realize he goes deaf whenever presented with a chance for food. The command 'down' doesn't even process through his head. He just foolllooowwwssss the food.
    Should I be telling myself, "Patience, grasshopper," or am I reinforcing bad behavior, Am I just having no effect whatsover, is my entire method of teaching wrong...?

    Anyone relate? Anyone totally not relate but have an idea? Anything's fine, some help would be helpful, though.

  2. Amateur Experienced Member

    I think You first have to train him to not focus on the food .... I am sure someone know which video it is in ... but basically you have a bowl of food in front of you and the dog only gets a click and a treat if he focuses on you and not the food. if he advances towards the food - you move it out of his reach -- when he relaxes and looks at you, you click and treat. Eventually he should be focused on you and no the food and then you can begin to teach other things .... hopefully .
    Gordykins and Dogster like this.
  3. Keeper Active Member

    Alrighty. I'll try that. the only thing I will have to be careful of is that he realizes the point and what he's trying to do.
    I'll catch you up on how he responds and how it goes!
  4. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    Aww, cute about the dog! Now is the dog "grabby"? trying to bite the treat out of your hand in crazy way?

    I'M SO GLAD you post your questions,
    and so glad you are training your new dog, Keeper! YESssss!!
    Your dog is very eager to please you, and my dog also goes spazzy if he has not had many lessons lately,:rolleyes: but, with daily lessons, my dog gets a little better at not going hyper-spazzy out of sheer joy and excitement "yay, i get a lesson! i get a lesson!" kinda thing.:rolleyes:

    I use a clicker for everything, well, almost everything..... a few things, i can't quite decide when to click, but, most everything else, i use a clicker.
    I use a clicker for fear issues, behavioral issues, tricks, everything.


    It takes a dog a while to solidly learn a trick. I am very slow to fade a lure, and very slow to fade the reward, til i am sure my dog "gets it".
    A dog may perfectly perform a new trick on Tuesday,:D and on Wednesday:confused: or next week, draw a blank on the trick, no idea.
    so yes, your instincts there are RIGHT!!! i say patience is a grrrrrrrrrrreat thing to have, especially for a dog new to you,
    new to your home,
    and new to tricks training!!
    It sounds like he is doing great!! Yes, his excitement seems an indicator he will fast become a tricks-addict! lol! As overwhelming as Keeper's excitement is, an enthusiastic dog is a plus, imo.

    Like i said in the "clicker for newbies" thread,
    a reward does not have to be food. A member here says her dog does better with other forms of lures than food. She often uses shaping, or uses a target stick for the lure, to instead of using food for the lure.
    Some ppl use tuggie-toy play for rewards, too. I have occasionally used a new toy for a lure, but, frankly, my dog gets very excited about a new toy, too!:ROFLMAO:
    My dog also goes spazzy:LOL: for food rewards,:rolleyes: but, i see that as a plus, cuz i am glad he IS food-motivated,
    and i realize,
    it takes a while to teach a dog a trick,;)
    and if one uses a food-lure to train tricks, that it DOES take a while to fade a lure.

    there is no harm in click/treat too long,
    but attempts to fade rewards too soon can mess up some dogs. It takes some time to solidly nail a trick, not just one lesson, but many lessons to solidly nail a trick. some tricks take weeks!
    And all dogs are unique.

    Try to click during the trick, or during last moment of the trick,
    not clicking dog for staring at the treat after he is done with the trick.
    I keep my treats out of sight during the trick itself, and click/treat during last moment of the trick, not after the trick.

    If i am using a food lure, to get him into position,
    i usually do NOT use that bit of food as his reward, but give him a treat from my dish of treats for his click reward. does that make sense?
    Gordykins, Mr-Remington and Dogster like this.
  5. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

  6. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

  7. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    SEEING it done,
    can be helpful: HOW TO TEACH sit, down, and stay.

    Dogster likes this.
  8. Amateur Experienced Member

    Paws posted this somewhere else aboutimpulse control ... cou;ld help

    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  9. Dogster Honored Member

    I think teaching Teddy Bear "leave it" might be helpful. It helps with his self-control.:)

    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  10. Keeper Active Member

    Thanks so much, guys!! He just got to meet some larger dogs hes never met when I gave him a walk down the street. He was very proper and a bit of a show-off. :ROFLMAO: He's becoming a great walker and understanding the concept of never being ahead or behind me. Anyway, thanks for helping!
  11. Anneke Honored Member

    :D Food motivated dogs are the best dogs to train!!!:confused: (read this with a bit of sarcasme;))
    They will follow the food anywhere, without realising what they are doingO_o
    So like everybody says, you will need to teach him some selfcontrol.
    One thing you can do, is to use lower value food. Like his kibble.
    I made a list of 10 treats I use. 10 being the lowest value, 1 being the highest value.
    In my training(I see obedience as tricks training too, because sit and down are just tricks) I use the lower value treats for the tricks that thay already know well and the number one value treats for new tricks and for place where there are a lot of distractions.

    To stop my dog from focussing on the treats too much, I did the following excercise.
    I take a treat in my hand. The dog sees it. I make a fist, with the treat inside and hold it in front of my dog. I let the dog try to get the treat. Some dogs get this very quick, some are more persistant. As long as the dog is pawing, nibbling, licking, touching my hand, he's NOT getting any treat. But the moment he moves away from my hand, I open my hand and tell him to "take it"
    The moving away can only be looking away or a slight turn of the head, if the dogs backs up a little or sits down, that would be fantastic!
    All this time, you stay silent. No praise, no corrections(unless he is actually biting your hand, in that case you can let out a loud AUCH!)
    When he understands, he gets the treat by moving away and being calm, you can take it to another level.
    The basis of obedience is eyecontact. So now you can move to holding the treat and waiting for eyecontact. If the dog doesn't look at you at all, you can help him, by holding the treat in front of your face. Only treat when he looks into your eyes.
    Once he is reliably doing this, you can start holding your hand in different positions, for example, treat in right hand-arm stretched out horizontally to the right. Or hold your hand behind your back.
    The dog is allowed to look at your hand, but he should then look at your face.

    I use the clicker on and off. Some obedience exercises I trained without the clikcer, some I did with the clicker. But I use a markerword which replaces the click. I use a high pitched YES, just because it is short and powerfull. Good boy/girl is just too long.
  12. Keeper Active Member

    Ah, that really helped! Thanks! I tried the treat trick with him and he went on for 5 or 6 minutes until he finally understood he wasn't going to get it. He then sat down and stared at me, begging. I released the treat after three seconds and he got it. I think that continuing daily with these exercises will really help and I can't wait to (Hopefully) see some progress. I'll keep you posted. ;)
  13. tracy Active Member

    hi there everyone !! i am new to this site and i m so glad i can post my questions and queiries here . well my story goes ... i am currently living in Brasil as my husband works here and i ve been here for 3 months now. as soon as we got here i was looking around for some voluntary work to do and i found this doggy aminal rescue home.
    I went to see if they need any help .. ( with my little portugese language skills ) and found out that someone has brought 6 puppies of 2 weeks old to that home, the night before. They were found on the street left outside in the rain!
    I fell in love with them and i decided to adopt one, well there was the big decision of chooinng one, and i picked up the most quite one, as in her eyes it showed pity ! Her name is Tracy
    I went straight away to the 'vet' in town ( which by te way works part time as a soldier ) and he had her checked out.
    As she was only 2 weeks old i had to fed her with a bottle every 2 hours! She has been dewormed too . oh that was such a messy time :s
    I did all the reaserches my self through the internet.Now she is 8 weeks old and through some reaserch i found out that she is a lab/boxer breed.
    She is very playful and learns quickly.She already knows her name, how to sit down and stay while i give her the go ahead to go.
    We noticed some agression in her, she attempts to bite when she is pissed off or told to stop biting , which is a bad habit of her.
    I am positively sure that by time she will grow out of it, as she is very young.
    My concern is that she may become more agressive due to the fact that she has not learnt any social skills from her mother or siblings and i am the only one around her all day.
    She has plently of toys to play around and i give her attention and time to play, all day long!
    I cannot socialise her with any other puppies yet , as she just got her first shot 2 weeks ago.
    Unfortunately the part of brasil that i am currently living in , do not have the option for dog trainers or dog parks either.
    Any suggestions how to handle her better?!
    Thanks to all
  14. Anneke Honored Member

    Hi, Mel and welcome to DTA.

    First of all, next time you post a question, start a new thread, so your question won't be overlooked;) You can do this by clicking the forums tab(Home-Forums-Shoutbox-Members-Help) at the top of the page. Then select where you think your question should be, by clicking one of the forums. In this case: General Dog Training.
    On the right you'll find a button saying Post New Thread. Click that and you can post anything you want!

    With that out of the way...
    Wow, that must have been very tough, feeding such a young pup!! Good for you, for rescueing!!
    Now you say you see agression in her. I wouldn't call it agression, it is just that she has not learned bite inhibition. Like you said, there is no mom to tell her it's not ok to do this. So it is up to you. It is very normal for young pups to be very mouthy, as they are getting to know their body.
    With a normal pup(grown up with littermates and mum) a simple high pitched AUCH would do the trick, in teaching her that she hurts you. Followed by ignoring her(stop what you were doing, for example, you were playing with her, she bites hard: you yelp AUCH and stop playing. I don't know if this will work with your little one, but it is worth the try.

    Do you know someone with a friendly dog? Because another dog would be very helpfull in teaching your pup manners. But you would have to be very sure that this dogs IS friendly with pups.
    That might be very, very hard... I lived in Surinam(top of the continent;)) and if Brasil is anything like that, people aren't usually very dogfriendly:( So finding a well raised dog might be impossible.

    Any way, there are lots of knowledgable people on here, who can give you better advice.

    Jean or Sara, maybe you could turn this into a thread, so it won't be overlooked???
    Dogster, tigerlily46514 and tracy like this.
  15. Keeper Active Member

    Hey there, Mel! Thanks so much for joining and I can't wait for you to contribute to some of the threads. if you do, you'll earn points and slowly you will become a regular member (Not a new member) and your title will slowly get better.

    Oh dear, I'm talking like I've been on forever! I'm new to this, too and just signed up yesterday. Also, I'm an addict to the forums. *shame on me*

    I have a dog named Teddy Bear and Bear for short. His picture is my profile picture. ;) He's a mixture of god-knows-what, also.

    Even though I'm new I would be happy to help you out with training and things of those sorts! I hope you have a great time in the forums!

    P.s. Listen to Anneke, shes a genius and can answer anything for you. Scary, huh? Dont tell her I said this, though, okay?;)
    Dogster, tigerlily46514 and tracy like this.
  16. Amateur Experienced Member

    Hi Tracy's mom.
    Just like Anneke said, I wouldn't label it aggression either, just a normal inquisitive nippy puppy. She gave you great advice , hopefully you can find another dog who is healthy and has had all their shots for her to play with and learn. Good luck and have fun.
    Dogster, tigerlily46514 and tracy like this.
  17. 648117 Honored Member

    Does Teddy follow your hand and lie down without a treat in your hand?

    It could be that he has learn't to lie down using the signal of your hand being placed on the floor and is ignoring your verbal cue. So when you just say "down" he doesn't know what your talking about because that is not the cue he has learn (the hand movement is). If this is the case then the food is not really an issue (although it will help to teach the dog self-control), it's just you and the dog have different opinions of what the cue for "down" is.

    I usually don't use a verbal cue at all at first. First my dog is lured with food (eg, hand+food lures dog to lie down), then lured with an empty hand (eg, empty hand placed on ground just like when it had food in it and the dog should lie down, click+treat), then the luring motion becomes a cue (eg, hand moving down means lie down, click+treat).

    Once the hand signal is good you teach the dog the verbal cue by saying "down" a moment before you do the hand signal, when the dog lies down click+treat. After a while make the delay between the verbal "down" and the hand signal longer until the dog lies down before you give the verbal cue (the first few times the dog does this give it a "jackpot" of extra treats and praise).

    This is how I do it (except I don't always give tricks a verbal cue). Everyone will have different ways and their ways might be better, you just have to figure out what works for you.
  18. GEORGE'SDAD Well-Known Member

    Welcome!!! It is rough i know, to have such young pups. My dad and I had a litter of hounds that their mom got sick and died a few days after the pups were born (there was eight of them). My dad had the night time feeding shift, my stepmother had the day shift, and I had the evenings. All eith pups had to be bottle fed, and had to be cleaned every time they used the potty. We had a heated pad in a laundry basket with puppy pads in it for the puppies to sleep in, but they were out of the basket and on the living room floor playing with us the whole time they were awake. It was a LOT of work to keep the pups healthy until they were old enough to sell. But, it made for some great dogs (I know, i got to keep one:D)
    tigerlily46514 and Dogster like this.
  19. tracy Active Member

    hey everyone

    i m back with a question !
    Tracy is growing up really fast and she is now 9 weeks.
    we try to be submissive with her and she can learn very fast but she is obsessed with our hands and feet, we go say ouch and No! But she keeps on coming .. the more we say no the more she wants to bite , and although se is very small she is already showing signs of dominant.. any tips how can i stop tis?
  20. GEORGE'SDAD Well-Known Member

    SOCIALIZATION!!!! Get her around other dogs and it will help her become more submissive. But, be aware that such a young puppy, will continue to chew on things/you to some extent. But get her around other well-behaved dogs as much as possible. Puppies are like small children, they learn best through observation and the earlier you get them learning, the better off you are IMO;)
    Dogster likes this.

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