Stepping On And Off Platform

Discussion in 'Dog Tricks' started by teach333, Apr 25, 2014.

  1. teach333 Well-Known Member

    I would like to teach my dog to step off and on a platform with his front feet on cue. Ultimately, I plan to be standing next to him on the platform, and I want him to step off when I do and back on when I do. Any ideas on how to begin?
    running_dog likes this.

  2. brody_smom Experienced Member

    Are you clicker training? Have you done any training before, using either luring or shaping?
    running_dog and southerngirl like this.
  3. running_dog Honored Member

    Welcome to the forum :)
    Is your dog to step on with his front feet only and then step off backwards, then front feet on forwards so only his front feet ever go on the platform?
    brodys_mom and southerngirl like this.
  4. southerngirl Honored Member

    Just want to say welcome. One you've answered the questions that the other members asked we can get a better idea to help you.:)
    brodys_mom and running_dog like this.
  5. running_dog Honored Member

    While I am still not 100% sure what you are trying to train this is how I would train what I think you are trying to train:LOL:.

    I tend to use "paws" or "paws up" for placing both front paws on an object, then "off" or "back off" for stepping down. My dog has generalised these so I can point to just about any object and cue "Paws up". So to teach him to close the door I simply cued "Close the door - paws up" until he associated the cue close the door with the action he was going to be told to do next, or for beginning pivoting I cued "paws up" onto a book then shaped/lured the pivot. For me "Back off" tends to be more ragged in it's execution because I've never formalised it - and it is different for different objects.

    In your case why not use a low stool, a thick book, or maybe the bottom step of your stairs and either shape or lure front paws on - I used luring and patting the object encouragingly because I'd not really heard of shaping when I taught this. If your dog knows "back up" you can then cue "back up" or "reverse" or whatever to get him to step back off the object. If your dog doesn't know back up just let us know and we can help you with that.

    If you use the bottom step of your stairs you can then introduce him to the idea of you being alongside him as he steps on and off.
    brodys_mom likes this.
  6. running_dog Honored Member

    In fact if you leash your dog and have him stood next to you, you can cue "paws on" and encourage him to step forward with you on to a step, reward him, then cue "paws off" and a second later step back off the step and when your dog steps back you can reward him there. Repeat a few times and then try without the leash. Repeat and then start rewarding paws on and paws off randomly - don't reward only paws on nor only paws off or your dog will just do that one and stick there either with paws on or paws off :LOL:.

    Edit - In fact you shouldn't need a leash at all just have your dog beside you and use verbal encouragement and luring. The only thing with a leash is that a lot of dogs have the idea that when they are wearing the leash they move with you, so it is a kind of hint to the dog that you want it to step forward/backward at the same time as you.

    Do please let us know how you get on :cool:
    brodys_mom likes this.
  7. teach333 Well-Known Member

    Both he and I will be on the platform. It is actually not a platform but is a foam "bed" that lies on the floor and is about 6 or 7 inches high. I want us to step off and on as if we were doing step aerobics. Only his front paws will come off the bed.
  8. teach333 Well-Known Member

    I love the idea of using the stairs! Thank you! For Shea, "paws" means to put his rear paws on something, so I will choose another term, and he knows "back" so I think that part will not be too difficult. I'll let you know how things go.
  9. running_dog Honored Member

    So use the foam bed, Cue "On" step on and encourage/shape you dog to join you. Then cue "paws off" and step off, by rewarding close to your side the dog will most likely only bring it's front paws off anyway. Then cue "back" step back lure/encourage and reward your dog when he rejoins you. Initially place the "bed" next to a wall so the dog is between you and the wall that way he doesn't twist about as he steps back. I wouldn't be worrying about using special cues for this as the foam bed will itself show the dog what you are expecting, "on", "paws off" and "back up" (or their equivalent) should be adequate particularly as most dogs are fairly front leg aware - it is the hind legs they might struggle with when backing onto objects.
  10. running_dog Honored Member

    I'm not sure the step of a stair would be wide enough for what you are describing?

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