Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by gkhouck, Feb 4, 2009.

  1. gkhouck Well-Known Member

    Hello all,
    I'm new and still trying to figure out how to use this site. I have a therapy dog and would love to teach him some tricks for the patients and staff at the hospital we visit. We also go to a 1st grade classroom for reading. I'm open to any help. Thank you:msnrolleyes:

  2. snooks Experienced Member

    Tricks for a therapy dog are WONDERFUL. Good for you to want to learn how. Def check out previous challenges. We are currently working on cross paws, the current challenge. My 1yo puppy dreams of being a therapy dog and it's so much more fun if your dog can do those types of things for people they visit. Sometimes esp older people who may be a little resistant because they don't get to make many decisions in their day are captivated by very cute tricks. A wave, shy (paw on the nose), hide (paws on head), bows, play dead or go to sleep if that's more pc, sitting up with front paws off the ground are all things that don't involve touching in case there is some fragility issues and are great fun for one person or a group to watch. It also helps break the ice if your dog comes up and bows to someone asking for a pet.

    The challenges are pretty creative and very fun to try, check them out. Welcome to you and your Labz! :dogbiggrin:
  3. gkhouck Well-Known Member

    Thank you Snooks

    Thank you for such wonderful ideas. I'd love to know the steps to teach each trick. I will review the classroom and the previous challenges. I can't wait to get started. Toby loves to please, typical lab and many other breeds, and will enjoy these. The hardest part is getting the other dogs some place else without hurting their feelings. They each want a turn and that lengthens the training episodes. I'm newly motivated thanks to you.
  4. gkhouck Well-Known Member

    I've been working on several tricks with Toby my therapy dog. Some are going well, some just need more work. I'd gradually like to add 'hide' (paws on head). It's a trick that you mentioned, but I haven't found a thread on it yet. If there is one, please let me know where to find it.
  5. ozjen Well-Known Member

    Another option with shy is for the dog to tuck its head down between the front legs while standing, like a half bow with a turtle head tuck if that makes sense or another way is using the say your prayers style while the dog is proped on an arm, against a stool or similar. Both are easy to teach if your dog is trained to touch a target stick if not it would be easy to lure to the desired position. I'll try to post a couple of pictures in the picture section as my explanations are probably a bit hard to visulise. As Snooks mentioned possiably a variation of shy would work too.
  6. ozjen Well-Known Member

    Not sure if I am sending the pictures correctly, but if it works it will give you an idea what some of the options look like. If I stuff it up, then my apologies to all, I'm still trying to work all this out as I go along.:msniwonder:
  7. gkhouck Well-Known Member

    Thanks everyone. Toby and I keep trying things. We haven't gotten the magic combination yet, but we'll keep trying. You have so many great ideas. The wrist band idea was a little tight, but Toby just sits there with whatever I put on him. I need to find the right place for the tape and sticky. He either sits there and looks at me waiting to see what I'm going to do next, or he knocks it off immediately. After that he doesn't want anything to do with the tape. He rolls on his back and rests. I can't get the tape on that way. He's no 'dummy'. Right now I'm happy with his paw touching his face anywhere, but I'm just not making it clear enough for him. I try to do it for just a few minutes a couple of times a day. I do lots of his other tricks in between.
    I'll try the blowing and keep working on the perfect spot for he tape. I know he can do it, if I make it clear enough.
    Thanks for all your input. This is a 'way, cool' site.
  8. gkhouck Well-Known Member

    The pictures were very helpful. Thanks Ozjen.
  9. ozjen Well-Known Member

    Glad to be of help. One thing to keep in mind when your training is not to aim for a perfect result at the begining, if your dog puts his foot up to his face even if it is only the quickest of swipes then he/she has done the correct thing. To begin with you are only getting the general idea across, perfecting it to the end result is a building exercise. I use to look at tricks etc as the end result being what I was aiming for in the beginning, but I learnt that the more I break down the trick the quicker the dog learns it. In the begining I might click and reward (I love my clicker) for something as minor as the dogs foot leaving the ground especially if it is not familiar with the training game. I will also station clickers and treat containers thoughout the house if I'm out to capture a natural behaviour I want to turn into a trick. My girl is so use to playing the training game now that if I click a behaviour once then she will usually experiment by trying it again to see if that was what I was clicking. It's so funny watching her face when she gets that second click, her eyes light up in that lightbulb moment. If you can't find a trick here that you want, I find that there are alot of great trainers on Youtube that will show how to teach particular tricks too. You will find some mentioned on various posts on this site. I'm still fairly new to this site as well but there seems to be a great selection of good trainers here so your in the right place.:msnohyes:
  10. gkhouck Well-Known Member

    That was soooo helpful. I didn't think of breaking the trick down into tiny pieces. How do I get Toby to finally put his paw ON his face or eyes? I love the idea of keeping clickers and treats all over the house. You are right, it works so well to be ready all the time. I can do a simple, short training sessions whenever I think of it. I don't have to go around looking for my 'stuff'. Thanks. Toby is beginning to catch on. Sometimes it feels like he has it. He does it, I click, we repeat it, he does it right away. Then I take a break and come back to it and it's like he's totally forgotten it.
  11. snooks Experienced Member

    some cat toy sticks with poofy balls at the ends are a little more interesting than dog sticks with the hard plastic ball. if you can find a fairly durable soft ended toy on a stick and use it that worked better than I expected. it was sort of like a princess wand. LOL
  12. gkhouck Well-Known Member

    update on 'shy' from threelabmom

    We are definitely making progress. Toby still isn't consistent, but he gets better every day and I guess that's the point. I've taken the advice of rewarding each small step and he is a happier boy. We are past the tape, thanks, that was not all that fun for Toby.
    Anyway, I am excited. We are also working on 'dead dog'. He already knew how to roll over so this was easy to teach.
    I am really enjoying this site. Thank you everyone.
  13. ozjen Well-Known Member

    Sounds like you are comming along really well with Toby. It's nice to hear that you are also working on another trick, I think it saves the dog getting bored if I work on more than one trick at a time as long as I don't make them similar tricks the dog handles it fine. By similar I mean that if I was teaching 'shy' I wouldn't work on wave or hi five as it might cause some confusion. As the dog gets more familiar with the tricks its not an issue.
    I agree this is a great site, I only found it a short time ago but I will be adding the site to my recommendations for my puppy buyers when Jenna has her next litter.

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