Trouble With Props And Shaping...

Discussion in 'Training Challenges' started by brodys_mom, Sep 17, 2013.

  1. brody_smom Experienced Member

    I was trying to teach the "Rebound" trick using shaping and a target mat, but once I had gotten Brody to jump on and off the mat, he started just picking it up and leaving the area with it. This is a habit he has when shaping with props. If he gets stuck, his "go to" behavior is to pick it up and run. Any suggestions?
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  2. sara Moderator

    Just ignore it, and if that doesn't work, end the session and walk away. Go back to it in a few minutes, and try again. Sometimes with Ollie I have to do that ;)
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  3. 648117 Honored Member

    It could be him showing you that he has had enough and is bored. How many repitions do you do before he takes the mat?

    Holly did this when I was teaching her to retrieve a dumb-bell, if I asked for too many repititions she would run off with it (and start to chew it which is not good at all) so I learn't to only ask for a maximum of 4 retrieves (although I'd try to end on a good one so we might actually do just 3 if the 3rd is good, or a 5th if the 4th was not as good as I know she can do) and then move on to something else.
    She would be fine if we then came back to the retrieve and did a few more.

    She loves the retrive now, but I still only ask for a couple of repititions (which is fine since she only needs to do it once in competitions).

    It's always tempting to try "one more time", but maybe you need to take a break after just a couple of repititions and do something else for a while.

    Or you could have a leash on him and as soon as he grabs the mat he can't get away and you can take it off him and end the fun.
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  4. brody_smom Experienced Member

    I probably had him do 4 or 5. I'll try backing off to 3 or 4, then move on to something else.
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  5. southerngirl Honored Member

    What I do to keep training fun is I'll work on one trick such as weave for a little bit than I'll work on another trick such as shake for a little bit, then go back to the weave. Basically I teach a hard trick and an easy trick so that if the dog is getting bored and/or frustrated with the hard trick you can switch to a trick that they'll pick up on.
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  6. brody_smom Experienced Member

    I was feeling frustrated because we had barely started. I was following a video that someone posted on a different thread, using a target mat on the sofa, and cuing him "on" then "off" and he was doing fine. I was clicking and treating him for both, but I wanted him to get "off" quicker, so I didn't click for the next "on" before I cued "off" again. That's when he started picking the mat up. I thought, "uh, oh, I moved too fast. I'll go back to clicking for both" but before I could give him his treat, he had the darn mat in his mouth again!
    MaryK likes this.
  7. MaryK Honored Member

    All the above posters have given excellent advice. Leaf will do the same thing if she get's frustrated or she's done the trick a couple of times. I do what Sara, Southerngirl and Holly's Mom do - back off leave the trick alone sometimes for a day or two and I always work as does Sotherngirl, easy trick hard trick easy trick and ALWAYS end with a trick she knows and loves. Always end training on an UP note, never a down one.

    With Brody, you've moved too quickly. He's either bored, back off and do less of that trick, or frustrated again back off. Please remember, on the 'how to' videos they rarely, if ever, show you how long, how many 'bloopers' such as running off with the prop etc. they just show a dog who knows the trick really well and is past all the blooper stages.

    Don't rush Brody, let HIM decide how long it takes to learn anything and now he's running off with his mat, I'd give him a break for at least a couple of days before even attempting that trick again. Then just do maybe one/two repeats and 'sandwich' them between tricks he knows and loves. And as Holly's Mom has said keep training FUN!!!!!!!!!!!! It honestly doesn't matter how long it takes for a dog to learn a trick, or even for that matter if he never learns it. There are some tricks which some dogs just will not do. I tried for a year to teach Rakins 'shy' but he didn't even get close to 'getting it', but he sure had a very long and impressive trick list, so one trick he didn't get, no biggie. :)
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  8. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    I'm sorry but this is really hilarious. :ROFLMAO: I can just imagine Brody's face. UGH I'm done, I'm hauling this thing away so Mom can't ask me to work on it anymore. LOL.

    Ahem, sorry. Same as everyone else says though....sometimes it's good to take a break from a trick by abandoning it entirely for a little while, or by going to another trick for a bit. Don't let him get bored with it. Nothing to add, lots of good tips here already. :)
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