Trying To Capture A Rare Behavior

Discussion in 'Training Challenges' started by CrisM, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. CrisM Well-Known Member

    I successfully captured the play bow by clicking and treating whenever Valentine naturally did it and now I can get her to do it whenever I ask. The behavior got really solid when I would ask for bows during fetch. I would have her bow before I threw the ball each time. Fetch is very reinforcing for her.

    Okay, so now I'm trying to get her to Shake Off and she does it so very rarely that it's not sinking in for her. I click each time, name it, and give her treats or throw a ball for her, but that might only be twice a day. We've been at this for over two weeks and she just has no idea what I want if I ask for it. :unsure:

    Because I'm a maniac, I've tried messing up her fur to see if she'll shake it out (no such luck), tried rubbing her ears with my thumb and forefinger because that will sometimes get a head shake, and tried gently blowing on her. When any of these things actually produce even the slightest shake, I click, name it, and reward. I kind of feel like a meanie for doing those things, though, because I know she doesn't love them. They sort of annoy her. And she doesn't seem to be catching on anyway, because they only produce and additional one or two minor shakes.

    I'm wondering if you have tried to capture a behavior that is rare and how long it took your dog to get it. Valentine is so smart and she gets tricks so fast that I guess I'm getting a little impatient to see results. Nothing has ever taken this long! :) Is there something else I should be doing?
    Linda A likes this.

  2. Linda A Experienced Member

    I have no suggestions for you but after reading this I think I will try to capture this behavior with my dogs. I know they 'shake off' after I brush them. It would be easy to do a quick brushing three or four times a day. How does your dog react after a brushing?
  3. CrisM Well-Known Member

    Brushing her or even pouring a little water on her doesn't seem to help. :confused:
    I've even tried showing her what I want by shaking myself. :LOL:
  4. Evie Experienced Member

    Oooo! this is a tricky one! If you work out a way to make your dog shake do let us know, I can imagine this trick would be near impossible with Evie as the only time I ever see her shake is after she's been swimming.....
    Dogster, 2SpoiledAussies and CrisM like this.
  5. CrisM Well-Known Member

    As an update, Valentine is still not Shaking Off when I ask her for it, but she is starting to give it to me when she wants something as part of her "Can we play fetch if I do this, or this, or this?" line up of tricks. Where she'll give me seven different tricks in a row, hoping one of them will get her what she wants.

    I think that's progress. :LOL:
    freedomdreams, Dogster and Linda A like this.
  6. kcmetric Well-Known Member

    Some dogs will shake if you blow in their ears; this can be stressful on them though so I suggest you only do no more than 2-3 times a day (much like putting tape on your dogs nose for cover your eyes).
    CrisM likes this.
  7. DevonW Well-Known Member

    When Thor get's a bath (which he HATES but he adores getting muddy and stinky) he's not allowed to get out of the tub until she shakes. So I'm starting it that way. I tell him shake and then he gets reinforced by being released out of the bath tub and a treat.
  8. freedomdreams Well-Known Member

    What if you tried putting a blanket ontop of her when she's standing ? Or something along those lines.
    Dice Smith likes this.
  9. srdogtrainer Experienced Member

    A great trick and one of the hardest for my dog. I started this trick a couple years ago. He would shake when he got up after a nap so I would praise him and make a big deal about getting a treat for him. He increased the behavior but he was not getting the idea that 'dry' meant he should shake himself off. I started making sure I treats with me and made this the #1 trick that he would get reinforced for. A few months later he would do it get a treat and I could say 'dry' and he would do it again, but I couldn't get him to do it at a random time unless he already had done it on his own. It seemed that when he had a bath was the best time to work on it. When he was wet he would give a bigger shake. When he was doing it for a treat he would mostly just shake his head. He was also good about shaking off on command when we got on the porch after being out in the rain. We also worked on drying before coming in if he had leaves or something on his fur. He is finally becoming fairly reliable with this command when I give it to him randomly without being wet. It sure was a hard one though and took a looooooonnnnnggg time.

    Good Luck!
    CrisM likes this.
  10. srdogtrainer Experienced Member

    Oh, and dogs are a lot more likely to dry off if their head is wet. Even if they are soaking wet all over, if their head is dry they might not dry off. This is why groomers do the head last; to avoid getting wet the whole time.
  11. CrisM Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the tips. She's getting to the point where she is offering the behavior more and more often as a daily occurrence, so I get more chances to treat her for it. But when I ask her for it, she still gives me five other tricks first and paces around before she thinks to give me a head shake. (You are absolutely right about that, she usually just shakes her head.)

    What I have also noticed is that if I put her ball away, tell her the game is over, and go to do something else, she will shake her whole body to get me to bring the ball back out. Because she knows that's how I reward a shake-off. So I think we're getting there.

    I may also just be being manipulated somehow I haven't worked out quite yet. :rolleyes:
    srdogtrainer likes this.
  12. kassidybc Experienced Member

    Although this may just end up taking more time, if you had a kiddie pool that you could teach her to get in on command, when she got out and was soaked she would most likely shake. :) Then you could capture that. And especially if she enjoyed swimming in the kiddie pool, you could probably get her to get in and then get out and shake quite often.

Share This Page

Real Time Analytics