Turning Every Day Things Into a Trick

Discussion in 'Dog Tricks' started by driven, Jul 5, 2008.

  1. driven New Member

    How do you go about taking every day behaviors and make them into tricks? You click when you see them doing it, right? But what if they do not repeat it right away or even repeat it at all for the rest of the day? How will they know that is what you want them to do? My dogs do not learn from just one click or even two or three...

  2. driven New Member

    Can someone please answer?:dogsad:
  3. dat123 Experienced Member

    To be honest, I don't think you can, unless you can provoke the dog into repeating that behaviour so that you can c&t . I've tryed many times, when Arlie wipes her nose with her paw ( obviously an itch ), to teach "shy". Unfortuneatly she dosen't repeat it a second time.
    I did teach her to walk sideways in front of me ( like a crab) from a natural behaviour she started. After an agility run at training she would be after a treat, I would be walking forward , she in front looking up for the treat, it happened so often that I gave it a command word, treated her, and turned it into a trick. This is an unusual situation where the dog repeats something at a certain time, so it is easy to capture the moment, because it is predictable and repetative.
    My dogs have never learnt anything from only 3 clicks.
    Keep trying with capturing those behaviours, make a big fuss when the dog does it, it may sink in one day, but will take a looooong time !
  4. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Nice answer Dave. You really just have to try to see what, if anything, sets off the behavior. For instance, if you're trying to capture a yawn, pay attention to when your dog yawns. (Usually after playing, waking up, sometimes training, exercise, etc.) If you've been sitting around for hours waiting for her to yawn and she's still ready to play, go for a jog. When you get home, give her a good massage. She should be ready to snooze right away and let out a big yawn! Lol. Mudflap is very quiet, not at all vocal. This has proved to be very tricky when teaching her speak. Many people suggest holding a treat and just waiting for them to get frustrated and bark. When Mud gets done running through all her tricks in an attempt to get the treat and still doesn't get it, she just gives up and will lay down and take a nap. She doesn't bark at a knock at the door or the ringing of the doorbell. She doesn't bark when you won't give her her favorite toy. She just doesn't bark. So...teaching speak is pretty low on my priority list anyway, lol.
    With any behavior, just pay close attention to finding something that sets off the behavior. If they just do it randomly, then you're going to have an extremely hard time. Good luck!
  5. driven New Member

    Thanks for the info. Jean had said this in someone's thread:

    I thought there might be a certian easier way to go about making it work.

    Jean, if you read this, please respond with more info.

  6. Jean Cote Administrator

    There is not any magical technique to trigger the behaviors. But you can reinforce the ones that you like by keeping treats in your pockets and giving your marker signal (saying "Yes!") the moment your dog performs the behavior. You can even speed up the process by giving a jackpot (a few treats all at once).

    The dog will then try to figure out what the heck earned him those treats! He might think that it is something completely different like the way he was walking or what he was looking at.

    So ... it will take some time, but it does work.


    I wanted to get my dog to yawn, there is absolutely no way to teach my dog this by luring or even shaping. So I sat down with a bunch of treats, looked at my dog and waited until she got bored, lied down, and yawned. Then I clicked & gave her a treat.

    She still had no clue as to what earned him the treat! She'd get up, try to play with me, then lied down, and yawned again! Bang, another reinforcer!


    Which behavior or trick are you trying to teach? Because there are usually other ways of triggering the same behavior without having to wait for it. That is why most of the classroom lessons uses luring. :dogsmile:

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