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Old 08-21-2012, 07:58 PM
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Beanie Beanie is offline
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Default Does anybody else have this... uh... problem?

I'm working on "look at that" with Payton. About a week ago we had our first major success. I was using a hand chopper to chop some nuts for trail mix and I figured he was going to hate the chopper, so I got my treats ready and treated him for being calm while I touched/moved/used the chopper. It took about ten minutes, and only that long because I stupidly decided to make SURE he really was going to hate the chopper first and he went over threshold. (Sometimes he surprises me with what he does and doesn't decide to bark at, so... I should have just gone with my gut instead of making sure it was a Bad but. Lesson learned.)

I felt so proud of him. I wasn't crazy chopping going to town, but I chopped three cups of nuts and he didn't really care by the end. And not once did I whack him or yell at him or intimidate him or even flood him.

So I got out my big pile of Weird Stuff tonight to work on it some more in a controlled setting and without setting him over threshold. The first thing I got out was three tiny pinwheels.
I accidentally taught my dog to spin a pinwheel with his nose.
Then I got out a plunger.
I accidentally taught my dog to put his front feet on a plunger.
Then I got out this big fake plastic lollipop.
My dog decided to jump on top of a moving box.

He thinks there's more to the game than just looking. He wants to interact with stuff when I put it in the framework of "here's a clicker and some treats, and there's a weird thing." I think this is good but at the same time not. Good that he sees something weird and instead of "THAT IS WEIRD I NEED TO BARK AT IT," he thinks "This is a game! What can I do to get cookies? LOOK WHAT I CAN DO"
But I won't always have a clicker and treats with me to re-frame the "game" into a game of LOOK WHAT I CAN DO. And he won't always be able to interact with the weird stuff beyond just LOOKING at it and then looking back at me, which is part of the point of just teaching a Look At That.

This is a strange problem to have. Definitely not the worst problem in the world to have, but I'm not 100% sure how to go about fixing this. =P
By the way, Auggie is wearing an e-collar to stop him chewing on his foot, and Payton grabbed the edge of the e-collar and was dragging Auggie around by the e-collar. Just thought you should all know that. oh Payton.
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Old 08-22-2012, 07:08 AM
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Um yes. If you put something, anything, in front of Mu she will start shaping with it. Trying to stand near a rally course results in cone shaping. If I stand around on an agility course she will start shaping on the nearest piece of equipment. I find it hysterical and haven't really tried to fix it so...I'm really no help at all. Lol. I have found that at three years old she's really not scared of much though - I think it's partially a result of looking at everything as a potential reward object. So you might find that the more you do with Payton the less he gets weird about random objects.

The lollipop made me laugh - was he scared or just working? A couple years ago Mu decided that one of those cutesy little bear statues on a porch was the devil come to carry her off and wouldn't come near it for anything. Not even bacon.
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Old 08-22-2012, 08:19 AM
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I wouldn't worry about it too much.

But one thing you can do to broaden the scope is to have the Scary Thing a short distance away and have Payton on leash so he can't physically go over to it...and being on leash is a real possibility Out In The World so it would be good for him to get used to playing the game on leash anyway.
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Old 08-22-2012, 08:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taqroy View Post
I have found that at three years old she's really not scared of much though - I think it's partially a result of looking at everything as a potential reward object. So you might find that the more you do with Payton the less he gets weird about random objects.
Let's go with that because it sounds positive, LOL. I like that way of thinking, so hopefully it will turn out that way. I mean, that is partially the idea... that he learns to see weird things as a good thing. So maybe it's not a problem after all. He just won't be seeing the game the same as it is in the book hahaha.

Yeah, he was just working when I had the lollipop out. =P He didn't even care about it. The only thing I brought out that he was like "WTF?" at was the pinwheels. I even picked the plunger up and was dancing in the yard with the plunger (good God, when I move my new neighbours are going to think I'm a drunk.) thinking that would make him go "WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH THAT WEIRD THING??" and nope. Nothing! I was holding the lollipop so he couldn't start pawing it like he did with other stuff, and the box was right there where we were working. He first put his front paws on it and was looking at the lollipop with his front paws on the box, then he just jumped up on it entirely. I just started laughing and figured we'd end the game. ;P

There was also a small box on the floor, and Georgie came running when she heard the clicker, and put HER front paws up on the small box, thinking that would get her cookies. And of course Auggie ended up trying to sit on the pinwheels in the yard. *facepalm* The dogs I train, ladies and gentlemen.


Putting him on a leash is a great idea since yes, he usually is on a leash when we spot a WTF IS THAT out in the real world. I will try that next time. I'm wondering if I could take him somewhere like Rural King, there's TONS of weird stuff in there being a farm store... and hopefully fewer stupid employees who will keep getting all up in his space whenever we're trying to do any training (COUGH COUGH PETSMART COUGH.)
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Old 08-22-2012, 08:26 AM
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LOL Yeah, I think it's a good problem to have! I'm mean, really, if we're talking things like other dogs, creaky ring gates, flapping tents, and all that stuff, you'll probably be holding him on lead where he can't approach close enough to interact. My guess he'll either settle for LAT or get a bit frustrated with because YOU'RE NOT LETTING ME PLAY THE GAME, MOM! Maybe once it's in a context where it's just not possible, he'll get it. But I think it's great he wants to interact!

...Keeva did once try to nose-poke a dog at agility class, come to think of it.
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Old 08-22-2012, 10:11 AM
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Jack doesn't react/bark to scary objects at all, so we don't play games with them, BUT he does view any new object that comes into the house as a potential perch, regardless of whether it can hold his weight or not. New furniture? Climb on it. New rug? Lay on it. A box of something or other? Sit on (or in) it. We have a spare bedroom in the basement that's used for storage, and a ton of stuff is boxed up. We have to babygate the room because he goes down there and plays mountain goat, and can't get back down. So I feel your pain!
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Old 08-22-2012, 10:15 AM
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Elsie tried to figure out which paw I wanted on the broad jump, since she'd never seen one before, it's on the floor, and the clicker was out.

Oh Elsie.
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Old 08-22-2012, 11:45 AM
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Hahaha, oh Elsie!

Scout's gotten to where she'll offer stuff for even scary objects when I don't have a clicker and treats present. It may take a bit, but she'll try at least!

I was in the studio painting last week and had her with me. She finally noticed the mannequin of a big muscle dude in the corner and was really wigged by it. I finally got her to investigate it, but it took a bit. She never barked or anything, but stood up and was staring at it like wtf and given that she's usually passed out on le floor that got my attention.
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