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Old 10-26-2012, 09:12 PM
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Beanie Beanie is offline
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At the beginning of the video, when you pull your hand back to take a single cookie to reward him, he gets up and moves forwards into you and mugs at you a little again. Pulling your hand away is demotivating so you're sending a bit of a mixed message, because you're taking the reward (the sight of a handful of cookies) away THEN you're rewarding him. Instead of withdrawing your hand, take your free hand to your open hand of cookies, pick up one cookie, then deliver that single cookie to him. If he lunges at the single cookie before you have given it to him, you put the single cookie back in your other hand and close your fist again. Here's a video of it being done:

Be careful that you are not actively rewarding him for turning his head away or for looking at you - this is not a "watch me" exercise, it's an exercise in self control. I don't see him learning either right now, but you need to be mindful of his movements and reward faster or you will be rewarding for a physical action. I see a few times it looks like he is wondering if a head turn is what you are wanting.

It's great that you're stopping to play with him after a minute or two to help break his stress level, but I think for now you should set an egg timer to 60 seconds and work for 60 seconds only. Then physically get up, play!! and walk away. Just super short sessions. Some dogs can learn this game in just one longer session, but Baloo is stressing out and his max seems to be about a minute before he is looking a little "done." He does a LOT better with the treats on the floor than in your hand, I think because your rules are clearer there because you aren't taking the pile of cookies away every time before you reward him, so you might be able to work up to longer sessions pretty quickly if you make a few changes. But don't worry about long training sessions... nothing wrong with only working for a few minutes at a time. That is what the "five minute formula" for recalls is based on! Just super short training sessions. It can be hard when you're seeing the dog progress because you want to keep pushing and go further... that's why I set an egg timer a lot when I'm working with mine, it limits my temptation to cheat. Buzzer goes off, training is over, end of story!

I think BB is right on the money about rewarding faster to keep his motivation up and stress level down, and I think if you reward faster that will also decrease the chance of accidentally teaching the dog a head turn or eye contact. Also, you're probably just doing it to keep him in frame of the camera, but don't worry about asking for a sit before you start playing. He can be in any position when you play the game and in fact SHOULD be, because IYC doesn't only apply when you've asked for a formal sit! If he chooses to sit to play the game, nothing wrong with that - but I wouldn't ask for a sit to start off the game.

He's doing well, he's very smart and I can see him trying to figure the game out. Don't worry about rushing to push it, this is one of those foundation games that you will always be able to come back to, so taking your time to build a great foundation is well worth it!

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