Dog Site - Dog Stuff
Dog Forum | Dog Pictures

Go Back   Chazhound Dog Forum > Dog Discussions and Dog Talk Forums > Dog Training Forum


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 04-12-2005, 10:19 PM
CreatureTeacher's Avatar
CreatureTeacher CreatureTeacher is offline
Top Dog
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 1,445
Default BigDog's training tips...

I PMed this to you, BigDog, but I wanted to make sure you got it all. It also occured to me that maybe other folks would benefit from it too! Enjoy, if you can stay awake!

___________________________
Hey DogDad!

Sorry it took me so long to get back with you. I agree that it's very important for you to teach Rocky anything and everything you can to gain his respect and strengthen your bond. I also think you may want to review the resource control thing and make sure you follow it strictly. I think your problem is that Rocky is too smart for his own good! He's going to be a blast when he grows up, but until then you have to play "tough love" daddy for a while.

You can teach a dog anything that he's physically capable of doing. There are three behavioral principles that dictate the way any animal reacts to a given stimulus. First, behavior that is reinforced is likely to increase. You can reinforce particular behaviors on purpose (like when you're training) and others by accident (like when Rocky won't stop biting you). Reinforcers (or rewards) include anything Rocky wants: talking, treats, petting, play, and toys. Remember that things you and I think are negative can also be rewards, like yelling. To almost all dogs, any attention is good attention. The second principle is that behaviors that are ignored are likely to extinguish. The absolute best thing you can do to stop almost any undesirable behavior (like nipping or barking) is to ignore it. Remove yourself or Rocky from the situation by leaving the room or even standing on a chair where he can't reach you and looking at the ceiling. When he's being a pill, pretend there's no dog there at all, even if it's hard to do. The third principle is that if you use different reinforcers in a random way, Rocky will learn faster. Here's an example: Say that every time Rocky sits when you ask him to, you give him a dog cookie. Sit, cookie, sit, cookie. After a while, Rocky will get bored with sitting for the same old cookie over and over. He'll probably sit less and less often when you ask him to. On the other hand, say he sits and this time he gets a cookie. Next time he gets a pat on the head. The time after that he gets a game of fetch. Then a little bit of hot dog. Then a game of chase. No matter which of these reinforcers is his favorite, he will get it sooner or later. He'll keep sitting when you ask him to because each reward is a surprise, and one of them just might be that hot dog or game of tug that he really enjoys. Think of people playing slot machines; they'll pump $50 in, one quarter at a time, because the next time they pull that lever might be the big payoff. Rocky will keep doing the behavior you want if you vary your reinforcement, because he's waiting for the big payoff! Those are the three most basic rules of learning, and you can use them to teach pretty much any mammal anything you want it to learn. You just have to find his reinforcers and work with them.

Dogs in particular work on pretty simple rules. First, assume that if Rocky knows what you want, he'll do it. That means that if something isn't working, don't blame Rocky. Instead, reexamine your teaching methods. He probably doesn't understand what you want, so you'll need to show him in a different way. Second, don't ever manhandle him to get him to do what you want. Use treats, toys, or any other interesting reward to lure him into doing your "trick", then praise him and let him have the reward. People who push on their dog's butts to teach them to sit have a much harder time than those who use the method I told you about. Dogs don't like being pushed around, and I haven't yet encountered something I couldn't teach without touching the dog at all. Touch should always be a reward, never a punishment. Third, be consistent! I can't stress that enough. If it's not okay for Rocky to nip your toes while you're asleep, then it's not okay for him to nip your toes ever. If it's not okay for him to bark at you, then it's not okay for him to bark at any member of your family. If he can't jump on you when you're wearing your nice slacks, he can't jump on you when you're wearing jeans. This means you need to ignore him every time he nips or barks or does something else nasty. It also means you use consistent cues for all your commands. If "down" means "ankles and elbows on the floor", then that's the only word you use to get that result. (You can't teach him "down" and then expect him to know what "lie down" means.) Sometimes it helps to sit down with your family and actually write the 'dog rules' out. We have ours hanging on our fridge so no one forgets what the dogs can and can't do. Fourth, stay calm!! No matter what awful, insane thing Rocky does, getting upset will only make the situation worse. Remember the rules and use it as a learning opportunity. Last, nothing will encourage good behavior from Rocky like when you recognize him for it. If he's lying down instead of actively irritating you, go reward him! Don't call him to you, or he won't understand what he's being rewarded for. If he's playing with you quietly, reward him! If he's avoiding putting those sharp freaking puppy teeth on your feet, reward him! Recognize the good behavior as well as the bad. Make sure he knows you'll notice when he does something right.

Those are the big behavioral secrets. Now you know!

So, I'll give you ideas how to teach a few tricks, then you can try out your own creative training genius!

Down:
Make sure you have a solid "sit", because "down" is pretty tough. We define "down" as ankles and elbows on the floor, no less. Lots of dogs try to cheat on their downs, so don't give in to a half-crouch. With Rocky in a sit, hold a treat in your hand. Pretend there's a wire hooking your hand to Rocky's nose, and pull his face down toward the floor. When he follows your hand, give him the treat. When he's doing it every time, move a step further: pull his head to the floor, then move your hand away from him just a little. When you see his elbows bend as he reaches for your hand, give him the treat. Again, practice this a few times. Then move on to getting those elbows bent a little more, then a little more, until they actually hit the floor. The exact moment they do, say "down" clearly, give Rocky the treat, and throw a party! Act like no dog in the world has ever done anything so smart. Then go back to the beginning. Repeat a million times. If you do this six or seven times a day for about two weeks, you should be able to tell him "down" and have him actually do it. Be sure to carefully couple the word "down" with the action just as it happens, not before or after. You'll slow him down a lot if you tell him "down. down. Rocky, down." over and over and over again. The word will lose meaning if he's not associating it with the movement of his body. (This same idea applies to teaching any command.)

Roll over: Some dogs aren't comfortable with this command. If you can tell Rocky's uncomfortable, don't force him into it. This is definitely one where you aren't allowed to touch the dog while teaching the command, because anything you do to physically help him along will make it harder to teach. With Rocky in a down, move your hand with a treat around the side of his head to his shoulder. Let his nose follow the treat. When his nose gets to his shoulder, give him the treat. Next, either move the treat a little above and further over the shoulder or just hold it there. When Rocky either shifts his weight over or actually falls onto his side, give him the treat. Then take it a little further each time until he's actually on his side. Then keep tempting him over until he rolls. As he's rolling, just a little after the halfway point of the roll, give the command "roll over". Then give him the treat. If he seems uncomfortable or off balance and doesn't want to go all the way around, leave it for a day and then try again. If he's still not happy with it, he may not be old enough for the coordination required. But it's still a fun trick if you can get him into it!

I sure hope all that helps. I know it's a lot of information, but if you print it out and read it with your dad I think you'll both do better by Rocky. And be sure you're doing the resource control thing. Rocky's a handful, but he's not the nuttiest dog I've known by far! You're doing really well. Just be sure to stay calm and teach Rocky by example.

As always, let me know if you have any questions at all. Take care!

Emma (CreatureTeacher)
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 04-12-2005, 10:26 PM
BigDog2191's Avatar
BigDog2191 BigDog2191 is offline
Big German Shepherd
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Posts: 3,749
Default

Yeah, I read through all of it just a little while ago and I think I should continue working on sit until I know he learns it perfectly because he sure is NOT bored with it.

Oh, and thanks for the help!
__________________
"No heaven can be heaven if my dog is not there to welcome me."
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 04-13-2005, 09:56 AM
Renee750il's Avatar
Renee750il Renee750il is offline
Felurian
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Where the selas blooms
Posts: 94,266
Default

Thanks for posting those, Emma
__________________
In a controversy the instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth, and have begun striving for ourselves. ~Buddha

Stupid is the most notoriously incurable and contagious disease known to mankind. If you find yourself in close proximity to someone infected with stupid, walk away as soon as said infection is noted.


There are few things more nauseating than pure obedience. ~ Kvothe

***8206;"silence is the language of god, all else is poor translation."
Rumi
Be a god. Know when to shut up.


Good Kharma Tags
Felurian
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 04-14-2005, 05:59 PM
Debi's Avatar
Debi Debi is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 15,731
Default

Good read, Emma. I always need a bit of help, too...this is just GREAT!!
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 04-14-2005, 06:37 PM
Gustav's Avatar
Gustav Gustav is offline
Don't encourage me..
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: France
Posts: 9,125
Default

I enjoyed that! Thanks Emma!! I may have another go at roll over using the method you described, last time Gus didn't like it though!! Not a fan of rolling over I'll give it one last go and if he still hates it i'll leave it!
__________________
Secondhand Dog(s) Owners!

The man who smiles when things go wrong has thought of someone to blame it on. - Robert Bloch



Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 04-14-2005, 09:03 PM
CreatureTeacher's Avatar
CreatureTeacher CreatureTeacher is offline
Top Dog
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 1,445
Default

That's a good plan, Gustav. Some dogs just don't like to do it. I think it makes them feel off balance. But all dogs have their talents, just like all people do! You just have to help him find his own genius.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 04-15-2005, 04:52 AM
Gustav's Avatar
Gustav Gustav is offline
Don't encourage me..
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: France
Posts: 9,125
Default

I think I need to repress Gus's genius!! He's far too clever!
__________________
Secondhand Dog(s) Owners!

The man who smiles when things go wrong has thought of someone to blame it on. - Robert Bloch



Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 04-15-2005, 07:35 AM
Barb04's Avatar
Barb04 Barb04 is offline
Love my pets
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 27,048
Default

Emma, great tips! I'm listening to you so I can work with Kona. Thanks
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 04-15-2005, 10:14 AM
avenlee's Avatar
avenlee avenlee is offline
Top Dog
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 1,881
Default

Your wonderful Emma! Going to use the tips and suggestions on my own dogs. Thanks !
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:58 AM.


1997-2013 Chazhound Dog Site