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Old 12-17-2009, 08:20 AM
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Default "Look at that" game question

I have been reading control unleashed.

What should I start the "look at that" game with. In the book it was talking about how you can use a X on a sheet of paper, tape it to the wall, and teach the look at that command like that. Is that what i need to do?

some of the first things I would like to do it work on the reactivity with the school bus in the morning!

both of my dogs need to play the "look at that" game. Should I work on Ruckus one day, and Lynn the next? or get Ruckus "fixed" and then work on Lynn?

hopefully this will "fix" him LOL.


expect many more questions. I am sorry, I am not very good at understanding what i read, and i have trouble applying it to me and my dogs!
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Old 12-17-2009, 09:52 AM
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I just started out "in the field". While on our morning walk, every time a car would approach, I'd wait for her to see it, and shove a treat in her face before she could react. Within a day or two she'd see a car, and look at me.

I had to be reaaaaally careful not to cross her threshold though. When buses came by, we'd run far away from the street so that they couldn't set her off.
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Old 12-17-2009, 12:23 PM
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how do you actually teach it?

do you direct the dog to look at stimuli? or have the dog look on its own?

to teach the look at that command, do you say it before the dog looks, as it is looking, or click treat, and then say look at that (to teach them, until they know?)
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Old 12-17-2009, 12:29 PM
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I'm not entirely sure. I've heard differing opinions. Some think it should be taught as more of a targeting type of exercise (but with looking instead of touching), hence the "X". Some have just waited for their dog to look at something and them clicked and treated and when the dog got the idea of it started putting it on cue.

The biggest thing is to keep the dog below his threshold levels.
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Old 12-17-2009, 12:33 PM
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so it really doesnt matter?

and how do you know for sure if the dog is under threshold? I can read my dogs very well, but I am concerned where the line is between under and over threshold?
Are we still under threshold as long as Ruckus ISNT barking, lunging, etc and IS paying attention to me? I am sure that he would still be breathing hard and have his tail above his back. if he is breathing hard, tail above the back but paying attention to me... he is under or over?

sorry if i am not making sense! you guys are great for helping me.
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Old 12-17-2009, 06:08 PM
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just bumping this up so I know tomorrow
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Old 12-17-2009, 06:28 PM
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It's up to you--I'd reward what you want to accept. Personally, heavy breathing and intensity like that sounds pretty riled up, and it isn't something i want from my dog when we're walking down a street, so I treated her before that point. There has to be some distance (even if it's 100 yards away), where the bus can go by and his breathing stays normal.
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Old 12-17-2009, 07:54 PM
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I really don't think it's necessary to "teach" LAT with the target.... though I haven't read the book and maybe there are some compelling points about that that she made that would make it important. But IMO, if the dog is reactive toward something, he's GONNA look at it, you shouldn't have to TEACH him to look at it. You also shouldn't have to direct him to look at it, just stop reinforcing for anything else until it gets his attention again.

As far as the cue, it's definately not as important as getting your timing right with the click and keeping your dog under threshold. I wouldn't suggest cueing LAT until you are a little more comfortable with the game, it's just one less thing you'll have to think about when you're trying to concentrate on everything else.

Basically, IMO, your dog is over threshold if he's barking, lunging, growling, and/or won't eat treats placed right in front of his nose (though you should use the best treats you can to make sure he's not just being picky). I think that the eating thing is the most important, as long as he will stop everything else to eat, he's not focusing too much on the stimulus; and if he's eating he's not too badly in the "fight or flight" mode, which means he will be able to learn.
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Old 12-17-2009, 08:01 PM
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Tail up and stiff along with increased breathing is certainly going over threshold. My question would be, can you at anytime have him in a relaxed (under threshold) state within sight (even hundreds of yards) of what puts him over threshold? If not, maybe you need to start with him not seeing it but hearing it and build to him seeing the bus at a distance.
There is no reason why you can't be working on a 'watch me' at the same time you are training a 'look at me'.

To answer you question, no you don't direct them to look at it, but click and reward when they do (at least is how I do it lol)

If he is paying attention to you, even over stimulated, mark it (click/yes) and reward. How about just sitting down with him, if you can get him to lay quietly at a distance with his stimulious in at a distance, that is also good. Typically with you sitting, you should be more relaxed. But don't force him down, be relaxed yourself, sit up on a hill/knoll and watch the buses go by at a distance..........share your lunch with him..........massage him.........if he likes it, rub and pull on his ears because that releases endorphins with is natures sedative and helps to calm them.

You can work with both dogs but separately until you have the desired behaviours, then work them together which will probably make them regress to a degree because they'll trigger off of each other. But as long as you expect that, you are able to train towards it and not be frustrated when it happens.
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Old 12-17-2009, 08:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lizzybeth727 View Post
I really don't think it's necessary to "teach" LAT with the target.... though I haven't read the book and maybe there are some compelling points about that that she made that would make it important. But IMO, if the dog is reactive toward something, he's GONNA look at it, you shouldn't have to TEACH him to look at it. You also shouldn't have to direct him to look at it, just stop reinforcing for anything else until it gets his attention again.
I just reread that part of it tonight. Basically she says the "X" is used for dogs that get worked up to the point where there is no such thing as under threshold, allowing you to teach the concept of looking at something and then reorienting to the handler. Now that I'm a bit more awake, I'm not sure how that would really cross over to real world use, since the whole purpose of the game has to do with the dog's emotional response to stimuli.
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