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Old 03-23-2010, 09:17 PM
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corgipower corgipower is offline
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Default How to not create unwanted behavior chains??

I seem to have developed a knack for training unwanted behavior chains.

First with Ares. He likes to eat poop. I somehow managed to teach him that if he goes over to a poop pile (usually resulting in some level of interest/sniffing/tasting/eating) and then comes to me, he gets rewarded...demmit. I wanted him to ignore the poop and just come to me. I was able to finally get him where I wanted him, but it took a while.

Then I taught Morgan to come onto the porch for treats. Which resulted in her coming onto the porch, getting her treat, leaping off the porch just so she could come back up there for another treat. As cute as she is, it got irritating quickly. I was able to break her of it though by switching her to a jackpot reward inside.

Now I've done it again with Frodo. He gets rewarded for calling off Tyr's cage. (He likes to chase Tyr's tail and it pisses off Tyr in ways I've never seen Tyr get pissed off.) So now Frodo seems to have decided that the game is to go harass Tyr, then come to me for a treat, then go back to Tyr, then come back to me for a treat...ugh. I assume it needs more time and more generalizing and more reinforcing of him not even going to Tyr in the first place.

But...is there a way to not create the unwanted chains in the first place?
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Old 03-23-2010, 09:28 PM
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OutlineACDs OutlineACDs is offline
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Don't be so predictable

I'm assuming you are keeping Tyr and Frodo separated? When Frodo goes to the crate you call him off and reward for that. Instead, walk up to the crate and reward Tyr for good behavior. Drop a few treats through the top/side. When you walk off, reward Frodo if he chooses to come with you. Sometimes call him away from the crate, other ignore him, other times you can walk up to Frodo and reward him if he's laying by the crate or maybe just standing and not bugging Tyr. Call him away and ask for a sit and a down then reward, then release and before he gets two feet away do a recall and reward that. Drop treats by him if he chooses to lay on the couch vs by the crate etc.

You just have to get creative. When you can get the behavior you want (calling off the crate), you need to start switching it up.
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Old 03-23-2010, 09:29 PM
Criosphynx Criosphynx is offline
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lol...Iam guilty of this as well....Kiwi would NOT stop going into the kitchen...after a couple weeks of trying to train her to stay out, I realized I had created a chain and it was ...go into the kitchen, so mom will tell me "out" when I go out I get a treat....

The way I fix them is to try and reward more for duration, so the dog is less likely to "start over" and more likely to wait where I put them instead...if waiting gets a treat more than restarting the chain...they will wait.

Its just more prevention I guess, and getting pickier about what I reward...I was so focused on getting chili to stop fence "fighting" that I began to reward him for his recalls off of the fence...then one day I watched him run to the fence...bark, and then look at me, completely not upset, like..."is this right mom??? You call me now so I can have a cookie!" ::facepalm:::


I don't do it often, in fact those are the only two I can think of off the top of my head, I learned from them enough, as they are annoying, to prevent them by rewarding duration more, and rewarding for good behavior, not just ok behavior....


sorry if that doesn't help, I think I rambled a bit.
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Old 03-23-2010, 10:34 PM
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lizzybeth727 lizzybeth727 is offline
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Like Crio said, rewarding duration rather than the behavior is important, IMO. Like when we're doing down-stays, the dogs sometimes break the stay and get up.... We then recue them to down, but DO NOT treat when they do. Otherwise they will learn that if they get up we will recue them and give a treat. So instead, we cue down, give a little praise, and then wait varying amounts of time (depending on the skill of the dog and any other important variables) before giving the treat.

I think that focusing on teaching incompatible behaviors is also very important. For example, calling Frodo off of Tyr's crate. Instead of just calling him and treating him when he comes to you, you can call him and redirect to another behavior; then treat him for doing THAT behavior. It will also help to switch up the incompatible behaviors, too, otherwise he will still get into a [longer] pattern - like, go to crate, go to bed, get cookie... repeat. Of course you still need to be proactive and try to prevent Frodo from going over to the crate in the first place.
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Old 03-24-2010, 01:26 PM
Maura Maura is offline
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I think what you are seeing is a dog who understands what you want. When I was teaching Daisy to come inside a building, I treated her at the doorway, then a couple of steps in, then 10 feet in. It wasn't long before she was standing in the doorway wagging her tail and waiting for me to call her name and "come". She'd come galloping in for the treat, then gallop back out. She was proud of herself for training me so well.

Like the other posters wrote, I then rewarded for duration, talking to her while I slowly brought the treat out and to her. Then, I rubbed her neck for a few seconds before treating. By night she came in with the other dog and was able to stay inside with the door closed for a couple of hours. By this time, I was no longer treating. Her reward was being inside the structure with the rest of us. Once Daisy was over her fear of coming inside a building and staying for a while I stopped treating her for it. And, she learned "come".
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Old 04-04-2010, 04:52 PM
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Hillside Hillside is offline
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Do you blame the poor tailless one for being facinated by that weird thing on Tyr's butt?
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