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Old 06-19-2012, 03:00 PM
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Default How you taught your dog to spin?

I just wanted to verify if I'm doing this right, as I'm not completely sure. So far, I've taught Cali "touch" and "give me ten".. and today, I started on "twirl" aka "spin", although twirl is the word I'm using. So this is how I've been teaching it:

1. Started out by getting her to spin in a circle; click mid-spin; treat

2. Get her to spin, say "twirl" and click at the same time, treat.

I'm not sure at what point I should add in "twirl".. even though for teaching "touch", I clicked and named it at the same time.

So, how did you teach your dogs how to spin on command?
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Old 06-19-2012, 03:16 PM
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Is she following a lure in your hand or a hand signal? I'd make sure she's on a hand signal first, not just blindly following a lure (if you lured at all), because when they are still being lured they aren't always aware of exactly what their body is doing, so make sure she knows the behavior first.

Once she's there you should say twirl BEFORE giving the hand signal. You want her to hear and listen to the word, if you have already signaled with your hand when you say twirl then she will do the behavior and may not even register that you said something. So say "twirl" then do hand signal, then give treat upon completion. Eventually what you'd want to happen is that you say "twirl" and the dog does the behavior before you've given the hand signal because she's figured out that the twirl hand signal always comes right after you say that word, so why wait? Then you know she understands the word.

Good luck with it, both Tucker and Phoebe love their spin command, it's a favorite.
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Old 06-19-2012, 03:26 PM
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So far I've been luring her.. because otherwise, she's kind of just all over the place. I do have a hand signal for down and then I direct her to where I want her to touch with my finger.. but I'm not to sure how I'd successfully incorporate a hand signal for twirl if she doesn't figure out that she needs to spin without the lure.
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Old 06-19-2012, 03:36 PM
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I used lures when I taught spin. Swirl was spin going in the opposite direction.

Spin is Tucker's default trick. When he wants something, he'll spin!
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Old 06-19-2012, 04:20 PM
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I also used a lure, but I never put a word to it. It's one of those tricks/behaviors I only have a hand signal for. I've also never clicker trained.

At first I had him follow my hand around completely. Easy way to do that was rest it on his butt, honestly. Once he'd gone around, I'd treat. Then the signal came less and less obvious after that. Still a circle, but not all the way around his body. Now I only have to barely move my hand, and around he goes.
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Old 06-19-2012, 04:23 PM
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You'll want to fade the lure first. The easiest way to do this is to do one or two with the lure in hand and then hold your hand as if it has a treat in it and get her to spin. Click, show her your empty hand, then give her a couple treats so she learns that empty hand = extra treats! For a hand signal you could just use your hand or a single finger making a circle in the air, as that probably looks like how you've been teaching her (Treat to the nose, moving your hand in a circle to get her to follow I'm guessing?) In the process of fading the lure this hand signal should come naturally to her.

As for adding in the word, I'd go with Maxy's suggestion Say the word, pause for a second, then if she doesn't do it translate it for her with the hand signal. She should eventually catch on that the word means the same as the hand signal.
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Old 06-19-2012, 05:02 PM
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Yup, I used a lure first. Once they consistently follow the lure, I hold my thumb and last three fingers together sorta like I'm holding a treat but without actually having a treat in my hand and keep my index finger pointed out, and pretend I'm luring in a really big, really slow circle. So essentially they're still following the hand, but when they get to the end I click and treat, and obviously get the treat from my pocket or somewhere else. They pretty much always follow the hand once they've learned to follow the lure.

Once they consistently follow my empty hand, I make a smaller circle. I keep repeating this making progressively smaller and smaller circles, and changing my hand position so I'm just pointing with the index finger but the rest of my hand is normal, until they are responding to a simple hand gesture (kind of a tiny swirl of my hand with my index finger pointing).

I introduce the word at the same time I take the lure away, and say it before I gesture. I generally prefer hand gestures but if I am doing tricks for someone else to watch (like just a friend or whoever) I usually say the word for THEIR benefit.
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Old 06-19-2012, 07:10 PM
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You just have to slowly make the hand movement less and less obvious. First get rid of the food like the others have instructed. Then start speeding it up a little, then raise your hand a little higher and higher until it's a quick circle of your hand in the air. But go at your dog's pace, if the behavior falls apart then go back a step or insert some middle step where the dog is still successful.
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Old 06-19-2012, 07:29 PM
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I captured it. I tried luring her for ages, and she just didn't get it, so I gave up.

Then she spun while we were playing, and i had my clicker, so I caught it, and now it's her favorite trick.
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Old 06-19-2012, 07:37 PM
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I'll try doing that right now! I'll let you guys know how it went, hopefully well! Cali catches on pretty quickly so it shouldn't be too horrendous. :P
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