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Old 07-06-2012, 05:20 PM
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Laurelin Laurelin is offline
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Default A couple training questions in one post

1. Mia is still struggling with her stays. She's pretty good for one or two at first, and then quickly gets bored. I really think this is what is happening with her. She also still has trouble popping up if I walk back towards her. Releases to me work a lot better than me trying to walk back and have her hold a stay. Feeding her fast and down very low helps some.

Start line stays are having the same problem. It's getting to actually be a problem since we're doing more complicated exercises. I spend more time trying to get her to set up and wait than actually do the exercise. First few are good and then she's off doing the jumps by herself repeatedly, looking at me and wondering why no treats. Or she's doing the Mia version of the cheater/creeper and she pops up and takes a few steps or runs then remembers she's supposed to be staying and freezes.

My instructor suggested trying to do a standing stay for her instead and see if she does better. I would have thought that would be more likely for her to move and 'cheat'.

She also can't stay if I move out of her line of sight. I've been taking baby steps but it feels like we're going very very slow to nowhere. The first couple are good then she regresses to where I can only go a couple feet away.

I've been working her stays EXTENSIVELY the past three weeks. I'm seeing minor improvement but not as much as I'd like. Stays are the hardest thing to teach her. My trainer said it was because she's so action oriented and getting to go do something is incredibly rewarding. My problem is that I don't have anything more rewarding than her getting to go do the exercise. Any new suggestions? I think my method is just not right for her.

2. Is it possible to teach an old dog that has never played in her life save once or twice to like toys? My trainer likes to train with toys or have the option for it but Summer has zero interest in them and zero prey drive. Trainer thinks she has enough food drive to do what we need but wanted me to see if I could get any interest out of her in regards to toys.

So today our 'training' was to play with toys. I got them all riled up and let Mia at the toy and was giving food for any interest in it. Summer gets excited when Mia is so she was acting goofy and I got her to right away start batting at the toy with her paws. I really think she was just trying to target it with her paws but I treated any interaction with the toy for her and by the end she had even mouthed it a couple times.

Going about this the right way? Any ideas or suggestions for that? I actually think she had a lot of fun 'playing' but it was mostly targeting behavior, not play. Is there a chance it could turn into play?

I remember when I first got her I bought her all kinds of toys and she never even looked at them. I'd love it if I could get her to play.
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Old 07-06-2012, 05:26 PM
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I should add, for the start lines, we've taken to having someone restrain her for a lot of the exercises for the time being until I can work through her stays better.
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Old 07-06-2012, 05:36 PM
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Definitely clicker/treat training will help with tug and ball playing.

Also working the start like before you go to agility will help. Being a stickler too, broke the line? Sorry, we're crating, not restarting or giving in. It sucks but it is effective.
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Old 07-06-2012, 05:47 PM
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I actually found that standing stays helped Kimma a lot. I also did the exercise that I think Greg Derrett did in one of his videos where you put the dog in the stand and throw toys/treats/etc. around them and they can't move (like crate games without the crate and she would be in a stay LOL). Also keep working crate games, too. Try it with things like her tennis ball, too, as well as food.

I worked waits/stays in to EVERYTHING once Kimma started cheating. Want to go potty? Gotta wait. Want to get your collar/leash on? Gotta wait! Food? Wait time again.

I also learned that working her impulse control in general (rev up/cool down) helped stop her from cheating.

Now she has awesome startline stays where she used to be a creeper LOL. And I will vary it from sits to stands (never really downs - I should try those, too) so it doesn't get as boring for her. There are also some times that I would go back to her and treat her and release her to just play instead of running equipment while we are at home training. She never knows what we are going to do that way, and it makes her watch me more (I've done that during class, too, when I've had the opportunity to).

I know that some people also won't let their dogs run if they break the stay. There are a couple of people in my class who, if the dog breaks, they just leash them up and don't run that course. I've not had to go that extreme.

For the toys, I'd say just keep doing what you're doing. Kimma's love of toys really didn't start until I got Pen who is all about them. And even so she totally prefers food.
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Old 07-06-2012, 05:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdrianneIsabel View Post
Definitely clicker/treat training will help with tug and ball playing.

Also working the start like before you go to agility will help. Being a stickler too, broke the line? Sorry, we're crating, not restarting or giving in. It sucks but it is effective.
^Yes yes yes to both of these statements.

Every person I know with an action-oriented dog whose greatest joy in the world is to do agility has to be incredibly hardcore with regard to startline stays. If they break the game is over immediately. At home, at practice, and at trials (which really bites when you've paid your entry fee and have a QQ on the line but one thank-you and walk off saves so many future runs...). If the dog's gotten in the habit of breaking it's that much more important to not let them get away with it ever.
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Old 07-06-2012, 05:57 PM
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I always work her stays when we play ball. I need to work them in other places. With ball playing (and this is after a lot of patient work) she can hold it IF I toss the ball gently and do not toss it behind her or over her head. Ball has to stay in the line of sight or she's gone.

I haven't ever really worked it before since she usually only seems to have one or two good stays up her sleeve to start with.

I've probably been too lax with her. I've been careful not to treat her if she breaks but to set her back up. But last night she was just off doing what she wanted even more than usual. The other dogs in class are of course perfect at staying and seem to never break stays. You can walk circles around them and they stay.

I'm buying some new equipment so will hopefully be working more at home on real equipment. I will start being a stickler. Mia doesn't hold the stay, then it's Summer's turn to play.
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Old 07-06-2012, 05:58 PM
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Have you done crate games with this dog?

Iím doing crate games with a 4 year old who has 3 rally titles and one leg away from his first ob. title. I figured yeah, yeah, how much can we really get out of this? OMG!! Doing the whole DVD, the exact way she explains makes SO much sense, and Iím seeing a difference! And this is a dog who does not have any significant impulse control issues.

I can totally see crate games working really well for start line stays.
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Old 07-06-2012, 06:05 PM
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Yeah we're baby stepping crate games. That's been another hard thing for her to learn. We're still working on the first step of crate games. We do some crate games every class and at home. Mia is also way behind the other dogs in the crate games. But she does the actual agility exercises right the first time and with a lot more drive than the other dogs in class.

I did figure out last night that I have caused some of the crate problems. It took having Summer out there too to realize that both my dogs were doing the same thing. They both immediately test the locks on the crates and start trying to work out if they can get out. Though to be fair Summer's first intro to crate games was only last night.

I need to pull out the DVD. I bought it then moved and it's vanished. I keep thinking I won't buy it again because I have it somewhere but I still haven't found it.
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Old 07-06-2012, 06:13 PM
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Oh hey, just had an epiphany and found my crate games DVD stuck on a shelf and behind some books. Hadn't even been opened yet.
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Old 07-06-2012, 06:18 PM
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"I***8217;ve just had an apostrophe."

"I think you mean an epiphany."

"Lightning just struck my brain!"

(sorry, I just love that movie)
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