Tucker's Training Class Thread

Maxy24

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#1
Tucker graduated from Basic Manners last night and he was a very good boy! He's had a couple of not great nights (one because he had to poop the whole and I didn't realize it, poor thing!) but for the most part has gotten more and more comfortable and confident each week. Last night was his best yet. Other than not wanting to go to his mat he was on fire! He followed his cues nearly perfectly and had his tail up and wagging the vast majority of the time (a big difference from his first day). He was focused and enjoyed himself, especially when we were shaping. He's even able to jump through the agility tire jump they have. I was able to let him drag his leash while we were working too because he was so focused (also two of the dogs dropped out so it was just us and one other team with a slightly fearful, non exuberant dog). I'm very proud of him and I had a great time!

I went ahead and signed him up for a Tricks class which started Sunday. I am making this thread to keep track of his progress. The first class didn't go so well. There are only two other teams but that means two new dogs and people and I guess that was enough of a change to set him back. We were also in a different area of the room, not our usual corner. He was not able to focus at all, I could barley get a hand target out of him. His favorite trick that he knows is spin so we tried that but he'd just stop half way through the spin to stare at the other dogs with his tail tucked. So hopefully he is able to warm up a bit more this week. It was so strange how out of it he was Sunday and how on target he was Wednesday. I thought since it was the same place he'd basically stay at the same comfort level but clearly I was wrong. Better luck next time!

Anyway, some of things we are working on are:
Spin both ways (he only spins to the left)
Leg weave
Foot target
Put toys in toy box (he was already partially taught that one)

I am a little confused about what the trainer is aiming for with the leg weaves. She didn't describe exactly what it will look like in the end. She started by having us put our dogs in heel position, taking a step forward with one foot, then having the dog go under the leg (with a hand target) and then back into heel. Then she had us do it on the other side. I'm picturing a forward leg weave where I walk and he weaves through my legs. Not sure if that's really what she wants though! I'll have to get clarification. The only thing that doesn't make sense is that she wants the dog to snap back into heel at the original side after going under my leg. For a forward leg weave I wouldn't really want the dog thinking it needs to go back into a start position since he's going to be going back and forth without stopping. I guess I'll find out more on Sunday! For now I'm disregarding that part.

Here is a video from today's training session working on foot targeting, leg weaves, and spin right/"twirl".

https://youtu.be/cmQjNVqHQbw
 

Maxy24

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#2
Tucker did much better this Sunday (even though one of the dogs got loose and starting having zoomies around the playroom and Tucker almost had a reaction, but didn't!). He was a bit nervous early on, especially when the trainer was watching him, but got better as class went on and the trainer learned to watch more discretely lol.

We focused on putting toys away and leg waves. Tucker can do the whole toy sequence with one toy, now I have to put it on cue and then add more toys.
Leg weaves are getting better too, I can use a less dramatic hand signal and can take several steps while he weaves. I'll get a video soon!
 

Maxy24

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#4
His weaves are going great, the other people in class are actually really impressed because he does it without me having to take dramatic steps.

Picking up toys is going well too, though I didn't focus on that much this week. The biggest issue we have there is that after he puts one toy in the box he doesn't automatically think to go get the next one to bring to the box. Instead he wants to keep picking up the toy he just brought back and dropping it back in the box. Even if I cue him again and point he is really hesitant to leave behind the toy he just dropped in.

The next main trick we added on last week was back-up. It's a fairly basic trick but we're having a lot of trouble with it. I am mostly trying to shape it, though I did start by walking towards him a step or two just to get the initial step back from him. He will take one or two steps backwards now without me stepping towards him but that's all I can get out of him. The steps he takes back are also super tiny and shuffling. I'm thinking maybe I should leave free shaping this one behind and just walk towards him for now. Another problem is if I wait him out, about half the time he'll start to swing his bum around to move into heel position.


The next one we plan to add is rolling a large ball (like a soccer ball) with his nose, eventually into a net or something along those lines.
 

Maxy24

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We started teaching him to roll a ball yesterday. Right now I'm just trying to get him to give it good, hard nose bumps as he has a tendency to barely graze things with his nose or even just put his head over it and touch it with his chin. Eventually I'm going to have to get him to actually hit the ball low for it to roll, right now all bumps are up high, not sure exactly how to get him to do that though.
 

Maxy24

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#6
Ball rolling trick is going well, backing up is not going so well. Anyone know of some innovative ways to train it? Right now I'm mainly shaping it with some walking towards him to remind him of what I want.
 

BostonBanker

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I taught it with a rear foot target. Luring him off it, then rewarding him when he would reach back with a hind foot to find the target again. Then just gradually increased how far I asked him to back to it, and added a cue.
 

amberdyan

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I taught it with a rear foot target. Luring him off it, then rewarding him when he would reach back with a hind foot to find the target again. Then just gradually increased how far I asked him to back to it, and added a cue.
I'm doing the same thing but it is slow going with us. We've done a lot of hind end awareness but I'm having a hard time helping him grasp the idea that it's his hind legs that need to be on the target.
 

Maxy24

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#9
I think I'll start trying with the rear foot target today. I'm not sure if he's just confused about what I want (though he has stopped trying to swing into heel or sit, so that's an improvement) or is reluctant to move away from me, but something not working! He just will not confidently move backwards, he sorts of shuffles back as little as possible.
 

Maxy24

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#10
Here's his leg weave and pick up toys trick thus far. Please excuse the stupid music, I was trying to make the videos less boring but think I've just made them more annoying lol.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFmTSU56xYM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUyYxN38KUw


My first attempt at rear foot targeting went poorly, but by the end I sort of had an idea of what I needed to do. Today I did a second session that went better. He'll walk onto the book (the target item) and then walk forward off of the book, most of the time leaving his back feet on, though I don't think he knows that that's a requirement yet. But he is always starting by targeting with his front feet first. Eventually I'll see if he is willing to back up onto it. The first day he actively avoided backing onto it and would veer his butt off to either side of the book to avoid stepping on it. Hopefully after he get accustomed to standing with his rear feet on the book he'll be more willing to step backwards onto it.
 
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