Enough vacations, time for new tricks!
1. heeling: make the "glued to the leg" exercise more like heeling: still do different kind of turns, but also some normal forward walking in different speeds (slow, normal, fast) to teach them to adjust and keep the right position in every situation
2. figure 8 backward: tell the dog to go into heel position and start spinning as we were doing on the target, then very suddenly stop and step back with the other leg (if the dog is at left side - with right leg), you can also make a gesture with left hand to try to get them to keep circling below the heeling position, eventually all the way around you leg, so that they come backwards between your legs back into front position. If the dog insists on staying in heel position, you can help with the hand a little bit, lure his head out (left for 90 degrees if the dog is on left side) and say back to have them back up in your direction. Step back with the other leg enough to have them back up between your legs. Reward and tell them to heel on the other side (right) and repeat the process. As soon as you get some smoothness with that, stop rewarding for coming in between, always first tell them to come to the other leg and reward at your side in order to avoid having them back up too far - they need to stay very close to your legs all the time.
3. skateboarding: try to find a skateboard (kids department) and reward for making it move with front feet. Don't reward 4on, but 2 or 3, the criteria is they make a skateboard move.
4. cik&cap: find a table leg, dog-food container, traffic cone or similar and shape the dog to go around it - first just a step, then two or three circles, both directions (you can reward both right from the start if you are getting it - if not, start with just one, but then on one session, don't reward that direction anymore but wait for the other)
5. fade the object for side legs: if the dog is already heaving both legs up at the same time, click&reward that before he even touches the object, so that he understands the idea is picking them up, not touching something. At the same time, try changing objects as much as possible. Going to vertical objects shouldn't be too difficult, then go to "empty" objects like a chair that looks like an object, but doesn't really offer much support, so at this point, the dog is already free-standing, the object is just there for mental support. Next step in table leg and then you don't need an object anymore. For free handstand, you go through the same process, only that it takes longer as it's physically more demanding - you can start working on it, but do not rush it, especially not with young puppies!
6. don't forget on recalls and playing, stays with distractions (you can combine it all in a really fun game), try the hug on a plastic bottle or something similar that is light enough for the dog to hold it and have them hold it independently, add more steps to backing up from you, tape the 4in the bowl trick again so that I can see to what size you managed to get: the smaller the better! And if you need some more ideas, you can also try balancing ON the object (4on vs. 4in) 🙂
And most importantly: have fun!
Our handstand progression:
Quick feedback since I am finally not suffering form fever and cold anymore (still running nose -- would prefer running contacts 😉
Cik&Cap: We started with it on Thursday (did some pre work a while ago) and Funky nicely goes around a pole and for more than one round. I sometimes throw the treat because the exercise is a moving one and sometimes reward by the pole her for tightness of rear end (it does help having Silvia’s cik&cap video). Each time I try to get her do circle the pole from the other direction she “tricks” me. I tried to lure without success. I will do it with traffic cone in the hope she understands what I want.
As for both directions I tried it with pivot on a prop (she is back pivoting but only one direction) and it confused her to the point where we had to rebuild the exercise from scratch. Remember Silvia, she didn’t do it in the camp. Just wandering about both exercises and the confusion for my little dog.
Also got started on skateboard but on the lawn -- I find it easier to start there. She never had all 4 paws up, I was working on that a while back.
I hope to get that all on video minus the handstand. This one she actually did by accident on my couch 😉 To get a real handstand… mmh not sure with a Malinois and their long backs.
Yes, maybe find a completely different object and shape from zero the other direction. It’s sometimes very hard to get the other one once we do lots of reinforcing for just one direction. That’s why I try to see and click both directions on a first session already and do several sessions clicking both, jackpotting the weakest one. I might then click for just one direction a session or two to finish one circle before trying to get the other direction again -- but not that long that they would forget the other direction -- it only gets harder later. So at this point, I would probably shape it as a completely new exercise on a new object… -- hopefully she doesn’t generalize well enough to immediately offer the known direction 🙂 For cik&cap, you could also teach figure 8 forward between the legs first -- that pretty much gives you both cik&cap 🙂 you just need to transfer it to other objects then, but that should be easy.
Free handstand would probably be too hard for such a big dog, but you could definitely get to a wall phase. That’s not too demanding on their bodies.
I’ve been away so I’m sorry to be ‘handing in’ my homework so late!
This is the 2nd part of my vid from lesson 4 but it is mostly heeling so I’ve just posted it here.
Grace and i have been enjoying practicing our heeling [ something i never thought I’d say 🙂 ]. Her back end is sometimes a bit sideways. Is that to do with me treat placement?
With the hug, we have some balancing issues when she holds the toy alone-very wobbly. When she grips the toy tighly she seems to rock backwards into that funny (likely to fall) beg. anything i can do to help or is it just practice for her to get used to it I think she prefers hugging her friend 🙂
Wow, hug the puppy is just too cute! Have to try it with my dogs! Not sure any of them will love to be hugged though… The Kelpie doesn’t seem to mind, she is too funny… How tall is she? She looks much smaller from the Kelpies we see here…
Hugging of the toy looks really good already too, just keep practicing for her to find the balance. Holding something firmly often throws them out of balance, it takes some practice. I loved the heeling too, looks great to me, I don’t see any problem. Her position is GREAT! Make sure you vary the position of your hands, though, they might start cuing from your hands if you keep them like this all the time. I like to keep my hands normally -- or, if the dog is too big to move the hands normally :), I keep it behind their head.
Oh, thanks Silvia! Yeah, the Kelpie pup is teeny tiny. She’s 6 months old but is very malnourished and stunted so I’m sure she’s meant to be a lot bigger. She came to me a few wks ago from the pound and at that stage i never wld have dreamed she would love being hugged! She was very snappy w poor grace; if she came too close to her or if there was any food in sight. Thought i’d teach them this trick to see if she would accept eating in close proximity to G dog (can’t get much closer than that!) They now play nonstop and the snappiness has completely disappeared -- she is the sweetest lil thing. I’d love to see a vid when you get your dogs hugging 🙂
Now you mention it, I have been feeling a bit awkward -- not sure where to put my hands. I’ll try just normal 🙂
Yes, it’s amazing how they bloom when in good hands! I guess you’re already hoping she doesn’t get new home 🙂
I’ll start with hugging tonight, but I think I first need to put it on name, I never bothered to do so as the object as such was a cue… But then, if I hold an object close to Bu for Bi, that should probably do the trick! Thanks for the idea!
Yes, Grace is begging me for glee to stay 🙂 Wish i had the time for #2. Problem is -- I’m supposed to be a med student! I’m pretty sure I’m the worst one in the world & prob the only one who thinks dog trainers are cooler than doctors 🙂 My reward when i finish the course is I want to come to one of your camps (pity i can’t bring grace)
Ha! Think i should have named this trick a bit better 🙂 Grace is offering a hug to any dog that sits near her -- she’s like the dirty old man at the nightclub who gropes anyone who comes near. When she’s not groping, she hugs them so tight around the neck it looks like she is trying to strangle them! I have the funniest blooper footage of Grace hugging glee so tight around the neck that she pulls her over-i’ll try to find it. I’ve been wondering if i should change the cue from “give her a hug” to “strangle her”.
Well, you’re sure a great puppy student! 🙂 And well, my boyfriend is a doctor (cardiology) and he agrees dog trainer is way cooler -- you can sleep as long as you want and nobody ever dies in your class! 🙂
That’s hilarious, poor Grace’s dog friends, I guess they have no idea what’s wrong with that black dog!
OMG, thank you so much for making me laugh and laugh! They are 2 things that i like very much -- sleep & people staying alive. Oh dear, i think i may have chosen the wrong career! Your boyfriend sounds like a very cool Dr
Yes! Grace’s dog friends really do look at her like “DUDE, what is wrong with you!? You crazy black dog!” 🙂
OMG!! `Hug the puppy` is sooooo CUTE!!! We will try that one too!!! (But first we have to catch up with the other tricks… 😉 )
We just did our first session with side legs & a vertical object. She seemed to understand the concept -- It kind of turned into freestanding
I love the way she holds her front foot up the entire time!
Very good! Amazing balance for such a big dog! That front foot up is really funny!
Here are our videos so far:
1- We keep practising heeling, It is not perfect yet but we are still working on it…
2- He loves his skateboard :), and since we taped the video three days ago the speed has increased a lot!
3- The hug trick it is more a hold than a hug, we cant keep the balance in the begging position long enough for hugging so I worked more on the hold with a paw…
4-Video coming of put objects inside others…I cannot even name it stack bowls because the only thing that I got him to work with so far is one of my stockings inside the laundry box….:) (At least it is handy…)
5- We havent really started with the 8 because I want to keep working with heeling…
But we have hiking, running, playing a lot….
Sorry for the bad cuality of the videos…I am actually taping with my regular camera.
Yes, very nice progress with heeling!!! Just get rid of that hand, you want to keep hands normally down. Cute skateboarding! And wow, that’s a GREAT hold! It’s perfectly o.k. to do it with one paw, it looks really cool! And well, that’s a good start of stacking bowls!
Wow! That looks so good. He’s so clever..you can even see him trying to pick it up to hold it again 🙂
Yes, He is certanly clever! :), He tried to pick it up again, because we had a few sesions trying it… when Silvia challenged all of us to tmake them figure out how to pick a bottle from the floor…He held the bottle between his front paws but very low, he doesnt know how to lift up the bottle ….. but he is trying and trying…!!!
I love the video of Grace and Glee, be sure that if I were living in Australia I would definetely adopt Glee….!
Pity you’re not a bit closer, Eva! I’m sure Glee wld love living w you & Darwin 🙂
Very cute! I love how your Spaniel is always joining in!
Yes I let her be with us while training because she is a very sensitive dog! At the beginning i trained the two of them separately but when she was by herself in the room she went out of her mind barking scratching the doors etc… and when I finally released her, she would go upstairs and hid herself under the bed! it didnt matter she had lovely bones to chew on them or pig ears or anything…when she hears the clicker she goes mad! :).
Well, we had fun learning this trick last night. I think it may be Grace’s favourite trick ever …
Great! What a rear end awareness! And yes, it’s actually pretty easy trick if the dog knows pivoting really well!
Grace is wondering if she can do cik/cap backwards?
Trying to do it fwd isn’t going very smoothly! She either tries to go around the object backwards or on 3 feet (limping) or 2 feet (targeting her 2 side legs to the object as she hops) 🙂
Haha, That’s pretty funny. I got stuck at that same spot for 4 years with my Pyr Shep because I didn’t know how to turn her to go around my right leg. With all the foundation we have from this class it’s easy to figure out now and I’ll have to do a retrain on her. Grace is getting down on her back end nicely to my eye.
It’s sunny today!!!!
Yeah, you sometimes wish they weren’t THAT creative 🙂 See what you can get by clicking for the smallest possible steps in the right direction… -- if it only takes you to the old tricks, you can simply use a nose targeting to your hand, positioned in a strategic place to get her around the object. I think you should be able to fade the hand after a couple of tries. And yes, that is a little bit of cheating and I do avoid cheating with puppies as they might always ask for help if they get used to it -- but once they know the system, I will sometimes help with easy tricks like that -- it won’t ruin their thinking skills and will definitely get you to the goal behaviour faster.
Yes! I need an ‘easy’ command, “don’t need to be too creative for this trick- think simple!”. We had some success w baby steps forward. Originally i accidentally trained her to go half way around in one direction, turn around and go halfway round in the other direction. Whoops. Then we ended up with pivoting around the object (which was virtually what i wanted but her bum was facing out). Now we have something resembling cik/cap but not tight enough yet …
now a little about our homework. Backwards weaving works great with the instruction you gave us. I did it before with both dogs, but it was not so easy as it is now. Alice has a better rearend awareness than Feline. In pivoting round a weavepole Alice is better too. It took seconds and she turned in both directions very close. Feline did funny things in pivoting. She turned a half circle, and then jumped a half step back, turned and did a half circle to the other side, jumped back, turned and so on. I let her turn around my leg now. This seems to be easier. Here she can make complete circles in both directions. With the skateboard Feline is very much better than Alice. She loves skateboarding. Alice is anxious with it. She goes on the board, but leans back and tries to do things with the board that it doesn’t move.
Sidelegs work fine with Alice, Feline has only one foot in the air, the other she draws on my leg or on my arm.
Heeling works great with Feline, Alice has sometimes her head a little to low, but I think she is quite good too.
If you see she is uncomfortable about the skateboard, definitely don’t push for more as she can offer: just reward any interaction. To make it less scary, only do it on carpet or grass for now -- it moves less there and doesn’t make a sound. It’s important to go VERY slowly when the fear is present as it’s very easy to make the fear even worse -- much easier as to make it better!
I forgot hug with a plastic bottle. This is very much harder than hug with a toy. Alice tries really hard. She got the idea, but the coordination is so difficult. Feline has a little more problems with the bottle, but I think she got the idea too.
With stay with distraction we were a little lazy. I will try the next days
I’ve taken cik/cak to the yard (yeah no snow) and combined it with a tunnel. I’m planning on continuing to purely shape this, but got a little frustrated and used the toy. I was very proud today on a run when we flushed about 6 deer. My other two dogs lit our after them, but Nero listened and went into his loose heeling position that I use the with the horse and stayed there till released.
Yeah, my BCs (or PyrSheps!) never showed any interest in chasing deer. We meet them daily so they think it’s just as normal as the trees around 🙂 And yes, it’s no problem to help a little bit with cik&cap, it’s a very easy trick. Still, I would do it more gradually, select for tightness first, then getting tightness with speed (from a restrain send) and only then using it in little sequences.
So on this situation I could reverse where he is for the sit/stay and go to the jump first and then tunnel, or would you remove the tunnel. Ok on the CC. I have a nice picture of what I want now. On the video in my very last “tight” he was good around the pole, but the speed isn’t quite there.
Thanks for your input,
I would just work on one jump now, having him circle the standard with less and less help of a toy as it takes his attention off the wing and click and reward when he is really tight, ideally with a back bended around it a little. You can’t expect much speed with this exercise for now, first he needs the tightness and the style and only then, I add speed by sending in from a restrain further and further apart and only then use a tunnel and little sequences.
Thanks--Now I have a nice picture of what to do.
Hey Nancy, the snow is gone!
I just love Nero! Great job!
Just a quick update. Didn’t tape anything yet, because it’s a bit long, and I can’t figure out how to cut videos.
We are still working on bowl trick: on the second session he figured out how to take the stuffed bunny toy in his mouth briefly, so great progress on that. It really requires a great deal of patience to do purely shaping (on my part) 🙂
Good progress on skateboard as well. I got a cheap skateboard and just placed it in the living room for a couple of days and didn’t say anything about it. Then I just clicked for sniffing it etc. Now he is touching it with one or two paws. Since he was very afraid of it before, this is pretty good, and I hope he can get over his fears and gain more confidence.
Yeap, VERY important to go really slowly when you see they have fear! I’m sure he’ll get over it though and love the skateboarding, most dogs really love it! 🙂
Just a quick tip to cut videos…
You would need some application like windows move maker…