School time for our puppies! Here is your first to-do list. The first task might sound a little silly for those with adult dogs, but in fact, it's never silly to make a recall even better!
1. call your dog at least 10 times a day to do something fun together: to play, to go out, to get a treat, something to chew on or a new exciting toy
2. put a plate (or another object, but I like to start with a plate as puppies can't chew on those too easily) on a floor and shape a puppy to touch it with a front paw: you can first click for head movement in the right direction, then one/two/three steps, then stepping over it or close to it and finally for stepping on it
3. sit on a floor and put a fist full of treats or dog's favourite toy right in front of their nose, wait till they stop sniffing and click for anything they try other than getting directly to the food/toy or staring at it. It's very important the dog understands staring at food/toy doesn't get him anywhere as it will later on allow you to work with food/toys in your hand without distracting the dog's focus from the job at hand.
4. find a box or a drawer that is as long as your dog and not too high and shape a dog to put 1-2-3-4 legs into it. Then try with smaller&smaller objects, final goal is the dog can stand in a small bowl.
5. observe your puppy and see if he sometimes stretches his legs out when in down position, puppies often do that when relaxed or playing. Name it (I call it "frog":) and reward. It's a nice stretching exercise and very easy to get it on cue if the dog does it naturally (some dogs do it as adults too, but mine didn't and it was much harder to train it as with puppy Le who was doing that naturally). If not, put a dog in a down position and reward from the floor and so far ahead that the dog needs to stretch out to get it - but not so far that he would crawl ahead. Watch the hind legs and click for moving them back OR out, but NOT for crawling step forward.
Looking forward to see your videos!
Here is our video from Lesson 1. We haven’t really done so much training since we have had Kennel cough and we’ve been socialising and going to different environments alot, which makes her really tired. We’ve had a few problems getting started with clicking, before puppy class we had started clicking but not so much, just basic stuff. So when we started doing some real things and she had to think she would just fall asleep or get really bored and start chewing on something (she loves to chew on things, she has some troubles with being still). She is better now but her endurance is kind of low and I don’t really know if i should just let her sleep/do something else and wait till she wakes again or just stop training and try again later? I have included in the video some sessions when she takes a nap or starts doing something else so you can see for yourself. Most of the times she does not fall asleep but it’s difficult to know how much I should require before I click, sometimes she just falls asleep after 2 clicks, sometimes after 7 and sometimes even before one click!
In the video i have numbered the different assignments, 1-4.
1 was quite easy for her to understand since she likes to sleep in baskets and suchlike:) Now we just have to try with smaller and smaller baskets.
2 was difficult for me and for her! I’m having a hard time trying to click at the right time, is it ok for the dog to take eyecontact and get a click for it? the first sessions we did this she fell asleep pretty fast…
3 we don’t really have a problem with since she does it very naturally but I’m again having trouble figuring out when to click. Since she does it all the time she is not even aware of her doing it but should I click anyway? When should I put a verbal cue to it? Can I do it right now or should I wait till she can do it without me luring with treats?
4 this one she figured out pretty easy but still we’re having troubles. One session she does it really good, and the next it looks like she has no clue as to what she is supposed to do:S In the video you can she her kind of resting and this was at the beginning of the session, even before the first click, and she had been laying like this for a couple of minutes. This wasn’t the first time we did this, maybe it’s session four or five so at least she must have a clue at what to do.
Looking forward to hearing your comments!
Huh, a PyrShep that gets tired and sleeps… That’s VERY unusual for the breed, never saw a tired or sleepy PyrShep when treats are involved… Are you sure it’s not a reaction to stress or something? Could it be she stresses when you don’t click enough? Would you describe her soft&sensitive or not really? Did you notice she does that more often with tricks that are not completely clear to her yet or not really? Try clicking A LOT, look for the smallest little things to click, spend her whole meal in 4min and report back if she falls asleep in between. When you’re clicking for ignoring treats for example, you could click much more, she offers eye contact immediately and that’s great, of course you want to click that. And yes, when she does the frog naturally, name it and reward even if she is not aware. At the same time, try to get it in a training session, she will at one point make the connection.
It could be stress. I know she hates being still, I don’t think I have ever seen her being awake and doing nothing. I would describe her to be the opposite of soft and sensitive. She hates it when I say no to her in a more demanding way, chasing cats is a big no-no, she starts to growl and jump at me at those times. She is very stubborn and independent, if she wants something she will try and get it in any way possible.
I did try clicking with her meal in the beginning but she just spat it out, wandered off and started doing something else. But I tried again last night with her evening meal. At first she was a little bit sleepy, but she didn’t fall asleep and she didn’t spit anything out! After a while we changed from not looking at treat to standing on a book with front paws. I started throwing away the treats and she liked that very much and she didn’t even look tired! The video is our second session with that particular behaviour so I don’t think it depends on how clear a bahaviour is for her.
Yes, chasing treats as such is fun for most puppies, so it’s like a double reward, very good idea! Determined, confident and trying hard to get it any way possible sounds like a description of a perfect performance dog 🙂 -- you just need to turn it into your advantage 🙂