Wow, it's your 5th lesson already! Here is your new list. As we were discussing, I'm underlining the assignments you should focus on in case you're somewhat behind and don't have time to focus on all those new tricks. But you sure want to try them all at one point!
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 most importantly: have fun!
I am going crazy!! I am so so sad! I don’t have video but I will try to explain my problem..
It is with heeling. On a target, Summer pivots beautifully. Without a target, she also can pivot on the spot very well.. I have been slowly increasing the circles and she seemed to be getting it, sticking to the leg. My problem was slow movement.
I have been trying to use a toy and also to use food but harness her excited moments. I thought it was good to get more energy from her. But she became less precise. And then our recent session, it seems she totally forgot? She does not know forward or side step (could follow a bit in small circle but very slight and not precise). When I try to move, she just either keeps pivoting at her own place regardless of where I go, or she just moves away and looks lost. I also thought she knows “heel” and “side”, as she could do it before, but without the target if I try to move and she gets out of place, if i call “heel” she just stares at me. I have to show with my hand or offer her my side before she will move.
What am i doing wrong?? What should I do? Go back a step? We have been working on pivoting on the spot for too long without progress -- she can already do it! But no matter how easy I make the bigger circles (teeny bit only) she does not really get it. She never moves with me.
Please, any hints any tips?? A training friend of mine recommended I just walk around a room, and click when she catches up with me to my side and follows me. But I don’t want to let her know it is ok to just heel sloppily like walking around -- but maybe it will help her learn to move with me? Or walk backwards and click her for moving with me in front position?
Thanks everyone. Sorry, I am so frustrated today 🙁
Ah, no reason to get frustrated over a stupid dog trick! 🙂 Every problem is just a new opportunity to try and learn something new!
I think there are two ways, you could actually try both at the same time. One would be to do some more pivoting on a target, but making very tiny little steps and have her correct position all the time, so that she is touching your leg pretty much the whole time (vs. you move away -- she moves in etc.), so that she has more time to memorize touching the leg is what you want + she will need to learn not only to move in when you move out -- what she obviously learned now -- but to really stick to the leg. Sometimes dogs learn something else what we think they learned 🙂
Apart from that, you can follow suggestion from your friend, that’s how I originally trained heeling: clicking for anything going in the right direction and then shape from there, clicking for the dog to come closer&closer and in a better&better position. Once you have a pretty close approximation of it, walk forward, pivot, do one step forward, pivot again, one step forward, pivot again, using the cues you are using for pivoting (do not use them for walking beside you though as the position probably won’t be perfect). I think that will help her make the connection that it’s the same thing that just looks different and she will be able to show her understanding of the position while walking forward too.
Don’t worry, it’s even easier as it sounds, there is really no need to get frustrated about things like that!!!
Thanks Silvia, we have been working on it after a full day off (cool off!!). I went back to the perch and tried to move as little as possible so she would get the idea of moving with me. The left side is very good. We have a new problem on the right! I don’t know how to fix it.
When on the right side, she seems to move nicely with me BUT here comes the problem. I think she thinks the exercise is about moving only because when I stop, after click and feed, she continues pivoting until she is wrapped around me!!! *oh no* So she’s not moving with me, just moving. haha!
What should I do? I usually walk away from the pivot and reset, but it is not getting better. I also tried feeding for moving with me AND feeding for stillness when I am still. But she soemtimes still keeps pivoting until we are tangled up.
Yes, I think that confirms that she learned something else as we were trying to teach her… She learned to pivot, but didn’t learn to target the leg. I think little steps with lots of clicking and rewarding for touching you will help. If you then stay static, keep clicking and rewarding for staying still very quickly, before she tries to move again. It’s definitely interesting problem, usually it’s very easy for the dogs to switch to the new target and follow the leg, not sure why she finds it that hard…
With Cik & Cap…I had previously taught Da Vinci to race around a cone/ jump standard and return to me so it is proving very difficult to get multi-wraps. I’ve used the cone/ standard to practice body language turning cues (FC and pulls) and sends. There is no verbal cue…just a generic “go” and he knows to go ahead and wrap around. If I send him from my right side he wraps left. If I send him from my left side he wraps right. What do I do? Do I go back and shape the multi-wraps on the cone/ standard or start over with a new object, maybe inside with me sitting down until I have it on verbal cue? If you need video I can do that today.
Yes, the send to a cone with a go, not caring about how wide or not the dog goes is somewhat different from teaching perfect cik&cap, so I would start from zero. I think you can use a cone, it’s o.k., but stay or sit close to it and throw treats for circling so that it helps him to keep circling.
Ok. Thank you. Plenty of inside time this week to do that!
I tried this today inside and I just sat on a stool. I was surprised to see both Callie and Da Vinci first try side legs with the cone and then backing around it!!!!! They caught on quickly and I found that I got a good start for circling around if I tossed a treat to the opposite side from me. Then as they came back, I had something to click and tossed their reward to encourage more circling. I understand we are to start naming it right away and work on both directions. How do you pronounce cik & cap? Are there other verbal cues your students use?
Is it ok if they switch directions after a treat toss away from the cone? I was simply working with whatever direction they offered with each attempt.
Sure, it’s much easier to click both directions from the start as getting the other one later on. At this point, they can of course choose what direction to go, you click for tightness anyway, not for direction. Name it as soon as you get full, nice and tight circle. Cik&cap are hard to pronounce for English speaking people :), my US friends mostly use “zig-zag” or “kit-kat” or “tik-tak”, I also have a student using “do-re” etc. The words don’t really matter, but keeping it short is definitely recommended.
I’m SO excited! I FINALLY got my dog to do frog legs-yes from many lessons ago. A huge victory for me because that is an area I want him to stretch but I just couldn’t get him to do it. I’ve been trying and trying and was starting to think he just couldn’t do it physically. We finally got it and the trick was using a food tube that he could keep getting rewarded from. When I was just giving him treats-every time he got one he would pull his legs forward and we’d have to start over. That alone was worth the price of the class!
Excellent! Great job! We are still working on it.
Thanks for sharing your secret! 🙂 Good to know what to suggest to others with the same problem, I never tried that one!
just by curiosity, would you mind taping and sending it?
I would like to see it too. I still cannot get frog legs with Maia. She will stretch out her hind legs in the morning when she is on her back waiting for scratches though 🙂 and I stretch her hind legs out by having her put her front paws on my forarm, then I raise my forarm so she has to stand up and stretch (I also feed with her head down between her front legs to help stretch out her upper back and front at the same time)
I see that Cik and Cap is one of our new exercises. Great!
Well, I started trying to teach Cik and Cap to Keen already a few months ago and I face some problems (or I see problems that are not there??). I did quit a few times and started all over. Keen does not get it as quickly as other tricks. As you can see in the video she is (finally) circling. But I still have to be real close to the pole, she does not look for the pole. And I’m still luring… Is this the cause of the fact that she does not look for the pole herself. Secondly I have major troubles to get it on cue. I call it “sik” and “sak”. But she has no clue. Is the luring the cause again??
Can you help me with this?
She is not getting it that fast cause you’re luring, not shaping. Shhe is not seeing the pole cause he is looking at your hand, again cause you lured this I guess.. Nothing good ever comes out of luring 🙂
But that’s not fully true, it its one thing I’ve noticed: that shaped dogs sure take time to learn verbal cues (cause they are not used to that sort of help). But really, cues will come with time, Terra still don’t know them but I can allways show with handling…
Thanks for your view on this. It’s a bit along the line that I was thinking myself. I can teach Keen to walk backwards on stairs, I can get her to do a frog, cross paws, whatever. But I can not get her to circle a pole?? The difference is the luring, you are right. Why did I fall in the luring trap? I think because this exercise is agility related. So I like to see speed… I get some speed by luring… What would you do, start all over again, just shaping the behaviour? Not worrying about speed or drive?
The verbal cue is a general problem I have. Your explanation makes sense… Exercises with a fysical cue (like a box or other object) seem to be easier, though.
I think that on this stage you don’t need a speed. My Azja was simply walking over the basket, pole, chair. I shaped this. Later I added the speed (with trees) and now she runs around many trees. And she is fast. If you want look at my video. It is on page 1 this lessson.
not “over the basket” but around the basket. Sorry for mistakes 🙂
Wow, Agata, this gives me courage! I’ll stop luring and be happy with slower performance. At what point did you introduce the ball in this exercise?
You know what ‘s a bit confusing to me? It’s that we all start off with really circling, even a few times, but once the exercise moves to trees or jump wings the real circling is not done anymore. It just becomes turning to a particular side. Should not we keep practice the circling?
I practice multiwraps around the tree all the time. This is helpful with really tight turns. I do very short sessions with many trees.
I added a toy when I worked on speed and distance. It was with a tree. I restrain dog opposite the tree (very close) and when she completes the circle i throw the toy in that direction which allows her to do full circle. Later I started adding more and more distance. When I could send the dog for 5 m away I started working with many trees. I recommend Silvia’s dvd “Cik and Cap”. That really helped me!
Thanks for your help! I do have the DVD, can you believe that??! I just need time, days of 35 hours or so instead of 24. I have to make time to view it again.
Our second younghest dog, who is competing already, has very nice tight turns. I did teach her that “my way”. But it’s not perfect since she does not “commit” on the jumps. My husband (he is running her) really has to drive her to the jumps. Not a chance of pulling away early. That’s what’s so nice about Silvia’s Cik and Cap!
So I know I can teach tight turns why can’t I teach cik and cap? Well, thanks to this class I will succeed! 😉
Yes, I’m sooo grateful for the good commitment!!! Means a lot especially if you’re not super fast! It was very easy to get with my BCs, but it took a while for my puppy as she is so tiny (37cm), but she has really great commitment now, it makes handling so much easier!
Oh yes, circling is done throughout the whole career! 🙂 It doesn’t stop on objects, I do MANY multi-wraps on each height to teach them how to jump and to later on remind them how important it is to stay close if they get somewhat sloppy. Full circles are important to teach the dog the importance of tightness and to challenge their understanding of how to jump collected in the right direction.
As always when shaping a new trick, treats are easier to start with, but as soon as you have some understanding, you can start throwing toy at the base of a pole instead of a treat. You also definitely need a toy when introducing sends, as Agata mentioned, but that’s not a puppy class topic anymore, it’s agility foundations topic 🙂
Lotta-- you wrote, “…I’ve noticed that shaped dogs sure take time to learn verbal cues…”. This was very good for me to hear--I was beginning to think Elsa was going deaf 🙂 Since I started all shaping with her training, she is much slower to pick up the verbal cue. Now I won’t worry about it. 🙂
Thanks for this info!
Yeah, she is watching you too much, you definitely need to stop luring as she is only learning to follow your hand vs. focus on a pole. As a consequence, her head is too high too. Definitely try to shape it and throw her treats to the floor, close to the pole, to keep her head low and in the right direction, you’re rewarding with head out now -- head needs to be in, so either throw a treat next to the pole or reach in with a hand quickly and reward so that your hand is pretty much touching the pole to keep her head in.
At this stage, it’s normal she can’t know the direction, don’t worry about it. Keep saying it, but focus on a technique, direction will come somewhere on a way, but it definitely takes MUCH longer than tat!
Hoping for some guidance with the backing up into a handstand. I love the trick when I see it and dog is backing up the person’s leg into the handstand. Free standing would be the cherry on the icecream but I’d be super happy with back up my legs into the handstand postion 🙂
Well, that’s a very good start of backing up you leg! Try sitting on a chair now and having him put his hind legs on your knees. Then you slowly sit higher&higher and then stand up normally, it’s not all that difficult at all, I think you’re almost there already! After the back up between your legs, ask him to come to the other side, so that you get to the figure 8, not the circle eventually -- meaning that if he starts from your left leg, reward him at your right leg. Almost there with the hug too! Try marking and rewarding when you feel he is holding it well. It looks really good on a video, but obliviously, he needs to pull it even more to be able to hold it independently. Happy training!
About your hand stand explanation with your knees, would you have a video to show us? I don’t really figure out how to proceed?
Thank you Silvia
Hm, not really -- maybe somebody will be posting it soon? But well, your next step is to go to completely vertical object (a wall), stop clicking one foot on and jackpot if she hops up with both feet. Also, you need to reward closer to the wall as for free handstand, they need to be completely vertical -- see picture of Le I posted in lesson 3. However, at this age, I wouldn’t go for free handstand yet. You can follow the steps above to get better style for future free handstand, but I wouldn’t try to fade the object until she is close to a year old!
I am so loving cik and cap-which I am calling tick and tock but I am constantly screwing up the words-am I okay using one word for both or will that cause problems in the future?
Yes, you can use just one word and then show the direction with body language. I like to have two, but I always say it’s better to have one and say it in time as having two and then thinking so long which is which to say it too late 🙂
Aw sad lesson five already! Lots of fun with this one though. 🙂
With skateboard, we’ve been working this for a few months already. Sadly (??) she prefers to launch herself and roll on it (wheeeee!), so in the video you see me (clumsily) trying to slow her down and shape her to ride it but still propel along with a leg or two. Coming along! Suggestions welcome (yes, I already know I keep dropping treats! 🙂 )
Cik/Cap (right/wrap): We’ve been at this one for a while already too. I’ve just started standing up and moving back though, so she regressed a bit on the left wrap. Trying hard to mark her the moment she turns back away from me. Her right turn is still holding up. Very proud for her knowing the verbal cues already, so that’s one thing she has going for her.
There is a small side 2o2o clip, just starting to go vertical. Hard to find things the right height/angle but not too bad other than that.
Finally started pole grabs. She picked up grabbing with her left paw no problem, but not so much on the right, trying hard to shape her turning her wrist now. Not sure If I NEED to be that picky though?
Heeling is going SO WELL. Silvia, you rock, this is the best method I’ve seen for teaching perfect heeling. Thanks so much for sharing with us- I couldn’t be happier and know she loves it too!
I love it so much I am scared to intro the backwards figure 8- I don’t want to mess heeling up! (Also haven’t tried a back up with her at my side anyways, just from the front.) So played on the 8s with Shiver the BC instead, she’s got it, very easy with a solid back up command. Someday for the puppy.
(OH! Very proud moment with stays with distraction- She waited the WHOLE time I put dirty dishes in the dishwasher!!! Normally she launches into the dishwasher the moment I open it. Hooray. 🙂 )
Looks great! Her heeling is really beautiful!!! Perfect position of hind end and a really nice, high head! Great job! It’s true backward figure 8 can temporary affect heeling position, but it usually goes away really fast, so don’t worry too much, but yes, maybe make heeling position really strong first. Cik&cap is nice too, you can stay close for this exercise anyway. Sends are another exercise that you can do apart from that, you don’t need multi-wraps then, I only ask for one complete circle then and reward by throwing a toy in the direction that promotes full circle -- but that’s Foundations topic already. You can try skateboarding on carpet or grass first -- they can’t move it by jumping on on such a surface, so they need to really learn to push there. And yes, to get the hug, it’s not good to click paw touches too long as then they tend to just add duration to those when you stop clicking. So it’s good to wait for something that goes in the right direction, like a wrist turn or a paw sliding to the side or even missing the pole, but going nicely to its side. -- Pretty much what you’re doing now.
Fantastic! That was a very fun video to watch! Great job.
Fabulous heeling! Great job on the cik/cap too!
The classroom is much quieter now, isn’t it? Dragon and I are behind since I had a week when I was extra busy and then I was in Poland for a week. But now I am back and training every day! 🙂 Here’s a (long) text update as I’ve been forgetting to video the past few days.
We are not caught up in heeling so I won’t be working on the backwards figure 8 yet, though I’m looking forward to it! I actually am totally re-teaching the pivoting for heeling. I had initially started it before class, with luring, and was trying to just work on fading the hand signal and keeping at it that way. But I found that Dragon just didn’t understand the exercise well enough and I was getting frustrated seeing how his clicker-trained tricks were much more precise and confident. So I am back to setting down the bowl and clicking him for pivoting on his own. I want to compete in obedience and rally with him, so I know that this will pay off in the end — I’m enviously looking at my classmates’ videos and I can’t wait to get there, too! 🙂
Cik & cap — not much to video yet, I’m just clicking for any foot movement next to the pole that doesn’t include targeting the pole, which of course he wants to do because we’ve worked so much on interacting directly with objects.
Skateboarding — I want to try this but I need to find a skateboard!
Side legs — going very well with his left side. I’ve made the board vertical and will be fading it soon. I waited too long to start working with his right side, too, and so he keeps turning around and offering the left. Oops! Next time I am teaching two mirroring tricks like this, I will start working on the second side right away.
Handstand — I have him backing up and putting his feet onto a box that’s a little over a foot high. He always puts his back left foot up first and then his right. At first I was clicking him for putting one foot up and then clicking again for the right one, but I did this too long and now he gets confused if I wait for him to put both up before I click. Another mistake on my part! He shuts down if he gets too confused so I have to be careful. I think I might have managed to work through it with extra cheerleading. I suspect I’ll have trouble getting him to hop up with both legs at once. Any tips?
Hugging the pole — I am getting lots of paw swipes and scratches and some wrapping. I am going to start cuing him to sit and then bringing the pole up to him to jump-start reaching up and hugging. I think I’ll move on to the water bottle soon — I expect that it will be easier.
Putting one bowl in the other — still C/Ting mouthing the bowl. Not getting any pick-up. Stuck on this one. 🙁
Welcome back! And yes, it is much easier to start with both sides for side legs as trying to get the other one later on! I do both sides already the first session and then keep working on both. The same with pivoting: I prefer to click both directions first and spend some more time getting full circle as clicking only one to get full circle faster, but then get into trouble trying to get the other direction! -- The same with cik&cap, so don’t forget to click both directions there to not end with the same problem!
For a handstand, definitely try to not click for the first leg anymore. Then try with a higher object, he will need to start to hop up with both at one point. You could also try setting him somewhat diagonally in front of an object, so that the right leg is much closer and easier to start with as with the left leg -- he might even hop up in this situation as he might still prefer to go up with both vs. right first. If he steps with the right first then, that’s something too -- wait for the second one and you just got rid of that additional click for the first leg 🙂
Sending to get some clarification on these instructions ‘Another way to do it is to have him do it against your legs when you sit in a chair. First, you can sit so that he can climb some, then keep your legs completely vertical (heels directly under the knees) and then you put feet even more under the chair (heels further back as knees), so that he needs to hop up directly to your knees’.
What I am having a hard time getting my head around is where Wylie starts in relationship to my legs. Asking because most of the dogs including Wylie are starting the handstand by facing us and then backing into the wall/object but if using my legs is he backing up into my legs so it is in reverse?
Maybe I am over thinking this?
Exactly. He needs to face the same direction as in order to be able to climb your legs. It was no problem for my puppy to switch the direction, but if you have troubles, you can first have a helper to help him back up on you -- but it should be you to reward for the position already then. I think he won’t mind to switch the direction as soon as he will see you can deliver him cookies that way too 🙂
I tried some heel/ side work out at a coffee shop today (no target). It was challenging for him to find the position, but he did. However, there was no circling. He found the position, collected his treat and was done. This happened with every attempt. I know it is harder to work in new places with distractions so…should I simply lower criteria in public and practice baby steps…or get the behavior more solid at home first…or do I take my target places and practice that way in public…but without the target at home?
It’s probably the easiest if you master the pivoting at home and then take it on the road and meantime do easier tricks he knows well whenever you have an option of training in public/with distractions around. If you remember to take your target 🙂 then you can of course practice that too! I also take an opportunity of objects I find wherever I go to do some tricks on, or simple circling around, jumping on or over… -- the more new objects they get an opportunity to interact with, the better.
We are having great fun showing off our pee trick, handstand and 2on2off from the side when we are out and about at competition events where there is lots of waiting. The pee trick is easy to do on many different obstacles, the handstand works on coolers and even trees! We just use whatever obstacles are already there, it is really fun!
Video coming soon, I’ve been gone a lot but still working on tricks while we are away. Sara and Wylie
Yes, agility competitions are great for trick training! I always have time for tons of it while waiting for my turn and always take my puppies along from the very first day.