As you did so good with your first homework, you're getting some more this time 🙂 No worries if you don't manage to do everything in 2 weeks, you can always come back to those tricks. Post wherever you end up, we learn the most through problems, so you want to post those too! 🙂
1. experiment with different toys and ways to play with your dog. Tape his favourite game to give some new ideas to other participants (and me!!!)
2. instead of a plate, find something a little higher this time to give them a better feeling of where to keep their front legs, click first for front feet on an object (should be easy, you want the same thing as on a plate) and then observe hind legs and click for ANY movement (even just a weight shift) and then shape from there to more&more steps around the object. I first click both directions and once I get a quarter of a circle, start clicking one direction only and reward with a head away from me in order to get a full circle. The final goal is full circle in both directions, with you static (don't help the dog to circle with your movement!) - I think those that have my heeling video can already do that exercise, though 🙂
3. take the plate and hold it in different positions to see if the dog understands it's the same thing even when you hold it higher, under angle, to his left/right etc. Try when he is standing, sitting and lying down. If you didn't name touching an object with a paw, it's time to do it now! Also, try to change objects for this exercise, sometimes also use a hand as a paw target. Once he can do all that, you're ready for next two tricks we will get out of the paw touch:
- crossing paws: tell the puppy to down (or shape it if he doesn't know it yet), then hold the plate (or, you can use another, smaller and more convenient object, like a plastic lid or a piece of paper) close to left paw and only reward touching it with left paw. Then hold it closer and closer to right paw, still only reward left paw touches, then hold it on right paw and eventually on the other side, jackpoting the touches of left paw on a right paw now in order to eventually get rid of a target.
- sit up: tell the puppy to sit (or shape it if he doesn't know it yet), then put the plate (or just use the hand if he will recognize that as a target) low enough first that he can reach it with a paw, but then every next time, hold it a little higher - not that high that he would stand up, but high enough that the other leg leaves the ground a little bit too. Jackpot.
4. observe your puppy and try to find situations when he would back up - it usually happens when they're moving out of your way - or sometimes when you're working on ignoring the food in the hand. You can try to sit down on the floor with treats in your hand and click first step back with hind foot. Don't wait for more than one as they usually sit down then. Click&reward the first one and reward by throwing a treat towards the dog. Rewarding at distance will help you add more&more steps and more&more distance from you. At one point, switch to rewarding with a toy, it's easier to throw.
5. 2on2off - find an object big enough for the dog to go on with all 4 feet easily - maybe just put your first 4in object upside down? - Click for 2-3 legs on and then don't click the fourth one, you don't want any duration standing there! Only click again when the dog is leaving the object, try to catch him with 2 front feet on the ground and deliver the treat while he is still in this position. You want them go on an object and off immediately, stopping with front feet on the ground. Click&reward several times for a position, then say "go"/"o.k."/"free"/whatever your release word will be and throw a treat away so that he needs to leave the position to get it. Do this enough times that the dog starts to expect the thrown treat after "go", so that then you don't need to throw it in advance, but only after he leaves the position on "go". Do not help with body language that you want him to leave after "go" - if he doesn't know it yet, go back to throwing a treat and progress more slowly.
Another note: I'll be able to answer your questions this coming week with no problem, but then the week after I have seminars here, so I'm not sure if I'll be able to keep up. If not, we'll just add another week to this class.
I did it again, posted it in the wrong spot!
Here it is again.
Hi Silvia, Classmates
Here is where we are after two weeks of pivoting, backing up, crossing paws, and 2on2offs.
The pivoting goes pretty well to one side, without luring. Keen will not turn to the right though, without luring.
She likes backing up but we are a bit stuck at the distance you’ll see in the video.
Crossing paws. At the start of a session she sometimes does it without the help of my hand. But most of the time just one time, then she needs my hand again. But I think we are close. It’s a bit painfull when she starts touching “wild” and you are wearing shorts (like in the video) ;-).
Sit ups. It’s her preferred exercise at the moment. She sits up whenever she only thinks she can get a threat. 😉 But I do not want to make her sit up for too long since she is still so young.
2on2off, I switched to a higher object and that seems to be easier, indeed.
We did not excercise that one that much. It still needs some work.
I got a little carried away putting together something about the games leia likes. I was looking at some old footage and found some funny stuff. Leia is my second dog and basically the opposite of my first dog. She is confident, independent, and totally care free. She’s challenging in a new way for me. I had to learn to put myself in the picture of the games she likes to play before we could develop the games we play together (got that tip at seminar with Silvia). I’m not sure I’ll give you any new ideas but don’t let your dogs watch, Leia will give them plenty.
Great video! And yes, you did give new ideas. I have one of those Jolly Egg balls and never even thought to use it in training. I rarely get it down because I don’t like how obsessive and frustrated they can get with it. But if I’m involved more, it could be a whole new experience. Thanks! I’m going to try that!
Oh, that was too funny! She seems to be a lot like Bi, never a boring moment, always finding something to play with! Very nice video!
Ooooh, that was LOVELY!!!
Hiding the treats behind my back to help him focus on pivoting on the perch has helped a lot, hurray we have a full counterclockwise turn! It is so fun how a leap ahead is so exciting for both of us 🙂
Now that it is a reliable circle one direction, I wanted to start working on the other direction. Of course the start is tough, five full circles the direction he ‘knows’ with no cookie…
This is when it gets tough for me, he starts to whine with frustration and I don’t like to see him struggle and show stress that way. Perhaps I am very soft, but I like to keep the reinforcement rate high high for Synchro and have hardly every heard him whine.
Is ‘whining’ a good indicator that a challenge is too tough? Should I just hold out and wait for the steps in the ‘new’ directions regardless? Thanks for any input, I hate to see him so frustrated!
Also we have great difficulty with duration in sit or down, though now I am wondering if that has to do with the high reinforcement rate, so he doesn’t understand to ever have to wait longer than a second or two for a cookie?
I’ll try to post another video again soon to illustrate, but in the meantime, would appreciate input on whining during training and holding still…
For holding still, make frequency of rewarding lower&lower very slowly. And yes, whining is usually a sign the task is too hard, you should try to make it easier. Maybe set a target next to the wall, so he can’t keep going in the known direction and that will give you a step in the other one that you can jackpot?
YES! I’m so excited…I just had to share 🙂
It was fun to see Da Vinci’s breakthrough moment. You did a great job jackpotting it!
Very exciting! Great job! I love these breakthrough “oh, I get it!” moments in shaping tricks. Thanks for sharing.
Just wanted to check in since I haven’t posted anything in a while. I’ve been extra busy and had a stomach virus over the weekend, so we’re a bit behind. I’m not worried about catching up — just wanted to say that we’re still enjoying the class and will be posting more soon! 🙂
Good to hear that you’re feeling better again! I’m sure you’ll be catching up in no time!
Hallo Silvia, here is our first video of lesson 2. Pivoting and the 2o2o will come soon. I`ve got a question to pivoting: Fine switched to my leg as target already, so it is hard for us to get the full circle (she did it before…) again. She always steps down from the target and touches my leg. It may be o.k. to post only this step of heeling?
Very nice! For backing up, try rewarding as on the last try in the video. -- You can put a toy on a string so that you can keep one end of a string in your hands to prevent her going away with the toy, but still be able to reward away from you. And yes, you can post the next step of pivoting -- if it goes well, you don’t need to work full circles anymore.
Hallo Silvia, the 2o2o with release and the pivoting to the right and the left side. I know I should give her the treats from left hand when she is left and from right hand when she is right. I wanted to show the moving of the hind legs and wasn`t able to change treats and clicker that fast. Normally I reward from the side where she touches my leg.
Great! Very good understanding of both exercises! For 2on2off, just use a pillow, no plank, if you plan to do running contacts. Vary your position, don’t front her every time.
thank you for your comment. I will use a pillow and I will vary my positions.
Just love the last 2o2o in the vid :), he wanted to get that last treat before session ended 😉
here is my video. Yesterday in the garden with the sounds of the street :
Inside with my westie in the other room 😉
Very nice paw crosses! Getting there with the sit up, slowly add more duration. For a back up, reward by tossing his reward to get more distance. Ready for the next step of pivoting! One thing to be careful about: when you see he is getting distracted or stressed, don’t push for more -- just do something really easy he loves the most and reward by playing. Because of his problem at agility competitions, the most important thing he can learn through tricks is that working is always fun and safe and that you never ask him for more as he can offer. That’s more important as any trick.
Forgot crossing paws and some other stuff too but we try catch up..
She sure loves to play! Very nice puppy, very good 2on2off, nice back up! GREAT coordination for such a young puppy! To avoid helping so much with circling, how about rewarding her off the target, by tossing a treat behind you? Because of that she will come back to the target from the side and will probably circle some on her own just as she does at 1:48 and 3:02 of your video -- and then just go from there, adding more&more steps. Shaping goes somewhat slower with puppies who don’t know the system well just yet, but once they get it, it really goes very fast, so it’s worth being patient. Once you start helping, it’s just harder to shape then as they get used to just wait for help. That’s why I go really slowly with puppies, give them time to learn how to learn and then everything is just so easy… So don’t worry about skipping some tricks, you will catch up later, you can post it anytime you start working on them. Have fun!
Hi Silvia, classmates,
I’m lagging a bit behind! I started some excercises of lesson III but here is another update on lesson II.
I still have problems with pivoting clockwise…We are getting there but still with some luring. Do you have some recommendations fort his?
Crossing paws also still needs some work. But I have the feeling the basis is there, with time everything will come together. 😉
It’s great fun and my relation with Keen is getting closer and closer!
Yeap, she definitely has a very strong preference for pivoting counter clockwise! Maybe only work on clockwise for some sessions now? Very nice sit up and back up! Almost there with paw crosses too! And yes, you sure look like a great team!!!