Time for a new to-do list!
1. take your dog to a city center, a store that allows dogs (pet store?) and on a train station
2. position yourself next to a high target and now only click for circling all the way to your leg (don't click for steps in between) - name it with heel for one side and something else for the other and have a dog follow your leg when you move in a circle around the target away from the dog - then tell him to come to the other side and have him follow the other leg. Use different targets, try it on a very low one too.
3. build your own cavaletti and walk the dog over it - you can use the drawers or boxes of appropriate size and height, put them in a row and walk the dog through, just as you can see on this video
4. try the other version of 2on2off: instead of having them go on an object and off, stop in a position and wait, let's try stepping back into 2on2off this time. Position your dog close to a low object behind his back, cue him "back" and reward for stepping on an object or trying to. Slowly, you can have a dog step on higher&higher objects, this is beginning of a handstand, but with young puppies, don't overdo the height. Instead, you can have them back up stairs for example, to challenge them some more without making it too physically demanding. You need to build balance and strength slowly enough for the dog to never be sore after. You can also teach them a "pee" trick: click when they heave one leg, searching the object - before they find it and name it, it's a fun one.
5. put your paw target on a drawer or doors or simply shape the paw touch to a drawers/doors and then select for stronger&stronger touches/pushes. The goal is to have the dog slam the doors or drawer with power, to teach them that they control the movement under their feet and the sound and that it's FUN - my favourite trick for a great see-saw!
6. don't forget on recalls and playing!!! Also, slowly add duration to a sit up, teach crossing paws with the other paw and fade the target, check if the puppy will stay in 2on2off position until "go" even with distractions (toys and food flying around)
Final version of 2on2off:
Vite’s latest exercises are at
that backing up onto the stars was great, have you worked on this before or did he get that in just these few days?
We’ve been working on rear end awareness for a long time, so the first time I asked her to back up onto the stairs that’s what she did.
I have a vision of Vite eventually running backwards, and not sure how to get there. We train back up mostly in the hallway. I stand still and reward for rear feet moving by throwing the reward. When she backs up through the open door, I jackpot. She does back up pretty fast for about 8 feet, and I’m hoping to gradually increase. Any other ideas?
Also, it would be nice to eventually have her back up the Aframe. And a handstand…
Good luck with the running backwards, not sure if it is physicly possible but all good ideas sound crazy at first right 😀 ?
Backing A-frame or teeter is very flachy trick yes. Not sure about a full height A-frame though, dogs have a hard time backing up downhill and that is pretty steep, but with baby steps, maiby? If you want to see a really cool backing teeter search “sheltie doing backwaard tricks” on youtube, it’s Taz, the first vid, in the end theres a very cool backing teeter and A-frame (but only backing UP on the a-frame).
I’m also going to teach a backing teeter, going to teach it like I first taught regular teeter: With a plank. Dog walks the plank (or backs) and i slowly add something (I added books) under the middle of the plank. :)Great foundation btw for little uncertain dogs but it wont teach the perfekt fast tecnique…
Backing up the A-frame is actually way easier as backing up stairs! It’s actually going down that is way more difficult, but I’m sure she will be able to do it no time! And yes, gradually add distance to backing up, no other magic solution I guess…
Very good! Time for even more of a door slam! 🙂
This video is a combination of lesson 2 and lesson 3 tricks..
1) Pet store -- working through distractions, and trying her balance in one of the bowls 😛
2) Cross paws -- we have the both sides now! Time to fade the targets..
3) Sit up -- because she is not strong and has hip dysplasia, decided to start by teaching her to sit in front of a stool, then use paw target to get paw lifts, finally we got it from sit position! Now to build duration… Any tips? We seem to be plateaued at 1 second..
4) Door closing -- first time introduced to the post card target, ask for “tap” and the rest came naturally! Now we are working on heavier doors and harder pushes. Do we want the dog to jump up and push? I am not asking her to jump because of her hip problems, but she can if needed..
5) 2on2off on the stairs -- this is hard for us.. She can offer the position, but when she tries to back up, she ends up pivoting to the side and does not know how to step up backwards.. She got a little frustrated.. There is one jackpot moment where she backed on.. Any ideas? Am I doing anything wrong? Would it be ok if I channeled her to back up onto the stairs so she can’t turn? Or should I use a lower object…
Not shown: Pivots -- we are still stuck and cannot get more than a few steps. I am now tossing the food away so that she offers more movement, especially to front position and sometimes a bit beyond. But we are stuck! I don’t have video of recent sessions, will get one up soon. Any advice or tips?
Thanks for watching!! 🙂
Don’t give up on the pivots. I was very frustrated too but when they get that ah-ha moment it’s much better. Cash is still struggling and I only get a few steps at a time…but I know this about him. He is a baby steps dog. So, I am being patient. I offer him help when he is stuck by drawing out his reward for a little more movement, but don’t continue to show him what I want. He understands it a bit better each time and offers a tiny bit more. I toss the treats a lot for him…was at that stage for a very very long time.
Thank you so much for your encouragement! 🙂 This is tough because Summer will be an obedience rather than agility dog and heeling is soooo important! We’ll keep at it and cheat a little as Silvia says, hopefully I’ll have progress to post up soon…
That’s a nice idea for a sit up! To add duration, let her lean on your hand a little bit and click when she is not putting too much weight on it, meaning that she is well balanced. That will help her find the balance. You don’t need both legs for door slamming -- one is o.k., just select for harder pushes. And yes, some dogs are uncomfortable stepping on something behind them. It’s usually the easiest when one foot is on and the other joins -- just like you got it. But it’s hard to recreate those moments, so I would go to something lower yes. Usually the best is their bed, a blanket or a pillow -- something low, soft and known as they feel more comfortable about stepping on it.
At this point of teaching pivoting, I would probably cheat to get that circle and help her by moving around the target myself to get her going… Then start stopping and catching moments she is still moving even though you already stopped to then fade your movement.
Nice paw crosses! Loved the 4in the bowl and backing up in a pet store, too cute!
Cheryl, do you suppose that the dysplasia is contributing to the issues with pivots and hopping back into 2o2o? Obviously a clever dog, so maybe more than not understanding. Either discomfort or general weakness would make those two exercises more difficult (as you’d already guessed with the sit up). I haven’t seen the pivoting video, is the perch so high that too much pressure is on the rear? As Silvia suggested, I would go for low, for both exercises and see if that made any difference.
The hip problems could be it. I have pivot videos of my dog before and after her broken leg. Before, both pivot directions were equally good. After (see video on next page) the anticlockwise spins (right back leg was broken) are very hard compared to the other direction. She has around 60% less muscle in that leg (you can see its thinner) at the moment
Just read this reply!! Sorry!
Yes, I think the hips contribute a bit to her difficulty.. We do lots of strengthening and swimming but she still finds “strength”/balance things harder.. She doesn’t have great structure. We work slowly and hope it gets better! It is great working with her though she is a very serious worker..
Thanks for your thoughts on the issue!
Today Da Vinci and Callie were both spinning counterclockwise all on their own. Huge step for them. I started working on clockwise. Do I name them before moving to “heel” and “side”?
Sorry…I know you have answered this before, but I can’t find it.
You may if you have an idea for a name 🙂 I only name it heel and side -- before that, the object is their cue and I let them choose the direction and show when I want the other one. To many names to think of otherwise 🙂
It could be a nice trick to name if you do freestyle with your dog… But naming is tricky! I’m thinking about naming it something totally random, like banana to the left and pinapple to the right. Then right it down on a list so that I wouldn’t forget it :). I would have to check it before every session though…
I thought you’d like to see this. I have a Pilates Stability Chair that I shaped Da Vinci to make noise with by pushing the spring loaded pedal down. He was very noise sensitive so we’ve worked really hard on “making noise” as a fun rewarding thing to do. This was our first day on the door. I tried the target down low, but it seemed awkward for him to tap with a paw and he opted for nose touches. He loves to jump up so I first stood in front of the door with the target on my stomach to give him permission to jump…then stepped to the side and placed the target on the door asking for the same thing (“both”) for two feet.
Cool! It’s going well, despite you can still see he doesn’t like that sound too much! So just keep working on it slowly!
For #3 cavaletti’s, do you start with just two at a walk, how do you click when they have 4 legs. My guess is you want each foot in a box and each foot in between the boxes. They might get 2 front feet in but miss the back feet? or do you do you just start with 4-5 boxes and trot them and let them figure it out? I don’t know how to reward with 4 legs. I was using my medium size bowls.
#5. She is only 7 pounds. I put a paper sticky note on a drawer and she paws it, when I don’t click, to get a harder push, it turns into faster scratching not a harder push. I went to a lighter cupboard door I was surprise how afraid she was of the bang, I have done so much bang training. So I brought out the big guns, fresh chicken. Should I be rewarding when it bangs or when she pushes? I only want to reward a hard push, so I delay it a little bit. Since she is still afraid of the bang, I give her the chicken when it bangs.
So how do I get a harder push VS faster scratching? I am leaving again this week end. Will have phone. Video on Monday.
With cavaletti, I just walk them over and let them figure it out. It’s easier if you start with something really low, you can put some poles on the ground as they usually won’t jump with the poles. The pushes, just make it really easy for her first and reward all so that she understands it’s about the pushes, not scratches and then slowly go for stronger ones. I click when they push and reward as it bangs.
Here is a short video of our cheat. When I stand near the pivot and move, she immediately goes to heel.. Perhaps this position has been reinforced a lot in the past. Ha! She understands it well and can move fast and easily. I just don’t know why she won’t turn independently! She should be used to shaping and stuff by now.. Hmm.
Is this ok? I know this totally skipped the step of independent circles, but this is what she offered. With a little bit of hand waving I managed to get the right side also. Will this badly affect our eventual heeling? Should I still go back and do the previous step?
Yes, it’s sometimes hard to understand the dog’s mind 🙂 But yes, let’s just skip one step and work on this further. Try to get both directions equally fluent and pay attention to reward with head up, not in. Have fun!
When we get to this step…do you reward with the head up and forward, facing you or away?
Up and forward -- pretty much vertically up.
Well the sun is finally out (it’s been raining here for over a week) so I thought I would do some video taping. Here is stage 2 of the pivot/perch work which I think is going ok. I’m not so sure about our 2on2off--after watching this video, I think I have been unknowingly cueing her with my body language (I stop, she stops--I move,she moves) so she is not really understanding that she should hold 2on2off until I release her. Any suggestions as to what I might do to make this clearer to her? Also wondering if it would be better to drop the treats on the ground in front of her so she is not so focused on my treat hand.
I haven’t been able to get anywhere with the backing up onto an object 🙁 I have tried positioning her in front of several different objects & asking her to “back” but she twists past the object and backs about 5 or 6 feet--fast! Not sure how to get her to slow down & take one step back…
Very nice! Pivoting is beautiful! And the view is great too! 🙂 For backing up an object, did you try with something really low and soft, like a folded blanket or something? And maybe without using a verbal cue if she thinks she needs to back up far on that one? You can first do normal 2on2off on it, then lure her off (ideally with one foot…) and see if she will step right back. And yes, for normal 2on2off, toss treats between her front paws and make it more independent from your movement. Start off by standing completely still until she offers the position -- then move while she is keeping it, release when standing still again -- just to break a pattern. Then try walking with her, but keep walking while she stops, step back to toss a treat, walk some more and then release while walking -- things like this to make her see she can’t cue from your movement but needs to focus on a position as such. You can make it more difficult then by moving faster and even running and she should still stop on her own, without any body cue from you (turning into her, slowing down or whatever). Happy training!
Wow! Your pivoting really is wonderful.. We aspire to be like you! 🙂
For backing onto the object, we tried it with the blanket, cushion, bed etc. But Summer did not transfer the behaviour onto other objects (like boxes) easily. What I found helped was to get a very very long/wide object for backing to. In my house we have a ledge in the living room so I got Summer to back up to it and click for any back leg lifts that look like she is trying to step up. She got it within a few clicks and started to offer..
Just a thought.. Maybe you can try on a pavement/ledge/other wide object so that it is not so easy to turn away?
Here is a short video from our first session working this way
If you get her backing onto a blanket then just put something under the blanket 🙂 I like books cause they aren’t too tall so you can add hight very gradually. But that’s a great idea too! When you use something as wide as a pavement the dog cannot back around it. I also found it helpful to (atleast initially) keep my treathand close to his head, not so close that he would try to take the treats but close enough to keep him looking at it (so that he wouldn’t turn to climb up onto the objekt). Also because of the excercise in the first lesson (leaving treats) he can try to avoid my treathand if I put it too close, often by backing a few steps 🙂
Yes, that’s a good object to use. Still, some dogs are really uncomfortable to step on something behind their back, that’s why I like to start with a blanket with those, to not push them in something they don’t feel comfortable with. Then I put some newspaper or similar under the blanket and then build from there. Once they understand the concept of picking up hind feet, it’s very easy to transfer to other objects then, but it’s true you need to get some height with a blanket first.
Ah, I wish I had thought of that earlier. Oh well, I hope Summer will get more comfortable with the behaviour! I have so much to learn!
Wohoo I finally got a video 😀
It is his handstand training and also playing. It is so much fun having a playful and hyper dog! Leevi is such a calm and steady dog, but I still love him just as much 🙂
Anyway today I’m going to buy a plank for running contacts (so exciting, going to try and train it all by myself ;)). Terra will come with me, it’s no city center but something atleast, I’ll see if I can do some easy tricks there. And tomorrow we’re going to Ullanlinnanmäki where there will be LOADS and LOADS of poeple (that can be our “city center”), and as that wasn’t enough, after that we’re going to an unofficial dog show 🙂 That place has a pet store so I’m left wth the train station, and he has been on one atleast 2 times allready and he has been in the bus! So I’ll be done with #1 very soon :).
And #2 I actually already have taught him side and heel position (this way) but I have gone back a step to make it just a biit better and I will film that too, I just couldn’t fit it all in this film 🙂 Maiby cause I’m so excited on teaching handstand! I tried it with Leevi (about 20kg) and trained it for months but he never got into the point where Terra is right now…
The only thing I havent done allready is the cavaletti and the crossed paws, just need to film and film and edit and edit.
That is a VERY awesome handstand!!! 😀
Getting there! Don’t rush too much though, he is still a puppy and they need to build strength and balance slowly in order to not get sore. But yes, Terra sure is a really cool dog! Great job! Have fun at the dog show!
Yeah, it is easy to get carried away with a puppy that learns so fast 🙂 but I’m goin to leave handstand for now, I can’t finish it before he is grown up anyway (or atleast I shouldn’t).
and the next film is on the way, it just takes forever to publish a film on this old, dieing computer >_>
Thank you. Your video was lots of fun to watch. And of course good homework too.
Hi Silvia and everbody,
Sorry that I haven’t posted anything for lesson 2. Both my husband (the cameraman) and have been sick. But I have done all the excercises.
Now that we were finally ready to make the video Jay-Jay was not so enthusiastic…. what do you do then ? How can I get her to have more eager to work ? When she sees her ball she an other dog. She jumps into my lap to get me start throwing ? How can I combine the play with the ball and doing the excercises ?
I would like to see that she’s having fun doing it.
Yeap, great job with the exercises! Very good rear end awareness -- pivoting, cavaletti and 2on2off look really coordinated and smooth. When you are next to the target, make sure you only click when she comes all the way and is completely parallel to you. You mostly click when her hind end is still swinging out a little. Wait for additional step and only reward when she is completely parallel, with the head up -- head in often makes hind end swing out, that’s why. For a push, go for more&more power to get more of a slam. Sit up is going well too, slowly add more duration.
When you see she is not much into working mode, you can simply end a session and try again later. But of course, if the ball is her true reward, USE IT! You can use it for most tricks she knows to some degree already and definitely as a jackpot for any of the tricks you’re working on. Throw a ball at least every 5 clicks to keep her happy and excited about the tricks. It should all be just a game for her.
Any tips on starting the pee trick? What is a good object? I tried a couch cushion but he jumps on it and barks at me 🙂 I tried a coffee can but of course that is not great because he puts his front feet on it and starts to circle. I am trying to think of a new object to use for this because to me it seems like he really needs to do a different type of action for it, or am I over thinking this?
The pee trick is a first part of stepping backward into 2on2off position 🙂 Use the object you use for backing up into 2on2off and click&reward as soon as he picks up one hind foot, searching for an object -- ideally before he touches it. The easiest to teach it is when your 2on2off object for backing up is high enough that he needs to pick up foot pretty high already, but not as high yet that he would start hopping up with both feet at the same time. At that time, it’s a very easy bonus trick 🙂