As you did such a great job with your first homework, you're getting some more this time 🙂 I again marked the ones to focus on first. Post wherever you end up, we learn the most through problems, so you want to post those too! 🙂 So try to view other students' videos and my comments to them 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!!!). From my dogs, Le LOVES to chase things on a string, especially squeaky toys, plastic bags and everything else that makes sound! La hates squeaky toys, but goes crazy for real fur and ladder. Bi loves tugging - on anything BUT real fur, she finds it really gross and won't touch it. - Not that I would be trying in that direction either, only extra durable toys can handle her bite! Bu doesn't care so much about what toy we use, but she definitely wants ME involved: running and making silly noises. She also loves when she has a toy and I'm pretending I want to steal it from her, but am afraid to do so.
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 two 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 for more&more steps around the object. I first click both directions and once I get half of a circle in both directions, start clicking one direction only and reward with a head away from me in order to get a full circle - turning the head away from you in the hardest part, that's why you want to reward with head away at this point. The final goal are full circles 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 the angle, even vertical, 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 the 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. AGAIN, don't do too much of this exercise, it's great for building muscle, but it can also make them sore if you do too many repetitions every day!
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 step and reward by throwing a treat towards the dog. Rewarding at distance (by tossing a treat instead of giving it from your hand) 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 and click for leaving an object too. 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.
I also have a question about “sit up”. We’ve been practicing this for many months, even before puppy class started, but he still can’t sit up for more than a few seconds. My other dog can sit longer, so I’m starting to wonder if it’s just to hard for him to ask for longer than a few seconds? He’s kind of a skinny young male, so perhaps he just doesn’t have the muscles yet? <3 Any tips on how to progess and how to think would be very helpful, thanks again!
There are actually many possible reasons, a very common one is actually that the dog thinks it’s about just going up and down and doesn’t really understand duration. The easiest way to check is to actually use a lure above his nose and see if he can sit up longer for that 🙂 It also helps them balance in this position and if necessary, they can lean on your hand with their nose some, so I think it will help you speed up a process at this point.
We made some progress with pivoting, and he is turning his head away a little bit more now. We also got 2 small sit ups with the paw target. Am I luring the sit too much though?
Should I keep posting here or wait for the new puppy class to start?
Cool, getting there with pivoting! I think it’s time to stand up now, it will make rewarding away from you easier and quicker and getting a full circle easier. Very cute paw touches and wow, even a little sit up! It’s no problem to help him some with a sit. This class ends today, so the best is to then post in the next class. Looking forward to see more of Pre!
Ok, thanks, Silvia! Lesson 2 has a long homework list, so plenty of things still to work on until next class starts 😉 We started with 2on2off yesterday, and having fun on walks 🙂
Great! See you in the next class! 🙂