Sunday, February 15, 2009

More Training

I worked with both boys this evening.

Bug worked on Sit-Stay and Down-Stay, as well as heel (Finish). I am pleased to say that now that he has the idea he isn't nearly as crooked as he was the first time I played around with Heel.

I am finding his Down to be fairly slow. I do not know if this is teenage rebellion, i.e. I'll do it at my pace thankyouverymuch or something else. Any suggestions on teaching a faster down?

In general Bug is clicking right along. He is a smart corgi.

Ike worked on his Down-Stays and Sit-Waits. We are making huge progress there. I also worked on Heel and "Right-Finish," which I am calling "around." That is coming along nicely.

I am also fooling around with shaping Ike's Front since it sucks so badly. Right now I have a dish towel folded in front of my feet. I have reinforced down and anything BUT sit with Ike so much that we are making VERY slow progress. When I first tried to get Ike to offer behaviors, any behavior, he would just sit. That is why sit hasn't been very highly reinforced and I am getting lots of downs and touching every sort of object. BUT, I did get a few fairly straight sits - MUCH straighter than I have been seeing. So maybe it isn't a terrible idea.

I am looking for input or games people might play with their dogs for snappy downs and Front behaviors. Now I am off to google!


penni said...

Some of the tricks we use for straight front: Setting up a pair of baby gates angled into the outside of your toes, using two pieces of pvc guttter to create a channel angled in to the outside of your tows, two pieces of folded chicken wire to create the channel, a padded board made to your dog's size. Have him stand on level concrete and mark with sidewalk chalk just in front of his toes and just behind his back feet -- the distance from the front line to the back line is the length of your board. The width of the board is the distance between the edges of his back feet. Lowe's will cut the board for you (check out their scraps so you don't need to buy a full sheet of plywood. Cover the board with carpet and screw pieces of 1" x 1/2" wood through the carpet on the bottom of the board. Teach your dog to come to heel on the board and to front on the board. Always set it up perfectly straight so the dog learns to sit on this magic pad. Because the board is just large enough for the dog, they will learn to self correct if a paw or their rear is over the edge.

Another trick is to get one of the clear rods for window blinds and tap the dog into the straight position as it comes in.

I hope at least one of these helps!

Blue said...

For Ike, maybe you could carry a clicker and treats around the house and reward him every time you happen to see him sit? Then he might start offering it more.

Good luck!

manymuddypaws said...

fast downs- clicker in hand i run with my dog and suddenly ask for a down. lots of enthusiasm and big jackpot-even for a mediocre one. I do this over, and over, and over again- I find the excitement helps the dog try harder...also I do random sit, down, stand reps and only reward for fast responses...

fronts...I do lots of running...backwards...with the dog in front of me- I push them away and then run backwards- the dog races to catch up to me and I feed in front, and then lure to a sit and jackpot. I don't even ask for the sit, just lure doesn't take more than a few reps for the dog to sit after the first cookie. make sure to reward close to you- where you want the dog to be...

John Heffernan said...

I also do a fast turnaround down. I would use food too as a lure so the dog gets the idea you want it fast. Make it a fun game.

Jules said...

Thanks for all the great ideas. I am going to put them to work and will let you know how it goes!