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Thread: Obedience? Training anyhow. Brian n me begin.

  1. #1
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    Default Obedience? Training anyhow. Brian n me begin.

    I had my first lesson without Brian's company for theory.
    Next week is theory practical, where i will be taught how to show my dog what i want it to do, with each of the basic commands.
    So far so good. and of course, exposure to a entire field of other dogs, in a controlled environment. Pure gold stuff.

    I had homework. We are using positive methods. Bring to next session: fave toy/food treats.
    Homework task one:
    Charge the clicker. I say "yes" and treat. Repeat x 10
    Brian was really good at this game! He 'got it' 10/10!

    then we move on, to the advanced stuff.... Teach name recognition. Call "brian" when he looks, mark with word "yes" and treat.
    Does an ear twitch count? free shaping from an ear twitch anyone?
    He's just busy doing other shit in his head, so ignores me. Wont look, i cant get a look to mark with a "yes". 0/10 I stop training.

    I get back to it about an hour later. He's sunning himself on deck, looking out over paddock like he owns the place. I call "brian" he looks slowly at me. I say "yes" and throw him a treat to where he is led. He didnt have to move far, just bend a little to get it. Voila. 1/1
    I swap treat from kranskies to roast chicken! showing him the swap before i back away a little, and ask again "brian",puts his head down, wont look.
    I act really excited and call in what im hoping is a freakin lovely excited dog voice - doughnuts, cept an ear twitch.
    I get out squeeky pig AND cheese, sod the expense! and nadda, nuttin.

    I sit down. that's quite enough for day one i think. I have 7 days, to get him to know his name. and look at me when called. I'll forgo the comes when called, if we can have those 2.

  2. #2
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    Do the "Brian" game - almost exactly the same as you do the yes game.

    Just pair the name with the treat. Do it close up with him on lead... do count to three or pause between repeats ie should be brian-treat (pause) brian-treat (pause)
    and then you can upgrade to

    brian yes-treat (pause)...
    or maybe do that first - as that's how you train a new command...

    then you can up the difficulty and only give him the treat when he looks at you and not the treat. But he's not a border collie and training games - takes a while to train the dog to offer stuff especially in the face of frustration (no treat).

    Another game - to encourage the dog to offer stuff...

    For each different thing the dog does - yes-treat.

    And then try to focus in on one thing.

    I am trying to train my dog to ear flick on cue but she really doesn't quite get it. I'd like a play bow too but we haven't figured that one out either.

  3. #3
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    cheers hyacynth.
    changed it to "brian" , "yes" , treat. (yes going in on the looking at my face with food on my nose practically.)
    I got 2 looks in second session. That's a 50% improvement!

    I got zero on 3rd attempt.
    no, this aint no border collie indeed.
    Hee hee, he got it!
    I had him on leash. Other dogs out of sight. inside training room, no distration. smoked sausage this time.

    Brian offerred a sit for sausage, to "yes" and treat for starters. As didnt want to miss this offerred behaviour.
    then on with planned session: brian, yes, treat, pause as suggested.

    I had been holding food on my nose, to encourage him to look at me. this time, I held food out at arms length to left, dog looked at food, i called "brian" he looked at me and i was able to "yes" and treat whilst still looking confused.
    We went for a 2nd go, and sure enough, he looks at food, but again i call "brian" and looked at me, so could "yes" and treat.
    Im now nervous, should i end here, or push for a 3rd?

    Im already 100% improvement on last time. So maybe should of left it at 2 goes. But went for another, got him looking at me for a 3rd time.
    such a turn around, i ended on the good 3rd note. Fearful id undo what we've covered!

    I have enough time to put another session in before work, and from pure superstition, will used smoked sausage again. Just to solidify things. Its a fine balancing act, repeating to teach, whilst stopping on time, to prevent boredom in dog. 6 days of learning left, i reckon we might crack name recognition yet. In nil distraction, hungry at home dog at least!

  4. #4
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    Bernie

    excellent change of environment to give you more chance of success.

    I usually attempt 5 repeats - that's for a smart (hungry) dog. The first clicker instructions I read - said do 25 repeats to "charge up the clicker". And two sessions of that. So that must be for slightly? thicker? dogs.

    Not sure. Sometimes it's just that the dog has no experience of offering up stuff for shaping. Most dogs will try what worked before eg sitting, staring and drooling and it can be hard to get them out of that (hence the click-treat everything different drill).

    Human trainers like to quit while they're ahead. Bob Bailey seems to think that it's not necessary to quit when you're successful. Ie you do the set number of attempts and quit on the last one no matter what.

    Susan Garrett likes to quit on a break through. Or she will do it like Bob Bailey. Sometimes she quits before the set number of attempts are up because it's all going to hell, or change the setup or what she's training. Ie you don't want to over do the frustration in a dog not used to working through it (working through the don't wanna don't haftas).

    So what I like to do is have a bunch of different tasks I'd be working on in any given week so we can swap between them (after a play break - does Brian play?).

    So we might be working on
    yes
    Brian
    collar grab
    its yer choice
    crate games (impulse control, stay, sit and release)
    sit
    stay (me thinks Brian might be really good at "stay")
    tug?
    find it (toss treats around and let dog find them - it's good for play breaks too)
    find it under a hanky - tho beware of the dog who will eat the hanky, treat and all.
    nose touches (to hand)

    for heel work - advanced ie grade 2 - because it helps if the dog knows sit, and release/go
    finding the reinforcement zone (RZ)
    start by setting the dog up in a sit, and charging up the position (eg 5 yes-treats-pauses) for sitting next to you.
    Then take one step forward, say the release word (go, break, schnell)... and if the dog steps forward and sits next to you, yes-treat. Step again...

    increase the number of steps before you say "go".

    do some rewarding on the move ie for being in heel position. Having a tall dog for this one is very helpful otherwise you might be putting peanut butter on a wooden spoon (after doing some nose touches to spoon so the dog sees the spoon as a good thing)...

    Mix up the treats with praise as the dog starts to get good at it and also increase the time between yes and the treats, and start rewarding "average or better performance" not the mediocre ones, once you're sure the dog knows what's expected. This might take a while. But you don't want a dog that will only do what you ask if he thinks you have food in your hand (my mistake).

    PS if you don't have a crate, you can use a mat or a dog bed instead. But it's harder to make the criteria clear ie when the dog is successful (dog gets treat) or not successful (dog gets door shut in his face).

  5. #5
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    Wow hyacynth, what a bunch of gold in there, ty so much.
    I am very keen on working on several behaviours so i can switch it up and keep his focus. Which is probably normal low level for mastiff's, and a totally new and frustrating experience for me, the novice to mastiff's er, ways?

    Day 3 of name recognition. Slight improvement, then went backward, then forward and looking at me on "brian" all with 100% reward ratio.
    Too silly to train outside, as its windy. And for some reason, certain dogs (clearly Brian's one of em) are stupid in the wind.

    so back out for a romp/play to end. My fault, i didnt check paddock was empty, and released my hounds. To find a terrified woman/with a gutsy JRT off leash, who is ball obsessed thank god in my paddock. The JRT lunged for Brian, a warning stay away from my owner message.
    I am running toward them to grab hold of Brian fast. This is Brian's first ever telling off by a dog not in family. He was not phased by warning. But play bowing and bouncing at JRT, he looked like great fun!
    and when i called him, came back!

    OMG i could of cried. Bless him. Just when I am thinking he's never gonna get any of this training, he digs deep and pulls out a recall with huge distraction for me.
    Im sure the fact that i still had on the treat bag, recently profited from was largely at play, but who cares! that's a recall under distraction!
    yeeha.

    Brian rocks this morning. He's now dead to the world, too much thinking is exhausting. So we'll call that a down stay too lol

  6. #6
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    Obedience is the bomb. Good to hear you're having fun, learning and obviously know your limits. Good luck!

  7. #7
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    down stay with eyes shut - Well done Bernie.

    and best of all the successful recall - it feels like winning Tattslotto!

  8. #8
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    I found with using treats, keeping the bag always near made Banjo more motivated to work for treats. With her and now with the pup, I also reward lots for uncued behaviours, like checking in on me when off leash or calmly lying down when food is being prepared etc. But not consistently. I think some unpredictability makes them keener.

    It must have felt so good to see him running back to you, especially in that situation. I hope the jrt owner was suitably impressed too.

  9. #9
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    too much thinking is exhausting
    I always think that brain training is a good substitute for long walks if you're limited on time... ie a bit of trick training can wear a dog out just as much as a long run.

    It's good to be unpredictable with rewards like a pokie machine. And not completely reliable like a vending machine. Ie if the vending machine (treat bag) fails to put out - just once or twice - that's it, game over. How many times are you going to put money in a vending machine for no payout? But pokie machines are much more addictive and exciting. Well not for me personally but for dogs it seems to hold true.

  10. #10
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    We've had a lovely walk this morning. A dangerous off leash extravaganza!
    I am at the stage, where i realize, i have more dog, than i do control. "I" want a nice, no pull, off leash, sunrise job sans dogs. For me. Not for them. But i know its risky. But think sod it.
    So we leave, in peace, as neighbours JRT yapper is still indoors. That was lovely!
    Then they swam, in the very swollen lake.
    The grass lands, were lush, long and green from all the rain, and being winter in Aus, the only time grass is green. But they were very muddy and slippery. I nearly went over a few times, Brian fell over a lot

    Both doing zoomies in long wet muddy flood planes.
    2 filthy happy dogs, and once relaxed me.
    sometimes, its worth taking risks. when it ends well at least.

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