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Thread: Distractions, Distractions...

  1. #1
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    Default Distractions, Distractions...

    Hi, all. A few different questions today.

    Bella and I have offically moved up to Class Three at Dog Training, and soon we will be working off-lead. She works alright at DT... kinda. She doesnt respond to 'sit' at DT, or 'drop', or any of the commands she does automatically at home. We are working on 'drop' at DT, and what we do is put our fingers inside the collars, and force them to the ground. I dont like that way of doing it, and Bella doesnt repond to force. She instantly switches off, so i figure if i do enough 'drop' training at home, she will hopefully do it at DT and I dont have to reverse her training again. Thats what happened last week. I had to do it the way that Tracy teaches it, and Bella was not happy. If I do it my way, she responds, so should I just adapt it, rather than teaching Bella a whole different way? Also, when Im at home, she gets distracted. She will be fine, until the cat runs past. Then off she goes, hanging out with the fairies. I prefer to go lead-less at home, because its less things to juggle, because i treat and click and signal. At DT i only use a lead, so its easier. How should I build up her distraction resistance? Shes pretty good with everything else, Mum clapping because she did something good, brother slamming doors and talking, but she switches off whenever Scotty runs past, or rocks up to see what we're doing. I want to teach her to 'bow' like they do when they invite another dog to play, IYKWIM? How would I go about teachng this one? I have also taught her to 'dance' by combining her 'spin' and 'up' at the same time. She only does it for about half of a circle, then she conks out. How do I get her to go full circle?

    Okay...
    the Questions all together... make it easier to answer I think.

    If I do it my way, she responds, so should I just adapt the 'drop' command, rather than teaching Bella a whole different way?
    How should I build up her distraction resistance?
    How would I go about teaching a 'bow'?
    How do I get her to go full circle in the 'dance'?

    TIA, and hopefully everyone had a great Bunny Day yesterday!

  2. #2
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    Boxerini, I reckon if you're not comfortable with the way you're being taught at DT, then maybe tell the trainer so, and show her that your method works just as well.
    With distractions... maybe work with her without distractions until she responds within a milisecond, and then slowly bring out the distractions. Maybe if your in your bedroom, get someone to put the cat outside the door, get someone to scratch the door? Just slowly, slowly, until she just registers it (the cat) as background noise. Just keep going slowly. I hope this helps, but Im no expert, this is solely what I would do!

  3. #3
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    I think you should focus on the commands that Bella already knows, until they are perfected. I myself, made the mistake of teaching Mollie way too many tricks when she was younger, and everything was all muddled up and frustrating. Now Mollie knows a fair few tricks, but I dont move on from a trick unless it is somewhat well-performed (Straight away)

    I suggest training Bella in a few small sessions each day (IME, I have found like 4 SMALL sessions work better then 2 longer sessions) and doing it in a place with little-to-no distractions - as Masha has suggested, your bedroom or somewhere.

    Oh, and I have heard "BOW" is taught by the dog waking up and stretching (when their head is down low) and then saying the word. After a while of doing this, the dog should be able to do it via just the command.

    Going slowly wins the race - trust me Mollie will now sit as soon as I speak the word - even if matilda (1yr old sis) is grabbing at her ears, boof (other dog) is sniffing her bum and kids are running around.

    Goodluck to you and Bella
    © Demi's Blog ©
    Mollie; ChihuahuaXWestie; MY sunshine.xo

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boxerini View Post
    Okay...
    the Questions all together... make it easier to answer I think.

    If I do it my way, she responds, so should I just adapt the 'drop' command, rather than teaching Bella a whole different way?
    How should I build up her distraction resistance?
    How would I go about teaching a 'bow'?
    How do I get her to go full circle in the 'dance'?
    I don't understand your first question as you have answered it yourself within the question

    Start at a distance from the class, gradually (and I mean over weeks and weeks, not a jump from one week to the next) move closer to the class. This will build up her resistance to distractions faster than trying to throw her in the deep end. If you start at a distance where she is comfortable enough to do the basic commands you are setting her up to succeed, thus building her enthusiasm to repeat it. Make sure you start to jackpot the praise, even if you look a complete fool, it is worth it for the better performance you will get from your dog.

    Before you work on new tricks, get her comfortable doing the basics around other dogs. Don't rush her into doing anything. Slowly build her knowledge and don't expect her to automatically do everything she does at home somewhere new and different.

    Take her for a walk to the park and use the distractions there to help your training. Do the training in as many other places as possible. Try to get to DT early so that she can have a wander and relax a bit before being put to work.

    At the moment you are pushing her too far too fast, and that is why she shuts down. She doesn't understand what you want of her in the group sessions and she is being punished for not getting it rather than you seeing that she's not comfortable and increasing her comfort levels.

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    I find it pretty hard to train her anywhere else, because she doesnt take the treats unless we are at home. How would it be possible to train her in a different place? I only take her to DT so I can learn the commands to teach her at home because she doesnt work well there. She doesnt learn much there, i dont think.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boxerini View Post
    I find it pretty hard to train her anywhere else, because she doesnt take the treats unless we are at home. How would it be possible to train her in a different place? I only take her to DT so I can learn the commands to teach her at home because she doesnt work well there. She doesnt learn much there, i dont think.
    Could it be that the treat you are using isn't of high enough value to her because she's getting it at home... You need to make what you have more appealing than anything else around you/make yourself more fun to be around.

    Use what she loves most. I actually have a cue word for work when there are distractions around. There are times when I don't mind Batty getting inquisitive about what is happening around him and other times when I need his concentration 110%.

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    Ive tried the higher value treat at DT thing before... she just refuses to eat or drink anything unless we are home. I dont feed her before we leave either... I could try it again i suppose...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boxerini View Post
    Ive tried the higher value treat at DT thing before... she just refuses to eat or drink anything unless we are home. I dont feed her before we leave either... I could try it again i suppose...
    Where do you do your training when you're at home?

  9. #9
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    Hi Boxerini

    What treats are you using. What is a "high value" treat?

    It wouldn't hurt to try again at dog training - as she gets more accustomed to the location, she may feel secure enough to take treats. Frosty used to completely refuse to take treats when we were out on the footpaths, just walking the burbs, but she's better now. She's not exactly motivated by them but she will take one - which I regard as an improvement.

    So far treats value goes something like
    glad wrap sandwich - number 1.
    roast chicken with bones in - number 2.
    ie nothing I've got to trade will top these two - doesn't help I panic either.

    rawhide beef chips - she will do anything for - but takes ages to eat the treat so not really useful.
    pork crackling (if she can get it off me cos I like it too).

    other people's treats - like fritz, smackos, goodos...
    fresh sausage
    roast chicken
    roast lamb
    roast beef
    bread / people food

    dried liver
    liver biscuits
    natures gift
    kitten biscuits
    dog kibble

    But for dog training, i'd start with something she goes nuts for at home, does fritz (devon) work? fresh Roast chicken? hot dog sausage?

    And if you can get there a little bit early and practice away from other dogs and work up to closer...

    Easiest place to train is at home - she's used to all the distractions there and feels safe.
    Next easiest place is where you go for doggy exercise every day eg the local oval. And theoretically the footpaths in between (not for my dog but every dog is different).
    Next easiest is place dog goes often

    But for each new place, for a while, you need to start again at the beginning and re-teach all the things she knew before because context is important to a dog. So you do sit at dog school, then practice lots at home, then teach again at the park and again at the new park... and at friends house, and on the footpaths between. etc.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela's Gone Batty View Post
    Where do you do your training when you're at home?
    I do my training in the living room.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hyacinth View Post
    Hi Boxerini

    What treats are you using. What is a "high value" treat?

    It wouldn't hurt to try again at dog training - as she gets more accustomed to the location, she may feel secure enough to take treats. Frosty used to completely refuse to take treats when we were out on the footpaths, just walking the burbs, but she's better now. She's not exactly motivated by them but she will take one - which I regard as an improvement.

    So far treats value goes something like
    glad wrap sandwich - number 1.
    roast chicken with bones in - number 2.
    ie nothing I've got to trade will top these two - doesn't help I panic either.

    rawhide beef chips - she will do anything for - but takes ages to eat the treat so not really useful.
    pork crackling (if she can get it off me cos I like it too).

    other people's treats - like fritz, smackos, goodos...
    fresh sausage
    roast chicken
    roast lamb
    roast beef
    bread / people food

    dried liver
    liver biscuits
    natures gift
    kitten biscuits
    dog kibble

    But for dog training, i'd start with something she goes nuts for at home, does fritz (devon) work? fresh Roast chicken? hot dog sausage?

    And if you can get there a little bit early and practice away from other dogs and work up to closer...

    Easiest place to train is at home - she's used to all the distractions there and feels safe.
    Next easiest place is where you go for doggy exercise every day eg the local oval. And theoretically the footpaths in between (not for my dog but every dog is different).
    Next easiest is place dog goes often

    But for each new place, for a while, you need to start again at the beginning and re-teach all the things she knew before because context is important to a dog. So you do sit at dog school, then practice lots at home, then teach again at the park and again at the new park... and at friends house, and on the footpaths between. etc.
    I use natures gift at home, and i tried (unsuccessfully) some saveloy type thingies at DT. She loves them, will go crazy for them, but not at DT. I brought the treats for my first class there, and she wouldnt eat. Ive only tried once more after that. Ill go into town earlier on Wednesday and pick up a roast chicken, because she loves that and its easy to tear apart. ill take her in earlier, and walk her and let her get used to it, and do the basics. What should I do if she wont take the treats? Oh, by the way she drools like a nut whenever she is there. Not so bad anymore, but itsstll drooling. Nervousness? I could try taking her toy and playing with her there?

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