Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14

Thread: puppy training

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Ipswich
    Posts
    247

    Default puppy training

    Hi everyone,

    I just wanted to know how much learning a young pup can handle? I know they are like sponges and take everything in, but is there a limit to the amount of different things they can learn at once? Is it best to teach one command eg: sit, and wait until they fully 'get it' before moving onto something else, or are you able to teach, sit, drop, come, leave etc all at the same time (not in the same training session obviously)?

    My puppy's pretty good with 'leave it', he seemed to get that with no problems, it comes in handy when he's getting too excited with the cat. He seems to like sitting a lot, if anything I have trouble getting him to stand long enough to give him the sit command, lol.. maybe I should be teaching him 'stand' instead? I'm trying to teach him to go to his bed on command, but he's taking a bit longer on that one. He comes most of the time if you're really enthusiastic or get right down to his level (pretty much lying on the floor, lol). We're still working on toilet training. I'm also trying to teach him to wait for his food, he needs some assistance with this, but I've only just started. Also he seems to run after things and bring them back on his own, so we're trying to attach a 'fetch' command to that behaviour. Am I teaching too many things at once? Also any tips for teaching 'drop' to a mini dachshund? .. he doesn't exactly have far to go. I've been holding a treat in my hand on the floor and making it difficult for him to get it, so sometimes he'll lie down to try and lick it out of my fingers, then he gets the treat, but it's only working sometimes, otherwise he just stands up and gets confused.

    I have him enrolled in puppy school starting this weekend, I just thought I'd give him a head start on a few basics. I just don't want to overwhelm him and confuse him with too many commands he hasn't mastered yet.

    Is there anything else that you recommend as important to teach a pup straight away?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Bundaberg QLD
    Posts
    3,301

    Default

    I like to mix it up a bit so my guy dosnt get bored with just the one command constantly. 2 or 3 things at a time is OK i reckon but i'm no dog trainer, infact i'm just learning myself but with my obedience glass we dont just work on the one thing constantly.

    To do a drop I use a check chain and a gentle but quick downward check with the left hand holding the lead , my right hand is placed near the chest and then points straight down to where i want him to drop aswell as a voice command to 'drop'. We use the right hand so we can eventually ditch the voice command. If he dosnt do it i cant push him down so from a sit position i'll grab his front legs and lay them out so he goes down. Followed by heaps of praises and pats even if he didnt do it to crash hot. We dont use treats at all but if he dosnt nail it in the next week or 2 i'll start using treats for drops only.

    I taught Mojo to drop at home just by a voice command but then when i went to puppy school they taught it diffrently and then diffrently again when i started obedience so in hindsight giving my bloke a 'head start' only ended up confusing him when we went to the classes, putting him behind some of the other dogs who hadnt been taught it at all. Kinda backfired on me.

    Others here will have better ideas and info as they are way more experienced than me but this is what i've been going through over the last few weeks so i thought i'd share. Good luck with it !!
    Last edited by Sean; 02-28-2012 at 02:42 PM.


    Quote Originally Posted by reyzor View Post
    Education is important, but big biceps are more importanter ...
    DONT SIC YOUR DOGMA ON ME !

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    12,581

    Default

    Puppies have the attention span of a gnat, maybe less.

    So train lots of things for very short sessions. If I knew what I know now then...

    I would use puppy dinner for training and train often but five to ten treats at a time. And set up the space so the task was really easy to get right. If I've gone through five treats doing sit, I'd change to something else like drop or fetch or shake hands. Between actual training - have a game of tug where the dog doesn't have to do anything much to get it right except play with you and the toy. do this for 10 seconds and then maybe have another training session - 10 treats max. If puppy is getting the task right - 4 out of 5 attempts you can add a cue (command) word or signal to the training session - that's why 10 treats are good. Five with no prompt word and five with a cue.

    Five minutes of walking / exercise per month of age and then let the dog have a rest.

    Take dog out for potty before and after any training session.

    It doesn't matter if the dog doesn't get what you want in the first session ie dog makes five goes at something and none of them are what you want. Have a play session, think about how you can make it easier for the puppy to get right - without using the food to lure. You can reward lure tho. Ie break the task down into tiny steps - and treat anything that is a step in the right direction. Or if the dog is just looking at you, treat anything different until puppy starts on the path you want and treat that. Count the treats out, when they're gone, play and pack up (be boring).

    If the puppy still wants to play / train when you pack up - that's good. You don't want to train until they're bored with it, you want them to be excited about it the whole time.

    If you want something specific like calm on lead - work on that in two or three separate 10 treat sessions a day, but work on other stuff too. So neither of you get bored with it.

    If you're running out of ideas on what to train...
    Idea List for Shaping | Susan Garrett's Dog Training Blog

    And watch out for this one.
    Who's Shaping Who | Susan Garrett's Dog Training Blog

    If you teach your dog to love learning new things, training anything you want will be bliss. If the dog has no idea about shaping, training new things will be hard, because the dog will only offer what it already knows you like - eg sit there staring at you - boring and you wanted it to ring the bell at the back door to be let out. Not going to happen.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Ipswich
    Posts
    247

    Default

    Thank you both

    Is there any reason you should teach an action without a voice cue first? I have been luring some actions whilst saying the cue word and marking and rewarding as soon as the action/position is complete. After a few times, I will test to see if the action is done with just the voice command and no lure, if it is, then I will mark and reward perhaps with 2 treats.

    Also thank you Hyacinth for the links, I have been reading some of the posts and it's very informative and interesting.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    sydney
    Posts
    238

    Default

    I agree use it's meal to train keep sessions small but having a few commands being worked on at once is a good thing I would teach sit stand drop like this
    The BEST and FASTEST way to teach STAY - YouTube

    Also be sure to watch her other vids on pup traing tips

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    sydney
    Posts
    238

    Default

    Oh yeah the reason for not using a voice que right away is that if u say the que the dog might offer the wrong thing eg u say sit and the dog stands so now the dog thinks sit means stand where if ur sure that 9 times out of 10 ur dog will do a sit on a hand signal when u ask for sit then add ur voice que u can be sure that the dog will learn sit means sit

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Ipswich
    Posts
    247

    Default

    Thanks shedeivl! I have subscribed to her youtube chanel, and thanks for explaining the voice prompt.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    4,291

    Default

    I had a chuckle at your comment about the dog sitting all the time. Mine does that. Or sometimes she will just lie down or stay down after I asked her and I have to walk back and call her to me to get her to stand or sit for the next exercise. I used to have a sighthound cross and she hated sitting on her bony bottom. Now I have a dog with lots of padding at that end and she always looks so comfortable when she sits. Though I also have a problem with getting her to sit straight, she will lean on one thigh. Which is not good for teaching her to 'beg' or similar.

    I taught my dog down/drop by luring. The key is to move your hand with the treat straight down until you touch the ground and then very slowly away from the dog. You basically want their nose to follow your hand but keep it just out of reach. The speed is all important, so you may want to experiment with that a bit. If your dog has time to lick your hand, you are probably being a bit too slow with the reward though. I found using the clicker made that part easier as it is much easier to get the timing right and mark exactly which behaviour earned them the reward. But with luring I rarely hide the treat in my hand. I just hold it between my fingers and when I get her to where I want her, I stop my hand and she gets the treat.
    Last edited by Beloz; 02-29-2012 at 03:33 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    12,581

    Default

    The whole Susan Garrett training style (from Bob Bailey which is from Skinner's box training) is to get your dog to make a choice, and reward the right choice. Ideally you limit the possible choices the dog can make so it is easy for the dog to make the right choice. Eg the original box was a box, with a cat in it and a piece of string. If the cat played with the string - it got a treat, if it didn't it got nothing.

    Luring is where you use a treat or a toy to get the action you want, but it doesn't involve a choice or any kind of thinking on the dog's part ie the dog doesn't learn much. So if you want the dog to know that a sit or a drop is what you want and you use a treat to get it the first time - that's ok (according to Bob Bailey) but you want to fade the treat/lure part of the game immediately. Ie do it for maybe two treats (like you have been) and then hide the treat and wait to see what the dog does, reward - with the treat in position ie if you want a drop, put the treat low for reward - after the dog has dropped (or started to get low). Don't put the treat where the dog has to get out of the position you wanted to get the reward.

    Shedeivl is right about the cue word.

    You can use an interim word like "bats" or "do-it" or anything you like but save your ultimate cue word for when the action is perfect and reliable. Otherwise puppy will think the dodgy slow action is what you want when you say the cue word.

    Signals are the same as verbal cues - you can have an interim signal for "do something" but save your final signal for when the behaviour is right. I know it seems backwards to not use a cue from the beginning but that has to do with how dogs learn. I still get it wrong.

    Dogs are quite a bit better at understanding signals than verbals. I have found that the cue for "Drop" with my dog is not a verbal like I thought but more like eye contact and a kind of head bob from me, I nod at her and she drops. I keep still and say drop and nothing happens. Got some work to do there eg "drop" "nod" then treat.

    When you've got the action how you want reliably - follow this system - new/final cue word/signal then interim cue then dog does what you want (ideally) and then you optionally mark it by saying "yes" or "click" and reward with a treat or toy or game.

    If the dog makes a major break through - have a massive play party reward with lots of treats all at once and be really happy - right then. Don't try to get the dog to do it again cos most dogs will think they did something wrong and change what they did. They don't learn like I do. Think - trauma can etch a memory. So can a great fun party. You're aiming for the great fun party here - what your dog likes best.

    Hope that helps. It's stuff I wished I'd known when my dog was a puppy.
    Last edited by Hyacinth; 02-29-2012 at 04:59 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Ipswich
    Posts
    247

    Default

    thanks again guys!

    I'm loving all of this, I find dog training really interesting! I'm totally new to most of this (sorry for all the annoying questions!), although I've had some exposure to dogs, I never grew up with them and I've never trained a dog from a puppy.

    I guess my problem with the 'drop' command is that I have a mini dachshund and it's a bit hard to guide his nose to the ground to drop because he doesn't have to move his legs to get his head to the ground and if I move it along the ground he seems to just walk forward to get it. He did a little better today when I was using a toy instead of food rewards, I think maybe that was fluke though, usually he's much more food orientated. I'm finding though that he's not overly enthusiastic sometimes, is that just because he's either really confused, tired or that he's getting sick of the treats? I've been using chicken loaf, his kibble and just started using jerky straps cut into small bits to ad variety, he seems to take a while to eat the jerky bits and kibble though.

    I've been doing as Hyacinth suggested and keeping it short and using 10 treats a session and he seems keen to keep going when I stop, but he's always very focused on where the food is (my hand) rather than me. Do I need to work more on attention/focus on me?

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •