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Thread: Hi everyone

  1. #1

    Default Hi everyone

    Hi!

    I'm Liz, I'm married and mum to 2 daughters (7 and 5). We live on the beautiful south coast of NSW.

    We have a 9 month old lab called Bonnie, who is the reason I joined here. I'll be looking through all the posts for tips on how to train a lab pup who doesn't seem to have found her brain yet lol... we also have a 1yr old cat called Leo who thinks he's a dog

    Looking forward to learning lots!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    3 years for the brain. Mind you that clearly applies to border collies too in our case.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Welcome to the forum!

    My Aussie never really matured (in his brain i mean) until he was about 3 as well... seems to be a common thing. The older he got, the more he settled.

    Those early years are good fun though!

    If you don't find the info you are looking for, feel free to ask

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Adelaide
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    Welcome bonny doggy

    hint on training the lab...

    they LOVE food (most of them) - make him work for it.

    Starting with can he wait half a second in a sit when you put his dinner down...

    build up to wait as long as you want until you give him permission.

    Then with my dog - every thing I want her to be good at - starts - in front of her dinner - fetch shoes, fetch matching shoes, fetch Frisbee, come / recall (come by your dinner to get your dinner) etc.

  5. #5

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    Thanks for the replies

    She is a typical lab - ruled by her stomach! We've had her since 10 weeks and always made her wait for the command for her dinner. She's great with training when she knows there's a food reward, but if there's no treat it's harder to get her attention. My husband keeps telling me that she won't settle down properly until she's about 2!! He's always had labs, but I've never had one from a pup - I had jack russells lol...

  6. #6
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    Adelaide
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    she won't settle down properly until she's about 2
    This might be true but you can still train heaps of things...

    One thing about working for food but only when there is food - is to put food in a cup over there, and make her work/train over here...

    Or have lots of food everywhere (in containers with lids securely attached) and she only gets a treat - and doesn't know which container you're going to give the treat from in advance.

    Then you can train with the containers out where she can see them but no food in those - and the food in a hidden container over there...

    Using a bridge word like "yes" or clicker when she gets something right - gives you time to go get the treat... you can also have a word like "good" which means - you're on the right track but you're not getting a treat just yet. Actually best not to have a set word for that - usually just a bit of random happy praise works well - what a clever dog you are...

    And then try to get random about when she gets a treat for something she knows and when she doesn't. You can also pair treats with something else like a ball on a string - so she fetches the ball - she gets a treat, but eventually the ball fetch is worth the same as a treat.

    Really important not to reward a begging dog. This I find difficult. The criteria is - once the task has been performed successfully 4 out of 5 times - only reward "average or better" performance.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Canberra
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    Welcome!

    I went to a training day with an awesome trainer a few months back who - to my surprise - told us that the goal is never to get your dog to work without a reward. She said she still rewards her dogs, who are all adults, for responding to most cues. She works out how often she needs to reward them to retain a reliable response, which is dependent of the dog and the training. And you should have seen her dogs. They responded to a whispered cue in milliseconds. They held a solid stay without the cue being repeated with a dozen strange people and dogs walking past them. Very inspiring and ever since then, I try to reward my dog more often, even though she will follow cues without reward.

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Beloz View Post
    Welcome!

    I went to a training day with an awesome trainer a few months back who - to my surprise - told us that the goal is never to get your dog to work without a reward. She said she still rewards her dogs, who are all adults, for responding to most cues. She works out how often she needs to reward them to retain a reliable response, which is dependent of the dog and the training. And you should have seen her dogs. They responded to a whispered cue in milliseconds. They held a solid stay without the cue being repeated with a dozen strange people and dogs walking past them. Very inspiring and ever since then, I try to reward my dog more often, even though she will follow cues without reward.
    Wow that's interesting! I've always thought the end goal was to not have food rewards at all... My aim is to be able to take her to the beach and let her off lead to swim and play, without the fear that she will run as soon as she see's a person/dog/something shiny lol... We're a long way off that yet though. I take her for a 3km walk each morning, and have been taking food along and working on training. I've been working on 'Stop' with her - which means she has to stop walking/running and sit. Works reasonably well at the moment, but I haven't been able to let her off leash over Christmas as there's too many people around - I'm not confident enough in her yet to follow the command. Hoping next week most of the tourists will have gone back home and we can get back to proper training.

    I guess I'm hoping that by putting in the work now, even though it doesn't look like it's doing anything yet, that when she does find her brain and settle down, it will be common knowledge for her. Fingers crossed anyway!!
    http://www.dogforum.com.au/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=7912&dateline=1420265  941

  9. #9
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    Hi BonnieDoggy

    That's how the training works - you start somewhere nice and easy and gradually (session by session) change one thing - like where you do the training, whether you're standing or sitting, or someone is running around (distraction) etc...

    You can't go from a stay in front of dinner (tho that's pretty good) to a perfect stay at the beach with loads of new and exciting distractions...

    So you take your dog to the beach - you keep her on lead so you have control - and you do all your training drills there - including a little bit of recall.

    I'm still giving my dog food rewards. At the beach - it's currently the only way to keep her with me. You will also find there is a sort of zone of responsiveness (it's stretchy depending on the distractions around). While your dog is in the zone - she will respond to all your cues. But if she gets to the edge of the zone - suddenly she becomes deaf... At least that's how it is with my dog.

    Part of the way of getting your dog to pay attention - is also to give permission to do doggy things like "go sniff", "go play", "say hello"... And don't call your dog when you know you've got no chance of a successful response - you're just training her to ignore you.

    Best thing at this point - heaps of collar grab, and recall and (remote) drop down any time anywhere but where you have control. And heaps of "its yer choice" - which helps with impulse control under distraction.

    and try to be a pokie machine with treat payouts... ie dog works harder for random payouts than reliable ones (how many times will you put the coin in a vending machine when it doesn't give you a drink the first time or the next time).

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    And be very generous with treats at first too. You want to trick your dog into thinking that your are the most awesome and easy food dispenser ever. Being a lab, you may have to weigh your treats at the start of the day and then subtract that from her dinner.

    I'm a great fan of training recall "out in the field". But we are very lucky that we have some off leash areas where that is possible. As in, no risk of them running towards roads and no dogs on leads or small children (Usually. If I do spot toddlers, my dog is made to heel and foster pup goes on the lead until they're out of sight).

    Recall is something I train every day, every walk and for months and months. This is a good article about the principle: http://www.kathysdao.com/articles/Th...le_Recall.html

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