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Restarting training....

Discussion in 'Dog Behaviour and Training' started by Tracey29, Jun 14, 2018.

  1. Tracey29

    Tracey29 New Member Registered

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    I've got a 16 month old cockapoo and I feel like I need to 'start again' with her training from the basics - for various reasons the biggest issue being my partner as he's not an expressive person so doesn't get excited, or firm with her so it's down to me to train Bella AND him - and he's harder!

    Kikopup on YouTube has been recommended to me for specific issues and I've had a look and it looks great.

    She's been toilet trained for ages so that's no issue at all.

    I'm happy with her 'sit' - she does it most of the time.

    Which order do I go in from here to get a well behaved dog?
    Where do I find resources for how to do this?
    What command words do people use for the behaviours?

    We've never taken her to training classes and don't really know where to start - I've looked for classes for dogs that are past 6 months and don't seem to be able to find any in our area but I'm going to have to do something from home I think.

    Thank you
     
  2. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    Kikopup is excellent, good choice. And you are right about partners being harder to train. I have recently trained my dog to close doors that are ajar - in over 30 years I have failed to train my husband ...

    I really recommend a clicker. I am a fairly recent convert but they are great because they immediately mark the behaviour you want. At any given time a dog is doing many things so is unsure what he or she is being praised for or scolded for. A clicker helps focus on the exact thing you want. So first, charge your clicker. With the dog beside you, click and immediately deliver a reward. Do that 5 times then take a break. Repeat over the day in 5 sessions - so that is 5 x 5 - and by then the dog will associate click = treat.

    Now you can start the training. Choose a behaviour she knows - ask for a sit and the second her bottom touches the floor, click. Then reward. Think of it like taking a snapshot of the exact moment of the behaviour. Do your 5 repetitions then 5 occasions (5 x 5 again). You don't have to be so fast with the treat as she knows now that the click means she will be getting her reward - it's like a payslip, telling her the reward will be coming.

    If you don't want to use a clicker, any sound will do - a specific noise like 'yessss' is sometimes used but the risk is that it is used elsewhere so the dog gets confused. The clicker is quite unique.

    A note on rewards - my dog is food motivated so I use teeny pieces of high value treats like chicken or frankfurter sausage for rewards - and I do mean really small, pea sized pieces. Some people find a special toy is better. Once you know what pushes her buttons, you can reward accordingly.

    Now you can progress on to new things. You said
    What do you think she is not doing well and we might be able to offer more specific advice?
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
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  3. Tracey29

    Tracey29 New Member Registered

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    Wow! That's amazing advice, thank you so much for so much detail. We got a clicker when we first got her but didn't use it, now I know how it works and how to make it work.

    Here are the things I can think of that I'd like her to do:
    Wait until I release her - in whatever situation, whether it be for food or just a general stay there until I tell her that she can move!

    Stop lunging towards other dogs and people when we're walking

    Stop jumping up at anyone and everyone - sometimes when we're on walks she does it but not to all people. I'm the only one that she rarely jumps up at, because she knows she's not supposed to but can get away with it with other people - including my partner and his parents, even though I've told them countless times to ignore her until she keeps all 4 paws on the floor - it's what you said about training your husband!

    Just general calming down - I know she's young and she's a cockapoo but she goes mad with anyone who comes to the house. We don't tend to have many visitors so unfortunately this is going to be a difficult one - my situation will be changing shortly so more people should be visiting so I guess I should leave that one until then.

    In general we don't have a problem with her going upstairs but she tends to have a party on our bed when she does. The obvious answer to this is to keep the bedroom door shut but it would be nicer not to have to.

    When she doesn't have our attention she gets naughty - looking for things she knows she shouldn't do. Things like chewing her bed, chewing the back of the sofa cushions (she's an aggressive chewer but we're lucky that she's never gone for furniture or carpets etc, apart from in these instances), and for the last few evenings she's started pulling at my partner's trouser legs. She doesn't do any of these things when it's just me here with her, only when he's around too - I think it's jealousy as she's also jealous when I stroke other dogs, she doesn't do anything to them and doesn't push herself in their way but when she sees me stroke another dog she runs over to 'claim me'.

    When we're out and she's off the lead, or at home with us, if she sees that someone's holding something or wearing a scarf maybe then she'll sometimes jump up with all four paws off of the ground to get to it. I assume it's because she thinks it's for her. Sometimes their her toys and other things they're just things we're carrying.

    The final thing I can think of at the moment is teaching her to give things up - she's not aggressive in any way but, as an example, when I try to play fetch with her she'll run and get the ball but can't quite bear to give it to me so I can throw it, the only way I can get her to drop it is if she sees that I've got another ball ready to throw.

    Sorry, it's a long list and I know it will take time but it's would be useful to know what to tackle first and how.
     
  4. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    I think a lot of her behaviour may be rooted in one thing - lack of impulse control. The lunging (assuming it is friendly and not fear based), jumping up, overenthusiastic greeting can all be explained by that. First, don't worry, puppies have terrible impulse control so it is quite normal. @JudyN recommends a YouTube video called It's Yer Choice - I don' t think it is Kikopup but I may be wrong. If you can work on that, I would put money on a lot of these behaviours reducing and resolving. Alongside that you could use baby gates to stop her mugging visitors and be really firm with your visitors that they ignore her until she is calm. And I would start on that now rather than waiting until there are more opportunities for her to hone her skills!

    It might also be worth looking at what you are feeding. Some foods have additives that make dogs look like kids on the blue Smarties diet.

    For giving things back, spaniels do have a bit of a reputation for resource guarding so before it gets too serious, train her that if she gives you the ball, or whatever, she gets back somethi g far better as a swap. That avoids forcibly removing things - the hader you try to take away her prize, the harder she will learn to guard it so swapping is far better for everyone. The two ball game is fine but you don't want her to develop a habit of refusing to give stuff to you.

    The jealousy is a little harder to read but it is possible she is resource guarding you so that reinforces the need to be cautious.

    Hope that helps, I am using my phone to reply so forgive me if I have missed anything!
     
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  5. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    one clarification: "Wait" is not "Stay". :)
    "Stay" = hold that position: sit, down, stand, whatever, remain that way.
    "Wait" = general vicinity, a momentary pause; for instance, while i open the door, close the door, set down my groceries, put on my coat, __________ .

    I would use this -
    Training Levels (originals) | Mind to Mind

    Levels Training is a DIY manual for the dog-owner; it is written instructions on how to get from the very start of a behavior, to a fluently-trained, reliable, cued behavior. PROOFING is built-in & written out in detail; follow the instructions, & go as far as U want, at the dog's pace, on each individual exercise.
    A dog can be simultaneously at Level One on one exercise, Level 8 on another, & say, Level 4 on a 3rd; no matter, it's all to be done at the dog's own skill level, as s/he progresses.

    - terry

    .
     
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  6. Tracey29

    Tracey29 New Member Registered

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    That's absolutely brilliant - thank you so much.
    The lunging etc is all friendly and overexcitement - I'll watch that video and work on the impulse control.
    She's been fed a variety of things but is now on Royal Canin for poodles. Sorry to keep asking you questions but are there any I should look out for?
     
  7. Tracey29

    Tracey29 New Member Registered

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    Thank you, I'll look at it now
     
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  8. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    Ask away, we have all been there!

    Royal Canin isn't terrible but I suspect you could feed better quality for the same price or less. A lot of these well known brands spend a lot on marketing, and less on quality.

    Have a look at www.allaboutdogfood.co.uk

    It is an independent dog food comparison website which scores all types of foods (dry, raw, wet) on a scale of 0 to 5. You can set filters for your dog's weight, age etc and choose to view only the foods scoring, say, 4 and above. Then you can show them listed according to daily feeding cost so you can see what gives you best value for money.
     
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  9. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    .

    BTW, Levels Training was specifically written for marker / clicker training. :) KikoPup / Emily Larlham also uses clicker training.


    A marker acts like the shutter on a camera, capturing that Kodak moment; the more accurate Ur timing, the faster the dog will understand precisely what's desired. Markers can be anything; a sound, a hand-signal, visual, whatever - it needs to be:
    - BRIEF
    - unique
    - easily done.

    Verbal markers are usually too "long-duration" to be accurate; the flash of an LED penlight, the click! of a ball-point pen for a sound-sensitive dog or a cat, a thumbs-up, etc, are all shorter.
    Be sure to practice accuracy with the marker entirely away from the dog - leave her / him at home, & go to the mall, walk down the street, go to a park, sit at the library entrance. Click every red purse, or every white car, or click the instant when the BUMPER of a car intersects with a vertical line, as it moves - such as a power-pole, the metal post of a traffic sign, the mail-dropbox...

    Drop a ball, & try to click B4 it hits the floor - then up the ante, & try to click 2x, then 3x, B4 it hits the floor.
    All these are down away from the dog entirely - U don't want the marker to become "noise", it has meaning! - it needs to retain its signaling value. ;)

    U can also practice hand / eye co-ordination or hand / ear co-ordination by playing games online; a clicker must become a fluent mechanical skill, B4 it becomes a communication device.
    This is one of my favorites -
    Sheep Dash

    Try it with Ur "off" hand, the non-primary hand. ;)

    - terry

    .
     
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  10. Tracey29

    Tracey29 New Member Registered

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    Thanks for the advice - I need to train myself before I can train her.
    The sheep game is brilliant :)
     
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  11. Tracey29

    Tracey29 New Member Registered

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    Bella doesn't particularly like dry food (another problem caused by my partner 'deciding' she doesn't like it). His parents have always given their dog their own blend of cooked meats and some sort of biscuit, not a commercial complete food though - something I have no intention of doing. They've just discovered that their 10 year old dog likes the Royal Canin so he got some for our dog and she seems to really like it.
    I'd love her to have dry food but I think it needs to be something fairly small and not too crunchy as I think those are the problems with the ones we've tried so far (lots of them). I'll have a look at the site
     
  12. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    the part most newbies to marker-training struggle with most, after holding & using the clicker [plus treats, leash, etc], & after accuracy, is SLICING behaviors into easy steps. That takes some practice, envisioning how U'd slice a behavior in theory, plus practical learning on the job.
    The most-likely reason for teaching a new behavior to fall down flat is "chunking" the behavior into pieces that are too large & complex, vs nice little appetizer-sized slices.

    for instance, teaching fetch / retrieve.
    Fetch is best taught in reverse, as are any other chained behaviors [do this, then that, then the other thing...].
    So in fetch, what's the very last piece of the behavior?... giving U the item. They can't give it until they have it in their mouths, so teaching 'take' is job #1. Once the dog can take it, in the correct orientation & not gnawing on it, U work on "give".
    Once the seated dog can both 'take' & 'give', U ask them to pick it up from the floor [using the 'take' cue]. And so on.

    just-for-fun, reverse-chain training a trick:



    back-chaining process:


    .
     
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  13. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    this trainer is EXCELLENT, & i'd subscribe to her channel, if U want to work on retrieve - as fun, as exercise, or as a task in hunting / at home ["fetch my phone"].




    besides LURING, the other ways to get a behavior on cue include:
    - shape
    incremental steps, toward the goal behavior; sculpting behavior.
    - capture
    mark the behavior & reward it, whenever it occurs spontaneously. [A sneeze, rolling to scratch one's back, etc.]

    This is a good example of shaping:




    .
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
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  14. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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  15. Tracey29

    Tracey29 New Member Registered

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    So, we’re going to start clicker training - I’m going to sound dimmer by the second - is there anything I should be looking for in the clicker I buy?

    Thank you for all of your brilliant help so far.

    The idea that most of Bella’s issues are due to lack of impulse control makes huge sense.

    We’re working on impulse control, from the It’s Yer Choice video and it’s great
     
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  16. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    Just find a clicker that is comfortable in your hand and that you can get the timing right with. Mine has a wrist strap so it can't be dropped, which is quite nice.

    It can be a good idea to practice clicking (without the dog) by watching a tv programme and every time someone says a certain word, you click - helps you build that split second timing skill (thanks to @arealhuman for that tip I think). Oops - edit - @leashedForLife already posted the sheep game - sorry Terry.

    By the way this advice doesn't come for nothing - we need to see cute photos in return! :)
     
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  17. Tracey29

    Tracey29 New Member Registered

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    Thank you for your advice, she’s being very naughty at the moment but I do have some cute pictures....
     
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  18. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    Naughty puppies are the best sort! When they're someone else's of course...

    I tend to think of 'sit', 'stay' type training as being the equivalent of teaching children maths, English, history, etc. - but before we can do that, we need to teach them to pay attention to us, to be motivated to learn, not to wander off or start chatting to their mates in the middle of the lesson... And this is where impulse training comes in :)
     

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