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Discussion in 'Dog Behaviour and Training' started by doggie1, Mar 19, 2018.
How often and for how long do you do training programmes with your dog?
Now Jasper is 8 I'm really lazy and haven't done any 'proper' training for months. But I do use a lot of 'commands' in our daily life, like 'out of here' when I want to cook without his help, 'touch' (my hand) when he thinks it's a bit cold out and I'm trying to lure him out for a walk, 'off' when he needs to get off my bed so I can get in it, and 'shuffle' when I've climbed over a fence and I want him to do a commando crawl underneath it. Then there's 'jump' over any fallen trees on walks, and of course frequent recall practice on walks (and in the house if I have some leftovers I want him to 'tidy up' for me). Then there's 'find' (a treat) if 'off' doesn't seem to work when he's on my bed & 'Take it to Daddy' when he brings me OH's hat. If he's licked out a plastic container he'll bring it to me in exchange for a treat, and if I drop a sock downstairs when sorting laundry on the landing I can send him down to get it.
All these get rewarded and reinforced, so they serve the purpose of training, and are genuinely useful
Eddi is getting great at 'touch'. not every time but today 100%. 'Look at me', not so much. 'Find it', he does in the house and is starting to do it on walks just when he's at his trigger zone, won't work if we're too close to dogs.
Every day, several times a day, for just a few minutes at a time. We always repeat some things T knows well, so set him up for success and then try some new things, then end on an easy thing.
I have a tug toy for him that I play with him every day, I wish I could get him interested in it on walks to distract him when we see other dogs, but he's not interested in anything once he's in trigger. I usually do find it just on the edge of his trigger zone, and that works to move him away and he doesn't bark.
Constant informal training as opportunities present themselves!
You really have to hammer it into Welshy heads. They learn what they are supposed to do quite quickly but compliance is very much on a "what's in it for me" basis so constant positive reinforcement so that the behaviour becomes almost instinctive.
I do all of that, I was just wondering how often folks did more formal training. Do bear in mind that I have a nut-job.
Virtually never - he'll do anything I want if he knows it's a training session and I have a supply of treats ready and waiting. I need him to obey me in a "real world" setting which is a whole different ball game.
I have to train my dog without distractions otherwise he'd never do it outside. I am making progress, I thought the same thing with 'find it', he only did it in the house when he knew I had treats. However, the last 3 weeks, he's started looking for a treat when I say 'find it' and I am distracting him from dogs just outside his trigger zone.
Sounds as though progress is being made @doggie1, glad to hear it. We had a few sessins with formal trainers, now we do little of it but try and stick to techniques that work, which usually involve treats
What did they suggest you do? You seem to be making progress too.
Well, the first was an "I'm the alpha" type of training which focused on dominating the dog. The other sessions were all reward based which seem to be a bit more successful.
I try a mostly reward based approach. Well, wish me luck we're going for a walk. The second walk is usually the worst as there are more dog walkers around. Walking my other dog used to be fun!!!!
ETA: Just as I we were getting to the end of what was so far, a lovely walk. He started whimpering and looking across to the other side of the river. then he started barking, I couldn't see anything at first, but 3 very large dogs appeared running along the bank like mad, closely followed by a little yappy one. The distance was outside his trigger zone, but the fact that they were opposite must have affected him. Anyway, operation manage dog bark was put into play. I had to pick him up in the end at least he stopped barking. We turned the corner to our street, and the two dogs opposite who sometimes sit in their garden barking were there. I picked him up and told him to stop and he did, straight away.
Earlier on the walk, he did some great work. I'm teaching him to sit when he's about 3 metres from me and to wait until I get there with his treat 100%, yay. Recall was good when required. He can be trained, but not, so far with the barking at dogs.
Every morning and every night: Sit, Paw, Down, Roll, Watch me, High 5, High 10, and also 'get it'. I train Olive and Doris separately or else there is no focus on me, only each other and i like doing this for half an hour each.
Frequent short training sessions. Using gentle positive methods. I have found that Sight Hounds get bored eaisly, when we had Border Collies they would repeat one exercise time after time, but Folly will do it once sometimes twice but thats it. So its a case of one thing then a different one etc. Her recall is good, except if she sees a rabbit or squirrel, then she is off like a shot. Fortunately Rabbits go underground and Squirrels go up trees both after a short chase. I call it ocupational deafness.
It's all progress @doggie1 One thing I have noticed is that Jimmy sometimes makes his huffing noise when we can't see anything, and he's smelled dogs that are some way off. I use it as a bit of an early warning system.
I've noticed recently that Eddi is smelling dogs on the other side of the river bank. We are having the Easterly winds so maybe that's why he could be suddenly getting the scent of the other dogs.
I don't think I can take much more of this! We came out of our drive for a walk, I didn't see them, but a guy was on the river bank walking his two dogs. He just started barking and they were to close to use 'find it'. I picked him up and he stopped. When they were out of sight I put him down again, but he wouldn't stop barking. I've brought him back and taken his harness and Halti off, and I've taken all of my Eskimo gear off so he knows he's not going. He has a bemused air about him and kept walking tot he door at first. I can't even talk to him right now otherwise I would just shout at him.
It's so depressing!
I am really sorry to hear this. But the more he is able to continue this, the deeper ingrained the behaviour will become. Walking is becoming stressful for both of you (he isn't being naughty, he also is reacting to a stress trigger). To stop this I cannot see any reasonable alternative to finding dog-free walks. Either taking him away in the car to somewhere quiet, or walking at times when other dogs are not around. Then after some time you can start on working on his flight distance, starting even 500m + away from other dogs across fields if necessary, but very, very slowly. I think. I described that process in another of your posts; if not and you need more detail just say.
I have been working with him and he's doing well in terms of decreasing his trigger zone. It just gets me down when he's so nuts. He's too young not have walks, and I took him a bit later today,normally I don't see any dogs on his morning walk and he's fine. I just hope he's improving, but he's not ready for close quarters yet. I'm following that CARE site you suggested. I'm allowed to get down about it though.