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A thread for dog obedience training...

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by nikki1, Mar 10, 2013.

  1. nikki1

    nikki1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is anybody else out there working with their dogs looking toward entering obedience trials? I just purchased a 1 year old cardigan welsh corgi with that goal in mind, and I'd love to talk with others...kind of like an obedience junkie support group/place to ask questions/etc. Anyone interested?

    Right now we're working on house manners (she lived in a house with her breeder, but every house expects different manners!), socialization (LOTS of trips to the park!), and basic commands. (We've about got "sit" mastered) A long way yet to go I know, but it's a start!

    --Nikki
     
  2. TreehuggerMo

    TreehuggerMo Out Of The Brooder

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    My first love is training (my first job was at a rescue kennel). I currently have a dog training up and certified as a therapy dog. We did the obedience class, got certified on his Canine Good Citizenship, then moved into specialized training for hospital visits etc. Love it all. I am always interested in training of any kind. Mo
     
  3. nikki1

    nikki1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Eatonville, WA
    Cool! I tried some posting on specifically dog forum sites, but nobody participates. I'm WAY to used to BYC, where you post a question and have a dozen replies in an hour! Figured I might have better luck here.

    My long-term goal with my cardigan welsh corgi is to get to CD and CDX level, then sidestep into either agility or herding. The impatient part of me wants to launch straight into heel and recall, but the realistic part of me knows I need to socialize her and get her listening to me in a variety of locations first, so I am taking it slow in spite of myself. She's a smart girl, and she's already really attached to me (we've only had her 3 weeks), so I'm hoping to be able to start entering trials next winter.

    This week at our trips to the park, I'm going to be working on the "pay attention" thing. I'm hoping a pocket full of extra-yummy treats will do the trick. What do you think?

    --Nikki
     
  4. dainerra

    dainerra Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I do obedience, rally, and am starting on agility. It takes a LOT to keep this boy occupied. LOL
    We also do a bit of conformation. I just sent his registration in to have him dual-registered with the UKC so we will be doing our first UKC rally and obedience trials this summer.

    So far, Singe has his RN and RA titles as well as his CGC. I don't get to trial as much as I'd like but we're getting there. Hoping to rack up a lot more titles before the summer is over.

    A good tip I learned - teach your dog to look at you when someone says the word "ready" Before you start your turn in the ring, the judge will say "are you ready?": It's nice to have your dog instantly focus on you instead of getting their attention so that you can begin.

    I also have several pages of attention games if you are interested....
     
  5. nikki1

    nikki1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Eatonville, WA
    Wow! That'd be awesome! I can get Maddie's attention easy as anything in the house, but out and about, well, not so much! I could use every one of your several pages of ideas.

    --Nikki
     
  6. dainerra

    dainerra Chillin' With My Peeps

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    always start small. first in the house. Then the yard. then the yard with distractions. Quiet public place. Busy public place. :) And sometimes you have to take a few steps back when you teach something new :)

    This is a compilation of attention games from various sources. They are listed in no particular order. Have some fun with them and watch your dog's ability to focus improve. Enjoy!
    Have treats and or toys handy for all these games, but keep these reinforcers hidden or they may become cues to work rather than reinforcers.
    If you are not getting attention with these games, do not cue with "Look" or "Watch". Set up the dog again, keep her closer, put on a leash, be in a smaller room, move to a less distracting environment, and try again. Some time, some where, your dog WILL succeed and you can mark and reinforce.

    1. Ready Game - At the start line, the judge will ask, "Are you ready?" When you answer, "Ready!" your dog should look at you. To teach this, have your dog in Heel or Side position as though you were at the start line. Keep your eye on your dog. Ask out loud, "Are you ready?" and answer yourself, "Ready!" Wait however long it takes for your dog to look at you. As soon as that happens, mark and reinforce.

    View this game here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlCs_LirwLI

    2. Name Game - A dog's name should be a powerful cue to look at you. Responding to his name should be very reinforcing for your dog. To play, call your dog's name. When he looks at you, mark and toss a treat somewhere that the dog will have to go get it without facing you. When he's taking the treat, call again, mark him looking at you, reinforce, and repeat.

    3. Hide and Seek - Ask your dog to stay or have someone hold her. Hide. Call your dog. I use a recall cue, but if you do formal recalls you may want to use an informal recall cue. When your dog finds you, reinforce generously. Finding you should be an extremely rewarding experience. You can play this in the house (in the dark is a lot of fun - many dogs rely on vision rather than smell to locate you so this adds a challenge), in a yard, in a training facility, in any safe environment where your dog can be off leash.

    4. Eye Contact Game - Without cueing the dog verbally or visually, watch your dog and when he makes eye contact with you, mark and reinforce. Turn your body away slightly or toss the treat so the dog must turn his body to get it. Wait again for eye contact. Mark and reinforce; repeat.

    5. Moving Eye Contact Game - Once the dog knows the Eye Contact Game, begin to move and let the dog follow you in order to make eye contact. Mark and reinforce.
     
  7. dainerra

    dainerra Chillin' With My Peeps

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    6. Doggie Zen - This is a variation of the Eye Contact Game using reinforcers as distractions. Hold treats and/or toys in each hand. Hold your hands out to your sides while watching your dog and making eye contact with her. When the dog makes eye contact with you, mark and reinforce with what is in your hands. If the dog focuses on the reinforcers instead of you, just wait and stay still. Eventually, she will make eye contact. When your dog gets good at this game, you can make it more challenging by holding the food/toys closer to her (at your sides instead of arms outstretched, for example), moving the food/toys around her head while she maintains eye contact with you, putting the food/toys on her feet while she is lying down and maintaining eye contact with you, etc.

    These variations are here:







    7. Food Toss - Building on Doggie Zen, toss food (or toys) at your dog while he maintains eye contact with you and remains in a sit, down, or standing position. At first, use food inside plastic containers with holes so the smell is obvious but the dog can't get the food if he grabs the container. If using a toy, have a string attached so you can pull it away if he breaks position. You can play this game with your dog facing you, in Heel or Side position, at a distance, or with another person doing the tossing.

    8. 1, 2, 3 Game - Cue your dog to wait. Stay next to the dog (or work for distance by walking away). Count out loud, "1, 2, 3" and immediately give the dog another cue. Begin with cues the dog knows well. If the dog responds correctly to the cue, give her a reinforcer. If you are working at a distance, you can toss the reinforcer to the dog. If the dog does not respond correctly, set up the game again and stay closer (if you had moved away) and/or use an easier cue. Mix up the cues to keep the dog thinking, but keep the cues easy enough for the dog to be successful.
    When your dog knows the game well and is anticipating the "3", you can proof the dog with "1, 2, 2 ½, 3" or "1, 2, 2, 3". You can also vary your behavior as you move away (if you are working for distance) by running or jogging or moving in a zig zag pattern or moving behind the dog. Try varying your voice by speaking loudly or more softly or by whispering so she really has to pay attention to catch the cue.

    9. One, Two, THREE Game - Teach your dog this game and you can use it if attention is lost while in the middle of a run. Teach it in a familiar environment. With your dog near you, and focusing your attention on your dog, say, "One... Two... THREE" and give your dog a treat (don’t toss it, just hand it to the dog) or pull out a toy if that motivates your dog more than food. Present the treat/toy from different places – right hand, left hand, above head, between feet, high, low, facing the dog, with your back to the dog, and whatever else you can think of that will be surprising. If your dog likes to chase you, run a few steps when you say “THREE” and then deliver the reward. You can run with your back to the dog or you can run backwards with dog following you to Front Position.
    Begin teaching this exercise while you have the dog’s attention, so the dog will associate fun things with the cue words “one…two…THREE!!!!”
    Play this game often – at home, while practicing, when going on walks, at the park, in class – everywhere. With practice, it will become a habit for him.

    10. Give Me a Break (GMAB) Game - In order to play this Control Unleashed game, it is imperative that the foundation game/pre-game be taught in an area of low/no distractions. It consists of giving a "quick release" cue (such as "go be a dog, go sniff, go worry, etc.) Kristine uses a string of quick releases, but you really only need one. Once you give the quick release, the dog has permission to disengage from you and engage with the environment (look around, sniff, etc). Wait until the dog chooses to turn her attention back to you and immediately mark and deliver a high value food (or toy) reinforcer. Immediately cue the quick release again. Repeat until the dog refuses to disengage. Once you get to this point, you are ready to move this into more distracting environments and to build actual training into the game.

    Here's Kristine's dog Dean demonstrating this step:



    Adding in training is easy. After several repeats of the quick release cue and the dog turning attention back to you, cue a behavior. Mark and reinforce the correct response and the cue the quick release again.

    Here is Dean doing some freestyle work in this format. Note, he never does choose to disengage/sniff/etc. when released, but if he had, that would have been fine because Kristine had given him permission. The more you play this game, the less likely the dog is to disengage when given the quick release cue.



    11. Chase and target games - Here are clips by Emily Larlham of several Chase and Target Attention Games:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTSuPk2Ccjo
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POM8wwnRSk4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFhtFt6Qy6g
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yEpmEh2prnM
     
  8. dainerra

    dainerra Chillin' With My Peeps

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    12. Chase the Treat and Heel - From Heel (or Side) position, toss a low value treat behind you and immediately give your dog a release cue to go get it (such as "Get it"). As the dog is swallowing the treat, call his name and show him a high value treat which you will move to Heel (or Side) position as you continue to move forward on your original path. As the dog assumes Heel (or Side) position, mark and reinforce with the high value treat. As the dog learns this game, you will fade the lure as well as the name cue and mark and reinforce when the dog catches up to you in either Heel or Side position. After that, you can add a distraction by having someone try to lure the dog with toys or treats while you walk briskly away, giving a single Heel (or Side) cue. Be sure the helper does NOT reinforce the dog by interacting or making eye contact if the dog succumbs to temptation and leaves you. Continue walking and when the dog decides to return to you, mark and reinforce generously when he catches up to you. If the dog does not seek you out, return to the dog and set up the game again from the point where you lost the attention. Give the dog the choice of following you and if he does, reinforce lavishly after just a step or two.
    13. Chase the Treat and Recall Game - Call your dog. As she comes to you, toss a treat between your feet behind you. When your dog goes between your feet to get it, run forward and call her again. Turn to face her as she is coming to you and repeat the treat toss behind you between your feet.
    View this game here:
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wx4DzfKr47c
    A variation of this game is to Heel forward, toss a treat in front of you, immediately send the dog to get the treat, turn in the opposite direction, and walk away. The dog will catch up with you after chasing the treat and when he does, toss a treat ahead of you and turn to walk the opposite way.
    View this game here:
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ppO1ijhwGY
    14. Pizza on the Floor Game - Begin by littering the floor with bits of paper. Let your dog sniff all she wants, but mark and reinforce with very high value treats if she checks in with you. When your dog is playing this part of the game well, increase the distraction by using cardboard bits (but not too greasy) from boxes that contained pizza. Play the game. Next, increase the distraction by using cardboard with bits of cheese and sauce on them. Eventually, use actual bits of pizza on the floor.
    15. Circle and Chase Game - Move forward with your dog in Heel position (or Side). Whip out a treat with your left hand, show it to your dog, and do a fast 360 Right (if the dog is in Heel position) or a 360 Left (if the dog is in Side position). As you are turning, cue the dog to get the treat "Get it, get it, get it". At the end of the 360, give the treat to the dog and run away. The dog should chase you down. Play with a toy briefly or give another treat and set up the game again.
    16. How Many Treats? Game - Many dogs will take a treat reinforcer and disengage from the handler and/or break the position for which they were being reinforced. If the dog doesn't know how many treats are coming, though, he will stay in position and stay engaged in order not to miss an additional treat that may be coming. You can play this game with any reinforcement you are doing for any behavior. Sometimes give one treat, but sometimes give two or three or even more for truly outstanding work. Each treat must be handed to the dog individually; otherwise you are only delivering ONE TREAT, no matter how many pieces of it are delivered at once.
    17. Hand Target Game - Mark and reinforce your dog for nose touching your open hand, palm presented to the dog. Once the dog knows the game, move your hand to various positions around your body and your dog's body in order to get the dog moving while focusing on the hand. Then ask for several reps in various positions before marking and reinforcing. This game engages the dog's prey drive and keeps her interacting with you.
    18. Rally Drills - Here are a series of rally patterns (some are CRO-related, some are universal) that keep the dog working with you and engaged. The faster you move, the more focused your dog is likely to be. Except for the stationary position change drill, the handler is in continuous motion and the dog is following the handler's cued position changes. All the drills are to be repeated several times in Heel position and then mirrored in Side position.
    A. Heel, Come (handler runs backwards), Loop to Heel. This can be alternated with Side, Come (handler runs backwards), Loop to Side. Demo is here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=49o4m2CeOuw
    The same pattern can be done with a 90 degree turn each time. Demo is here:
    B. Heel, Come (handler runs backwards), Circle to Heel. Demo is here:
    C. Right Turn, Left Turn. Demo is here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=df9PoYuAxPY
    D. 270 Right, 270 Left. Demo is here:
    E. 360 Right, 360 Left. Demo is here:
    F. Pace Changes such as Heel, Fast, Normal, Slow, Fast, Slow, Normal, Fast.
    G. Pace and Direction Changes such as Heel, Fast, Normal, 180 Right, Heel, Slow, Normal, 180 Left. Also, Heel, Fast, Normal, 270 Right, Heel, Slow, Normal, 270 Left. Demo is here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8fbjO0f8-c
    H. Heel, Come (handler runs backwards), Sit, Come (handler runs backwards), Down, Come (handler runs backwards). Demo is here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=IiUBAdLVXTU
    I. Heel, Transition to Side, Transition to Heel
    J. Heel, Transition 90 Left, Side, Transition 90 Right. Then, Heel, Transition 90 Right, Side, Transition 90 Left.
    Demo of a few transitions is here:
    Make up your own combinations combining directions, speeds, and position changes in repeating patterns. When the handler's path is not predictable and is brisk, the dog will usually give more attention to the cues because her prey drive is engaged. A dog who lacks confidence, though, may shut down and not play the game. In that case, make the patterns faster but easier to follow with fewer and easier cues. _.___
    19. Nose Work on the Handler - Hide a treat on your person - in a sock, a pocket, under your belt, or in a cuff or rolled up sleeve. Cue your dog to find it. If you think your dog will play this game at inappropriate times, skip it!

    20. Ivan Balabanov's "The Game" - The Game is the second DVD in Ivan's series "Obedience Without Conflict". The Game teaches the dog to respond to the handler's cues while in high drive. It sharpens accurate responses, builds attention, builds teamwork, improves impulse control, and keeps both team members intently focused on each other. The series is sold by Canine Training Systems.

    Demo is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=estlPrcyKCk

    21. It's Yer Choice (from Susan Garrett) - This is an impulse control game, but the dog's attention will be riveted to you once the game is learned.

    Demo is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipT5k1gaXhc

    22. Whiplash Turn Game (extension of the Name Game), as described by Kristine H. - To build a better response to the dog's name..., I use Whiplash Turns. This is the first step:
     
  9. dainerra

    dainerra Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Once my dog does this as well as Speedy is here, I move to an empty closed container. I toss it on the floor so it catches the dog's attention and then I say my dog's name, click the instant the dog starts to turn back to me, treat when he or she actually gets to me.

    After that I use a container with food in it as the distraction.

    Then I move the game into real life. During training class or whatever, I wait until I see that my dog is interested in something. Not super-distracted-hyperfocused, but just looking at something. I say his or her name once, click when he or she starts to turn toward me, treat when he or she gets to me.

    Over time, this builds a fantastic response to his or her name. It truly becomes, as the name says, a Whiplash Turn!!

    23. Walk Away Game - STAGE ONE - With the dog on leash (harness is fine and I prefer that instead of a collar b/c the dog is likely to pull towards the distraction, making the leash go tight), walk at a normal pace with the dog near you. Do not cue the dog. As you walk, toss a treat off to the side on which the dog is walking (left side for Heel, right side for Side). Be sure to toss the
    treat far enough so the dog can’t get it. The dog is likely to move towards
    the treat but will be prevented from getting it by the leash. For this
    reason, don’t leave more than an inch or two of slack in the leash as you
    walk. Otherwise, the dog will get jerked and/or you may not be able to restrain the dog. When the dog takes his attention off the treat, mark and reinforce with
    a treat. Repeat the procedure until the dog pays little attention to the tossed
    treat. It seems that the dog quickly learns that the tossed treat is not
    available and that reinforcement comes from the handler each time a treat is
    tossed.

    24. Walk Away Game - STAGE TWO - Set up your distraction area, which can be a bunch of treats on the floor and/or toys. The dog is on leash and the leash should have very little slack so the dog does not get jerked if she goes for the goodies. Move towards the distraction until the dog alerts to it. As soon as the distraction is the focus for the dog, begin to move backwards until the dog takes her attention off the distraction at which time you mark and reinforce. Repeat until you can get close to the distraction and eventually walk right over it without the dog going for it. To add a leave it cue, say the verbal cue just before the leash starts to tighten. I do see many dogs ignore cues to "Leave it!", so this can be a way of retraining that behavior, possibly with a different verbal cue.

    25. Chair Circles - Put some treats and/or toys on a chair (or on the floor for small dogs). Heel (and/or Side) around the chair in a large circle. If your dog remains oriented to you, spiral closer to the chair. If your dog orients to the goodies, spiral farther away. You can use your no reward marker if you want to mark the failed attention. When your dog is choosing to remain oriented to you rather than what is on the chair, you can release her to get the treats/toys. This game is sort of Doggie Zen on the move.

    Variation: You can reinforce your dog for staying focused on you while you do this game. You may also want to get the treats/toys and hand them to your dog rather than letting your dog get them when you release her.

    Variation: Show your dog the treats/toys outside of the ring. Then do some work in the ring and make sure your dog is being attentive to you and not focusing on the treats/toys. After doing a few behaviors, go to the chair and give your dog the treats and/or let your dog play with the toy. Then return to the ring to work some more. You may also release your dog from the ring to get the treats/toy without you.

    Variation: To build value into play, petting, and praise as secondary reinforcers, do a little of one or more (play, petting, praise) before releasing your dog to the food/toy.

    26. Pattern Games - This is Leslie McDevitt's new DVD. Leslie is the author of Control Unleashed. The DVD is available at www.tawzerdogvideos.com. These games help the dog learn to make good behavior choices in distracting environments, enabling them to work off leash with good focus even in highly stimulating conditions.
     
  10. dainerra

    dainerra Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]
    focused heeling

    [​IMG]
    jump work

    [​IMG]
    more jump work
     
    1 person likes this.

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