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Ronan's picture
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I just wanted to share how my pups are doing. They still have occasional accidents but as far as obedience training and tricks go I am BLOWN away! Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined an easier breed to train from such an early age! Praise plus a few treats go a very long way indeed! Not quite 9 weeks old and they already got sit, lay, stay and shake down pat! We are still working on recall (by far the hardest as they get distracted when I get more than a foot away lol) They love the kong wobbler and it is so funny watching them slide around the kitchen floor chasing and batting it trying to get some kibble. Tomorrow I have a day off and will work on recall and fetch and I will let you all know how it goes.

If my wife gets home early I will record a video of them in action :) I am so not used to pups taking so well to training!!

Wow that is fantastic. Can I send mine to you for training LOL. You will definitely have to post the video. Enjoy and happy training.

Jagabags's picture
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Thanks for sharing- it's always good to hear positive stories.

 

Love and peace

Ronan's picture
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 I promise to try and capture a video ASAP, but I do have issues with recall. Once they are away from me and want to explore it is hard to get them to come to me (without keeping a lead on them) I know they are pups but it just stresses me that they get tricks and sit, lay down etc but not coming to me when called by name even 50% of the time.

Lori's picture
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They are VERY smart dogs....Almost to smart sometimes haha

Ronan's picture
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Got Hazel recorded best I could, my wife did not get home till later on after the last meal and after play time and a nap lol

I am uploading to facebook and youtube as I type this, will edit with a link when it is finished. Yes I cheated and used some treats to help keep her focused but next time I record I wont use any at all.

Also take it easy on me, this is my first video recording ever lol

 

http://youtu.be/akRpQyXVJWQ

Ronan, I watched you vid a few times and let me say your doing fine but I want to offer some suggestions.

First off, when your teaching a command (sit for instance) your going "Hazel, sit, sit, sit". Try not to repeat the command. Before long the command will turn into "sit, sit, sit" instead of "sit". When you use your bribe (that's what I call the treat), have Hazel moving in the direction of "sit" with the bribe and when her rear end hits the floor give her the bribe and the command at the same time instantly followed by your marker word (can be what ever you want it to be), "gooodgirrrl!!!" and of course pets pats and ear scratches. I noticed that you were bribing about 3 seconds after she sat.

Also when you had her "lay down", you were making her come to the bribe. Over time she may understand this as "come". It was just a short wiggle kinda move but it does make a difference. "Down" should mean down right where she's at, not 6 inches away. Keep the bribe close so she doesn't have to come to it. Again, the instant she hits the floor, bribe-command then your marker word.

Try not to confuse the commands. Instead of "sit" then "lay down", work with one command at a time. Work with "sit" then on your next teaching session, 30 minutes later, work with "lay down" using just her "lay down" command (no sit command). Bring the bribe over her head so she sits and slide the bribe down between her front paws so that she will follow down to "lay down".

I don't use two word commands like "lay down". One word= one command. I would use either "lay" or "down". Find a command (out, finish, done...what ever) that lets Hazel know schools out. Use that piece of rope she seems so fond of and play tug of war with her when she's done. This will let her know she's done and can be a puppy again.

Use your bribe to get her to walk beside you, "heal". Tell her "heal" with the bribe in front of her nose, take a few steps then treat. Just a few steps, not far at first. You should take more steps over time. A big problem I see on here is "my dog pulls at the lead". This will put you ahead of the game.

Get together with your wife and make a lists of commands you want to use. Believe me, it helps. This way you're both speaking the same language. Your building a foundation for Hazel that she will fall back on later in her "training". The more concise you are now will go a long way in Hazel's future. Keep your sessions short and ALWAYS end on a good note, a followed command and have fun.

One more thing, there are absolutely no, notta, none corrections at this age. My dogs didn't even know the word "no" til they were 5 to 6 months old. Everything is rainbows and unicorn milk for now. Your teaching, not training.

All this may seem trivial but will make a better dog of her and a better handler of you. Don't take this as criticism, it isn't.

Gunny

SXavierK's picture
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Ronan, watched the video and it was adorable! Hazel is definitely a smart lil pup!

 

Gunny, I actually made the mistake of "sit, sit, sit" with my first dog so I know what you mean. I actually also have a question. I'm getting my pup in about 6 weeks, ultimately I don't want to use a bribe to train him, but I know it works well when they are young. At about what age do you switch from a bribe to just praise?

Ronan's picture
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Gunny, Thanks for all of the feedback! This is why I like this forum so much; the sheer amount of experience available is priceless.

 

What I got from you post

  1. Do not keep repeating commands, like sit,sit sit
  2. Use one word commands, ie down, in place of lay down
  3. Use the same finishing word
  4. Reward the exact moment they get it right not a few seconds later
  5. One command per session
  6. I will use a finishing command, and let her have a toy to know school is over
  7. I do like the idea of making a list of commands, words to use and even hand gestures. It seemed like today she was more in tune with my hand gestures than the actual words -_-

We already got Hazel and Dexter familiar with the lead so they don’t just freeze when the leash is put on. Heel training I have not even started yet but I agree with what you are saying.

Neither of them need bribes for sit or down but Hazel is very much food driven and has a lot more focus when working on recall when bribed. Dexter likes bribes but would much rather be praised.

I think I am going to keep working on name recognition and recall mostly but always throw in a refresher course for sit and down. In a few weeks we will see where we are and hopefully we can work on longer stays and heel training.

 

One last question when you are heel training with treats do you always start with a lead or go right into lead free heeling?

@ Ronan, with the leash work you could start either way. I prefer to do it with a lead to get them use to it. Even if she drags a short leash along. You will be able to work her off lead later on. Don't get into a big rush to have the best trained dog out there. Take your time, train in little bits and pieces then after time you can start putting those bits and pieces together. Keep sessions short and fun for them.

I had a friend of mine with a Boxer and he was saying that he though the dog was deaf. When he would command him to sit, the Boxer would just stare at him. Come to find out, the dog's command to sit was the word and a hand motion together, body language. If he did one or the other, the dog would just stare, waiting for the complete command but together he would plant his rear to the ground. Be aware that they watch you. Every single move. Dogs communicate with each other through body language more so than with sounds.

@ SXavierK, It's not an age thing, it's more of a, does he know what you want and does he do it consistently, thing. Your trying to build a foundation so that you can start to train them. The foundation is all their basic obedience commands, heal, sit, down, come, stay and pay attention to you. I'm not saying you can't teach other things as a puppy but these, IMO, are the ones that you will build upon. As they get older and the training begins, they will remember these commands and if they get confused, they will revert back to their foundation. I like to say that I'm teaching a puppy so I can train the dog.

So to answer your question, it will depend on the dog.

Control_Freak's picture
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She really is doing great!  Keep up the good work.

Some advice I can give...Give a release word.  For example, Hazel Sit (She sits) then say ok to release her from the sit.  This will teach her that sit means sit until I say it doesn't.  You don't want her learning that the treat means she is done.  If this makes any sense?  Also, I like to use cue words for training to let them know if they are right or wrong.  Kinda like clicker training,  When you say sit and she puts her butt on the ground say yes or good or whatever word you like...if she doesn't do it right say ah or no to let her no she isn't right.

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Just wanted to say she adorable! I miss Harley being this small! 

@ gunslinger - Great advice :D I never thought of using a release word after training, I might start bringing it in to our sessions.

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She sure is a cutie pie!  I won't repeat what has been said above, but I did notice a few other things.  Like Gunny said, reward immediately, but I used a marker word, (like in clicker training),  "YES!!" the second she did what she was told, then treated.  It helps them to associate the correct action to the command.  Also, you told her to do something and she was guessing "shake".  You said shake after the fact, the command was sit.  I'm not criticizing here at all, she's doing great.  Isn't it wonderful how eager they are to learn?  It's a matter of timing in training, which for me and I'm sure many other people is the hard part for US to learn. And, yes you are right, everybody in the house has to be on the same page as to which words to use for which commands.  I use "down" meaning to lay down and "off" when I want her off the bed or something she's on.  My husband yells DOWN when he wants her off the bed, so she lays down and looks at him.  DUH.

@ControlFreak & HappyDance, After re-reading my post I noticed where I said "finish word" when I should have used "marker word". I've edited my post and used the correct terminology. Thanks guys.

@Ronan, I hope I didn't cause you too much confusion. I appologize.

All this does bring up a good point. When you train with others, they may see you making a mistake which alows you to correct that mistake before it reflects in the dog.

Gunny

Ronan's picture
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 My wife read this thread and is now insisting that we both go to both puppy classes.... so twice a week for 6 weeks.... then twice a week for 6 more for the next classes and so on!

 

And noted the correct terms marker and finish and the difference ;)

 

Guys I honestly dont mind the feedback! The more I learn the better. Pups are just so different from older rescues.

Ronan, google Ed Frawley & Michael Ellis. You may find them helpful.

Lady Kate's picture
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Ronan... can't add a thing to what's been said.. ( sure is an awesome forum isn't it)

Hazel is one bright little girl and you're going to have so much fun watching her learn.

They LOVE to please and I could tell by the video she likes the lovin' as much as the treat.

You are on the right track.. and can't wait for more videos and updates!! ( P.S. LOVE her name!)

DJ's Dad's picture
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Ronan---you're definitely on the right track, and the advice you got here in this thread is TOTALLY AWESOME!

Control_Freak's picture
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No prob gunny...that's what friends are for. Something I also do I use a keyword when we are going to formal training...lets work or something like that. It kinda lets them know that they need to focus.

Ronan's picture
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@ Gunny, thanks for pointing me to Ellis' method of dog training with verbal markers! I am hoping to make the transition from reactive dog to active one with a lot of practice.