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teaching creative thinking

Beetlecat
December 5th, 2005, 04:56 PM
Anytime my dog come up against a task or exercise that cannot be done in a 'step A=step B' manner, he gets frustrated and gives up. He will not persist and try to work out a solution for himself. It's a little frustrating for me since I would like him to rely a little more on himself and less on me.

Today I took out a frozen meaty bone for him and, deciding he might as well work for it and amuse himself a little, I put it under a laundry basket. After I spent a little time showing to him and assuring him he was allowed to have it, he started trying to get it.

After, maybe, 2 or 3 minutes, he stopped and just layed down in the kitchen, watching me do dishes. Determined not to reward him for this, I just stuck it back in the freezer. Later, I tried again. This time he did not even try at all. He just layed down on the carpet and looked at it.

Are there any sort of exercises available to teach him to be a little more outgoing and sure of himself? This would also help with his aggression issues since his lack of self confidence seems to be at the heart of it all.

maddoxies
December 5th, 2005, 07:42 PM
What about a treat ball? The one I have is a hard plastic ball. You put small cookies or treats (even kibble) inside the ball. The ball rattles when you roll it and dispenses treats intermitently. My golden loved it. He learned that when it stopped making noise, it was empty.

Does he have a Kong?

Beetlecat
December 5th, 2005, 08:35 PM
What about a treat ball?

lol. I was just thinking about that. He had one but I took it to the farm one day and it got lost :( It took me a long time to teach him how to work it but I used to feed him his kibble ration in it.. I think I need to buy a new one..

it's the only toy that he really liked... and that he could manage on his own :D He would often leave some kibble in it and then go back to the ball later in the day, when he was feeling food-motivated again :)

Does he have a Kong?

He does, but I rarely use it except as a fetch toy (it bounces really crazily when used on a hard surface). He's just not a chewer. And if I stuff it with yummy bits, he'll suck out what's easy to reach and just leave the rest. He does the same with marrow bones.

Lissa
December 5th, 2005, 10:18 PM
I'm not sure how much training you've done with him but I think if you got him into some sort of training (obedience, trick or a doggy sport) it would increase his confidence.

Perhaps you need to make things extra easy for him to give him a confidence booster...that can be accomplished by using a clicker to C&T when he shows any interest in figuring out a task on his own...or in the example you gave, perhaps start by having the laundry basket cover only part of the bone so he can easily grab it!!??!

Something that I like to do with Dodger, is play the "find it" game where I hide food or toys around a room and ask him to find it. He really enjoys it and its something he has to do on his own...

Maybe teach him to bring his leash when he wants to go out - again its something he has to initiate and do on his own if he wants to go for his walk...Or bring his bowl when he wants to eat...Or perhaps teach him how to open/close a door if he wants to sit with you etc...

Anything you do will have to be taught in stages...I know some people on the board think that clicker training is like bribing but I honestly think that it would help to encourage your dog to keep trying - which will slowly build up his confidence level.

Dukieboy
December 6th, 2005, 03:32 PM
Anytime my dog come up against a task or exercise that cannot be done in a 'step A=step B' manner, he gets frustrated and gives up. He will not persist and try to work out a solution for himself. It's a little frustrating for me since I would like him to rely a little more on himself and less on me.

Today I took out a frozen meaty bone for him and, deciding he might as well work for it and amuse himself a little, I put it under a laundry basket. After I spent a little time showing to him and assuring him he was allowed to have it, he started trying to get it.

After, maybe, 2 or 3 minutes, he stopped and just layed down in the kitchen, watching me do dishes. Determined not to reward him for this, I just stuck it back in the freezer. Later, I tried again. This time he did not even try at all. He just layed down on the carpet and looked at it.

Are there any sort of exercises available to teach him to be a little more outgoing and sure of himself? This would also help with his aggression issues since his lack of self confidence seems to be at the heart of it all.

Be carefull what you wish for. I am kind of happy when Duke barks out of frustration rather than overturning the bookshelf his kong has rolled under. To much doggedness can be a problem. ;)

Beetlecat
December 8th, 2005, 02:26 PM
Be carefull what you wish for. I am kind of happy when Duke barks out of frustration rather than overturning the bookshelf his kong has rolled under. To much doggedness can be a problem. ;)


Yes, I was considering that perhaps I'm longing for something just because I don't have it (the grass is greener etc etc). Ky may lack persistance, but he is an incredibly easy keeper.

I stopped dog-proofing my home long, long ago. I have sheepskin rugs on the floor and I can leave food sitting on any table. When he was growing up, I don't think he ever destroyed anything that wasn't his, except perhaps a pair or two of underwear :)

And he is being enrolled in Flyball in January, so that should help him out of his shell. I am sure he will love it.

Oh, and he did end up getting the bone from the laundry basket. I stayed there, hyping him up and showing him the bone and telling him to get it and showing him how to move the laundry basket. Until he finally managed to get it off himself.

Then, after he had chewed the bone for a bit, I took it away and put it back under the basket :evil: This time he just just went to the basket, grabbed it with his teeth, and, with a mighty heave, pulled it away and got the bone in one try :D

Rebelrage
December 11th, 2005, 08:34 PM
:highfive: Congrads to him for getting the bone! Smart dog:thumbs up Tell him I said good boy!:highfive: He just needs alittle cheering section to cheer him on it seems!;)