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Bad behavior/Cookie association question...

November 15th, 2006, 05:02 PM
Not sure if this is training, but what the hey.

How long after a bad behavior is a cookie ok? As in how much time or activity is necessary for the dog to dissociate the bad behavior with the cookie?

And how good or hard does the "trick" or bit of work to earn that cookie after the bad behavior have to be?

I'm wondering because sometimes when I train Jemma, she gets wayyy submissive and pees... So I try to divert her attention by making her do something she already knows for a cookie... But she knows she's wet... so will she ever associate the peeing with the cookie? :fingerscr that she won't...:o

btw- The submissive peeing is not about being hard on her either. If she feels like she's not doing what I ask, she freaks out (hard training before we got her :(). But that's a different story.;)

November 15th, 2006, 05:14 PM
I would ignore the SP (which I am sure you are doing) and distract her with something she knows how to do. Then offer her soft praise which I think is more valuable than a cookie. Try to be as happy for her for doing a good job as possible without using so much energy that she gets overwhelmed.

Typically associations need to happen in the moment - so if you gave her a cookie as she peed she would connent the two. But if you waited and asked her to do something else and then rewarded her for doing the new behavior I think you would be safe. I would even try to get her away from the pee spot in order to create a totally new experience.

What I don't like is when people treat a dog right after a correction. For example - dog jumps on person and person lures dog off with a treat and then treats the dog for getting off. So the dog thinks 'oh, I jump up and get a treat afterwards' But the dog doesn't learn NOT to jump up.

If you focus too much on anything she will too. So try not to even think about the SP. Just get on with the task at hand and be sure that you are using appropriate energy to guide her through her behaviors. Try to stay upbeat.

November 15th, 2006, 05:19 PM
Thanks Tenderfoot.:)

It's hard with Jemma because when she's submissive, touching her flips her on her back and no tone of voice helps. If I say anything, her head just drops lower....:(

I do move her though (mainly because I don't want her in her puddle :o) but that's where the cookies come in....

Poor doggy.:( She's a little hard to train because of this and I'm pretty sure it's because of the "professional" trainer she saw with her previous owner.:(

But any trick is ok?

November 15th, 2006, 05:41 PM
Any trick is good.

So try to anticipate her flipping over by having her on the leash and keeping her upright. Sometimes this means some forward movement. Some dogs learn to behave this way because it gets them out of having to work. So gently teach her it doesn't work anymore. I think she knows she breaks your heart everytime she does this - it takes you right back to her painful experiences. But you aren't going to cause her pain and she knows that. Time to behave in a trusting manner and to honestly reflect all fo the love you have given her.

We talk a lot about using pressure and release. For example if I ask for a 'stand' and the dog sits - I will pressure him back into the stand by gently bringing him forward with my energy and perhaps the leash. He will test me, test me, test me and then simply stand and stay standing because I showed him that sitting was not the right answer and I met every test. Finally he thinks 'oh, its more tiring to sit (because this lady keeps pulling me out of the sit) than to stand - so I will just stand.'

So try not to even let her start to lay down, have forward energy and go right back to what you were asking of her. Don't make a big deal out of it - just think 'wrong answer - let's try again'.

November 15th, 2006, 05:49 PM
No, I can't leash. That's how she was trained. When you click a leash she turns into robodog. :o

I do move her if she's sitting and should be standing or something, but when she's submissive, if I try to praise her with petting, she just doesn't get it. That's when she flips to the floor. She thinks I'm coming to hit her or something... Not sure... She only drops to the floor if she's already in pee mode and I "push" her...

Ok... let me describe it better...

She sits in front of me attentively and smiling. If I ask her to do something she knows, she does it all excited but 100% focused (if that makes sense). If I try to teach her something new, and I say "no, like this" or say the "n" word (no) in any tone or she gets a hint of an n word coming, her ears drop down (she's still sitting), and then I'll say "It's ok! nevermind!" and she pees. At that point, if I correct her (about the trick) or praise her or try to lighten the mood, she pees and/or falls in her pee (I'm still a good 4-5 feet away...).

So what I do, is with the cookie in my hand, I walk away, call her to me, make her sit and shuffle/sit pretty/give her paw and give her the cookie. (that was my original question, so that's ok...:) Thanks.)

But for teaching new tricks, I'm stumped.:o :shrug: And running out of the proverbial paper towel.:D

November 15th, 2006, 05:52 PM
Oh and if I teach her standing tricks (like peek around a corner) then she's usually ok. But anything too demanding or dominant over her and she just gets set off into pee mode.:o :(

November 15th, 2006, 06:05 PM
Okay so let's not say the word 'no' or anything in a corrective tone.

Think of this - a mute person can still have a great dog. So create the action, give it a hand signal and then when she has proofed it a few times add a word of association.

Try to only guide her with positive energy. This will be a lesson in patience for you.

Have you tried having her drag a short, lite rope (only when you are with her)around until she gets desensitized to it?

If she overreacts to petting then don't pet her - just use your soft, happy voice and I would actually move away from her not towards her and encourage her to join me. Then try again.

*oh, and great 'bloat' link on the other thread!

November 15th, 2006, 06:17 PM
Ok... :) She's ok on a leash outside, but in the house, it was used to "reinforce" the trainers things. I even got a foot long leash with the "package" from Jemma's old owner, just for tugging on to get her to "behave". So a leash on is ok, but the minute it is tugged, there's robodog...

But the hand gesture is a good idea... Because my voice sucks hiney for postive things. She knows "yes", but is even skeptical of that sometimes.:D

Try to only guide her with positive energy. This will be a lesson in patience for you.

That's the worst part though because I don't lose my patience. I would totally understand if I was and she was getting upset. But this is like the first try of a new trick, and I'm all fresh and ready, but a small mumbled "no" comes out in a sentence and I'm done (in Jemma's mind). It's so hard to watch what I mumble... Like even a "no, let's try something different" and she's off... :shrug: She's so clued into the n word.:D :rolleyes:

Thanks so much for your help though.:)

Oh and that link was mona b's first.;)

November 15th, 2006, 06:41 PM
Not to be simplistic, but can you do any of this sitting on the floor or a really low stool? Anything to get you lower and in a less dominant position relative to her... Below her face level might be even better

I practise stuff with Amos when I'm standing but also with my butt planted on the sofa. (I've got bad knees) I like staying lower when I'm playing with something new or tweaking an old command into a new one. It allows for lots of repetition without my body language changing (due to fatigue or sore knees) and is less 'in his face'

I could be totally off the wall here but the positioning is so different than her previous training that it might help offset some of the stress. For example, attach the tab but only touch it when you are in a less intimidating position relative to her? Like attach it to her collar, wrestle with her on the floor a little and get her used to you 'accidently' bumping it? Just brainstorming here...

November 15th, 2006, 06:50 PM
No sitting with her doesn't help. Coincidentally, today, when she peed :rolleyes: I was sitting on a low chair... And she's the type where if you get a bit lower than her, she'll get even lower. Like if you put your head on the ground, she nudges and nudges till she's under your head...:o

I don't know if the husky is what is making her so stuck in the heirarchy thing. It's always so clear with her. If I'm going to walk through a door, I have to give her permission to go first or she waits for me to go through first. And I never trained her to do that. :shrug:

November 15th, 2006, 06:55 PM
OH darn ... I thought I might have been on to something there.:sorry:

November 15th, 2006, 06:56 PM
With most doggies, it would probably work.:) Jemma's just scarred and weird in weird ways.:o Like they scarred the remedies for the original scarring too. :rolleyes:

November 15th, 2006, 08:03 PM
"but a small mumbled "no" comes out in a sentence and I'm done (in Jemma's mind). It's so hard to watch what I mumble"

So duct tape might work?:p On you - not Jemma.

November 15th, 2006, 08:41 PM
How about eliminating the word "No" from your vocabulary entirely Prin? Get your man to remind you every time you say it in every-day conversation. Try "Okay" or "Instead" or something else that has no significance to Jemma so that it becomes habitual for you to use in place of "No" and will come naturally when you are talking with and to Jemma.

I don't think your voice "sucks hiney" for positive things Prin. Not in the audio clips I've heard anyway. You've got one of those "girl" voices which are perfect for giving praise. Unlike mine ~ I sound like I drink bourbon and smoke cigars for breakfast.

Can you do the training exercises in an environment where Jemma is more comfortable, less anxious and is just naturally happy? I'm thinking that if she can learn the trick or command say, while she's swimming where she is happy-happy it might be easier for her to relax enough to translate the experience and transfer the learning to her in-home environment

November 15th, 2006, 11:48 PM
lol mum, what you hear on tape and what my real voice is... two different things. lol When I'm quiet (like in the videos because my voice is so bad, I don't want to ruin the movie for everybody :D), then I can get higher pitched, but it's too quiet for normal training things...:shrug:

My normal voice is closer to Fran Drescher (remember the nanny?) or Janice on Friends....:D

We play the yes and no game at Christmas with the man's family.. You know where you can't say either? Yeah, I suck at that.:D

But if I eliminate it completely from my vocabulary, the man will always get his way.:confused:

Good idea about the good atmosphere though. That could work. I'll try it outside, if it ever stops raining EVER.

November 16th, 2006, 01:06 AM
But if I eliminate it completely from my vocabulary, the man will always get his way.:confused:

:offtopic: Response to the man when "No" cannot be used...

"Honey did hell freeze over when I blinked?"
" What part of that do you think I would agree is logical, practical or say, remotely sensible ?"
"Your universe is shrinking rapidly sweetheart, can you still hear me?"
"Just a minute dearest, let me get my dictionary for the understanding impaired so I can translate for you."

Ah yes, I remember the joys of marriage....

November 16th, 2006, 08:45 AM
Oy! I was reading this thread aswell :) for blokes you also need better vocabulary, we like the simpler things about life, computer games and cars. if you said 'game over' or 'need a service', that we can understand, but the complicated body signals and subtle gestures are lost on us :sorry:
Anyhow i only have 1 thougt and it was to swap your wording, for weeks we have been telling riley 'down' when he tries to look onto counter surfaces, we suddenly realised he uses that 'noise' for something else, so now we use 'off' and it worked first time. Instead of no, try 'oops' or 'to bad' in an upbeat way. For ages it we used 'to bad' and he just ignored us, but all of a sudden if we use it when he runs the opposite way from come or lies instead of sitting he modifies his behaviour straight away. We have started using 'no' for bad behavour and he responds very dramatically, maybe 'no' is just a hollow word pronounciation that dogs hear in a certain way.

November 16th, 2006, 09:38 AM
Remember tone has everything to do with it - dogs are masters at tone and body language.

You naturally lower your tone when you say 'no' - which is one reason we don't encourage people to name thier dogs Joe, Moe or Beau.

We have a dog that has gone past the large vocabulary and pretty much responds just to the word 'dog'. It means come, sit, stay, leave it...etc. He just knows what we want regardless of the word.

November 16th, 2006, 10:06 AM
Instead of no, try 'oops' or 'to bad' in an upbeat way.

that's exactly what i do, I say oops! when learning tricks or commands and Tucker doesn't do what's asked. we've trained him to know that "oops" is the negative word, meaning he didn't get it right, then we try again and/or simplify, to end in success.

November 16th, 2006, 12:09 PM
Thanks so much. Everybody's so helpful.:o :grouphug:

November 16th, 2006, 03:22 PM
Tenderfoot has said a lot of what I wanted to say, but I wanted to mention something about body language. Sorry if it's already been said, I didn't read through the thread real thoroughly.

Royce is a really submissive dog. He doesn't submissively pee, but I'm a small person and oddly enough even though I've had cats more than anything I'm good at reading an animals body language, so it never got to that point. Body language often doesn't really change drastically from one species to another (even in horses which are prey animals they sometimes use similar motions).

You mentioned that the lower you get jemma will just try going lower and lower submissively. Since humans are creatures which naturally stand up it may seem like a submissive thing to get lower down than the dog, but not necessarily, a lot of it depends on body posture. You can squat on the ground and still appear to be in a dominate posture to a very submissive dog.
You may want to try instead turning to the side and gesturing welcomingly with your hands by holding your hands in an upturned position (palms up like someone is handing you change), and looking down underneath the dog instead of at their head. Bring her around in a circle and then give her a command while she's standing to the side of you, not right in front of you. Standing right in front of an animal is usually a pretty aggressive position.
Just a suggestion. Of all my training errors (and there have been a lot), body language isn't really one of them, though it's kind of hard to describe body language over the internet, lol.

Just as an example - I've ridden horses for a very large portion of my life. With a horse you're ALWAYS lower down than them and standing underneath them because they're so big, yet you can scare a fearful or submissive horse by just looking at them wrong, why? Because being lower down than an animal doesn't necessarily make you seem less of a threat.

Sorry if that all seemed jibberish :o
Like I said it's really hard to describe body language in writing.

Another thing, like tenderfoot said, MASTER hand gestures. There's no reason to use your voice, if deaf dogs can be trained with hand gestures so can any dog. Both of my dogs respond MUCH better to hand gestures and I often don't even use my voice. Hand gestures also make you pay attention to your body language more often so you can know what kind of actions make your dogs respond a certain way.

November 16th, 2006, 03:28 PM
lol I get it. But I know body language too (I'm so sounding like a stubborn poster, aren't I? :o). I've never had a problem with body language before... I always pet her under the chinny when I see her getting submissive, but it doesn't help.

Hmm... I'm wondering... If her previous owner was taught VERY dominant techniques from the trainer, but she is a very submissive person all along (the woman I mean), wouldn't that be confusing for Jemma? Wouldn't she get mixed messages and just not know what to do with the body language/behavior differences? And then when she wouldn't do something right, she was corrected in a severe way by a submissive person.

Or maybe I'm looking too deeply into it. :o

I kinda want to get a "free consult" from this "trainer" just to see what he might have done to her. Anybody want to volunteer a dog? :o

November 16th, 2006, 03:39 PM
:frustrated: You are being a stubborn poster!:p

She could have gotten mixed messages, but it seems more likely that you're making a mistake in your own body language and not picking up on it. Maybe you could have someone videotape you and then watch and see if you're doing something you may not have noticed.

I suppose it's possible though, that's something that happens in horses A LOT. Someone uses rough training and then when a new owner or rider tries to teach the horse to respond to gentle touch and gestures the horse is confused and doesn't know what you want. At that point the horse sometimes shuts down and just won't move which makes them look stubborn. :shrug:

Maybe something similar could happen in dogs, I just haven't trained enough to know.

November 16th, 2006, 03:52 PM
MyBirdIsEvil, you may be onto something there. Body Language

After 25 years of involvement with horses, I've gotten pretty good with the body language projection. For example, I can go to the dog park with a pocket full of hotdogs and not get harassed beyond pocket sniffing. I can even get dogs to move away by consciously changing my body language. (usually by a straightening of the back & shoulders and mental focus on 'being in charge')

This is very handy if Amos is getting a bit overwhelmed by a group of dogs at the park and I need to move in. The 'aggressors' tend know immediately that I'm focused on them and that they need to move out of my turf/vicinity. It also works with more timid dogs being picked on as they see the emergance of a 'tree of protection' and end up in-between my feet or behind me.

It happens becuase I literally think "big", I beleive that I'm 10 ft tall & bulletproof and that the dogs in question need to move out of my space. The belief/focus changes the body language and the dogs react accordingly. Its not 'energy' ala Ceasar ... its the reflexive changes in muscular response to intent/planning.

Maybe this is part of what you could try testing on Emma? Conscious changes of mindset to see how she reacts, especially with attempts to project "I'm small, harmless & no threat"

Sorry for the rambling ... I've been mulling this over in my head today.

November 16th, 2006, 07:41 PM
My bird is Evil (I love that name - I have 7 parrots!)

You said - "Just as an example - I've ridden horses for a very large portion of my life. With a horse you're ALWAYS lower down than them and standing underneath them because they're so big, yet you can scare a fearful or submissive horse by just looking at them wrong, why? Because being lower down than an animal doesn't necessarily make you seem less of a threat."

A predator is often coming in from below (wolves circling) or from a top a rock (Mtn. Lion). Poor horses can't win with us - we are either slinking about like wolves or on their backs like Mtn. Lions. Often it is the eye contact that makes the difference. In the African plains the lions can be in full sight of the antelope and the antelope aren't worried - because the lions energy is different then when they are aren't hungry and not hunting. Intentions have a lot to due with communication.

Prin - we would love to see a video! so often people say I am doing exactly what you do or tell me to do - yet when we watch them it is different enough that we can point out something and it all changes.

November 16th, 2006, 08:01 PM
ok, I'll work on the video... But it's not just me either.. My man can get her to do anything, but he can't train something new either.:shrug:

I mean she'll get in the tub on her own for a bath when she submissive pees and things- she's an awesome dog and so smart. She teaches herself a ton by watching us teach Boo things, but even then most of the time, she has to leave the room after a bit.:shrug:

But I'll work on the video to show you... Have to think of a new trick.:D

November 16th, 2006, 11:15 PM
predator is often coming in from below (wolves circling) or from a top a rock (Mtn. Lion). Poor horses can't win with us - we are either slinking about like wolves or on their backs like Mtn. Lions. Often it is the eye contact that makes the difference. In the African plains the lions can be in full sight of the antelope and the antelope aren't worried - because the lions energy is different then when they are aren't hungry and not hunting. Intentions have a lot to due with communication.

Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that horses, or any other prey animals for that matter, see us in the same way as dogs, I just meant it as an example that making yourself seem smaller than an animal doesn't always make you look less threatening. Like you said, it's often eye contact that makes us seem threatening or overbearing. Predators aren't immune from other predators, and though their flight reflex isn't as great as in a prey animal, "slinky" body posture, or very stiff body posture and eye contact can make them nervous.

It kind of sucks for most animals, because they have to live with us humans who just happen to be seen as predators by most animals, and we also happen to be TERRIBLE at figuring out body language from years of relying on spoken language. They hear us say one thing, but they SEE us say something completely different.
Maybe that's why a lot of horse people are better at body language, because we're taught to control the horse with touch and eye contact instead of yelling or commands.
Screaming at a horse just makes you seem crazy :rolleyes: . I dunno how many people I've seen on a runaway horse screaming "WHOA!!!! STOP!!!" while gripping as tight as they can with their legs which says "GO FASTER!". Nervous animals could care less about words.

:sorry: For the slight threadjack, I just find talking about body language interesting and educational. Hopefully it at least coincides a little bit with the original question, lol.

November 16th, 2006, 11:37 PM
No, it's all education. And my original post was answered beyond satisfaction.:)

I'm learning a lot about horses.:)

November 17th, 2006, 07:04 AM
Eye contact is a large part of dog communication, even when Callie was disabled and could not get up on her own, she still maintained alpha status and kept the law using direct eye contact and the other dogs were always watching her out the corner of their eyes and she could could end horsing around getting too near her dish going over to her bed with just a simple look at them.

One of the harder things for us to do is not look at dog directly in the face when giving commands, it is almost as though it comes natural to us.

For example if you have Jemma in front of you on a leash and pull her toward you while looking her in the face, she will freeze as you are giving her 2 signals that are mixed, your telling her to come to you with the leash but your eye contact can be interpreted as a warning to stay out of your space, also in dog language it is rude behaviour to approach an alpha head on, so it causes confusion as what to do, so she squats peeing as a way to try to appease you, because of the confusion of what to do. SP is appeasement behaviour and a sign she feels she is receiving mix signals or confused as want you want from her, it is not about fear of abuse.

Try doing the training of her on your left side, with you sort of peeking at her out of the corner of your eye just briefly, when your in front of her and want her to come to you using no direct eye contan using a treat, lure her to the right side of you around behind you till she is on your left side and sitting or use the leash to bring her around you and then give her the treat.

When I walk to Maya or Nikki my to submissive ones, I do not approach the head on or look them in the face but walk up in a curve to their shoulder.

Talk to, praise Jemma in a calm relaxed voice rather than in an higher pitched excited voice( for shyer/submissive dogs the higher pitched voice is more like an alarm that something is wrong) you can add a gentle tap on the side of the shoulder or hip as reward rather than ontop of the neck or back, Maya prefers hip scritches to pets, she would never dream of approaching me face on to take a treat, for her that is just too bold behaviour that could get in trouble with an alpha dog, her dog communication are very strong as an "omega" dog, I am not going to be able to change that part of her, so I have work with her status and not make her do things she feels as out of line for her position in the pack , I find ways to modify what I want for her that will be acceptable to her as an omega. Sunny has no problem with a sit directly in front of me, Nikki is more okay in front but off to the side a bit but with Maya it would have to be beside me for her to be comfortable.

November 17th, 2006, 09:11 AM
MBIE - "They hear us say one thing, but they SEE us say something completely different."

Excellent point. We take this one step further and teach our clients that if you say 'sit' but picture 'down' in your head then your dog is more likely to down. We believe they connect to whats in your head, and the thought alone is translated in to your body language.

Eye contact can be pressure and it can be release. Just the change of expression on your face can change its effect on your dog. They are sensitive enough to know an angry face over a happy one. It also changes your energy when your face is angry versus happy.

Just remember we are always communicating with our dogs (we just aren't as aware of it) and they are always communicating with us. A great experiment is to go a day without speaking to your dog. Doesn't mean you aren't communicating. It forces you to become more aware of your body language and energy. See how much you can get done and how much more intuned you become.

November 26th, 2006, 04:57 PM
K, I posted 3 videos here:
One has me in it, and the two others are just Jemma... But I pretty well just stand there and do the same thing the whole time... :shrug:

She just gets progressively submissive.. It's like she's walking on eggshells, hoping she gets it right.:confused:

November 26th, 2006, 06:32 PM
Ok, prepare for some criticism (sorry!), lol.

You're still standing right in front of her, pretty much towering over her, looking at her head on. That's a good tactic for a dog that doesn't want to listen and needs to know you mean business, but bad for a dog that is trying hard to please you and happens to be submissive.

Stand so that jemma is closer to your right hip instead of directly in front of you. Even putting standing to the side of her would be a good optin, just anything that keeps you from facing directly toward her and towering over her in a dominant position.

Another thing - the high voice, stop. It's probably alarming to her, it sounds excitable and probably makes her nervous. Use a calm even tone, not firm, not excited, just very calm.

November 26th, 2006, 06:35 PM
ok... :) She actually chose the position...:o That's her cookie eatin' trainin' place... :D And if I squat, she actually gets worse... So you're saying train her from beside her?

November 26th, 2006, 07:35 PM
Yeah, lead her to your side with your hand.
A lot of it is eye contact, but if she's standing to the side of you it's hard to make what she might percieve as aggressive eye contact.

I'll have to look at the videos a little more though, I was about to leave when I posted, so it was kind of rushed.

November 26th, 2006, 07:38 PM
I never said you were mean!!!!!!!!!!

I love that I get to see what you look like - finally a face to go with the sense of humor.:p You and your four-leggeds are so cute. It shows how much you adore them and they you. You are a great mom!

Yes, Jemma is submissive in her face, but its not like she is quivering on the ground. This is doable.

Voice is the biggest thing I hear as a potential issue. Your pitch is high and doesn't change much. Dogs are masters of tone and body language. Standing sideways to her can help but I think tone changes are worth trying.

We talk alot about tone. Have a 'directional tone' when you are asking for something. Sit, stay, sleep, etc. It needs to be slightly different from your everyday voice so they can discern it from your regular talking.

Want to really be a dog whisperer? Then WHISPER!!!! for the reward. Whispers have NO tone at all like you don't want to wake the kids in the next room. You can even whisper with a lot of energy and it is very rewarding to them. It will even draw them into your space.

If the dog doesn't comply to your request then you can use a firm (not loud) tone to let them know they didn't make a good choice. Be ready to whisper the second they do make a good choice.

In one of the last videos when you let the dogs out and they barked - you said something like 'don't bark', but your tone was so happy you might as well have said 'good bark!'. Try saying the word 'pizza' in 3 different tones. See how convincing you are. Test this on beau - have him help you with your tones. Oh, and in one of the videos you were giggling - yes it was cute - but it doens't help the dogs to take you seriously.

How vital are the treats? Their focus is very intense and that is great but it seems to be all about the treats. Try doing the same drills without the treats and things might even change with that. Jemma is so focused and ready to give all for the treat - she seems to get almost emotional about it. I would toss the treats and just reward her with your soft whispers, soft touch, and sometimes playful joy. Let her know when she does something well that you are so proud and pleased. Get her moving and on her feet sharing in the joy. It will help to keep training more fun and less pressured.

November 26th, 2006, 08:09 PM
Yeah I also meant to mention the giggling, but people keep making me leave the computer and actually go places and do things. Bah!

Still trying to watch the rest of the videos.

November 26th, 2006, 08:19 PM
The thing with my doggies is that I don't have much range in my voice (I know the video says I do, but I really don't... I am getting better though...), so they know the words, not the tone for every day things, like no barking. But that time they were only barking because I riled them up before, trying to get Jemma to howl about squirrels.:D :o (I actually have the video proof of me riling them up if you need it.:D)

I do whisper to Boo, and talk much lower to Boo, but Jemma doesn't take that well. Like in this one, I whisper to Boo: (

Some things I can whisper to jemma, but overall, she takes it badly. I'd get a movie of it, but I think they're too full of cookies.:D

Oh and for the cookies- Boo will work for free, but not Jemma. If she's outside, she will, but not indoors. :shrug: She's VERY cookie driven. She's the cookie monster and doesn't go much for pets or praise. She's like a cat for pets and praise. :o

And sorry for the giggling... I only have 30 sec per video, and she spend 28 of it just standing there teetering...:D

November 26th, 2006, 08:22 PM
Oh and I agree with the treats thing, I didn't even think of that, she does seem EXTREMELY focused on treats. Maybe she's trying to appease you as quick as she can (hence the peeing) in order to get the treats sooner.
If she does something wrong it delays the treat which probably makes her frustrated and leads to peeing.

Something I wouldn't even have really thought of since I don't tend to train my dogs with treats. I don't want to rely on food to get them to perform, they know they've done something right by my body posture and stuff.

I usually use firm eye contact to let them know I want them to listen and perform, then release eye contact and relax my body posture to let them know they succeeded.
Dunno if that's the correct way to do it, but it works for me. :shrug:

November 26th, 2006, 08:25 PM
Prin, do your dogs know hand signals without any voice command at all? It's a good thing to teach.

She's the cookie monster and doesn't go much for pets or praise. She's like a cat for pets and praise.

You shouldn't really need to pet your dog or talk excitedly to let them know they've done something right.
See my above post. Maybe Tenderfoot can explain it better, but dogs don't need to hear "good girl" or "good boy" to know they've done good.
How does a deaf dog know it's done something right? Definately not by someones voice.

November 26th, 2006, 08:34 PM
In that video you are whispering the direction, and the whisper should come into play for the reward.

If Jemma will work outside without treats then she will inside too. Basically she is saying "I won't do it unless you have a treat". So no more treats. This is exactly why we like to focus on relationship and not treats. I know you have a great relationship, but even their cute antics can be controling the situation which means you relinquish your leadership.

MBIE - exactly right! A mute person can have a great dog, A deaf dog can have great manners. People rely too much on words sometimes too. I love to try to be as mute as I can to test my other skills and my silent communication with my dogs.

And actually in its purest form you shouldn't need to praise at all. Dogs don't praise each other they simply release pressure and go back to the business at hand - playing, eating, chasing, sleeping.

November 26th, 2006, 08:36 PM
Yeah, they do know hand signals in general, but Jemma's eyesight's not the best, so sometimes I have to voice it to make it clearer... Boo is great with the hand signals.

Jemma's the type of dog who isn't very receptive to humans unless she needs you (like a cat). I dunno, I've never had a husky before, but it's definitely not a lab thing. It's like Jemma has way more pride when she figures stuff out on her own and doesn't get any attention at all. (Does that make any sense at all?!) Like she's consistently good, and doesn't need correcting and just sort of blends in and likes it that way. The minute you correct her or try to teach her something unnatural, she just doesn't want to do it (where the cookies come in).

I mean this is the girl who taught herself how to swallow pills, and to go into the bath tub and wait when she hasn't had a pill in too long. You know? Like she's so desperate not to be told what to do that she tries to nail it before you teach her.

Ok, now I'm just rambling.:D

But I will try everything suggested and keep you all (lol or you both ;)) posted.

November 26th, 2006, 09:03 PM
Jemma's the type of dog who isn't very receptive to humans unless she needs you (like a cat). I dunno, I've never had a husky before, but it's definitely not a lab thing. It's like Jemma has way more pride when she figures stuff out on her own and doesn't get any attention at all. (Does that make any sense at all?!)

That definately makes sense.
Walnut is really independent (in public anyway) and if we were to pet her and praise her constantly for listening it would be humiliating to her, unlike Royce who is just as happy as can be if someone pets him and talks to him for doing something good.
Dogs with independent personalities (chows would be a good example) need to be dealt with in a more aloof manner than happy go lucky dogs (such as most labs, collies, etc.).

November 26th, 2006, 10:36 PM
And sometimes when you become a tad more aloof the dog becomes a tad more willing and involved. I have seen it work like magic.

November 26th, 2006, 10:37 PM
Yeah, but how do you act aloof when you're trying to train a "stupid pet trick"? :o

November 26th, 2006, 11:06 PM
Just like you train sit or any other non "stupid pet trick".
It doesn't matter whether it's a stupid pet trick to you, to her it's just a behavior.

That's why I tend to use hand signals, it makes it easier to teach stuff without using voice, because the dogs understand the hand signals well.

For instance, if my dog comes foward too far I give my stop command (pointer finger in air, palms facing them, arms straight out, slight eye contact).
I back them up by retaining a stiff posture and putting both hands in front of me, arms out straight with my palms facing them and make firm eye contact. Once they're in the correct position I can give the stop signal again and relax my body posture which shows they're in the correct place. I still keep SLIGHT eye contact at this point because they need to know I want their attention on me, but because my body is relaxed they know to stay in place not move away. Slight eye contact would be looking just above their eyes rather than right into them. They can see I'm looking at them but not staring into their eyes.

If I want them to come foward I release eye contact, relax body posture and point my palms towards me while opening and closing my fingers, which is their signal to come closer.

Using firm eye contact and stiff upright body while facing towards your dog is a body signal to move away, whether your dog has been taught that or not.
Relaxed body posture, releasing eye contact (looking towards the spot you want them to move towards), and arms curved (elbow at side, forearm out and hand upturned with palms facing you) and close to your body is a signal for them to move foward whether your dog has been taught that or not.

(sorry if that seems complicated, it would be easier with pictures)

Those are the type of signals you want to master before trying to teach any new tricks. Your dogs understand these type of signals just fine, YOU need to learn to master them so you're not sending mixed signals.

You can choose any hand signal you want to teach your dog, but arms pointing straight out and palms foward is going to signal them to move away, arms closer to body and palms upturned is going to signal to come closer.

If jemma can't see well she should still pick up on it, she doesn't have to see tons of detail to pick up posture and body position.

Just try it.
Start with "back up".
Stand straight up, facing straight ahead. Put both arms out in front of you very straight, palms out (towards dog), look straight into their eyes. Don't smile just keep a plain face. If they do nothing take a step foward, do they back up?
This is how body language works, and if you can get them to back up just by doing this, saying nothing, making no noise, you've made progress already.

I think a problem you may be running into is releasing eye contact before the trick has been completed. Jemma sees you release her but gets no reward for complying which is confusing. Your eyes say release, but your voice and actions tell her she shouldn't have done that.

November 26th, 2006, 11:12 PM
Hmm... My doggies already know back up and come closer but with different hand gestures... Come is palm up with the fingers moving toward me, and come closer is one finger doing the same. Back up is the same only palm down and fingers moving away from the palm...:o

November 26th, 2006, 11:18 PM
Back up is the same only palm down and fingers moving away from the palm...

That's still similar. Your palms are in a neutral position (not foward or back) and your fingers are signaling to move away by moving towards the dog.

That indicates your eye contact probably is the problem, and I'm not sure that's something I can help much with 'cause it's hard to explain.

Like I said, looking just above your dogs eyes is slight eye contact, neutral.
Looking right in the eye is firm eye contact, that's what you want to do if you want them moving away from you. Giving firm eye contact for just a second can signal that you want their attention also.
Looking at a spot in front of you signals to come closer (assuming you give another signal to do so).

Lets say your dog is pretty far away. Walking away from them and then turning your head around and making firm eye contact for a split second, then releasing and continuing to walk foward signals "follow me".

Maybe the eye contact factor is what you should concentrate on more than body posture (though that needs work too).

But like Tenderfoot said, the treats may be a bigger problem than anything.

November 26th, 2006, 11:21 PM
So you're saying no eye contact? Because I eye contact a lot.

November 26th, 2006, 11:27 PM
What do you mean by you give eye contact a lot? That's fine if it's the correct eye contact.

Are you looking them right in the eye the whole time you're asking for something, even after they've done the trick and as you're giving them the treat? You should be releasing eye contact every time they comply.
Eye contact is the pressure which tells them to perform, releasing eye contact is the release that tells them they've completed the task.

For instance if you chose to give a treat.

Give firm eye contact to get their attention. Release once they've given it to you, and look just above their eye so they know you're still interested in their attention.
Give firm eye contact and ask for the command. Once they do it, release eye contact completely and give a treat if you choose to do so.

I personally don't use treats, I use the release of eye contact as the signal that they've done good.

November 26th, 2006, 11:39 PM
Well, usually when I'm about to give a treat, I look at the treat so that my fingers don't get bitten off, so does that count? Otherwise, I'm pretty well in human eye contact with them. Like when I have conversations with them, I usually look them in the eye.

November 26th, 2006, 11:52 PM
Ok, don't look at the treat, then both you and the dog are focused on the treat, lol. She's already too focused on the treat so that's not good.

Hold the treat in your palm instead of in your fingers, then they have to pick it up off your hand instead of grabbing it and biting your fingers. We don't give horses or most other animals treats with our fingers for just that reason, use your palm.

Release eye contact by looking above their eyes not at the treat.

The problem seems to be with overfocus on treats and incorrect eye contact, so that's what I'd work on.

Try putting the treat in your pocket or sitting it on the counter and get them to focus on YOU, the hand signals, eye contact, and the behavior you want them to accomplish. When you hold the treat up the whole time they'll be focused more on that than anything. Then they're focused on the end result being the treat, instead of the end result being the correct behavior.
The whole time they're thinking "gimme treat, gimme treat, gimme treat!", which doesn't teach them to pay attention or complete the task.

Otherwise, I'm pretty well in human eye contact with them. Like when I have conversations with them, I usually look them in the eye.

Human eye contact doesn't consist of staring soemone straight in the eye. If you go around staring into people's eyes it would make them uncomfortable.

Staring into a dog's eyes also makes them uncomfortable.

November 27th, 2006, 12:04 AM
Hmmm... Honestly, I can't do the palm thing with the treats... I've been bitten in the palm that way.:o

But yeah, a lot of the time, the treats are still in the jar when the tricks are being performed. This time, for the purposes of the video (to speed up the process) I had them ready...

Yeah, exactly what I meant by human eye contact (sorry, my head's not on straight tonight). I mean, we maintain it longer than them, but still not 100% of the time, you know, because we do get awkward too, and with the ADD, well... :dog:

November 27th, 2006, 12:30 AM
:shrug: Maybe put the treats away, there's no reason they shouldn't perform without them. Treats become a crutch after awhile when you know your dogs expect treats. Your dogs aren't going to have hurt feelings if they don't get a treat, they just have to learn the goal isn't to get a treat.

Like I said, it's hard to give advice on eye contact without seeing you in person, but it still sounds like you're using it incorrectly. Timing with eye contact is just like timing with praise or anything else.

Dog does trick, you praise right away.

You don't want to praise with jemma though, you want to give eye contact at the right moment and release as soon as she completes the task.

Main points:
1. Stop making noise. If you must use your voice whisper, ONLY to give the command, not to correct (don't say "no, this way"). Don't laugh or make any other noises.
2. Only use direct eye contact sparingly when you want to get the dogs attention and when you want the dog to move away from you.
3. ALWAYS release eye contact when the task is complete. Focus above the dogs eyes or head as a release NOT on a treat.
4. NO MORE TREATS. Not for doing tricks anyway. I sometimes give my dogs treats when they're not expecting it, for laying there nicely or doing other good things. When they KNOW they're going to get food for doing something it becomes a bribe, not a treat.
5. If the dog doesn't complete the task or doesn't understand what is being asked of it, don't say anything, simply walk away and try again another time. Badgering her, trying to show her the right way, telling her "no", will only get her frustrated. Just remember that it's not THAT important and you can go back to it at a later time. If you ask her once and she doesn't understand it, walk away, try again later, it's not urgent.

Other than that, I dunno what other advice to give. Those seem to be the main problems.

November 28th, 2006, 08:39 AM
Well, usually when I'm about to give a treat, I look at the treat so that my fingers don't get bitten off, so does that count? Otherwise, I'm pretty well in human eye contact with them. Like when I have conversations with them, I usually look them in the eye.

Work on some more training to have her take the treat gently, use a cookie and inorder to have she has to nibble on it while you hold the cookie with your fingers , if she pinches your fingers( I use eh-eh as a correction) or you could even go (oww!) and then say "gentlY" and offer again till gone, it helps to teach them to be calmer with treats

I used to use this method even with food agressive dogs gradually working up to more desirable treats like bones, it helps them to learn to trust me that I am not trying to take their treats but will give it to them fully only when I am ready and only if they stay calm

November 28th, 2006, 11:47 AM
Yeah, I've been doing that since day 1 with Jemma. I'll even make her drop the cookie and do it again if she's not gentle but manages to grab the cookie somehow. But she's just afraid Boo's going to grab it, even though they know not to eat each other's cookies if they fall on the floor...:shrug:

November 28th, 2006, 12:36 PM
Don't make her drop it after she already has it, that's a good way to make it worse. The point is to not give her the treat unless she takes it nicely. If she somehow grabs the treat out of your hand, making her drop it will only make her want to snarf it faster next time so you or boo can't get it back.(doesn't matter if boo isn't going to take it, she'll still worry about it)

If you want to train her to take it nice I would do it with boo somewhere else, because every time there's 2 dogs and food it's a fight over who can get it faster, it also causes them to concentrate HEAVILY on the treats because they're both focused on it. One dog gets focused, so the other gets focused. One dog becomes even more fixated on the treat to make sure the other dog isn't getting more treats, and then it becomes a cycle and they get to the point where the treat is the ONLY thing they're worried about.

Once they're both trained to take it nicely then it's ok to give them treats together and start teaching them to take a treat nicely while they're both in the room. It's almost impossible to teach dogs to take a treat nice if there's 2 of them and they're not previously trained not to grab.