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I'm bored of training...

February 27th, 2009, 09:42 PM
we do sit, down, stay, leave it, paw, other paw...

what can I throw in there for a new command to add a bit of interest to our training sessions? (and how do I train it?)

February 27th, 2009, 10:09 PM
If you want to have fun and teach new behaviors at the same time have you tried clicker training? or behavior shaping? You don't need to do it as training necessarily, it can be more of a game even, think of it like HOT and COLD. Decide on a behavior you want your dog to do, say close a cupboard door. Begin the session with the door open and click/reward every time your dog gets closer to the door. Then only reward for touching the door then only for nudging the door, at each step you can see the dog thinking of what gets "warmer". Here is a YOUtube vid example.

Really if you have the patience for it the world can be your oyster for clicker training and behavior shaping. You don't have to fully substitute it for your normal training techniques, you can simply use it as a game, or you can use it to add "fun" tricks outside the the basic necessary obedience.
If you hunt around on youtube you can find all kinds of behaviors you can play with, bowing, sitting up, covering face with paw, spinning, I saw one lady train her JRT to stand in a bucket and there is some really great focus happening from all the animals as they anticipate what they should be doing next which is great mental exercise!

February 27th, 2009, 10:15 PM
The possibilities are endless :D

If you're not using hand commands in conjunction with verbals, that'll spice up your lessons a bit. Just decide on a gesture to coincide with the verbal, and use the gesture at the same time you give the command. Your dog will catch on quickly and soon you'll be able to get responses without saying a word.

Once ours learn 'down', we turn it into 'side' (roll onto your side and stay there), 'rollover', and 'crawl'. 'Side' (or 'play dead'...the command itself is unimportant as long as you can remember what it is) is easy--just roll them from the 'down' position to their side and reward when they stay there. 'Rollover' is an extension of 'side'. In our case, since we have a slope, it was easy enough to roll them from one 'side' to the other and then have them stand. :D 'Crawl' can also be trained from 'down'--I used a small treat held low to the ground in front of them. They caught onto the belly crawl pretty quickly cuz they all love sneakin' around :laughing: Remember to incorporate a hand signal into your training for each new verbal command.

'Back up' is a useful command. To train, herd the dog backward with your body as you approach at a walking pace. I use a palm-forward wave of the hands as the signal. To start, I often have to lean forward, slip one hand under the dog just forward of the hind legs and put the other on the dog's chest to guide it back straight. But usually by the second or third day they're backing up on their own in a fairly straight line :thumbs up

Make up whatever commands you want to see your dog do and then think of ways to teach him to do it. If it's complicated, teach the command in stages. For example, for our dogs that don't fetch naturally, I will train 'go get it', 'take', 'come', and 'give'. So the chase, pick up, retrieve and delivery are all trained separately as opportunity allows, then combined into the 'fetch'.

It can be lots of fun, challenging for both you and your dog, and rewarding for both of you, too, when you see your successes :thumbs up So be creative and enjoy! :D

February 27th, 2009, 11:13 PM
I taught "dance" which is basically just a spin in place. I did that by luring him with a treat to begin with and then just reinforcing once he figured it out.
Another is "touch" where I taught Riley to touch my right hand with his nose. I had some yummy treats in my palm and presented the back of my hand. When he went to smell my hand and ask for the treat I said the "touch" command and then treated him with my other hand. He also figured that one out quickly :D.

I agree that "backup" is a great command and very useful :thumbs up.

One of the best recent commands we have taught is "place" where the dog has to step up onto an object (rock, log, bench, picnic table etc.) and remain there until released. This works well to settle and focus my spaz dog :D. I taught by pointing to object, give command and then guiding the dog onto a low easy target and rewarding once they are on. Gradually work up to harder targets (Riley is huge and will perch on a small log end) and farther away commands (ie I can be 20 feet from object and point to it and he will go). I also find this very useful for getting in and out of a vehicle :thumbs up.

Lastly, if you have a stay command consider adding in a "wait" command. For this the dog is allowed to basically take one step any direction and can sit, down , stand etc as long as they don't move more then one step away. Very useful for stopping on trails, exiting out of cars, crossing roads etc.

Have fun :goodvibes:.

February 27th, 2009, 11:17 PM
Great advice :thumbs up I think I will be trying some of these things as well. I've been working with my 5 month old pup and so far we have a good sit stay , laydown and crawl all with hand signals but there were some other great ideas in there.:)

February 28th, 2009, 02:22 PM
what TeriM said about touching nose to hand is exactly how I started target training! I say "target" and then get them to touch either hand, when that is down then transfer the target to something like a post it note that you can put anywhere you want, then teach from there, put it on a light switch, then tranfer the command to light, and get them to flip the light switch, it is endless what you can do from there!

My little pup has taken to training and I think already knows almost as many behaviors as my big dog, "turn" is to spin around in circles, I found when training spin seemed to close to sit and there was confusion so I use turn, dance is standing on hind legs and turining a full circle, I taught roll over and now can make him roll continuously 4 or 5 times, it is really cute!

R. Bear
February 28th, 2009, 10:43 PM
On a rainy day we like to play hide-and-seek. Put him in a down-stay while you hide somewhere in the house with his favourite toy (it helps if you have an assistant to help him hold his down-stay if he's not yet an expert). Once you've hidden yourself away somewhere, yell his name and "come" to release him and he has to find you! When he does, he gets his toy and lots of love. This reinforces the "sit-" or "down-stay" and "come" commands and you have fun at the same time. It also gives him a job to do - dogs love having a job!

March 1st, 2009, 07:54 AM
I'm on a waiting list for a free-style class. We will learn bits of agility, flyball, dance, tricks ... a whole bunch of stuff, I can't remember exactly what all. I think the advantage is a change of pace for me and pup (16 months old and low impact running and jumping on rubber mats) and the chance to see where his interests and abilities might lie. If you are bored your pup might be too. What about such a class near you?

March 1st, 2009, 08:28 AM
Well you could add down, stand, around and heel, come from a distance once the dog gets about the half way point have them stop, down, sit.just allow for a coupel of extra feet if the dog is running. Start at short distances making the distance longer when the dog is doing the short distance with no problems.

Bang your dead. put your dog in a down and say bang your dead roll them over when you say it. then tell them your not dead injured and drag the treat along the floor slowly well they have to crawl for the treat.

There is all kinds of stuff you can do for trick training if you do a web search or find a school.