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Puppy training ?

5394 Views 26 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  Scully
Frodo is having a hard time in obedience class… the trainer says he is just timid and bashful… but the little booger isn’t cooperating. We have mastered “sit” and “watch me” pretty consistently now… but I cannot get a down for the life of me! He’ll sit and dip his head down… but the rest of him won’t follow no matter how I maneuver the treat. He won’t take treats in class…. No matter what we try- spits on them… or worse rolls around on the treat like he is putting on perfume! The trainer laughs so hard saying she has never seen that and trying to video it… I’m afraid he is going to be the class clown! He will take the biljac PB and Nana treats at home sometimes but not in class. He has refused all offerings including a beef rawhide in school! He walks loose leash well so we are progressing… but I am stumped on finding a way to reward him enough for cooperation! Today for his homework I sliced up fresh baked ham into pieces… worked well for a “sit” but no go on “down”- Any ideas for treats or training? The pitbulls in his class get it on the first try… but not my boy! I’m going to have to get a bumper sticker that says my basset failed puppy obedience school:rolleyes:
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find the "under the leg" trick works well. Bassets are usually difficult when teaching the "down" - surprising, since that seems to be their favorite position the rest of the time!

Personally I have never been able to transfer the under the leg to an actual behavior because getting down and leg bent at knee etc becomes part of the cue for the dog but what works great for me but will never work in a class setting to teach is a technique called capturing. IT works well with dogs that understand clickers but if you are prepared with treats you do not need a clicker.

Because at it basics "down" is something that you need not teach the dog they already know how to do to, what you need to do is teach them to do it on cue.

step one is increase the likelihood the dog will lie down by rewarding it. When you now the dog is tired or other times you know the dog is perparing to lie down such as getting up on the bed etc. You reward the dog right as the go down. Lure then back up and wait for them to lie down again reward. Over time They should start doing this pretty quickly. Once that is happening you can start to add a cue just when the dog is about to lie down say down over time the down becomes the cue to lie down. It is a no muss no fuss method you just need to wait for the appropriate oppurtunity to train.

see How You Get Behavior Really Does Matter
Capturing is usually the first “hands off” training technique tried by most new clicker trainers. The concept is incredibly simple: When the dog does what you want, click and reinforce it!
Capturing is necessarily limited to behaviors that occur naturally in their finished form. It’s rather unlikely that the average dog is going to offer a full set of weaves the first (or second or third or…) time he sees the poles, but it’s a pretty good bet that he’s going to sit, lie down, or bark at some point.
It’s also limited to behaviors that occur with enough frequency that the dog can figure out a pattern to the click. It seems obvious to us what we’re clicking, but the dog may not be focused on that particular aspect—or any aspect—of his behavior at that moment. It’s only with consistent capturing of that behavior that he can figure out the common denominator of each clicked situation.
Like the Boy Scouts of America, the motto of any trainer who wants to capture behavior should be “Be Prepared!” Behavior happens quickly, and if you aren’t ready, an opportunity to catch it can be missed. This doesn’t mean you have to follow your dog around, clicker in hand, twenty four hours a day. Instead, identify the times that the behavior most commonly occurs or the events that generally precede the behavior and be ready to capture the behavior then. For example, to capture a bow, catch your dog when he is stretching after waking from a nap.
Although capturing is limited to the frequently-occurring behaviors included in a dog’s personal repertoire, it ranks fairly high on problem-solving ability because the click is the only information given. The dog must experiment to work out what he can do to earn a reinforcer. Happily, nearly all of the behaviors desired by pet owners occur frequently enough to be captured. It’s quite easy to teach a complete beginner’s class—even a class of pet owners with no desire to become trainers—using only capturing.
Another pro to capturing is that it teaches new trainers to anticipate behavior and to see the smaller responses that occur just before the desired behavior. This, of course, is the first step on the road to shaping.

How to Use Your Clicker to Capture Behaviors


How to Add the Cue

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the trainer says he is just timid and bashful… but the little booger isn’t cooperating. We have mastered “sit” and “watch me” pretty consistently now… but I cannot get a down for the life of me! He’ll sit and dip his head down… but the rest of him won’t follow no matter how I maneuver the treat. He won’t take treats in class…. No matter what we try- spits on them… or worse rolls around on the treat like he is putting on perfume!
Provided he will take the same treats at other times. Say like what happens if you take outside the class room and then give him the treat? If he has no problem eating it in other contexts and situations he is stress to much in class for any real learning to occur in that setting. You need to seriously consider a smaller class or individual instruction. or Sometime an instruter will allow you to audit a class ie attend without a dog, or you can try and desensitives the dog to the class by having him outside the area training occurs and reward for attention etc. Slowly working closer to the training activity but always looking for signs of stress


Self Control and Overstimulation
Emotional reactions originate in the limbic part of the brain, which allows for fast-acting response to events based on quick impressions. Survival depends on quickness of response — allowing you to notice and duck when you catch a glimpse of a fast-moving object about to fall on your head.
Limbic over-rides cognitive. When an animal is in a state of adrenalin arousal from fear, defense, excitement or just plain sensory overload, he not only doesn't listen, he can't hear you. It does no good to repeat "sit sit sit" to a dog who is on emotional overload. He isn't thinking, he is simply reacting to the stimuli around him. He must tune-in and re-connect with you before he will be able to hear what you have to say. You must be able to get his attention first, before you tell him what you would like him to do.
Food Motivated
The third reason a dog might not be food-motivated is stress. When a dog reaches a certain level of stress, fear or anxiety, they stop accepting food. If a dog is normally motivated by treats at home but refuses them outside of the house, then he is probably too anxious and is in the wrong working environment. If this is the case, you should consult with a qualified trainer or behavior consultant to determine the cause, so that you can learn how to decrease your dog's stress and safely work him towards more challenging situations. Stress is the primary cause of aggression in dogs and can lead to compromised immune systems and illness.
Try simply cutting back on the amount fed you may be overfeeding. see corpulent canines

from the food motivation link above
The most common cause is that the dog is given free access to food throughout the day. Even if their owner fills the bowl two times a day, the dog takes hours to clean the bowl. The food is always available and so the dog decides when they want to eat. For these dogs, limiting each feeding session to no more than 20 minutes not only encourages your dog to clean their bowl (which will help you spot health problems later on), but also puts you in ultimate charge of that resource.
Some dogs receive a steady stream of treats throughout the day for simple behaviors that they have been performing for years or simply for following the owner into the kitchen. With many of these dogs, the owner is forced to find new and unique treats because the previous treats were overused and have become as commonplace as dry kibble to the dog. While it's nice to give the dog a snack now and then, there's no reason to give it away for free!

I have general found that a basset that is not a food focused is most of the time overfed there is alway a few exceptions but it is very rare. In the case where the dog is truely not food motivated you need to look to other rewards. Remember it is the value the particular dog assigns to a reward that is important not what we think it should be the follow may give you some ideas on food and non food based rewards

when it comes to picky eaters I find smelly treats general work better sardines, salmon, liver etc.

List of Reinforcer
I had one that could be picky with treat in that you need to use a rotation because the if a treat was used ferguently it loss value. Something a bland as a milkbone or charlie bear would have great value if she had not had any for sometime. but in the end what I discovered is that the class room setting was just too long for her attention span working in shorter more intense burst worked much better for her and you did not need to be as diligent with the treat rotation.
To teach Doppler down I just waited for him to lay down and then clicked and treated him
capturing! I find it very effective especial with puppies because the tend to lie down more than sit. Round here down is the default behavior. waiting for cookies, to go out, while a meal is prepared, how most use a sit. Capturing the behavior with a young puppy is general very easy and quick to train I find it easier than any other method.
I tried so many things
The one thing I have found when luring the down behavior from the sit is it works much better if the dog is on a slick surface. If the surface is stick or high traction such as a carpet it iis easier for them to get back up rather than streach. The is even more true if you ate trying to lure a down using the sphinx method ie front end down first then the back. by starting with a treat infront of the nose and moving it to behind the front legs. close to the chest.
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