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4217 Views 15 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Mikey T
Does anyone have any method training advice?

Harriet doesn't respond very well to treats (i.e. spits them out, then doesn't go back for them for an hour or so) and the only thing I haven't tried is warm human food. Cheese worked the very first time, but when I cut it up into training treat sized pieces, they became much less interesting than when I was eating it. This makes me concerned about methods used at a lot of dog training places.
She's slightly more motivated by her toys, but her attention wanes as she loses interest. She'll sit on command while we're playing and I have the toy, but if I just pick it up at a random time, or don't have the toy, the command doesn't register.
Last time I had a dog, we went to a class that used the "training" or "choke" collar method. It worked great for our dog then (20 years ago, good Lord, I'm old), she was well trained, but this method seems to have fallen out of favor.
I know she's only 3 months old, but I really want to get her on the right track early, we're working on bite inhibition at home, and any time she encounters people, and the house training is coming along. Advice please? Sorry I wrote a novel.
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Same problem with my basset. He went to class and would not eat any treats from anyone so training was hard. Then I found out that he liked cat food the dry kind and cat treats we have three cats. I talked to the vet and he said that as long as you did not feed him cat food but just as treats it was ok. I have now found that blend hot dogs cut length ways twice then choped up are great treats but the vet cautioned me not to over use them but they were ok to use once and a while and not to use beef hot dogs
Does anyone have any method training advice?

Harriet doesn't respond very well to treats (i.e. spits them out, then doesn't go back for them for an hour or so)
Have you tried just buying some liver, How to Make Liver Treats for Your Dog | most dogs like this.
In General non-food motived dog is an over fed dog. If the dog is not hungry when you are training food is not going to be motivated. Feed the dog after class not before. Schedule training sesions before meal time not after. Aslo keep in mind when it comes to reward it is the dog that decided the value not you or the cost. There are dogs that prefer kibble to steak etc.

List of Reinforcers
Please review the list of all the things your dog may view as a "true" reward. You may like to believe affection from you is a real turn on but that doesn't necessarily mean you dog agrees. Circle your dog's motivators and then add them to your list ranking them "A", "B", or "C".
Also a dog that is highly stressed will not accept food when under different circumstances it would so if the harriet will accept treates in a non-training setting then the training sesions are currently to stressfulfor her. If that is the case little learning is actual occuring during them as well.

Dog Training and Stress


Signs of Stress in Dogs

canine stress
It's not just during training that she doesn't want treats. She doesn't seem interested in treats at any time. We've tried several kinds. Maybe she does need to be hungrier though.
How much are you feeding him per meal? and how many meals in a day do you provide for him?
I agree with Mike.. I think you might slightly overfeed him.
Other than that, what kind of treat do you use?
She gets half a cup twice a day. She used to get 3 times a day 1/2 cup, but didn't eat it all. I find that if I give her 1/3 cup 3 times a day, she waits to eat it until late. So, twice a day. If this is too much, please let me know, I've had a hard time finding good guidelines, but she's gaining weight and is still near that "2" "thin" body conformation. She's got a defined waist, for sure.

As for the type of treats, we've tried several, but it seems stupid to me to buy a box of every kind of treat available, only to have her spit them out. We've tried mostly soft treats since they'd be stronger smelling. I think the cat food might be a hit, because she makes a beeline for it as soon as I let her into that part of the house. She also liked pepperoni the other day, and the vet said that was fine as long as it was only a little bit. We managed to do around 5 minutes of training on a single pepperoni the first time she saw them.

I've not tried the liver treats because, frankly, I'm a little grossed out by liver, but if they get rave reviews, I'll have to just suck it up and make them.
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And what you don't use of the liver for training I can use as catfish bait. :)

this is too much, please let me know, I've had a hard time finding good guidelines, but she's gaining weight and is still near that "2" "thin" body conformation. She's got a defined waist, for sure.
If she is over two the she is too heavy, most owner tend to think the dog is thiner than it really is. Ask some you trust i.e. vet for an honest evaluation, keep in mind unless specificaly asked for an honest evaluation most/many vets will simply say the dog is of a good/prpoer weight because they have lost clients by saying they were over weight,

but it seems stupid to me to buy a box of every kind of treat available,
Any treat made for dogs is gooing to be relaitively low on the treat scale for most dogs. The tend to be very bland. Heck when a dog goes nuts for string cheese but is so-so about dog treates it says alot about just how bland they are. As long as training treats make up less than 10% one can use whatever, over that then there is a chance of making the diet out of balance. On easy solution is to reduce the amount of kibble fed and use the kibble pulled aside as training treats.

The following I have found very usefull as training treated cheese stinky is generally better but can't beet the convienience of string cheese, Fruits i.e. oranges, apples, pairs, bananas etc. meat, steak, hamburg, dehydrated fish, dried liver,
As an aside I had one dog the most important aspect of a dog treat was how novel it was i.e. new never had before, or the length of time between the last time she had it. What was a treat one day would be turned down the next, two weeks later is would be gladly accepted, a month or more later love it. It is all a matter of experimenting and find what works for your dog. Also keep in mind food is not the only reward nor necessarily the best reward. The reason the dog learned to sit when you have the toy is because the toy is a reward. If you want the dog to sit and stay while opening the door to go out. Then use going out the door as the reward. No need to further complicate things. That is why the large variety of possible reward in

She'll sit on command while we're playing and I have the toy, but if I just pick it up at a random time, or don't have the toy, the command doesn't register.
FWIW this is quite common unLike humans dogs are not great generalizers but powerfull discriminators. So if a sit when you have a toy lets her have the toy then than is what she has learned. Not it sit on a verbal sit cue but all the other contexted as well, playing and your possession of the toy. So you must work on training the Verbal "sit;" cue in a variety of locations under a variety of situations until a dogs will realize that "sit" always means but your butt on the ground

for more detailled explaination see

Generalization versus Discrimination

The Sit Test
The purpose of the "Sit Test" is to provide an objective assessment of performance-reliability for basic obedience commands. Why? So that instead of reprimanding the dog for "misbehaving," the trainer steps back and reflects on the real reasons for the dog's "disobedience," i.e., lack of proofing and reliability training prior to pattern training.

Even minor changes in routine can produce dramatic decreases in reliability. For example, it is easy to demonstrate that an OTCh [obedience champion added for clarification] dog doesn't really know what "Sit" means. Dogs are extremely fine discriminators. If the dog has been taught to "Sit" for supper in the kitchen, or to heel-sit and front and finish in obedience class, that's precisely what the dog learns -- to sit in the kichen and in class. The same dog may occasionally not sit in the obedience ring, while playing in the park, or while greeting visitors at the front door. The dog must be trained in an infinite number of situations for it to generalise the "Sit" command to all instances. (This is in marked contrast to people, many of whom will generalise at the drop of a hat - sometimes from a single experience).
To illustrate, I devised a simple test a Sit Test -- nothing fancy, no bizarre or frightening distractions, just minor variations in what the dog expects. I chose "Sit" because it is the easiest command to teach a dog and probably the first command that many dogs learn. Also, using "Sit" enables Novice, Open, Utility and pet-trained dogs to compete in the same test.

for number 15 to make any sense you need to know what the accronym D.A.S.H. means

Desire, Accuracy Speed, Habituation. That is the order of thing in training. You have to build the desire of the dog to work before anything else. Once you have desire you can work on accuracy. Once the performing at a high degree 80% or higher then you work on increaseing speed of performance and/or latency ( time it takes to respond) once that is to your satisfaction you can work on habitution that is haveing the behavior work anywhere under any sort of distraction,
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We start puppy kindergarten this Saturday, wish us luck!!!!
I have a recipe for treats made with wheat flour and oatmeal, simple to make. I can send more mif you ant
Smartest puppy ever!

She seems to have gotten over any aversion to treats. The school asked us to bring turkey hot dogs, and those worked like a charm. I'm so proud, they said she was the smartest dog in the class, really sharp in general, would be easy to train, and they suggested that we either work toward showing (even though she's not pure bred, they thought the training would be fun for her) or search and rescue. I'm not sure we want to go find dead bodies, however. She's almost completely got sit covered, we're working on harder environments with more distraction now. Thanks everyone for your suggestions!!
or search and rescue
unfortunately they are unsutable for most SAR work. Most SAR orginzation have body size restriction that basset do not pass.

they said she was the smartest dog in the class
Basset are general an intelligent breed however they tend to be more intellegent than those trying to train them so they in the end are better at training their owners than the owners are at training them, hence the term of "basset slave"
Basset are general an intelligent breed however they tend to be more intellegent than those trying to train them so they in the end are better at training their owners than the owners are at training them, hence the term of "basset slave"
It is funny that many "official" sources say that bassets and beagles are at the bottom of the intelligence list for pure breed dogs.. From personal experience I find that simply untrue.

Bassets and beagles are very smart, but both are very independent and stubborn. Bassets seem to have the general attitude of "OK, what's in it for me?" And beagles the attitude of "Sure I could, but why would I want to?"

I know when I call our two pups, Zatarra looks at me, starts to get up slowly comes, but never by a direct route unless he perceives I have a treat in my hand. And Mercedes often looks at me quizzically like she is saying, "Now?" If I persist, (which I always do if I have used the "Come" command) she will actually take a deep breath, stand up and walk directly to me. But whether I have a treat or not, it is at her pace. She is definitely the Alpha of the two pups.
It is funny that many "official" sources say that bassets and beagles are at the bottom of the intelligence list for pure breed dogs
This comes from sources that equate with how a dog does in the obedience ring with how intellengent they are. Obedience ring performance is effected by a lot more than intellegence and specifical how the dog deals with stress and personality are more important traits. see the following article by Heather Nadleman Former owner of this site and owner of both bassets and border collies review of stanely coren's intellegence of dogs.
Media Hound, Front and Finish: July 1994

Unfortunately, the strongest chapters are those that many readers will be tempted to skip, and the weakest are the ones that have received the most attention on the talk-show circuit

...Coren's analysis of working or obedience intelligence is by far the weakest link in his book. In attempting to rank the various breeds in terms of working intelligence, Coren found no laboratory research at all. He quickly realized how expensive a scientific study of canine intelligence would be: by his conservative estimate, a grant of at least $14 million would be necessary to acquire, house, train, and test enough individuals of the various breeds to make the study useful. Coren also attempted several sophisticated means of analyzing AKC obedience trial results before abandoning this line entirely. Ultimately, he decided to send out a survey to all obedience judges in the United States and Canada.


Unfortunately, the methodology underlying Coren's conclusions is extremely faulty. All Coren has managed to do is to obtain a rough list of the success of various breeds in the sport of dog obedience in North America; jumping from that to the number of repetitions it took the various dogs to learn commands is impossible. We can even use Coren himself to challenge his own methodology. In his analysis of adaptive intelligence, Coren includes an interesting canine IQ test. The "CIQ" consists of twelve separate tests, designed to assess the dog's learning and problem-solving ability. I tested two dogs: Connie, my own basset hound (a breed ranked in the bottom tier of intelligence) and Dream, a border collie (a member of the top echelon). The results were interesting. Connie scored in the "brilliant" category, a group that fewer than five percent of the dogs in Coren's standardization group reached (no, I didn't skew the results!). Dream, on the other hand, scored in the low average range of intelligence, where, according to Coren, a dog will need to work rather hard to understand what is required of it. Connie has obedience scores which range from a low of 173 to a high of 186; she currently has two legs on her UD (and plenty of NQ's in our quest for that elusive third leg). Dream is an OTCH who has garnered many high in trials and placed at this year's Gaines Classic. Clearly, an obedience judge seeing the two dogs in the ring would conclude that Dream was by far the easier dog to train. Yet such was not the case. Connie is an extremely quick study who retains what she learns. Dream, according to her handler, always has difficulty learning and retaining new behaviors. Obviously, only erroneous conclusions could be drawn from their respective ring performances as to the amount of time and repetition it took them to learn the commands. The most striking difference between the two dogs is a personality issue, not a matter of anything that can be labeled "intelligence." Although Coren devotes a full chapter to what he terms the "personality factor," he does not seem to realize how critical a role it plays in the obedience ring. Connie is like many bassets: she's bright and happy to learn if you can convince her that the learning was her idea in the first place (i.e., if you train with food). But she doesn't have a strong sense of duty; if she's under stress or a bit distracted, she'd as soon not obey a command as obey it. Let's indulge in speculation and generalization for a moment, dangerous though it might be. Bassets are perfectly capable of shutting down entirely under stress; more than anything else, their tendency toward negative stress management is the reason why judges see so many slow-moving, tail-drooping, lagging bassets in the ring. Border collies are an entirely different story. Once a behavior is learned, most border collies seem to perform regardless of stress; indeed, many respond to stress by getting sharper and sharper. Dream is not such a successful obedience dog because of her learning ability. She has excelled because, quite simply, she loves to perform in the ring in front of a crowd of spectators. It is this showy sparkle--a je ne sais quoi which would never appear on a personality or intelligence test--that makes Dream unusually good; her learning pattern is all but irrelevant. My basset loves to learn new things and loves to practice but gets a bit overwhelmed in stressful situations, freezing and refusing to work at all. Again, her learning pattern would be impossible to predict in an assessment of her ring performance. In both cases, an obedience judge, based on what she sees at a trial, would be unable to make any meaningful statement about these dogs' trainability. In general, the difference between bassets and border collies is far more a difference of intensity, energy level, and desire to obey commands in the face of adversity than it is a difference of trainability or problem-solving aptitude. Coren would have done much better to follow his initial survey with phone interviews about the temperaments and personalities of particular breeds for obedience, rather than attempting to ask the judges to comment on individual learning patterns.

...I think that the book would have been far stronger if this chapter were deleted entirely. In a review in the Wall Street Journal, Manuela Hoelterhoff writes that we can all spare ourselves the trouble of assessing our dogs' intelligence and "just accept Mr. Coren's ranking of breeds in descending order of dimness. After years of observation and interrogating hundreds of vets and trainers, he has fearlessly rated 79 breeds, and the news is not good for proud owners of Afghans, basenjis and bulldogs. They are the Igors of dogdom, occupying the bottom of the list, far away from the genius-level border collies, poodles, German shepherds, and golden retrievers" (Wall Street Journal May 11, 1994: A18). It is such reasoning, however lighthearted, that makes Coren's conclusions extremely dangerous. The inherent problems in the consultation of obedience judges as "experts" are far too deep, and the influence of his conclusions in the minds of the general public is far too profound, to have allowed the rankings to stand as even a rough approximation of reality.
But whether I have a treat or not, it is at her pace.
Fwiw Toughynutter see avatar the only basset I have competed in obedience with an only at the Novice level, was timed in the ring doing a recall <40ft at over 20 seconds never once stoping or sniffing. This was typical of him. At the same time he would run a Jumpers course (agility) of 65 yards 195 feet in the same time which required jumping and direction changes.

It is possible to speed up the recall if desired but it does require making speed part of the criteria for performance.

[URL=""]Clicking for Quickness,[/URL]


Decreasing Latency

Criteria in dog training

setting criteria
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