Put It In Words Contest
Last month we held a contest asking what you would do if you could take your dog ‘back to school’ to learn a concept. Now this month’s challenge is to put into words in a comment below how you CAN take your dog ‘back to school’ and teach them what you wish you already had! It’s not too late to start now to work on a problem, training issue, or challenge! The prize this month is another Doggie IQ game – your dog will love it!
The winner will be selected via random number generator on or around Nov. 1st and notified via email.
How to enter this contest:
If you have never done so before, you must first register your email address on this blog. We will then notify you if you are a winner of this contest. You only need to do this once, and you will be good for all future monthly contests (and get priority notification of when they occur)!
Scroll to the bottom of this page and enter your comment/answer. Or, if there is no box, click on the “comments” in the upper right corner.
My Bichon and I are going back to school to work on distance. She is a wonderful agility dog with lots of drive and loves agility, but she doesn’t understand why Mom stopped at that line…? You can just see her saying “come on…”. So, we’re working with lots of positive reenforcement and lots of treats when she goes out and takes the obstacles without Mom alongside.
One of the biggest mistakes I made when initially training Ayla was to teach a “speak” command and then get sloppy about her command discrimination… she’s just soooooooo cute when she does her little howling bark!!! The problem is, when you have a motivated dog that knows to throw behaviors they will default to something as easy as a bark. So now when trying to teach a new behavior (especially if we’re doing shaping) as soon as the first one or two things she tries don’t work she just stands there and barks 🙁 So… in order to take her “back to school” we have introduced and conditioned a No Reward mark (“nope!”) so that every time she “throws” a speak inappropriately we can mark it as a no reward behavior and move on. It has really made our shaping sessions go more smoothly – and more quietly!
Definitely never too late to teach something new or “un-teach” an unwanted behavior. my 4-leggers (cat included!) Ck, Orion, Harper and Fuller are all so eager to learn and please! You just have to find what works best for each individual. food, toys, praise…all good things to reach your goals. Every dog is motivated by something, just have to find it. We have recently introduced clicker with Harper for her agility class and she LOVES it. Caught on much quicker with clicker then just lure-reward. Orion is very much food motivated, using this to help her with her anxiety and much progress! yay! Fuller is my toy-guy 🙂 will do anything for anything with a squeaker! If you find what works and dont limit yourself to one method they are much happier and learn much quicker. Our cat Ck even sits and comes when called, treat motivated all the way! 🙂
I’m too serious when I work with my dog. His primary motivation is ME ! (How wonderfulis that). I’m better than treats or distractions. But he’s just not motivated in agiltiy – or at least he wasn’t until I started playing games with him more outside of agility. we both have a lot more fun now –
We train a mix of agility exercises and obedience for 5-10 min. every morning after our walk and at random intervals during the day. My two yr. old all Amercan rescue loves agility and obedience, but still has zoomie tendencies at the start line. I include exercises from the attention & handling class to increase focus and engagement. Since she is so energetic, we also train tricks. My 14 yr. old ACD enjoys the training too, and is a bit of inspiration and competition. Since I am a newbie at competition, we continue to take classes and incorporate commands in our everday living.
I want to develop more handler focus.
I try to keep going back to school and I am willing to try anything new. When we are going to school regularly, my dog stays more focused and so do I. I remember to train daily. I like finding different instructors because thay each see us a little differently, and they all have different suggestions so that we are less likely to get stuck trying the same thing over and over without changing the results.
When we are not in a class we both loose our focus and tend to just go through the motions. This also means that we loose the challenge and fun in our relationship. Training is like marriage therapy for us.
what I learned now as a handler is the most important thing we can begin with our dogs is engagement. If our dogs are not engaged with us, its much harder to train them. The next time I get a puppy, I won’t be teaching little tricks etc. I will first work on engagement. I have gone back and worked on engagement with my older dogs who I adopted. It has helped greatly. sharon empson
I’m retraining my older bitch on her running dogwalk with a clicker and stride regulators. I originally taught her a 2on-2off with a target plate, which worked well, but proved too slow for competition because she’s not a particularly fast dog. So I “broke” her 2on-2off with an early release to speed her up and not loose time with the stop on the contact. This worked fine for about a year, until she developed more drive for agility and started racing down the dogwalk and popping off the end! So I’m attempting a more consistent method for running though that yellow with the stride regulators!
I think that I could have made playing agility more fun for my Weim (they are serious German dogs anyway). To help her have more fun now, I have change venues and started doing obedience with her. She seems to like the more rigid performance. I also am letting her watch the young lab play at agility. This seems to make her jealous and more eager to participate. I am also using more toys to make it fun for her. I hope I can get her interest back as she is an awesome athlete.
my 1st attempt at Agility caused huge stress issues for my dog because of my lack of knowledge and frustration at finding a good teacher
Now that I have been training my second dog with a great teacher and finding more confidence and seeing where i lacked with dog #1 I have started to sequence my 1st dog in short sessions with LOTS of positive reinforcement at home it seems this has really helped him act like agility is FUN and so we are going to do the same at a trial or 2 just hit the 1st few obstacles celebrate like mad and try to make Agility fun for him so we can be the great team i know we can be. i miss seeing his little face on that startline 🙂
As a newbie to agility, and having adopted/rescued a dog who was almost 2, I feel a little behind the 8 ball when we take classes. I can’t expect him to be where other dogs are at his age who have been taking classes for a year and a half. What I can do, is be patient and not expect things from him that are beyond his training, we have lots of years to get better. My approach is to look at all the things he does SO well, praise, reward, and be happy about it. I am going slow at the things we need to work on as I know that my handling is in need of as much of an improvement as his performance. Most of all, it has to be fun for him.
My almost 5 yr old dog missed a big chunk of socialization. I take him out once a week to see something new and feed him treats to build a positive association. It’s a bit slow going, but it does make a difference!
My 13-yr old dog is now learning to offer me behaviors, something I wished I taught her years ago! I used to do everything by showing or luring. Now she’s learning to think about what I’m asking and offer me a behavior in the hopes that it might be want I’m looking for. I use both a clicker or a verbal marker…either way works to teach an old dog new tricks 🙂
Whether it’s my agility Cocker or obedience Cocker, instead of them walking out of the ring, I make them lie down before I snap or put their lead back on.
They think it’s an extra invisible sign.
This way I hope to stop an “NQ.”
My dog and I take agility classes over and over to actually learn how to do what we didn’t practice enough when we were first starting. Besides, he just loves to go to class because he likes the outing.
Our training school offers micro classes for cheap. They cover everything from fetch and retrieve to pleasure walking to stopping barking. They’re a good review of basics my dogs didn’t catch on to the first time. I start my first one later this week!