Boomer's Training Log

Discussion in 'Your Training Logs' started by Boomster, Dec 1, 2017.

  1. Boomster

    Boomster Registered Users

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2017
    Messages:
    23
    This is just a little training log for me to make sure I manage to progress with our lad’s training and not stall.

    I’m not doing aiming for anything ‘proper’ - just a happy member of the family!

    Boomer is 14 weeks at the moment

    Working on so far:
    1. Loose lead walking
    - Pretty good at the moment when it’s just us two and no distractions. BUT only managing a couple of times a week - need to up frequency.

    2. Total recall book.
    - still at the ‘whistle on his way to me’ stage - only done indoors and in garden so far. Need to move on with this.

    3. Off -lead
    - Stays fairly close but does go to other dogs if quite near us.
    - Start working on a ‘say hi’ on my say so
    - And after play - call back and then let him play again
    - Get better at spotting other dog first and be uber uber interesting so hopefully he stays with me (until I do ‘say hi)/

    3. Sit
    -
    Fairly decent on hand and verbal cue at home. Not progressed it anywhere else yet.

    4. Down
    -
    Not as good as sit yet but just started using C&T and getting better. Only does it from a sit at the moment though…need to try from a stand

    5. Hand Targeting
    -
    He loves. And just starting to do it for the 4 year old with me C&T. Again, only in house and garden so far. Start on walks.

    6. Scatter
    - Very useful and he LOVES it :)

    7. Leave it / Take it
    -
    Doing ok with boring kibble at home. Try and vary it up next I guess.

    8. Drop
    -
    Needs more work! Still at kibble just above nose to get the drop.

    9. Retrieve (not a proper one - just a game of fetch really!)
    - loves chasing balls / toys. If indoors will charge back and plonk himself on my lap :)
    - Outdoors - 8 / 10 will bring it back.
    - Probably next step is to get him to give me the toy rather than hold it? Not sure on cue here - should it be different to ‘drop’? Sadly ‘give it’ has been sabotaged by family!

    10. Hand biting
    -
    Getting him not to move mouth / head towards hand as move towards him.
    - ok - ish. Can be very good / can be a bit rubbish!

    To get working on:
    - Down / Stay (
    Seems to get used a lot at Puppy Class so worth working on in case we do the next level puppy class)
    - Wait (for doors / food etc).
    Note to me - Stay = I go back to him.
    Wait = some other cue / or release is going to happen.

    - Look at more C&T games to do indoors with him
     
    selina27 likes this.
  2. selina27

    selina27 Supporting Member Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2016
    Messages:
    1,874
    Looks like things are going well at 14 weeks.
    Really good idea to set out your training goals, help see how you are progressing.
     
  3. snowbunny

    snowbunny Administrator Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2014
    Messages:
    15,994
    Location:
    Andorra and Spain
    You’re doing really well, well done!
    I would add two comments, if I may?
    When people say “make yourself more interesting”, this can come across a bit wrong (fans of Hannah Branigan will notice this theme from one of her podcasts!). It sets you up for failure; if your dog runs off, you just weren’t being interesting enough! Well, dogs aren’t robots and there will be times when they do leave your side because something was more interesting. That’s ok. It doesn’t mean you’ve failed at being interesting enough, it just means you’ve not yet proofed against that scenario. And when we talk of being “interesting”, it can feel like we have to be constantly “on”, which is just exhausting! Instead, I would try to think about playing little games with her every few minutes on a walk; these can absolutely be training games. One of my dogs’ favourite is the “reaaaaddddyyyy..... steeeaaaddddyyyy....” game, where I build the arousal and then ask for a behaviour. That, LLW games, recall games... anything really, interspersed with quiet mooching. So you’re not just walking mindlessly (which = boring, your dog will switch off from you and find her own entertainment) but you’re also not trying to keep her focus on you by running around and making funny noises all walk :D

    Secondly, I personally wouldn’t use a “wait” cue for things like going through doors or taking food. That should be implied. So teach your pup that moving towards the resource (food or freedom) results in that resource disappearing (food gets lifted, door gets closed) without you saying anything. The only way to get the food is to wait to be released to it. The only way to get through the door is to wait until she’s told she can go. This is both basic etiquette and a safety thing; if your dog learns only to wait at a door when cues to wait, then she could rush through a door at some point when you’re not there or haven’t had time to cue her to wait.

    I hope that makes sense. Looking forward to more pupdates :)
     
  4. Boomster

    Boomster Registered Users

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2017
    Messages:
    23
    Snowbunny - thanks very much for the comments.

    You've nailed the 'interesting' thing. With our old lab, we were absolutely in the 'walking mindlessly' camp and it never even crossed my mind to play with him on walks. And he had rubbish recall that I never managed to solve!

    So yep, I think I have gone to the other extreme and trying to be a hyped up clown for the whole walk :) :) It's very good to hear I can calm it down a wee bit!!

    Oooh yeah I like the 'ready...steady'... What are 'LLW' games?!

    Good point on wait - I only really thought about 'wait' this week and up till now I think I'd just been doing it a bit without thinking. Like you said - if he breaks the sit while waiting for his food I just lift the bowl until he sits again. I guess I thought I needed it to differentiate to the 'stay' but perhaps not?

    And the one cue I forgot was of course 'off' - which is our most used one at the moment!! We're doing positive 'paws on floors' ....but he does seem to have a particular love for wooly hats and gloves and I've not managed to think of an alternative positive cue yet to stop him pulling the kids gloves and hats off them!!
     
  5. snowbunny

    snowbunny Administrator Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2014
    Messages:
    15,994
    Location:
    Andorra and Spain
    Ah, sorry, I mean "Loose Leash Walking". So, anything that encourages him to be near you, basically. Ideas are:
    - Magic Hand (kibble in hand at my waist to get the pup into a good position, then every now and again drop a piece of kibble through your fingers for him to catch - you have to practice catching first, though!)
    - Imaginary circle - when your pup enters this circle around you, mark with a clicker or a "yes!" and feed him a treat - throw it out of the circle so he has to reorient to you. You'd start this off stationary and build up to movement. Over time, you can make the "circle" smaller and/or be more specific about him being on your left and where you want him.
    - General fun "keeping pace" games, so once he's used to being in the heel position, you could challenge him by walking really slowly, then sprinting. Or quick changes of direction, spinning in a circle. Try to "catch him out", but keeping it fun and high energy. I find this hugely powerful with my young girl; I started this from pretty much 8 weeks with her and she's been able to walk really well at heel since she first went out on walks, huge distractions aside of course! :D
    - Throwing a piece of kibble away from you but feeding a really high value treat close to you. Again, it's about him orienting back to you and learning that being with you is really amazing.

    That's just a selection of LLW games - which don't actually need a lead to play them! You're encouraging the concept of being close to you. You don't need to be doing these all the time, just choose a game, play it for a couple of minutes then release him with "go play". After a while, you'll probably find that he doesn't actually want to go play at all, and would rather stay with you, playing brilliant games!

    You know what? Little secret here.... I don't have a wait or a stay cue. When I ask for a sit, I mean "sit until I tell you otherwise". Plenty of people do use them and they're not wrong, but I've never been able to understand why they are used, even with people trying to explain it to me as a bear of little brain. If I say "sit....stay", what does just "sit" mean? Sit but then pop straight back up? Hmm, nope, no wait or stay for me. I'm not saying it's wrong, but I think you need to be very clear about what you mean by all of your cues because if you're confused with what you mean, how is your dog supposed to know? :D

    I have "off" which means "get off the bed/sofa/whatever" but, you're right, the best thing to do is reward him for the good decisions he makes, and set him up to be able to make lots of those. If he's actually getting a hold of gloves and hats, it's very well worth investing a lot of time and energy in a "give" cue; Labradors often love to have things in their mouths and especially with my last puppy, I've spent a lot of time getting stuff back from her! Which is great, because every time it's a training opportunity :D
    I have a post somewhere about how I train "give"; I'll see if I can find it, because it was a lot of typing!
     
  6. Boomster

    Boomster Registered Users

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2017
    Messages:
    23
    Oooh ok - that's interesting with the stay / wait. I see your point - and now can't actually think why the wait / stay is needed :) :) Just kinda assumed you needed it!!

    Do you always use the same release cue after a sit or down? Or just sit / down until I tell you 'something' else which could be anything / different things depending on what's coming next? At the moment he leaps up the minute I click or reward for the down. Sit not so much - he's happier to stay in a sit for a bit.

    Thinking about the cue confusion - I think I might have over-used off an awful lot!!
    I use it for - jumping up at us
    - jumping up at the high chair, kids chair, kitchen counter etc.
    - But also to get off the one sofa he's not allowed on.
    - And also to get off us when he's grabbing and got his teeth into our clothes or attempting to play tug with my hair! But he might have all four feet on the floor those times
    - Also used if he's constantly trying to sit on us when we're on the floor when he's not invited (I spend most my life sitting on the floor!) - I do off then as well. But again - he's got his feet kind of on the floor.

    Oh now I'm confused as to what off means..... more pup - he hasn't got a chance to know what to do!!!! Hmmm - we'll re-think our off :)
     
    snowbunny likes this.
  7. snowbunny

    snowbunny Administrator Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2014
    Messages:
    15,994
    Location:
    Andorra and Spain
    I have different cues. "OK" is my "release from your position but stay engaged". "Go play" is to indicate they have free time. From a sit/stay I would also sometimes use "get it" to release them to get a treat, ball or toy I've thrown to work on steadiness. Or any other cue, such as "middle" which they have to break position for to achieve. But, let's say I have given the cue "place" to get onto a bed/rock/whatever, if I asked them to do a sit, I would expect them to stay on that "place" to perform it. As long as you're clear and consistent in your cues, you can teach your dog what you mean. That clarity in what you expect is probably the hardest bit for us as handlers :)

    On the same lines, I don't use "down" as my cue to lie down. It's too easy to muddy with "down" off of a person, "down" off of a piece of furniture etc. Some people use "drop", but I have the same concerns with that - people will use "drop" to tell the dog to let go of something in its mouth. I use "floor", instead, which no-one has ever said to my dogs. I'm not saying that "down" or "drop" are wrong, just you have to be more careful not to use them in the wrong context - like your "off" - and I like to make my life as easy as possible. It doesn't matter what word you choose, as long as you're clear about its meaning and can communicate that to your dog.
     
  8. edzbird

    edzbird Supporting Member Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2015
    Messages:
    4,063
    Location:
    Isle of Man
    Just an observation - your "off" is not necessarily over-used. It is mostly like my use of "off" - it actually means "4 paws on the floor" - I've only just realised this!

    With the grabbing at clothes/hair/things - perhaps "leave"?
     
  9. Boomster

    Boomster Registered Users

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2017
    Messages:
    23
    Thanks both - all this confusion and I've only just started the basics!! Oh dear :)

    Yep you're right - so 'off' is 4 paws on the floor for whatever reason.

    So it's just the getting him to let go of clothes etc that are attached to us that I shouldn't use it for. Leave and drop seem wrong there too!

    I'm trying to use 'leave it' - for when I don't want him to actually pick something up. And then 'drop' when I want him to give me something that he has already picked up. Maybe I'll just ignore that behaviour for now and treat it a bit like the biting and divert with toys.

    So back-tracking a little...and my training aim this week is to figure out my cues and what I actually mean / when I'll use them. Then stick them on the fridge for me (and hopefully the family) to learn... THEN once I've trained myself I'll start again with pup :) :)
     
    SwampDonkey and snowbunny like this.
  10. snowbunny

    snowbunny Administrator Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2014
    Messages:
    15,994
    Location:
    Andorra and Spain
    Distract or give him something to do that is mutually exclusive. Go to bed, lie down, catch something etc. It's always easier for a dog to understand when you're asking him to do something than when you're asking him to not do something :)
     
  11. Boomster

    Boomster Registered Users

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2017
    Messages:
    23
    Not heaps of progress this week but my fault.

    1. Loose lead walking
    - He’s a little star at this (with no distractions)! I’m probably treating too much still so working on fading that out a bit.
    - And need to work on my treating when distractions are around - I’m a fumbling mess at the moment and miss the crucial timing!


    2. Total recall book.
    This week want to move onto the ‘whistle then run’ stage at home and the ‘whistle while coming to me on walks. Keep forgetting to take the whistle with me!

    3. Off -lead
    - He’s doing so well. Couple of times he’s stayed with me rather than zooming off to say hello. Just started adding in the ‘say hi’ cue although not sure he’s really listening to it yet! It’s so lovely doing a pro-active walk with an engaged dog - it’s a revelation to me! But throughly enjoying it :)
    Sadly he had a bit of a scary dog encounter on Sunday and the last 2 days he’s been a very different pup on walks and scared of every dog we’ve met and tried to hide / run or cower into the ground. So I’m trying to arrange some positive meetings to get that confidence back up. That’s going to be the priority this week.

    3. Sit
    -
    Working on sit / release (rather than worrying about a stay /wait). Using a Kiko you tube thing. I think we’re up to about 8 secs max and also got a bit of body moving going on! Me moving- not pup :)

    4. Down
    -
    Left this for now - will come back to it once sit is a bit more solid.

    5. Drop
    -
    This is my big one this week. He’s good with game of tug and drops on verbal cue now with no pretend lure.

    - BUT made some major mistakes and I now have a pup that runs away with things he’s picked up and even worse swallows them if possible if I try and cue a ‘drop’ / even with the treat above his nose. (His toys I’ve thrown - he still comes charging back to me with them).

    Ultimately I want to get him to be bringing me things he’s picked up and then do a drop.
    So thought I’d start with a new cue - ‘show me’. (can’t use give-it as that’s been ruined and I think bring it sounds too similar?!)
    And really up the treat value and set up some things he will want to pick (but he can’t swallow). Then once he’s doing a drop great with stuff he wants (other than his toys) maybe move back / run away a bit saying ‘show-me’. Trying to encourage him to chase me with his found treasures rather than run.

    So 2 aims this week - confidence with dogs up again and drop.

    And for fun, try and start teaching ‘seek / find’ as I think that will be a good game for the kids to play inside with him and might help to stop the training undermining!
     
  12. Stacia

    Stacia Registered Users

    Joined:
    May 25, 2011
    Messages:
    6,323
    You could try the word 'swop' when you want him to give you something to hand (I prefer into the hand rather than drop on the floor) and then when in the hand, swop it for a really tasty treat or tennis ball. Never give the treat if he puts the item on the floor and wants the treat, treat only comes when item in hand :)
     
  13. Boomster

    Boomster Registered Users

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2017
    Messages:
    23
    Swop is a good one - it sounds nice and upbeat - thanks :)

    Would you start that off by going to him with a treat and holding the thing he's got and then clicking and treating when he lets go? Or perhaps running away from him with the treat to encourage him to bring it? I guess though he might then just drop it on route!

    Just trying to figure out how to do it differently to a drop (which at the moment I'm mostly using for tug games and I used the treat above the nose lure to get him started on this)
     
  14. snowbunny

    snowbunny Administrator Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2014
    Messages:
    15,994
    Location:
    Andorra and Spain
    You want to encourage your dog to come to you when he has something, not for you to go to him. That's really important because movement towards him will make him move away and that will lead to a fun game of chase. Fun for him, not so much for you!
    A good way to do this is in a corridor or hallway, where you can sit at the "open" end and throw the toy to the "closed" end, so once he has it, he has to approach you. Click as he steps towards you, and gradually increase your criteria. Don't try to take the thing from him too soon. You are just rewarding him moving towards you when he has something in his mouth. If he enjoys it, give him lots of strokes when he gets to you, but don't try to take the toy. If he drops it of his own volition, great, make a huge fuss, have a game of tug and then toss it down the hallway again to continue the game. If he doesn't, use a second toy of equal value and make that come alive - this will likely encourage him to drop the first one, which you can then engage him with again.
     
  15. Boomster

    Boomster Registered Users

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2017
    Messages:
    23
    So at the moment he's pretty good with toys. If I throw one - he'll run and get it and bring it straight back and we'll have a little game of tug and I'll ask him to drop it (with toys he generally does it on verbal cue and then I throw a treat to the side) and then chuck the toy again. And we do this quite a lot. But I guess this is always me initiating it with the throw.

    Whereas - the stuff he picks up around the house - he'll run off and chew it until I get to him and ask for a drop. And that's when, if it's small enough he'll try and swallow it either on my approach to him or when I've actually asked for the drop. And that's the bit that really worries me cause whilst I do my best to keep the house puppy proof - it's far from perfect :( He's already scoffed a couple of baby wet wipes and a kids sock doing this. (Thankfully they've all come out one of the ends!) But he's eaten them all as I asked for the drop (with a flipping treat on his nose!).

    Ideally - I'm aiming for him to think....'oh I've picked up a treasure....lets go and show Mum and I can swap it for an awesome treat'!! That's the big aim anyway....just not sure where to start with the baby steps. Maybe it's the same sort of approach as the drop but instead of me throwing stuff - just leave some bits strategically placed! And then do the same as you said - click as he steps towards me with it in his mouth.
     
  16. snowbunny

    snowbunny Administrator Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2014
    Messages:
    15,994
    Location:
    Andorra and Spain
    Yeah, so think about how you will go about changing from toys to the other stuff. How do you split up the behaviour into achievable chunks to get from behaviour A to behaviour B? For me, I'd start using those household items (dish cloths etc) in my games, too. When he's reliably coming towards you and giving you whatever he has in the game scenario, you can put it on cue, then add in more variables (eg an "escape" route for him which becomes more and more available). As ever, when you do take whatever he has off of him, give him a reward and then give him the thing back. Do this at least ten times for every time you take it away whether in a training session or not as long as it's not dangerous. A wet wipe? Socks? Meh, they may not be something I particularly want my dog chowing down on, but I'd certainly be giving that back and if he eats it, so be it. He has to learn that, in all probability, giving you what he has will get him both an amazing reward and the item back.
     
  17. Boomster

    Boomster Registered Users

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2017
    Messages:
    23
    P.S - thanks for the help and ideas :)
     
  18. Boomster

    Boomster Registered Users

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2017
    Messages:
    23
    Oh ok - I wasn't sure if me throwing it rather than him picking it up himself of his own accord was the differing thing here that I needed to handle a bit different but probably me over-thinking it!

    This was exactly what happened with the sock. He had it, I asked for a drop - he gave it and I treated. I gave it back and I think it was on the third time of giving it back that he scoffed it! And I kicked myself!!! And then after stupidly using 'Google Vet' and scaring the life out of me - I thought perhaps I needed a different approach :) Thankfully he was sick this morning (7 days later) and out it came. :D

    Thanks again for all the help!
     
    Karen likes this.
  19. Karen

    Karen Moderator Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    May 24, 2012
    Messages:
    12,261
    Ugh, hate it when they eat socks... or gloves... or pants...
     
  20. Boomster

    Boomster Registered Users

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2017
    Messages:
    23
    Pulling my pants out of my old labs bum...in front of my future MIL is a special treasured memory - she was fairly horrified :oops: :)
     

Share This Page