Look at That or Handtouch?

Discussion in 'Labrador Training' started by selina27, Aug 10, 2017.

  1. selina27

    selina27 Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    I'm in need of a bit of guidance. I've started to teach both the above, but the trouble with me is I get stuck half way with things.
    Cassie is definitely calming down, I can tell even if no one else can, but at 15 months is still a stereotypical over friendly Lab. Greeting people can still be an issue, although she soon settles once people who are visiting do. She walks very well on her loose lead, but still wants to greet everyone (not in town thankfully!), so may pull a bit in order to check them out etc. She's very confident, so I'm not training these because she is reactive.
    So -- I need to clarify with myself what I want to use when. And I can't.
    Can anyone advise me?
    I'm sure this is sounding rather vague, probably because I feel vague.
     
  2. Oberon

    Oberon Moderator Forum Supporter

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    I use a Look At Me and a hand touch and a lot of other things (tricks like spin and play dead, sit, drop, stand, heel) as a way to get and keep my dog's attention in a distracting situation. E.g. on Tuesday night at Flyball training we had a new, reactive dog join the class and I didn't want Obi staring at or showing interest in him, so for much of the class I had him cycle through his range of tricks and the other exercises I mentioned above. It was more interesting for him and therefore more effective than using the same thing over and over. So if you are looking for activities to get and keep your dog's focus then don't stop at one - teach lots of little things you can run through :)
     
  3. selina27

    selina27 Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Thanks @Oberon , I'll keep going with both of them. I need to improve my own focus on working through the stages of each thing.
     
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  4. Atemas

    Atemas Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    I am feeling like this @selina27 about Red jumping up at people visiting us. Suddenly realised it has become an issue during the past couple of weeks - funny how these things start and you try and deal with them and then actually stop and think 'I'm not doing this well' ;).

    On a walk, I use LAT for anything that may cause a potential distraction ahead. I lure in situations that are almost on top on us and need a quick response. I also use 'middle' and hand touch. As Red is getting bigger and stronger I have noticed I don't always get it right and need to decide more quickly what I am going to do.

    I agree with @Oberon that a range of 'tools' is helpful.

    Yes I am constantly striving to do this but there are some days I just feel lazy. It is hard to be constantly motivated with it all ;).
     
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  5. lucky_dog

    lucky_dog Registered Users

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    I think it depends on how how distracted she is. If it's a struggle to get her to pay attention to you, then you probably have to use look at that, because she might not respond to your cues. If you can get her attention but not very easily, then ask for things she finds fun, like touch. If it's easy to get her attention, then you could even ask for a less exciting behaviour like heeling for a few steps.

    Also, you might have to judge her arousal levels. Asking for exciting things, might get her more excited, and she might then find it harder to control herself with the distraction - this can happen to Lucky sometimes because he can easily get over excited. So, asking for something calm like a sit/stay, eye contact, or heeling might be more appropriate for her, because it might help her to relax around the distraction.

    You probably have to adjust what you do depending on the situation, how distracted she is, and how excited she is.
     
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  6. Beanwood

    Beanwood Moderator Forum Supporter

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    I am thinking in a similar vein to @Oberon. Try to develop a repertoire of quite simple games you can use on walks to help encourage Cassie to stay close to you. I also wonder if it may help to work through these at regular intervals on a walk, and add a few hunting games along the way. I find it is easier to keep a dog engaged when we have been working closely, as opposed to a dog who is quite happy to self reward on a walk and is kinda already in that groove so to speak. :)

    The games I play 1. Button game - one hand in a tight fist (containing a treat) the other hand flat..touch the flat hand and get the treat in the fist. 2. Front - Bramble sits REALLY close in front of me - better than a recall (which I avoid using on a walk anyhow) and I use when not more that about 6 feet away. LOST game with treats....Bramble sits and waits while I hide about 3 big high value treats in a tree trunk or similar...act REALLY excited using a verbal hunt cue. I also play a running touch.. run a few feet shout "touch!" in an excited fashion..I also take her clam on walks which she simply adores...a velcro clam (filled with treats) I hide this then send her to find it.

    I like use a lot of eye contact, especially when giving a reward, I even break treats into smaller bits to slow down the process and increase the anticipation and enjoyment, and to prevent the "snatch treat move on" scenario. A good release cue is good to use in these cases.

    Coupled with the above, I also release her to simply sniff around and enjoy being a dog :)

    Ahh I also have realised I have typed this with Bramble in mind...as you may have guessed madam can be a real p**n in the a** at times!:D:D
     
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  7. selina27

    selina27 Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Haha :) these girls ;)

    Thanks for your reply Kate, I will back later with a few questions.
     
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  8. Beanwood

    Beanwood Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Hehe! @selina27 :) Took Bramble out this morning for a training walk.. our aim was working on the stop whistle when hunting...felt like I achieved zilch..all she wanted to do was hunt..hunt.. hunt!! BAH! Oh she did bring back someone else's dummy, the guy was training blinds with his beautiful yellow lab when Bramble came back with a very slobbery and unfamiliar dummy. I was very apologetic, but the owner was lovely, saying no worries his fault for putting pheasant scent on. That has never happened to me before!
    Will have to get the roast beef out next methinks!
    We will have to meet up and work on our errant bitches together! :)
     
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  9. selina27

    selina27 Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Thanks for this, she does become very excited very quickly, so you've hit the nail on the head.
    Half my trouble is that most of the time now she behaves like a calm adult dog and then can flip to a great big dog behaving as if she's 8 weeks in an instant :)

    So now I'm making sure that I run through these things several times a day.
     
  10. lucky_dog

    lucky_dog Registered Users

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    Yes - I remember from your previous thread about her struggling to stay calm after she's had to sit and wait while you talk to someone.

    There is a house caretaker/custodian - which are common in Germany - who works on our street who loves Lucky, and lets him jump up and gives him treats from his van. There's nothing I can say to stop him. Then, one day, Lucky decided that all workmen/house caretakers are probably his best friends. It's taken months but finally we can *usually* walk past someone in a van, or sweeping the street, or wheeling a dustbin, or wearing work clothes without Lucky lunging at them and whining!

    So, I feel your pain!
     
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  11. selina27

    selina27 Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    In a way that was a separate thing and a bout of behaviour related to the phantom pregnancy I'm sure, because she can wait while I talk, she did before then and she does now.
    This thread is more about keeping her attention when she's on lead and wants to go and investigate a person or object that's different. I guess because we tend to meet random individuals on our usual walks it's out of the ordinary for her, whereas in town etc she doesn't expect to greet everyone.
    I have a lovely vision of Lucky wanting to meet all workmen in van's, I bet he made their day :)
     
  12. selina27

    selina27 Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    @Beanwood , thanks for your reply all of which is useful.

    I'm already doing at lot of these (or similar) on walks when she is off lead, which I really enjoy and she seems to aswell. To be honest she seemed to quite suddenly develop a "nose" and I realised I had to develop ways of keeping her close. I've always done about turn walk and ramp that up if she starts to go to far from me.

    It's more now about getting her attention when on lead, as I've described in above post. So as you've all suggested I'll carry on increasing my repertoire.
    This would be useful, can you describe how you do it? Bizarrely the closer she is to me the more relucatant she can be to come right close to me.
     
  13. charlie

    charlie Registered Users

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    @selina27 Have you tried stopping still if Cassie is ahead of you more than you like? I use this to great effect with Hattie who doesn't venture too far these days, but if she does I stop still, no verbal, visual or whistle cues and she knows she has to get back to me pronto sitting infront of me with a hand touch and of course treat. It's one of the best things I have trained. @heidrun uses it too so it must be
    good ;) :) x
     
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  14. lucky_dog

    lucky_dog Registered Users

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    I thought about it today, and the other thing that might help you to consider is distance/management. If you think that she will definitely try to say hello to the person, and you won't be able to stop her, you could change direction or increase the distance between her and the distraction. If you can't increase the distance, you could ask her to walk on the side of you away from the person, and lure her past.
     
  15. selina27

    selina27 Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    I did this today with excellent effect, I really hope it lasts :)

    It fits in well with everything else I already do and have added too since posting this question, so thank you.
     
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  16. selina27

    selina27 Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Thanks everyone for your replies, they've all been helpful. We finished off our walk in the woods tonight with some chicken bobbing in a puddle, now that kept her busy :)

    I will persist with hand touch and Lat, trying very hard to work through the stages.
     
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  17. charlie

    charlie Registered Users

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    Very happy to be able to help @selina27 and so glad it worked :) x
     

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