Puppy Training Challenge 1

Discussion in 'Labrador Puppies' started by pippa@labforumHQ, Aug 17, 2018.

  1. pippa@labforumHQ

    pippa@labforumHQ Administrator

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    We have lots of new puppies on the forum at the moment. So I thought it might be fun to have a puppy training challenge. :)

    Most new puppy parents are not sure what to teach their puppy first. There are no hard and fast rules, but I like to start with food manners. Modern training uses food a lot, especially with pups, yet many people fall at the first hurdle because they can’t control their dog’s behaviour around treats.

    The Challenge

    Can you sit or kneel on the floor in the same room as your puppy with an open bowl of treats in your lap or on the floor next to you, without the puppy touching the bowl or trying to get the treats?


    If you can then you probably don’t need to worry about this!

    If on the other hand you struggle to get your puppy to behave calmly around treats and when being treated. And if you have no chance of sitting on the floor with an open bowl of treats in your lap without your puppy diving into the bowl, then you absolutely need to get past this problem in order to progress with training your dog.

    The benefit of video

    The very best way to make sure you are progressing, and to see where you are making mistakes (and for others to help you) is to film yourself training your dog. Make the first film on day one. Get all the problems and bad behaviours on record, then film yourself again a week or two later and see how far you have come.

    So, this first challenge is for you to be able to sit on the floor with a small pot or bowl of treats on your lap (or next to you) without your puppy making any attempt to touch the treats. You don’t have to put your videos up here, but it might help if you do.

    There are three videos below to help you. The first by Emily Larlham focuses on stopping a puppy mugging her hand. It’s a brief introduction to the principles involved (there’s a link to a more detailed clip at the end). The second video by Donna Hill shows the same process with an older dog. Donna uses the word YES as a marker rather than a clicker. The third by Chirag Patel shows you the finished behaviour you are aiming for and the steps you need to take to get there.

    These videos are gems and I recommend you watch each of them in the order below. You’ll see that each trainer has a slightly different approach. And they all give you heaps of tips that can be applied to all kinds of different skills that you might want your dog to learn

    If you think you’d like to have a go at this challenge, you can post your progress or ask questions on this thread. I’ve called it a puppy training challenge, but actually any dog of any age can learn and benefit from, this skill. So feel free to join in no matter how old your dog is. Here are those videos


    Video 1 Emily Larlham


    Video 2 Donna Hill


    Video 3 Chirag Patel
     
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  2. Saffy/isla

    Saffy/isla Registered Users

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    On dear me..Isla was doing so well for the first few minutes but just couldn't contain herself and dived into the pot of treats!
    She will leave a couple of treats placed on the floor until the command is given,but a whole pot was just to much for her to bear:confused:
     
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  3. Browneyedhandsomebuddy

    Browneyedhandsomebuddy Registered Users

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    I shall really look forward to challenges Pippa, great idea! I’ll see if I can post a vide:angel:
     
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  4. Sue55

    Sue55 Registered Users

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    Grand idea! Will try the challenges as they come, and post my successes/difficulties. Great way to compare notes. Thanks to the people who provided the video footage. Enormous help to those of us who are unsure of any part of the process.
     
  5. pippa@labforumHQ

    pippa@labforumHQ Administrator

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    :) That's pretty normal if you haven't done this before. Try following with Chirag in that third video, but remember to spread the training out over a week or so. Don't try to get where his puppy is in a single session. Little steps :)
     
  6. pippa@labforumHQ

    pippa@labforumHQ Administrator

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    Good luck Sue! Take your time :)
     
  7. Browneyedhandsomebuddy

    Browneyedhandsomebuddy Registered Users

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    Can we post videos here? Or is it through YouTube? It’s not treats as he has had a couple of tummy upsets so not giving loads of treats, but he can do this with his meals? Does that count? He loves dinner more than treats anyway:)
     
  8. Browneyedhandsomebuddy

    Browneyedhandsomebuddy Registered Users

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  9. pippa@labforumHQ

    pippa@labforumHQ Administrator

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    First of all, you are a really good sport putting your video up. Thank you so much! Very sweet little pup. :) Once his tummy settles, you'll need to use treats for training so what we want to get established here is the concept of the puppy offering appropriate behaviours in order to get access to food that is being offered in your hand, taken from a treat bag, or taken from a pot of treats.

    I hope you don't mind some honest feedback :) Here goes

    So what you are doing in this video is holding your little pup with your voice. He is being very good and sweet, but he is not learning to figure out for himself how to control access to rewards. So if you watch the three videos above you'll see that no cues or verbal commands are given at all. The puppy has to figure out for himself what is required. The trainer remains silent apart from providing a marker (click, yes, or good) when the puppy makes the correct choice

    The benefit of this is that the once the puppy learns how to control access to reinforcements he can then apply this knowledge to all kinds of different situations.

    Studies have shown that puppies taught this way learn faster and this concept is a key part of the foundations of modern dog training methods.

    Another problem is that you are repeating your sit cue over and over again. A puppy hasn't learned to sit until he sits with a single signal from you. Saying sit three or four times, soon leads to saying sit five or six times and so on. Every time you say sit, and the puppy moves before you release him, you are un-training the cue sit. :(

    I feel really mean being so negative, what you are doing here is not harsh or unkind, but it is very traditional, and as your dog gets bolder and more confident, you will need to use a much firmer tone of voice and one thing leads to another.

    One of the main purposes of my work is to get people started with positive reinforcement training right from day one, and that means working through several stages for absolutely any skill you teach. It is

    1 Get the behaviour you want (through capturing, shaping, and luring)
    2 Pair the behaviour with a cue
    3 Teach the puppy to respond to the cue with the behaviour
    4 Proof the cue against distractions
    5 Maintain the response over time

    To get an idea what is involved it is really worthwhile watching those videos through. They will get you started with establishing this important baseline behaviour. You can use these principles at dinner time, but you'd do it by lifting the dog's bowl up each time he moves and lowering to the floor when he plonks his bottom down again. You wouldn't say anything to the puppy. I personally wouldn't do this with his main meal because it could very frustrating to a hungry puppy and because it might trigger whining or barking

    You are so brave posting up your video, and I do hope I have not put you off and frightened you away. :) I hope you can understand why I need to make these comments. It is so important that people get off on the right foot with positive reinforcement training. It is much harder to make the switch later on as I did!
     
  10. Browneyedhandsomebuddy

    Browneyedhandsomebuddy Registered Users

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    Not at all Pippa, what you say makes sense, and I want to train him as best I can, I’ll put another video up with treats as he is very good with those as well, and not use the command. I’ve been using ‘gooooood’ to help him to stay, which seems to work, what would be your thoughts on this?. I’m new to puppy ownership so it’s good to know these things.
     
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  11. Browneyedhandsomebuddy

    Browneyedhandsomebuddy Registered Users

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    Here is one that is more like it I think, the bowl is full of his favourite treats, and didn’t really need to use so much voice as my first video, glad you pointed it out!

     
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  12. pippa@labforumHQ

    pippa@labforumHQ Administrator

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    That's so much better! You are getting some nice eye contact there too. For this exercise, it's okay to reinforce behaviours other than sitting. So you can reinforce standing or laying down, too. But that's great. Once you can treat the puppy like that without him trying to grab the food or raid the bowl, training becomes so much easier. :)
     
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  13. Browneyedhandsomebuddy

    Browneyedhandsomebuddy Registered Users

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    Thanks Pippa, now he has learnt a few things his manners and obedience is getting better all the time, so I can use less vocal commands, as I said, glad you pointed it out:)
     
  14. Tabbysbuddy

    Tabbysbuddy Registered Users

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    My 7 mo old is so big and goofy I don't know how to even begin without being tackled lol ... help!!
     
  15. pippa@labforumHQ

    pippa@labforumHQ Administrator

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    With a larger and very boisterous dog - if he is actually knocking you over if you sit on the floor - you can start by sitting on a chair. You may need to have your treat pot on a nearby raised surface that he cant reach to begin with. :)
     
  16. Browneyedhandsomebuddy

    Browneyedhandsomebuddy Registered Users

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    I know this isn’t a challenge but this is just a little more training. I’m showing this because, as I mentioned in another post about his ‘lazy’ or ‘puppy’ sit, he also has a lazy down ha ha! Now I’m not being really fussy about this, he’s doing so well to learn it, but it would be nice to do a ‘proper’ down. How would I approach this? Is it just a case of capturing it when he does? Or will he grow into a better poise?

    Also I’m trying to teach hand gestures here, which you can’t see, which is why he begins the down just before I say it....

     
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  17. Beanwood

    Beanwood Registered Users

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    What a gorgeous pup! I love his eye contact, he looks like he really is thinking things through. :)

    With my puppies, and indeed older dogs, I worked on "behaviors" rather than simple commands, although as an aside I much prefer the term cue! :)

    So what I mean by behaviors are for example teaching a puppy to be calm, by rewarding quiet behavior, and boundary games, the puppy going to his bed, and to be happy and quiet there. Teaching a puppy to focus on your hand is also useful, because being able to orientate to you is a really useful tool to have when considering further training/obedience work.

    Kikopup has some great training videos, you can find them here:

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLF26FD559887E7EA4

    Handtouch...:)



    Training for calm behaviours



    Teaching good behaviors for puppies

     
  18. Joy

    Joy Registered Users

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    I think you're doing so well. You could try practising down in the heel position - puppy standing or sitting next to you, quite close, facing the same direction as you - as a way of achieving a straight down.
    However I do also like his 'resting on his hip' down as it looks relaxed and as though he's not in a hurry to get up.
     
  19. Browneyedhandsomebuddy

    Browneyedhandsomebuddy Registered Users

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    Ha ha thanks, he is quite a chilled dog for a puppy (when he wants to be!). At least he seems happy which is the main thing, thanks for your input and support, I’ll be sure to try what you said!
     
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  20. Browneyedhandsomebuddy

    Browneyedhandsomebuddy Registered Users

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    Thank you, yes, we have been sure to reinforce every time he is being nice and calm, lying down, having tummy tickles without trying to nibble etc, I’ll have a watch of these videos. There’s so much to learn! All good and helpful though, especially as this is my first dog, I feel like I need training ha ha!
     

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