Discussion in 'Dog Training: Principle and Practice' started by Joy, Apr 20, 2016.
My two didn't get it at first. I should have taken some video! The way I worked on it was to train them to have their front feet on a mat, and then I worked on pivoting, with them in front of me at first, because they found this easier (and was handy to straighten up my front sit). Once they had the idea of pivoting in each direction, I moved it into a heel position, again turning in both directions. Definitely shaping rather than luring for me on this one; I found luring wasn't precise enough. Once they had little movements, I did it in 90 degree and 180 degree "chunks". Then, away from the mat. It went backwards a bit as soon as the mat wasn't there, but I found that if I kept the energy high (which I did by rewarding with their #1 treat, the chase of a ball), they had enough "twitchiness" that they would make lots of small movements to try and give me what I was after until I could click. With low energy, they didn't do that.
Thanks. Yes I've just started this method on Monday. She grasped pivoting when facing me but it all went to pot when I tried to pivot with in heel position. (She moved away from me trying to get facing me.) I think perhaps I tried to move on too quickly. But good to know that it worked for you. I'll persevere!
Yes, I went from using my "front" cue, to just calling the dog to heel, without any rotation a few times, so they got the differentiation between front and heel back, before I started adding the movement in.
The most common reason I've heard for shaping falling out of favour is that all of the 'steps along the way' that you reinforce amount to you reinforce behaviour that you don't want in the long term. I see this with Charlie where I shaped all sorts of things when he was a puppy 'just for fun', didn't finish them and put them on cue, and now bits of those behaviours 'pop up' in different circumstances. They don't matter much, on the whole but I can see why a more serious trainer wouldn't want them. The most striking for me is 'walk backwards'. I shaped this, and now whenever Charlie doesn't know what to do, he'll take two steps backwards, which is the interim step that I reinforced the most on the way to the cue 'back up'.
For heel work, it depends what is going wrong. Is she swinging her butt out? Or swinging in? If out, train against a wall, or feed with the treat held so she has to move her head away, this will swing her butt in. If she is swinging in, feed with the treat first touching the side of your hip, then down and slightly back. If she just doesn't have her shoulder in line with your knee, you can click when she is exactly right, that's not shaping, that's rewarding the exact position.
Sorry - I didn't read your reply first. Well, why have a pivot in front at all? Train pivot with your dog at your side. I'd say her moving back to the front is exactly the problem we're talking about - you've reinforced that, when it's not the behaviour you want.
You may be right. I searched for training videos and found Tyler Muto and kikopup both doing pivot facing the dog first which is why I copied their methods.
I felt I needed a new approach as she is rarely really straight, sometimes a little ahead of my leg, sometimes her behind sticking out and sometimes just not close enough for competition heelwork.
I had some brief advice at the show I went to, which was to get just one or two really exact steps before trying for more - but I wasn't told how to achieve this, hence the video search.
Sometimes I think free videos online might be quite a lot out of date - still, they probably work mostly fine! Completely understandable, they are free. Emily Larlham certainly isn't training now like she is in a lot of the videos (which are quite old now). At least, she wasn't at ClickerExpo and all the videos she showed there. She was luring. For minutes at a time!
Typically the recall would be immediately after the memorising process. However, I could still comfortably recall the order 24 hours later (assuming I hadn't tried to memorise another pack in the meantime!). Thereafter, the recall begins to degrade unless it is refreshed.
I think Dominic O'Brien (well known memory guru) suggested spacing of immediately, 24 hours, 1 week, 1 month, 3 months. I often found that a little too spaced for my little brain and had to reduce the spacing somewhat ;-)