Willow's and Shadow's training log

Discussion in 'Your Training Logs' started by snowbunny, Oct 20, 2014.

  1. snowbunny

    snowbunny Administrator Forum Supporter

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    I thought it would be a nice idea to start a training log in Willows early days. She's only ten weeks old, so everything's very lighthearted and short; I'm not expecting her to be a wonderpup! I'm not expecting lots of replies but if anyone other than me reads this and has anything to comment on, please feel free.

    So far, we have been doing two to three training sessions a day. Depending on what we're doing, they range from as little as thirty seconds to about three minutes a time.

    - Behaviourally, she now knows if she wants something, such as her dinner, she has to sit for it to ask "please" and keep her paws on the floor. If it's something super exciting, this may take a couple of attempts, but I'm pleased she knows what to do, it's just a matter of her curbing her puppyish enthusiasm, which I'm certainly in no rush to quell.

    - Bite inhibition training is coming on, but again she can forget herself when excited or over-tired. I'm using a two-pronged approach of squealing to say she's hurt me and, if she doesn't immediately stop, I stand up and ignore her for a minute, during which time she normally goes and finds something else to do.

    - She has a pretty solid sit for treats. I've not tried outside of a training session yet, and don't feel I need to for a good while yet. Sometimes she knows I don't have a treat on me, but after I click, I get one from a stash somewhere nearby. I am using a hand signal and bringing in the cue "sit" as her bum starts to move down. I'm trying to build the sit/stay as one command (hand signal and/or verbal cue), so I've been using continuous C&T while she's in a sit position, stretching out the time between clicks to up to 5 seconds. Depending on how focussed she is depends how long I can keep the stay before she gets restless. Sometimes I have to keep it nice and simple or cut the session short if she's too twitchy to succeed. Sometimes, I've also been moving away slightly (one pace backwards) and rewarding her for that. She doesn't like me moving to the side, so that will be something to work on in the future.

    - I'm also trying to teach a release ("free"), as part of the sit/stay, but generally she's so determined to get a treat that she has her bum glued to the floor and won't move!

    - Jumping up - or, rather, not. I walk a short way and call her to me. If she keeps her feet on the floor, she gets a C&T, if not, I just walk away. During training, she's really good at this and catches on to what I want really quickly.

    - "Leave it". This is the thing she's best at and LOVES to do, so I do it pretty regularly with her. I've done it with a pile of treats on the floor; moving them around on my hand or on a plate in front of her; standing back a pace from them and today, holding a treat right in front of her nose. She understands the cue "leave it" and, until today, I was just C&Ting her leaving. Today, I started to also cue "take it", which she was getting very quickly when the treat was in my hand, but she was a lot more hesitant when it was on the floor. Last week, I was doing "leave it" with a high value treat - a balls of minced meat which is one of her favourite things, and she was so excited, she couldn't sit still, kept shifting her weight from one paw to the other, but she was as good as gold and didn't take it until it was offered to her (piece by piece). I was so proud!

    - Down is something we tried for the first time today. I completely failed to get her into anything approaching a down position. I had her sitting nicely on her bed, then (as per a video I watched), putting a treat to her nose and bringing it directly to the floor. I clicked as her head went down, but we didn't get any further than that. Generally, the bum came up, too. I'm going to have to either wait until she's bigger for this, or do some more research into other methods. I tried to use my leg to get her to go underneath, but her "leave it" training took over and she wouldn't go, bless her :)

    - Fetch/drop is something we've been doing during playtime and just sort of happened. When I throw the ball, she usually brings it back to me and then we'll have a little game of tug (my cue to her being "grrrr") but as soon as I stop and go quiet, she'll drop the ball and wait for it to be thrown again. I think this must just be instinct, but it's something I'm encouraging and when she drops, I'm adding a "give it" cue so we can work on it later.

    - Recall to the whistle. I can't take any credit for this, because she knew it when she came to us, but for three pips on the whistle, she will run as fast as her little legs can carry her from wherever she is to my side for the promise of something really tasty! I can't wait to start working on this away from home once she has her vaccinations sorted.

    I think that's pretty much caught up. I'll try to add a log every day so I can keep track of how she's coming on, where we've got to etc. It'll help me make sure we're not making the same mistakes over and over, too.
     
  2. Karen

    Karen Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Re: Willow's training log

    That is all sounding VERY promising!! :)
     
  3. bbrown

    bbrown Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Re: Willow's training log

    Wow that's impressive stuff! Looking forward to the next instalment :)
     
  4. drjs@5

    drjs@5 Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Re: Willow's training log

    VERY impressed - well done! 8)
     
  5. Naya

    Naya Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Re: Willow's training log

    Wow, that's all really good :)
     
  6. charlie

    charlie Registered Users

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    Re: Willow's training log

    That's really great, you have achieved a lot in a very short space of time. Very well done xx :)
     
  7. JulieT

    JulieT Registered Users

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    Re: Willow's training log

    A very good start indeed!

    I'm a fan of playing tug with dogs - but I wouldn't confuse both fetch and tug. You want them completely separate and different contextual cues. So you could try having a special tug toy, not a ball she has brought back, and introduce cues for starting (take it / get it) and stopping (mine / thank you). :)
     
  8. snowbunny

    snowbunny Administrator Forum Supporter

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    Re: Willow's training log

    [quote author=JulieT link=topic=8386.msg118656#msg118656 date=1413876874]
    A very good start indeed!

    I'm a fan of playing tug with dogs - but I wouldn't confuse both fetch and tug. You want them completely separate and different contextual cues. So you could try having a special tug toy, not a ball she has brought back, and introduce cues for starting (take it / get it) and stopping (mine / thank you). :)
    [/quote]

    Interesting. I'll have to find something else she likes tugging on, other than my slippers! She's not really bothered with the rope toy I bought for her, contrary little pooch.
     
  9. JulieT

    JulieT Registered Users

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    Re: Willow's training log

    Charlie has definite preferences when it comes to tug toys - his least favourite being the bungy special tug toy.

    It doesn't matter what you use but it's preferable to have something with "ends" - so there is a "my end" "your end" thing going on. And the game stops if the dog grabs the wrong end. As dogs get bigger, more powerful, and excited, this becomes a safety thing and it's so easy to start off right rather than correct it later. Dogs have a tendency to "move up" the item towards your hand (which is natural, the whole game is about who is possessing the thing).
     
  10. Joy

    Joy Registered Users

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    Re: Willow's training log

    You've made a great start and I think it's a very good idea to build stay into sit from the word go.
     
  11. kateincornwall

    kateincornwall Registered Users

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    Re: Willow's training log

    Sounding good and positive , its great to keep sessions very short and fun too :)
     
  12. snowbunny

    snowbunny Administrator Forum Supporter

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    Re: Willow's training log

    Today's training has been fairly straightforward. We did more "leave it"/"take it" training, with me getting the treat right up to her nose. A friend was round at the time (OK, I was showing off!) and Willow carried on without distraction.

    I also did a little recall test while she was being fussed by my friend. I pipped three times on the whistle and Willow picked her ears up, paused, and then came running. So, not as instantaneous as usual, but I've never tried it to lure her away from an ear-rub before, so I was very happy!
     
  13. Heather10

    Heather10 Registered Users

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    Re: Willow's training log

    Your post prompted this newbie to register on the site, a newbie who is in love with Bailey, our 10 week old labrador pup. As I happened on your post and realised that Willow is the same age I hope to learn from your log. I struggle with my own consistency so hope Bailey and I will work out a good compromise.
    Sit - He sits well for me in the kitchen. Bailey also then often also glues his bum to the ground. I then tried to use this for further training and said 'stay' and backed away a good few steps. As Bailey still usually stays sitting I then say 'come' and he races towards me for his treat. If he is really paying attention sometimes I can do a twirl, losing eye contact for a few moments and he will stay sitting and wait for my 'come'. I have started to do short training sessions in the garden now.
    Housetraining - Bailey is mostly clean in the house and only rarely pees inside, and only I think because he couldn't get outside. I try and take him to a tree in a field beside our lawn as this is where I would like him to poo. After what I thought was a good start it is less successful lately. We can go to the tree, Bailey may sit and look at me, may roll in the longer grass and play and when I decide he doesn't want to do anything and head off across a different part of the lawn then he decides to go. I would really like to keep the lawn as clean as possible, I suppose all I can do is just keep going to the tree and make sure I have a reward if he does poo where I want? I have tried lifting him when he starts a poo on the lawn and bringing him over to the tree but that seems only to have the effect of putting him off his poo altogether for the time being.
    Appetite - Bailey seems to be always hungry. I try to get him to sit for his but the bunny-hopping and over-excitement makes this almost impossible for now.
    Recall - As we are on a farm I will be very anxious to establish as good a recall as possible to facilitate him having the run of the yard and fields while having some confidence that I can successfully call him back to me. From what I have read in your log and elsewhere so far it seems that training to a whistle might be my best bet. The farmyard is nearby and I am trying to keep him mainly to the house and lawn area for now. So far I have been relatively successful by calling 'come' when he does get into the yard and out of sight and been delighted to see him flying back to me from the yard. It is not reliable though and the distractions and temptations are only going to increase to a point where he will be reluctant to leave and come back to me. I need to try and consistently have a reward on me to reward his return.
    Biting/ mouthing - We have had a fairly boisterous evening this evening and many interruptions to this reply as Bailey has been super excited and jumping up to bite/ mouth my laptop, the heel of my shoe, my laces, the fabric on the footstool and the edge of the tablecloth etc. There is not a lot of pressure on his bite at the moment but I would like to discourage this wide open mouth. We have a tug toy which I try and encourage him to bite on. I think now that he needs more exercise during the day and perhaps I will start walking him on the lead.
    We have two older labrador cross bitches who are helping to train Bailey but I am supervising their interactions as much as possible to avoid excess stress on the 13yr old older dogs.
    Anyway, thanks for this and other forums where I'm sure I will pick up loads of tips and I will enjoy reading it and contributing from time to time.
     
  14. JulieT

    JulieT Registered Users

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    Re: Willow's training log

    Hello Heather, and welcome to you and Bailey - so glad that Willow's log encouraged you to post! That's lovely. Hope to hear more about Bailey and see you around the forum.
     
  15. snowbunny

    snowbunny Administrator Forum Supporter

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    Re: Willow's training log

    Hi Heather! I'm glad that we inspired you to join in!

    The recall was taught by the breeder who, every time he fed the pups, would do the three pips thing, so they very quickly associated it with good things. Now, I make sure that I always have a high-value treat when I do it. She already knows what it means, thanks to his prep work, so I didn't need to teach that, so just remember when you start using one that you shouldn't blow it until your pup is already moving towards you, so that they start to associate the moving with the whistle. The benefit of using a whistle over a voice command is that it's a consistent pitch, so no matter how panicked, excited or cross you may be, it will always give the same note - and obviously it carries further, too, which could be useful if you're on a farm!
     
  16. Heather10

    Heather10 Registered Users

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    Re: Willow's training log

    Hi again and thanks for the responses. That info about the whistle is useful. Yes, on the farm I don't fancy roaring my head off and I certainly would think I could get v cross!! I will keep your tips in mind as I realise the whistle will be so valuable and important to get it right. I'll let you know how I get on.
     
  17. Incastinker

    Incastinker Registered Users

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    Re: Willow's training log

    You guys are doing really well! Inca (also 10 weeks) is pretty reliable at sit, even with distractions and we are now building up to longer periods of sit and moving away from her. Her recall is alright but I am nervous that practising in the house and garden is going to be completely different to asking her to do it when we are out in the big wide world! Only time will tell! We have also started doing a bit of heel work on and off the lead and I'm pleased with the progress she is making - although again I'm sure the world beyond the garden will be a lot more exciting!

    Really good to see how you guys are getting on with your pups and as Heather said it inspires you to do more training!
     
  18. snowbunny

    snowbunny Administrator Forum Supporter

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    Re: Willow's training log

    Oooh, yes, you reminded me, we've done a bit of heel work, too. I want her to get used to her lead, so we've done some with that on, although obviously we'll be spending a lot of time off lead too while she's young. I'm excited/terrified to take her out off-lead for the first time!!
     
  19. Incastinker

    Incastinker Registered Users

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    Re: Willow's training log

    Same here! Boyfriend did take her to a friend's house with an enormous garden to do some proofing work yesterday and he said she was fine. I think we will just try and do as much proofing in other people's gardens as we can before the big moment. This is the first time I have lived in a town with a dog, I grew up on a farm and it feels like a totally different experience!
     
  20. snowbunny

    snowbunny Administrator Forum Supporter

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    Re: Willow's training log

    First training of the day - "In your bed".
    I started by throwing the treat (morsels of home-made liver cake, yum!) onto her day bed. As her feet touched the bed, I clicked. After a few goes, I stopped throwing (mainly because they sometimes bounced out!) and started luring instead. Then, progressed to just pointing. She still needed luring on occasion, but I could see she was starting to understand by the end of the session. On all occasions, I said a chirpy "In your bed" each time she started to move towards it. I know that normally you wouldn't bring in a verbal cue from the start, but somehow it seemed right to start it early on. I couldn't say why, though!
     

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