Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Dumbbell training con't.

After a couple more sessions at home, we took our dumbbell training on the road. I was interested in seeing how Jolee would do with the training at a new location, so we went to the club today to train. I've really been surprised at the progress she's making with the dumbbell pick up and retrieve - although not always sure we're going in the right direction : ) I'm still not real coordinated with my clicker, but she seems to be getting the idea and offering me behaviors. I'm thinking, 'Wow, this is amazing stuff!' 

A couple things that I noticed today -
1) She's able to do it in a different setting - away from home; and
2) She's correcting her pick-up method herself. When she first started picking it up off the floor, it was consistently by the end of the dumbbell. Today at the club, she was consistenly picking it up in the middle - the way she's supposed to pick it up. She evidently figured out for herself that this was the most comfortable way to do it.

I'm working it from three different directions - taking it from my hand; picking it up off the floor; and retrieving the thrown dumbbell. My next goal is to start rewarding her for holding it longer. Here's a couple videos taken today.


Lindsay said...

She looks so happy! That's so cute!!:)

Laura, Lance, and Vito said...

yay she's doing so well and looks like she's having fun too! If you're looking for some pointers I would just remind you to try and click early. I know I click late all the time too, but if I try and focus on clicking early I'm "late" so I end up being right on time :) And I wouldn't even be adding that sit in yet until she's coming all the way to me, but I think you got that since you didn't do that again :)

But really she looks fantastic!

Kathie R said...

Thanks for the comments! This clicker training does seem to make for a happy dog, and is fun for me too. She seems to be catching on about offering behaviors. It's interesting to see her nudge the dumbbell or paw it - then look for a treat. When that behavior doesn't elicit a treat, she tries something else. I'm excited to see where this goes : )
Laura, thanks for the tips on clicking. It's amazing that she's come so far considering my timing - I noticed in the video that I clicked when she dropped the dumbbell. Not sure what happened there. And, you're right about the asking for the sit - way too early.

Jennifer H. said...

Awww Jolee is just adorable! I just started clicker training the dumbbell with Falkor too and he thinks it's a really fun game!

Kasha The Dainty Great Dane said...

Great job. I'm fairly new to clicker training myself but think it's the greatest thing ever! I'll have to post some of the small things we have learned.

Honey the Great Dane said...

Oooh - Jolee is just the most happy, enthusiastic dog! :-) It's so lovely to watch her - I especially loved that little jump in the beginning of the 1st video.

I agree with Laura - maybe try to click earlier? Don't try to hold out too long for the behaviour in the beginning (ie. holding for long) coz then there's a danger that by the time you decide to click, the dog will be doing the thing you DON'T want them to do (ie. drop the dumbbell) and they'll think that you're marking and rewarding that action! You're better in the beginning to just click as soon as she grips the dumbbell with her teeth, even if she hasn't really picked it up yet and to do that for a fair number of times, before extending it to just letting her raise her head with the dumbbell in her mouth - reward that a number of times - before extending it to letting her hold it for 1 or 2s before clicking and treating - that way you're less likely to click by mistake for her dropping it! :-)

But I do know it's often difficult to get the timing just right with the clicker! It looks like the training is going really well and overall, as you say, the important thing is that she is happy and having fun (and you too!)