Friday, October 8, 2010

When does 'sit' mean 'sit' ?

We've been working hard lately on the verbal sit command. As you may recall from earlier posts, this was the area we decided to focus on after the last trial where I got no sits on the go outs. It didn't seem as though Jackson recognized the command in that situation. Or, if he did recognize it, he wasn't confident enough in that situation to do it in a timely manner.

Coincidently, Hsin-Yi had a post on Honey's blog yesterday about dogs not generalizing and about testing to see if they understood the command when you were giving it from positions other than in front of them. This had also been one of the games on Susan Garrett's 'Brilliant Recall' e-course I took recently. Dogs not generalizing commands is not a new concept to me, but I had never really set about testing the 'sit' command to see how many different positions and places I could give the command - without any treats or body/hand movements -and have him respond correctly.

So, today I decided to see how well he would do with the command from different positions. What I found was, he does really well when we are in the kitchen and in various other locations when I am standing in front of him up to 10-15 feet away. And, he also responded well when I turned my back to him and gave the command. However, not so well when I was sitting down, as you will see in the video.

The following short clips are from our 'test' this afternoon - first in the kitchen, then moving to the deck. (I haven't figured out yet how to edit the clips to put them together in one video, thus the two clips. If anyone has suggestions for video editing software that works well with Windows 7, please let me know : )

I think what our 'test' today shows is, we really need to continue work on the sit command in different locations and my giving the command from different and unusual positions. We also need to work on the sit command with various distractions.


Nova said...

wow jackson sure is a cutie!!! Windows Movie maker (which should be already on your computer works great!) Just use the "Edit" tab on the top and there is a split and trim button. you can also add multiple videos into one like you would like to do here. I love the program and have made about 200 videos with it!!

Kathie R said...

Hey Nova, Thanks for the tip. I just downloaded Windows Live Movie Maker. It looks like there's a lot you can do with it. Looking forward to playing with it :)

tervnmal said...

Jackson is such a beautiful boy! Good idea to test the basics to see if the dog really understands what you want him to do. Phoenix and I could benefit from similar tests with "watch." Thanks for the idea!

Honey the Great Dane said...

Aw....I just loved the bit where he's trying to climb into your lap! HA! HA! HA! Is that a Dane or what?! Honey often does that too - keeps giving me her paw when she isn't sure what to do - or doesn't really want to do something! :-)

Hey - and I'm actually TRYING to teach Honey to put her bum in my lap as a trick! Jackson does it already!!

He is just gorgeous - I love watching him training with you when you're "at home" - love the way his tail wags when you're praising him. He looks so relaxed and happy. And he's got a much better Sit than Honey - like I noticed in the kitchen, he always sat whenever/wherever you gave the command - even if he was facing away. Honey always has to turn back to face me first!

Maybe doing something like this would help you with Jackson's "ring stress" - you know, getting him used to doing even simple Sits in different parts of the show environment - so he gets used to it & it's no big deal.

Thank you very much for your kind words on Honey's blog recently - I'm always in awe of you and I wish I had your commitment & preseverance when it comes to competitions. Anyway, I HAVE decided to try Honey out in an Obedience trial - going to one in a few weeks. Have no idea what to do or what to expect so should be a laugh - ha! I'm going to try & find someone at the local obedience club to talk me through what happens and how to walk around the ring, etc, coz I'm clueless! But hopefully, this won't be as stressful as the dancing coz Honey seems to work OK for longer doing Obedience stuff without needing so much rewarding. Oh well - it might all go out the window in a real competition. Guess we'll just have to see! :-)


Kasha The Dainty Great Dane said...

I love the one where Jackson is sitting in your lap...such a Dane!! Kasha loves to sit in your lap all the time. I've tried doing the same tests that Hsin-Yi talked about as well...check them out on my blog.

Denise & Kasha the Dainty Great Dane