Sunday, March 27, 2011

Training update

It's been two weeks since I posted about Jolee's breakthrough with picking up the article. I'm using the clicker to mark the behavior I'm looking for. She had gone from nosing it, to mouthing it, and then the breakthrough - she started picking it up and bringing it to me.

I had not done anything else with her until this weekend when I was spurred into action by Laura's post, "How to: Teach your dog to hold." This is our next challenge, getting Jolee to hold the dumbbell/article. She currently wants to drop it as soon as she gets to me so I'm only clicking and treating when she holds it for a second or two. For the next few sessions I'm going to try to extend the length of time she holds it and work on getting her to look at me when she holds it. Perhaps if I get more regular with my training vs. once every two weeks, she will progress faster : )

Today's training with the dumbbell.

Jackson's training for UKC (United Kennel Club) utility class is continuing. The directed retrieve (glove) exercise in UKC is quite different than the glove exercise in AKC, so that's the exercise we've been concentrating on the most. In UKC the glove placement is different (they use the entire ring for this exercise) and there are two retrieves instead of one. On the second retrieve you send the dog to the middle of the ring and then direct him to the glove from there. You are working away from the dog for that retrieve instead of being right next to him so it's been more of a challenge for Jackson. He is coming along nicely though.


Laura, Lance, and Vito said...

I think Jolee looks fantastic! Before I watched the video I was going to say that I really work on teaching to the dog to bring the db all the way to me and aim for my hand before I work on a hold. But then I watched her work and she really is doing great!

It looks like you're just using pure shaping to get a longer hold and that seems to be working for her. That very last one she did really well with you holding up your hand (did she think it had food in it?) as I think she focused harder on her job. My only suggestion would be maybe to try handing her the db and having her pick it off the floor right in front of you. Only because then you would only be focusing on the holding part of it rather then the retrieve. But I think that Jolee might really like the toss so leaving the throw it might excite her more...

Honey the Great Dane said...

Oh, she's doing great! You can really see the hold part getting longer and longer. I would actually disagree with Laura here and say keep the toss for now coz with low-drive dogs like the Dane, you want to keep anything that keeps the enthusiasm and excitement up! Coz that'll give her more motivation to work on holding longer. I find that with Honey - if I just put an object down and point to it and tell her to "Hold", she is a lot less enthusiastic and a lot less reliable - whereas with a retrieve added in, she is really keen! Of course, I know eventually a Hold command should be done without a retrieve but I think at this learning stage, you should hang on to any advantage that you can get!

Just my 2 cents...