Thursday, March 11, 2010

dukey duke

last night we had a break through. duke learned how to 'stand' on command.

this after 2 years of not being able to get him to stand through, luring, tickling and prodding methods that we learned from the obedience school that we attended.

stand is the cue for a dog to stand on all four paws and is usually used for show dogs and is also used in rally obedience.

each time we enrolled in courses, there was always 1 or 2 commands that we just couldn't teach duke. in the first basic obedience course it was down. in fact, the instructor couldn't even get duke to go into down position and went through all of his different techniques to no avail when he was using duke as his demo dog.

during our 2nd more advanced class, we just couldn't get duke to 'stand'. last night, however, after 2 minutes he learned to 'stand' on cue from being in 'down' position.

what was the biggest difference? clicker training that didn't require me to touch his body to move into position or use a lure to bribe him into position. since duke already knew touch, we started with him being in down and then calling for a 'touch' on my hand. soon after, i started saying 'stand' before the touch command and in a few short minutes, he had transferred the 'touch' command to the 'stand' command.

this style of teaching is called targetting and is obviously a more effective way of teaching duke than luring or placing.

so now that he has learned all of the basic obedience positions, it's time to polish them all up and hopefully we'll be able to debut duke at a rally obedience competition. i'm hoping we can get him a novice title by the end of the year!

cross-posted to aozora


Kate and Rob said...

I LOVE those light bulb moments!


Very creative thinking too!

Andre said...

Yay Duke, he is Hyedie's dog for competition now. I guess I'll stick with Petey. :)

Kate and Rob said...

Multi-dog households rock! Are you keeping Petey?

Competing is so much fun. I'm just a fun match girl. Nothing serious. I hope you and Hyedie keep us fans in the loop!

Re: targeting that's my favourite training tool. It's important to master lure, shaping too as the more you have in your tickle trunk the faster you'll be able to troubleshoot.

I have to say that it makes me feel like a magician :P I add more play & toys into the mix for rewards right off the bat. I think that's where people get frustrated with lure or shaping. Food is used as a crutch, and not as it's intended. The more you have in your training tickle trunk the faster you can troubleshoot.

re: Competition

We're just a fun match family, but it's exciting just the same!

Daizy my old girl just lights up the crowd, in agility.

Darrell ran her in gamblers and had finished all the jackpots and turned to the audience and yelled "what do I do next" and they yelled back cheering him on...kinda like the Price is right when people ask for audience was a hoot!

happyd said...

Well sadly, there hasn't been too much interest in Petey yet ... I think people are turned off by his biting. In fact when the call went out for a foster home for Petey last year, we were the only ones that filled out an application for him.

I'll definitely keep a journal here of our progress with Rally-O. If you can share any tips (as you always do) that would be awesome :)

Kate and Rob said...

All dogs bite, unless they're stuffed's so odd that people don't get that.

I'd pick Petey up in a heart beat...especially after all the work you've done with him, he'd be a gift.

I prefer to know when they're most likely to bite personally and have people show me what they do to work with those triggers.

Out of all the "biting" beagles I've fostered or SPCA dogs.... my partner's pug is the only one that chomped down on my hand and I had to pry his jaw open while trying to remain calm as he shook it....

and that was AFTER my partner said he wasn't possessive of his food...

Dr. Ian Dunbar's seminars are hilarious...I remember him saying the reason he got I think it was Dune was because he did bite....but didn't do any damage.

All we can do is share what we know, especially if it's facing our shortcomings, overcoming challenges, accomplished in a compassionate way. I think that's our unique gift to the world. Each of us has something to share.