Finishes, Fronts and "Fix it" - Page 5 - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
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post #41 of 52 (permalink) Old 12-24-2012, 09:33 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by hotel4dogs View Post
It's not really spitting a treat, it's more just leaning over a little and letting it drop out of your mouth into theirs. If you can't drop it straight down, chances are your dog is too far away on the front!
I tried it last night after reading through this. She caught most of them. She hasn't made the connection yet as far as being close enough, but she'll get there.

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post #42 of 52 (permalink) Old 12-24-2012, 09:55 AM
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Wow she is young! I was told Liberty was quite young when we started, but everyone was surprised by how well she did.

We use the command "get in" for getting into heel position. Our instructor taught a different way to get them into position and to be honest, I don't use it. But it may be a good way for you (I think it depends on the dog). So you start with a treat in both hands. Tell the dog the command and sort of lure them past your left side with a treat, then come around with the treat in your right hand behind your back and feed it to them. Then have them turn around and sit by your left side and feed the treat from your left hand.

To correct the "fronts" our instructor put down long pieces of wood (anything long and narrow will do) about a 16 inches apart. You stand at the far end and when you call the dog to you they have to go between those boards to do their front. So there isn't much wiggle room and they pretty much have to be straight.

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post #43 of 52 (permalink) Old 12-24-2012, 09:55 AM
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I love playing "Choose to Front", tossing out a treat to "find it" then running to a spot on the floor at a very strange angle to the dog and calling him front. The criteria stays very high so if the front is not straight, there is no reward. That puts the dog in the position of locating true front over and over until it becomes muscle memory. I also like Janice Gunn's game of calling front while sitting in a chair with legs out as channels. Using "Fix It" did not work for me, as it became the command for a straight front. Leaning your upper body back against the wall, can encourage a straight front as an exercies. Do not ever reward a front that does not meet your expectations, and when one does, really make a point of being pleased.

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post #44 of 52 (permalink) Old 12-24-2012, 11:03 AM
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I'm a little different on rewarding, instead of rewarding correctness, I try to reward effort. Even if their effort causes them to be wrong, I want to emphasize to them I like how hard they are trying.

So if I am working on fronts with the dog coming in from my left, and he ends up fronting way to my left, the dog probably isn't trying that hard, but if he tries so hard that he over compensates and ends up to my right, I would reward that!

Another example, if I was working on lagging heeling, and whatever I was doing caused my dog to forge, I would praise like crazy! Flip likes to forge, so when I start working on forging and he actually drops back into a lag, I praise that. I never want to diminish effort, a dog that is trying hard will get the precision over time.

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post #45 of 52 (permalink) Old 12-24-2012, 11:40 AM
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I do not put a command on my fronts and finishes until they look exactly like I want them to look. So you could continue training without ever putting a command on the action until you get to class but really the choice in commands is entirely up to you and your preference. I use mostly hand signals when competing but my verbal cues are "get around" for a right finish. I would never use the word "finish" since that is the same word that judges say and dogs are not dummies. Too much potential for the dog to finish on the judges word instead of my cue.
My left finish is "get close". I use "come" for front because no matter when I use the word it means that the dog needs to end with a tight sit in front of me. One of the games I play with my dog is the "get it" game. I toss a visible piece of food to the side back and forth until the dog is moving quickly back and forth, then I give a "come" or "sit" or "down" command. The dogs love this game and it works wonders for getting a rapid response.
Good for you for wanting to go the extra mile with your dog. Training is fun and is a great way to develop a bond with your pup.
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post #46 of 52 (permalink) Old 12-24-2012, 12:44 PM
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I like the idea of rewarding effort like Bridget Carlsen teaches, but my dog is too driven to be rewarded for effort for a precise and well known behavior. He already puts in a ton of effort and heart , and so will offer too many behaviors when rewarded for effort on a precision issue. I do like the idea of rewarding for effort in learning something new, or to recognize a superlative try at something.

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Have strict criteria. Either your dog meets your criteria or he does not. If you do not know what your criteria are, your dog will not succeed. Do not reward your dog if the criteria are not met. Either lower the criteria if you asked too much, or try again. Either way, do not reward the failed attempt. To earn a reward, the work should be difficult enough that the dog must concentrate to succeed, but not so difficult that he gives up. If you start when your dog is very young, working hard and with engagement becomes a habit. Remember, positive is not permissive; good positive trainers have precise criteria.

2) Raise your criteria quickly and systematically. If you spend a full month doing three steps of heeling followed by a reward, your dog is going to be confused when you shoot for five steps, because she has been led to believe that the exercise is three steps. To keep your dog thinking, raise criteria quickly. Bob Bailey says at 80% success, raise criteria. Works for me.

3) Mark correct behaviors instantly and reward the dog in the correct position. As soon as your dog’s head is in exactly the right position for the period of time you desire, click or use your marker word. Then use your motivator as close to that exact position as possible. If you watch Lyra’s heeling, you’ll see how hard I try to get the food down to her as close to heel position as possible, unless she is forging (in which case I feed slightly behind heel position) or lagging (in which case it would be slightly ahead of correct position).

4) Each step you take should be tailored to the needs of your dog, and should force your dog to put out effort in order to earn a reward. Lagging dogs should work to the right (right turn, about turn, fast, or right circle) – no effort equals no reward. Forging dogs need a reason to stay back in position (toy from behind, slow heeling, right turn with a halt, etc). Make sure your shoulders are facing the same direction as your feet; no looking back!

5) Give 100% to your dog. It’s not fair to ask the dog to give you perfect attention if you don’t bother to give it back. Be interesting and completely engaged when you are training. Personally, I’m a lot more likely to look at someone who smiles, talks nicely, walks in an interesting fashion and gives me complete engagement. Your dog appreciates this as well.

6) Celebrate with genuine enthusiasm when your dog exceeds your criteria. They notice the difference in your attitude.

7) Keep heeling sessions short. It’s a lot more fun and prevents stress build up.

8) Build your dog’s love of the motivators you wish to use. You can’t use toys if your dog doesn’t want them. Early on, make a point of developing all of your options; from food to toys to personal play. Dont’ use them in training until your dog cares about earning them.

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post #47 of 52 (permalink) Old 12-24-2012, 03:24 PM
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So I guess there is more than 1 way to train these skills?? Who knew!
LOL!!!

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post #48 of 52 (permalink) Old 12-26-2012, 01:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ljilly28 View Post
I like the idea of rewarding effort like Bridget Carlsen teaches, but my dog is too driven to be rewarded for effort for a precise and well known behavior. He already puts in a ton of effort and heart , and so will offer too many behaviors when rewarded for effort on a precision issue. I do like the idea of rewarding for effort in learning something new, or to recognize a superlative try at something.
Have you studied Bridget's stuff? Yes she is "effort based" but it's really not as you described or as Jodie described, although both are good examples of a dog giving effort (or in Jodie's example, rewarding effort). Bridget is more putting effort on cue and asking for above and beyond what they will ever do in the ring. I have yet to see any trainer match her ability to get that much effort and energy out of a dog for obedience.
I'm a big fan and have taught a lot of her stuff to Slater, everything we've done in heeling is due to her, but the whole scheme is not so neatly wrapped up by saying she rewards for effort.
Not sure what you mean by "dog is too driven to be rewarded for effort for a known behavior" (??) This is not an observation I've heard anyone say before. Unless you mean he gets to wound up if you praise for positional work, and loses concentration?

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post #49 of 52 (permalink) Old 12-26-2012, 08:50 AM
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For the OPer, http://tawzerdog.com/index/default.php and many other doggie netflix type sites offer DVDs to watch by dog trainers.

Here is Bridget Carlsen's site. Her DVD is great, she has a nice collection on youtube, as is very approachable in the online seminar format. http://bridgetcarlsen.com/. She goes the extra mile, and was so incredibly helpful with a newfoundland with whom I work.

Here is Denise Fenzi's site. She is writing a book that is due out soon. I gravitate to her bc she shares my personal interest in training without aversives, prong collars, leash corrections etc. http://denisefenzi.com/

One good thing to do is put the specific issue- front, finish, fix it- in the larger context of your overall goals and interests for your dog. It's great to be exposed to myriad philosophies and opnions, so you can keep what works and resonates, and leave the rest, according to what fits, you, your dogs, your goals, ethics, and beliefs.

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post #50 of 52 (permalink) Old 12-26-2012, 09:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmbikaGR View Post
So I guess there is more than 1 way to train these skills?? Who knew!
LOL!!!
I think that is what it comes down to...

Because of my instructors - I definitely use "choose to heel" and "find front" games....

We do the treat toss games - and that's something I'm doing with my puppy, even if I will not use the "front" word at all at this point. I don't know if it's even true of goldens, but I used to train with people who owned breeds who were very uncomfortable with "front position". More or less it can be a "dominating" issue for them. You are making them sit in front of you while you stand over them.

My old instructor way back then recommended doing a variety of things to get the dogs comfortable about being in your space, but most specifically putting them in that front position and rewarding and praising them in that space right from the beginning.

Teaching "bump fronts" - I think something I was told is that it's easier to correct that down the road than it is to correct when the dog isn't sitting close enough.

With Bertie - I'm bringing him in so he's sitting between my feet, chest and chin touching me, and looking up at me. I think sometimes this helps them learn front position FASTER. And actually with him, he's probably my first puppy who if I pivot or turn away from him while he's presenting front, he scoots around to find front again (between my feet and look up) without me guiding him.

I'm not too concerned about this becoming a bad habit for him, because over time as I build distance with the fronts, I will also be bringing my feet together and closing that "shoot".

@treat toss comes - this was how I trained drops with Jacks. With Bertie of course, he doesn't have a "wait" or "stay" yet that allows me to get more than a foot away (I'm not hurrying either command) so the treat allows me to get that distance without always needing somebody to hold/release him for me.

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