Training Advice? - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-14-2019, 08:42 AM Thread Starter
Member
 
jdavisryan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Florissant, Missouri, US
Posts: 454
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Quoted: 46 Post(s)
Thanks: 434
Thanked 322 Times in 215 Posts
Training Advice?

Hello all. Woody is 8 months old now and doing great. He’s completed 8 weeks of Puppy Class, 8 weeks of Beginner Obedience and we’re halfway through another 8 weeks of Beginners. He’ll start Advanced Novice in April, I think.

I’m having trouble lately getting him to focus in class. He’s quickly becoming the class clown, mouthing his leash, pretending to be hearing-impaired, and generally goofing off. He does better in our daily sessions at home but he’s giving a little attitude here too. Any tips for training a sassy teenager? Is he bored? Should we take a break? I welcome any suggestions.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	C0A8A151-DBDE-462B-98EB-4BE7D8F3559C_1550151654942.jpeg
Views:	22
Size:	870.6 KB
ID:	812540   Click image for larger version

Name:	4C352AA3-E211-4C17-90C5-05891A16BB9E_1550151677347.jpeg
Views:	21
Size:	485.5 KB
ID:	812542  


Moses 1991-2004*Tucker 2002-2015*Daisy 2005-2017
jdavisryan is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to jdavisryan For This Useful Post:
cwag (02-14-2019)
post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-14-2019, 08:48 AM
Kate
 
Megora's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: MI
Posts: 19,853
Mentioned: 30 Post(s)
Quoted: 462 Post(s)
Thanks: 9,149
Thanked 14,965 Times in 7,610 Posts
Train more away from home.

Megora is online now  
post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-14-2019, 10:32 AM
Arkgold Rocket BN RE
 
ArkansasGold's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 291
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Quoted: 73 Post(s)
Thanks: 600
Thanked 323 Times in 167 Posts
Agree with Kate and would like to add that this is a rough time, but it can be overcome. Personally, I would start correcting for bad behavior. If you just let him pull on his leash with no consequences, then he will continue doing it. If your trainers are just letting this happen in class, then you need new trainers. Sometimes a firm verbal correction is enough, but sometimes it needs to be a physical correction. I learned more about dog training in one session with some true Obedience people than I did in two six-week classes with some "Purely Positive" people. Just my opinion and food for thought.
ArkansasGold is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to ArkansasGold For This Useful Post:
cwag (02-14-2019), jdavisryan (02-14-2019), StarBright (02-19-2019)
post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-14-2019, 10:54 AM
Advanced Member

 
ceegee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Montreal
Posts: 1,389
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Quoted: 194 Post(s)
Thanks: 726
Thanked 2,854 Times in 938 Posts
Become unpredictable. For example, if he starts chewing the leash, move away at a fast trot so he has to run to keep up with you (and reward him when he does). Do very fast sequences of commands - be upbeat, make it a lot of fun for him, so it becomes a game. Fast sequences will make him concentrate. In class, use very high-value treats that you don't use anywhere else: cooked chicken, cheese, etc. I would not stop training; this is the time he needs it most. At home you could break practice sessions down into short bursts - several sessions of one or two minutes. Teach him new stuff in the form of obedience disguised as games. For example, teach him to go "around" something: a cone, whatever, and when he's done so, roll or throw a tennis ball for him to retrieve and bring back to you, as his reward. Teach him tricks: weaving through your legs, spinning and turning, backing up, etc. Or, instead of moving onto another obedience class, do an agility foundation class instead, then go back to obedience later. Agility foundation exercises are mostly obedience, but in a different format: following hand signals, running alongside you, introduction to tunnels, going through jump wings with the bar on the ground, using a wobble board, using a contact box, etc.



Your pup is just being a teenage brat. Give him structure and make it fun, and he'll get through it!

Christine

Ruby 13-01-2007 to 18-03-2015.
My dog of a lifetime. I'll miss you forever.
ceegee is online now  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to ceegee For This Useful Post:
cwag (02-14-2019), jdavisryan (02-14-2019), StarBright (02-19-2019)
post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-14-2019, 12:20 PM
Logan & Lacey in R hearts
 
Our3dogs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Morgan Hill, CA
Posts: 1,796
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Quoted: 47 Post(s)
Thanks: 1
Thanked 692 Times in 483 Posts
Oh my, I had to laugh out loud at the "pretending to be hearing-impaired". When our previous boy, Logan, was that age - you could have been describing him. They do get past it, but there are times I would think to myself if people were watching him - "I am sure they are thinking I have never done a lick of training with this dog". HA! I love the suggestions above, and did many of them myself during those teenage months. Good luck!
Our3dogs is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Our3dogs For This Useful Post:
jdavisryan (02-14-2019), StarBright (02-19-2019)
post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-14-2019, 01:13 PM
Kate
 
Megora's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: MI
Posts: 19,853
Mentioned: 30 Post(s)
Quoted: 462 Post(s)
Thanks: 9,149
Thanked 14,965 Times in 7,610 Posts
Quote:
He does better in our daily sessions at home but he’s giving a little attitude here too.
I was wider awake the second time reading this and this line stands out a bit different right now.

Typically people find their dogs are super GLUED IN at home and completely different dogs at class. This is primarily due to the owners never challenging their dogs while training. Except once a week when you go to class.

If it were just that, my further suggestion would be keep a big bubble around you and your dog and use high value treats to motivate with. A lot of people get "quiet" at class and it's difficult for them to motivate the same way in class that they do at home. Which my take is it means they are having to work too hard motivating at home with a dog who should be past that.

Can you describe a home training session?

How long are you training per session?

Are you using marker type stuff in your training (marking when your dog is right and instantly rewarding)?

I'm not an expert by any means, but I'll give an example of what I'm doing with my 8 month old.

We train every night after supper (including the dogs supper).

Things I'm working on are heeling (off leash), recalls, drops on recalls, position changes, stays (stand stay in particular, but sits and downs too). And stacking for conformation (I really want a nice free stack).

Heeling - problem areas are positioning, primarily. I want him glued to my left knee/thigh and heads up. We literally go from one side of our big rec room and back and work on focus and positioning while going straight, about turns, and halts. I will go up and down 1-3 times, that's it. We aren't attempting to heel for 10-15 minutes.

Recalls - I'm working on positioning and trying to get the focus on my face vs my hands (which will help positioning). We do 1-2 recalls that's it.

Drops - I primarily do one formal drop on recall, but the rest are treat tosses and getting my dog to drop wherever when he gets the call. Usually I time the drop calls after he's gone back to grab a treat and semi-before he's turned around to come back to me.

Stays - I'm working on him holding his position while a partner goes up and does the tap-tap-tap on his head, shoulders, and back. This is me hovering and going in to reward at the same time.

And basically the other things we do are either dumbbell hold/practice or go-out touches or position changes or stays.

I keep things brief and try to mix in little motivating bits and pieces to keep my dog really excited about training.

Treat toss drops or position changes (you can do treat toss sits) are useful down the road if you do stick to obedience with your dog (and you have a gorgeous pup and I guarantee you will get through this rough patch with him if you stick to it).

Treat toss drops and position changes are FUN for the dogs. They get really amped up and excited.

Go out touches - one of the things I do with my pup to make it more REWARDING, I use a vacuum hose attachment (a little one) that I duct tape to a door at the end of our upstairs hall, making sure it's loose enough for the dog to flip with just a nose touch. I put cereal in there, letting Jojo (held in a stay at the other end of the hall) see me load the attachment. <= I go back and do a "mark-READY" and send him as soon as I see him dip his head and lean forward pointing his nose at that attachment. The go-touch is rewarded remotely because he's rewarding himself as soon as he bumps that hose attachment. We do this every night - he LOVES it.

Dumbbell work - was the only area where I had to get serious and correct him. I'm soft handed generally and even with correcting him, I still was soft handed. My goals were getting him to solidly GRAB that dumbbell from my hands and want it in his mouth, getting him to sit on command with the dumbbell in his mouth, placing the dumbbell in his mouth (while he's doing a sit/wait) and having him come to me while carrying the dumbbell, then same thing with a sit at the end of the come, and then finally getting him to fetch a tossed dumbbell. <= He HATED THIS starting off - especially since I was determined to make a breakthrough in as few early sessions as possible. So 1-2 days we worked like 30-40 minute sessions and stopped when I reasonably felt the lightbulb was going on.

Currently dumbbell retrieves are what we do last because he LOVES it. I have 2 dogs competing with each other for turns at fetching the dumbbell.

Heeling you can mix in motivation/excitement by encouraging him to get amped up when heeling. With Jovi, we may do a couple minutes of just heeling starts where I'm taking 1-2 big steps and I want him just twitching and excited to go. I can bring that back down by the time we start competing, but currently I want to see him super EXCITED and amped up. This is motivated and reinforced by rewarding the behavior I want.

Other games to play would be scoot halt heeling, scoot fronts, pivots, front games (sideways scoot fronts - with the dog in front of you and moving laterally with you).

All of these things if you are training every day at a certain time (or when your dog wants the most attention - if you come home from work and that's when he's bopping around you the most, that can be training time) + high value rewards (don't just use kibble or other invisible treats) - will help build more focus and attachment from your dog while training.

In class - I'd try to build a big bubble around me while training.

With Jojo - I go to class early and let him sit and acclimate to our surroundings for at least 10-15 minutes before I begin working with him. There's no point in asking anything of a dog whose head is spinning. High value rewards in class will be a huge deal in building focus there at class - equal to what you get at home.

So I might use plain bread or croutons (my dogs love them) or cheezits at home while training.

At class I would use cheese or even cooked meat. <= I wouldn't use this every day with a dog because dairy or meat, it will upset their stomachs if they get too much too often.

And aside from training sessions - I would add in mini training opportunities whenever you can.

NILF (nothing in life is free) is something that a lot of people do. And it sounds "mean" but it actually is just doing something a little different with a dog. Before my guys get any treats or their breakfast or supper, they have to do something.

Most people just have their dogs do spins or other tricks. Which I do too. It doesn't have to be formal training - though some people do.

If I sent my dogs out for potty, and I'm going to give them treats anyway when they come back in the house - I will make them work for it. I hide the treats in the house, leaving a trail (touching the treats to the floor or shuffling my feet) and I turn them loose when they come in. They go nuts. <= This exercise builds into articles down the road. It's training the dogs to hunt using their nose.

Mixing it up and having fun training your dog - it will help make a huge difference.

In another thread I mentioned Janice Gunn and other people - they have videos on youtube where you can pick up training ideas.

A lot of basic obedience classes do not adequately use what our dogs have to offer. So I've seen people working on loose lead walking for basic obedience, but focus is not adequately reinforced and taught. This doesn't mean you are in the wrong place with your dog or should feel discouraged. I'm just saying you might want to do more stuff on your own while training along with class. It means your dog may instead of being the class clown, become the dog that is way ahead of everyone else.

I used to train with somebody who put us through 2 sessions of novice obedience before she let us walk more than 10 steps of heeling practice in class. Many weeks we just did heeling starts (1-3 steps). Or we worked 1-3 steps and turns. This was based on the fact that most people lose their dogs focus after only a couple steps. And it gets reinforced from there.

With pet level classes - they do the opposite. They have people as a group going around and around and around and rewarding their dogs when they come back to heel. Which is fine, except some dogs never come back. And there is no motivation or foundation building going on.

I'd suggest working on extra things at home and carve our a little time before or after class to do a little extra.

Always - have fun with the dogs. Motivate.

Megora is online now  
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to Megora For This Useful Post:
ArkansasGold (02-14-2019), cwag (02-14-2019), jdavisryan (02-14-2019), StarBright (02-19-2019), tikiandme (02-16-2019)
post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-14-2019, 01:33 PM
Arkgold Rocket BN RE
 
ArkansasGold's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 291
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Quoted: 73 Post(s)
Thanks: 600
Thanked 323 Times in 167 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Megora View Post
Always - have fun with the dogs. Motivate.
This entire reply is excellent advice! I do many many of these things with Rocket at least weekly, if not daily. He rarely gets anything for free - including meals. Sometimes it's just a quick handshake as I'm running out the door to work, but other times it's actual drills and the meal becomes his "jackpot."

Kate, I hope you come to Columbus for a show sometime, would love to meet you in person.
ArkansasGold is offline  
post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-14-2019, 05:35 PM
Kate
 
Megora's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: MI
Posts: 19,853
Mentioned: 30 Post(s)
Quoted: 462 Post(s)
Thanks: 9,149
Thanked 14,965 Times in 7,610 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArkansasGold View Post
Kate, I hope you come to Columbus for a show sometime, would love to meet you in person.
I'm debating about the Sat show on 4/20 (GRCA specialty).

The judge on Fri is a european judge and basically have decided to never EVER show to somebody like that ever again. LOL.

Sat is Nancy Liebes who I swear I've shown to her before and she's a green light. Plus I'd show my pup in sweeps...

I just have to do more contemplation about doing either that show or the specialty in Hamilton a month later.


Megora is online now  
The Following User Says Thank You to Megora For This Useful Post:
ArkansasGold (02-15-2019)
post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-14-2019, 08:16 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
jdavisryan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Florissant, Missouri, US
Posts: 454
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Quoted: 46 Post(s)
Thanks: 434
Thanked 322 Times in 215 Posts
Thanks to everyone for your thoughtful replies. Here's a little more detail on what we're currently doing with Woody. We train weekly with the local obedience club with members that are all involved in obedience, conformation, tracking, etc. Our trainer is also the co-owner of Woody's Mama, so Woody spent his first 8 weeks with her. She's terrific and loves to see him each week, but he gets super-excited around her. She uses him to demonstrate during class, which also gets him kind of wound up. I have to admit I'm not comfortable correcting him like I should in class and I need to get over that. He's not high energy and silly at home so his behavior in class is surprising to me. We'll have a different trainer when we start Advanced Novice this Spring and maybe that will help him to settle. We're discouraged from coming to class early because there's a puppy class immediately prior.

At home, I dedicate about 15 minutes to structured training each morning and then shorter sessions throughout the day. He has to sit and wait before his meals, sit and wait at all doors, give a down-stay if he wants to be in the kitchen while I'm cooking etc. He does fine with all of the impromptu training but he seems pouty during the structured sessions. I'm struggling to make it fun for him and keep him motivated. I was hoping to try obedience trials with him and I want it to be fun for both of us. I'm going find more training games to play, change up the treats, and try to be more interesting to him. I welcome all suggestions for making it fun and keeping him interested.

As I'm writing this I realize he seems over-stimulated in class and unmotivated/bored at home. Duh! How can I balance that out for him?


Moses 1991-2004*Tucker 2002-2015*Daisy 2005-2017
jdavisryan is offline  
post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-15-2019, 10:04 AM
Arkgold Rocket BN RE
 
ArkansasGold's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 291
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Quoted: 73 Post(s)
Thanks: 600
Thanked 323 Times in 167 Posts
For me, string cheese and blueberries solve all problems (and they offset each other as far intestinal concerns go LOL). In all seriousness, if you are having trouble engaging with him at home, maybe try warming him up with a tug or fetch session and make sure your voice sounds excited too. If you get excited, he will get excited. I have a two special tugs that Rocket only gets to use during training and warmups. I also like to use his dinner as jackpot, but I wouldn't go 10-15 minutes without letting him eat it. More like 2-5 minutes with no treats - verbal rewards only, and then he gets to eat his entire dinner.

Have they been teaching you "Get It" games in training? If not, watch how my trainer in Houston rewards her dog:
Basically "Get It" games involve the dog lifting/jumping to get a treat/toy (sorry if you already know this). It really helps with engagement, enthusiasm, and work ethic. You can use Get It games for rewarding just about anything. In the video, the trainer is working on the dog's accuracy in heel position.

Personally, I use high value treats (cheese, blueberries, bacon) when I want super focus, am in a new place, or teaching something new. I like to use toys and lower value treats for drilling skills that we already have.

Don't be afraid to offer a correction in class. It only took one or two corrections in class for Rocket to realize that pulling and lunging to meet people was absolutely not acceptable. The very first time I took him to Rally class, he wouldn't sit for me, he wouldn't listen, and was just generally awful. Acted like a 6 month old puppy (he was 2 years old...). I was absolutely mortified, and one of the trainers even asked if he knew how to sit. When I said yes, and that he already had his RN title, that's when she taught me a proper correction for when he is being a turd. Admittedly, he did not have a proper impulse control foundation because the puppy classes we attended did not teach it properly. And the R+ puppy trainers made it sound like even a verbal correction bordered on abuse. Seriously, they were awful... but I digress.

This leads me into the part about Woody being overstimulated in class: When you are in between exercises, or the teacher is just talking, put him in a down-stay and every 30 seconds (or less to begin with) or so, give him a treat as long as he remains in the down-stay. Reward him for being good. If someone walks by while he's in the down-stay and he chooses to remain in the down-stay, then give him an extra good reward. Slowly, but surely, he will start showing control over his impulses to get really excited when it's not the right time to be excited and he may even start offering the down when he notices that you're not doing anything. If he stands up, mark it with a verbal negative marker (No, Uh uh, No sir, etc.) and put him back in the down-stay. Eventually, you'll be able to wean off the treats for good behavior. AND You can move right back into the Get It games when it's time to start doing drills again. The key with impulse control is that the dog has to be the one to choose control.
ArkansasGold is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to ArkansasGold For This Useful Post:
jdavisryan (02-15-2019), StarBright (02-19-2019)
Reply

Bookmarks

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome