Okay...I messed up training somehow

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Sarithe
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Location: Mississippi

Okay...I messed up training somehow

Post by Sarithe » Wed Nov 24, 2010 8:59 am

I have a big 106 pound hound mix and he is so much smarter than me. I work with him a lot so he does good in some areas. There are other areas that I struggle with because I am not sure how to go about training him. The problem I have at the moment is he has learned to flip the trade system around to his advantage.

His toys and his bone.
When I try to take him into the house after we have been playing with frisbee, is usually when he is most active about this. He doesn't like for play to end. It first started as he had to give me the toy before he was able to go in the house. When he wouldn't give it to me, I would turn my back and ignore him. Well after a few times of this, when I was facing him again...he turned his back on me. I turned my back and he turned and faced me until I turned back to him and then he turned his back to me looking over his shoulder. I sort of stood there dumbfounded for a moment as I tried to come up with a new plan after we did that whole turning thing several times.

I decided maybe if I went on into the house then he would give it to me. Well, he stood there looking at the door as I waited about for him to sit at the gate. When he sat, I went out again and again he turned his back on me. I did the going into the house a few more times. On the third time, guess what happens...if you guess that he went around the cornor of the house and peeked around the cornor...you would be correct. So my new plan was to give him a treat to trade...which leads me to my next problem.

The trade system.
It was going well. He really responded to it. Then he learned how to use it to his advantage. It started out little like with the toys. I traded a small dog treat for the toy or if it was time, a chew bone. He now goes around stealing stuff as a game. He makes sure I see him and then he takes off and hides around the recliner or table. I didn't realize at first what his true goal was so I think I made it worse. I would give him a treat instead of chasing him around. Now he has started stealing my socks (or like last night he was able to get into the potato bin). He does this more when my parents are around. He does it maybe once or twice with it just being me when they were away but he is really bad about it when my parents are home.


I don't know what to do now to correct this. He is to stronge so I can't make him do or give me something. I don't want to do that anyways. I want him to want to give it to me. I have tried not to laugh or be frustrated about this in front of him but sometimes it is hard to not do either. Does anyone have advice? What should I do about the trade or treat system?

ladybug1802
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Re: Okay...I messed up training somehow

Post by ladybug1802 » Wed Nov 24, 2010 9:36 am

Hi...sounds like a very clever dog!!

Have you taught him a 'leave it' and 'drop' command? It sounds like maybe you havent so this would definitely be worth you teaching him....start off giving him a toy, and then presenting him with a really tasty treat that he likes as a trade...when he drops the toy to eat the treat, as soon as he drops it say 'drop'.....then give him the treat.

Others will be able to give you more in detail advice soon!

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Sarithe
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Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 9:34 am
Location: Mississippi

Re: Okay...I messed up training somehow

Post by Sarithe » Wed Nov 24, 2010 10:12 am

I have taught him "leave it" and he does really well on our walks with that command. He is either a bloodhound or redbone mix so once he catches a scent, it is really hard to get his attention. I found letting him sort of digest the scent for a few minutes and then say "leave it" he will leave it and follow on with me. Plus, the command works when he is barking at people or someone catches his attention.

It is usually when we are home and I am either trying to work him or play with him that he does this. He is 3 years old and was a really bad counter surfer. I finally got him trained to stay off the counters (which is really hard because of his super sensitive nose and being eye level with the counter) this year. I don't understand what I am doing wrong because he does really well some stuff and then there is this problem.

I did try the leave it command a few times with the toy outside but he would drop it at his feet and just as I was about to grab it...he grabs it really fast and races across the yard with his toy. I know he thinks it is a game. I am not sure what to do about it. I know I am failing him in this and I can't afford classes. The only ones I can find are almost $200.00

ckranz
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Re: Okay...I messed up training somehow

Post by ckranz » Wed Nov 24, 2010 11:44 am

You have a very smart dog. He seems to have picked up on the basics of your games...now its time to up the ante. Add additional criteria for the trade game. Like holding out for a sit before the exchange. Holding out for a down for the exchange.

Also being to vary the reward in both frequency and size. (think like a slot machine...they don't always payout).

Lastly, if your not involved in the game, its not fun. With one of mine she loves to tug on toys especially when I am holding the other side. With her I cannot let any toy go taught. I usually hold her collar up close to prevent her from tugging. After a few seconds she usually drops the toy and get her praise and reward.

Sarah83
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Re: Okay...I messed up training somehow

Post by Sarah83 » Wed Nov 24, 2010 11:51 am

What happens if you give him a treat when he drops the toy on command? He drops the toy, you toss a treat away from the toy and pick the toy up as he goes for the treat. That way he's getting rewarded for following a command rather than for hanging on to the toy. It sounds as though you've just not taken that step from bribing him to rewarding him. Also, as ckranz says, don't always give him a food reward. Vary what he gets in return for giving it up.

Rather dim dogs are much easier than smart dogs :lol:

ckranz
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Re: Okay...I messed up training somehow

Post by ckranz » Wed Nov 24, 2010 11:58 am

oh yeah and you can also give him the toy back as the reward occasionally too. This can be especially rewarding.
Last edited by ckranz on Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

runlikethewind
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Re: Okay...I messed up training somehow

Post by runlikethewind » Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:32 pm

Wow your dog sounds amazing!!! So his mimicking your moves... that's rather incredible.

emmabeth
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Re: Okay...I messed up training somehow

Post by emmabeth » Wed Nov 24, 2010 1:27 pm

Headology - thats what you need.

So - as ckranz says, hold out for more 'work' before the exchange and vary your rewards - think fruitmachine not snack machine! Get him gambling.

Secondly - get some identical toys, so you have two or three frisbees, two or three balls etc etc - he only gets to have 1 at once and you can bet your bottom dollar the ones YOU have are way more valuable than the one he has.

Thirdly - if he is playing games like 'Oooh look Mom I stole this... whatchagonnadooooo' ... do the thing he LEAST wants you to do.
So hes got a sock, big deal - you are putting your walking boots on and picking up the dog lead and heading out the door.

Hes got a remote control? So what, you are goin out for a drive, or making a sandwhich in the kitchen or or or... you CAN think of any number of things hed like to be involved in, or that he would prefer you didnt do such as food, going out without him, etc etc - outwit him! He has a brain the size of a walnut, this is not that hard!

However on the flip side of this you have to make sure you are keeping that wallnut entertained - so put his nose to work a nd make some of your walks tracking events, play 'hide and seek' games with him, or 'find the toy' games with him indoors and out. Make him work for his meals by using food dispensing toys or scattering kibble outside - work that walnut-brain and he wont have so much energy to think up things to get your attention.
West Midlands based 1-2-1 Training & Behaviour Canine Consultant

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