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Old 03-29-2014, 12:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Anticipating commands problems.

So my puppy is doing this with the sit and down command. I also can never get him to down without going into a sit first. This is bothering me because I try to make it more challenging by walking around and sitting him as he follows me but he waits until he is either right in front of me or close of enough before he sits. Sometimes I don't even have to say it and he will just sit. Obviously he is understanding sit but he does it when he wants not always on my request. And now that we have been working on down he'll go to sit and then go to down with me telling him to do so. Any advice?
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Old 03-29-2014, 01:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Do you have a release cue, something that tells him he can stop doing whatever you've asked him to do? I use "okay", and there are all sorts of reasons why that's not the best word to use, but old habits die hard. If you haven't trained anything for that yet, pick a word or phrase - some people use "free" or "release", or "take a break". Others use their marker (a click, or a verbal marker such as "yes!") to indicate that the exercise is over and the dog can now move.

For the going into a down after you've told him to sit, I'd give him a couple of treats in rapid succession while he's in position, and then release him from the sit before he has a chance to lay down. Pick another word (such as "good"), to signal that he's doing what you want when he sits on cue, but that he needs to keep doing it. If you miss and he lays down before you can stop him, you can use a negative marker, aka a "no reward marker" - NRM), such as "oops!", and then re-cue the sit. Not everyone uses a NRM, but I think it's good to give the puppy as much information as possible. Start with very short duration before extending the amount of time you expect him to remain in position, so he has the most opportunity to succeed. Once he'll hold a sit for a few seconds without breaking, start to mix up the amount of time so he doesn't start anticipating the release - this time it might be one second, next time 4 seconds, then 2 seconds, etc.

Also, if he's only sitting when he wants to and not when you cue it, he probably doesn't fully understand the cue. To us, sit means to plant his butt on the floor/ground, but dogs are more literal and don't generalize well. So if you mostly train in one place, at the same time of day, and with him facing you toe to toe while you're standing in front of him, he'll learn that's what sit means. Train in different rooms every day, train him while you're standing, while you're sitting in a chair or the couch, or on the floor with him. Train him to sit next to you in addition to in front of you. Train him in your yard, then on the sidewalk in front of your house, until no matter where you are or what you're doing, he'll consistently respond to the cue.

Distance commands are more challenging, so I would wait to work on that until he's solid sitting in front of you or at your side in a variety of different circumstances. Automatic sits are fine, I wouldn't worry about that too much. I actually like an automatic sit at my side when I stop walking, and train my dogs to do that by luring at first, then simply waiting for it, then marking and rewarding.
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Old 03-29-2014, 01:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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You may also find that while he likes to down from a sit, he's completely baffled by the sit cue from a down position. "Sit" doesn't just mean sitting from a stand, just as "down" doesn't just mean laying down from a sit. If you train the stand position you can randomly move between all three, which makes anticipating more difficult, and at first you may need to go back to luring for a bit.

In Halo's Puppy 2 class we trained sit/down/sit/stand/down/stand, so the puppies had to learn each position from each other position. On the last day of class we had to demonstrate that we could do the complete sequence with just verbal cues and with just hand signals. It's easiest to train with hand signals first, since the lure motion can be faded to a hand signal (no food in the hand), and then once that's solid you would add the verbal cue just before the hand signal. Don't do them at the same time, wait a beat or two after saying the word before using the hand signal - you want him to learn to associate the two, so he needs some time to process the word or he'll just tune it out in favor of the hand signal that he already knows.
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Old 03-29-2014, 01:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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puta treat in your hand and put it level with his nose. Push the treat towards him so he backs up. Eventually he will back into a down without sitting first.

These dogs are the great anticipators. You have to mix the commands up and never train in a pattern unless that is what you want. I trained Jax to Front and then Heel. Eventually she started skipping the Front and I had to retrain it with a new command.
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Old 03-29-2014, 02:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassidy's Mom View Post
Do you have a release cue, something that tells him he can stop doing whatever you've asked him to do? I use "okay", and there are all sorts of reasons why that's not the best word to use, but old habits die hard. If you haven't trained anything for that yet, pick a word or phrase - some people use "free" or "release", or "take a break". Others use their marker (a click, or a verbal marker such as "yes!") to indicate that the exercise is over and the dog can now move.

For the going into a down after you've told him to sit, I'd give him a couple of treats in rapid succession while he's in position, and then release him from the sit before he has a chance to lay down. Pick another word (such as "good"), to signal that he's doing what you want when he sits on cue, but that he needs to keep doing it. If you miss and he lays down before you can stop him, you can use a negative marker, aka a "no reward marker" - NRM), such as "oops!", and then re-cue the sit. Not everyone uses a NRM, but I think it's good to give the puppy as much information as possible. Start with very short duration before extending the amount of time you expect him to remain in position, so he has the most opportunity to succeed. Once he'll hold a sit for a few seconds without breaking, start to mix up the amount of time so he doesn't start anticipating the release - this time it might be one second, next time 4 seconds, then 2 seconds, etc.

Also, if he's only sitting when he wants to and not when you cue it, he probably doesn't fully understand the cue. To us, sit means to plant his butt on the floor/ground, but dogs are more literal and don't generalize well. So if you mostly train in one place, at the same time of day, and with him facing you toe to toe while you're standing in front of him, he'll learn that's what sit means. Train in different rooms every day, train him while you're standing, while you're sitting in a chair or the couch, or on the floor with him. Train him to sit next to you in addition to in front of you. Train him in your yard, then on the sidewalk in front of your house, until no matter where you are or what you're doing, he'll consistently respond to the cue.

Distance commands are more challenging, so I would wait to work on that until he's solid sitting in front of you or at your side in a variety of different circumstances. Automatic sits are fine, I wouldn't worry about that too much. I actually like an automatic sit at my side when I stop walking, and train my dogs to do that by luring at first, then simply waiting for it, then marking and rewarding.
I don't have a release word but I sometimes say yes or good. Im trying to do clicker training. So when training him im not sure if I should only click when he does what I ask or also give him praise. I don't want to confuse him which I probably am. And unfortunately I have only been training him in the living room. But that is why I have started walking around trying to get him to do automatic sits. Another thing is he sits so slowly. Not sure if there's anything I can do about that or not. I will stop with the verbal cues and start using only hand cues. I'll find those on YouTube or something. Thanks for all tje advice.
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Old 03-29-2014, 02:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Jax08 View Post
puta treat in your hand and put it level with his nose. Push the treat towards him so he backs up. Eventually he will back into a down without sitting first.

These dogs are the great anticipators. You have to mix the commands up and never train in a pattern unless that is what you want. I trained Jax to Front and then Heel. Eventually she started skipping the Front and I had to retrain it with a new command.
Im assuming he has to be standing to do this. I can try but in thinking he'll sit automatically.
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Old 03-29-2014, 02:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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When Venus did this in puppy class, the trainer had us put the treat in our fist and give the down command while holding the treatfist between the front legs then down to the ground.

If they did it like a playbow without the butt touching the ground, they got the treat. Didn't do it right, no treat try again.
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Old 03-29-2014, 03:00 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Im assuming he has to be standing to do this. I can try but in thinking he'll sit automatically.
I think Michelle means put it at eye level then bring it down. If he's standing, going into a sit would put the treat below the level he wants it. Sort like Venus was trained to do it, except we put it at chest level. The dog wants to go DOWN to get that treat, not into a sit where it's way down there.

I know about the anticipation. Venus used to do that.
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Old 03-29-2014, 03:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airman1stclass View Post
I don't have a release word but I sometimes say yes or good. Im trying to do clicker training. So when training him im not sure if I should only click when he does what I ask or also give him praise. I don't want to confuse him which I probably am. And unfortunately I have only been training him in the living room. But that is why I have started walking around trying to get him to do automatic sits. Another thing is he sits so slowly. Not sure if there's anything I can do about that or not. I will stop with the verbal cues and start using only hand cues. I'll find those on YouTube or something. Thanks for all tje advice.
If you're already using yes as your verbal marker, I'd use good as your "that's it, but keep doing it" word, so he's not confused, especially if the marker ends the behavior. It would be the same with the clicker. Not everyone uses a marker that way, but many do, so figure out what makes sense to you and stick with it.

It's still a good idea to train some sort of release word that's separate from your marker, even if it's just a "all done" cue to let him know that a training session is over. But for me, there are times when I want them to wait until released (in the car, at a doorway, before I throw a ball, while I'm setting the food bowl on the floor, etc.), and they're not getting a treat, it's a real life reward - access to something they value. A marker ALWAYS means a reward is coming, and usually that's a food or toy reward, so this just tells them they're free to go do what they want.

Many people don't also praise when using the clicker since the clicker is the sound that tells them they're doing it right and a reward will follow, but I personally tend to praise a lot too. Keep in mind that you're going to start phasing out the click/treat once a behavior is learned and generalized, so the praise can continue without actually having to keep rewarding them.

Definitely stop only training in the living room! Pick a different room every day and work on everything there. When I taught the automatic sit, I'd have the puppy walk next to me around the house or outside (you can use a wall or a fence to keep him lined up properly) with a treat lure, then I'd move the treat up in front of her nose to lure her into a sit, then mark and reward. Once she'd do that, I added the verbal cue right before the lure, then I stopped luring and used the verbal cue only, and then finally I'd just stop and wait for her to sit before marking and rewarding.

Don't get too worried about hand signals, especially if he's already obeying verbal cues. It's just that it's usually easier to start there since dogs are used to tuning out our excess verbiage since most of it has no relevance to them, and they're masters at studying body language. It's much easier to get them to follow a hand signal and then associate the word that they don't know yet with the hand signal that they already know, but there's no need to go backwards with your training. And as far as hand signals go, if you've lured sits and downs, you already have a hand signal. I use the same motion, but without a treat in the hand, and gradually fade the motion so it's more subtle. For example, a down might start with a treat in front of the puppy's nose and brought all the way to the floor, but eventually I can simply point to the floor with one finger because I've faded the prompt from a more dramatic movement to something smaller.
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Old 03-29-2014, 03:07 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SunCzarina View Post
I think Michelle means put it at eye level then bring it down. If he's standing, going into a sit would put the treat below the level he wants it. Sort like Venus was trained to do it, except we put it at chest level. The dog wants to go DOWN to get that treat, not into a sit where it's way down there.
yes standing. put it on his nose and push back. As he's backing up draw it under his chin. He should collapse into a down
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