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Old 11-25-2013, 07:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default I must admit, he did a good job

My boyfriend taught Varick to lay down today, something that I've been trying for months. I am very happy and relieved. I'm also proud of my boyfriend for figuring out how to do it. He didn't use force either. He used an old T-shirt that Varick likes to play with. There is still a lot to work on, because he only knows what the motion is (bringing the toy to the ground), so I'll have to work on the individual word.
*I'm not sure if I want to use "down" or "platz", any suggestions or comments on which word I should use?*
The only issue is talking to my boyfriend about how I want Varick to be trained. I use the word "yes" as a replacement for the clicker. This lets him know that what he did was right, so he'll most likely do it again (positive reinforcement). And I don't have the toy in sight while I'm training. I also don't want him to only lay down from the sit position, I want him to lay down from stand.
My boyfriend doesn't use my "cue" word (yes), so I need to tell him that this is the word he always needs to use. If he uses something else, wouldn't that be confusing for Varick? He always has the toy right in front of his face (so Varick is looking at the toy, not in his eyes).
Other than those tiny issues, which I will talk about with him, I am very proud of my boyfriend. I just feel a little left out, and maybe a little jealous. :/ Oh well, I'll get over it. I'm just happy that Varick is learning this!
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Varick vom Haus Jeffery
Dark Sable, intact male
DDR/West German Show

Last edited by HarleyTheGSD; 11-25-2013 at 08:01 PM.
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Old 11-25-2013, 08:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You should both be training the same way as to avoid confusion.

To train positions, I start by luring into position then marking. Then, after the dog is performing the exercise reliably, I add the verbal command right before the physical cue, then slowly fade the physical cue.

If you are trying to get the dog to down without luring or physically placing the dog into position, you will have to free shape the position. This works for some, but for me it takes longer, and you run the risk of getting a sloppy position.

I would recommend Michael Ellis' video "The Power of Training Dogs with Food."

http://leerburg.com/220.htm

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Old 11-25-2013, 08:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by David Winners View Post
You should both be training the same way as to avoid confusion.

To train positions, I start by luring into position then marking. Then, after the dog is performing the exercise reliably, I add the verbal command right before the physical cue, then slowly fade the physical cue.

If you are trying to get the dog to down without luring or physically placing the dog into position, you will have to free shape the position. This works for some, but for me it takes longer, and you run the risk of getting a sloppy position.

I would recommend Michael Ellis' video "The Power of Training Dogs with Food."

Leerburg | The Power of Training Dogs with Food DVD

David Winners
So luring is acceptable in the beginning. I understand. I'll work on repetitive downs with the toy present, and eventually phase it and the motion out completely.
Thank you for your reply!
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Old 11-25-2013, 09:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarleyTheGSD View Post
*I'm not sure if I want to use "down" or "platz", any suggestions or comments on which word I should use?*
It really makes no difference, just pick one and use it consistently. You can also train formal commands with one word and more relaxed commands with other words if you want, as long as the criteria for each are different, and you are very consistent about reinforcing those separate criteria. Examples might be a formal recall to an automatic sit in front, (such as you'd use in competition), vs an informal command you'd use around the house, where you don't require any particular position or speed you just want your dog to come towards you, or an attention heel vs simply walking on a loose leash without pulling.

Quote:
The only issue is talking to my boyfriend about how I want Varick to be trained. I use the word "yes" as a replacement for the clicker. This lets him know that what he did was right, so he'll most likely do it again (positive reinforcement). And I don't have the toy in sight while I'm training. I also don't want him to only lay down from the sit position, I want him to lay down from stand.
My boyfriend doesn't use my "cue" word (yes), so I need to tell him that this is the word he always needs to use. If he uses something else, wouldn't that be confusing for Varick? He always has the toy right in front of his face (so Varick is looking at the toy, not in his eyes).
Actually, "yes!" is a marker, your cue would be the word you use (or the hand signal) for the behavior.

I do use both a verbal marker and the clicker and that doesn't seem to confuse my dogs, but I would discourage using more than one marker word, as it could definitely be confusing. As David said, it's fine to lure for awhile, but I like to lure only as long as absolutely necessary, and then use an empty hand for the lure motion and treat from the other hand (if you're training with food rewards), or get the toy out of sight if you're using play as the reward. Later, I fade the lure motion to something more subtle and that becomes my hand signal for that behavior, but I want my dogs to respond to my hand movement, not the treat or the toy in my hand.

With "down", it looks like this: I start by luring with a treat, taking my hand all the way to the floor, marking and giving the treat to the dog as it drops into a down. A few repetitions of that, and then I try the same motion with an empty hand, but still marking and rewarding. Gradually, I fade that big movement of bending over and putting my hand to the floor to a single finger pointing down, while I remain standing.

It can be difficult if your boyfriend doesn't want to respect your wishes with regards to how Varick is trained, but hopefully you can explain to him how important it is to use the same marker word, and the same criteria for each behavior that you are.
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Old 11-25-2013, 09:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Cassidy's Mom View Post
It really makes no difference, just pick one and use it consistently. You can also train formal commands with one word and more relaxed commands with other words if you want, as long as the criteria for each are different, and you are very consistent about reinforcing those separate criteria. Examples might be a formal recall to an automatic sit in front, (such as you'd use in competition), vs an informal command you'd use around the house, where you don't require any particular position or speed you just want your dog to come towards you, or an attention heel vs simply walking on a loose leash without pulling.



Actually, "yes!" is a marker, your cue would be the word you use (or the hand signal) for the behavior.

I do use both a verbal marker and the clicker and that doesn't seem to confuse my dogs, but I would discourage using more than one marker word, as it could definitely be confusing. As David said, it's fine to lure for awhile, but I like to lure only as long as absolutely necessary, and then use an empty hand for the lure motion and treat from the other hand (if you're training with food rewards), or get the toy out of sight if you're using play as the reward. Later, I fade the lure motion to something more subtle and that becomes my hand signal for that behavior, but I want my dogs to respond to my hand movement, not the treat or the toy in my hand.

With "down", it looks like this: I start by luring with a treat, taking my hand all the way to the floor, marking and giving the treat to the dog as it drops into a down. A few repetitions of that, and then I try the same motion with an empty hand, but still marking and rewarding. Gradually, I fade that big movement of bending over and putting my hand to the floor to a single finger pointing down, while I remain standing.

It can be difficult if your boyfriend doesn't want to respect your wishes with regards to how Varick is trained, but hopefully you can explain to him how important it is to use the same marker word, and the same criteria for each behavior that you are.
I would like to have a formal and an informal down, so I'll use the two words in different criteria as you said. After we master down/platz, I'd like to work on the down-in-motion.

Ahh, thank you for correcting me.
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Harley
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Varick vom Haus Jeffery
Dark Sable, intact male
DDR/West German Show
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Old 11-27-2013, 11:07 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I actually trained my dog both lay down and platz.

Platz I use as a more formal down, that I want to be quicker and proper in position, down is more relaxed, as in, go lay down on your bed and quit bugging me. lol
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Old 11-27-2013, 11:30 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Yup same here. You always want to put the formal command in a different language than the one you actually speak natively if you are going to use two different languages. It has to be something you wouldn't use in casual conversation or say without meaning to. That way you keep the command "pure"
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