Help With Some Commands - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-05-2012, 02:46 PM Thread Starter
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Help With Some Commands

Currently working on Pass Auf (watch), Perching, Pakken (bite), and touch. The two big ones are Pass Auf and Touch. Perching is going slowly but I think I'm starting to get the hang of it (I use a phone book).

Can anyone give me tips on teaching how to get him to "touch" (when you point at something and he touches it with his paw)? Any advice on teaching the other commands is helpful too. Perching I think I'm getting the hang of, it's just a matter of holding his attention for long enough. He'll bite just about anything, but sometimes if he's distracted he won't listen (same with sit and platz, actually). I'm working on doing those commands in more distracting areas like the park or outside the grocery store (slowly building up to that).

Tips would be appreciated!

Viking vom Zeder-Kamme (11/19/2011)
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-05-2012, 04:31 PM
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Are you training your dog in SchH or Ring? I don't understand how you would be working on watch and bite at the grocery store. Your dog should only be using these commands when working with a helper or a decoy and not randomly like this.

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-05-2012, 10:47 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Elaine View Post
Are you training your dog in SchH or Ring? I don't understand how you would be working on watch and bite at the grocery store. Your dog should only be using these commands when working with a helper or a decoy and not randomly like this.
Sorry, didn't think I would have to clarify. Working on "sit" and "platz" outside the grocery store, so he learns to keep focus on me and not everything interesting around him. Yes I do intend to do schutzhund. I was going to a club for about a month but some things came up and it's being put on hold for awhile (re-evaluating in July-August). Learned bite while at the schutzhund club with a helper, and started learning pass auf towards the end of it.

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-05-2012, 10:55 PM
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What are you doing with the perch and the touch? Agility?

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-05-2012, 11:27 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Elaine View Post
What are you doing with the perch and the touch? Agility?
Yep. I work on agility at training (we do a private training session 1-2 times a month). Perch is also good for building awareness of the rear, which is a good thing with or without agility. We start our agility class in June (signed up and everything). So far he's great with tunnels. We're not doing any jumping until he's grown more, just working on desensitizing him to equipment and getting him to be aware of how his body moves (which since he's a little clumsy right now, even for a puppy, is a good thing).

I think it's important to work on these at home, too, though, so I as a trainer get practice giving them and making sure I'm using the right signals and not confusing the dog.

Was told by the helper that I could work on pass auf and pakken at home with Pat as the decoy. Pat was shown how to do it. I really wish I could be at the schutzhund club every week again, that was extremely helpful.

Viking vom Zeder-Kamme (11/19/2011)

Last edited by ladyfreckles; 05-05-2012 at 11:30 PM.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-06-2012, 12:36 AM
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I hate to say it, but you can really screw up your dog by practicing watch and bite on an inexperienced helper without direct supervision. I certainly wouldn't do it. It would be much better to wait until you are ready to train on a regular basis. Starting with an untrained dog is much better than having to try and fix a screwed up dog once you are able to get back into it.

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-06-2012, 02:46 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Elaine View Post
I hate to say it, but you can really screw up your dog by practicing watch and bite on an inexperienced helper without direct supervision. I certainly wouldn't do it. It would be much better to wait until you are ready to train on a regular basis. Starting with an untrained dog is much better than having to try and fix a screwed up dog once you are able to get back into it.
Okay, this bothers me. I'm going to say why.

I made this thread with the best intentions for my dog. I asked several questions, none of which have been answered. Instead I'm being grilled with questions and given orders. While the "advice" given here might be relavent, and I just might screw up my dog if I worked on pass auf/packen at home after being shown how, none of that really helps get me anywhere with training. I asked for help with perch work, help with distractions, and help with the "touch" command as well as help with the other things. None of that has been answered.

The posts are judgmental in tone, contribute absolutely nothing to this entire conversation, and show a desire to lecture/judge rather than actually help. You could have said, "Hey here's all I know about perch work, here's a helpful video" and tagged onto the end "Also I wouldn't work on the schutzhund commands without an experienced helper around". That would have been a nice way to do it, as well as a helpful and constructive way that changes the tone of the conversation. Instead you immediately created tension by asking accusatory questions.

Think about this: if I was a new poster coming on here to ask this question, and I fully intended to train the dog with these command regardless of what people said/thought, the only thing your posts would have done is drive me off of this forum to get advice elsewhere rather than trust you.

I have seen nothing helpful in this thread. No helpful tips for perching (which I know is thought of positively by many people on here), no tips on touch, and nothing about working in distraction. Another thing is I know many dogs that are taught the perching and touch commands that have never done agility in their entire lives. They're not screwed up, in fact they are well behaved, love doing tricks and think it's all fun. Why does the reason I want to teach my dog a simple trick have any value in regards to whether or not you give advice? Perching is harmless, just like "stand", "sit" and "down" are. It's just teaching a dog to put his or her body into a certain position and move it.

If anyone who actually wants to help me with the other things is willing to post, then please do so. For the rest of it I'll talk to a knowledgable trainer and work on it with them. But for the love of all things pawsitive, please do not come in here with interrogation on your mind.
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Viking vom Zeder-Kamme (11/19/2011)

Last edited by ladyfreckles; 05-06-2012 at 02:49 AM.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-06-2012, 07:45 AM
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you asked for advice and Elaine gave you some advice
to help you and your dog. you're not close to being grilled.

when i teach my dog a command i like to start teaching
the command in the house or in the yard. once the dog
starts understanding the command i add in distractions.
i think most things and situations are a distraction to
a pup. i think it's easier on the pup to start learning
the new command without distractions. when i add distractions
i make them easy in the begining then as the learning continues
the distractions become harder.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-06-2012, 08:30 AM
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LadyFreckles here is how I taught the touch. I like to use a calf feed bowl made of black thick rubber and about 8 inches in diameter. This bowl and width is nice because it's not too wide and it's round for when you do perch work. Sometimes it's fun to free shape a behavior and that is what I did with the touch. I put the bowl on the ground, upside down, and wait for the pup to pay attention to it. Mark and reward. You will do this a few times just don't get stuck at one place for too long. Move on and wait for more of the behavior you want. So the pup touches with a paw. Mark and reward. Finally you wait until they put both paws on the bowl, mark and reward.

You can lure across the bowl to get the touch behavior but I think this is a good opportunity to free shape instead and teach the pup to work things out. For example, in agility there are a few ways to train the weaves. One way is to open them up and teach the dog to run down the middle. Then slightly close them up until the dog is weaving. Another method is to lure the dog thru the closed up weaves by pushing out with your knee and pulling in with food. Problem with the second method (luring) is the dog is looking at you for direction and eventually you have to "fade" the knee and the food lure. The first method, the dog learns how to weave without your interaction. No fading. Usually a better outcome.

Once you get a touch when you plop the bowl on the floor, THEN you put a command to it - "touch". The saying is "don't name it until you love it" and I love that!

As far as Schutzhund, it depends on how serious you expect to get in it as to what you want to do at home. If you think you want to compete, I would leave the training alone until you can get guidance.

Instead, work on plan that is important no matter what and that would be good focus and a good relationship with your pup thru play and age appropriate obedience exercises that build the behavior of focus on you. Just a simple example, when Minka was a pup I would wait until she made eye contact before I would throw her ball. I would ask her to sit, make eye contact then throw the ball. I free shaped that she had to look at my eyes before I would let her out of the car or off the deck or thru a door. Just wait until the pup looks at you then mark and reward (or release). They learn quickly that eye contact is a good thing. In free shaping, you have to be patient and wait them out until the behavior occurs. Don't cheat by showing them part of it. The process can help the dog with a concept of "if I figure out what my trainer wants, then I get what I want"."

Oh and yeah, add distractions in after the behavior is understood.

Good luck!


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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-06-2012, 02:24 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doggiedad View Post
you asked for advice and Elaine gave you some advice
to help you and your dog. you're not close to being grilled.

when i teach my dog a command i like to start teaching
the command in the house or in the yard. once the dog
starts understanding the command i add in distractions.
i think most things and situations are a distraction to
a pup. i think it's easier on the pup to start learning
the new command without distractions. when i add distractions
i make them easy in the begining then as the learning continues
the distractions become harder.
I mentioned that in my post. Even though Elaine's post was technically advice, it was gone about in the wrong way, ignoring all of my other questions. I consider it being "grilled" when people ask me several questions and then when I answer just refuse to help. IMO you shouldn't question why a person wants to do an innocent command like "perching". Pas Auf and Packen I can understand completely, especially if I was warned like I was in the below post. However you don't just respond to a post to tell a person what they're doing wrong without offering constructive and helpful criticism. That wasn't helpful. It was vague. You don't train your dog by constantly correcting/scolding him/her do you? That's now how you should "train" people, either.

As for the distraction, that helps a bit. He can do commands on walks, hikes, at the park, at dog training class, or during high distraction events when I have good enough treats. But when something super exciting like Pat feeding the cats is going on he couldn't care less what I want him to do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JanaeUlva View Post
LadyFreckles here is how I taught the touch. I like to use a calf feed bowl made of black thick rubber and about 8 inches in diameter. This bowl and width is nice because it's not too wide and it's round for when you do perch work. Sometimes it's fun to free shape a behavior and that is what I did with the touch. I put the bowl on the ground, upside down, and wait for the pup to pay attention to it. Mark and reward. You will do this a few times just don't get stuck at one place for too long. Move on and wait for more of the behavior you want. So the pup touches with a paw. Mark and reward. Finally you wait until they put both paws on the bowl, mark and reward.

You can lure across the bowl to get the touch behavior but I think this is a good opportunity to free shape instead and teach the pup to work things out. For example, in agility there are a few ways to train the weaves. One way is to open them up and teach the dog to run down the middle. Then slightly close them up until the dog is weaving. Another method is to lure the dog thru the closed up weaves by pushing out with your knee and pulling in with food. Problem with the second method (luring) is the dog is looking at you for direction and eventually you have to "fade" the knee and the food lure. The first method, the dog learns how to weave without your interaction. No fading. Usually a better outcome.

Once you get a touch when you plop the bowl on the floor, THEN you put a command to it - "touch". The saying is "don't name it until you love it" and I love that!

As far as Schutzhund, it depends on how serious you expect to get in it as to what you want to do at home. If you think you want to compete, I would leave the training alone until you can get guidance.

Instead, work on plan that is important no matter what and that would be good focus and a good relationship with your pup thru play and age appropriate obedience exercises that build the behavior of focus on you. Just a simple example, when Minka was a pup I would wait until she made eye contact before I would throw her ball. I would ask her to sit, make eye contact then throw the ball. I free shaped that she had to look at my eyes before I would let her out of the car or off the deck or thru a door. Just wait until the pup looks at you then mark and reward (or release). They learn quickly that eye contact is a good thing. In free shaping, you have to be patient and wait them out until the behavior occurs. Don't cheat by showing them part of it. The process can help the dog with a concept of "if I figure out what my trainer wants, then I get what I want"."

Oh and yeah, add distractions in after the behavior is understood.

Good luck!
This is the post I was looking for! Thank you. I have printed your post out and it's hanging on my wall right now . Behavior shaping is how I got him to "wait" before bolting out of his crate. Never thought to apply it to "touch"! Lots of great info here, thanks. And I agree, for now I'll just work with tug and making that fun for him.

Viking vom Zeder-Kamme (11/19/2011)
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