how should i be using commands - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-03-2010, 11:44 PM Thread Starter
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how should i be using commands

hello i have had my dog for about a month now. he is a gsd/rott(more gsd than rott) and he is about 7.5 months old. he is not trained at all from his previous owner except kennel wait shake and to ring a bell to go out. i have been trying to train him the best i can since the last owner thought smoking weed all day was more important than this dog. anyways i have heard some people telling me never to repeat a command until the dog performs it and you can reward him. is this true? i have been using this method just to be on the safe side but i wasnt sure
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-04-2010, 08:09 AM
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That is a good policy, otherwise the dog can learn that he doesn't really have to obey your command the first time. Some times, if he has nothing better to do or chase, he'll comply.

If you follow the rule of giving the command once, then correcting (which has various definitions) if the dog doesn't comply, you'll teach the dog that your commands must be followed. There has to be something, other than waiting, that comes after the command is ignored. In my case, depending on the command, I will physically touch the dog. If the dog doesn't sit, I'll put some pressure on the rear end. If he doesn't shake, I'll poke at his shoulder/arm until he shakes. I am talking about light pressure/poking here. It gets the point across ("you must comply") without teaching the dog that you're unpredictable and could hurt it.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-04-2010, 10:10 AM
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I will ask for something twice. I don't repeat them back to back but if the dogs aren't doing it I will wait 25-35 sec or so and then ask again. You can search on youtube and get some really good videos on training different things.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-04-2010, 11:57 AM Thread Starter
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yeah i have been asking once waiting 30 seconds and if he doesnt respond i walk away for a moment then come back and try again
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-04-2010, 12:05 PM
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Have you showed him what you are asking of him. Like luring him into a sit before actually telling him sit. Or luring him into a down. I could even make a short video if you'd like on me training my dog if you'd like. This is when the clicker comes in. I don't give a correction unless I knwo that he knows that command and normally (90%) of the time will do it for me and knows what is expected.

I tend to have hotdog hands alot. lol

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-04-2010, 12:21 PM
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I would not correct a dog for not complying with a command that he hasn't learned yet. How can he do what you're asking if he doesn't know what it is that you want? I would much rather do what Kira suggests - use a food lure to SHOW him what the command means, and then mark it, either verbally or with a clicker, and deliver the treat.

I do only give commands once and then wait for the behavior. The second I get it, I mark and reward. Once the dog understands that a reward is coming they're going to do it sooner next time. But actually, I don't even use a command this early in the game. Whether you say it once or half a dozen times, if he doesn't understand what it means yet it's a waste of time.

Have you looked for an obedience class to take him to? I think that would really help you, particularly one using positive reinforcement techniques with food and/or toy rewards. Corrections are fine for proofing a behavior, but they're not good to teach it because they only tell the dog what NOT to do. There are a lot of wrongs for any particular command, but only one right. Rewarding for doing what you want teaches him what TO do, and he'll learn much faster. Too many corrections when he doesn't understand why is just going to make him shut down and stop trying.

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-04-2010, 01:44 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah I have been luring him. Sometimes he just won't do it and stares at me. I don't really punish him just walk away. He seems to be picking up on the motions I make for each but not my words
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-04-2010, 01:53 PM
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It's much easier for them to learn with hand signals than a voice command because dogs communicate with body language so they are very adept at reading subtle cues. I usually lure for only as long as I need to, then get the food out of that hand and use the lure motion as a hand signal. I mark and reward out of the other hand. It's only later that I work on voice commands only, and I start by saying the command FIRST, waiting a second or two, and then using the hand signal. Eventually, I wait longer and longer for the hand signal, using it only as a reminder, if necessary.

So I say the command, which the dog does not know, then I use a hand signal, which the dog does know. The verbal command becomes a predictor for the hand signal and is then associated with the behavior. This can take time though, you've only had him a month, so I wouldn't worry about it too much at this point. What you don't want to do is say a command and use a hand signal at the same time - he's going to pay attention to what you're doing, not what you're saying, so always say the word first, give him a moment to process it, and then remind him what it means.

-Debbie-
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Halo 11/9/08-6/17/18 ~ You left pawprints on our hearts
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