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Discussion Starter #1
So I know the 2o2o is great to have, but running contacts appeal to me! So... I had DH make a "Hit It" board (no way was I shelling out almost $150!).

I still have to paint it... and granted this is not a GSD (pretend hes a funny colored dwarf GSD? ;) ) but I wanted to show our first try with it... the GSDs will get to try it out when I figure out what I'm doing. Jinx is my guinea pig dog lol

So this was this morning with his first introduction to the noise. (Ignore my attire lol I was planning to head to bed afterwards but plans have changed)

What I started noticing was that i couldn't say "Hit It" When I did, he thought I said "Sit". So I am going to change it.

Have any of you used a hit it board? Honestly I am not entirely sure how to use it in training. I figure I'll play it by ear a bit.

What I figure I'll do is start with introducing the noise as a secondary reinforcer (like a clicker). Once he is running to it without prompting or luring, I'll start having him run to it, then past it then start introducing it on the DW. Not sure how it's all going to go but it is fun :)

Oh, the beep is kinda loud on the video, you may want to turn down your speakers.... ;)

 

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Discussion Starter #2
Hmm.. I couldn't get that to work, so put it on youtube...

 

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I've never heard of a hit board, but I looked up what the function is and could see it being used like this:

Get some cavalletti bumps and space them out at the stride length you want to train for. Then, put the hit board at the end. Teach your dog to run the cavalletti and hit the board. You can see the same basic concept in this video. In fact, you might use the exact same method (with a PVC box) and once the dog gets good at the PVC box, you could replace the box with a smaller target like the hit board.

 

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Discussion Starter #4
I hadn't seen that one. I was thinking more for the dog walk/teeter/aframe:

 

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Yeah, but I would think you would want to teach ground contact work before moving it to the actual equipment. I think that's the point she is making in the video I linked. (Or maybe she makes that point in part 2 of the video I linked)
 

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Ok, I just watched both parts 1 & 2 of the video I linked. I admittedly hadn't watched them in a while. I still maintain that they concept would be the same. Teach a proper stride on the ground, gradually narrowing the end target until you got down to the hit box size- then move it over to the equipment. If your ground training is solid, as it would have to be if the dog is able to find the 12" square hit box, then the "game" should make a ton of sense when you move to the contact equipment.

...Or not. I dunno. Makes sense to me. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I see what you're saying. Makes sense... Man I wish I could find the video of the guy I first saw doing this. He did not use the box thing like she did and taught the running contact differently (the route I am thinking to go...).

I still like the board :) I have a fast sheltie. I am concerned I wont see him hit the contact and I just want to use it as a training aid for me lol!
 

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Oh my gosh that beeps sounds loud. I don't train this so have no specific help for you as far as a final behavior with the equipment. Love that you video taped it!

I DO have help getting him to know to step on the box though. You need to shape the behavior a bit better. You are just rewarding the final behavior you want (stepping on and getting the buzz) when he doesn't even seem sure that you want him to step on the box. This is a BIG problem for me when I train my dogs, so I recognize it in others! I go too fast with my mental picture of the final thing, when I instead need to break down that mental picture into a ton of preliminary steps to get to that final behavior.

He's offering a ton of different alternate behaviors though. Your method WILL work eventually but more frustrating for the dog cause he's not getting enough reinforcement when he is doing stuff right. Even 1:30 sec in he's confused enough about your goal he stops interacting with the board completely to offer you a sit. And he's also not sure if it's a nose touch or the feet you want even though you seem to only have rewarded when he's on enough to make the noise.......

As usual, a clicker is WAY easier for us and the dog cause it takes out the verbals while giving exact specific info to the dog. Initially just looking at the board should earn the click/treat, when he gets that now he needs to move towards it for a click/treat, when that's reliable then you only click/treat when he touches it with one foot, when that's reliable then when it's 2 feet on it to get the click/treat and then building to the FINAL behavior of on it and making the noise to then only get the click/treat rewards.

I'd also drop the treat ON the board to add to it's importance in the training, rather than the handler focus we get when feeding from our hand. (but maybe that's for later with the contact obstacles, not sure).

Watch how this pup learns to interact with 'the box'. It also doesn't know the end behavior the owner may want, but it absolutely knows it's something to do with that darn box!


This one is neat cause it starts with the pup just looking at the box!



Hey, a GSD! Listen for the timing of the click (you can use a word like 'yes' or some other word you never usually use (good luck with that :) )

actually, this one is pretty good. Look how the humans stay out of the picture completely in all the videos.
 

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Discussion Starter #10

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Hmm.. don't remember seeing all that the first time I saw your reply...

Anyway, I'm no stranger to clicker. I wasn't really looking to shape stepping on it with the clicker. After some thought, I guess I could. I was really looking to cut corners :)blush:) and have him lured onto it to make the noise and have the noise be the "click". The secondary reinforcement marker sound... and he made it happen. I mean how much more perfect timing than could it be if it is set up that way? The beep is the sound of the "click" and his touching makes it happen.

So that was our first session. I had hoped to do more today, but alas the SNOWPOCALYPSE!!! Has hit the area and kids are home from school AND daycare! :cry: Too distracting for him. So... As soon as I can I'll do round two and add a bit more shaping with me out of the picture (I do know how lol just didn't want to! lol) and we'll see how it goes :)

The guy in the last clip video link I posted does start with it on the ground so that is the route I'll end up going. The dog learns to take strides while running the board on the ground to hit the end. I found him through Silvia's blog a little while back (couldn't get her videos to open at work but his did lol).

Honestly, Jinx is going on 4 this year :eek: and I have way too many goals... CD this spring (preferably finishing at the nationals in april), finish his Rally novice at the nationals, get a NA and/or NAJ this year and a CDX in the fall. But he isn't the only dog I plan on titling (Moxie=RN finished and CD & CDX this year & maybe a TD, Hella=RN this year). My plate really is too full lol so I was hoping to cut a few corners. I am not looking for scores or placements in the "fun" stuff (agility/tracking/rally) just enough to qualify for legs for the titles...

Trying the hit it board for fun and see if it improves him wanting to get to the end rather than missing the end contact.
 

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Anyway, I'm no stranger to clicker. I wasn't really looking to shape stepping on it with the clicker. After some thought, I guess I could. I was really looking to cut corners :)blush:) and have him lured onto it to make the noise and have the noise be the "click". The secondary reinforcement marker sound... and he made it happen. I mean how much more perfect timing than could it be if it is set up that way? The beep is the sound of the "click" and his touching makes it happen.
I bet if you had used the clicker during this session, you'd have had him reliably standing on the 'hit it' and making the sound.

I also tend to try to cut corners, but am also trying to take a better cue from my dogs. I have a 'Rule of 3' thing I try to use now. The first time my dog may not get something for many reasons, the second time I should have tried to work thru those reasons and set her up to 'get it', and if she fails the 3rd time it's BAD MOM BAD MOM BAD MOM!

This 'Rule of 3' has really made me think differently cause I set my dog up to succeed rather than fail 4 then 5 then 6 then maybe guess right then fail fail fail. If my girls don't get it the 3rd time, I now stop and rethink the entire training session.

Cause what's going on 99% of the time is I just went too far too fast in the session and they are just guessing guessing guessing and everytime they 'fail' it kind of starts taking the joy out of the session for them. So breaking down behaviors into their more basic steps, using the clicker pretty much anytime I'm teaching something new, and figuring how to have them do something right to earn the reward more frequently, rather than wrong wrong wrong wrong RIGHT wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong RIGHT RIGHT wrong wrong wrong etc.

But that's what has worked best for me and my dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks :) I'll give it a try as soon as the kids are back in school (another snow day... sigh) and video then post ;)

Clicker never hurts afterall lol I can back up and try it instead.
 
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