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Re: Hey Bama Lorne

I so enjoyed watching your video's. I noticed that you were speaking German, is that right? I need your Gabby here to help me.
 

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Re: Hey Bama Lorne

My poor dog has been trying to 'focus' but isn't sure what to do, she is performing every trick she knows in hope of some treat. When she looks at me, I say good girl the same split second that she has now lifted her paw, so that must be confusing for her too.
 

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Re: Hey Bama Lorne

Nina, the problem you are having is why the clicker works better in many training situations. Quicker, sharp sound, and much clearer to the dog to prevent confusion with offering other behaviors. Your circumstance is exactly why, though I can use my voice as a marker and it seems clear to me, to my DOG there may still be a problem.

http://www.clickerlessons.com/attention.htm

http://tailsawagginonline.com/clickertraining.html

http://www.wagntrain.com/attention.htm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15vKqCSNhqY&feature=related
 

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Re: Hey Bama Lorne

Thank you very much, what is quickly saw of the sites look good, I will now work with them.
 

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When you mark the eye contact with a word, should the word be a praise word (good) or the command you want for the look (watch/look)?

Also, at what age should we start this training (can you start too early)?

Thanks!
 

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You give the comand (Watch/look, etc.) get the behavior for half a second and praise and reward. Later you give the commend, get the behavior, praise, praise, praise (to keep the behavior in time) and reward.

With the time you ask for focus longer and longer, first praising constantly to confirm the behaviour and then prasing more sparsely, to meke the pup not dependant of your voice. Finally you have a constant focus with you in silence, praise and reward.

Hope to have been clear...

ETA: And this is something it's never to early to start.
 

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To make sure I understand, you're giving the command (look/watch) before you get the look, regardless how long it takes to get the look. Then praise & reward. Right?

Sorry, this is all new to me. Hopefully next month with the trainer I'll be trained!
 

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I don't wait that the pup look at me for luck and then praise (or click), that is a way of doing it but I'm not patient enough. I at first direct the gaze of the pup showing a treat and puting it at my eyes level while I give the command and reward. Then I slowly move the treat down praising the pup if he keeps its gaze in my eyes and starting again if he moves it with the treat.
 

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Originally Posted By: JohnnyBTo make sure I understand, you're giving the command (look/watch) before you get the look, regardless how long it takes to get the look. Then praise & reward. Right?

Sorry, this is all new to me. Hopefully next month with the trainer I'll be trained!
If you want to add in a verbal cue, I would add it while the dog is in the process of doing what you want. So, once they look at you for a second, say your cue (watch, look, whatever), then reward them. You don't want to add a verbal cue until they understand the behavior. If you say 'Watch me' before they have learned the behavior, it means nothing to them and can dilute it's meaning. Or they might associate 'Watch me' with doing anything BUT watching you.
 

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Originally Posted By: JohnnyB Also, at what age should we start this training (can you start too early)?
It's never too early! I started out with mine as 9 week old puppies. I didn't give any commands, just hung out with them with a treat bag and a clicker. When they looked at me, click/treat. You can also mark it verbally - Yes! or Good! Do several short sessions a few times each day.

Once they were giving me frequent eye contact I started adding the command "watch", and then I'd mark and treat. I like to hold the treat (very small, pinched between my fingers) right in front of the puppy's face, and then WAIT. At first they'll try to get the treat, but eventually they'll look up at you to figure out what the heck is going on, and that's the exact second you want to mark with your voice or a clicker, and then release the treat.

They learn that to get what they want, they have to look AWAY from it and at you instead, which avoids the whole "my dog looks at the food instead of me" problem that people often run into when using treat rewards. Even an extremely food motivated dog can be taught quite easily to ignore food in order to get it.
 

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Originally Posted By: Cassidys Momeventually they'll look up at you to figure out what the heck is going on, and that's the exact second you want to mark with your voice or a clicker, and then release the treat.
I tried the treat between the eyes way but Dante wasn't really giving me eye contact.
It only took him about 5 seconds (Ok, it was longer than 5 seconds but much much shorter than I thought) though to look from the treats in my hands to my eyes to say "What's up?" to get the first eye contact.


I also trained it in way less time than I had been trying to train it with the treat to the head method
 

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Originally Posted By: Barb E.
Originally Posted By: Cassidys Momeventually they'll look up at you to figure out what the heck is going on, and that's the exact second you want to mark with your voice or a clicker, and then release the treat.
I tried the treat between the eyes way but Dante wasn't really giving me eye contact.
It only took him about 5 seconds (Ok, it was longer than 5 seconds but much much shorter than I thought) though to look from the treats in my hands to my eyes to say "What's up?" to get the first eye contact.


I also trained it in way less time than I had been trying to train it with the treat to the head method
I originally learned to train the watch command in Cassidy's puppy class by holding the treat up by my eyes at first, and then gradually moving my hand further from my face until my arm was straight out at my side. But I don't think it's necessary, and found it works just as well to skip that first step entirely, so with Dena & Keefer I just held the treat right out in front of them from day one.

It's also much easier to tell that they're looking at me and not the treat if they have to actually lift their head up away from the food rather than me trying to catch a more subtle, fleeting shift of their eyes.
 

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My trainer has me do this exercise but without any verbal commands. I held out the treats and the first few time I blew at his face and he looked and got a treat. It only took a couple of times before he would look on his own, then I just increased the time he had to maintain eye contact before he got the treat. (second by second increases at first)
 

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I think there are three parts to the human side of this behavior (well, more than three, but I'll just focus on those .. *L*).

1) There's the command. It can be anything you want it to be, or it can be an "implied" command (which is kind of how I do it). My body language is part of what tells my dogs that they're to focus during heeling, for example, and I don't need an additional command that says "look at me". I initially teach the dog to look at me when I say my dog's name. I start as young as possible (my steps for attention training are on my website, http://www.kippsdogs.com/tips.html).

2) Reward/Marker word. This is the word or sound you use at the time that the behavior happens. For me, it's a very happy "YES!!!" with the "SSS" sound drawn out. This means that at the very moment I said "YES!" the dog was doing what I wanted. That marker word is ALWAYS followed by a reward (which, depending on the dog and the level of training and distractions, can be anything from a treat to a ball being thrown to releasing them to go out the door). Once the dog hears the "YES" it tells them that they will then get a reward, so they don't have to continue doing the behavior.

3) A "Keep Going" word or words. This is what I use when the dog is doing something I really like and I want to prolong that. For instance, when I teach heeling, at first I use the "YES!!" and reward as soon as they do an attentive step in heeling. Then I gradually want them to do more, so I use my "Keep going" words to encourage the behavior a bit longer before I mark it and reward it. My "keep going" words are basically praise words, like "Good girl! That is so good! You're so wonderful! Excellent job!" and then a happy "YES!!" to stop and reward the heeling.

Hopefully that all made sense .. *L*

Melanie and the gang in Alaska
 

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I'm going to add my $.02, because as the owner of a non-food motivated dog (she's getting better, but...), a lot of positive training is hard to translate. You have to use a toy, and you have to use the right one, etc etc etc. Hot dogs just don't work. You have to figure out your dog's desires, and modify all the time.

So we've been teaching focus in wee little baby steps over the last few months, and I think its been pretty successful. The baby steps are because we don't know what we're doing - its not the dog's fault.


At first she had to sit before she went outside. Then she had to sit and look before she went outside. Then she had to sit (or down) before we'd throw the ball. Then she had to sit (or down) and look before we'd throw the ball. Now she will sit and look from half-way across the yard if I time it right.
We're working on increasing the amount of time she has to look, and I do this the old-fashioned way, either by counting in my head, or, if its a second longer than yesterday, I say, "goood, goood" and increase the number of "goods" by 1.

This way of doing it has had the additional benefit of letting her self-regulate her exercise. I have a mostly black long-haired gsd that likes to chase the ball in 100F temps.
If she needs to take a break, instead of dropping the ball, sitting, and staring into my eyes, she'll drop it and come stand next to me. She'll chase the ball as long as you throw it, so having this language to use is very helpful.


This has also helped me learn to read my dog better, and helped with my timing. For example, after we say "okay," if we don't allow the micro-second it takes for her to shift her eyes to the ball before we throw it, she gets her feelings hurt a bit. That flash of puzzlement in her eyes is something I wouldn't have learned without this exercise.

I'm adding all of this to the sticky, because I am a very novice dog owner and trainer, and I want to encourage the discouraged. If I can do it through this method, it might work for others as well.
 

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I read somewhere that it's good to spit treats out of your mouth rather than giving treats by hand. This way your dog is looking at you rather than focusing at your hand.

I tried this and found myself mumbeling the cues. Any particular treats you recommend for this?
 

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I only spit for a front finish on recall, the rest I found myself leaning and causing Dante to shift himself to catch the treat.
And really I only did it 'cause it sounded like fun.

The method above with the treat in each hand and then a marker with eye contact really taught Dante the focus on the eyes that I wanted. In my opinion the eye contact itself has to be taught somehow other wise the dog is simply focusing on your mouth, your forehead, your hand or where ever the treat is.

Oh and for spitting I used hotdogs or these dog jerky treats that are made in the US and only have meat and some seasonings.
 

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I agree with Barb. I know many people who spit treats, and that's fine, but I'm not coordinated enough to do that, and besides I don't want my dogs to look at my face because food might come flying out of my mouth at any moment. I want them to look at my face no matter WHERE the food is, and even when there IS no food, because that's what they've been conditioned to do.
 

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Originally Posted By: MiraculixI read somewhere that it's good to spit treats out of your mouth rather than giving treats by hand. This way your dog is looking at you rather than focusing at your hand.

I tried this and found myself mumbeling the cues. Any particular treats you recommend for this?
It doesn't work for me either, all my dogs never see the food and when it finally drops, because I can time it properly either, all they learn is to look on the floor for the treat.
 

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i treat with chicken, beef or biscuits. he seems to like all of them. i can't tell which one he likes more. they say you're suppose to treat with certain things depending on the lesson. i guess something they like more for certain things or harder things that you're teaching. my boy responses to treats or praise with a vigorous pet. to make him look at me i raise my right hand up beside my right eye and i wiggle or rub my thumb, first finger and middle fingers together while saying "look at me". he probably saying "dude, that looks really weird, rubbing your fingers together near your eyes, why don't you just call my name". i saw a video of The Monks of New Skeet and one of them did it. now that spitting of the treats, are you suppose to spit them at their face so they can get the treat and look up at you?? isn't that like spitting on your dog? hey, i'm no pro but that sounds funny to me. i am going to try it. i can see my dog now, "did you just spit biscuits in my face? you don't like it when i lick your face sometimes. now take me out back and rinse me with the hose, i like playing with the hose". this to me is as funny when some one posted if your dog has an accident in the house don't clean it up in from of him because he'll think it's ok. i have to go and spit some biscuits now. i wonder if i spit some grapes or strawberries at my GF will she listen to me??
 
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