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Originally Posted By: doggiedad i wonder if i spit some grapes or strawberries at my GF will she listen to me??
Let us know how that works.

Before I could use treat spitting in actual training, Dante and I both had to train in aiming and catching
 

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I do spit treats from time to time with Kayla. Like Barb, I mostly use it for her call to fronts. But I also use it from time to time on her heeling when she gets into her forging self-then I just turn my head to the side and wait for her to get back in position. And it does take a little coordination.

I usually use either chesse or chicken-it has to be something I'm willing to swallow. Works real well on those days way skipping a meal because then I get to eat as well.

Originally Posted By: doggiedadi wonder if i spit some grapes or strawberries at my GF will she listen to me??
Please videotape so we can all learn!
 

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I used to do more spitting but I've kind of phased it out for the most part. Part of the problem I had is that with short-backed dogs (like my chows), when you try to spit to them when they're in heel position you either have to drop your shoulder back (bad cue) or the dog has to forge forward (also bad). I was REALLY good at spitting a treat to where I wanted it to go but also found that spitting to my dogs in a front position caused them to sometimes sit too far back.

By the way, I used small cubes of cheese or meat usually - sometimes I wouldn't mind swallowing if I needed to .. *L*

What I do still do is carry treats in my mouth at times. I have learned to tuck them into my cheeks and can speak quite clearly even with several treats in my mouth. Then I can reach up and take a treat out when needed. It provides a quick, easy place to put treats and my dogs don't know when I have treats and when I don't. It keeps treats out of my pockets (too close to dog noses).

When you teach a dog to look at your face despite having treats in your hand (like the method discussed in this thread) then having the treats in your mouth doesn't seem to matter that much. What's really important is that at some point you get the treats OFF your body so that the dog learns to still respond even when you have no treats on you. The biggest mistake many food trainers make is to train too long with treats obviously available. Get those treats onto a table, hidden under floor mats, tucked up on top of windowsills, etc. and then sporadically reward your dog by running them to where you have treats hidden, instead of giving them treats that they know you have on you. That way your dog will never know where the treats will come from and will learn that even when you don't have treats, it's likely that you have some hidden somewhere nearby.

Melanie and the gang
 

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Originally Posted By: Everett54I do spit treats from time to time with Kayla. Like Barb, I mostly use it for her call to fronts. But I also use it from time to time on her heeling when she gets into her forging self-then I just turn my head to the side and wait for her to get back in position. And it does take a little coordination.

I usually use either chesse or chicken-it has to be something I'm willing to swallow. Works real well on those days way skipping a meal because then I get to eat as well.

Originally Posted By: doggiedadi wonder if i spit some grapes or strawberries at my GF will she listen to me??
Please videotape so we can all learn!
there will be no video.LOL.
 

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Originally Posted By: IliamnasQuest

What's really important is that at some point you get the treats OFF your body so that the dog learns to still respond even when you have no treats on you. The biggest mistake many food trainers make is to train too long with treats obviously available. Get those treats onto a table, hidden under floor mats, tucked up on top of windowsills, etc. and then sporadically reward your dog by running them to where you have treats hidden, instead of giving them treats that they know you have on you. That way your dog will never know where the treats will come from and will learn that even when you don't have treats, it's likely that you have some hidden somewhere nearby.

Melanie and the gang
Wow! Great idea! Thanks!

I've found the key is to get Zack to look at my face before "good stuff happens." That includes meals, giving an "OK" to sniff during walks, etc. German Shepherds, in my experience, are really tuned into us anyway. The key is to make interaction with us more rewarding than the outside world. It takes practice & lots & lots of socialization.

Before I train, I always give Zack a chance to sniff out the territory. We get to the park (or where ever) & he has ~ 10 minutes to just check it out. Shepherds need to make sure the area is safe, no marauding cats, etc. After he's done, he'll look up at me like, "Well?"

I never push focus. I always quit while he's still interested. Sometimes it's a couple of minutes & often it is much longer. But, just like us humans, sometimes he's just "off" that day. And it's OK. We just don't want to be "off" after Mom has paid $20 entry fee...
 

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Re: Hey Bama Lorne

wow!! how great is that....your daughter does so well, and your boy is awesome. i am really trying with mine, have had her only 3 weeks and she is 11 months. some training before we got her, needs more. enjoying indoor dog park though, so pretty socialized. i have problem with sit stay even with the treat and eye contact. any suggestion? thanks

love all the pics. wonderful animal
 

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Re: Hey Bama Lorne

wow she is really great, I have taught my dog to heal but to constantly look at me. He walks by my side until I tell him ok which is release command. He is 2.5 yrs and I will now teach him to concentrate on me while in the heal command first teaching him to focus, at his age should I still use treats? I am not a trainer, I read a training book called dog training for dummies and applied what I have learned so any advice you can share are deeply appreciated...thanks
 

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Re: Hey Bama Lorne

Wow that is really rude! I think any trainer that comes to that conclusion must not be as qualified as you may have first thought...

Anyway this thread is great, I can't wait to get home to try it out. I think I was just doing it the wrong way and getting frustrated. I was bringing the food up to my face. He did look, and when I say 'Look' he makes eye contact then goes for my hand right after. I'm going to pick up some extra yummy treats too :) Thanks bama lorne!

P.S. I almost forgot to say how amazing that video of your daughter was. The dog is completely focused on her and she is already a pro! Great job to both of you and Olex
 

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Quick bump on this...when teaching focus do you all wait for the dog to sit first and then make eye contact or do you treat them for eye contact even if standing or walking towards you? I started doing it whenever but now am waiting for a sit and look first.

Opinions?

Thanks!
 

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I'm with Jamie, eye contact in all positions is the goal so I don't really differentiate.

However, in teaching the initial focus (which for me is a stationary exercise), I've found that with some dogs it helps to tell them "sit" so that they're not wandering around at the end of the leash. The sit helps them focus a bit and then it's easier to get the eye contact so that you can reward it. It all depends on the dog.

Once they're doing consistent eye contact in that sit, however, I do want them up and moving and giving me the same focus.

Melanie and the gang in Alaska
 

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Ive also noticed that he will look at me when standing and keep that eye contact while he sits...so after a few seconds of focus he ends up sitting anyways...Im fine with that at this age. Thanks to everyone for this great thread!
 

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I also only spit treats for fronting. I wait until Asta is sitting in front of me then I more or less drop it at her feet. My aim really, really sucks, just the other day I did spit it in her eye. HAHAHA! I felt so bad but of course it didn't phase her.


I am fortunate, the only time I really need to help her focus is at puppy class. She has fear-aggression toward other dogs (the reason we are there) and at first (7 weeks ago), I could not willingly get her to do anything. She wanted to hover on the wall. (This was after a good 5 minutes of solid barking... but that's another story. ;)) Anyhoo, because she was more concerned with where the other dogs were at all times, she wouldn't always focus. What I did was point to the middle of my eyes on the bridge of my nose while I said, "EH! To me." Sometimes I'd have to say her name because she was in "where's-that-dog-mode". I am happy to say that her barking time has now decreased and that she now does all commands without hesitation!

As for treats, I found that the Charlie Bear (sp?) training treats work pretty well. I have the cheese & egg ones. I had once tried pupperoni's cut up, but these crumbled in my mouth! *GAG!*

When we first started fronting, while the dogs were coming, we'd lure them in, and bring the treat to our mouths. That is when I put it in once she's sitting and focused. I cannot talk with treats in my mouth, lol, I end up sounding muffled because I don't want it to fall out, and of course saliva goes into overdrive and I'm afraid of looking like a drooling idiot.


Our trainer would also have us practise with only spitting treats. Once the dog was focused, then you spit it on the ground. We never really had a problem with focus, but let me tell you, even the really, super hyper dogs that eyes were rolling around in their heads, ran all over, bite their owners and couldn't even sit (!) now focus with their owners!
 

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yeah...grapes and raisins are very poisonous to dogs.

Thank you!!! to whoever must have pulled this thread from the archives!!!
 
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