Thursday, October 9, 2008

Training Update - Riley

First, a cute story... Riley has learned to sit and down. The other night we were all standing at the back door. Stephen and I were putting muzzles on everyone. Reagan had a boo boo I had to take care of, so I had a treat in my hand to give her after I had messed with it. Riley had smelled it, so she plopped herself into a down in the middle of everyone hoping for a treat. It was very cute. I love to see the wheels turning in their heads.

On Tuesday, Stephen was kind enough to come video some training sessions. So this is Riley at just over 2 weeks of training.

This video is of Riley working on sits and downs. Riley responds to a sit and down hand signal without food in my hand and she is learning to maintain the position while I move around and to wait for my release word. I stress this in my classes, but it is very important to reward hand signals with food you then have to reach for (pocket/pouch/container/etc). Otherwise you train the dog to respond only if the food is under his nose.

This is Riley working on eye contact and name recognition. I stop her from sitting because I do not want her to think that is what we are working on. I am mostly just waiting for eye contact, saying her name, and clicking & treating for it. Occasionally, I say her name and click & treat for the head turn towards me.

This is Riley working on recalls. Its important to start recall training on leash so you can make it happen. A week ago, I had to use the leash to show her what to do. Now the leash is there as back up if she ignores me which is bound to happen at some point. Since we are in a safe area, I do drop the leash a couple of times, but again it is there if I have to correct her. I also want her to know that I will grab her collar, so I put my hand on her collar each time she comes in for the treat.

Stephen also helped me start her on tunnels. She was very easy and very willing to give it a try. I have also started her on jumps.


KF-in-Georgia said...

Oooo, she's doing so well on the recalls.

I'm feeling guilty. I planned to work on training Jacey while I'm on vacation, and I haven't done a thing.

Gonna go chop up some Pet Botanics and get going...

Sientay L said...

Wow, great job Riley!

Debbie (Emma's mom) said...

She looks sooo happy with you! Congrats to you for another solid agility partner choice. Thanks for posting the videos...good demonstrations and reminders (for us former students) of clearly marking what we DO want, and timing that click.

BrittBeah said...

Riley's sits are so pretty compared to the sloppy ones my boys do. She looks great.

Denise- LessIsMore17 said...

Does she EVER stop wagging that tail? Gawd you'd think she was happy or something :-o

KF-in-Georgia said...

Okay, two sessions today, and I'm back with Jacey trouble. She doesn't get what the click means, and that'll come right eventually.

She's offering behavior to get a treat--that part she understands. Only she's offering the most godawful sit* (all the way over on her hip) when we're playing "touch the cup" (because she's not sure what I want). I hate to not reward her for offering the behavior, but I hate to click to reward her for (a) wrong behavior and (b) awful form.

What's funny is that, now and then, during pauses on walks, she'll do the most beautiful sit. I've always praised her when she's done it, but it doesn't happen often.

And when I try to teach "sit" by holding her leash and moving the treat over her head, she follows the treat as far back as she can turn her head, then loses focus on the treat and starts looking around.

(Sam plays a beautiful game of "touch the cup." He'll spin around to touch and get another click before he's swallowed the previous treat.)

*The awful sit she's offering is what she gives me in her crate when I tell her to "settle" before I'll open the door and let her out.

Addie said...

Wow...she's so smart! Great videos. :-)

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

Kathy, good for you for doing some training. Train her to touch the cup first. Treats must come immediately along with the click so she learns the concept. After she clearly understands that, move onto other things.

Once she understands the concept, you can "shape" behavior such as a sit. You click and treat for her efforts in the right direction. Click for targeting the treat above her head. Click & treat for rocking back. Click & treat for flexing hind leg joints. You have to reward her for all the steps in the right direction so she keeps offering it.

Do not click for behavior you do not want at that moment.


KF-in-Georgia said...

Okay. I wasn't going to work on a sit at all, right now, but she started offering that yucky one when she couldn't figure out what else I might want. (It's the only behavior I've semi-trained: making her "settle" in the crate before I'll let her out.) Today, I just planned on "look at mom/click" and "touch the cup." But when she seemed inclined to try sits (her way, anyhow), I thought I'd try going with that. I had tried that briefly in the past, but she'd never shown any inclination to sit when I had treats over her head.

Anyway, no more clicks for bad sits. Or for any sit I didn't ask for.

IHateToast said...

those were good to watch, but i noticed you never once went to cameraman stephen to reward him. are you sure he'll return?

Stephen said...


I'm rewarded at a time yet to be determined.

I offer my handy camera skills so she will shuttle me upriver for my next kayak trip!


Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

Baby, isn't life with me reward enough? :-)


Stephen said...


Can I get back to you on that?


greytblackdog said...

stephen hasn't figured out how to touch the cup yet to get his treat!!

Anonymous said...

Just popped into my head - how about Never A Doubt Riley???