Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Greyhound Downs 104

Check out Greyhound Downs 101 and Greyhound Downs 102 and Greyhound Downs 103 if you have not already.

Once my greyhound understands my release word, easily responds to my down cue, and yields to a little collar pressure, I start working on proofing my stay.

I once saw an extreme obedience reality show on Animal Planet. One of the tests was to place your dog into a sit stay and then an elephant was brought in very close. Obviously, none of these handlers had prior opportunities to practice stays with an elephant as a distraction. However, the successful dogs had been proofed enough that they trusted that they should remain seated and ignore the elephant in the room. This is why proofing is so important. Proofing convinces the dog to start generalizing. Initially, a dog will use anything as an excuse to get up. But as your training progresses, there is a point when the dog will start to choose to remain in the stay despite the new distraction. I would bet that Katie could stay with an elephant in the room.

Here is a video clip of some basic proofing to start you off.


I honestly do not tell my dogs to stay until they are really offering good down stays.

9 comments:

greytblackdog said...

I loved that episode with the elephant. I wish they would bring that show back and I totally think you should audition - maybe even with Katie!

I agree that she would ignore the elephant. :) I need so much help on proofing I don't even know where to start!

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

Thanks for you comments, Heather. I worked hard on these posts and then it got really quiet. Glad someone read the posts even though you have already taken my class! :-)

Jen

Gregory Lowe said...

I'm having the hardest time getting my greyhound to do this. He'll go under my leg and lie down, but then once I try to remove my leg and get him to lie down without the "bridge", he becomes stiff and doesn't know what to do.
Help?

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

Greg, not sure what you mean. If he is down, I would be clicking and treating so he knows that he is correct and relaxes. If he is uncomfortable in a spynx down position, you can use a treat to lure his nose around to a rear foot so he rolls over onto his hip.

Gregory Lowe said...

I click like crazy when he's down (but I think he's still getting adjusted to the clicker slightly) and I give him sooo many treats when he's down in the position (which he doesn't mind). Then I'll get up, turn around and continue his training, then he'll start to go down, under my leg, etc... This will continue for a few minutes, then I'll try to remove the "bridge" (so he doesn't have to climb under my leg) and I'll place my hand with a treat, down by his feet, and he freezes up and doesn't know what to do, but if I create the "bridge' under my leg, he almost immediately goes under.

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

That makes sense! Take him for a walk so he is a little tired. Keep him on lease when you return to the house. Take a super awesome treat, sit down on the floor, and watch TV. Make sure the floor is carpet or comfortable for a greyhound. And just sit there for 30 minutes watching TV with your hand down on the floor with treat. He should get bored and lie down eventually. And then jackpot him. He just needs to have a break through moment.

Gregory Lowe said...

Sounds good! I think he's getting it, but it's taking a lot longer than I thought it would've taken. I was determined to get a breakthrough tonight and he finally started to go down, once I would kneel next to him (which is a good step in the right direction). Your blog is WONDERFUL and I'm very grateful for all of the work you've put in to this for people like me.

SodiumPentathol said...

I'm just wondering when you would start to introduce a voice command? Solo is just learning to down without a bridge (and honestly figured it out faster than I thought he would!) so I wanted to introduce a voice command, but I'm not sure if it's too soon.

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

A verbal cue can be introduced with the hand signal when you know that your dog will absolutely respond to the hand signal. When you are to that point, say your cue word, give hand signal. Eventually test the word by itself... if nothing, follow up with hand signal. You have to work hard on verbals and even so most people are still cueing with body language or a hand signal. You will find that you will likely still point at the ground as you say the word.