First Day of Training
Introducing the Clicker
In the first video below, we introduce BoBo to clicker training. All we do it Click and then give him a treat. For treats, we are using his regular food. The training session is about 1 minute long and tells BoBo that when he hears a click, something good happens.
We use the click to mark when BoBo does something right. Over time, BoBo will learn to continue to do the things that get a click and stop doing the things that don’t get a click.
Eliminate treat hand distraction & start ‘Wait’
Next, since the treat hand is a distraction for BoBo, we spent 1-minute clicking only when he wasn’t going after the treat hand. The second he stopped interacting with the treat hand, we click. This teaches BoBo that he’s more likely to get a treat/reward when he is waiting for us to tell him to do something instead of going after it one his own.
To shape a behavior, you wait for the dog to offer a behavior that is a step to getting to the final behavior. For example, in the video below, I want BoBo to look at me. Therefore, I click when he starts to move his head towards me. And then I click when he’s looking at me.
Many dogs look at your right away so you might end up capturing the action more than shaping it but you’re still clicking for him to look at you. You can see he looks around a bit and then looks at me. Once he looks at me, I click and he get a treat. The treat tells him, yes, I wanted you to look at me (not left or right) and you can see he starts offering looking at me more than looking left or right.
This is where we ended on Day 1 of training. We introduced the clicker, captured Watch and added a verbal cue ‘Watch’. Couldn’t be happier with the progress.
Baseline – Jumping when leash is presented
In the following video, I am capturing our starting point. When i touch the leash and try to attach it to BoBo, you can see he starts to jump. I realized later that this video is actually pretty calm compared to in the morning! I try to tell him sit in the video but he’s too over stimuliated to really comprehend it. While this is not a formal training session, I will still try to ignore the jumping and only attach the leash when all feet are on the floor.
There is no point to wait for a sit. We must start with no jumping with is all feet on the floor. As we continue, we’ll slowly add all feet on the floor and hold it. We’ll slowly work towards a sit and stay for attaching the leash.
September 2, 2017 – Day 1
He was in his crate when I picked him up. He growled as I approached the kennel. I tossed 1 small piece of dog food in the crate, and he let me approach with no growling. The second piece he licked out of my hand. We let him out and he was apprehensive of me but didn’t growl anymore. I could tell he was really close to Carol. His body became much looser around her. So I feed him several more small treats and within a few minutes, he was licking my face.
He is completely comfortable with me now.
I live by myself so it’s been a little easier I guess to get him to settle down. We went on two short walks. I got within about 6-10 feet of a guy and didn’t growl. We walked by a few other people further away, with no growling. Dog barking from back yards made him pull more on the leash but no growling.
I’m still working on this write-up before I share it publicly, but you can get an idea of how I bring a new dog into my house. It’s definitely harder to do when you have other animals. But I find it effective for an ‘only child’.
We did a few of 1-2 minute training sessions. He loved it! He is very food motivated. For formal training, we are working on introducing the clicker and ‘Look’. Make eye contact when I say Look. Since he wants the food, we have to work on him not being distracted by the food. i.e. he knows there is food in my hand. He doesn’t get the food in my hand until he stops trying for it. This helps get his attention on me and not on the food.
Mainly through management – we are working to get him to settle as I explain in the article attached.
We are also informally working on jumping. i.e. if he jumps, I don’t do anything. Once all feet are on the floor, we proceed. For walks, he jumps when you touch the leash. I will wait until he’s not jumping to put the leash on. There is still a bit a jumping because we just started but I’m looking for ‘less jumping’ to proceed and each time I’ll look for even less jumping until there is none. Then we move to a sit, and then a sit & wait.
We are practicing – no couch or bed rules. It’s much easier for an adopting family to start allowing a dog on then to try to break it. He understands no. And has settled in his crate on his own several times. He doesn’t want me to lock him in the crate so I will start some crate training next. Reychelle, I know you said he was good so it will just be him getting used to it at my house and shouldn’t take much time for him to transition that skill.
He also has a good sit which should help expedite training.
He looks so much like my friends’ dog, James, it’s hard for me to not call him James! He is smaller, but the face is the same!