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Old 12-05-2012, 08:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Dobies and "over learning"

I know not to have a training session for excessive amounts of time on one or two things for that is much too boring.

However, there are 3 dobies in my pup's Basic OB class- a 1 year old female, a 4 month old female, and my now 6 month old boy.

When going over a certain task/trick, they generally get it down pretty fast, but I have noticed that after so long of doing the correct action and receiving the reward that follows, they simply look at you (the owner) like you have ten heads, and stop performing. The other mindless dogs in our class keep giving their owners a hard time, some performing and some not.

I guess my question is, although I know dobies are intelligent, has this happened to others in this environment? Is this their way of saying "We get it now?".

The trainers just need to glance at the 3. We didn't have a trainer come by and check our work most of the night. We all decided they are A+ pupils and don't need to be checked!
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Rouleaux (How do you pronounce that?),

Our Spock & Eva just completed 6 weeks of Basic OB in Oct. where the class was held in a rather large gym size room with the dogs spaced around the periphery. My wife handled Eva, and I Spock, on opposite sides of this room to prevent any interaction.

Spock & Eva Update & Photo Dump

I did experience some of what you found where the Dobies got tired of repetitive exercises. I found that releasing Spock between several repetitions then doing a small walk around kept him from getting too bored. There was no dog socializing allowed during the training to prevent any problems arising. Both Spock and Eva are extremely food motivated, but there is a limit, I suppose, to their attention span when doing the same thing over and over. I think like the experts recommend, break up the training with some play makes it enjoyable for all, but this isn't really feasible with a room full of eleven large dogs.

Like your experience, our Dobies sailed through the classes with no problems whatsoever, and required minimal instructor intervention. They really enjoyed loading up in the minivan each Saturday to go to "Doggy School"! Any trip in the car or walk is an adventure to them!

I want them to try for CGC next.
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Last edited by spocksdad; 12-05-2012 at 09:20 PM..
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:38 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I would recommend not doing too much repetition.. When you work on the same behaviour or action more than once, your goal (also from your dog's perspective) is to get it right. You will have the dog repeat as he learns the behavior. If the dog gets it right a few times in a row (say 3) then you should stop because if you continue, the dog will think "what did I do wrong that she wants me to do it again?" and you will actually be teaching the dog the oposite of what you want him to do.
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Many breeds don't cope well with too much boring training - but if your dogs are zoning out and getting bored I would wondering what you're doing wrong with your rewards or timing. People training in competitive obedience for example need to do a lot of repetitions of the same behaviours to try and perfect them, but you don't see a good obedience trainer standing around with bored dogs!
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Dreizehn gets obviously bored if training becomes too repetitive.
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spocksdad View Post
Rouleaux (How do you pronounce that?)
Rouleaux = Roo-low

and same here regarding breaking up exercises with walks/playtime, but tough with other dogs around and the gymnasium style room.
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_discowhore View Post
Many breeds don't cope well with too much boring training - but if your dogs are zoning out and getting bored I would wondering what you're doing wrong with your rewards or timing. People training in competitive obedience for example need to do a lot of repetitions of the same behaviours to try and perfect them, but you don't see a good obedience trainer standing around with bored dogs!
I completely agree, but it isn't just my dog from what I am noticing, but the other two dobies as well.
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rouleaux View Post
I completely agree, but it isn't just my dog from what I am noticing, but the other two dobies as well.
Well that's their problem

What sort of training are you doing? Domestic obedience (sit, down, stay, heel etc.)?
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Old 12-05-2012, 10:34 PM   #9 (permalink)
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My Doberman definitely gets bored with repetitive drills. And I have heard this before from other Dobe people and also been told this by obedience instructors I have worked with. Sounds like you are experiencing this too!

In all the classes I have taken, starting as early as 12 weeks old, we continuously blend play breaks with work to avoid the dog getting bored. I always have a tug toy tucked in my pocket and use tug as a reward and to break things up and keep it interesting. If one puppy "gets it" faster than the other, then the handler can quietly play w/ puppy off in the background, provided the instructor is OK with it and it doesn't disrupt the class. The instructors I have worked with have encouraged this.

I personally try to avoid letting it get to the point where my dog is visibly bored. My Dobe doesn't have as strong a play drive as I would like, and sometimes I have to work really hard to make sure I am animated and keeping her engaged. But if we are not working or playing, then she is put in a settle (ie curl down position) and can take a rest break, or else crated for a few minutes. When we are working, I want her "up" and focused on me. I want it to be fun for my dog too.

I have a 12 week old Aussie pup now and I can definitely see differences in how she learns vs Lucy my Dobe.
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:54 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_discowhore View Post
Many breeds don't cope well with too much boring training - but if your dogs are zoning out and getting bored I would wondering what you're doing wrong with your rewards or timing. People training in competitive obedience for example need to do a lot of repetitions of the same behaviours to try and perfect them, but you don't see a good obedience trainer standing around with bored dogs!
Right, you have to be your pup's advocate, in a class setting. Make sure it's okay with instructor and you don't disrupt class, but mix it up, find ways to give mental breaks, keep your pup engaged and wanting more.

Dobermans as a rule just don't enjoy being drilled repetitively.

And the rest of the details of what I was gonna say are below--HM beat me to it

Quote:
Originally Posted by HarvestMoon View Post
My Doberman definitely gets bored with repetitive drills. And I have heard this before from other Dobe people and also been told this by obedience instructors I have worked with. Sounds like you are experiencing this too!

In all the classes I have taken, starting as early as 12 weeks old, we continuously blend play breaks with work to avoid the dog getting bored. I always have a tug toy tucked in my pocket and use tug as a reward and to break things up and keep it interesting. If one puppy "gets it" faster than the other, then the handler can quietly play w/ puppy off in the background, provided the instructor is OK with it and it doesn't disrupt the class. The instructors I have worked with have encouraged this.

I personally try to avoid letting it get to the point where my dog is visibly bored. My Dobe doesn't have as strong a play drive as I would like, and sometimes I have to work really hard to make sure I am animated and keeping her engaged. But if we are not working or playing, then she is put in a settle (ie curl down position) and can take a rest break, or else crated for a few minutes. When we are working, I want her "up" and focused on me. I want it to be fun for my dog too.

I have a 12 week old Aussie pup now and I can definitely see differences in how she learns vs Lucy my Dobe.
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Old 12-06-2012, 02:39 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I usually break the training up to 5 to 7 minutes. Keno learns very quickly,, and he's food driven,,, almost to a point where he won't do what I ask UNLESS I have food that he SEES. He has sit,, down,, and lay,, but stay,,,,, ohhhh the dilemma we have with stay... Any suggestions??
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:30 AM   #12 (permalink)
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We did take out his favorite "squeaky bug" toy and start using that as a reward - which he loved! but when he was squeaking it the other dogs got interested and wouldn't listen to their owners.

I guess I'll have to find some other sort of reward what isn't as obvious.

I did as for dobie playtime after class, but the instructors weren't impressed
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:34 AM   #13 (permalink)
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With mine I broke it up into 5 min. ob quickies. Then took a break or walk then did another 5 minute ob quickie. Once he got bored it was like trying to teach a pet rock.
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:41 AM   #14 (permalink)
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You guys with silent "I'm done" dogs are lucky!

Mabel learns something and when she knows it I better notice and move on or she's yelling at me to keep it going, I'm bored, mom do something different! She's as bad as those agility borders/aussies/shelties that yell at their slow parents!

When we practice our Obed, i rarely do the actual "course" but just constantly keep changing up what I'm asking for and make my own patterns, she never knows what's coming next and she seems to dig it. If we're in class I'll work on our watch me's and little focus things in between exercises.

One bonus though, if she's not barking then 80% of the time she still wants to keep trying and figure it out, just have to watch for when she's obviously not getting it and take a break/change tactics.

Quote:
We did take out his favorite "squeaky bug" toy and start using that as a reward - which he loved! but when he was squeaking it the other dogs got interested and wouldn't listen to their owners.

I guess I'll have to find some other sort of reward what isn't as obvious.

I did as for dobie playtime after class, but the instructors weren't impressed
Does he tug? I usually have a wubba (all squeaker dead now) a big fleece ball or a thousand braided denim or fleece tugs/canvas sticks/etc.. for her to tug with as a reward, silent but loads of fun
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:57 AM   #15 (permalink)
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If she gets it right first time, why continue?
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:51 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I never do the same things in the same order, if I do, Toby just shuts down and won't do as he is told.

He learns in double quick time and then once he has it down pat he starts to get bored and then the fun starts. By that I mean he starts messing around.
For instance, if I want him to sit then walk to heel and I have been doing it for any length of time, he often slams into the down position as if someone has just chopped off his legs after which he doesnt stand up but rather he shuffles along with his belly on the floor.

At this point I know I have become a boring old fart and had better get my act together or lose my Dobes attention completely.

Even though Toby is now 2 years old I rarely train for more than 5 minutes at a time. It is just what I have found works with my dog. In between training we play, we have some fun doing agility, or we go for a walk, during which I sneak in a few sits, downs, come, heels etc which he doesnt seem to notice.

As they say, 'Variety is the spice of life' it is an addage I try to apply when training any of my dogs.
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Old 12-06-2012, 05:06 PM   #17 (permalink)
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In class when I can't use a squeaky toy, I use a tennis ball or play "find it". Toss food, say FIND IT and ok. Give dog the ok to go get the food. Added bonus is when the dog comes back you can work on recall at the same time. I do something 3-4 times then find it or spin or toy. Then go back to what we were doing.
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Colleen
Flirt, ADAMAS All the Girls Do It, OA, NAJ, NF, CL2-F, CL2-H
Gabby, Ch Gold Run's Token of Rumor, JH, NA, OAJ, NF, NJP, CL2,CL3-H, CL3-F Vizsla
Havoc, BISS GCh HRQ Guess Who's In Trouble, JH, OA, OAJ, CL2-H, CL2-S, CL2-F Vizsla, National AOM winner
Envy, Ch Kizmar's Bailey HotShot of Adara, Vizsla, JH, RN, CGC, TDI National AOM winner
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