Good Gracious, Gracie!
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Northern California
Dogs Name: Incredible Grace, Incredible A'Diva
Dogs Age: 3/08/2011; 12/3/2004
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Thanked 3,690 Times in 1,519 Posts
Everything Kim has said and shown!
David is training his first dog and you will often see him moving when the dog ought be. That's why we work with a trainer; to get to be good enough to train our dogs. It takes a lot of practice, and David is working on it. I'm stunned and delighted both with his performance and Gracie's, to date.
The breaking down into the wee bits and doing them again and again, over time, makes a huge difference in final results, IMO.
Rosemary, Kim stated she is rewarding jumping up without touching her; a very useful skill for a large dog to have (and one I taught our pit bull from the start). A dog that does the jump up finish is stunning to watch, though, and it appears to me that is what Kim is teaching. (I was in a class with a Puli that finished like that once; defy you not to giggle every single time!)
Matt, the trick is to always encourage, never be heavy-handed or angry, and be careful to only reward what you want. They learn quickly and will develop movements you later have to retrain in order to correct if they are ever rewarded for them. "Nope" means try again. You want the dog to always be thinking, and to always be certain there'll be a goody at some point, so that they will continue to work at giving you what you want. To them, it's a game, and that's how you want them to continue to feel about it. "Oh, happy day! It's the get the goody game! All I have to do is figure out what the human wants, and I get the goody!"
The other hard part is to stop when the dog has it right, before the dog starts to get bored, before the dog gets tired. You want to stop while the dog has a "win."
I can't remember who on DT posted that they don't work for free and therefore do not expect their dogs to do so, but that is how I also feel. Don't be afraid to be giving out goodies, even when others are proudly proclaiming they've trained without them.
It should be good to be Dog.