Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums banner
1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
420 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,
I have run into a tiny snag in my training and it has me frustrated. I am hoping someone might have a brilliant idea:)

Ezri is doing really well at learning new behaviors to assist me as a service dog. She rocks at closing things (in fact I cant get her to stop) but opening is another story. I have taught her pull, with a piece of braided polar fleece. She has a good strong pull when I hold it, but if I attach it to a cupboard, drawer, or fridge, she wont touch it.

I have tried working my way, very slowly toward the cupboard, then holding the rope on the cupboard and opening it, with my hand as she pulls. She will go that far. the second it is actually tied to the knob, however, she shy's from it and offers an array of other behaviors instead of pulling the door open.

Any ideas on how to work through this? It has been almost 3 weeks of trying to get her to pull open, something, anything.

P.S. also I have been click/treating whenever she shows interest in the polar fleece hanging from the cupboard for 3 weeks, as well. this dog is not slow, she learns new behaviors in one session, easily, but this particular behavior is not progressing.

thanks for any ideas, I appreciate it as I am having "trainers block" lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,778 Posts
Neither a clicker trainer nor a service dog trainer or user (i.e. take this for what it is worth LOL!).

I might try making the tug longer. I am wondering if she is thinking that the thing she will open will bonk her in the face.

I would also tie the tug to small objects she can pull out of your hands. Then to larger objects, etc., varying the picture as often and much as is possible. You could have her retrieve objects to you by pulling them with a tug. Then transfer to doors.

You could also try having the tug on an almost open door, so that she is moving it only a little bit at first, and it doesn't move as much toward her as it would have if the door had been all the way closed.

There are several Yahoo groups devoted to clicker training service dogs. The traininglevels list has a lot of owners training service dogs (this is a statement of fact, not necessarily a recommendation LOL!), and I know there are others. I could ask a person I know which lists she has found most valuable for you, if you'd like.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
420 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the ideas, they are good ones. Ill let you know if any help :) Sometimes you just need another persons brain, when you get stuck. If you wouldn't mind asking which forums your friend suggests, that would be great. I haven't found a lot of good resources out there for owner/trainers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,009 Posts
Problem:
I have tried working my way, very slowly toward the cupboard, then holding the rope on the cupboard and opening it, with my hand as she pulls. She will go that far. the second it is actually tied to the knob, however, she shy's from it and offers an array of other behaviors instead of pulling the door open.
****************

I would take a similar rope, sit on the couch with dog standing by my side or in front of me.
Dangle the end of the rope, over the dogs nose, to bate him...and he will try and bite it for a good tug play.
(just trying to get rope in dogs mouth...for a good experience)
Command EASY...and let the rope pull through your hand...trying to avoid a full tug of war.
(hold center of rope in your bare hand, and let it slide through)
Essentially practicing a "light tug" in the living room...when this FUN task is accomplished & repeated / secure shorter rope (of same design) to a handle.

&/OR - use a similar rope, spread peanut butter on the end, and let the dog lick it off ...he gets to love the rope.
(away from the handle task, at first)
- teach dobe FETCH rope...instead of a tennis ball / just need to get him to love the fun rope first

Just trying to think out loud here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,449 Posts
Can you teach her to nose touch the cupboard to make sure she's comfortable near the cupboard? Can you tie it to the cupboard AND hold it? Will she pick it up off the ground or anything else? I'm wondering if she doesn't know "pull" if it isn't in your hand. When we start teaching a dog to nose touch a plastic lid, we hold it at first. We slowly lower it to the ground but we often still keep our hand on it at first. We slowly move our hand away.

I like the ideas of making it longer and/or putting food on it also.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,587 Posts
I taught Kyrah pull the same way you did but with a special stuffie only. Then I wrapped the stuffie in the rope and tied it to the fridge handle. Started playing tug with her then let go and would say pull. Somehow she did it. The other thing I did with the cabinets was put a small crack in them and tell her open. Then she could see how they opened and closed. I agree with the touch that Adara was talking about. When she was younger I would get her to get comfortable touching anything she was weary of. Now if I say touch she seems to that whatever it is, is fine b/c I said touch.

When I want to teach Kyrah something new. I try to make it in steps then tie them together for the final action. You could click for her just touching the rope on the cabinet. Then for taking it in her mouth. Then for pulling it. I think if you put a crack in the cabinet and let her start pushing it back and forth it will help her see that it is fine moving around. Kyrah started slamming them in both directions to get her treat. She was not weary of them after a few sessions. At first it was small push then it became much more forceful. The fridge I had to be careful she would pull so hard and swing open I thought she was going to send all my condiments on the floor. This was in the begining when I was getting her really excited to do it. Now she does it with some restraint. LOL

Keep trying you will find a way to teach it. Its just a bump in the road.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
420 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Thanks everyone for all your ideas. Guess what? It worked! She is a door opening machine! (Video proof at Krisnbaum's Channel - YouTube)

I tried the laundry basket with a toy on it, and she was a little more willing to pull it (although not thrilled, but she got a little braver) then I hung a big, long, very squeaky, duck toy on the cabinet and she was much braver when every inch of her "pull" could potentially squeak. we just slowly shaped with click/treat for progressive interest in the duck. Today she moved on to the fridge (which actually is pretty tough because it has a child proof built in- so I have to prop it for her) and a big door.

I have to remember to take the toy off the cabinet or she will just open and close it, over and over again.

So thanks for all the ideas, you guys were super helpful!

PS- if you look at the youtube video, sorry its kind of a mess. I have not managed to be able to balance a camera, treats, clicker, props, and training a dog, all at once. My husband has promised to help me make a better video and include lots of the behaviors that are hard to capture without a camera man.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
22,941 Posts
She looks awesome! Way to go!
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top