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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Everyone! :)

Finally done with College and with one class left to take this summer, I am finally able to dedicate more of my time to Dugan! I am very excited to finally be working with him regularly towards a goal. We are setting some goals and working towards accomplishing them. We are signed up for obedience classes with a built in CGC for later this summer- very much looking forward to that. But also, I would love to get Dugan certified to be a therapy dog. I realize it is going to be lots of work, but he has such a good personality I would love to share that with others in a positive and constructive way. So for a while now I have been creeping around the site absorbing as much of the wonderful knowledge as possible. But I need clarification on a few items.

One thing I know about Dugan is that he is very motivated. As far as I know or can tell he is food, attention, and toy motivated. But he has some strange behaviors that have recently developed. I have posted briefly about these actions before but want more answers. We might need some videos. When playing fetch, we always work for a toy throw, but never on anything new. This is my fault because I don’t know how to use a ball that’s probably the size of a softball-his favorite squeaky toy – to learn anything new. Any suggestions there…tugs don’t work for us in that department either as I cannot nail down a “drop” command. That along with “shake” I can’t accomplish to save my life. When we work with food he gets SUPER hyper. Doesn’t matter if we are doing this first thing after morning potty or after a day at the lake with this gal pal Mica (female choco lab) swimming, running, fetching, chasing etc. He could be dead tired and still get the zoomies when we try to work with food. Can anyone explain this or had similar experiences? If I need to my husband can record us and we’ll post it.

I realize that I am probably the problem and have gotten into some bad habits like overusing his name. But I think there is something else because when we first got him I taught him “bang” (playing dead), “left” and “right” turns, “back” up, “stay, wait,” and we’re working on my version of “easy.” We have a new niece – which he is great with – but he is learning that “easy” means I hold it in front of your nose until I say ok at which point you take it ever so gently. This is a preemptive initiative for small kiddo’s.

Would appreciate any input! Happy to answer all questions!

Dani & Dugan
 

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Hmm well the things you describe are what I look for so I might not be much help. I'd rather have a dog get over the top for the reward than me have to cheerlead. Patience is the key. Wait him out. Reward for calmer behavior. I use food, tennis ball, tugs, etc. For the tennis ball I use it like anything else. I clicker train so I'd click then toss the ball instead of feeding. I had a Vizsla so hyper for a tennis ball she'd run into things freaking out to get me to throw it. It took me 10 sessions to get her to weave with the ball in my hand. I just waited her out. Flirt goes ballistic for her precious ball and frisbee. I personally love that. When we go to the agility arena if I have her ball or frisbee she starts offering me things. All I want her to do is sit and wait. She'll take a jump come back, weave come back, etc. I just wait her out patiently. When she doesn't get the reward (ball) she eventually comes and does a sit/stay so we can do what I planned.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well thank you for the input. Its probably just me... hopefully when we get into more of a routine I will be better at how to respond to him. Thanks for the advice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So I need some input. The newest thing I'm working with is "crawl." To accomplish this i take a treat in my fist and tell dugan "down" then put my hand in front of his nose dragging it away from him. He is getting there but my question is about a hand signal. How do i work that in? I have been giving the verbal command just before the click/treat.

My other question is about the hand signals. I am running out of them. & i dont want to be confusing but i feel like i am... any suggestions. How much variation can dogs detect?
 

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So I need some input. The newest thing I'm working with is "crawl." To accomplish this i take a treat in my fist and tell dugan "down" then put my hand in front of his nose dragging it away from him. He is getting there but my question is about a hand signal. How do i work that in? I have been giving the verbal command just before the click/treat.

My other question is about the hand signals. I am running out of them. & i dont want to be confusing but i feel like i am... any suggestions. How much variation can dogs detect?
My trainer friend holds her hand sideways and wiggles her fingers for crawl.

To add a cue:
If the dog knows the verbal and you want the hand signal:
1. Do hand signal
2. Wait 2 or so seconds
3. do verbal

Keep repeating and soon you should be able to drop the verbal. Do NOT do them at the same time.
 

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Forgive me .. but why not @the the same time?
If you do them at the same time, the dog is listening to the cue he already knows. You want to teach the new cue.
 
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