Target Training Help
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Thread: Target Training Help

  1. #1
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    Target Training Help

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9tOd...WBs&playnext=1

    I used that video to help me. I can't get him to use his paws.. I am trying to teach him to ring the bell. He has done it about 5 times on accident with his face and he gets really excited since he thinks its like the clicker.

    If I move it around in front of him he just stares at me. Before I tried to get him to use his paw so I'd hold up his paw for about 5 minutes until he put it down and then I'd direct it onto the bell. I tried this daily for about two weeks and failed so I gave up with that and moved on to try to get him to click it with his nose. This worked better, but still I'd prefer his paw so I could also use it for the command "target."

    If I put the treat under he tries to get it, then I cover the treat and he is like, "well why would I try to get the treat if you are just going to cover it?" And he has never tried pawing at the object... so I don't know what to do. Let me know if you have any tips.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member KBLover's Avatar
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    Re: Target Training Help

    Wally never paw touched anything until I taught him how to shake (put a paw in my open hand).

    Once he did that, he paws anything.

    Maybe teach him shake so he gets used to the idea of using his paws for something? Then from there, he might transfer the behavior to be anything in front of him (try capturing once he learns shake/something else requiring him to lift his paws) - which you could then use on training him on the bell.

    In fact, use the bell as the object you try to do the capturing with. Like "programming" him that "see bell = paws on it"

    Wally's latent learning position.

    Believe in yourself, be the type of dog owner you want to be and you won’t need labels." - Dr. Abrantes

    "I hear, I know. I see, I remember. I do, I understand. " -Confucious says why I love shaping in a sentence.

    "Once you've entered the battle, you've already lost." -Amaryllis' mom on dog and child training.

  4. #3
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    Re: Target Training Help

    I will try that. He does know a few tricks with his paws (cross his feet and to wipe his nose). He is just not the average dog that is going to play with something with his paws.. he has this on and off switch for toy drive. He will play fetch and then just have no interest in them and look at me like I'm crazy if I try to get him to play with the toy! I think I was able to teach those tricks because they were two things he did naturally already.

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  6. #4
    Senior Member Cracker's Avatar
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    Re: Target Training Help

    This is a problem I had too when I first started trying to shape in training. Free shaping is HARD..lol.
    The best thing you can do is start like KB suggested..get him to do something with his paws that he already does and then start with a target on the FLOOR and gradually make it smaller and smaller and then transfer it to the bell. Also..stop trying to help him. Sounds counterintuitive, I know..but if he's clicker savvy he WILL try something else eventually, even if you see a very slight movement of a paw, whether towards the target or not, click THAT. Don't talk, don't move, just click and feed. Keep the reinforcement rate as high as you can, so that he has lots of reps before you raise the criteria. What I discovered, and am STILL working on, is that you have to slice the criteria SO dang thin that the dog has an opportunity to succeed...once Cracker started to really get it I could SEE it...something else? You want something else? How about THIS???

    Practice practice practice and be still. LOL
    Maggi and Cracker, Dog about Rosedale


  7. #5
    Senior Member KBLover's Avatar
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    Re: Target Training Help

    Re: Toy play.


    Heh Wally was the same way with that too.

    What got him into playing - at least with me - with toys is I would reward him for any interest in the toy. Nose touches, looking at it, picking it up, pushing it with his nose, etc. and when he's getting into the game, I put the toy up.

    Next day (or some hours later) I get the toy back out, do the same thing.

    After a while, he started getting interested in just the sight of the toy and if I present it, he's trying to get it/waiting for me to do something with it/tell him what to do to it. At this point, I just put it down and see what he'd do. I go back to rewarding any interest/actions on the toy and put it away when excited.

    He still doesn't do much playing on his own, but if I get the toy out, look out, his energy level and alertness shoots up and he just get more excited from there.

    Like with the targeting, he transferred this to his other toys pretty easily. Was just a matter of "explaining" that it's the same idea, just a different object. (i.e. do the same thing as with the first toy, but usually catching on is much quicker once the "oh, this is like that other time with the other toy" bulb comes on).

    When he does play with me, he'll often bat at it with his paws (now that he's so pawsy) and pounce on it (like a cat ) or pin it with his paws then "hold" it in his paws and chew on it (especially if it's his nylabone or his squeak toy, he wants to make it squeak before letting it go).
    Last edited by KBLover; 03-13-2010 at 07:07 PM.

    Wally's latent learning position.

    Believe in yourself, be the type of dog owner you want to be and you won’t need labels." - Dr. Abrantes

    "I hear, I know. I see, I remember. I do, I understand. " -Confucious says why I love shaping in a sentence.

    "Once you've entered the battle, you've already lost." -Amaryllis' mom on dog and child training.

  8. #6
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    Re: Target Training Help

    Ok so I started out as usual trying target training and failed. We sat there for minutes at a time with no movement. I think this is my fault since I used to do the sit SIT SCRUFF and keep getting louder before. Like scare him into sitting . That was before I was introduced to clicker training around January this year.. so I think that is why he is scared to try new things since I would get frustrated with him and he could see it in my voice (before the clicker! now I stop if I get frustrated!). I also would yell at him to come. Why would he want to come if I was yelling!! It is going to take a while for him to get over how I ruined him. This is why I cancelled being a dog trainer out of my future! I guess I just need a LOT more experience!

    Then I did the shake thing and he did it after I touched his paw like 5 times, then he did it on his own for the rest. He lifted it up!! I think he is getting confused about "nose" and "shake" because he sometimes would wipe his nose. I clicked when his paw hit my hand, so eventually he will get it. Thanks for the help I think it will work better after he learns shake.

  9. #7
    Senior Member Cracker's Avatar
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    Re: Target Training Help

    Welcome to the joys of being a crossover trainer, with a crossover dog. It is normal and takes time for the dog to learn that learning is FUN so keep the sessions really short and really FUN and do things that he might want to do naturally. This doesn't mean you are a bad trainer by any means and yes it is hard to break old habits (and he thinks this too). Keep it simple and be patient, it will come.

    Cracker for the longest time would just shut down when I tried to shape something other than touch with nose and paw (this she did naturally)...I still can't get her to take something into her mouth on cue..but we're working on it. She had a rough start at the crackhouse and I made my own share of mistakes when she was none. It's a learning curve and being patient is paramount. What I found helped (and this only took me a year and a half to figure this out) was to use a LARGE object for her to interact with. It turned out to be the new portacrate I bought for her. I haven't used a crate since she was a puppy and wanted to shape her going in using the clicker..since the crate is so large it was easy to get a nose touch and a paw touch and then it took maybe 6 sessions of five minutes over several days to get her to go IN...it was wild though, I had the top of the crate open (so she wouldn't find it too intimidating) and I could see the light go on when she'd go in, stick her head up over the edge and look at me like "okay, where's the click???". She now goes in on cue and will also sleep voluntarily in it at night, with the top zipped and the door flap down. It was ME that needed to be patient.
    Maggi and Cracker, Dog about Rosedale


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