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My Newfie pup Ozzy is 5 and 1/2 months old, and already 90 lbs of giant Dogzilla. He's a complete lover, and is generally pretty easy to train. The only problem is that he's so large and powerful already, that helping put him into position if he doesn't do it himself doesn't work so well. He'll do a sit or a down, and will hold them until released. Down was a challenge at first, because he wouldn't follow the lure from a sit to the floor. Instead, Ozzy would stand up and lean down to get it. Finally I found that tapping the floor got him to drop, and all was good in the world. Ozzy doesn't mind showing his belly, particularly if I catch him when he's resting and feeling lazy. If I start rubbing, he'll roll back and get his belly rub, flailing limbs in the air and generally having a good doggie time. Otherwise, getting him on his back is not going to happen.

I tried the usual of getting him into a down, and then luring him around and over with a treat. Didn't work. Same problem as the down initially caused. After the treat gets out of his immediate range, he'll stand up and turn around to pursue it. I tried getting him into a down and then gently rolling him over to demonstrate what I wanted, but he resisted so I stopped immediately. My first rule of training is that it should always be fun, and I'm not into forcing the issue. I'm considering trying a 2-pronged attack, having my wife keep his attention with the treat in the correct place, and me rubbing his belly and seeing if he'll continue the roll onto his back. Once he knows what we're trying to do, he'll probably do it happily. But basic push/pull behavior kicks in when I try to manually roll him, and he's just too strong to do it without ruining the moment for him. Any suggestions?
 

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I tried the usual of getting him into a down, and then luring him around and over with a treat. Didn't work. Same problem as the down initially caused. After the treat gets out of his immediate range, he'll stand up and turn around to pursue it.
If he stands up, you've gone too far, too fast. Maybe try releasing the treat "IN his immediate range", just slightly before the moment where he would be inclined to stand.

If he gives "1/20 th" of a rollover to begin with (ie: a head turn), I'd accept it by rewarding THERE, and allow him to roll back in the direction from whence he came ... just to create a starting point to build upon.
 

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I've taught my Lab many behaviors, which he is eager to do. However, he will not fetch a ball outside of the backyard, and he does not roll over. He doesn't Fetch, b/c when he is off-leash everything else is more interesting than the ball. He doesn't roll over b/c it appears to be difficult or painful for him, due to the shape of his back. So, I didn't force it.... having said that -

I also used luring to get my dog to roll from one side to the other, and like petpeeve said, I went incrementally and rewarded small steps, keeping the lure close to him.
 

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My pitt mix will not roll over for anything. She does when playing, but something about doing it on demand doesn't work for her. Our other pup, however, did it immediately and with gusto. I did break it down into 3 steps, but it's clear he wants to roll over and she doesn't. So I leave it out of her daily routine.
 

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I've had no luck with my 7 mo old puppy. She is never on her back, she does like to get her belly rubbed but only if she is standing. She will lay on her side but there is no way to lure her to her back. I've never seen her sleep or roll onto her back - ever. She learns everything else pretty quickly. I've been trying since she was about 12 weeks old. I thought maybe as she got older she'd get it. She is having non of it. Will not roll over, I gave up. If you figure it out let me know!
 

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Some dogs just aren't built to roll over, and I'm betting Newfies are one of those breeds. It seems like a deep chest makes it hard/uncomfortable for them to roll over.
 

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I personally think that roll over is such a useless trick, that the only reason you would teach it is as part of the process to teach your dog to learn. You could be different of course, you might think it's the cutest trick ever etc, but when I taught it, I shaped it. My puppy was 4 months old at the time and I figured we could use the shaping practice. I personally don't like luring, I think it's a wasted training opportunity and the slowest way to teach anything. I think guiding and shaping are better, guiding because the dog learns to accept being handled while learning, and shaping because the dog learns to think for itself. Luring doesn't really do anything, except teach the dog to follow food around, and goes against classical conditioning because you present the reward before the dog has done anything.

So anyway, shaping it wasn't hard. I shaped him to lie down on the floor and put his head to the side, same movement you produce when you lure it. Eventually the head movement was strong enough that he rolled onto his side, then he accidentally rolled over. Jackpot. All up it took about 20 minutes spread out over 4 sessions. I never ask for it though, it's useless, and he hates doing it.
 

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I think it's a big dog thing. My 90lb GSD mix would squeal and run away if he accidentally rolled over. I had the vet check him because it was such an extreme reaction, but the vet found nothing. We didn't do a full hip dysplasia test, as that would have required sedating for the x-rays, but Muggsy never showed signs of that in 13 years.
 

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Luring doesn't really do anything, except teach the dog to follow food around, and goes against classical conditioning because you present the reward before the dog has done anything.
I think you meant operant conditioning?

Luring can turn into hand signals, imo, at least the few hand signals I have with Wally emerged from luring. Granted, the behavior is learned via shaping first, then I use luring to get him to be interested in my hand movements (other than pointing and targeting, my hands are interesting only if they are 1) petting him, 2) have a ball in them, 3) have food in them)

That said, I have used luring to "encourage" him to overcome fear, especially going near/between objects. And, while probably not luring, per se, if I hold, say a piece of roast beef up, he's trying all kinds of behaviors trying to get me to give it to him...or about to break his neck trying to figure out how to get it.

So anyway, shaping it wasn't hard. I shaped him to lie down on the floor and put his head to the side, same movement you produce when you lure it. Eventually the head movement was strong enough that he rolled onto his side, then he accidentally rolled over. Jackpot. All up it took about 20 minutes spread out over 4 sessions. I never ask for it though, it's useless, and he hates doing it.

Yeah, I don't ask for it either and I don't think Wally's too thrilled about it. We had it at one point, but then it's gone missing. I think with him, the surface he's on matters a lot. He'll do it on my bed, but not on the floor (bed is softer - just a throw rug on the floor). He'll offer it if he's excited enough, but he much prefers to do "spin" and/or "sit pretty" (which isn't exactly useful either...? :)...reminds me, I need to finally put some cue to "sit pretty"...he just does it/offers it lol). Those, he'll do like a champ.

I think it's a big dog thing.
Wally's 15 pounds and can't stand doing it. He has to be REALLY excited to want to offer it. He'll go on his side like lil fuzzy mentioned, though. I need to put a cue on THAT too...*sigh*...so much to do, so little time...
 

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Well, someone referred to it as classical conditioning. As in, usually you ask for a behaviour and then present the reward, so you classically condition behaviour = reward. It made sense at the time, but I now see that it should be operant, so yeah. But the point made was that with shaping and guiding the dog does the behaviour in anticipation of the reward, so you get a certain enthusiasm and speed etc. With luring you present the reward before the dog has actually done anything, so it doesn't form the same association, and thus you don't get the same speed and enthusiasm.

Spin is useful for us because Obi LOVES doing it, so asking for a spin inbetween more boring stuff keeps his enthusiasm up. Also, I know some people ask their dogs to spin in the middle of obedience trials, because it's a heavily reinforced behaviour that dogs enjoy doing, so it's the second best think when you can't reward the dog. And in our agility class we were told to teach the spin to teach the dog left and right, and most people there actually use "left" and "right" as the commands. I'm not sure if that's the right/most efficient way to teach directions, but that's the reason they do it at my agility club.

As for sit pretty, it's supposed to build core muscles.

I shaped both, and have shaped various other useless tricks just because they're cute. I'm not saying I have anything against useless tricks, I just don't like luring. I can tolerate luring if it's a useful behaviour, because then at least something useful came out of it, but luring in itself is a waste of training, and if in addition you're training a useless behaviour it just seems like a waste of time.
 

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I personally don't like luring, I think it's a wasted training opportunity and the slowest way to teach anything. I think guiding and shaping are better, guiding because the dog learns to accept being handled while learning, and shaping because the dog learns to think for itself. Luring doesn't really do anything, except teach the dog to follow food around, and goes against classical conditioning because you present the reward before the dog has done anything.
I honestly think you've never properly done luring if you think this. Luring has been used countless times to train most advanced behaviours for most advanced competition venues. I use luring all the time and it works great. Luring could be done wrongly producing unwanted effects which is it's only bad side IMO.

I'm not sure if there's some official definition of luring but in my school luring doesn't involve actually showing the dog any food. You show the dog food only to teach the dog how luring works in first few sessions and then you just lure the dog with your hands. The kind of luring that I know of is the one I have learned from Mike Ellis and it worked flawlessly for me. Pretty similar to what KBLover explained.
 

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Well, someone referred to it as classical conditioning. As in, usually you ask for a behaviour and then present the reward, so you classically condition behaviour = reward. It made sense at the time, but I now see that it should be operant, so yeah. But the point made was that with shaping and guiding the dog does the behaviour in anticipation of the reward, so you get a certain enthusiasm and speed etc. With luring you present the reward before the dog has actually done anything, so it doesn't form the same association, and thus you don't get the same speed and enthusiasm.
I am absolutely sure that presenting the reward to a dog is not going to lower his enthusiasm. I think you have a wrong idea about luring - have a look at this video, this dog (3 mo old puppy) has been trained extensively with luring.
 

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I honestly think you've never properly done luring if you think this. Luring has been used countless times to train most advanced behaviours for most advanced competition venues. I use luring all the time and it works great. Luring could be done wrongly producing unwanted effects which is it's only bad side IMO.

I'm not sure if there's some official definition of luring but in my school luring doesn't involve actually showing the dog any food. You show the dog food only to teach the dog how luring works in first few sessions and then you just lure the dog with your hands. The kind of luring that I know of is the one I have learned from Mike Ellis and it worked flawlessly for me. Pretty similar to what KBLover explained.
I have been taught luring from someone who uses it for competition training their dog. I have also used it a few times myself. I really don't see the appeal. It takes AGES to get a behaviour, then there is a handsignal to fade out and the dog never had to spend a second thinking for itself.

If it works for you, great. I'm not saying don't use luring. I'm just saying I don't like it and don't see the point. If you're going to lure you might as well just guide the dog into position. At least then the dog also learns to be handled without protest, learning is just as good, and there is the same amount of handsignals to fade out.
 

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I am absolutely sure that presenting the reward to a dog is not going to lower his enthusiasm. I think you have a wrong idea about luring - have a look at this video, this dog (3 mo old puppy) has been trained extensively with luring.
I see a puppy that is following food around. She practically pushes it to the ground with a lure every time she says "down", she doesn't give it any time to actually respond the command before luring it. Other than that it's following her around with enthusiasm, which any well bred, well socialised 12 week old puppy will do.

I know how to lure a dog, you are supposed to give the command before luring it into position.
 

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If it works for you, great. I'm not saying don't use luring. I'm just saying I don't like it and don't see the point. If you're going to lure you might as well just guide the dog into position. At least then the dog also learns to be handled without protest, learning is just as good, and there is the same amount of handsignals to fade out.
I would not use pressure on a 3 mo old puppy to train obedience. Actually I would not use pressure at all if I don't have to. If you look at the puppy in the video you will see that when it downs its butt moves back as opposed to its head moving forward (required for competition). Using physical guiding for this is a big hassle and most likely an unpleasant experience.

I teach "handling" (ie pressure) separately from obedience work. When the dog is learning something I don't pressure it unless I have to. I don't say down and yank it every time, this would classically condition obedience with unpleasant stim.

As for thinking dog.... I don't want my dog to think what to do when it comes down to obedience. He will though, but it's not something I want to encourage. When I want him to think I'll make up a challenge and I don't want basic obedience to be much of a challenge. Since this isn't about BO in the first place I kinda hijacked this thread so I'll stop now :).
 

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I have been taught luring from someone who uses it for competition training their dog. I have also used it a few times myself. I really don't see the appeal. It takes AGES to get a behaviour, then there is a handsignal to fade out and the dog never had to spend a second thinking for itself.
I've found the opposite to be true .. luring is by far the fastest way to obtain a behaviour, albeit not a conscious behaviour to begin with.

As for fading out the handSIGNAL, I prefer to retain it. I can assign a verbal if I wish to, additionally/AFTERWARD, by introducing it slightly before giving the signal ... then I ultimately have two cues to choose from for that particular behaviour .. ie: verbal or signal. Fading the FOOD in the hand is paramount, but the hand signal itself is whittled down to subtlety, and remains in place.

Hoping this ^ relates to the OP's original question.


I know how to lure a dog, you are supposed to give the command before luring it into position.
See above. Verbal cues (I'm assuming by "command" you actually meant a verbal) are typically the LAST thing to be added, usually long after the point where the lure has already been faded.
 

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I know how to lure a dog, you are supposed to give the command before luring it into position.
Giving a meaningless signal to a unknown behavior doesn't sound like a winning strategy no matter what method you choose. I don't give any verbal commands when a behavior is still unknown. What exactly am I naming to the dog? What is he supposed to connect it with?

The few times I've use luring, it's to show him that, yes, his body can do whatever it is, be it roll over or going up and down stairs (using the hold out something the dog dies for, then position it so that it has to do whatever to get it). To use the stairs example, it was the first few stairs the desired thing was relatively close. Eventually I would be at the other end of the stairs. Once he was running up and down the stairs (a sign he was totally secure and confident in performing the behavior), THEN I named it, and that was mostly to put it under stimulus control (as sometimes I don't want him going up/down the stairs, or to wait to do so, or sometimes to send him first).

As far a modeling/guiding/handling, I don't see what he's learning (other than that I can make his body do weird things and he'll get a treat for letting me do so). If I flip him over - how is he learning how to use HIS body to perform the behavior? He needs to learn how to use his muscles to flip himself over. He needs to learn how to judge where the object is and how to get it. At least if I lure/shape the roll over, he's doing that - figuring out how to get himself from a down to rolling over, or, if he gets really good, how to do it from a stand or sit). The lure give him an object to track and some to "aim for" while doing it, increasing his motivation to do the figuring-out-how-to-get-his-body-to-do-it thing.

As for thinking dog.... I don't want my dog to think what to do when it comes down to obedience. He will though, but it's not something I want to encourage. When I want him to think I'll make up a challenge and I don't want basic obedience to be much of a challenge. Since this isn't about BO in the first place I kinda hijacked this thread so I'll stop now :).
I want Wally to always have to think, which is why I don't use modeling/handling because it seems like he's NOT thinking, just letting me push and pull his body around. The only modeling/handling type stuff I'll use is to put limits on his body. For example, when teaching crawl, I have my hand not touching, but just over his back so if he pops up, he hits it - a "reminder" to stay down. Opposite for bow, he'll go into the fold down, but hit my hand that's underneath him, but not touching him in the stand, "reminding" him to stop at that point and hold the pose - and most of this is required because I'm too inept to communicate the requirements of the behavior properly.

I want him thinking about how to put the behavior together, even basic obedience behaviors. The "non-thinking", for me, comes with repetition and comfort level with the behavior being so high that he can do it as readily as he eats out of his food bowl. I don't care if he has to reason within himself how to get from a stand to a down. In fact, he had to figure it out when I made him do the fold-back down instead of the sit and stretch paws out down. He looked at me like "what, this way isn't good enough?" but then figured it out.
 

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I am absolutely sure that presenting the reward to a dog is not going to lower his enthusiasm. I think you have a wrong idea about luring - have a look at this video, this dog (3 mo old puppy) has been trained extensively with luring.
I don't think luring is a bad idea either. I trained my border collie with that method before I even knew what it was called. It has worked out perfectly fine. Once the command was familiar, he easily took to doing what I asked without a single reward in sight. He is seven months old now.

Oh, and to stay on topic. I taught him roll over in two sessions. Same effect.
 

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My standard poodle will only roll over on grass or sometimes on carpet, and she has to spin a few times first to gather momentum. It's by far her worst favorite trick. If you ask her to do it on hardwood floors, she whines and hides in her crate. I think it's a pretty cute trick, and it's totally a classic. If you can teach it, go in small increments and do it on something soft so it doesn't hurt his back. For SiSi, we taught "play dead" first, where she lies on her side, and lured from there.

As for the luring/shaping debate- they both have their place. You can't lure 'hold it', but it would be a huge waste of time to shape a leg weave when luring is so fast.

As a general observation, I find luring to be faster to get the general behaviour, but shaping to be better for refining the behaviour. I think that's partially because my dogs have been trained with lures more than shaping. They know exactly what to do with lures, but I find they get frustrated more often with shaping so we don't do it as much (and therefore they don't know what to do as well, the cycle continues).
 
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