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I know each are more novelty tricks than necessary ones (like sit, lay down, stay) but I wanted to teach Maddie them. (The yoga is one I got from some show on Animal Planet, but I use another name because they used bow which sounds like down. It's when she stretches, looks like a bow/yoga).
She is very smart and has learned tricks very quickly in the past. She learned shake within 3 5 minute sessions, learns words of her toys within the first or second time naming them, learned to put her head down when laying, which was weird because we just said it out of frustration to her staring at our food and she just did it, much to our surprise. She also knows everything by sign alone. So I would think maybe she would learn the other tricks, but has not. We tried for a couple of months, then gave up. It's not important if she knows them or not, I'm not forcing her, it would just be nice and cute. Playing dead may be effective at the vets, if they need her to be still.


This is what I have done:

Helped her roll over, gently. Praise. if I have a treat, she gets that. However, that may not have been a very good idea.
Lured her with a treat. She follows with her head, then turns really fast the other direction to her stomach.
when she DOES roll over on her own, I praise her tons.

When she's laying down, I gently put my hands on her legs, and tell her play dead. not that she's moving much anyway because she's just comfortably laying on her own. She's not on her back, I know, but I'm not going to force her on her back. It's good enough if she's on her side, at least laying still, so if she was at a vet's she'd be still. She would stay still until I told her good girl. When she lays on her back, I would tell her play dead and stay, and then when she was done, I'd say good girl, pet her.

With the yoga, when she'd do it, she'd get a "good yoga" with praise. however, if I ask her to go yoga, she lays down.


Anything I havent tried? We don't have a clicker and don't want to invest in one because she already has the important commands down pat and these are just tricks.
Currently, I'm working on putting treats on her nose and having her wait. She's doing decently on that, but of course, wants them really bad, and they dont like to sit on her nose, so they roll off....we'll see how she does on that. We've been doing it periodically for awhile now.
 

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The words we train to elicit behaviors (such as sit, down, roll over, play dead, etc.) are cues. What I am talking about is an event marker to mark a desired response, like a clicker, but you can also use a unique, quick and consistant word as a marker (such as "good"). You begin by taking a little time classically conditioning the dog to understand that the marker means what they were doing when they heard it earned them a reward. Behaviors that are reinforced are offered more often. So, instead of trying over and over for a complete roll over and only getting it every so often, you can shape it incrementally with more successes, with or without a lure by marking and rewarding the dog first for turning his head, then leaning a bit with his head turned, then laying flat, and so on.
 

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What you have done for roll over is the only way I could get my last dog to do it. She never would have otherwise I don't think. She learned what I wanted though after a while of repetition and would lure through the move eventually rolling both ways.

She always hated to do it though, and vocally voiced her displeasure at being asked to do so unless she knew the tastiest of treats was involved. She always did it, but she huffed and groaned and made a sad face and a big deal out of it as she laid down to do it. Especially when I asked her to roll back over the other way.

It was like "Aww dude, not that again, it's so humiliating.."

I taught play dead as laying on her side, with eyes closed.

"Close your eyes" became a command in the process of teaching it.

I guess the point is, sometimes a dog won't offer an unnatural behavior on it's own, especially if it is uncomfortable for the dog to do it for some reason. And some behaviors even when learned are not something the dog will ever enjoy doing.
 

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I agree with pamperedpups. You need to establish a marker word -- something like "Yes!" or "Good!" or any kind of uniform sound. Start off by charging this marker, the same way you would charge a clicker. Read this: http://www.clickertrainusa.com/chargingtheclicker.htm and instead of the click, you use your marker word.

When your dog is in the position you want (eg rolled over) -- either because you put her in that position, or she does it voluntarily (though the training is more effective if she offers the behaviour voluntarily) -- you give your marker word and deliver a treat. The marker word ("yes!") is your way of communicating to the dog: that's it, what you just did, that's what I want.

Don't attach a verbal cue ("roll over", "play dead") until she is reliably offering the behaviour... training happens much more slowly when you attach a cue prematurely.
 

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I used a marker word yesterday because I had my hands full.


Teaching Jaia to cross his feet


But I highly recommend a clicker. It's easy (once you understand it) and FUN! I'm teaching my 7-year-old girls tricks. So the investment of a few bucks is well worth it.
 
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