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Discussion Starter #1
He's starting to get a better idea of "left","right","back". He knows "wait" (probably will rename to "halt" or something like that), and I can throw in "upstairs" and "downstairs" and even a bit of "obstacles" (mostly opening doors, though he needs to be better at doing it on his own if he runs into a closed door so he can keep searching so that's one area to work on)

We have a new game oriented around the directions. A coffee table separates us and he has to go around it in the direction I indicate for the click and treat.

I haven't played the game where I "hide" and object (more like placed in plain side, but he doesn't know where it is) and I guide him there with directions. We'll probably play that again soon. He seemed really into it - it's like a "different" side of him came out where he's still engaged but more focused and less bouncy/excited - at least until he finds it and brings it back! :D

What would be some other games/tasks to work with him on this concept? I know there's things we need to work on:

-Learning that the direction means just keep going until you find whatever or I call another direction (i.e. don't look back/at me every 5 steps)

-Figuring out if I need to teach a direction that brings him closer to me or if I should just use recall.

-Wondering if I should invest in a whistle and expose him to that. Would that make this easier, or just confuse him at this point with one more piece of new information to learn?

-How to set up more obstacles in the house that he has to deal with on his searches and what those obstacles should be.
 

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Have you been teaching him this using targeting? If not, you could start what's referred to as dry work. Dry work is what people without daily access to sheep use to work their BCs and such on commands. Basically, it's just targeting. I can try to dig up the article.
 

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Hmmm .. almost sounds like you have designs on herding :)

What about sending him around the coffee table, and right in the midst of it ask for another behaviour such as sit, down, spin, or change of direction ?



edit: I see someone else had the same suspicions, lol
 

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So when you are sending him around the coffee table, you are clicking and treating for him going to HIS left/right, not yours, correct?

I'll be very interested to follow this thread because I'm hoping to do skijoring with Squash when he's older, and as such I'm going to need to teach him directions as well. I've gotten some good advice so far for "dry land" training directions outside on walks when he's older, but I've been trying to figure out how I could also practice inside where I don't have as much space. The coffee table is a brilliant idea!
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
So when you are sending him around the coffee table, you are clicking and treating for him going to HIS left/right, not yours, correct?
Correct - I always use his frame of reference - that way it's consistent (he always has his frame of reference).

I don't know how my mind has gotten used to calling my right as "left" but it has LOL

We'll need to work this with him facing the same direction as me, but that won't change anything.

I'll be very interested to follow this thread because I'm hoping to do skijoring with Squash when he's older, and as such I'm going to need to teach him directions as well. I've gotten some good advice so far for "dry land" training directions outside on walks when he's older, but I've been trying to figure out how I could also practice inside where I don't have as much space. The coffee table is a brilliant idea!
Yeah, I think it really made it clearer for him too. He seems to be grasping the concept much faster.

Have you been teaching him this using targeting? If not, you could start what's referred to as dry work. Dry work is what people without daily access to sheep use to work their BCs and such on commands. Basically, it's just targeting. I can try to dig up the article.

Ohhh - yes please, try to find it if you can! Since I know the name, I'll be looking myself.

Hmmm .. almost sounds like you have designs on herding :)

What about sending him around the coffee table, and right in the midst of it ask for another behaviour such as sit, down, spin, or change of direction ?


I don't know if Wally could herd anything :p I think he's too little, though I think he'd be interested in the stock that's for sure :)

That's a good idea, I'll have to try that next time and start asking for some behaviors in the middle of it. He should be able to do this better than when I try getting him to do behaviors on recall. I think recall is a little TOO motivating (CHARGE! LOL) for him.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Worked them into retrieving a bit. I throw the dumbbell off to the left or right instead of straight ahead as usual and I used "left" or "right" to cue him to get it.

He did without a problem. I don't know if this will help him any, but he had to turn and move in that direction to go get it so perhaps.

I've also been saying "left" and "right" when we turn on walks. At first, he got caught because he's focused on the usual route we go in. A few times of that, and, especially when I say "left" (since he walks on my left and that turns me right into him) he started looking up at me to watch me turn.
 

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Don't know if this'll help -
I taught Shep to shake hands, then I taught him to use the other paw, attaching Right and Left.
Then, I taught him to turn around - Turn Right, Turn Left.
In Obedience, we naturally learned Right and Left .... He's better than me :)
When we walk in PetsMart aisles, I tell him Turn Left or Right at the end. I also tell him Straight.

When I was teaching him to Fetch different objects, I'd redirect him with Left or Right (no, he doesn't know 1000 different objects, like Chaser :)

Nothing specific, but hope that helps...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I did some turns with him, calling out the direction name and noticed he has much more trouble/inconsistency turning left. He's understanding, but doing the actual turn seems to be having some trouble executing the turn and keeping his pace up. I'm sure some of this is probably me and my turn I want him to follow, but even then, it's just that he turns...sharper, I guess, going right.

Is it normal for dogs to turn easier in one direction over another at first?

We worked a lot on left turns after seeing this. He seemed to be getting better so I'll just have to keep working it. I'm wondering if there's anything else he doesn't do as well with his left than right.
 

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Dogs tend to be 'right handed,' and there are some logistics issues in heeling right vs. left (you're on the left), but I don't think there is a general reason for right/left issues. It may simply be how you trained it. For example, my dog is VERY good at sit, and understands "Three" much better than One or Two... and I think that was based on an inconsistency on training on my part (not him training me.... :)
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Thanks for the site - I'll check it out.

Glad you like the avatar :)

He's getting much better at turns, still have work to do and more ways to make it harder to make sure he's really understanding it, and then getting him to go around an object in the direction I give. If he can get that concept - yeah, would be a good way to see him understand it.
 

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Too little for herding? The answer is Triebball (basically, soccer for dogs with exercise balls instead of sheep). I know of some fantastic videos on Youtube, I'll dig them up for you.after class.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Do what now? Never heard of that before now!

Oh - found a basics training video.

Sounds really interesting!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFpH_WLC4qs

Oh yeah, we're SO doing this.

Gonna have to watch his flapping feet again...He so pawsy now. He's gonna want to paw it. I know it. I can see it already.
 

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What do you guys think of this... Squash has picked up "touch" really fast. Can I use the touch to teach directions, similar to how hanksimon used shake? That is, give the appropriate verbal cue before prompting him to touch a hand to his left or right.

Or will that confuse "touch" with left and right, do you think?
 

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How about "Touch Left" and "Touch Right" ? Make sure touch is very solid... and you can start to discriminate.
1. Using your Right hand, put it on the Right and say Touch Right, then on the left and say Touch Left.
2. Do the same with a ball.
3. Do the same with your Left hand, then again with a ball in your Left hand (Don't expect him to generalize).
4. Hold out your right hand and your left hand, and say Touch Right, and Touch Left...
5. You'll how to provide reward and advisement feedback (instructive reprimand) ... teaching him hot/cold

BTW - General Question... these Web pages are taking a long time to load because of ad errors ? Anyone else notice this?
 

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Do what now? Never heard of that before now!

Oh - found a basics training video.

Sounds really interesting!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFpH_WLC4qs

Oh yeah, we're SO doing this.

Gonna have to watch his flapping feet again...He so pawsy now. He's gonna want to paw it. I know it. I can see it already.
That is the video I was thinking of. If you haven't, check out the rest of her videos. They're equally as well done and thurough.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
I certainly will. I have that vid favorited so I can jump to it.

We're progressing pretty well - though we're at the "go around" part. Going to work on this when I take him out in a few minutes (we're going to look stupid - I'm going to have him "go around" the light post LOL - people probably be like "what the **** is he doing with that dog?")

He's got the pushing part pretty quick. I just asked for "push" and he looked around for the ball, found it, and basically assaulted the poor ball with his nose (thank goodness we don't want gentle LOL)

Of course, we're still going to work it - want it to be second nature - but to get it "cold" like that in just one session is a very good sign for him.
 

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How about "Touch Left" and "Touch Right" ? Make sure touch is very solid... and you can start to discriminate.
1. Using your Right hand, put it on the Right and say Touch Right, then on the left and say Touch Left.
2. Do the same with a ball.
3. Do the same with your Left hand, then again with a ball in your Left hand (Don't expect him to generalize).
4. Hold out your right hand and your left hand, and say Touch Right, and Touch Left...
5. You'll how to provide reward and advisement feedback (instructive reprimand) ... teaching him hot/cold
Thank you. I do need to get his "touch" way more solid before I try adding in the directions.

Hopefully I don't confuse MYSELF too badly, either, because I'll be using Gee and Haw istead of right and left. It's hard enough to remember which is which without having to do it facing him, LOL.

BTW - General Question... these Web pages are taking a long time to load because of ad errors ? Anyone else notice this?
Yes, there's a couple of threads about it. Generally people seem to be having good luck with Adblocks for their respective browsers.
 
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