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I'm trying to teach my dogs a new trick in which I have them both sit in front of me, then stretch out my palm and have them each put a paw in my hand and leave it there. A fairly simple trick, but I have a couple of questions.

They each already know "paw" but I will be using a different cue for this (haven't decided on one yet, suggestions welcome.). The difficulty I have now is getting the synchronization part down. Both dogs are already at a stage where I can sit down with them individually and get a paw from them. But when they're next to each other, sometimes Honey will paw target, then take it away when Spunky targets, etc.

How do I get them to figure out that they will only be rewarded when both of them leave their paws there? Are dogs even capable of realising that other dogs' actions determine their rewards?
 

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If Honey takes away her paw, reward the other one.

I see a problem though. If you're using one hand per dog, you have no hand left to treat (or click & treat). If you're using one hand for both, they may be uncomfortable with that.

Also, do they usually leave their paws there until released? Or is it always paw and remove? Work on making them keep their paw there a long time on their own, then add the other dog.
 

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I would teach them individually for sure.

Teach one to hold their paw on one edge of your palm and place and remove other objects on the other side of your palm while their paw is there and reward for staying. Teach one dog so that he REALLY has it down and will leave his paw there no matter what you do, then bring in the other dog.

Command: Hand, palm, Gimme me five, Hold my hand...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks guys!

Jesirose -- No, I want one palm out, and each of them have one paw on the same hand. Kind of a like a "okay group, hands in" position. So I hold out my right palm, they each put a paw in, I c/t with my left. As for how long they leave their paws there, it's anyone's guess... sometimes it's for a second, sometimes it's indefinitely. I've started selecting for longer ones, though.

FIC -- Thanks, I'll try adding and removing objects tomorrow!
 

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lol yeah first work on each of them leaving it there for a long time.
 

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HA! Close. :D But really, that's how I started getting synchronized actions from the whole. I started with sit. Once they were conditioned to the group name and reliably sitting all at once in a distraction free environment, I mixed things up with individual names/commands and focusing totally on one dog while the others watched (usually offering the behavior on their own). Then I moved on to open areas, parks and what not. I've never taught "shake" or anything like that, but I don't see why it would be any different from a sit or down. Start with both together but focus on/reward the reliable one first, the other should pick it up real quick. After they know their collective name, of course.

*I clicker about every other leap year. So, it might need some adjusting to mesh well with your system.*
 

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Kind of a like a "okay group, hands in" position.
Oh! Then I'd make the command "Huddle" :D and break it with Gooooooo dogs! or something like that! LOL

If the side by side doesn't work, you could teach a "pile up" so one puts their paw on top of the other...

Giving me some ideas here...
 

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That's it, I need a second dog. Just one person I need to convince...

Oh, hubby... :D
 

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Bump... no one can help me with this? :(
Well, don't know if this will help or not, but . . .

I play a version of "Simon Says" with my dogs. I call them to me by saying "POODLES! Front and Center!" (and that means the Shih Tzu, too! Sometimes Tommy, the cat, joins in). They LOVE this game, and it's great mental stimulation.

When I preface a cue with "Poodles," that means ALL the dogs are to do what I've cued, and they all get a treat IF they do it (and do not get a treat if they don't).

When I preface a cue with a specific name (Maddy), then only Maddy is to do it. Maddy gets the treat for doing it, and the others get the treat for NOT doing it.

It's great fun, and you can almost see the wheels turning! LOL
 
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