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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, as many of you already know, Donatello is a bit shy, and skittish at times if he thinks he's being punished or about to be abused... : ( (To no fault of my own...)

I've been putting this off for a bit... Every time I try to train him with something new, it stresses him out, especially if it's a hands-on trick...

So what's the easiest approach to teaching Donatello "touch" without using my hands, and without stressing him out... (I've thrown the clicker method out... We made no real progress with it.)
 

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Targeting AKA "Touch"

In Don's case I'd start rewarding when he looks at your hand or the object you're trying to get him to touch. Encourage ALL movement toward the object, even the slightest progress is PROGRESS and quit getting so frustrated, he picks up on it and it will set back your training.
 

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Just a question, what's you're idea of touch?

I was about to respond with what I did to teach my dog touch but I don't think that's what you're referring to.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for replying guys, and trying to help me. : )

Targeting AKA "Touch"

In Don's case I'd start rewarding when he looks at your hand or the object you're trying to get him to touch. Encourage ALL movement toward the object, even the slightest progress is PROGRESS and quit getting so frustrated, he picks up on it and it will set back your training.
I read the link, and the only question I have is, what is "mark and reinforce". If it means, "praise and treat", then that seems simple enough to start with.

Is this the basic-fundamentals which can later be shaped into "touching/targeting" anything I point/cue to?

Just a question, what's you're idea of touch?

I was about to respond with what I did to teach my dog touch but I don't think that's what you're referring to.
My idea of "touch" is like "targeting", touching anything I cue to with his nose...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm just starting out, I'm starting him with touching my hand first, then I hope to work up and branch out to him "touching" other people or objects on my cue.
 

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I read the link, and the only question I have is, what is "mark and reinforce".
It means "click and treat" (or say YES! and pet or whatever your marker and reinforcement is). I would encourage you to go back to the clicker. Unless he's afraid of it or something. It's really a great way to get the dog to know exactly what you mean.

To teach touch, I started with a bamboo stick with a ball on the end. They are naturally curious about the ball, so their nose goes right to it. Sometimes I have to think... How am I going to get him to do the action in the first place? Then when he does, click and treat.

Good luck!
 

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Well, I'll give it a go then. Hope this helps, but if it doesn't, sorry :eek:

To get started, i sat on the floor with him and rubbed some food essence in the palm of my hand and just stuck my hand out and waited for him to lick my hand or smell my hand or whatever and then I clicked and treated.

I know you said you didn't want to use a clicker so i suppose you could just use a marker word or something.

Then, once he got the hang of that i only clicked and treated for when his nose touched the palm of my hand, no more licking was permitted, only the nose touching got him a treat. And then once he got the hang of that one i added the word so I would put my hand behind my back, say 'touch' and then stick my hand out in front then click & treat.

My ultimate goal was to get him to close doors, but umm...we haven't gotten to that step yet. :rolleyes:

But, he'll touch my hand regardless of where we are and regardless of where my hand is, if I say touch, he goes to find my hand and touches it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Thanks FourIsCompany. : )

I would use the clicker, but Donatello doesn't like it... At all... He started realizing that the clicker gives him a treat, but he continued to hide under anything he could... He would not what-so-ever sit/stand in front of me... I tried everything I could think of to make the clicker more appealing, but it just wasn't working for him...

So, to keep our relationship on the same page I just ditched the clicker... I've decided to work around that somehow. lol!

Well, I'll give it a go then. Hope this helps, but if it doesn't, sorry :eek:

To get started, i sat on the floor with him and rubbed some food essence in the palm of my hand and just stuck my hand out and waited for him to lick my hand or smell my hand or whatever and then I clicked and treated.

I know you said you didn't want to use a clicker so i suppose you could just use a marker word or something.

Then, once he got the hang of that i only clicked and treated for when his nose touched the palm of my hand, no more licking was permitted, only the nose touching got him a treat. And then once he got the hang of that one i added the word so I would put my hand behind my back, say 'touch' and then stick my hand out in front then click & treat.

My ultimate goal was to get him to close doors, but umm...we haven't gotten to that step yet. :rolleyes:

But, he'll touch my hand regardless of where we are and regardless of where my hand is, if I say touch, he goes to find my hand and touches it.
You know what... I might just try it your way first... Donatello isn't absolutely food motivated, but that would probably be the easiest and safest way to start. : )

I'll try it. : ) Thanks for explaining it.
 

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I would use the clicker, but Donatello doesn't like it... At all... He started realizing that the clicker gives him a treat, but he continued to hide under anything he could... He would not what-so-ever sit/stand in front of me... I tried everything I could think of to make the clicker more appealing, but it just wasn't working for him...
Did you try muffling the sound of the clicker? maybe it's too loud for him or something. I think I heard someone say you can use a ball point pen, the push kind as a clicker. I don't think it has to actually be a clicker. I think the only point of the clicker is that it's a consistent sound and it lets you mark behaviors quicker

I used to just use marker words instead of the clicker but when i started using the clicker he caught on much faster because I was able to mark the behavior with better precision.
 

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If the clicker sound is too much for him, you could use a retractable ball point pen, it's much quieter and will mark the action JUST as well. There are also clickers out there you can control the volume on. You could also try using a dog whistle, it's not loud to you, but he would hear it just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well, I'll look into using those for the next trick... I know I've tried pens before, and they're just like the clicker... I'm not sure what the deal is, it's either the sound or the volume of the sound...

He reacts really well to praise and affection...

The last thirty minutes I've *started* it, lol! I put him on his leash, looped it to the doorknob to my closet, closed my bedroom door and sat down with bite-size pieces of chicken-nuggets. He's probably going to have an allergy attack, but I have nothing else worth any value to him treat wise... People food, chicken-nuggets especially keep him interested...

Repetition with Donatello is actually the easiest and the fastest way for him to get a trick down-pat, starting out with naming the trick and all- Shaping the behavior is confusing to him... Using my palm didn't work... I held my palm up, I held it out, and it didn't work- He'd flinch and turn his head... not unusual reaction... So instead, on my right hand, I pinched all my fingertips together and held it out... (It appeared like I was going to give him a treat.)

What'd he do? Reach out and sniff for a treat! : D So I instantly put a word to it... "touch"... I've said "touch" fifty+ times in the last thirty minutes... Towards the end it looked like a light-bulb was flickering, lol! It didn't go off, but I can most certainly tell that in the next few days he'll be doing it faithfully... More times than none he'd reach out instantly when I'd say "touch".

He's given up right now... lol! I think he's pooped...

Once I ran out of chicken-nuggets, he was still "touching" my fingers... I alternated hands, and I also held some up above his head and to the side, and he'd still touch/sniff...

I'm not going at this the traditional way, but after reading how others people have went at this trick, I "modified" it for Donatello... I didn't feel comfortable at all using my palm, or the back of my hand... When I brought Donatello out here to the living-room I had my mom do it a couple times, he "touched" gingerly... (She had ranch-dressing on her fingers) lol!

I'm going to do this again tonight for probably about 15 minutes... Then again tomorrow for another 30... Donatello's a fast learner, and he picks up things quickly... Like I said, I could tell his light-bulb was flickering, maybe tomorrow it'll be shining brightly. : P

Thanks for all the advice!
 

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Well, I'll look into using those for the next trick... I know I've tried pens before, and they're just like the clicker... I'm not sure what the deal is, it's either the sound or the volume of the sound...

He reacts really well to praise and affection...

The last thirty minutes I've *started* it, lol! I put him on his leash, looped it to the doorknob to my closet, closed my bedroom door and sat down with bite-size pieces of chicken-nuggets. He's probably going to have an allergy attack, but I have nothing else worth any value to him treat wise... People food, chicken-nuggets especially keep him interested...

Repetition with Donatello is actually the easiest and the fastest way for him to get a trick down-pat, starting out with naming the trick and all- Shaping the behavior is confusing to him... Using my palm didn't work... I held my palm up, I held it out, and it didn't work- He'd flinch and turn his head... not unusual reaction... So instead, on my right hand, I pinched all my fingertips together and held it out... (It appeared like I was going to give him a treat.)

What'd he do? Reach out and sniff for a treat! : D So I instantly put a word to it... "touch"... I've said "touch" fifty+ times in the last thirty minutes... Towards the end it looked like a light-bulb was flickering, lol! It didn't go off, but I can most certainly tell that in the next few days he'll be doing it faithfully... More times than none he'd reach out instantly when I'd say "touch".

He's given up right now... lol! I think he's pooped...

Once I ran out of chicken-nuggets, he was still "touching" my fingers... I alternated hands, and I also held some up above his head and to the side, and he'd still touch/sniff...

I'm not going at this the traditional way, but after reading how others people have went at this trick, I "modified" it for Donatello... I didn't feel comfortable at all using my palm, or the back of my hand... When I brought Donatello out here to the living-room I had my mom do it a couple times, he "touched" gingerly... (She had ranch-dressing on her fingers) lol!

I'm going to do this again tonight for probably about 15 minutes... Then again tomorrow for another 30... Donatello's a fast learner, and he picks up things quickly... Like I said, I could tell his light-bulb was flickering, maybe tomorrow it'll be shining brightly. : P

Thanks for all the advice!
That's great! :D
 

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Great to hear! Remember any thing he does is positive and the training will make him more confident as he learns what is expected of him and builds trust in you.
 

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That's great Deege! I'm glad Donatello is doing really well. One thing you could try, if you do ever want to try clicker training is making a mouth sound, like a tongue click or a pop noise. I wouldn't load it like you would with other dogs, just throughout the day make the nose and drop a treat for him, do it alot and in a few days maybe he'd start liking it. Some dogs don't like the sound because it's paired with the idea that they'll have presure put on them to do something.
I don't know if that helps any, but I'm really excited for Donatello, he's one of my favorite dogs to hear about on here ><
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Thanks for the support everyone! : )

Great to hear! Remember any thing he does is positive and the training will make him more confident as he learns what is expected of him and builds trust in you.
Oh yes, after the trouble I've went through with him to open up with me this far, I'm very cautious- probably to the point of ridiculous-ness! lol! I would rather Donatello run rampant, refuse to sit, and look at me like I'm dumb than not trust me... : ( It breaks my heart when he screams and cries like a baby... Makes me feel like a bad mom...

I'm sure he's not 100% positive that "touch" means "touch your nose to my fingers when I say to", but like I said, his light-bulb is flickering... lol! He'll have it down-pat soon enough, and then I'll be having him touch my family's fingers as well... : )

That's great Deege! I'm glad Donatello is doing really well. One thing you could try, if you do ever want to try clicker training is making a mouth sound, like a tongue click or a pop noise. I wouldn't load it like you would with other dogs, just throughout the day make the nose and drop a treat for him, do it alot and in a few days maybe he'd start liking it. Some dogs don't like the sound because it's paired with the idea that they'll have presure put on them to do something.
I don't know if that helps any, but I'm really excited for Donatello, he's one of my favorite dogs to hear about on here ><
That last phrase made my heart swell, it almost exploded! : D I'm glad everyone loves Donatello as much as I do, and I'm glad everyone likes hearing about him. : ) Makes me proud...

Thanks for the advice too, I'll try that... : ) I'll see how well it goes with "touch" before I start thinking about another trick.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Okay... I've had a very busy day... Most of my morning and part of my afternoon was dedicated to work...

But...

The good news is, I'll be working with Donatello again today. : ) (The whole, on-the-leash-in-my-room thing again.) On and off all day yesterday and part of today, if I gave him a treat I'm pinch my fingertips together, hold my hand out and say, "touch"... So we've been working on it... ; )

He's not as reliable about it as he was yesterday, but I'm sure once we start the official training-session he'll remember. ; )
 

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He's not as reliable about it as he was yesterday, but I'm sure once we start the official training-session he'll remember. ; )

Heh, yeah - gonna happen. I don't know what goes on in the head but there's been times where I almost threw up my hands and said "Screw it" and just put him to bed then the next day, I dare to try it and BAM! it's like perfect.

I guess it's the "sleep on it" factor.

Go go Donatello!

You're gonna turn him into a nose-toucher - just watch ;)
 

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Yeah, that's how it was!! : D

Yesterday's training session was amazing! : D He did wonderful... We didn't work as long, but I swear to goodness he touched my fingertips to his nose every time... I didn't even have to move my hand! lol! I brought him out to living room, and did a few more times with no treat and he still did it... : )

I'm not saying he's a "pro" at it, but he will be in the next day or so! : D
 

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I'm so glad you taught this. I hope it'll help Donnie get over some of his other fears.
 
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