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Discussion Starter #1
Well, maybe not "dance" just yet, but...

...let's say I wanted him to wave his paws from the sit pretty in time with a beat, almost like he's conducting the music. Would it best to...


A) Getting him in "offer paw mode" to where he's doing it constantly through shaping (so it's his idea to offer the behavior constantly). Then put a single drum beat on it - marking and rewarding if he offers the paw waving near time with the beat?

It would be like:

-Wally waves
-I make a drum beat
-Mark (with clicker since it's more a pulse sound and his mind is hopefully tuned to such sounds instead of shifting his brain from longer sounds of my voice back to short sounds)/reward immediately

or


B) Do a drum beat and then cue paw right after. Then mark/reward the behavior?

It would be like:

-I make a drum beat
-I ask for a paw wave
-Wally (hopefully) waves paw(s)
-Mark (with a clicker for the same reason above)/reward immediately.


Thoughts?
 

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I'd try luring it personally, but, I'm not sure dogs can understand "beat" per se. Most people can't. If you train to one song, it might not transfer to another song set to a different speed. You know? My husband (the pianist/drummer/sound engineer is intrigued and wants video if you succeed.)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'd try luring it personally, but, I'm not sure dogs can understand "beat" per se. Most people can't. If you train to one song, it might not transfer to another song set to a different speed. You know? My husband (the pianist/drummer/sound engineer is intrigued and wants video if you succeed.)
Hmm...

I might have to try to find a sound that's similar enough to where he might can generalize it in terms of the sound being the cue. I think he could pick it out - I know he can hear the timer kitchen even if I have World War 2 going on (games, tv, etc). Definitely going to be a challenge though, that's why I want to get the start going right so we can hit the ground running.
 

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Not to dissuade you, but instead to encourage you to broaden the approach:

In freestyle canine dancing, the dogs do Not keep time to the music. The trainers teach the basic moves to the dog... and then find music that matches the dog.

I think you could use clicker training to teach Wally to wave to the beat, but I'm not sure how you would generalize it... altho I'm impressed with Wally's accomplishments so far.

Instead, you might teach Wally to wave continuously, then locate music to match. You might even teach him to wave to Rock&Roll or Ragtime :) (Maybe Ragtime is better for a cat)

J.C. Penney's currently has a commercial about jumping through hoops, with a dog jumping through a hoop to music. I don't know how they did it - special effects or an energetic terrier - but I'd bet that they paid someone to compose the music after they taught the dog to jump...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
That makes sense. My mom asked me about that commercial not long ago. She was like "do you think that's real?"

I don't know - terriers are like energy with 4 legs and a nose so it seems possible.

Anyway, your idea about the music matching the dog does make a lot of sense.

Wish I had a tuning fork, though. Would make it easier to hit it on something, then have that sound cue the wave. Better timing and all that. Maybe there's an app on Android market...
 

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I believe you mentioned something about musicians or such in another thread? How about a good old fashioned pitch pipe?

Just a thought. I love how you teach The Wally such cool things to do. Good luck! :)
 

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Hanksimon is absolutely correct.

In freestyle, the dog does not really move in time to the music, although he/she seems to be doing that. The dog actually moves in response to cues from the handler. The cues are most often silent signals. It's up to the handler to sync the cues to the music, and to ensure that the music allows the dog to perform the moves properly and in sequence.

So you train the move - sometimes called a "trick" - to your cues just like you would train any other behavior. Like all training, if the behavior is complex, you train it by breaking the move into simpler pieces and then combining the pieces. Only when you have the move - or often multiple moves - trained do you add the music.

Once your dog already has a "shake" trick - from whatever position you decide- it's very easy to shape that into a "wave" trick from the same position. Once you have the "wave" trick, you can put it to music like you want to do. BTW, that's actually a pretty common freestyle move and you see it as part of a lot of routines.

Here's one way teach your dog the "wave" trick with a silent cue starting from a regular sitting shake, but you can start with a shake from your 'pretty sit' in the same way.


Of course, I assuming you know the general principles of 'clicker training'.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Wally's actually pretty close to that already. He knows how to shake and I can get him to offer waving by holding out on him. Just last night I did a quick little shaping session with him going from a sit and sticking his paw out to pawing my leg to kind of in a sit pretty pose but with both paws on my knee to him standing up on back paws with his right front paw on my knee and the left one waving/pawing the air.

He really likes to do it from a sit pretty pose and that's one of his most offered poses (sometimes he offers it too much LOL)

Sounds like I need to refine it more and put some more signals on it, etc.

Thanks for the video Poly :) Yeah, I know about marker training - I'm always using some marker (often two, reward and no reward, me looking away from him) with him during shaping. :)
 

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I would put the behavior on cue (signal or verbal) and cue when YOU hear the drum beat. Eventually if the beat comes before the cue, you may be able to drop the cue. But, if you're looking to do freestyle (maybe you just want a cute trick) there's no real reason to drop the cue.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
I would put the behavior on cue (signal or verbal) and cue when YOU hear the drum beat. Eventually if the beat comes before the cue, you may be able to drop the cue. But, if you're looking to do freestyle (maybe you just want a cute trick) there's no real reason to drop the cue.
You know, I just realized your avatar picture is a dog doing what might be this very trick :) Is that your dog/one you competed with? IIRC, you participate in freestyle, right?

Here is a link to a video that combines 'drumming' with paw behaviours. Sort of.

Not really the advice you're looking for I admit, but IMO it's cute nonetheless. And it could provide you with additional ideas for yet another trick, for The Wally to master.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jf6yC-Kf7X4

Very cute :D

Bonus points that it involves fellow Bichon family dogs :)

BTW, Wally is going crazy trying to sniff the dogs, poking my monitor with his nose and barking and watching them move. LOL He's interested now, but I bet if I tried to make him stand on bongo drums, he'd be like..."O rly? Can't tell if srs..."
 

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You know, I just realized your avatar picture is a dog doing what might be this very trick :) Is that your dog/one you competed with? IIRC, you participate in freestyle, right?




Very cute :D

..."
I LOVE the bongo playing Havenese! Yes my avatar dog is Alice who has four freestyle titles so far.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I LOVE the bongo playing Havenese! Yes my avatar dog is Alice who has four freestyle titles so far.
Wow, nice! :)

Are any of her routines on the 'net?
 

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How about:
1. Click to teach Wally to wave to the right, then click to teach him to wave to the left, without lowering his paw. Click to the beat. Wave to the beat.
2. Transfer the click to your manual drumbeat - drumbeat: wave right; then, drumbeat: wave left; then drumbeat wave right; and so on...
3. Then, manually drumbeat to some music, perhaps turning up the bass...
4. I don't know how to transfer from the drumbeat to the music.... but I think we want videos regardless :)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
How about:
1. Click to teach Wally to wave to the right, then click to teach him to wave to the left, without lowering his paw. Click to the beat. Wave to the beat.
2. Transfer the click to your manual drumbeat - drumbeat: wave right; then, drumbeat: wave left; then drumbeat wave right; and so on...
3. Then, manually drumbeat to some music, perhaps turning up the bass...
4. I don't know how to transfer from the drumbeat to the music.... but I think we want videos regardless :)
I will try similar, but yeah, getting the behaviors burned into his skull is step one. Fortunately, if there's one thing I'm good at (maybe the only thing) in training is repeating it dozens of times quickly as I can (I love to keep things fast paced with him) and then doing that dozens of times LOL.

I might use targeting to refine it and shaping to teach it (I know, that's backwards - supposed to use shaping to refine). So once I get him sit pretty and waving those paws - then work the left/right in (and come up with some signal - might use open palm since that's close to the hand signal for shake - he should figure out what I'm "talking about" with that...)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
We're working on the wave behavior and getting him use to turning left/right while in the sit-pretty position. I'm using targeting on my open hand and he seems to be getting the idea pretty quick. Right now, I'm using one hand and moving it left and right, and will do it with the other hand, then work on both hands with me indicating which hand for him to try to target. Then we'll add on speed to really get him quick-thinking and reacting. Then I'll figure some other kind of way to make it harder because I'm evil that way lol.

If my hands are out of his reach, I noticed he'll either try to raise up and forward (almost like a little leap from the position), or do the wave motion like he's trying to pull my hand closer so he can paw my palm. I'm debating whether or not to capture both at this stage since that "sit-pretty-leap" thing might be nice later.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Opportunism!!! I vote for capturing any behavior now, b/c it may disappear later...
Yeah, I'm thinking that's best as well. He did it again so this time I made sure to capture it.

Of course, he kept doing it lol. Yeah, opportunism - Wally's got it in spades. Oh wait, you were talking about me being opportunistic :D
 
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