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The Tricks of the Month for April will be to teach your dog to bark on command and to close an open door.

The "beginner" trick will be speak. The idea is pretty simple - teach your dog to bark or whine on command. One way to teach this would be to capture the behaviour - get your dog excited to the point of vocalization, and every time the dog barks, give it a treat! While you don't want to create bad habits, it has also been shown that a good way to break a dog of barking at inappropriate times is to put the barking on cue. If you teach the dog to bark on command, you can also teach it to stop barking.

Here is a youtube video!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=It4XiBagzps

The "advanced" trick will be to teach your dog how to close an open door. First, your dog will need to learn how to target an object with its paw or nose, whichever comes easier for your dog. Encourage your dog to target your hand, and then place a post-it note in your palm and have the dog target that. Slowly transition the post-it note to a light, easy to move door such as a cupboard or closet, and encourage the dog for each movement.

I tried to find youtube videos for this, but they were all really poorly done.

As with the previous months, questions, videos, comments, and alternate methods of accomplishing the tricks are encouraged! Have fun with it, and it doesn't matter if you end up with a well-polished trick at the end of the month or not! As long as you and your dog are having fun, that's all that matters!
 

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What irony!

I'm trying to beat "speak" into Wally's head, and he's starting to get it. The two big obstacles are 1) overcoming his "gotta be in the mood" aspect (or something, maybe it's just goes against his personality *shrug*) and 2) speaking outside - for some reason, he won't - even when excited.

Minor obstacles are teaching him to speak in any position. He always wants to stand up. The other minor "thing" is that he worries about what his tail hits when it wags. It's like he was to "wind up" by wagging his tail before he speaks - and if his tail brushes on something, it distracts him and he wants to move so his tail can wag and not hit something. :)


Closing a door should be interesting. He can open them just fine - wonder if I can get close door out of him. Time to brush up the targeting!

Once the dog knows how to bark on command, then put it on a hand signal. My dog learned how to speak in 5 minutes, tops, and I put it on a hand signal in 1 minute.
FIVE MINUTES?! :eek::eek:

It's taken Wally seven DAYS to get to where we are now - and it's still not as reliable as I would like and sometimes he just either doesn't want to or just...doesn't.

The hand signal is getting there...but still...nowhere near that fast...
 

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Ooh.. I've been thinking about trying barking on cue.. but like you said.. I've been afraid to start a bad habit! I'm gonna try and give it a go though!
 

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Atka speaks and quiets on command. Sometimes she speaks not on command (tells ME a thing or two!) but quiets when told to.

She will open a door on command (either way, paw for push, but you do have to put a rag on the handle if she needs to pull it open and it cannot be latched). She will "shut the door!" by pushing it closed with her foot or by pulling it closed with a rag on the handle.

The first time she used the rag to close the door, she really slammed it and scared herself.. she was so surprised she fell down. It took better treats to get her past that.. now she finds the slamming noise self reinforcing.
 

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Yep. D learned it in 5 minutes, and has always been really reliable. The hand signal he learned in 1 minute, and he's almost 100% reliable with that also.
Amazing - wish I was that good at teaching tricks. A week vs 5 minutes... wow
 

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Wow.. I am rather impressed with Zoey.. I started teaching 'Woof' this morning, and she had it down after just a couple of tries! I thought it was going to be much harder to get her to bark in the first place so I could reward it..
 

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I've been contemplating teaching Speak, but I'm kind of worried about the stimulus control. I wouldn't want them throwing the behaviour at me all the time during training sessions.
 

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My puppy can already speak but I want to try to learn the advanced trick.

I've taught my puppy to target my hand already, but I've never done anything with it other than have him touch his nose to my hand. I'm definitely going to see if I can get him to close a door..... At what point do you introduce the command??

LoveMyBirdDog
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Here is a video of our first attempt at closing the door. Libby already knows nose targeting, and about a year ago the DH taught her how to turn on the radio by first teaching her to target a post-it note, but we hadn't done it since then. Looks like she remembered :)

We warm up with nose targeting my palm, which is one of her favourite tricks. Then I put the post-it note in my palm and have her target that a couple of times. Then I put it on the door to see what she would do, and she had no problems figuring out what I wanted.

After she did that for a bit, I tried opening the door slightly to see how she would react to the movement. It startled her a bit, so I backed up to just targeting the post-it note. I am goinng to wait until she is doing a firm nose-bop on the post-it before attempting the door open again, and then I am going to jackpot like crazy when I do. I think we will have this one done pretty quickly.

Here's the video:



As for speak... I have taught her for SO LONG that she is only to alarm-bark, and so I can't get a squeak out of her. Not sure if I am going to pursue this one or not...
 

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Once the dog knows how to bark on command, then put it on a hand signal. My dog learned how to speak in 5 minutes, tops, and I put it on a hand signal in 1 minute.
Same here. Speak was a very easy one to teach and Rotties are not real "barky" dog normally. All of my dogs have learned this command easily. Now what I want is someone to post a video of training a dog to open the door and let themselves outside to go potty and back in when finished. Now that would be a skill I would love to teach. :D

Edit: Squeeker, I was glad to see you close the door again and reinforce the touch at a comfortable level again when Libby got nervous about the door movement. Too many people try to take these steps too quickly. Libby is a wonderful dog. I like seeing her in action. Love the happy tail. :)
 

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Now what I want is someone to post a video of training a dog to open the door and let themselves outside to go potty and back in when finished. Now that would be a skill I would love to teach. :D
Hmm...

I wonder if Wally could get this.

He could open the door (even the patio door, even if it's hard for him to put enough force to make it slide), but I think once outside he'd probably wonder why I'm not coming out with him :)

Though - maybe...it could be chained together. Might take a while.

And I'm still totally jealous. Even though Wally speaks readily now - you guys got it way easier...

I STILL don't get why it was so hard for him...
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Squeeker, I was glad to see you close the door again and reinforce the touch at a comfortable level again when Libby got nervous about the door movement. Too many people try to take these steps too quickly. Libby is a wonderful dog. I like seeing her in action. Love the happy tail.
Thanks, Inga! If it's one thing I've learned, it's to take things at the dog's pace. I was surprised that the motion startled her, but I don't mind working slower.
 

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So, how did everyone do? I decided to not even try speak, as I am still not sure that I want her to offer that behaviour like she does with so many of her other tricks...

Closing the door, however, went very well. It only took a couple sessions after my last video to get it down on the command I wanted to use. Here's the video:



Anyone else?
 

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Wally isn't closing doors yet, but he's starting to paw target a post-it on a door so that's a start.
 

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I didn't know about this or I would have joined in! I'll be sure not to miss the next one. :)
 
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