Focus Fun May Week 4

What IF, you go out to train and your dog will NOT focus on you?   What will you do?

 

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Topic – what if?   How to handle errors … what to do if your dog doesn’t do the first command

 

What IF, you go out to train and your dog will NOT focus on you?   What will you do?

  • First, I do believe in teaching my dog HOW TO engage and focus in new locations.
  • Next, I will pester my dog into focusing and engaging with me.  I do not give up!
  • IF regardless of what I do, my dog WILL NOT focus or engage?   I STOP TRAINING!
  • I put my dog up and analyze the area, the distractions and my dog.

Questions to consider?

  • Is the location too distracting?
  • Do you need to move further away from distractions?
  • Are you training too long?
  • Are the rewards you using high enough value?
  • Does your dog understand criteria?
  • Are you increasing the difficulty before your dog is experienced and successful at a lower level of training?
  • Have you built the desire to engage and focus BEFORE increasing difficulty and distraction level?
  • Is your dog ill or injured?
  • Once you have decided what to change, attempt another training session.

When your dog disengages during a session, he is giving you training information.  Something is interfering with his ability to participate.  Your job is to listen and correctly interpret what he’s trying to tell you.  Once you have done your work and built desire for great FOCUS, your dog will have awesome focus and engage with you in all types of environments.

Questions? Ask DebbyQ

Kandu – Progression

adding distractions

The Kandu drill is a great way to increase your dog’s focus on knowledge of where you are located.

Goals – This week is to adding a new low distracting location and mixing up commands to test your dog’s knowledge to the Kandu drill.

Reminders

Use a NEW low distraction area.
Add a consequence if your dog does not immediately respond to your command. Step toward him and abort the repetition. Use a consequence such as a negative marker and or lightly pulling up on the leash, anything that you use when training.

Your Task for May

Progression

In a NEW low distraction area, using your sit and or down.
Start to walk on a loose leash with your dog.
While moving forward with your dog, give a sit/down command. Praise your dog for complying quickly.
If he does not respond to your command, immediately step in toward him and abort the repetition. Use a consequence such as a negative marker and or anything that you use when training.
Release your dog from the sit/down and start to walk again with your dog.
After a few steps, give the sit/down command again. Praise and reward for effort.
NOTE: I often do a few repetitions in a row. I.e., walk a few steps, sit, walk a few steps, down, walk a few steps, sit, etc.

COMMON ERRORS – Handlers Make

Giving more than one command for an incorrect or no response. When working with your dog, it is OK to repeat the command as you are add a consequence. If your dog gives no effort to down, use a consequence.
Waiting to see if your dog will respond to the command. In the long run, waiting for your dog to see if he will perform a down will teach your dog a “delay” in a command. In other words, if I ask my dog to down and wait 3 seconds to respond to compliance, then I am building in a 3 second delayed down. If you want your dog to respond quickly, YOU need to be ready to mark or abort an attempt that is less than your criteria.

  • Mix up commands you use.  In other words, use a sit the first time, a down the second, a sit again the third.

 

 

video

Video Notes:

 

Video Notes: Riker follows in the video.  I have placed a toy down on the ground as a distraction.  This is an important step before taking this drill to a more distracting location.  Riker does a great job, although he does grab the toy once.  The consequence was me telling him he “cheated”.  Hahahaha.  At the end of our session, I told Riker to “get it” to reward his great session.

Questions? Ask DebbyQ

 

 

Your Task for May Week 4

Game 12: Turn, Turn, Turn – This game helps with focus but also with anticipation.

  • Put your dog on a sit and walk away from him.
  • As you are leaving, turn a circle and with your back to your dog, keep walking away.
  • Occasionally praise your dog as you turn.
  • Turn circles several times while leaving your dog.
  • Increase the number of steps between turns once your dog is confident and steady remaining in place.
  • This game is also great proofing stationary positions such as start-line stays, tables, contacts, stands, sits or drops.
  • Anytime while leaving, start another RSG game or call your dog.

COMMON ERRORS – Handlers Make

  • Advertising that a game is getting ready to begin.  Be fast and unpredictable when you are going to break into a game.  Keep your dog guessing.
  • Walking away slowly.  When you leave your dog, walk away “as if” you were in the ring.  Brisk and with purpose.
  • Letting your dog see you load up with toy/treats.  Load up or pre-place rewards before you get your dog out of the crate.  Make it a surprise in stead of advertised.

 

 

 

VIDEO NOTES:

VIDEO NOTES: In this video, Karrde and I are training the Turn, Turn, Turn RSG Games.  This is a game BUT it is also proofing and testing the steadiness of Karrde’s sit.  Each time I leave, the way I leave is mixed up and other RSG games are used as releases.  Once, I even use a Slow Hand reward.   Karrde was enjoying shaking the toy a bit too much, so I see training on this in the near future.   :>)

 

BEFORE PROGRESSING, REVIEW YOUR CHECK LIST.

PDF

Questions? Ask DebbyQ

high distraction people dogs

Enlist the help of a friend or go to a new location where people and or dogs often visit such as a park or shopping center.  Start at a lower level, i.e., reward more often and build up to higher levels as your dog gains confidence.

 

COMMON ERRORS – Handler Make

  • The handler isn’t keeping their face in their space Move your feet only and not your shoulders or head.
  • Too much work and not enough play.  When training, keep rewards plentiful and breaks often.  Play breaks are an opportunity for your dog to relax and de-stress.
  • When going to new locations your dog looks away.  If your dog disengages with you at any time, turn away from your dog.  Once your dog tries to engage and looks at you, praise your dog, then again slightly move.  If your dog continues to focus on you, reward your dog with a KrazyKookie Game or a brief tug session.
  • Your dog seems too distracted when going to a new location, he almost seems overwhelmed.  Make sure you are not increasing the difficulty level too fast.  When going to a new location start a bit further from distractions. Play and engage with your dog before starting to train.
  • Your dog LOVES people and will not look back to me immediately.  If your dog does not look back or attempt to engage with you at all, end the training session and put your dog in a crate.  After a period of time, 10-20 minutes try the skill again making sure the distraction is further away.  When working with your dog, reward the effort he gives you with the KrazyKookie Game or tug.  Make it rewarding for your dog to remain focused on you!
  • Your dog doesn’t seem like he is giving you any effort.  Add a consequence if you feel your dog is not trying and disengages from focusing on you.  Try the U-Missed It Game.  Tease and taunt him.  Make him want what he has missed.
  • Your dog disengages with you during your movement.  Once your dog moves and looks at you, praise him lightly, then begin to move around again.  Give your dog feedback and encouragement.  If your dog continues to focus on you, reward him with a KrazyKookie Game or a brief tug session.
  • Your dog seems to only be able to focus on you for a few seconds at a time and no longer.  When increasing the duration of your dog’s focus, randomly add a few seconds to every other repetition as your dog has continued success.  Success is your dog being correct 80% of the time.  Increase the duration of your dog’s focus depending on your last training success.  If your dog could sustain engagement for 5 seconds last session, gradually increase it to 10 seconds this session.  If your dog could focus on you for 10 seconds, ask for 15 seconds, etc.
This game will teach your dog that he can make “fun” happen if he focuses on you.   In other words, your dog can push you to start playing!  

 

 

 

BEFORE PROGRESSING, REVIEW YOUR CHECK LIST.

PDF

Questions? Ask DebbyQ

Balance New Locations – come, go, with me and sit/down – proofing
poe new location
karrde, riker, sly video

 

This is the last week of our Balance drill.  Bumping up and challenges will be the name of the game.

This is out last piece of the BALANCE drill.  For this skill we DO NOT say the “With Me” command.  Rather, this is where, when your dog comes to you, he is expected to remain in your “space” until he is told differently.  This will help teach your dog he cannot leave you without permission.

Goal – To complete the Balance training by adding that your dog remain with you until commanded to do differently.

This Drill is awesome for many reasons.  Anytime you are out training or showing, and you see a problem such as, your dog leaving you, not coming when called, breaking stays including start-line stays, or becoming clingy, practice this drill.  It is a great way to re-BALANCE your dog and his skills.

Reminders

  • Treats and toys MUST be in your pockets, and NOT in your hands.
  • If adding difficulty, stand with your dog close to the bed.
  • Toss treats to the bed or when your dog is at a distance as well as handing treats to your dog when he is close.
  • Consequence – if your dog wanders off, mark the incorrect behavior, calmly go to your dog, take his collar, and move back to the area you were in.  Let go of his collar, if he stays with you, praise your dog.

Your Task for May Week 4

Bump Up the Skill – Here are a few ideas to challenge your dog when training.  add new ideas

  • Send your dog to the bed, call and then sit your dog on the way to you, praise.  Next call him to you, take a step away from your dog.  Praise and reward your dog.
  • With your dog on the bed, call your dog to you, take his collar and feed a few treats, release the collar and move a step or two and send to the bed.  Reward on the bed.
  • With your dog on the bed, call your dog and sit him coming to you, take his collar and feed a few treats, release the collar and send to the bed.  As your dog is headed to the bed, give your sit command.  Then send to the bed and reward.
  • Once on the bed, call your dog and start to back up, sit him while he is coming to you.  Praise your dog for the sit.  Call your dog to you and praise only.  Move around a few steps.  If your dog remains in your space, praise and reward.

COMMON ERRORS – Handlers Make

  • Increasing your distance too quickly.  It is better to stay close to the bed and practice perfection before challenging by adding distance.
  • Not rewarding enough for your dog’s effort.  The reward should be given anytime he is learning a new skill or sequence.
  • Repeating the same sequence too frequently.  Anytime you see your dog anticipating, check to see if you are doing the same sequence over and over.  Keep your dog guessing by changing up what you do.
 Use all the balance skills with your dog on a regular basis and your training will be a balanced event.  :>)  

 

poe video new place mix and match skills

 

 

 

Video Notes: In this video, Karrde, Riker, and I are balancing all four (4) skills.  I am going to note each skill we do in each session as well as my response.

Karrde’s drill.  We started out with going to the bed and followed that by calling him to me.  When getting to me, he thought about leaving, but made a good choice to stay.  We walked around some and he was praised for remaining in my space.  Karrde was then sent to the bed and praise.  While on his bed, he kept putting his front feet on the floor.  As a consequence, I tapped his offending feet with my toe.  Followed by a recall and a sit stay while I backed up.  Praise for the stay and called again with a walk around and remaining in my space. 

Sit stay with praise was next.  Karrde thought about leaving before commanded.  I praised for effort and remaining in my space.  Off to his bed, and again consequence for his front feet off.  Reward and praise for effort remaining all four feet on the bed.  Hahahaha.  Lost treat under the bed.  :>)  Recall off the bed and with praise when he got to me.  Then he started thinking about leaving and circling back to me.  While I appreciated the effort of staying, I felt the leaving and going in a circle back to me was becoming a HABIT!  A consequence was needed since I do not want that to continue.  Praise for remaining with me and not circling. 

Winding up the session, I asked for a sit command, he did not, and I marked, and we tried the sit again. Praise for success and effort.  While he was still in the sit, I succeeded in faking him out with a fake release command.  I marked that he failed and we tried again.  SUCCESS and send to bed and end the session. WOW!  We did a lot in a few minutes.

Riker’s session.  He is more advanced with these skills, so I will challenge him more during our session.   We start off sending him to the bed and then calling him to me.  I walked around with Riker remaining in my space.  Next, I asked for a sit and stay, as I continued to walk around.  Riker was rewarded for success and then sent back to the bed with a quick recall.  Remember that Riker was overbalanced with the bed.  I.e., he wanted to offer going to the bed, so I need to re-balance coming to me with reward.  While walking around, Riker left me to go to the bed.  I added a consequence of going to get him by the collar and taking him back to where we were.  I praised him for remaining with me and then sent him back to the bed followed by another recall.  We walked around and I asked for a sit as I continued to walk away and toward the bed.  I then called Riker and he almost passed me by to go to the bed, but good thought on his part.  He got loads of praise for coming to me.  Then we did another send to the bed, interrupted by a sit and onto the bed.  Recall from the bed and loads of praise for coming. 

Lastly, we walked a bit and then Riker was sent back to the bed.  The bed command was interrupted by a down, then a bed command, interrupted by a sit, and then a recall instead of bed.  Hahaha.  It was a test to see if Riker would go to the bed!  Finally, we walked a bit and I asked for a sit as I walked away.  Riker was sent to his bed and as I applauded his success, he came to me.  Hahaha.   What a funny dog.  :>)   We ended our session with a send back to the bed.

BEFORE PROGRESSING, REVIEW YOUR CHECK LIST.

PDF

Questions? Ask DebbyQ

PDF Files useful for this week

Focus Fun A-Z 2023-Training-Log

 

Questions? Ask DebbyQ