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shaping progressions - more
One additional way to help a pup assume the sit position when it doesn't
follow the command is to gently tip the nose up with a hand under the
chin, until rump hits floor, reassuring the dog with "good, good, good"
as he sits.
An additional way to "proof" the sit is to gently push at the outer
shoulder on one side, then on the other. This, with the pulls on the
leash to either side and eventually to the front, is called a "pressure
sit". The dog will instinctively resist being pulled or pushed. This
is called opposition reflex. We have it, too; your friend gives you a
push on the shoulder, but you automatically push back against that hand
so you don't tip over. Think about it. The same thing happens when a
dog pulls on the leash when walking.... and the owner automatically
pulls back. It's easier for the dog to shed this behavior than it is
for the human!
There are some excellent books available that use shaping to teach the
standard obedience commands.... through very advanced work. And several
excellent books that focus on shaping "tricks".... and the newer ones
include the training for the standard commands that may be part of a
trick. One easy-to-navigate web site that specializes in dog books, and
has descriptive information on most of them, is http://www.dogwise.com
I don't work for them or get a kick-back..... it's just where I start
out when looking for a new book that deals in any way with dogs. They
also carry training DVDs and videos, although youtube has many good
Here's a simple "trick" that you can use to keep pup from jumping up on
you.... but also to pop up on command. We use it for stress relief (the
dog's) during breaks in competition and training, too. The dogs love
it. It's called "touch", and that's the verbal command. Put a small
treat (training treats should be the size of a pea, and soft) between
the fingers of one hand, from the palm side. At the beginning, you will
start with the dog sitting. Bring your hand, held FLAT so it looks like
a mitten, with treat, palm side down, to a couple of inches above the
dog's nose as you say "touch". When he lifts his nose to touch your
palm, click, rotate your hand Under his chin and treat, praise verbally.
After a few of these, the dog can be sitting or standing.... and hand is
a bit higher. If you have a baby pup, don't ask him to do more than pop
up onto his backlegs. Do this trick with Both hands, so the dog knows
that both hands give the same command. Very soon, you will not have to
use the verbal command, just hold out the hand. If you hold your hands
out, arms well away from your body, to Your sides, that's where the dog
will pop up.... and as he gets older and larger, you can hold the hand
high enough to get a jump.... but don't aim for a super leap until he's
over a year old (hard on those hips). ONLY give the treat, UNDER the
chin, once all 4 feet are on the floor. When he's older, you can turn
in a circle and get a series of jumps. Since jumping is self-rewarding,
you can give up the treats gradually... but faster than with many
commands. As you fade the treats, give a scratch uder the chin when he
has 4 on the floor. You really don't need the clicker with this one.
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Last edited by collin1 : November 24th 11 at 03:09 AM.