We set up our new ring mat at a theater and showed the director the tricks that Moose and Mouse do.
This is the first time that they’re seeing the new mat and they go through some avoidance behaviors-it isn’t just the new mat….we are in a new space, the director is talking to me and I’m responding, we are doing tricks out of order, and who knows what else is going through the dogs’ minds. I’ll discuss the avoidance behaviors and things you can do to combat them with your own dog, but mainly this is a video of lots of two dog tricks, something you’ll rarely see as getting two dogs coordinated is way more impossible than just getting one dog to do what he’s supposed to do-and that’s already totally impossible.
In this video I am training Coyote to pull the mast of a ship up for the upcoming Mutt-Cracker (SWEET!). Well, I think that’s what I’m training. Watch the video to see what Coyote actually learns!
So much of life is like this-you are trucking right along thinking you know what’s happening and those around you just aren’t with your program. That’s why dog training is such a great Zen training tool-it’s like a controlled laboratory where you mix your view of the world, your goals, and the chaos of the universe. And you get immediate results to judge your views. The Chaos is provided by the dogs-and this is chaos light; remember that the dogs have been selectively bred for eons to respond to your training; and it’s still this hard!
This is a really good example of how to train a sit and stay. I’m doing it with six dogs and you can see how chaotic my dogs are and how effective positive reinforcement is at directing them to a perfect sit. Eventually. One day they’ll hear a bell and just immediately go to their designated spot. This is what I am starting with.
At this point in time I’ve just started training all six dogs to sit in order-this is actually the second training session, the first is also posted on my blog page. Anyway, you can see me working the dogs’ triggers (watch Mouse especially for the improvements)-one thing is that I’ll reach for the food and they’ll break their sit and I’ll stop my hand. I’ll get them to realize that the hand moving means nothing so they’ll start to make eye contact while I bring my hand down. Eventually I’ll put the food down below their head and only when they continue to make eye contact will I click to indicate that the treat is available for consumption and release them to get the treat.
Another thing to note is that I ignore all of the chaos especially presented by the puppies, Coyote and Squirrel. All of the jumping and running around are simply ignored-Note also that I miss many many opportunities to give them treats when they do get into position. I’m pretty good at training and have amazing coordination, but it astounds me how much better I could be if I was faster. In my defense, there is a LOT going on with the six dogs all expectantly vying for attention.
Another item to note is that the dogs have really never been asked to sit still-my goal has always been to have them doing tricks and you can see evidence of this as, throughout the video, the dogs keep jumping into the ring and presenting tricks, and how Mouse keeps going up into a Sit High or raising just one paw-trying out their tricks to see if that’s what I want. They just can’t believe that all I want is a simple sit.
Counter-Intuitively, I believe that training them to sit still will create more eagerness for them. It should also allow for much faster transitions in the actual show. By managing the dogs’ sits better they’ll be able to focus on when it is their turn to come out in the ring to perform. Even if you don’t care about starting a circus, imagine how great it would be if, while on a walk with your dog and your dog sees another dog and starts pulling at the leash and barking, you could say sit and your dog would just sit. How great would that be? That’d be amazing. Sit-it’s the key to a well-behaved dog.
Ok, that’s enough writing-subscribe to that YouTube channel and I hope to