Sunday, April 05, 2009

Stand in the place where you live

Session One of trying to teach Oscar to stand, last night:

In watching the video, I see that I am a lousy trainer! I got better towards the end, though, which is (coincidentally, I'm sure) when he started to respond as well. Theoretically, I should click only when he's in the position I want, or, if possible, headed towards it (ie, in the process of standing up). Unfortunately, he's too fast and I'm too slow, so there's no way I'll get the upward motion of the butt. The first step is to get him to offer the "stand" position on his own, which we obviously haven't mastered yet. For the sake of time and upload space, I had to do a quick edit, so the odd blurp isn't a glitch in your computer:

What you see is, he knows we're training (look at that tail and tell me if this dog likes school or not) and so tries to do what's called "offering behaviors" - he does all kinds of things he can think of that I've asked of him before (you'll see him try sloppy versions of the heel, jump, come, sit, and down that you saw yesterday). In fact, the down position that starts this video was one he volunteered, without request. That's expected at this stage. He'll speed up with offering the correct behavior if I can get better at my side of things.

Once he does get to the point of offering the stand intentionally and consistently, we put the command on it. That's a bit down the road. It's best to learn new things in very short sessions (this first was under 7 minutes total, the second was about five and a half) and finish on a positive note (which is why I had him do the commands he's already solid on) to prevent frustration. I get frustrated AGES before Oscar does when it comes to school - he'll keep trying things over and over - so it's more for my sake that we keep things short, but it's good for the dog, too!

This morning we tried again with Session Two:
(yes, I'm wearing the same thing. I changed after work and slept in the shirt, then threw on the jeans before going outside first thing this morning. This was filmed at about 6:30) You'll see fewer "down"s offered - he doesn't like to down, it's very submissive (he often refuses it in tense, uncertain situations) and since it didn't pay off yesterday, he's obviously not going to bother with it today.

Already some pretty impressive improvement. And the dog's getting better, too!


Anonymous Anonymous said...


Aunt Nancy

12:00 AM  
Anonymous k said...

You didn't bend your knees in the second tape. That's why he didn't offer as many downs.
This is wonderful. I didn't understand the offering part of it before, at least not in so many words.
and my GOD! What a healthy animal! I never noticed his perfectly bifurcated butt before, either. What a joy he is.

8:27 AM  
Anonymous k said...

Tape. Sheesh. I am so dating myself.

8:27 AM  
Blogger Bess said...

He gets cuter every time you film him. If you can bottle that stuff you can make your fortune.

7:24 AM  

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