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Teaching A "trick"


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I'll willingly admit I'm NO dog-trainer. My dogs don't sit, stay, or roll over. The stuff they do on command is simple stuff, that just came naturally from life in this house. Outside, backup, off the couch, cookie, suppertime, etc. Stuff that just came naturally to all of us.

 

Right now, our yard is a giant mudhole. So - when the dogs come in, I want them to pause a second to take a few steps on the rugs inside the door to clean their feet. Our foster, Joker, is a character, and constantly spins around in circles, he just does that. Luckily, it's PERFECT for when he comes in after being outside - if he spins in a couple circles on the throw-rug - his feet are clean!

 

So - I'm going to try to teach him "Spin Around" on command. I'm meeting him at the door, with a treat in my hand. I let him smell the treat, then move my hand in a circle over his head. If he follows it in the circle, he gets the treat. While this is happening I say "Spin around - spin around". If he just stands there, no treat. I try again, starting closer to his nose - and he follows the hand with the treat in a circle and gets the treat.

 

What do you think? Am I on the right track? Any suggestions?

 

BTW - Diana has no interest in this, and just traipses her muddy feet all over the house while this whole fiasco is going on. But I'll work on her next.

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Guest krystolla

Sounds about right to me. I taught my cat the same basic move using the same routine. Just make sure it's an appropriately stinky treat and be patient. :) It may take a bit longer since you haven't done any formal training with Joker before -- sometimes you need to wait for the "I can make you give me the treat by doing this silly thing?" moment.

 

And for what it's worth, you might get lucky and have Diana pick it up from Joker. Dogs learn a lot from watching other dogs, but usually it's not the useful stuff. :rolleyes:

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Yup. Treat in front of nose, and lead in a circle. It might go faster if you have several small treats handy, and reward a partial spin. As krystolla said, it might take a while to get the "Oh, I get a treat for this" moment.

 

If you want to get fancy, you can teach him Left (spin left) and Right (spin right).

Standard Poodle Daisy (12/13); Greys Hildy (Braska Hildy 7/10), Toodles (BL Toodles 7/09), Opal (Jax Opal 7/08)
Missing Cora (RL Nevada 5/99-10/09), Piper (Cee Bar Easy 2/99-1/10), Tally (Thunder La La 9/99-3/10), Edie (Daring Reva 9/99-10/12), Dixie (Kiowa Secret Sue 11/01-1/13), Jessie (P's Real Time 11/98-3/13), token boy Graham (Zydeco Dancer 9/00-5/13), Cal (Back Already 12/99-11/13), Betsy (Back Kick Beth 11/98-12/13), Standard Poodles Minnie (1/99-1/14) + Perry (9/98-2/14), Annie (Do Marcia 9/03-10/14), Pink (Miss Pinky Baker 1/02-6/15), Poppy (Cmon Err Not 8/05-1/16), Kat (Jax Candy 5/05-5/17), Ivy (Jax Isis 10/07-7/21)

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Actually, with Diana, I can just tell her "Stop" when she comes in the door - and she stops and I can wipe her feet. (Gee- I guess I did teach a "trick"). The foster is just so hyper that "stop" ia NEVER an option for him. So- it's not that Diana actually needs to learn "spin around" - she just doesn't want to be part of the foolishness that I and the foster are doing at the time. :P So - if I can get the foster to "spin around" and Diana to Stop - and have her feet calmly wiped - all good.

 

Otherwise - I just keep mopping mud!

 

I used to think Diana was a "hyper" greyhound...... she's got nothing on this foster! :eek

Edited by sobesmom
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FWIW, my command is Feet--as in "Stay in the kitchen until I wipe your feet or you're in deep trouble." :D

Standard Poodle Daisy (12/13); Greys Hildy (Braska Hildy 7/10), Toodles (BL Toodles 7/09), Opal (Jax Opal 7/08)
Missing Cora (RL Nevada 5/99-10/09), Piper (Cee Bar Easy 2/99-1/10), Tally (Thunder La La 9/99-3/10), Edie (Daring Reva 9/99-10/12), Dixie (Kiowa Secret Sue 11/01-1/13), Jessie (P's Real Time 11/98-3/13), token boy Graham (Zydeco Dancer 9/00-5/13), Cal (Back Already 12/99-11/13), Betsy (Back Kick Beth 11/98-12/13), Standard Poodles Minnie (1/99-1/14) + Perry (9/98-2/14), Annie (Do Marcia 9/03-10/14), Pink (Miss Pinky Baker 1/02-6/15), Poppy (Cmon Err Not 8/05-1/16), Kat (Jax Candy 5/05-5/17), Ivy (Jax Isis 10/07-7/21)

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Guest krystolla

Hack knows "foot" -- which means lift this foot I'm grabbing so I can wipe it off. Still working on teaching him to wait at the door so that I can do the foot wiping rather than chase him across the family room for it.

 

He's such a mud-hound I think I could have him spin for ten minutes and he'd still leave muddy paw prints. Also muddy butt prints, muddy tail prints, muddy chin prints . . . and how exactly does he get a muddy chin from running around? :blink:

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Guest jaws4evr

Well that approach isn't a terrible one for sure.

 

I taught our pitty-mix to "spin" in about 2 minutes...! Not boasting or anything but wow did he pick that one up in an instant.

 

He's already "clicker-loaded", in that he knows when he hears the click click, he gets a treat. SO all I did, was hold a treat, show it to him, and move it to his side so he had to bend his head to reach for it. As soon as he reached, I click-treated. Repetitions with sequentally further "beinding", and eventually a click for a full rotation. I started holding the treat over his head and making a "circle" motion, again click-treat. It literally took two minutes, one session and he was spinning with just the verbal command, and really fast with the little circle motion :)

 

Also make sure you choose only one direction (clockwise or counter clockwise), as that seems to be less confusing for them.

 

you can replace the "click" with a "marker word", such as "good" or "yes", but something short.

 

If any of this sounds within reach for you, look up "clicker training" and see what you think!

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Guest MyBoys

My guys are so use to getting their feet wiped after this long wet winter that they actually stand there now and lift their paws for me. But I would love to see a video when you finally get him to do the spin trick, it's got to be a riot :lol

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Also make sure you choose only one direction (clockwise or counter clockwise), as that seems to be less confusing for them.

 

To take it one step further, choose the direction he already spins in. Most dogs have a preference.

 

Also, I would leave out the cue "Spin" until he's doing it reliably with just the hand movement. The verbal cue should always be the last thing you insert. Otherwise, the method you're using is good, or the shaping method jaws4evr mentioned, although if you want to go the true shaping route, you don't lure at all, you just click or any movement in the direction you want. That takes some practice though, on the human's part. :)

 

Other consideration, just capture the behavior anytime he does it on his own. He'll start doing it more often, then you can insert the cue.

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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Guest GreyFan09

I can't wait to try this with Comet! I'm sure a pice of hot dog will do the trick!

 

We do have him trained to stop at the back door to get his feet wiped. We also put down an old sheet in front of the door for him to stand on upon coming inside. Saves a lot of spot-cleaning on the light tan carpet.

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Another fast way to teach it is to teach by serendipity. When he spins, click (if you're using a clicker) or use your "you did a good thing" marker, like a high-pitched "yes!" and treat.*

 

If you catch him spinning a couple times and treat, he'll start figuring it out pretty fast. Then you can add the cue word, "spin."

 

 

*(This assumes that you first teach him that the "yes!" = tasty food, which is a quick thing to learn. Say it as you treat, several times. Do this a couple times during the day. Then, try saying it and see if his ears don't pop up, expecting a treat. Now he knows "yes!" = treat, and you can use it to "mark" any behavior you want.)

 

Clicker is faster/better than voice, but it can be done!

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Dash (Mega Batboy), & forever missing Kipper (RD's Kiper, 2006-2015) & Souldog Dune (Pazzo Otis, 1994-2008)
"..cherish him and give him place with yourself for the rest of his but too short life. It is his one drawback. He should live as long as his owner."
James Matheson, The Greyhound: Breeding, Coursing, Racing, etc., 1929

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Guest kahjul

well, Derby is not into actual training. She has learned out, go lay down, no, leave it, and stop. There is no sit-after many days of work on it, and no on command lay down. She bows, when she wants, and does basic commands enough to appease us. Not obedience trained like the lab.

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We taught Cosmo to spin by just telling her "spin" every time she started spinning on her own. Every meal she'd start spinning so I'd say "spin" and before long she was spinning on command for meals and treats. Even as a tripod she still used to spin and it was adorable. She was a doll.

 

Now Reggie does the same thing, spinning in circles at mealtime and I'm working with him to teach him to "spin" on command. He may never tap dance down our staircase like Cosmo used to, but having another spinner in the pack sure makes me smile.

...............Chase (FTH Smooth Talker), Morgan (Cata), Reggie (Gable Caney), Rufus
(Reward RJ). Fosters check in, but they don't check out.
Forever loved -- Cosmo (System Br Mynoel), March 11, 2002 - October 8, 2009.
Miss Cosmo was a lady. And a lady always knows when to leave.

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