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Old 08-13-2010, 04:40 PM   #1
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Default Need Opinion on Training Methods!!!

Ok YTers...
I just got back from meeting with a trainer, whom I'm pretty impressed with But I have a few questions....

So thier theory is that every dog no matter what thier size needs a job (which I agree with)

here's where I'm stumped. He told me that if you let him get up every morning and just get fed without having to work then he'll never be extremely motivated to work. Which I think is smart, however my concern is that my little guy is only 3lb, and really picky when it comes to treats and stuff. I don't think in any way that this guy wants me to starve my dog, cause he did say that with a small dog it doesn't take much to make them hungry, so I think he want's me to exercise him and just make him work for his food and feed him in more intervals rather than free feeding, to take away his dish and make him realize that food doesn't magically apear in his dish, that I'm the one who give him food?.?

I think that's what he;s getting at... Like he made a lot of good points, like if you got up every morning and your bank account just magically got 10,000 in it, then would you go to work? ie his food dish is his bank account. The other thing he pointed out was that if I throw an already hyper dog in a group obedience class, who has a full tummy and ask him to work by giving him a treat, would that actually do Harley, and I agree I don't think Harley is ready for a group class.

So I'm open to opinions...Help me find a trainer who I'm going to like???
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Old 08-13-2010, 07:06 PM   #2
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Sounds like "Nothing in Life is Free." I have friends who train their dogs like this. It is positive, you just make your dog work for everything. I have kind of been doing this with the IG puppy I have here. I make her sit and am working on her stay command before giving her food. So far, she has a three second stay, max. And I don't free feed. I feed 2x a day with treats throughout the day.

I TRY to make all my dogs do something for me before giving them a treat. I even intermittently treat for going outside, and they have little tricks I usually ask them to do. But I also slip up fairly often and hand them a treat without asking for anything.

Agility is purely working for food. All my dogs have been trained exclusively with food in agility. With the IG puppy, I am also going to experiment with a laser pointer because she LOVES chasing it and will follow it over the baby gates in the house. She starts her class next week, I can't wait. Lizzy is going to be so darn jealous!
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Old 08-13-2010, 07:09 PM   #3
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You can google "Nothing in Life is Free Training Method and read about it.
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Old 08-14-2010, 03:39 AM   #4
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Thanks, it sounds like an ok way to do things, I guess when I used to train horses I followed that type of thought except we usually said "for 23 hours of the day she could be as much of a princess as she wanted, but 1 hour is mine no matter what" kinda thought.

My only concern is if he'll stop eating his kibble, or will just get too fussy. But this morning he had emptied his dish (from the night before) so I gave him his usual meal, but I sat on the floor and made him lay down before I gave his dish to him... if he lifted his bum I lifted the food. I got him to stay until it was completely on the floor and then said ok. (I need to figure out what my release word is going to be... I was thinking "free" because OK is too common.

So does it sound like I'm on the right track. I have an apointment this morning but this afternoon when I get a chance I'll read up on "nothing is free training"
If I do go with this trainer, my goal is to get some work done first, because I can't afford him until I get a new job. So I figure I'll start a foundation and he can help me work through it more.

My next question is when on the training scale do I know if he's ready for agility. I know he can't jump until he's older, but I don't want to rush into things until we have the basics. I did that too often with some of my horses, and it never turned out well.
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Old 08-14-2010, 08:29 PM   #5
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I do this with my dog. It also teaches her that she needs to be CALM before getting things. She has to sit to get her food, and sit before we go outside for walks. She's gotten so used to it that she automatically sits before I even say it .

The other good thing is that she listens to the command (sit) more now! Before she would only do it if she knew she was getting something (food, treats, a walk, etc.) but now she'll sit if I say it, even if I have nothing.
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Old 08-15-2010, 05:13 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by deonk1 View Post
Thanks, it sounds like an ok way to do things, I guess when I used to train horses I followed that type of thought except we usually said "for 23 hours of the day she could be as much of a princess as she wanted, but 1 hour is mine no matter what" kinda thought.

My only concern is if he'll stop eating his kibble, or will just get too fussy. But this morning he had emptied his dish (from the night before) so I gave him his usual meal, but I sat on the floor and made him lay down before I gave his dish to him... if he lifted his bum I lifted the food. I got him to stay until it was completely on the floor and then said ok. (I need to figure out what my release word is going to be... I was thinking "free" because OK is too common.

So does it sound like I'm on the right track. I have an apointment this morning but this afternoon when I get a chance I'll read up on "nothing is free training"
If I do go with this trainer, my goal is to get some work done first, because I can't afford him until I get a new job. So I figure I'll start a foundation and he can help me work through it more.

My next question is when on the training scale do I know if he's ready for agility. I know he can't jump until he's older, but I don't want to rush into things until we have the basics. I did that too often with some of my horses, and it never turned out well.
For group agility classes you want a reliable come, and sit, down too. You can work on things like the tunnel at home, and also work on the signal go right - go left. Dogs usually think this is just gr88 fun.

You are on the right track with the feeding. I always still even with my mature dogs make them do something for their meals. Could be the "wait" command and I might let them sit there for a minute with their food in front of them. I also work from a very early age to give to me on command some particularly yummy treat, like a bone. Here I start with exchanging a yummy bone, for either another yummy bone, or a nice smelly piece of sausage(they almost never get sausage, so its a really high reward treat). Now I can say "drop it" and my older dogs will drop the bone without a treat.

For jumping if you like you could set up something just an inch or two above the floor.

Keep "training" short 5minutes working up to 10 minutes. Also try to build toy drive. Then rewards are either toys or treats.

Hope that helps
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Old 08-15-2010, 06:36 AM   #7
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Default Won't "tell" he has to go.......

You all make it sound so workable! But I am really struggling with my first Yorkie. He's 6 monhts old, a charmer and I think he's smart but........

Trained him to "leave it" but actually trained him to pick "it" up and throw it down to get a treat! My timing is not good obviously.

He uses newspaper placed at front and back doors (because he was going there anyway!) but will not tell us when he has to go. He didn't take to the bell method and we never see a "sign" that he's getting ready to go. He's like a ghost, he just slips off and goes.

He definitely tells us when his water bowl is empty. When it was a smaller one he just brought it to us. The larger ceramic one is too heavy so he came in front of us and gave us the Yorkie Mind Meld stare with an alert stance before walking over to where his bowl is.

So WHY won't he tell us when he has to potty? We take him out more than once an hour. Many times he comes back in and 5 minutes later he's gone on the newspaper.

Any ideas? We have Puppy class tonight and I will discuss with my trainer but Yorkie people are my best resource. You all are wonderful!
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Old 08-15-2010, 08:13 AM   #8
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So I'm working on this making him wait for his food. I don't think he's figured it out 100%. it's slow. I've been trying to only give him enough food in his dish to last him an hour or so, and then I go back when it's empty and start the whole process. Obviously I can't do this when I'm going to work, but I figure if I start doing this at least 3 times a day, we may get somewhere with it....Now here's the problem. If I use the kibble to lure him into a sit, he drops it if I hand feed. but the dish isn't working as a lure to get him in the position I want. I can get him to stay until the second the dish hits the ground... but I can't get him to stay longer, is that just something that will come with time. Also should I put something more tastey in my hand, to lure him into the position I want, and then just put it in the dish when I give him the release command? I hope that makes sense...


TankNPico... it does all sound wonderfully easy, but trust me it's not... lol... it sounds really simple, but these little ones are so small they play major mind games some times. As for the potty, I can't offer much help my little one is grid trained, so he doesn't have to let me know when he goes. he only lets me know when he makes a mistake (which hasn't been for a while)... as for any other training, take it slow, I've noticed that with Harley the things we got and repeated when he was super little have stuck... he has an instant drop it when I touch whats in his mouth, (without contact not so much), and we have a sit if he wants me to play fetch. I got lazy with the rest when I started my summer job, and noticed I've lost some. So that's the best advice I can give, don't let your obedience disapear.

Good luck
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Old 08-15-2010, 01:55 PM   #9
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My next question is when on the training scale do I know if he's ready for agility. I know he can't jump until he's older, but I don't want to rush into things until we have the basics. I did that too often with some of my horses, and it never turned out well.

It depends. Some agility schools require basic obedience skills before you can start a group class. As gemy said, a reliable come, sit, and down command. Other things I think a puppy can learn beforehand is wait, close, and again as gemy said, right and left. I'd check with the school as to their requirements.

Some schools actually have puppy agility classes. There's no reason why a puppy can't learn the tunnel, chute and do low teeters, dog walks, and a-frames. Also, a wobble board is a good idea to get them use to movement under their feet. Even weave poles, but learn a good technique for training fast weave poles.

You might want to start checking out agility schools now. I know that when I was in Cleveland about 10 yrs ago, there weren't a lot of schools and the all breed club up there had a waiting list. I've been going to the same place here for nine years.

I'm starting a puppy next week, and I'll admit she is short on basic obedience. Oh, she sits and downs, and comes fairly well, but she isn't proofed, so who knows what she will do in class. One plus is she is super, super food motivated. The only reason I can start her now is I know people.
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Old 08-15-2010, 02:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deonk1 View Post
So I'm working on this making him wait for his food. I don't think he's figured it out 100%. it's slow. I've been trying to only give him enough food in his dish to last him an hour or so, and then I go back when it's empty and start the whole process. Obviously I can't do this when I'm going to work, but I figure if I start doing this at least 3 times a day, we may get somewhere with it....Now here's the problem. If I use the kibble to lure him into a sit, he drops it if I hand feed. but the dish isn't working as a lure to get him in the position I want. I can get him to stay until the second the dish hits the ground... but I can't get him to stay longer, is that just something that will come with time. Also should I put something more tastey in my hand, to lure him into the position I want, and then just put it in the dish when I give him the release command? I hope that makes sense...
For only training, for when you are giving him his food, can you use a teaspoon of wet food? Wet food really has a bad rap for some reason when it's actually better for dogs than dry. Anyway, what I do with my puppy is tell her to sit, and start putting the food on the floor. If the but comes up, the food comes up. I don't take my hand off the food until I can put it down and release her. At first, I put it down and released simultaneously, then started increasing the time. She's is getting it.
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Old 08-15-2010, 04:55 PM   #11
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So WHY won't he tell us when he has to potty? We take him out more than once an hour. Many times he comes back in and 5 minutes later he's gone on the newspaper.

Any ideas? We have Puppy class tonight and I will discuss with my trainer but Yorkie people are my best resource. You all are wonderful!
Keep at it and be consistant. I like to sleep late, and ruger usually goes on the pads I leave down in the morning, but now he stands at the door and whines when he wants to go out, so it will happen. He does have his "accidents," and I just try and use positive reinforcement and not make a big deal out of it.

You may have to read between the lines with your dog, too. He may whine, bark, or just pace back and forth. You'll figure it out.
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Old 08-16-2010, 04:42 AM   #12
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For only training, for when you are giving him his food, can you use a teaspoon of wet food? Wet food really has a bad rap for some reason when it's actually better for dogs than dry. Anyway, what I do with my puppy is tell her to sit, and start putting the food on the floor. If the but comes up, the food comes up. I don't take my hand off the food until I can put it down and release her. At first, I put it down and released simultaneously, then started increasing the time. She's is getting it.
He get's Trippet twice a day with his kibble. Never thought of doing it that way... That may be enough of a lure to get him to stay.

After doing this a few times, I think he's starting to figure it out. I've also been saying a loud "ah ah" if he gets up (while lifting his dish), he's figured out that that means he didn't do it right and plops his bum back down.

You guys are great... I've been super busy and life's been crazy, I feel so much more motivated to work on his training when I have you guys to consistently talk to. I feel like I have to work hard to come back and report to ya'll. Thanks so much for the help!
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