Daycare: Tuesday 2/13
Continuation of basic skills, incrementally crating, not moving when leash pulls, and adding in distractions to basic behaviors (food in bowl on floor while asking to do sits, downs, stay, etc)
Over the course of the next couple of weeks I want to work on getting an automatic response of "look at me" when a distraction is present. Again, we start with basics inside, and then move outside. Due to the heat and not wanting to reinforce walking with pulling, we can do a lot of this indoors to start with the behaviors she has.
Daycare: Thursday 2/8
Working through Distractions: Foundations
I understand there are a lot of long term goals we want to see with Layla. I am the same way with my dogs. However, we must start where we must start so we can get to the more challenging situations. Leash pulling and jumping happen to be two very self reinforcing behaviors which people allow from the get-go, which is why once a puppy turns into a dog it is so tough - because they are bigger and stronger and all of a sudden we do not like it.
In order to expect better focus outside (less leash pulling) we need to work through distractions inside first. Hopefully this is a more clear sample of drills you can set up inside, on leash, to start. When she wants something it is clear that lunging, whining, and pulling is how she thinks she gets it. We need to change this mentality and it will take some time and dedication.
Daycare: Tuesday 2/6
There is no doubt leash pulling is annoying and frustrating. Unfortunately, it is so HIGHLY reinforced by the human when the leash is tight and we move, that dogs quickly learn pulling gets them to where they want to go.
To start curbing the leash pulling, consistency and dedication is needed. It also helps to have a dog that is engaged with you, checks in with you, and has value for being next to you.
Put Layla on a leash or long line. Stand in one spot and DO NOT MOVE YOUR FEET. If the leash is tight, you go no where. If the leash is loose you can take a step. HOWEVER, as soon as you take that step, if she "bolts" you need to stop again. I would try to stay in a small area with minimal distractions. Even inside is fine to start. Grass is going to be higher distraction since it holds more smells than pavement.
There are other walking drills you can do to encourage a loose leash, which I can show you at pick up since they are hard to capture on video since I am always on the move. Here are some below that I filmed for a loose leash walking client so you can get an idea on different ways to engage with the dog.
Value for sticking with and being at your side
Video was made for walking client with a dog named Harley. But it applies to all. Videos are obviously "above" not posted below as audio in video says.
Daycare: Monday 1/29
On non daycare days see if you can choose a skill to help mentally tire Layla out. She loves to work and has so much potential. The more skills (even if foundation) we do, the better she is going to be overall behavior wise.
Work your sits, downs, retrieve, and also a hand touch! It can be a very fun game and the best part is if you build enough value you can do it anytime and anywhere...because you always have your hands with you! (Hopefully!)
Daycare: Wednesday 1/24/2018
Skills for Duration:
Let's start working on increasing the duration Layla performs behaviors for. This may also include working on a stay - staying seated until she is released. Holding a down for a longer period of time. Let's also make sure we are remaining consistent with keeping her crated at night, NOT letting her whine to be let out in the morning, and perhaps still incrementally crating her during the day "just because" or if she needs some time to settle if she is continuously being a bother or "training" you to do something. Make sure she adapts to YOUR lifestyle.
Daycare: Monday 1/22/2018
I am impressed by Layla. She has a lot of skills that were started - just that were never finished or criteria was increased on. She has a sit, she has a down, she just does not have those things for duration. She has impulse control with eye contact, just not consistently - she is still impulsive. If we continue to work on and increase the skills she does have, and hold her to a higher expectation she will better be able to control her impulses. Start expecting her to sit before the crate door opens. Expect that sit while the lease goes on. Expect her to lay down on her bed when you watch TV. Make her hold eye contact with you until you release her to her food. Make her sit before a stranger approaches. She WILL get there. We just have to hold true to what we expect of her. SHE IS A SMART DOG. AND SHE IS FUN TO WORK WITH AND WANTS TO WORK!!!!!! You could not ask for a better training partner.
Assignment: Impulse Control
Slow Treat Drill
Sorry the video job is not good. I did not place the camera in a very good spot. This drill should be done EVERY SINGLE DAY. If you are carrying something in your arms, about to play with her, etc., whatever she desires should be taken away if she jumps at it.
If it happens regularly I would re-direct to the crate for a couple of minutes and then get her back out to try again. I would be making her hold position for her food, to be pet, anything that she wants.
It's Your Choice
Also do this from your hand. We want to increase the time duration that she holds eye contact for. We want her to hold back if we were to put down a big turkey. She should know there is an expectation.
Focusing on the Jumping
Please read these lengthy posts below by my favorite dog trainer, Denise Fenzi. Read them aloud with each other for story time!
Since I am only one person, it is challenging for me to set this drill up unless I am doing a 1v1 specifically on greeting. Multiple people present to work this drill becomes helpful, but in the beginning we do not want to over-face the dog.
Work on making sure to keep your hands low and reward Layla low - be prepared when you KNOW she is going to jump on you. Simply do NOT allow it. It is the only way to break it and stop reinforcing it.
Do not let her pull to other people and other dogs as you know this is the behavior she is going to do. Change her mindset!
Daycare: Thursday 1/18/18
I think you will find if you have more structure, boundaries, and consistency in the household, your dog will be better behaved all around. If there is an expectation to act a certain way in order to reach a reward or a motivator, and you are consistent in that, it will become second nature for the dog. If the dog is also getting mental and physical stimulation necessary (daycare!) this should also help with every day life as now the dog has an outlet.
Of course performing one way to achieve something else is a great way to set an expectation, but there is also the part of taking something away when a behavior or manner is not met. Example, take away food, praise, redirecting to the crate from a training session, etc.
Just practicing basic manners where your dog will WIN and SUCCEED is also a wonderful way to remind your dog of appropriate behaviors. since Layla has a nice sit and a nice down we need to increase the criteria of the behavior, as we want her to perform these behaviors for a longer duration as well as under distractions.
- work your sits and downs inside and out (on a leash so she does not get distracted)
- sessions should be 1-3 MINUTES LONG..that is it!
- generously reinforce - however think about reducing reinforcement and either have food off your body in a container next to you, or reward 2 times, and the 3rd just praise as a reward
- the standard for the behavior of putting on the leash and gentle leader should be a sit or at least being CALM. JUMPING GETS NOTHING. If you continue to put the leash on with this behavior (or do anything) you are continuing to reinforce that behavior. putting the leash on is the MOTIVATOR or REWARD (that is what the dog wants because it leads to going outside) so you can TAKE AWAY putting it on if the dog acts crazy. Give her a couple of shots. If she is still acting crazy, sorry....crate for a while and we try again. NOW, you have to take into account that her impulse control is not GREAT, so even a sit for a couple of seconds may grant putting it on (as long as she is not jumping)
Daycare: Wednesday 1/17/18
From talking to Dianne, it sounds like many behaviors in the household are a direct result of HUMAN actions (always the case but it sounds like she gets away with a lot which becomes frustrating) allowing Layla to train YOU to get what she wants. At any time Layla is craving attention (pawing, barking, whining, play bowing) she should be directed to her crate. This is NOT how we get attention. Sitting nicely or calming may get a nice pet or a "good girl." CRATE HER INCREMENTALLY EVERY DAY. I would reward generously when she goes in and remember if she is going in, she needs to go in. Her behavior trying to get you to chase her kept her from sleeping in the crate last night; she just realized when she acts like that she gets her way. This is what we want to avoid. The sooner you do this, the less impulsive she will become and we will not have to worry about doing so as much.
Make sure when she goes out and is on a WALK she is walking. She needs to be in her gentle leader and should not be allowed to sniff, pull, meet other humans or dogs, or even potty unless she is told "go potty." Otherwise, if we let her look for a potty spot she will constantly be doing all the things we do not want her to do. Eventually we want this for her where she can do all of these things, but right now she is not ready because she does not know how to act and does not know the difference.
If she is going potty I would have a designated spot and I would not move from standing. If she pulls you, she is teaching you to move when she pulls. It has been working for her, which is why her pulling has gotten so extreme.
Recall. Focus. Value Building.
- If you want your dog's attention, you need to be valuable. Your dog should WANT to interact with you because it is rewarding and fun. If you want your dog's focus, you need to teach that focus pays off! In order to get a recall, you need both of these. At the same time, you, as a human being, should be pleasant. If you are unhappy, angry or frustrated you are not fun to work with and you should avoid working with your dog in this state of mind (or stop a lesson if you are getting this way)
- All of these dogs in the video are here for training. A lot of them are very young. You can see we are in a CONFINED (and familiar) area, off leash. They have a choice to sniff, pee on stuff, play with each other, or interact with me. However I am rarely saying anything but I am rewarding when they interact or when I recall and they listen. I am letting them do what they want but am value building as they choose ME! I am rewarding from focus.
- You should be able to identify which dog's have a foundation/value for focusing. Which are more food motivated, which are more distracted, etc. In the beginning I DO want to reward generously and eventually food moves off my body, but regardless of a FOOD motivator I still remain fun and rewarding.
- DRILL: take your dog to a confined and familiar area (or leash) and allow your dog to sniff and do what it wants, but REWARD (4 types of rewards) when your dog chooses you. DO NOT FORCE YOUR DOG'S ATTENTION!!!!
Daycare: Monday 1/15/18
- Start Layla sleeping in her crate every single night. We must do this so she stops "running the household." Once she figures out that this is a team effort and there needs to be a mutually respectable relationship, she can then perhaps "graduate" to being out. MAKE SURE she is pottying before bed, pee and poop. It is imperative that if she starts whining/barking, she is ignored. Giving attention (talking to, eye contact, telling her to quit) is teaching her to continue whining because it gets her what she wants - and eventually she gets to come out of the crate. She needs to be on YOUR schedule, not the other way around
- Start incrementally crating her at least 5-6 times per day for 30 minutes or more WHILE YOU ARE PHYSICALLY HOME. Ignore any barking/whining and ONLY let her out when she is quiet. We will go back to crate games so you have the ability to put her away without her being an annoyance. This will carry over to her behavior at night when she is waking up to come out. While crated here, she has been an angel.
- She is very fearful around other dogs. Baring teeth, snapping.
- Stressed and nervous in a new environment, inside and out. Crate has been a safety and has been preferable and comfortable being separated from others.
- Once she builds a bit of confidence and shows some of her "problem" behaviors" we can work through them here, however I do not think she will show her energy until she becomes more comfortable
- Right now I am just happy if she takes food from me and remains neutral around other dogs
- Step 1 will be helping her with her independence until she becomes more confident
- We will work basic skills for comfort - things she can excel at
In Home Lesson: Thursday, October 26th NOON (60 minutes)
IF TRAINING IS DISCONTINUED, PERSONALIZED PAGE WILL EXPIRE AFTER 30 DAYS.
- attention when called
- attention with distractions (we did not get to this yet as we have to build a strong behavior without first)
- play biting (mouthing) --> impulse control to grab objects or toys
- jumping --> impulse control to grab objects or toys
- Actively train these behaviors. If you are able to commit to doing this in place of your daily long walk (or at least 5X/week) there will be a substantial difference in a short amount of time
- Do not expect change without reinforcing or practicing. If you JUST try to set it up when she does it you won't have a lot of result
- First get solid behaviors as the foundation (just basic focus) before adding distance, distractions, or time durations in
Attention When Called:
- begin your session in a low distraction area calling "Layla"
- you do NOT have to food reward every time
- if she chooses to look at you (and you don't even need to call her name...ABSOLUTELY REWARD (praise, food, etc)
- keep the food off your body (table or elsewhere) and if you do have treats in your hand expect eye contact EVERY TIME. As she gets better with eye contact expect her to hold it for a longer duration of time
Drill: Focus Training
- use a long line and give her more space in an area that is also low distraction
- let her do as she pleases (do not call her name) and let her CHOOSE to come to you. When she does, BIG REWARDS! Remember to keep your "energy" in check as she is already high energy and you do not want to encourage behaviors she has picked up such as play-biting or jumping. Automatically if she does either of those behaviors NO REWARD!!!!!! EVER!!!!! NO EXCEPTIONS!!!!
- You can also use a toy (either from the environment or bring one with you and stuff it in your pants or pocket. You can use toy play opposed to praise or food as a reward. HOWEVER, when you allow toy play and the toy comes down she must HOLD BACK and wait for her RELEASE "OK GET IT" before having the toy. DO NOT just let her jump at it. As she gets better with this, move locations. I do this all over my yard but also will go to parks as well.
- you will also need to work the toy release/give outside of your use of it during your focus training to ensure she understands it as sometimes it is more exciting in the moment
- hold the toy out in front of her and make her wait before releasing
- expect eye contact and then tell her OK GET IT
- trade out a high value treat for the release or use your hands to release her jaw. As she is releasing use the command GIVE
- she is not ready for long distances and needs to have an understanding that when the leash is loose we walk and when it is tight we stop or turn around
- no sniffing, no nose to ground, no going to the bathroom. Have designated areas and let this be a reward. Only give the length of a short leash. Only walk her on a 4-6ft leash. NO RETRACTABLES
- do not let her meet other dogs or people. She is not ready for this until she can do this just stationary. Stop, move to the side and use your focus drills. If she does not listen, keep stepping back. This means she is too over-threshold and needs greater distance. The distance at which she can focus on you is the distance you need to be at to start for that particular distraction. As she gets better at that distance you can start moving forward
- call her name and engage with her on the walk
- keep it short and simple
In Home Lesson: Friday, May 26th 10AM (60 minutes)
IF TRAINING IS DISCONTINUED, PERSONALIZED PAGE WILL EXPIRE AFTER 30 DAYS.
- Crate Layla while you are physically home in increments 5-6 times per day
- Crating should last 10 minutes up to a few hours
- ALWAYS try to release her out BEFORE she wakes up or starts barking/whining
- Utilize the crate as a redirection tool (if too much mouthing, jumping, or excessive excitement)
- Definitely have her sleeping in the crate at this stage (sleeping with her in bed at this point is too early since she has not developed enough confidence/independence)
- I would also feed her in her crate. This will develop value, avoid her peeing, and she should start driving with enthusiasm into the crate since she knows that is where the food goes
Bathroom Breaks Outside
- If you are going outside JUST for the purpose of going potty I would choose a designated area and allow her the length of the leash (while you stand stationary). When you goes potty use a verbal cue you can name like "go potty" so you can start requesting she goes on command. This will pay off when it is storming outside - I would also be sure to take her outside in light rain at some point so she knows rain is OK (some dogs shy away and want nothing to do with it but there are times she may need to go in rain)
- When she goes potty I would be sure to verbally and physically praise and reward her
- If you THINK she has to potty and does not, she should go to her crate and you should try again after 10-20 minutes (maybe even longer). Each time she comes out of her crate I would take her potty - she should ALWAYS go - if not, put her back in
Loose Leash Walking
- You can start working some basic loose leash skills just simply by NOT allowing her to pull you where she wants to go
- If she pulls, you stop. You can also turn around and go the other direction
- Let's start with using the "get up and move and ignoring" method when she jumps. I would perhaps give her 2-3 attempts to correct herself, otherwise redirect her to the crate.
- Do not touch, make eye contact, or talk to her when she is jumping. Just simply get up and move
- ABSOLUTELY be sure to reward her when she stays down on a REGULAR BASIS. If she is laying down, sitting, standing...anything...because we LIKE that behavior
- Due to sensitive skin, I would have zero tolerance for mouthing (play biting)
- Instead ALWAYS trade her out something she CAN have (like a chicken foot or bully stick)
- If she is not taking what you are offering - I would redirect to her crate
- However, BE CAREFUL that you are not reinforcing the behavior but rewarding the mouthing and giving a reward for it
- I would be sure that when you are giving her something if she jumps or roughly grabs it, it should be taken away
- Always be sure you can take back what you give her
- I would TRADE her for something of higher value
- Try not to tug or force anything from her. Let her choose to give it to you
Focus and Engagement "Layla!"
- This is a critical drill and you can work on it all the time
- Call her name and when she looks, tell her YES and reward.
- If she OFFERS focus (looks without you asking) I would also engage with her
- You do not have to reward every time - you can sometimes treat and sometimes not
- DO NOT work this drill for so long she gets full or bored
- A couple of minute at a time...at most!
- Call her name first - you MUST have her attention
- If you are doing this OUTSIDE or a new environment you must think about the challenges of increased distractions
- Start inside close together
- Call her name, as she looks and starts coming to you stay "come!"
- BE EXCITING!!!!!!!!!!
This drill is building off the drill I started with Layla when I had a closed hand and when she backed away I opened it. When she stayed back for a 16th of a second, I rewarded. When my dog was a puppy I did the drill both from my hands and the floor. Once he understood that staying back and being patient resulted in the reward, he did just that. Layla will catch on quickly too.
Here is a sample of resource guarding/trading objects for something else. I would start trading for her toys so she drops them and also frequently taking bones and toys away from her just to be sure she will not guard them. My Dalmatian DID resource guard (growled at 11wks) so this was a drill I frequently did. In this case I am trading foot for a duck foot. When he releases the duck food I reward with the food I lured him with, and I take the duck foot.
In Home Lesson: Friday, May 12th 10:30AM (60 minutes)
IF TRAINING IS DISCONTINUED, PERSONALIZED PAGE WILL EXPIRE AFTER 30 DAYS.
Please also feel free to check out the DOG TRAINING tab to utilize instructional videos. The page is a work in progress and more will be added.
- The foundation to your training should be engagement and relationship.
- Keep your expectations fair and realistic.
- Unpredictability is probably the worst trait a dog owner can possess.
- If you expect something, then expect it every time you ask for it.
- Think about treats in terms of ‘units of a reward’ for effort.
- Remember repetition, NOT duration. Five 1-minutes sessions can be better than one 5-minute session.
- Mark for action, feed for position.
- Name a perfect behavior, not an imperfect behavior. Get the quality you want before you tell the dog what it is called.
- Work on generalization to work on getting the behavior to happen in a variety of environments and situations.
- The challenge level should always be that in which your dog can succeed.
Ask your dog what they are capable of doing. Over-facing our dogs by putting demands on them that they cannot possibly meet will not only mean we make no progress towards our training goals, but it will erode a dog’s confidence and enjoyment of working with us.
Perfection is not a permanent condition. The more criteria, the more maintenance.
Four Types of Rewards
- Food (highly encouraged this is taught from a young age to make training easier)
- Toy play (toy play is great so you do not always have to use food)
- Verbal praise
- Physical Praise (petting)
Hierarchy of Rewards: Find out the minimal amount your dog will work for. You do not want to cook steak every time you want your dog to do something. If they will work for their kibble, let kibble be the reward (you can feed meals through training)
- Crate Training / Housebreaking / Incrementally Crating
- Marker word or use of a clicker
- Sending to crate
- Release cue "okay" meaning the dog is free to move
- Play biting
3 D’s: Distance, Distraction, Duration (added in to all exercises to increase criteria as your training progresses!) Before we can add in these three elements, make sure we can achieve consistent behaviors indoors or in a low-distraction environment.
Crate Training / Housebreaking / Incrementally Crating
- Start crating at night, when you leave, and most importantly incrementally when you are physically present
- When the dog is let out of the crate, going outside to potty is the first step (this is critical)
- If the dog DOES NOT potty, the dog should be put back into the crate
- The dog earns time out (it is a reward) by going to the bathroom outside
- The only time the dog should be let out of the crate is when they are silent; so be sure to monitor so if the dog is sleeping you catch them before waking to let them out to potty
- If the dog is not being supervised, the dog should be crated
- Especially puppies, especially dogs working on potty training it is very important we are watching them
- If the puppy cries in the middle of the night *there is a chance* they may have to potty
- If you are outside and the dog is distracted or not focusing on pottying, I would take the dog back inside
- Sniffing and time outdoors is also a reward, so you may want to consider giving some exploration time as well
Marker Word = "YES" (or using a clicker)
- Should be implemented immediately
- "YES" is followed by a reward so you should be able to start communicating to your dog when they are doing something correctly
Skill: Marker Word = YES! (or a clicker)
Exercise: Name Game
Criteria: Call your dog’s name, when they look mark YES and reward
Progression: Offered focus (call if needed) but reward for paying attention
*Remember you do not ALWAYS need to use food - think about other types of rewards
Sending to Crate
Skill: Sending to Crate
Exercise: Crate Games
Criteria: 1. Dog looks at crate = reward 2. Dog places one paw in crate = reward 3. Dog places more than one paw in = reward 4. Dog goes all the way into crate = reward 5. Dog is lured into a sit into crate = reward 6. Dog is lured into a down in the crate = reward 7. Dog hold position of choice without releasing until you give the cue = reward
Progression: Adding distance, distractions, duration
Here is an instructional video that was made for a dog named Sage.
- Allow your dog to love the crate
- Do not force your dog into the crate; it should be a choice they make to go in because it is valuable and rewarding
- Hold your dog in front of its crate (you can toss a high value reward to help it in, or use a leash so your dog does not sneak away
- You do not always need to close the door if you are trying to desensitize from the crate (that comes later)
- You are teaching value for the crate and also utilizing a release cue coming out of the crate
- All of these drills and games make the crate a fun place!
Release Cue = "OKAY"
- How does your dog know they are free to move? Whether it is releasing from a stay, exiting out a door (including the crate door) you should have a cue that communicates to your dog it is OK to "break!"
- Start using the word "OKAY" to allow releasing of your dog
- Utilize the crate training videos above to see how the word is utilized in crate games
Sit & Down
- Keep in mind that focus exercises and simple skills such as sit and down will tire out your pup!
- Start your session with the MARKER WORD drill (name game) to get your dog's attention
Criteria: Drills are done In front
Progression: Variation of front and heel position (on your side). You also will want to transition from being on the floor with your dog, to up on your knees, to partially bent over, to standing up right. You can also then start doing these particular drills in more challenging environments. Adding in distance, distraction, and duration.
Do you need a treat? Do you need a hand signal? Brainstorm with your training sessions so if something is not working, you can stop and figure it out...but not at your dog's expense
- Thinking about the scenario you are asking your dog to stay or wait in
- Generally the word stay means "stay put" I am returning back to you
- The word wait means I will be releasing you (perhaps from a distance)
Exercise: Small movements and encouraging the dog to hold position (not to move)
Criteria: Dog does not release itself
Progression: Testing where you can go and for how long the dog will stay for.
- Managing jumping can be done in many ways depending on what the jumping is happening and what is rewarding it
- If a dog jumps and is pet, touched, or talked to...that may be rewarding
- BE CONSISTENT and do not allow the dog to jump. If you teach a cue, or invite the dog, that is a different scenario, but for now I would set the standard so the dog does not become confused
Skill: NOT Jumping
- Reinforce the behaviors you do like and ignore what you don't
- Don't set your dog up to fail
- If your dog is jumping on you, you can choose to completely ignore
- You can choose to redirect by tossing treats away from you on the floor (value become away from you and down, not up)
- You can manage by giving your dog something to occupy itself with and making the dog sit and wait (giving a chew or a toy)
- You can redirect your dog to its crate to relax for a few minutes
- You can manage by having your dog on a leash
- Your dog should not be pet or greeted (that is a reward) if they are pulling or jumping
- It is normal for a puppy to play bite or mouth
- Make sure they have enough to chew on
- Be consistent. If you are playing with your dog and allowing them to play bite, and all of a sudden they get you to hard...you really cannot be upset
Skill: Stopping play biting
Exercise: Redirecting, ignoring
- If the puppy is play biting, stop what is happening. Ignore the dog and move on to something else. Do not wait for it to continue
- Trade the dog for a toy, chew, food...or something it can chew on
- Redirect the dog to the crate to take a break