Labradoodle & Goldendoodle Forum
Two questions - First - if not using the clicker training, what do you recommend using? Charley is 11 weeks, and has been doing very good with sit and down. I've just been giving him hand signals and saying the word and when he does it he gets a treat. We've started working on stay and that's not going to well. He seems to really struggle with that.
Secondly, I've just bought a new type of treat, Buddy something...can't remember the exact name right now, they are soft and I got the lamb flavor. He LOVES them and I think that is messing him up a bit. If I pull them out to start working with him, he gets so excited and it takes a long time to get him to focus and do the command. Maybe I should switch back to the other boring soft treats and just use these treats for when he's going to his crate at night???
Thanks in advance for any advice you guys have.
Hi Angela! Our puppy is 18wks now, and we have been working with both a private trainer and a group training class since he was about 10wks. Each instructor had a different approach to the "stay" command, and I'm not sure which one worked best, but he seems to have picked it up rather quickly so I'll just give you both!
1. Teach him a "release" command, which is essentially its very own "treat" because he/she gets to get up from sit/down/other. This assumes that your puppy has to stay in the sit/down until you say release. So it went something like this for us.... "Admiral, sit. Yes or clicker (whatever your trigger word/device is). Good sit! Give treat.".... Then wait a few seconds and say "Release"... you may have to use a lure of sorts to get him/her off his haunces. To set him up for success, try to say release before he starts to get up. This can eventually be drawn out.
2. Use the "stay" command. Practice going different distances starting from sitting right next to him and gently holding his collar so he can't get up from sit/down. And treat while saying "good stay!". Alternate these distances so he doesn't get it in his head that an exact distance means I can get up now.
The key to both of these was to NEVER release unless you were right next to the puppy. (This was confusing to us at first, but now we realized that he will just go down and stay in a down until we come back to release him. If we want him to just wait, we use the "wait" command, walk away, and then call him to us.
I hope this is helpful!!!
This is very helpful. Thanks so much.
There is no BEST training type because it really depends upon your personal style and the dog. For example treat training works well with two exceptions - dogs who are not food oriented and if you do not fade the treats out, you end up with a dog who only performs for the treat.
Clicker training works well but you have to be able to click at the correct time, and some of us (like me) are "clicker challenged" and can't seem to learn when to clicker.
The type of training I used was based upon tons of repetitions showing the dog what you want them to do and then expecting them to do it with your 'atta boys' being the only reward and corrections for mistakes. This type of training is for the more no-nonsense personalities.
I haven't tried the clicker training yet and not sure that I will.
I like your no-nonsense style, but just don't know that I could pull that one off. Charley responds well to my husband's stern voice, so I think I can try to get him to work with him more. I should probably look into a trainer.
Thanks so much for your help!
Firm is better than stern I think. You want the dog to obey because it's has lots of practice and understands the rewards and consequences of obeying...not because you have to talk more stern, more loud, or repeat yourself, or raise your voice. You don't want wimpy submissive obedience. You probably can't pull it off. Not at first ;-) It is a skill that you and your dog will learn together. Some people fall into the rhythm much more quickly than others, but don't let that stop you from trying. It's super fun if you are committed.
While there may not necessarily be only ONE way to train that will work. I would say that there some training methods and trainers that have proven themselves over the years and I would only choose a trainer/class that has a good track record for producing results. I don't care how 'nice', popular, modern or old, fun, or hard a class is...the proof is in the pudding. So when looking for trainers or training programs, I would look for references and some kind of proof that the stuff you're taught is effective. That former graduates of the classes tend to have really obedient dogs. Also I like to know that my trainer has competed in obedience and gotten obedience titles. I think that shows THEIR skill even if I don't need obedience titles.
Great points. Thanks!
Hi Angela, Another pointer from the trainer was only to lure reward 12 times. And then from there switch it up. That way he won't expect treats all the time!
At eleven weeks we kept things very reward based. We moved onto a more structured training which included reward and correction at about 16 weeks. I would say talk to potential trainers, observe their classes, and decide what you are most comfortable with and what has been most successful. They should be able to give you names of clients that you can talk to about how successful they were. Maybe you can try rewarding with a treat every few times rather than every time he does it right. That might help with the excitement.
Oh yes, and at 11 weeks, their attention span is really short. I wouldn't EXPECT much of a 'stay' yet.
Hi all ... first of all, I take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been so welcoming and helpful to me. My puppy arrives this coming Thursday and I've been immersing myself in "dogdom" to prepare myself as thoroughly as I can. In doing this I've been reading several books which were recommended, each promoting similar - but in some essential ways different - training methods. I like the clicker-training idea. But there's also Dr. Dunbar's book and also "My Smart Puppy" by Brian Kilcommons & Sarah Wilson.
Just one example of the differences: Dr. Dunbar strongly recommends using freeze-dried liver as the ultimate training treat. And Kilcommons & Wilson say NOT to use liver, it's too fattening!
I'm going to be taking her to training classes which begin July 10. All the training books and comments say that some sort of training must begin the first day the puppy comes home. So I have two weeks on my own. I'm sure that ANY training method used conscientiously and consistently will work. But any comments on the above will be appreciated.