How I Taught My Dog a New Trick
How many times have you gone to Youtube to find a new dog trick and it's a three-minute video with a dog that already knows the trick?Or you teach your dog a new trick in class to go home and they act like they never heard of it before. Truth is, training doesn't happen in a straight line. Yes, there is usually a set of steps we have to follow but those steps don't go as smoothly as the video, book, or class make it look. In this episode, I go session by session describing my journey of teaching my dog the trick "spin". I'm not going to teach you HOW to teach "spin" (see the formal steps below for that). My goal is to illustrate what those videos, classes, and books don't talk about. The ups, downs, adjustments, mistakes, setbacks, wins, etc. In this episode I talk about:* How my expectations immediately got me in trouble.* The adjustments I made when Miriah was struggling to learn what I wanted.* A brief cameo from Ollie and how he learned.* How I handled successful sessions and wins. * What needs to happen to deem the command a success.Press play and enjoy!Other resources mentioned and related to this episode:YNP #012: The Most Important Part of Your Dog’s Obedience TrainingYNP #030: The First 4 Steps to Teaching Any New CommandYOUR Perfect Puppy: 4-week online training course for you and your new puppy.
How to Teach Your Dog the Trick "Spin"* Using a treat in your hand, lure your dog to walk in a circle. Don't worry about the size of the circle at this point. If you have trouble getting the full circle start to reward them when they reach 1/4 or 1/2 way and work them up to the full circle.* Once your dog is walking in a full circle, tighten up the circle if necessary and start to shorten the lure. You want to go from using your full arm to walk them in a circle to just using your finger and wrist to point in a half-circle. If you are over 90% sure your dog will follow your lure at this point you can start to say the command "spin" (or "twirl", your choice). Say it only once and DO NOT expect them to listen to it. Use the lure to guarantee they will spin when they hear the word. * Take away the treat from your lure hand and only use the hand signal. You are still rewarding them with treats when they perform the behavior. * Once you are down to the hand signal (90% sure they will listen to it) start to teach the command. Say the command first, wait on second and then use your lure. Do this until they start to spin before you need to hand signal. * If your dog performs "spin" without the food lure (remember still treating but there's no food in your lure hand), with just the hand signal and no command, with the command and no hand signal then just keep practicing until the trick is solid!Ways to up the challenge:Teach both directions (one can be "spin" the other "twirl")Teach multiple spins in a rowAdd distance (can you tell them to spin from across the room)Add distractions
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