Week 3 Skills:
- Paw Pad – Impulse Control on Paw Pad
- Foundational Down
- Collar Cues – Moving Puppy While Handler Is Standing
- Body Handling
- READING: Socialization
WEEK 3 – PAW PAD: Impulse Control on the Paw Pad
Goal Behavior: Puppy remains in HEEL position with 2 front feet on the Paw Pad when distraction is offered.
Why: Continued impulse control.
- Puppy off leash.
- Paw Pad placed where puppy will be successful at keeping a straight line, i.e. on the wall or away from the wall.
- Treat pouch full of rewards.
- Assistant wearing a treat pouch with the same rewards as the handler.
- Prerequisite: If a puppy is not successful on Weeks 1 and 2, do not add lesson 3, have puppy continue working on Weeks 1 and 2 curriculums while other puppies move on.
- During a session, small breaks of holding the puppy can be given, but a puppy may need a 10-minute break to BUSY and get a drink and relax. Session can be repeated after.
- Pay attention to your treat hand. It must be in front of the puppy’s nose, or slightly to the left when delivering a treat. Puppy’s head must NOT curl in front of the handler’s left leg. If puppy’s head does curl, check placement of your treat delivery.
- If at any stage puppy comes off of the Paw Pad to get distraction WAIT for the puppy to make a choice to step back on. If puppy is too distracted by the assistant/food pick puppy up and reset behind the Paw Pad. If puppy continues to come off the Paw Pad, go back to previous sessions and work on standing duration.
Steps: Impulse Control with Paw Pad
- Handler marks and rewards puppy as in previous sessions, for standing on the Paw Pad for 10-12 seconds between marks.
- While puppy is being rewarded for standing, assistant approaches the front of the Paw Pad (facing the puppy) and stops approximately 2-3 feet away, with food distraction still in the treat pouch.
- Handler keeps rewarding the puppy.
- While the puppy is being rewarded and chewing, the assistant slowly starts to squat down toward the ground. Rate of reinforcement must increase, for the puppy to be successful.
- Naturally the puppy will want to greet the assistant. If puppy moves off the Paw Pad, assistant stands up and ignores puppy, handler picks puppy up and places him behind the Paw Pad.
- Mark and reward when puppy is back on the Paw Pad.
- Assistant can start to squat after a few marks and rewards.
- While puppy is being rewarded, assistant gets food distraction out of the treat pouch. Handler must mark and reward rapidly while the puppy is watching the assistant remove food from their treat pouch (this is very distracting).
- Once the assistant has the food in their hand, open the hand so puppy can see the food.
- Handler marks and rewards puppy for not leaving the Paw Pad. 8. Once marker word has been said, assistant closes hand covering up the food. 9. Allow the puppy to chew and swallow the reward, before the assistant opens the hand and offers the food distraction once again.
- Slowly increase the duration between marks and reward.
- Practice several repetitions then give puppy a mental/busy break before the next step.
After break, continue training session.
- Jump start puppy by reviewing the food distraction with the assistant. Now the puppy should be able to hold their position on the Paw Pad for 7-10 seconds.
- The assistant should place the food on the floor. Be prepared to cover the food so the puppy cannot reach the food. (If the puppy grabs the food, stop, and review earlier session, steps 1-11.)
- If the puppy is successful and ignores the food on the floor for 5-6 seconds, the assistant can pick up the kibble and drop it when their hand is 2-3 inches above the floor. Handler needs to mark and reward for success.
- Gradually, the distance of the dropped kibble can decrease, as long as the puppy is successfully ignoring the kibble.
- Once puppy is able to remain in position on the Paw Pad while food is dropped 2-3 feet off the ground by the assistant, handler can start dropping a kibble in front of pup, as if handler accidently dropped a food reward. Rapidly mark and reward puppy for staying in position on the Paw Pad but quickly progress to increasing duration after food is dropped.
Goal: Puppy learns the DOWN position by moving their front feet forward.
- Paw Pad will not be used for introduction to DOWN.
- A non-skid surface
- Puppy off leash
- Treat pouch with several treats
- Puppy may need to be in front of the handler for ease of teaching the DOWN position. Handler might find it easier to kneel or crouch when teaching the DOWN.
- With puppy in SIT position, have multiple pieces of kibble in the hand, get puppy’s attention with the food. The lure needs to be kept on the puppy’s nose so the puppy can follow it.
- Slowly move your hand in a straight line to the floor. As puppy begins to lower his body, reward him. (If it is too far in front of the puppy, he will STAND to reach the kibble. If it is moved too fast, the puppy won’t be able to follow the lure.)
- Once puppy is in DOWN position, many treats should be given in rapid succession.
- After 10 seconds, lure to SIT so the process of the DOWN position can be repeated.
- Once puppy has had multiple successes of foundational DOWN from the SIT position, the puppy should be lured into a DOWN position from STAND. 7. The DOWN hand cue can be introduced once the puppy has had several successful sessions of going into the DOWN from a SIT and STAND position. The hand cue is done with the right hand, flat palm facing down in a downward motion. Kibble can be tucked under the thumb for the first initial hand signals.
WEEK 3 – COLLAR CUES: Movement into HEEL while Handler Stands
Goal Behavior: Puppy is able to move to handler’s right and left sides and into HEEL position in response to collar cues while the handler stands.
- Exercise takes place in a low-distraction area.
- Handler stands with puppy on leash.
- Handler begins with the leash in the left hand, puppy facing handler.
- Handler’s feet must remain still during this exercise.
- It may be beneficial to have the handler stand on a line or mat on the floor, or use a piece of tape to mark where handler’s feet should be.
- Pressure should be horizontal and at the level of the puppy’s neck as much as possible. This may mean handler has to bend down.
- Handler follows the exact same sequence of steps as in Session One. The only difference is that the handler is standing.
Reward Based Training: Luring vs. Rewarding – LURING
Reward Based Training (RBT) is very effective when the user has a good understanding of the steps to building a solid foundation for commands and behaviors. One of the basic concepts of RBT is knowing the difference between luring and rewarding and when to use each one. Many times, raisers easily get these two training concepts mixed up and/or use the wrong one at the wrong time. This Blue Cape Journal entry, we will be focusing on LURING.
What is the difference between luring and rewarding?
“Luring” is the act of attracting the dog with something like a food reward into the desired position and then giving the dog the food. An appropriate time to use luring in your pup’s training is when your dog is just beginning to learn a specific behavior. By incorporating the “yes” marker word with the act of luring, your puppy will quickly pick up new behaviors, leaving you to fade out the lure and continue to just use the hand and verbal signals. “Rewarding” is when you give the food reward AFTER the pup has performed the learned behavior when using just your hand and verbal signals. When at the “reward” stage of training, you will not hold treats in your hand as you ask your dog to perform behaviors. Instead, your treats will be in a treat pouch, pocket, or elsewhere, and you will reach for the treat after giving the “yes” marker word.
How do I effectively use luring to begin training a behavior?
Something to keep in mind when using a treat as a lure is that your hand/treat will act as a magnet that will draw your puppy to wherever you need to lead him. You can try this by putting a treat in your hand, showing it at pup’s nose level, and walking around a chair. Your pup will enthusiastically follow your hand. This is fun for your puppy, especially if you release the treat into their mouth! By using this natural drive to manipulate your pup’s body, you can begin to train ANY behavior needed for our program. Here are some tips to using luring for training.
- Make sure you have a clear idea of how to move your lure to achieve the desired behavior. If you are unsure how to lure a “sit,” for example, then you should not try figuring it out while the puppy is there and trying to follow your hand as you make different movements to get comfortable with the lure movements. Instead, practice without pup, then bring pup out. If you are unsure how to do a specific movement, please ask your AC at your next meeting.
- Your pup needs to know that a lure is present. If you have a small pup and are just beginning to teach a behavior, make sure you put the treat directly in front of pup’s nose and go slow with your movements. If you go too fast, the pup is likely to lose the lure and you will not be successful. Keep your hand at the pup’s nose level and don’t go too high with your hand. If you go too high, you will find that your pup starts jumping up to try and follow the lure.
- Pup follows lure into position. Release the treat into the pup’s mouth. 4. While holding the lure, keep your hand as close to the prescribed hand signal as possible. If a flat palm up is for “sit,” then don’t hold the lure with a fist as this does not look like what will be your hand signal later. Instead hold your palm flat and facing up, but hold the lure between your thumb and index finger. This will help your pup transition off of the lure more quickly and will keep your body language more clear for the pup.
- Only lure for a very short time. The point of a lure is to teach the dog how to move his body in the direction you want and to gain some muscle memory when hearing your verbal signal and seeing your hand signal. There is no set amount of times you should lure a behavior, but as soon as your pup is easily moving into position, you should consider getting rid of the lure. For some behaviors this might only be a handful of times a lure is needed. For other behaviors, you might have to lure for a good week.
- Lure the behavior in many locations. Dogs need our help to generalize behaviors. If I ask for a “sit” at home, I still want to easily ask my pup for a “sit” while on a walk or at a store. While in the luring phase of a behavior, you should make a real effort to lure the behavior a few times with every location change for your pup. This will teach the pup that the hand and verbal signals mean the same thing, despite your environment.
WEEK 3 – BODY HANDLING – USE OTHER ITEMS
- Use items/instruments for body handling to simulate vet exam • Using items besides hands allows the pup to start accepting different instruments they might experience with grooming or vet care.
- Get a small collection of safe items to use, such as q-tips, cotton pads, and washcloths.
- VERY briefly touch body parts with item.
Reward Based Training: Luring vs. Rewarding – REWARDING
Last time, we dissected the concept of “luring.” Once your pup is showing he is ready to move on from luring, it’s time to switch the way you are giving treats by “rewarding” the behaviors.
How do I move from luring to rewarding?
Okay, so your puppy is quick to move into position when you give the verbal cue and use a lure! Great! Your pup is now ready to move to a reward instead of a lure! There are several different ways to move your pup from a lure to rewards. Please keep the 3Ds in mind when starting to move off a lure. Do not make any distraction, distance, or duration too difficult when first asking your pup for the behaviors without a lure.
- Cold turkey! Simply leave your treat in your pouch and give the verbal AND hand signal cues. When your pup executes the behavior, use the “yes” marker word, reach for the treat in your pouch, give treat, praise, release dog.
- Warm up your pup! Sometimes a pup does best when you use a lure a few times and then switch to a reward only. Ask for the behavior 2-3 times with a lure and then ask for behavior without the lure, right away. Gradually move away from having to do a few “warm up” lures for the behavior.
How do I use rewards for continuing my pup’s training?
Once your pup has moved to rewards and is no longer being lured for a specific behavior, you will want to use rewards quite often until your puppy has started to generalize the behavior. You always want to use praise, even once you have become more intermittent with rewarding a behavior! Here are some tips for using rewards for training.
- Keep treats in a pouch. Treats need to be easily accessible.
- Do NOT hold treats in your hand! Every dog knows when you are holding a treat in your hand, especially because you have been luring to teach them the behavior. If you have to hold a treat in your hand, your dog is still being lured for the behavior. This is a really important one for when we move to very rare rewarding as the dog gets older.
- Use small treats or take from your pup’s meals. In order to not cause your pup to gain unnecessary weight, pull most of your treats from your pup’s meals. However, you might need to use “high value” rewards in very distracting situations (such as puppy meetings). If high value rewards are needed, try to use something soft and smelly, made in the USA or Canada. Soft treats are easy to break into very small pieces, allowing you to get more use out of the treats you are using.
WEEK 3 – HOMEWORK
- Puppy should not be run through all activities in one session, multiple SHORT sessions are most successful.
- If puppy is having a hard time understanding, or not interested in training, STOP, give the puppy a break and try again later.
- Introducing Down
- PAW PAD IS NOT USED (use a non-skid surface, like a yoga mat or towel).
- Goal Behavior: Puppy learns the DOWN position by moving their front feet forward.
- Why: Begin solid basic foundation for DOWN.
- Practice down exercises 1-3 times per day, 5-10 minutes per session.
- Impulse Control on the Paw Pad
- Goal Behavior: Puppy remains in HEEL position with 2 front feet on the Paw Pad when distraction is offered.
- Why: Continued impulse control.
- Practice paw pad exercises 1-3 times per day, 5-10 minutes per session. • Practice with a variety of distractions, changing the distraction after many successes with rewards.
- Continue to practice last week’s lesson for ground tether, using a variety of distractions.
- Practice ground tether exercises 1-3 times per day, 5-10 minutes per session.
- In a low distraction area while standing and pup on a short leash, practice applying pressure to the left, behind, and forward. Mark and reward each time pup responds.
- Hold leash with right hand and apply pressure to the left, behind, and forward. Mark and reward each time pup responds.
- Hold leash in the left hand and move pup into HEEL position using a series of collar cues.
- Remember to move your leash hand to pup’s collar while puppy is chewing reward and keep your feet still.
- Mark and reward very small movements in the cued direction.
- Use items for body handling to simulate a vet exam (q-tips, cotton pads, washcloths).
- Practice body handling 1-3 times per day, 5-10 minutes per session.