New Trick Time!

It’s been a long time since Shiva and I have had anything worthy of video footage or blog space. My motivation to work has been at an all time low for the last few months. I reckon it’ll eventually return, probably just as winter arrives and it will be too cold to do anything outside.

Anyway. We’ve lazily been practicing the below trick for a little while. I’d originally assumed she was far too big to jump through my arms successfully. Or without kicking me in the face. Once again, she proved me wrong. When will I learn there is little this dog can’t do?

SinceΒ Shiva already loves to jump, this was a (fairly) simple thing to teach . I lured her at first by tossing a treat and then standing in front of her much the same way I would if I was asking her to jump over an agility obstacle. Only this time my arms were the jump standard. I kept my arms really low to make it easy for her. After a few repetitions I removed the lure.* It took her a while to understand what it is I was asking. She kept just running straight into my arms instead of leaping over them. But after a few sessions she picked it up and I could gradually raise my arms higher.

She actually surprised me during the filming this morning. I’ve never gotten her to jump so close to me before. Previously I’ve always had to put her in a stay and then lead out. I don’t know why I even thought of trying it this way but it worked really well! She kept getting distracted by something in the neighbour’s yard – don’t ask me what – so I am even more impressed we pulled this off.

Dogs are always full of surprises, aren’t they? You never know when they are going to blow all of your expectations or when they are going to drive you to drink. As it’s far too early in the day for the latter, I am excited I got to experience the former.

Happy Friday!

*There are those who feel luring is a cheap way of trick training but since it’s just about fun, I don’t really care. This trick can definitely be shaped the way you can shape an agility jump. If I was a more patient trainer I may have done it this way. Maybe with my next dog.

38 thoughts on “New Trick Time!

  1. What i’ve learned about training …. is that luring is perfectly fine when done right (ie drop the food lure quickly). I couldn’t imagine trying to shape a scoot, or shape a back stall, or shape shape spins/weaves… the time it would take is just not reasonable when another easier just as effective method exists. There are lots and lots of things i do shape–handstand, loose leash walking, Rio’s fake peeing on objects, blowing bubbles in water (rio, not shayne)… but shaping these pieces was just as fast and efficient. I guess what i’m saying is that luring isn’t the devil… I actually think Emily Larlham has a really good video about how she frequently lures to get the beginning of a behavior and then shapes the rest (which is often what ends up happening).

    (can’t watch video from borrowed ipad… i’ll check it out later!)

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    • Yeah, I am not sure how one would shape spins or leg weaves either. We definitely lured those to easy/fun results. I do believe that shaping is better as it gives the dog a choice and teaches the dog to think, but we’ve done it enough that I don’t think Shiva’s brain is totally wasted. Besides, there are a lot of things one can’t lure, such as a handstand or fake peeing or backing up.
      I haven’t heard of Emily Larlham before but I will look her up. The combination luring/shaping sounds very similar to my own attempts. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! It’s always great to have insight from someone who knows what she is talking about. πŸ™‚

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    • LOL. Ah, it’s all worth it. The most painful trick is the one where she jumps into my arms. I always end up bruised but I still keep doing it!

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  2. Nice!! This one is on my list too! Or over my leg at least. Maybe Luna would do it more now that she kinda knows what “over” means. Worth a shot. Tricks outside are ALWAYS harder. Glad you have a new place to video, looks like it works out well.
    I will not hold luring with treats against you, about the only way I can get things done with Luna to keep frustration levels down for both of us. The Food Tube works especially well sometimes.
    I should make a video of Luna’s new one “peek-a-boo” It’s pretty cute. But may involve too many butt shots lol.
    Anna
    http://www.akginspiration.com

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    • They are harder outside but I prefer taking video outdoors as it looks a lot better than my teeny tiny living room. I just set the camera on the deck and we’re good to go!

      You and Luna have some great tricks, I love watching your videos! The last one with the ball was such a cool idea. Have you thought of getting into Treiball? I know it’s usually for herding breeds but Luna seems to be into it!

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  3. Oh that is a great one! I always think that training can be such a wonderful bonding time. Oh is this what you want mom? I’ll try it! And the reward of your approval when she does it right. She looks so graceful in the video!

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    • I completely agree, training is so important for bonding and tricks are just about having fun so I don’t worry about being perfect or getting anything accomplished in a specific time frame. It’s just about hanging out and working together. I like to think Shiva enjoys it as much as I do.

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  4. That is a really cool looking trick. I’m not the bestest jumper in the world, and I’m much bigger than Shiva, but I bet my peoples could get Meadow to do that. (But I’m not going to show them this video, because that would take away from MY time with the peoples.)

    As far as luring, I love when my peoples train me with lures, and over the years, they’ve found that I learn faster that way. Just thought I’d tell you that.

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    • Thanks! I bet you can jump better than you think. You just have to start at the beginning with something low. Meadow, I am sure, would be great. Shiva’s best friend is a Viszla and they are in agility together. Lulu is a fantastic dog to watch on the course.

      Good to know that dogs are not bothered by food lures. I had a feeling that was the case. πŸ˜‰

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  5. As usual you amaze me with your training capabilities. I’ve taught Delilah touch and even though she jumps for her dinner, I cannot get her to jump to touch. I must admit I don’t really “WORK” at it, well kind of half-heartedly, but that looks like something I could try to get her to do.

    Where do you come up with your trick ideas?

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    • I’m flattered but I think Shiva makes me look like a better trainer than I am. She is always just so eager to learn and perform. I can only imagine where she would be now if she had a more experienced handler. She’d probably already have her Master’s agility title. πŸ˜›

      The internet, mostly. And television commercials. And training books. Pretty much any time I see a dog doing a trick that Shiva can’t do, I start thinking about how I could teach it to her. It’s kind of an obsession, even if I don’t always succeed.

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    • Hahahaha! Exactly! Could it go any other way? πŸ˜‰

      Thanks! I love dog tricks. I am so thrilled I actually have a dog interested in learning them.

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  6. Elli’s much to sensitive for me to do this trick with her — standing hunched over and asking her to come into my body was way too much social pressure for her. I had to modify it and use a leg/arm circle. Congrats on getting the arm/arm circle!

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    • A leg and arm circle sounds even cooler, actually. Very impressive. I don’t know that I’d be flexible enough! Of course, now I am going to have to try.

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  7. I love this so much! Shiva looks like she is having a blast and great on you for refocussing her attention when she was getting distracted. I totally want to teach Remy to do this now! You have inspired me!

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    • Aww, thanks! I was kind of surprised I actually got her attention back. It’s always a 50/50 shot. She has this thing for crawling under the neighbour’s fence that is really kind of annoying.

      You definitely should! And take video!

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  8. Awesome trick and love the video. And yes, Shiva is adorable and looks like she’s really having fun.

    I’ve never been a trick person. But you’re winning me over. This week I taught Honey to give me her paw (it took 3 tries and she got it) and I just started trying to shape a roll over (much harder).

    Have you and Shiva convinced me to cross over to the trick side? Who knows? But as long as Honey is having fun, I’ll probably see what we can do.

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    • Yay! A convert! Tricks are just such a fun way to spend time with your dog. They don’t have to be very complex and they don’t have to be perfect or even remotely useful. No one is going to get hurt if Honey doesn’t learn how to roll over. So there’s no pressure on you or your dog to get it right. It’s just about working on something together. Also, that moment where you see it click in your dog’s brain? That’s just awesome. A kind of dog training high. πŸ™‚

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  9. Hi Kristine, that’s really cool. My sheltie brother does the same trick with my mom. Maybe you could get Shiva to spin clockwise and counter clockwise. We think that you’ve done great. Nice having a decent yard isn’t it?

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  10. The two of you are amazing! You both look so happy, it’s really great to see. Tricks are so cool, you can really see how smart Shiva is and how well you work together.

    The trainer at our dogs’ obedience class was very dismissive when I showed her that they would give us both paws; she said that she “didn’t teach tricks.” I said that it made it easier to trim their nails since they were used to us holding their paws. She had never thought it was a useful thing to teach before. πŸ™‚

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  11. That was wonderful! I’ve always envied folks who can get their dogs to jump through, or even into. their arms. I’m not sure Bella will fit through my arms and I KNOW she’d put me in the hospital if she tried to jump into them. lol We may have to check this out.

    Besides agility, I do teach Bella tricks because she loves to learn and it’s a great way to burn some energy while increasing our bond. To weigh in on the luring thing, the only time our trainer is adamant about not luring is when we’re trying to teach Bella an obstacle that frightens her. She wants to make sure Bella approaches these obstacles only at her own pace. (This is why a year later we are still working on getting a complete traverse over the teeter-totter but it’s also why, now that she has mastered the dog walk, the tunnel and the chute, we can’t get her off/out of them. πŸ˜‰

    Love the video. More please. πŸ™‚

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