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Carlasl
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So I have been doing foundation work with 10mo old maya since forever.

 

She has always seemed to avoid doing anything that involves using her rear feet independent of her front feet

 

If it is something where her rear feet go after her front feet she is fine, she does fantastic box work and balance ball work with her front feet on an object, but for the life of me I cannot get her to realize she can do things with just her back feet.

 

about the only thing I can get, is her to stop on a short egg crate with her rear feet on it, but that is only after her front feet have been there first. She will not pivot on an object with just her back feet on it.

 

I was trying to get her to just pick up her back feet one at a time (she does her front just fine) today and she was just like WTH are you doing. Then I was trying to get her to put one or two back feet (whatever at this point) on a balance disc and nothing, in fact she would hop over it, do ANYTHING to avoid putting her back feet on it.

 

I have mainly been trying to shape, and tried luring it but she just doesn't get it.

 

I think one of the reasons I think I am having such a hard time teaching her a good and FUN 2o2o, is because she hates it when I am trying to get her to put her back feet on things. Karen Holik (in a foundation seminar I went to) recommends backchaining the 2o2o by picking the dog up and "plunking" them on the board in the 2o2o position, well this distressed Maya so much I tried just shaping the end behavior with her jumping onto it, but that isn't working well either (going to some private lessons to get some tips on this).

 

does anyone have any tips on getting her to to figure out she has back feet and they won't fall off if she uses them independent of her front feet. I wanted to teach her some tricks and some balance work using her rear feet and I just can't seem to get anywhere with it.

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I'm not sure what you mean by "box work". With my dogs I do what we call perch work or brick work. This link will take you to Celeste Mead doing brick work (I think it was mentioned here before). There are 2 parts. I do this alot, Chase thinks it's a blast and how it has helped him is very obvious in obedience when I do left turns and figure 8's and I'm pretty sure it has increased his rear end awareness in agility. It's something I was taught in agility class and I knew it would be great for obedience too.

 

Another thing I do is to teach my dogs to back up. I start out by teaching them to back up while I'm walking towards them but it can be transferred to them backing up in heel position too. I'm not great at explaining how to teach things so maybe someone else here can help with that. I was pretty lucky and both of my dogs got that pretty quick but alot of dogs like to go into a default sit position when you're teaching it. So maybe someone might have suggestions to help you.

 

Once they know back -up I can back my dogs up onto almost anything. I have a long fireplace ledge and I often back their rears up onto that. I used a clicker to let them know that's what I wanted when their back legs were on the ledge. Maybe you can back them up onto stairs too.

Another thing that came out of that was Chase being able to lift one of his back legs on command (like he's going pee-ing). It's hysterical and cracks people up, even me every time I ask him to do it :rolleyes:

 

I used to back Chase up onto a contact because he was having problems with blowing his contacts. (currently I do a 2o2o) The new agility instructor I go to told me not to do that. She wants me to have him come around and jump on the side of either the a-frame or dogwalk ramp and come down again and do his contact. I guess her point was that that she doesn't want him coming down and off and get into the habit of backing up onto the contact like he was doing out of habit.

 

Hope someone else here can add more.

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yes, I mean the brick work and she does that just fine, she also backs up if I am walking into her, we are working on an independent back up, bu she will not back up and put her back feet on ANYTHING.....no amount of treats or toys or clicking will get this girl to willingly but her back feet on something.

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I think if I was you and had that problem I would just work on an independent back up. Once you have that then you can get her to back up towards things. Mine will back up but start going sideways if they back into something instead of backing up onto it. I am teaching both a handstand and they wouldn't back onto the box. So after a bit I just put their back feet on the box. I know that's not shaping and its cutting corners but I rewarded them hugely a couple of times and they got the idea. Mine will not back straight up onto something usually but climb up front feet first, turn around and put their front feet on the ground. It took just alot of practice for them to be just moving their back feet until they got it right. I would just do tricks that involve back feet, like you said teaching her to lift her back feet is fantastic. Its is a hard one though because that is generally the last behaviour a dog would offer, most prefer to use their front end so it will take a while. Maybe teaching her to go backwards through your legs or anything you can think of to involve her back legs. Like the ball work see if you can get her to climb on it and click her when her front feet come off. Sort of like a 2o2o position on the ball even if you have to lure her to get her front feet on the ground and her bum still on the ball. If she has shaped before she should be fairly clicker savvy and work it out when you jackpot her.

 

Just stick to tricks and behaviours that involve back feet only. It may be a bit stressful until you've built up a history if reinforcement for back end behaviours. But the back up is a good start. I shaped a back up with my puppy by when she was offering behaviours if she even leant back that earned a treat thrown between her front legs so she had to lean back or back up a bit to get it. Then only click for a back paw movement backwards and so on. After months of doing back up I have only gotten her to back up a few steps before she stops but then I haven't pushed for her to keep going but I am happy with it anyway.

 

You really seem to need a high reinforcer. Any dog will work for something that is their absolute favourite. Once you have that then you can build a history of reinforcement which will put the value purely into working for you. A great idea I found is if she loves her dinner, sit down and do some behaviours for her dinner. This is how I built up the value of some of my oldest basic behaviours. My girls love their dinner so I dish it out in a bowl and sit down with them and use their dinner to teach them something new or build drive for what is already known. Because they are so hyped up for their dinner they put out excellent performances and its just their plain old biscuits.

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Thanks Mariji,

 

The backup has been very difficult for her and I have been working on it for a while now and she just recently stopped sitting down everytime I would try. I also tried just putting her back feet on something and jackpotting it and that didn't go over very well lol....

 

I have tried just a board on the ground also, and she will avoid it like it is on fire.

 

Motivation and high reinforcer for this sort of thing can be difficult for her. She likes food treats but is not over the moon for them, her biggest motivator is her tennis ball which works well for things once she learns them, it is working great for her teeter bang issues, but for intricate shaping you really need to be able to use food treats. Dinner is NOT the highlight of her day lol....

 

I always try to train before she gets breakfast, during the day and before she gets dinner. very short sessions especially when I am doing something she isn't "getting" or doesn't like.

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Speedy also doesn't like to back onto things. I got it into my head to shape him to back up a board a couple of winters ago and we did make some progress.

 

I set the board on a pillow, so it was on a very slight slope. I put two dining room chairs on the sides of the board, so it formed a corridor.

 

I started out by luring him onto the board from the pillow side of the board, and I lured him into a 2 on 2 off. Then I stood there and waited for him to offer a step back. There was nothing else he could really offer, and his back feet were already on the board, so he did not have to back onto it.

 

They key with this exercise is to watch the back paws, not the front. I clicked and treated even the slightest movement backwards with his back paws. Each time he would move back, I would lure him back into his starting position and wait until he offered another step back.

 

Once he really had that down, I started to wait for more backwards movement. He backs up for Freestyle, so he caught on quick. I started to wait for him to back to the point where his front paws moved onto the board. This was a bit of a challenge for him, but it was still easier than if I had started out trying to get him to back on with his back paws. I clicked and treated every time he backed up to the point where the front paws got onto the board. And then I started to wait for him to back on with both front paws and then back up just a leetle more.

 

At that point he was very comfortable with this game, so I increased the challenge by luring him to the very bottom of the board and pulling his back feet off just a smidge before waiting for him to back. I was still not using a back cue at this point. I did have to move the chairs forward a bit so he would not back sideways to avoid the board. Scamp!

 

It didn't take long for him to start to back on with his back paws. That was a huge breakthrough, but it actually didn't take long since he understood what was expected by that point.

 

Once we made that breakthrough, I started to move him out a bit more, and start to lure him off to the side so he had to "find" the board with his back paws. I actually have a video of that . . .

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyYdj4j5BKE

 

That's as far as I took it. I guess I found something else to work on at that point!

 

Hope that helps. The key for Speedy was starting with the back paws already on the board, learning to offer the back that way, and then gradually start to put back paws on. I'll have to set that up one day to see if he remembers it. I'll bet he does.

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Have you tried using a wobble board to help with rear end awareness ?

You can make up games to get Maya to jump up on it , like tag ,then click , treat.

Or something similiar , just to get her on the board and used to the movement of it. Then , once she masters that , you can have her down and sit and other tricks on the board. Each movement she does will make the board move in different angles , strengthening her muscles . High value treats are a must to get her on the board. Try not feeding her the entire dinner or breakfast , if you take some of the portion away , she will miss this food and make her more then willing to play this new game with you . Or train way before her meals so she becomes extremely intrested in gettin those treats. Whatever you do , practice for only a short time , each session . Make her want to do more , then stop the training session on a good note of course. But ending the game when she really gets into it will make her even more excited to play next time. Im sure once she gets into it , htere will be no stoping her. Just make it barrels of fun...

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Have you tried using a wobble board to help with rear end awareness ?

You can make up games to get Maya to jump up on it , like tag ,then click , treat.

Or something similiar , just to get her on the board and used to the movement of it. Then , once she masters that , you can have her down and sit and other tricks on the board. Each movement she does will make the board move in different angles , strengthening her muscles . High value treats are a must to get her on the board. Try not feeding her the entire dinner or breakfast , if you take some of the portion away , she will miss this food and make her more then willing to play this new game with you . Or train way before her meals so she becomes extremely intrested in gettin those treats. Whatever you do , practice for only a short time , each session . Make her want to do more , then stop the training session on a good note of course. But ending the game when she really gets into it will make her even more excited to play next time. Im sure once she gets into it , htere will be no stoping her. Just make it barrels of fun...

 

Yes we have and use a wobble board, she loves it, knows how to make it wobble and moves around on it no problem. Her issue is that she will not pick up her rear feet independent of her front, or step on things with just her rear feet.

 

Thanks Kristine that might work. What I was wanting to teach her is to pick up her rear feet when cued and I wanted her to do some work on the balance disc with just her back feet and at some point I was thinking I would like to train a head stand.

 

It think really we need to just work on the independent back up, and working very slowly at shaping her picking up back feet. It is tough for me when she doesn't pick something up quickly because normally it takes her about 2min to figure out what I want, so when she doesn't figure it out I tend to think it is the way I am training it and I need to change what I am doing, when maybe I need to just break it down into smaller steps.

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All good ideas so far.

 

A couple more:

10 months isn't too young to learn this stuff, but I wonder if she's going thru some particular "growth spurt" that just makes it uncomfortable at this point in time (but probably not, if she's backing up on the flat OK).

 

At one point I was trying to get my youngster to lift ONE back foot when I said, "Where's your BLACK foot?" (well, that was the goal!). I mostly gave it up, but I was backing him into a corner - and he'd willingly step onto whatever was there....starting with something very low, like a book (he's a tall boy!), then a box. I've seen it done (Sylvia Trkman's website has some amazing videos!) where they'll eventually 'crawl' up the wall with their back feet! My guy probably would have - if I'd kept it up. Anyway, the corner might work. I also have a downstairs stairway, with walls on both sides; he doesn't particularly like backing up even a step or two - but even though they're carpeted, they're pretty high.

 

Good luck!

 

diane

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Ok , I might have another idea. I would practice the 2o2o indoors with my boy using the couch. I would have him jump on the couch , then do a "touch" to the floor. In other words I use the touch command for my 2o2o obstacles. He needs to do the 2o2o with hind feet on the couch and front feet off. This has nothing to do with him touching anything with his nose .

( The command word "touch" just stuck. )

If Maya is used to jumping up on the couch or chairs , like mine , :rolleyes: this should be quite easy to teach .

If this is too high for Maya , try a big pillow or a couple of big towels stacked together so its soft for her. I think the softness might encourage her to try the exercise anyway. She could be just really sensitive with her hind feet :D You never know...

Again , make it fun and use those yummy treats. I hope this helps.

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Ok , I might have another idea. I would practice the 2o2o indoors with my boy using the couch. I would have him jump on the couch , then do a "touch" to the floor. In other words I use the touch command for my 2o2o obstacles. He needs to do the 2o2o with hind feet on the couch and front feet off. This has nothing to do with him touching anything with his nose .

( The command word "touch" just stuck. )

If Maya is used to jumping up on the couch or chairs , like mine , :rolleyes: this should be quite easy to teach .

If this is too high for Maya , try a big pillow or a couple of big towels stacked together so its soft for her. I think the softness might encourage her to try the exercise anyway. She could be just really sensitive with her hind feet :D You never know...

Again , make it fun and use those yummy treats. I hope this helps.

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Ok , I might have another idea. I would practice the 2o2o indoors with my boy using the couch. I would have him jump on the couch , then do a "touch" to the floor. In other words I use the touch command for my 2o2o obstacles. He needs to do the 2o2o with hind feet on the couch and front feet off. This has nothing to do with him touching anything with his nose .

( The command word "touch" just stuck. )

If Maya is used to jumping up on the couch or chairs , like mine , :rolleyes: this should be quite easy to teach .

If this is too high for Maya , try a big pillow or a couple of big towels stacked together so its soft for her. I think the softness might encourage her to try the exercise anyway. She could be just really sensitive with her hind feet :D You never know...

Again , make it fun and use those yummy treats. I hope this helps.

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It makes it hard if she is not particularly motivated by much. Maybe try food she hasn't had before, buy a steak (I wouldn't do this to often its expensive :rolleyes:) and try that or a meaty bone just to get her a little food motivated. That also makes it hard to teach her to tug if she doesn't like food. Try getting a tug with a ball on it. You can reward her with a ball by rolling it underneath her and once she's got it running to play. It may take a bit longer but it's a start. Get someking of ball you can put steak or something extra yummy in and when she gets it give her a food reward and play. It might help transfer that value from the ball to the food a bit. Maybe just work on building value for treats or other toys more easily dispensed before working on tricks. I am working on my youngests tug right now before I can reward certain agility behaviours. Maya will need to be rewarded with at least a couple of different things to make it easier when you get to more obstacle training. She should have some sort of prey drive still, wind her up and get her to play. It will take time but eventually you can get her to take or take treats. Maybe play a game she loves and she has to take the treat to get her ball which would be her reward for taking a treat. Train her to take treats, I know it sounds silly but it works. My puppy was the same when she was little and now she loves food and her fav soft toy.

 

Just step back and work on getting something she loves that is easily dispensed as a reward before you maybe train behaviours. I sympathize your situation, it doesn't help make your training any fun when your reward types are so limited. And to me it seems your problem is more with rewards than actual training. Once you have a fantastic reward base you can train anything. Does that make any sense? When I think about it all your training problems would be solved if she had a easily dispensed reward she loved. Hope that helps.

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Just step back and work on getting something she loves that is easily dispensed as a reward before you maybe train behaviours. I sympathize your situation, it doesn't help make your training any fun when your reward types are so limited. And to me it seems your problem is more with rewards than actual training. Once you have a fantastic reward base you can train anything. Does that make any sense? When I think about it all your training problems would be solved if she had a easily dispensed reward she loved. Hope that helps.

 

I was thinking pretty much the same thing. For a dog that was not food motivated, I would actually work on building food motivation before getting into training things that the dog resists or really does not understand.

 

My first step would be to try some food rewards that I had not tried before. Frozen meatballs, liverwurst, lightly seared bits of beef (still raw inside), lightly seared bits of chicken heart (still raw inside), different cheeses, etc.

 

The good news is that if you find something that makes her go "WOW!!", you don't have to use that exact reward forever. I've found that once food motivation is built, the value of the reinforcer itself becomes less of an issue.

 

Once I found something, I would spend time playing a game where I cued behaviors that the dog already knows and clidk/give that reward for responding correctly. So "sit" - rump hits the floor - click/treat. The purpose of the game is not to train anything, but to be extremely clear about what the fact that the click signals high value reward. I wouldn't do a lot of this - maybe two to three minutes per day, for about a week or two.

 

After doing this for about a week or so, I would use the same food reward to try to shape something super simple. Maybe put a hula hoop on the floor and shape the dog to put all four paws in it. That's usually pretty simple because there is a visual involved. Or get a pylon, sit with it between your knees, and shape the dog to put his or her nose into the cone. That's usually pretty simple since most dogs will naturally check it out and that gives you a couple of great opportunities to click.

 

From there, I might go into something more difficult for the dog, but still not something that matters to me. Shape the dog to more his or herself into position between two chairs in front of you (starting with the dog next to one chair, but not in between). Or, in the case of a dog who sits a lot during backing training, I might shape a stand from a sit.

 

At that point, I would move into backing. Backing is one of the few things that I free shape. I do get the dog in front of me between two objects, like ring gates or dining room chairs. I stand with the clicker and treats behind my back and wait for the dog's back leg to move backwards even slightly. Gradually I shape backing at least three steps (for the dog) in that way, and then I add a back cue.

 

At that point, I would add in the process that I described above with Speedy with the board, and - if my goal were to have the dog back onto things - gradually add in different objects to back onto. I might even have a cue that means "step up" when moving backwards.

 

I know that sounds like a very time consuming process, but if having the dog back onto things confidently is important to you, it would be very much worth it to take the time to work through those steps. And building up the value of food rewards would pay off big for other training in the future.

 

Just some food for thought, and it might be worth trying to increase her food motivation for the sake of art.

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It makes it hard if she is not particularly motivated by much. Maybe try food she hasn't had before, buy a steak (I wouldn't do this to often its expensive :rolleyes:) and try that or a meaty bone just to get her a little food motivated. That also makes it hard to teach her to tug if she doesn't like food. Try getting a tug with a ball on it. You can reward her with a ball by rolling it underneath her and once she's got it running to play. It may take a bit longer but it's a start. Get someking of ball you can put steak or something extra yummy in and when she gets it give her a food reward and play. It might help transfer that value from the ball to the food a bit. Maybe just work on building value for treats or other toys more easily dispensed before working on tricks. I am working on my youngests tug right now before I can reward certain agility behaviours. Maya will need to be rewarded with at least a couple of different things to make it easier when you get to more obstacle training. She should have some sort of prey drive still, wind her up and get her to play. It will take time but eventually you can get her to take or take treats. Maybe play a game she loves and she has to take the treat to get her ball which would be her reward for taking a treat. Train her to take treats, I know it sounds silly but it works. My puppy was the same when she was little and now she loves food and her fav soft toy.

 

Just step back and work on getting something she loves that is easily dispensed as a reward before you maybe train behaviours. I sympathize your situation, it doesn't help make your training any fun when your reward types are so limited. And to me it seems your problem is more with rewards than actual training. Once you have a fantastic reward base you can train anything. Does that make any sense? When I think about it all your training problems would be solved if she had a easily dispensed reward she loved. Hope that helps.

 

I think maybe I didn't explain it well, she is food motivated (just not for her dinner) just not as MUCH food motivated as toy motivated, she loves to tug (especially her floppy frisbee) and she LOVES her tennis ball. The issue is that she is not motivated ENOUGH by food rewards to do something she doesn't want to do (like put her back feet on things). She works very very well for treats for most things, it is just the putting the back feet on things that is eluding us, and honestly I think it is more of a "I have no idea what you are trying to get me to do" sort of thing not really a not motivated enough to do it. She gets frustrated with me if she cannot figure out what I want and I don't want to frustrate her so I was just looking for ideas on maybe a trick to either shape it or capture it. I really think we just need to work on independent back up and then have her back onto things by making it impossible for her not to (like in the corner). She is super smart LOVES to learn and loves her treats and tugs, I just need some of the ideas on here on some different stuff to work on. What I was trying to say is that the treats I was using (which she generally loves) was not motivating enough to do something she doesn't either understand or want to do (putting back feet on things).

 

Thanks for all the ideas I am sure we will get it I just need to break it down more and take my time, sometimes I am not very patient when teaching tricks because I am so used to her picking up on things so quickly.

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Ok, That makes more sense. If she is food motivated that makes things so much simpler. Once again you'll need something extra special but break her behaviors down to such tiny tiny steps its hard for her to fail. You need to set them up for success. If it is the frustration that is getting her do free shaping lessons. Where you just click anything she offers, that way she will learn not to shut down so quickly and offering anything may get her something.

 

I have always been told if your dog isn't getting it you are moving WAY too fast. She will get frustrated and shut down because her reinforcment is scarce because she is not doing what you want her to do. I would definitely just start with the back up and dont up the ante so quickly. At first click for everything even close such as leaning back. Once she leans back 100% of the time (almost like that is her new trick) then wait for something other than leaning back. It may not be a step back she offers but rather a step sideways. Any step at first is something that should be rewarded. I think she may get discouraged easily because you may reward her less because the hard things take longer, which means she's not getting it right as often and that means less treats.

 

You said she backs up when you walk into her, you could teach her that way if shaping is too much for her at this point. I taught my first that way. Click and reward for every treat and reward underneath her to help keep her head low. Maybe back her into a small book on the ground. Or back her down a corridor onto a book so she can't turn around. Its sort of like when you fix a fear of something you could use immersion (which isn't always the best idea) but it is almost if you force her and show her how fun it is she is more likely to choose it for herself. I try not to do that but I have before when we are really stuck and it has worked for me. If she doesn't like you handling her and gets nervous just treat her when you touch her or gently move her around so she gets used to it. But start in tiny steps. The book she backs onto may be only 1 cm off the ground but it is a start, just work on that for a week before you make it a little higher. Reward her before she touches the book with her back feet and maybe reward her in a way it pushes her slightly back onto the book.

 

Sorry for repeating but break it down into such little increments she almost doesn't notice. You may be what we call "lumping" all the steps together and moving to fast which will cause her to shut down. You need to be able to recognise before she shuts down that she is going to and remove her straight away. I currently have shut down issues and have only just learnt when Myla gets something right thats it! Walk away and play before she shuts down.

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Sorry, I hope I didn't miss if anyone mentioned using the stairs but that's what I do. We practice out 2o2o on the bottom stair and then I get them to go up the stairs backwards. The best food rewards are definitely any kind of chicken organs or pieces of cooked cold liver, cheese, etc.

To get them to go up the stairs backwards I started at the bottom of the stairs and began by clicking at the slightest movement of the back feet. Made a big deal out of it when one of the feet finally touched the stairs and an even bigger deal when a backfoot was solidly placed on the stair.

Shaping takes a lot of patience but once they finally clue in it tends to progress fairly quickly.

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Have you worked pivots much? Since she doesn't like to put her back feet up on things, you might want to do more pivot work for rear end awareness.

 

Another thing that comes to mind is cavaletti's. While not a rear end awareness exercise, per se, they do help build the dog's awareness of the whole body, which includes the rear end.

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Have you worked pivots much? Since she doesn't like to put her back feet up on things, you might want to do more pivot work for rear end awareness.

 

Another thing that comes to mind is cavaletti's. While not a rear end awareness exercise, per se, they do help build the dog's awareness of the whole body, which includes the rear end.

 

We do work pivots on the flat, she is not fantastic at them be we do work them. I haven't done cavaletti work yet, mainly because the weather outside has been horrible and I don't have room for them in the house.

 

I plan on starting that stuff in a few weeks as the weather finally warms up around here.

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