Training regiment

To help us keep track of what we’ve done, what we are doing, and to go back to reinforce some training, In mostly chronological order, here is the training we’ve done to this point:

  1. Clicker training: Click – treat, and repeat about 20 times.
  2. Sit, down, stand, and circle: Direct Bear with a treat in hand to do the given task.
  3. Cha-ching: Whenever Bear is taking car of business we say “Cha-ching” to condition him relieve himself when he hears this.  This will be very important when we are going into a shopping mall, or a plane, or going into school.
  4. Tug-o-war: One toy, a hand towel in our case, is designated as the tug-o-war toy.  We control when it comes out.  Every minute we stop the game, hiding the toy while Bear settles down.  Then we bring it back out.
  5. Walking on leash:  First time in a collar.  First time on a leash.  This is also known as the Mullet walk (party on the right, business on the left).  This is slow going.  A lot of work.  Give treats along the seam of left leg after clicking when he is not pulling.  Update: Once pointer training is successful, we will begin walking without leash, first just in the house, and eventually going outside.
  6. Pawing: Treat in hand, click and give treat when he paws the hand or arm.
  7. Scent training: With test tube of scent sample in hand, click and treat as soon as he sniffs the tube.
  8. Dongle (aka Scent cell): Similar to pawing, as soon as he grabs the dongle with mouth, click and treat.
  9. Hide the scent: Place scent sample under knee, calf, thigh, or in socks.  When Bear finds sample, click and treat.
  10. Pairing (pawing and dongle): Click when he sniffs the sample, but no treat; then when he signals another click and treat.  After a week of this, we took away the first click.  Then later we did the pairing with hiding the scent, so Bear has to find the scent and then signal. Update: Do this while lying down. To mimic alerting during sleep, lie down with scent sample hidden.  Click when he finds the scent.  He gets the treat after he signals with paw.  This is difficult in that as soon as you lie down, Bear is ready to romp around.  Another update: Present the scent sample in different settings around the house and neighborhood.
  11. Leave it alone: The dongle is very enticing.  It looks like a toy and Bear gets treats when he grabs it.  So we need to teach him to leave it alone if he doesn’t smell a low or high blood sugar.  We dangle it in front of him, clicking and giving treat when he ignores it.  I was surprised how quickly he picked up on this.
  12. Watch me: This one is for when on walks and his cuteness attracts all sorts of attention.  When distracted by passersby, or other cute dogs, hold a treat in front of his nose and bring it to your eyes, say “Watch me”.  Click and treat when he looks into your eyes.  This also is good at keeping some strangers from approaching as it is pretty obvious that training is occurring.
  13. Door bell: This is another signal for alerting.  The first progression of this is just having him touch it with his paw or nose, then a click and treat.  If the doorbell is activated then he gets a high value treat.  After a week of this he only gets a treat after the “ding-dong” sound.  The next step is to do this while standing next to Bear, and he needs to walk to the doorbell and push it.  This is surprisingly difficult.  Next will be pairing it with a scent.
  14. No barking: It is annoying when Bear barks while I’m trying to get coffee and breakfast.  He’ll sit on the other side of the barrier, yapping away, letting me know that he needs something.  When he is quiet I toss a treat over to him.
  15. Pointer: We have the clicker with a yellow ball at the end of a telescoping wire.  Bear will nose the yellow ball for a click and treat.  The difficulty is that he just goes to swallow the the ball whole.  This pointer will be used to teach walking off leash, as well as other things.  This was originally introduced early on, but quickly taken off the docket.
  16. Go to bed: Bear will be getting a fairly small mat, which will be his mobile bed.  First step is simply to place the “bed” on the floor and click/treat whenever he is on it.  Next step is to say “Go to bed” with a click/treat when he is on it.  Last, we will say “Go to bed” and he will find it, and lay down on it.
  17. Boots: When on an escalator dogs need to wear little booties.  Bear got to wear them a bit.  This is not training, but just giving him the exposure before he is 16 weeks old.
  18. False scent: Now that Bear is finding the scent sample and signaling for it, we are going to set up a training like we have one but we really don’t.  This is similar to the “leave the dongle” exercise.  We will be rewarding when Bear does NOT signal for the scent.  A bit tricky here.  We’ll need to make sure that Maggie and Declan are either both in range, or they are not around.
  19. Wake up to scent: While Bear is sleeping, put a scent sample up to his nose.  When he wakes up give a click and treat and celebrate.
  20. Open and close door: This one begins with pulling on a rope, which will transfer to opening a door.  Pushing the door closed will be done with the aid of the pointer clicker.

5 thoughts on “Training regiment

  1. I’m keeping a list, too. Will pull it out later but this is these are off of the top of my memory:
    * “Bring meter”. This has been really awesome and Roman caught on right away. I started with “Bring” and a ball that I tossed, then eventually my glucose meter
    * Ringing the bell to go to the bathroom. This was probably the most useful when he was young (he learned it at 10 weeks!). It has also been helpful for when we are traveling. I just hang the sleigh bell on the door handle of the hotel room.
    * Placing him. That is something I’m working on so when we are out at a restaurant, etc, he knows to stay on his mat instead of wriggling around. Plus it keeps him from having to lay on nasty floors. Should have done this before we flew to San Diego.
    *The whole place a treat on his nose and have him leave it, then take it. For entertainment purposes only :-).
    *I really like the book “101 Dog Tricks”. Roman learned roll over, shake and is learning how to bow. I want to chain a bow to a high blood sugar.

    Why are you doing open and close door? To be able to have him get juice out of the fridge?

  2. oh and I forgot one that I think will be really useful “Sniff”. I’ll tap an area of my body with two fingers and tell him to “Sniff me”. When I did that with the no scent/scent sample tonight, he did better.

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