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Discussion Starter #1
I feel kind of stupid for asking these questions because I had a pom for 12 years, but honestly he wouldn't do anything but follow me around and sleep.

I am trying to get Beau to obey commands. I can get him to sit and stay there until I tell him Good Job and give him a treat. Today I tried to get him to lay down. I don't know if I did it right or not, but I physically layed him down and then said good job and gave him a treat. I kept doing this hoping he would get the picture. Soooooooooo how do I do it? What other commands do I teach him? Any advice on how to do this would be so well come. I know I can't show him because of his white crest, but I would like to have him do things. He knows I keep treats in my purse. He goes crazy every time I pick up my purse, so I have him sit so he can get a treat. I am a softy a push over. Thanks guys!


 

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All I can say about training is it takes lots of patience and repetitions several times a day...start with just a few minutes if they are under 5 months and you can gradually increase the time after that. I don't use treats for every command or they would be very fat....words of praise and a pat on the head can also be a reward. Having them lay down is tricky at first-I hold the treat in my palm and have them stretch to get it from a sitting position-you might have to gently push their shoulders if they don't get it at first. Then Praise and Treat...do the commands several times each day. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That sounds good. I have been giving him treats for everything. I guess I need to cut back some.

 

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When you start something new, give him a 'special' treat, something that's yummier than what he normally gets for things he already knows but you're just touching up on it.

A good way to get them to lay down is to have them sit, then take the treat to the floor in front of them while saying down, this normally gets them to lay down naturally as they want to get to the treat.
 

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I hope I word this correctly but when you have him in the sit position take a treat and put it in front of his face and then straight down to the floor while you say down. They will follow the treat to the floor and will usually just bring there body down in a down position. Occassionally we would have to help guide the body down while we do the down command. Usually they pick it up quickly though. Thats how we teach the command down.

Of course if you have a jumper, make sure you dont use the word "down" to tell them to get off you or not to jump. Otherwise it confuses them. Instead "off" is a good term to teach not to jump. I just thought Id mention that because I hear people use down for jumping and then expect there dog to realize the difference between the commands. lol
 

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I think the larger dogs lay down more naturally for the treat. With a mini or toy, it may takes some hands-on at first.
 

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But you can show him.... in obedience, agility, rally, tracking etc.

I really like the book Competitive Obedience: A Balancing Act. I think it is great for teaching good manners and basic commands even if you never want to go into the ring.

Other commands to teach:

Watch/Ready When you give this command the dog should stare intently up at you. It refocuses the dog on you which is always useful and important. The dog needs to stare at your face, so some people "spit" food at the dog so that the dog gets used to looking at a person's mouth. You don't have to spit, but it helps to take the treat out of your mouth.

Heel and Auto Sit When in heel position on the handler's left side, the dog sits with its ear lined up with the handler's thigh. Hold your left hand at your belly button. When the handler moves forward starting on the left foot the dog should keep itself in-line with the handler's thigh, keeping pace with the handler. Lure the dog along with treats from your left hand. When the handler stops, the dog should automatically sit. Practicing along a hallway wall or a kitchen counter will keep the dog straight when it sits. (I knew galley kitchens were good for something). When you stop, guide the dog back and into a sit with a treat. After he gets it, only treat when he sits quickly. Practice heeling so that your dog keeps his ear in-line with your thigh when you walk quickly or slowly or around obstacles.

That should be enough for now, but it gets way more exciting very quickly. My Utility poodle can pick out a dumbbell from a pile of identical dumbbells just by scent and when given the option of three different gloves, she will retrieve the one I point to. Pretty cool....

You should give competitive obedience a try!
 

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I really like the book Competitive Obedience: A Balancing Act. I think it is great for teaching good manners and basic commands even if you never want to go into the ring.
cbrand, where might one find this book? more info please, it sounds good! i couldn't find it on amazon...
 

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Lots of brilliant ideas for the puppy here.

Tricks are also fun, hiding stuff for the pup to find, high fives, roll over, shake a paw, wave, play dead. Poodles love to please, I start with lots of treats then gradually less, a clicker is a very good way for poodles, it gets their attention quickly and eventually the click becomes the reward.

This all builds a brilliant relationship with your dog and impresses visitors!!
 

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When I want the dogs to pay attention to a certain activity or obstacle, I say "look". I use the watch command as "watch me", drawing their attention to my face when I'm trying to distract them from an unwanted activity. With my left hand I use the command "twist" and bring the dog towards me in a little circle. I use my right hand and "circle" to send them in the opposite direction round the tight circle. I use "both" with the treat well above their heads to get them onto their back legs. The same command done from a sitting position should get you a beg. Once you get the down, if you use a clicker just before they bring their behind down, then you have a bow. We tend to use bend for this activity as down and bow have a lot of the same sounds. My dance teacher showed us how to make a spreadsheet of each of the commands we use and then to lay out how often we practice them. Then you always use the correct command and can see when you have not practiced something for a while.

You have to work what works for you and your dog. I tried the circles using only one hand and found that Inca in particular got confused.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hey what useful information. I will look for this book. I googled a site that had commands and such. they are simple ones. I am going to try some of them too. I would like him to do the walk as you instructed. Debby

 

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Have you considered clicker training? It makes training pretty simple, and can be used for a wide variety of commands and tricks. Our PWD is clicker trained and in recent weeks I have taught her to shake a paw (then the other one) and to spin in a circle, both within about 15 minutes each. I also taught a 12 week old PWD puppy to down in about 15 minutes a few weeks ago using a similar approach (I used the word "YES" to replace the clicker).

Here's an example of a clicker: http://www.amazon.com/StarMark-TCQC...1?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1251823740&sr=8-1

And here's some info: http://www.clickertraining.com/what_is_clicker_training
 

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To follow up on my post above, it sounds like Beau is very food motivated. Great, take advantage of that! I would get a bag of treats and first get him doing something he already knows how to do (like sit.) If you have a clicker and have charged it, click the sit then reward with the treat. If no clicker, use a vocal marker like "Yes" then treat.

After a few sits, I would move on. Down is a naturally occuring behaviour in dogs so is pretty easy to teach. Stand with the treat in your hand and just watch Beau. He will probably sit first, but don't vocally mark or reward that, as now you want the down. He will most likely start offering a number of behaviours to get the treat from you. He might sit, bark, spin in a circle whatever. If he downs or even starts to move towards a down but doesn't get there, click or vocally mark then give a treat. Wait again for him to offer a down/ almost down and again click/ vocally mark then treat. At this point you're not giving any sort of command, you just say "yes" or click when he offers the behaviour you want. It takes some patience to do this, but you're getting him to think for himself (rather than guide him into the down) so he will most likely get what you are asking for more quickly. Once he "gets" the down (he downs every time) you can start to use whatever word is your choice. It may take a few sessions before you get to this point (I would keep each session to 10 to 15 minutes and stop if he shows any signs of boredom). He will eventually connect the word with the action. Then it's a case of solidifying the action with the word over and over.

If he does everything but down while you are waiting for him to offer up the action, you can bait him into the position. Get him into the sit position then hold a treat right in front of his nose. Slide it forward slowly so that he follows it into the down. As soon as he gets into the down position, click/ vocal marker and treat. Try again. This method can take longer to train than when they naturally offer the action, but will also eventually work.

Finally (long post!) two examples! I trained the PWD pup through him naturally offering the down behaviour. He offered it within about 2 minutes, and after 15 to 20 minutes was able to down pretty consistently. For the spin motion of my older PWD, I found she wasn't naturally offering it. So I led her in a circle with a treat, clicked then gave her the treat. She had it solidly within two separate 10 minute training sessions. So both natural offering and baiting can work quickly!
 

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One last thing, if you are worried about feeding too many treats, you can use kibble as a treat and just reduce the food you feed during meal times. Or use something else that's kibble sized and again reduce their meal portions.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
What terrific advice. I am using a clicker. I started petsmart class 2 weeks ago, but we have only had one class. We were give the clicker then. I have gotten him to sit and fetch. Now if I can get this down that would be great. I will try your suggestions. Debby
 
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