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Discussion Starter #1
I signed up for Susan Garrett's free series, because I saw it mentioned here. I did the first lesson with Cleo in the IYC repertoire--open hand/closed hand, the dog learns to wait while the hand is open, etc. Cleo did very well at it. We got as far as me putting the food on the floor a few inches from her nose when she was in down position and covering it with my hand (at that point, she'd actively turn away from the temptation for a bit before coming back to attention, and i could see her struggling to not take the food when it was uncovered but she passed).

Then I went to our puppy class (a few weeks in), which is an all-positive clicker class, and I asked two of the teachers separately what they thought of IYC as a way to teach leave-it. They both said they thought it was unfair to hold out food to a dog and then take it away. (I asked two of them b/c the first response i thought might be an anomaly; they all do private training as well as teaching group classes and i thought their philosophies might differ.) One of them called it "mean." She suggested the Look at That game instead. (We have practiced that one, too.) The main teacher is very good, though, and we have learned things there.

But, i was feeling like i'd done something bad after that by trying to teach IYC, and I didn't practice it with Cleo anymore. Part of that is a time issue. I still have all the links to the rest of the series but haven't watched yet. I'm wondering if that's a mistake. Is it actually bad? Is it going to confuse her when i drop treats on the floor or otherwise feed her from my hand? is she going to be afraid to pick up the food or take it from me?

I'm also teaching "drop," by the suggestion of the class teacher, where i drop food on the floor and say "drop," and she eats the food. So, when i say drop now, she anticipates a reward. This has translated into, when i say "drop" in other situations, she drops a toy (like a tug toy) and waits for me to tell her to get it. It doesn't however work as well with things she "steals"... Is IYC going to invalidate "drop"? Or is it completely separate?

The other thing I'm doing is lots of attention games like Leslie McDevitt's ping-pong, and I've started low-key trying to teach a whiplash turn. (I really like the Control Unleashed puppy program exercises, some of which we've done in class, too.)

Am I mixing and matching too much with all these training games? And is it possible that I'm listening too devotedly to these class teachers to the point of frustration, or are they right?
 

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I use methods from many different schools of thought and I do use IYC fairly frequently. I think it is a great method of teaching impulse control. Also there will be plenty of times where you will pay with food. In all situations people control access to a dog's resources to keep things orderly.



As to following instructions from class instructors (from the perspective of a class instructor) I have a few rules that are embedded in stone: don't allow your dog to stare at another dog; always engage your dog's attention to you; no choke chains (but I do allow experienced handlers to use pinch collars); don't take your dog off leash if it won't stay with you and give consideration to my specific suggestions thoughtfully (if you don't want to listen to me that is your choice so long as you follow the other rules). Honestly most novice handlers and/or people with green dogs end up figuring out that what I am telling them to do is well worth trying. I really don't want people to do things with their dogs that they take some sort of objection to or don't understand the rationale of. I am not sure if that directly addresses your question, but I hope it helps in some small way.
 

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I'm a big Susan Garrett fan and use IYC and Crate Games as foundation skills. No, these are not "mean" in any way; your dog actually *gets* the treats, after all! They're just ways to instill impulse control and thinking skills in dogs.

I also use some of the Control Unleashed games, too, especially "Look at that Dog," which came in very handy for Sugarfoot after his attack. Right now my new puppy, Spice, is getting very good at the Mat game.

So sure, you can use various methods of training, so long as they don't directly contradict each other, lol.

You might enjoy my "100 Days of Sugarfoot" video. Sadly, I haven't been quite this dedicated in making one for Spice, but he's moving along with most of these same activities as well.

Have fun and keep on training! It sounds like you're being thoughtful and doing an awesome job!

 

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I also have been doing the free Susn Garrett series. I think its very good. IYC is different from leave it which I think she explains later, I haven't gone further than the free videos. You are not luring or teasing your dog with the treats. At first you are just holding them in your closed hand on your lap and your dog learns to choose not to grab them from you. Later your opening your hand, each time your dog backs off and sits or relaxes he is handed a treat. Same as when they are on the floor, the dog learns that its his choice to get a treat by backing off and looking to you. I rather like it and do not feel its teasing at all. You are not luring the dog to the treat, its just there so he learns to make a good choice. I can now leave trans on my desk and he doesn't jump up or nudge them with his nose to grab. He sits and waits for me to give him one. Now we are not perfect but zI see him learning. We are still working on the hot zone. He will finally go and stand on it as he knows he will get a tree and if he sits he gets a lot more. We are still working on his release, which he will do but he will also get bored if I take too long and release himself. I believe he is suppose to stay there until told. I actually like her approach, I've always been a train with leash tug but already I am seeing improvement. I think, lol I don't have the time or funds right now to take her entire corse but once we master this I will add it in to more things we do. If nothing else I am having more interaction and he is liking it very much. He now comes when I call, no distraction in backyard but once I release him and throw a ball getting him to come is more difficult. So I'm using two balls,he is starting to get the idea of dropping the one near me so that I will throw the next one. I think her training takes longer as it is done in layers as she says. I hope I can do the recoilers at another time.
ps I do put a pinch collar on Renn when we go in the street, he doesn't pull at all anymore and there are times I forget to put it on, its more for my precautionary safety at this point.
 

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I think both Quossum and Mufar explained the part of IYC that I actually like the best about it far better than I touched on at all. That is that the dog essentially controls the game. This is sort of a learn by doing vs. learn by watching kind of thing. By making its own decisions I think the dog catches onto the concept and holds onto it better than some other ways of training.


Ironically I was just talking to a friend yesterday about IYC and she was saying she didn't understand its purpose. I was sitting near her with Javelin and so I showed her how I do it and use it. It isn't about teaching sits or downs so much as it is a foundation for anything and everything you want to teach so that the dog has deep understanding and can maintain the behavior your are teaching for more than a microsecond without having to repeat the order over and over (which accomplishes nothing).
 
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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you, this is all very reassuring! To clarify, i always follow the instructors' rules and methods while in the classroom--i chose this class because I like the main instructor's methods. They are all positive and encouraging, about teaching the behavior you want to see, rather than focusing on the negative. (They also don't allow punitive collars, etc.)

I do think Cleo (and I) are ready for more work, and because the class we're taking ends soon and there won't be another until September, I did some research and found a trainer who is CPDT-KA--Catherine i think you were the one who explained the difference for me, how the KA is a rigorous designation. This trainer draws from many trainers whose work I've read, including Patricia McConnell, Jean Donaldson (whom she trained with), and (yes), Susan Garrett. She also teaches obedience skills for competition at the same center where we're taking puppy kindergarten. Her class has been ongoing for 10 years. (Not everyone decides to go into competition, but many do.) This is something I'd enjoy doing down the road. We talked on the phone, and I was very impressed. So, we're meeting next week. I will report back...
 

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Catherine, that is a very good explanation of IYC. When i was talking with the trainer i'll be meeting with next week, i asked her, did she think it was "teasing" the dog or mean in some way. She said, if the dog didn't like it, she would refuse to participate. I thought that was interesting.
 

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I've always used that method of teaching polite behavior in my dogs...to wait for something. When in the earlier stages, I never make them wait too long. (you can't anyhow or they'll break away from the wait and fail) AND I start out by giving a much higher value treat than the one (or the handful) of not such exciting treats. So they learn that if they wait (leave it) something better happens.

Nowadays when Matisse say... has a piece of beauty bark in his mouth (something that the dogs like to play around with which I don't love that they do...probably not good for them plus they'll attempt to bring a hunk into the house) I just say in a cheerful tone, drop it and he happily does. It's become habit to be a fun thing to do. Now, sometimes he still gets a treat once in a while but mostly lots of "goooooooood boy!" I use both drop it and leave it so if he already has something in his mouth, obviously it's too late to leave it so it's drop it. lol.

Imo it's only frustrating if it goes on too long and it seems they'll never get rewarded. It is important in the beginning to not push the envelope and make them wait too long so they slip up. You want to reinforce before they're apt to mess up and break away from waiting. Then they learn fast that they'll get something good if they wait a sec. And then you can work on duration and they won't mind. And you want to start applying it to various objects and things, not just treats after a while. That way you'll be able to apply it too all kinds of things, including dangerous things (leave it...the beauty bark, the slipper, or leave it the bag of moth balls) lol. I was so glad my dogs learned that lesson well because once a little bag of silica gel fell out of a package onto the floor and Matisse (my naughty child) started to go for it. A simple, "leave it" was all it took for him to stop in his tracks while I picked it up.

I think sometimes we can over think or over analyze everything. I know I have that tendency. But the thing is, (after giving this much thought) lol...I think a little frustration is par for the course in all mammals. It's not cruel or punishing. And it's not carried on for so long that it will be too stressful. They're getting a really big, fat check written for them for a tiny bit of waiting.
 

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I just thought of something. I was thinking back to when they were puppies and how I started out teaching them leave it. And I remember making it a real game...using my cheery, silly voice and making like it was a fun game. I remember Matisse especially (he's so intensely emotional...lol) and how he'd leave it, and watch me, sometimes with his tail wagging and looking bright and like he was interpreting it like a game...kind of enthusiastic about it...joining in, anticipating a good time. So, no...I would say they don't have to feel frustrated or stressed. Make everything a game when training. It doesn't have to be highly charged or excitable...sometimes that can hinder some things. But use a playful voice, sometimes exaggerated small muscle movements and don't spend too long a time on one thing. End the little mini session on a good note and well before boredom sets in and maybe do another kind of game or something your dog loves...fetch, go outside...that associates the whole thing with nothing but fun and lots of love.
 
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In all training building duration happens first. so yeah three seconds before the treat at first for IYC then 5, 7, 20... Then you add distance (as appropriate for the behavior being worked on) then distractions. Be prepared to shorten duration as you add distance then shorten distance as you add distraction. Where you can incorporate principles of IYC into teaching other things you tend to see that duration and distance are built in more easily since the dog is learning through its own decisions.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you all for the great advice and info about how you've used IYC! Now I just need to watch the rest of the Susan Garrett videos...

I met with the new trainer yesterday, and she was so helpful in just one session. Now in two days, we've been able to cut down significantly on the jumping to greet people in the house and bugging people at the dinner table. I've also got a solid recall in the house, which i did not have before. It wasn't that the class was going too slowly, but the methods i was learning in class didn't necessarily work consistently for me once i got home. Now I finally feel like I'm making more measurable progress. I will still take the classes, but we'll be on hiatus in August, so that will be a good time to work on things individually.
 
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