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Discussion Starter #1
3 key commands to have cold:
Look at me(watch me); Leave it (without leash), and "say hi"--having the dog nose your hand. we were working on first two already but the third was new to me. we also got some good tactics to use to work on it for all three commands. Let me know if this is interesting and I'll share them because they were a bit counter intuitive to me.

Also:

1. Fozzie mouths a bit when excited, we need to keep working with him by playing rough and then teaching that mouthing is not ok, ideally by working with friends at our house and the dog park, because dogs don't generalize from one person to the next.

2. Fozzie is very light on his feet (see my other post about him walking on his hind legs all the time) but still needs to be taught never to jump up without a command. Elderly people have very thin skin that can be easily scratched by a dog's nails. If they are diabetic it can take years to heal.

3. Fozzie does tricks (though not all therapy dogs need to, it's just part of his poodle schtick), and the most commonly requested are "shake" and roll over. We have the first (along with shake-other paw, high five, and high 10, and dance). So we'll also start working on roll over.

Whew, lots of homework to do but looking forward to it!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
thanks so much for the warm response.

Training for "leave it": the method the trainer suggested was to have a handful of treats (caution: need to use low cal treats on this one) and feed them one at at time to the dog saying "take it", "take it", then hold the treat and say "leave it". Dog will try to take treat but you close your hand and say "too bad" or something like that. Eventually dog settles down and waits, then you give the treat. Fozzie had learned "leave it" this way in about 3 tries. (god I love poodles!). Next, is to work on him obeying the command up to about 10 feet away (using a friend to protect the treat and say "too bad" if he goes for it). When I taught FozziesDad how to do the training, it was not intuitive for him to reward on "leave it", he wanted to say "take it" after Fozzie left it, THEN reward, this is not correct, of course, as you'd then be rewarding the take, and not the leave.

Training for "look at me": easy for a food motivated dog, just hold the treat at your eyes and say the command, work up to longer times.

Training for "say hi": hold hand fingers down (as if you were a person in a wheelchair reaching for the dog) then as soon as the dog pokes you with hsi snout in your hand (fairly natural behavior), give treat. then have to work with family, friends, strangers. the trainer suggested not using the verbal reinforcement on this one until the behavior (snout poking hand) is nailed.

I'm out of town next two days but will answer any other questions upon return!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi Purley, basically, it's about consistency and nothing but consistency. He can never be allowed to jump on anyone. With us we always turn our backs on him and ignore him when he's jumping. When he puts his paws on our lap without being called we push him off and say no.

This one seems to be possible to train only with negative, but I'd love to hear if anyone else trained it another way. Thinking it through just now, I think you could also teach him a command like "down" and food reward when he gets down.

The hardest part is not our family. Poodles do not generalize, so they can't take what the learn and home and not jump on strangers. Too many strangers say "oh it's ok" (at least they are nice, but it doesn't help with consistency) and too many others tell me I'm being too strict with my dog when I tell him "no" or "down".
 
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