Project 'Eye contact' on tiny whistle signal
We started off in the bathroom bringing:
And a toy
The hard thing when doing this so late into the training of these dogs is that they will probably misunderstand it and think of it as either a short sit signal, a stop signal, a heel signal or a No signal. If you do it with a young puppy you will have a 'pre signal' which it is supposed to. A signal that says, look at me and then you give the command. I would like to be able to, with out stopping the dog, feed it with more information. Like if it's going out and I want it just a little bit more to the left or right. Or when searching, add a bush or space to what it's working with. I just want eye contact and nothing more.
But it is not easy when the dog is 4 years old to add a signal all of a sudden.
So if I start with how I did with Hagel and go on.
First I just sat silent and waited for her to take eye contact, then I blew a tiny whistle signal, clicked her and rewarded. The risk there is that she will start to think of it as a clicker, and a clicker makes your dog look at the hand with treats. That's the whole point with a clicker, to be a reward signal.
As soon as she looked away, I made the whistle sound, and as soon as she made eye contact I clicked and rewarded. She soon started to keep eye contact all the time.
So I threw a treat on the floor and when she was about to take it, I covered it with my foot. Waited for eye contact, click and reward. And now she thought it was a NO...
So I played with a toy and every now and then blew the short whistle signal, waited for eye contact and rewarded that. Now she thought it was a retrieve signal...
So we went outdoors and when ever I whistled this short signal and she took eye contact, I rewarded her, and now she began to walk up on my right side and thought it was a signal for heel.
So I definitely should have begun with this signal before I began anything else... Well the next time I will get it right, I will try at least 🙈🙈🙈
Yes I am working with all the dogs Ebba thinks of it as a sit signal. Iza thinks of it as The new morse code alphabet. To Becca it's definitely a signal for "go for it" or at least she still has hope for such a signal 🤣🤣🤣
Well all of us write here, both humans and dogs ;) At least that was the plan but it seems it´s mostly me Robyn who´s attached to the keyboard...