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Steven_L
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PostSubject: Doggy Zen   Wed Oct 07, 2009 7:03 pm

Doggy Zen Steps 1-10

Dog who have learned self-control are less likely to be reactive. Unfortunately the usual obedience classes don’t teach life skills like self-control so we have to do it.

The added benefit of doggy Zen is that the dog won’t try to take candy from babies!

General rules:

Always be calm.
Other than when instructed, keep your (very verbal species) mouth closed We always want to talk to “help” our dogs get it right. Self-control is best learned by the dog learning to make the right decision without interference. That’s what the clicker or marker word does, it “marks” the right behavior.
Always end on a positive.

To avoid excess typing, when “mark” is used, it means click or say your marker word.


Doggy Zen Step 1

Put a treat in your hand and close your fist.
Put your fist right in front of your dog's nose, I like to be sitting and rest my forearm on my leg.
Let the dog sniff, nibble and mouth at your hand. If the dog is mouthing hard, put a glove on. Fireplace/barbeque gloves or heavy winter ski gloves are thick enough to protect your hand.
Be patient. Dogs who have not ever learned self-control take a while to figure this out.
The instant the dog moves the head away from your fist, mark, open your fist, drop the treat on the floor and cue the dog to “go get it”.
When the dog does not mug your fist three times in a row in a cold trial, move on to the next step. Note: a cold trial is the first “trial” in a session.

If children are wandering around with food in their fists, your dog won't try to take the food from the child!

Doggy Zen Step 2

Hold a treat in your open palm right in front of the dog's face.
If the dog tries to grab it, close your fist. Do not pull your hand away from the dog.
When the dog backs off, open your fist.
The instant the dog backs away from your open palm, mark, drop the treat on the floor and cue the dog to “go get it”.
When the dog does not attempt to snatch the treat three times in a row in a cold trial, move on to the next step.

Doggy Zen Step 3

>From now on, all treats are fed from your hand, you do not drop anything on the ground.

Put a treat on the ground and cover it with your hand.
The instant the dog stops trying to get the treat out from under your hand, mark, pick up the treat and hand feed it to the dog.
When the dog does not attempt to mug your hand three times in a row in a cold trial, move on to the next step.

Doggy Zen Step 4

Put a treat on the ground with your hand right next to it. If the dog tries to grab it, cover it with your hand. When the dog backs off, uncover the treat.
The instant the dog pulls his head away from the uncovered treat, mark, pick up the treat and hand feed it to the dog.

Doggy Zen Step 5

This is the same as step 4, except wait until the dog looks at your face before you mark and hand feed the treat.
If you feel like you are waiting forever, you can make little noises (do not say the dog’s name), the first one or two times.

Doggy Zen Step 6

Hold a treat in both hands.
As you are feeding the dog with one hand, drop the other treat on the ground.
As this is difficult for everyone except the most coordinated people in the world who use a clicker, unless you have a second person to click, use a marker word.
If the dog grabs the treat off the ground, do not feed the treat in your hand, just do it again.

Doggy Zen Step 7

Drop the treat first, then feed from your hand, then pick up the treat and feed the dropped treat.
Increase the duration of the “stay”, but don’t cue the dog to stay to a count of 5.

Doggy Zen Step 8

This is the same as step 7, except wait for the dog to look at your face before you hand feed the treat, then pick up the other treat.
And it’s time to name it. “Leave it” is the most common name used, “mine”, “not yours” are also common names. It doesn’t matter what you name it as long as it is something you will say consistently, so make it something familiar and easy for yourself.

Doggy Zen Step 9

Put a wad of treats in one hand.
Drop a treat and then back away from the dog, saying “Leave it!” (or whatever you have named it), “Come!” in your happy voice.
If the dog comes with you, feed the wad of treats, then pick up the dropped treat and hand feed that.

Doggy Zen Step 10

Put some low value treats (kibble is often a low value treat) in a bowl on the ground.
Walk the dog past the bowl, staying out of leash range of the bowl. If the dog tries to get to the bowl, be a tree (stand still, no talking).
The instant the dog looks at you, mark and treat with a high value treat (steak, chicken, cheese, hot dogs, etc).
Repeat, repeat, repeat until the instant the dog sees the bowl, the dog looks at you.

-Virginia Wind

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PostSubject: Re: Doggy Zen   Wed Oct 21, 2009 7:26 pm

I didnt have time to go all the way thru this yet but so fat both Patchs & Neka are at Zen 6 without a clicker! I'll be testing the upper levels in the next few days and report.
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PostSubject: Re: Doggy Zen   Thu Oct 22, 2009 2:53 am

Yeah let us know how things go! These exercises are excellent ways to build up what is called "frustration tolerance" which is a major problem with dogs that are used to get things at the instance they ask for them. Increasing frustration tolerance can help with problems such as barking, nipping, growling, etc.

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PostSubject: Re: Doggy Zen   Sat Nov 14, 2009 10:32 pm

OK, Neka is good to Level 9 ... but when i say come, she takes the treat off of the floor before she comes to me!!! :tongue:

Patchs is at level 8 ... she will "leave it" but has a very short attention span. After a minute or so she wants to take it. She will lay next to it, and after about my 4th "leave it" she cant help herself!!! bounce

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Full of Life ... and Herself - Visit Patchs' Website
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PostSubject: Re: Doggy Zen   Mon Nov 16, 2009 4:51 pm

Well thats great, a little progress is still progress! Soon you'll have #10 down. I think that our little dachshund should have this training, she doesn't have very much frustration tolerance. Junior is better but I'd have to see how far he goes Smile

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