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Teaching tricks: closing a cabinet?

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

  
Ra

Veteran Watchdog
 
 
Barked: Sat Oct 6, '12 10:43pm PST 
Hi there! I'm currently attempting to train Kitty on closing a cabinet, but she's not very willing to touch the cabinet door.

I'm holding the treat above the open cabinet to entice her to stand and accidentally touch the door with her feet, which I would immediately reward. So far, she "accidentally" touched the door twice, which I immediately said "PUSH" and rewarded, but she didn't understand with just the two times. Overall now, she's very unwilling to touch the door with her paws or any part of her body.

I then tried another method: lifting her paw and touching the cabinet with it, then rewarding. But she's a dog that becomes very anxious when someone force-moves her, so it was clear that wouldn't work.

Any tips? smile

Edited by author Sat Oct 6, '12 10:44pm PST

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Tiaki CGC- SD

I am a Pringles- pilfering pup!!
 
 
Barked: Sat Oct 6, '12 11:06pm PST 
I think kikopup on YouTube has a video on this. Have you taught your dog to target? Teach her to target a sticky pad, either with her apaw or nose. Rubbing a stinky treat on the paper helps get the dog interested in it. Start by just targeting the paper, moving it around & asking to.target in different areas, but not near the door yet. Click or praise & treat when she touches it. Eventually you'll move it close to the door, then put it on the door. The noise might scare her, so you may want to cushion the door so it doesn't slam. With Tia, Iii I taught her touch, then had her touch a bunch of different stuff. Then I had her touch the wall( getting her started on turning on/off lights). Then I had her touch the door, but replaced " touch " with "open or close door". She's gotten really good at it & will even do it before I ask lol. She mostly works for the thrill of it or verbal praise, but she'll still get treats. The biggest thing for Tia was to keep it really fun.
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Ra

Veteran Watchdog
 
 
Barked: Sun Oct 7, '12 12:52am PST 
Thanks for the reply! Do you know how I can teach the touch command using her paws instead of her nose? Kitty is quite a small dog, and I don't think using her nose for closing cabinets (and possibly heavier things in the future) would be very reasonable lol.. wink
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Tiaki CGC- SD

I am a Pringles- pilfering pup!!
 
 
Barked: Sun Oct 7, '12 8:32am PST 
With both Sita & Tia, I held a treat, or a toy they wanted badly in my hand & wouldn't give it to them until they used their paw to try & get it. With the treat, I closed it in my hand. There was a lot of sniffing, a ton of slobbering, a few nips, but eventually they used a paw. Both my dogs use their paws a lot! Tia has a wicked right hook when play wrestling BOL. With a toy, I used something long at first, a stick or a long bone. When they tried take it with their mouth I said "uh uh", then they'd try something else. As soon as they pawed it, I'd give it to them. When they were getting consistent, I added the "touch" cue. It's now their first go to to get something they want from me.
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Wiley

Where's that- rabbit?
 
 
Barked: Sun Oct 7, '12 8:46am PST 
Tiaki described basically the same way I taught Wiley. For his trick of opening/closing the fridge & getting you a can of pop, I also used a *take cue.
I secure a tug or a tea towel to the fridge handle & have hime *take it. Eventually I only marked when he also pulled the door open. I then added the *open the fridge cue.
A *high 5 or a *wave can also be used as a base to encourage a paw *touch. I add the hand signal for *hi-5 to the verbal *touch & Wiley will touch with his paw. Squ'mey is not as reliable...he loves jamming his big nose on the target.laugh out loud
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Ra

Veteran Watchdog
 
 
Barked: Mon Oct 8, '12 11:08pm PST 
Thanks for the tips. I just got back to school, so Kitty is left behind- but will try these out once I get back home this weekend. big grin It really takes her awhile to be willing to perform new things.

Wow Wiley, that's a great trick... has he ever swiped food from the fridge? laugh out loud

Edited by author Mon Oct 8, '12 11:09pm PST

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Wiley

Where's that- rabbit?
 
 
Barked: Tue Oct 9, '12 6:46pm PST 
Kitryawave Thankfully he has not helped himself to any food...yet.laugh out loud I use the towel/tug so he knows that is the door he can open, so if there is no towel on the fridge door he won't open it. The last time we refreshed this I was feeding raw..so he did have quite an interest in the meat in the fridge.
Right now we are working on pushing the button at crosswalks. I want him to use his paw, but right now I'm rewarding any touch of the button. We had one jackpot where he actually did make the light change..but he didn't repeat it once we crossed to the other side. But that's OK..practice, practice, practice.
On a funny-sad note..a woman asked me why my service dog was not in a vest & chastised me for him being "not trained good yet, huh?" I smiled and told her he is not a service dog, just a smarty-pants learning new things. naughty
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Alva BH

I ordered the- best dog for me- & got her
 
 
Barked: Wed Oct 10, '12 11:41am PST 
Our dogs offer scratching pretty easily. I preferred nose touch with Alva (collie) because I don't want to destroy the furniture. So I faded scratching when it occurred and rewarded for nose. Pipsa (mutt) uses her paws because she doesn't know target and my training was just a try. I attracted Pipsa to touch the door by tapping it gently and rewarding her fot interest.

Video: http://youtu.be/FL5D3Qg6Teg (Pipsa has picked up the idea and Alva's reinforcing the commands.)

Training:
a) I attached a piece of tape on a piece of wood. So that it's distinct. Then I found some treats and my clicker (or used my reward-word).
b) I had the piece in my hand so Alva could see it. Dogs are curious and they've learned that I can have interesting stuff in my hands. So Alva sniffed the tape. Click and reward. Repeated some times.
c) Alva had seen targets earlier so she learned to touch the tape quite quickly. I started attaching the tape onto different surfaces and let Alva touch it. Finally I put it on a cabinet door (closed).
d) I removed the tape. It can also be removed piece by piece. Anyway, I clicked and rewarded for interest towards the door.
e) Then the door was little ajar. I reward for touch again. Alva probably did already push the door so it closed. Exactly what I wanted. But if she didn't I just didn't reward for a touch anymore. The dog will frustrate a bit and touches harder - reward for this.
f) I open the door wider. I also taught Alva to target on that side where the handle is. With drawers her target was the handles. I also taught her that the slam of the cabinet door means reward. So she would push the door until it is closed.
g) I repeated the same procedure with the drawers. Or I started with them and continued with the doors.
h) I taught Alva to close whatever left open without command or sign when there is no one using that open thing.

(BTW Alva cando the cross-road light thing too. Here is a video: http://youtu.be/UrCk1Qc1Xxg she is in training there. The trick is difficult for her when she usually targets to the side of the box and it's pretty high in many places here. And I taught her that beep = reward.)

Edited by author Wed Oct 10, '12 11:50am PST

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