|Barked: Wed Aug 21, '13 7:07am PST |
|I want to stress that I am not a trainer, but this is how I would break down the task if I were going to train it to my dog.
This process will take commitment, and will require some assistance from your friend's mother for the second part. This process assumes that the mother is able to stand comfortably and will do so when asked.
First, train the dog to bark on cue.
To do this, I would capture the behavior with a marker and treat. (I use a clicker as the marker, or the word "yes!") Whichever you choose, be consistent. This might take a while, depending on how barky the dog is. As soon as the dog understands that barking gets it a treat, attach a command word to the bark, and only reward when the bark is requested.
Make this solid before proceeding to part two, phasing out the treats and moving to praise as the reward.
Second, train the dog to bark when the mother stands.
Ask the mother to stand. After she is standing, give the bark command. Reward. From this point onward, the dog is commanded to bark ONLY when the mother stands.
Repeat this for as many minutes as possible up to 5 minutes. Try to do this three times a day, but I understand that you have to be realistic. Do this for a week or so.
Next time you train, do the stand --> command --> bark exercise a few times. Then have the mother stand and wait a few seconds to give the bark command. See if the dog offers the bark without the command.
If it does offer the bark without the command, Jackpot! Shower the dog with treats and praise. Have the mother stand again and wait a few seconds to give the command. If the dog barks, jackpot again. If not, give the command, reward and go back to the stand/bark command exercise for a few more iterations.
From this point on, mark and reward barking when the mother stands. When this is solid, begin to phase out the treats by skipping a reward, then skipping two, etc. Make it gradual so that the dog is not frustrated.
If it does not bark without the command, give the command, reward and continue with the stand --> command--> bark exercises a few more iterations.
Every so often, wait a few seconds after the mother stands to give the command to bark. Eventually, the dog should offer the bark without the command and you can jackpot and build on this.
This is how I would go about teaching this task. If others have suggestions, I hope they will post them, because I am always ready to learn more about training.
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