30-day challenge: Teach your dog five new commands (day 19)

Ace did not do so well on his commands yesterday. This is our hardest challenge so far, and I do not know if Ace will successfully learn the five commands within 30 days. Well, I don’t know if I will be able to successfully teach him the commands in 30 days.

The mutt kept getting crawl and roll over mixed up and not focusing. When Ace really wants something (ball or food) he does not always listen to what I’m saying. Instead he will just do several random tricks and assume he’ll get what he wants. What is the most frustrating is he will do a command perfectly once and then hours later he won’t do it at all. Poor Ace, he must get frustrated with me, too.

Here are some things I’ve realized this week:

1. Ace does not focus well when he’s hungry.
I’ve tried doing a short training session before I feed him, and he is so excited to eat he can’t focus on anything else. Instead I use feeding time to practice down and stay and reinforce commands he already knows. This is a bad time to introduce something new.

2. Ace does not do well if the cats are in the room.
He is worried the big orange one will try to steal the treats in my hand (he’s right).

3. Location makes a big difference.
Ace crawls on the carpet but not so well on the kitchen floor. He rolls over in the grass, but not in the bedroom where he feels crowded. It’s not that this is an excuse for him not to do them, but I am trying to look at things from his point of view in order to help him be successful while he is still learning.

This morning I practiced roll over, crawl and bang with Ace before I got his food out of the cupboard, and he did much better. Then he got to eat right afterwards. He did much better when the food was not in the same room.

Today is day 19 of my 30-day challenge to teach Ace five new commands. Click here to see my other 30-day challenge posts.

Cute black lab mix wearing a blue collar sitting on a balcony

9 thoughts on “30-day challenge: Teach your dog five new commands (day 19)”

  1. Have you tried a clicker with your training? That may help him to discern exactly which behavior you are expecting from him.

    We do much better with one on one sessions away from any distractions too.

    Saint Lovers last blog post..Tag, You’re It!

  2. Lindsay Stordahl

    Thanks Apryl!

    Saint Lover, I haven’t tried a clicker. I should. I think it would help. Have you used a clicker?

  3. Lindsay,

    I think that you may be getting even more important things out of this challenge than just new tricks. It’s great that you’re observing how Ace learns. By figuring out which things are a huge distraction, which things are the biggest motivators for him and what environment he learns best in…you have tools that you can continue to use in your training, even after this challenge is over.

    Maries last blog post..Good Tired

  4. We use a clicker – it’s great! Actually we should use it more often but sometimes it’s hard juggling treats, clicker and managing the pooch. Biggie has a hard time with “roll” too. Once a long time ago I misjudged the distance and had him roll, and his legs crashed into his metal ex-pen and made a tremendous racket. Since then, he will do roll, but he does it somewhat reluctantly.

    Biggie-Zs last blog post..NEWS!

  5. I think one technique will work well for one dog while it won’t for another. Depends on the dog I guess. My dog learned most of the basic tricks pretty fast except for the “Paw” trick. For some reason that trick took her a while to learn.

    cozmos last blog post..This can’t be good!!

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