Video: Beginning It’s Your Choice (IYC) – Bad Dog Agility Academy

Video: Beginning It’s Your Choice (IYC)

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  • says:

    Hi Sarah,
    I worked with my puppy, Blue, on IYC and he picked it up quickly but now when I am trying to do loose leash walking or getting him to run through the tunnel, every time I present food as a reward he sits! So I am going to change the reward on the tunnel to his fave tug toy but not sure what to do about the walking on the leash. I don’t think he should be sitting all the time. Maybe I’ve screwed up the “release” part of the IYC.

    • Sarah Baker says:

      Try playing the game in a down, in a stand, on a cot, etc, so the sit is not always the position he is released from. Also, with the toy or food out, cue other behaviors sometimes then the release. Touch! Get it! Down, get it! Come, get it! Make sure to reward by releasing to the IYC object.

      • says:

        Thank you I will try those things. However, since I have been holding my hand over the food on the floor and asking for the sit (& wait for release) I now can’t figure out how to get puppy to go down. Usually I would have puppy follow my hand down to the floor but his sit behavior is preventing that. Any thoughts?

      • says:

        Hi Sarah, I had success today with the “down” so disregard my comments regarding that. I was able to get him to do it on the platform (for some reason that worked!)

        • Sarah Baker says:

          Oh great job! I was just about to respond. Sometimes just changing the picture works. We shaped Skeptic to go under our leg to teach him to down.

  • Lorraine Cook says:

    My brain is so full! I am so enjoying this course. I am having a bit of a problem with hand touches, my pup puts her nose and tongue on my hand. I make sure my hand is clean to begin with. I would appreciate some hints. Thank you.

    • Sarah Baker says:

      I am so glad you are enjoying the course! I would try holding your hand more horizontal and over your pup’s nose to make it less accessible to the tongue. Remember that you can use jackpots for no tongue, and no or low value reward for extra tongue ; ) You could also teach a chin rest on your hand first, then maybe a closed mouth hand touch would be easier to get…

  • Heather says:

    I have heard dogs have difficulty transferring learned to different places and variations on training. If one can’t train for odd events, chasing squirrels for example, why does this transfer to new events?

    • Sarah Baker says:

      Yes, most dogs have trouble generalizing behaviors. Usually, once you generalize and proof a behavior they can do it in a new location though. Just not always at first. Something as strong as changing a squirrel though, that might not generalize. I have been able to call my dogs off things that they have never seen before though…

  • kari.massoth says:

    I may have missed this – when did you start using a release word? And the hand touch is just a behavior you wanted to teach along the same lines as a sit and down?

    • Sarah Baker says:

      The hand touch is just another behavior like sit and down correct. You can use a release word as soon as you can anticipate your puppy releasing. I usually start using it right away. If need be you can even start with “release!” and give a cookie to teach that the word means they can have the cookie. You can usually say release right away when letting the dog out of a crate too because you know they will come out.

  • Collene says:

    Is IYC typically focused on food only?

    I was just wondering if ppl use the concept with toys.

    On the one hand I can see how the point of the game is impulse control, so you could use toys.

    But on the other hand, if I toss or drop a toy – especially on a agility course to help reinforce the dog’s line – I don’t really want to have trained them NOT to be interested in getting the tossed toy until they are “released”.

    Am I making this too complicated?

    • Sarah Baker says:

      This game is not at all just for food. It is a life concept I try to teach my dogs. A door opens, you automatically make the choice to wait for permission to go out. Food drops on the ground, you automatically choose to leave it alone until cued to take it, if I cue a position and toss a toy, you choose to wait until released. I want this game to create automatic impulse control in my dogs. It is really nice when you drop a bottle of pills and do not have to worry about your dogs scarfing them up! When I train this, I am NOT training leave it alone forever. I am training wait for my cue to tell you if you can have it or not. I actually WANT my dogs looking and focused on the IYC item. That is exactly what you want from toys and other targets on the field. Know it is there, be able to think and work for me and drive to it when I cue you to. This game is necessary so our dogs do not just run past all the obstacles to the toy on the ground. Does that make more sense? It is a balance between focus and control and drive and listening to cues.

      • Jill Cohn says:

        This makes perfect sense. I can see many uses for this lesson. Freck is very good at waiting when asked. I am working on him choosing to wait. One example is that we have an enclosed pen that is his safe place and it contains a crate, toys and water. We call it the ‘clubhouse’. he gets very excited when we tell him to go to the clubhouse because it always means he gets a Kong treat. On the opposite end, he gets very excited when it is time to be released from the crate . So much that he can hop up on his back paws and tough his note to my nose. Before I open the door, I have been working on the verbal clue “sit” then “wait”. He does this well, but as soon as I open the door he runs out to greet me. I would like to transition to IYC so he waits in the position until i open the door and release him . I have tried just closing the door and repeating the routine, but it isn’t very effective.

        • Sarah Baker says:

          Try lowering your criteria. He holds the sit while the door opens a tiny bit and you release him before he gets up. Whenever he tries to go through a door opening before being released, the door should shut so there is consistency. But make sure to spend some training sessions building up to being able to open the door the entire way. If he does not fully understand the behavior he may not be able to do it when he has been crated for awhile. In “real life,” if you do not think he can hold the sit while the door opens, then release him before you open it. Then spend more time training it when he is not quite so excited. Let me know how it goes!

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