Pet Training

Discussion in 'General Chatter' started by idiomie, Jan 12, 2018.

  1. idiomie

    idiomie I, A Shark Apologist

    So! I really like animal training - I think it's fun, and I think it's really enriching for animals, if done right.

    I have a betta fish, and I trained him to follow my finger, swim through hoops, and swim into his little carrying tub (for when I need to travel and can't keep the tank put together). Previously, my method was "provide a treat when desired behavior occurs" but that can be a little tricky with regards to timing, so now I have a clicker! It's basically the same principle.

    Unfortunately, I left my fish with my sister for almost a month, and she didn't play with him at all, so he's been a little skittish lately. But he still knows how to follow my finger!

    Anyway, I didn't see a thread to discuss this, but I thought it would be cool to talk about pets, things we are/want to train them to do, and what methods we're using!
    • Like x 4
  2. Jojo

    Jojo Writin and fightin

    Oh nice! I've heard of people training their fish before but its still so neat to hear about (you should post a pic of him!! I love bettas!)

    I have a german shepherd that I trained to pick things up for me! Its a really handy trick for picking up shoes/socks, or for if I have my hands full and drop something. I can say "Pick it up" if I've just dropped it, or say that and point at what i want if theres more than one thing on the floor.

    I originally started teaching him because i always drop my keys when I'm trying to unlock the door at night and usually have an armload of stuff in my hands, which makes bending down to get the keys awkward and unpleasant, but even with a big soft keychain tied to it, the only thing he won't pick up is my DANG KEYS! He just grabs them and flings them like 10 feet away. No Reaper thats the opposite of what I want.

    I also taught him the normal sit-down-stay routine, plus 'wait' and 'stay out', and (probaby my favorite) trained him to jump onto surfaces on command, such as picnic tables or chairs or vehichles.

    Ive been working on his 'stay' recently, and we're almost to the point that I can put him in a down-stay and step across him, walk away, come back, and circle him. He's got the first part fine, but I think he gets too excited when I walk back toward him, because that's usually when he breaks the command (about 50% of the time). His leash manners are pretty abysmal too, because where I live theres enough space that he just runs loose and doesnt have to be walked, so thats another thing I'm trying to tackle. But we're getting there!

    I do a combo of clicker training and regular old praise and positive reinforcement. The clicker is really good for introducing new tasks and tricks, but for stuff thats harder to 'mark' (like good leash manners) I just praise him as we go and feed him treats the whole time he's doing something right.
    • Like x 4
  3. idiomie

    idiomie I, A Shark Apologist

    Nice! Yeah, leash training can be really difficult.

    I really love training my fish, because (when he was socialized), if he noticed people around his tank, he would start lightly headbutting the glass to get attention, and then swim around in circles. It was really fun to watch and it looked like he really enjoyed the interaction and attention. The big thing I want to train in him again is swimming into his carrying cup, because I live in a college dorm, which means I have to move him every couple of months, and it's just a lot easier if he'll swim into it instead of me having to catch him (which I feel like is more stressful for him as well).
    • Agree x 1
  4. idiomie

    idiomie I, A Shark Apologist

    I have a puppy now! Technically she's my grandmother's, but grandma refuses to train her, so I am!

    She is a very smart and friendly puppy. She knows how to sit! And has been learning not to bark when in the house!

    She is still not housebroken, tho, which is apparently difficult to do for the breed. (She's havanese.)
    • Like x 2
  5. idiomie

    idiomie I, A Shark Apologist

    necroing my thread!

    so, cats

    we feed our cats wet food on a fairly set schedule, twice a day

    morrighan, especially, is incredibly food motivated and both cats will be... not aggressive as in violent, but incredibly pushy about trying to get to the food while we're preparing. this is really stressful because they can't walk right, esp on linoleum, are very underfoot, and i've stepped on them a few times by accident!

    so about twoish/three weeks ago, i started teaching them the wait command

    wait command is the word wait + holding out the pointer finger in the stop/wait gesture

    when i give them the wait command, they're supposed to stop at the edge of the carpet/linoleum and lay down

    it took me a little over a week to train them on that separately reliably, and i've been doing them together. now that they're together they're a little less reliable, because they like feed off on each other not listening and keep going. which is normal, it's fine

    anyway, today we were late with the cat food, and the cats were in the kitchen. i went into the kitchen and started serving out their wet food and morrighan, who was in the kitchen and is as food motivated as a dog, walked out and laid down on the carpet. kisara followed her after a moment

    i did have to wait command her once, when she got up and tried to inch into the kitchen, and when i went to put the bowls down she scrambled, but that's a separate wait we're still training them on anyway

    she walked!!! out of the kitchen!! she knew it was wait time!!!
    • Winner x 5
  6. seebs' mom

    seebs' mom Yes, really!

    Cats are also quite good at training humans.
    • Agree x 2
  7. jacktrash

    jacktrash spherical sockbox

    seebs has been trying to train devy cat that food doesn’t happen until the squeaking stops, and she seems to learn it sometimes, but then she remembers how much she loves to make piccolo noises with her face, and they’re back to square one.

    i think the whole business is adorable, including seebs’s complaining, so i just kinda sit back and enjoy it.
    • Like x 3
  8. Lizardlicks

    Lizardlicks Friendly Neighborhood Lizard

    Bonnie has Speak pretty good which is the first part of then training Quiet, which we're working on (haven't been working very much or very hard which is why it only works some of the time but she's so damn smart that any time I set to really teach her something she picks it up right away). I'm wondering if I can get her differentiate and make specific sounds. Like Speak is bark and some thing else for growl. I think maybe "Disagree." Mostly because it'd be funny, and at least somewhat for the novelty and challenge of figuring out how, but also it would be a good redirect for unwanted behavior (don't growl at people and dogs walking down the sidewalk. Do growl when I says so) and lastly it may at some point be useful to have a dog that can growl threateningly on command.
    • Agree x 1
    • Winner x 1
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