Teaching a Back Up
I need help.

I can't seem to get anywhere with teaching Ember to Back Up. I'm looking for suggestions.

What I have tried and the results:

1) Stepping into her to force a step back
Space sensitive so this freaks her out a bit. She also plants her self solid (I would have though she'd flee instead, but nope, she just freezes with this "please don't" face).

2) Putting a treat between my legs so she has to reach in then back peddle to get out
Same issue as above. She won't put her face into tight spaces like that very willingly, and if she does it a few times, she will not continue to repeat the process

Both of the above were tried within the past year but not recently (well, #1 in the past few months with same result, though #2 may have a different result now).

3) Rear feet on a very obvious target, treat between paws, click on slight sway backwards caused by dog looking up for another treat. Slowly bring treat out so that they are reaching then stepping back to be on target once again.
Ember doesn't seem to understand the target part of this. I have been harping on rapid feeding for having back feet on mat but after several sessions she will still step forward and never take a step back (just rapid fire treating, not even getting the treat to the floor yet for the backup).

That being said, this one still has the most potential. I just don't know why she can't understand that it's her back feet on the mat that is paying.

So... ideas? This is a journey I am going to document, so I will get and post videos of things we try.
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Gotcha Day: November 14, 2015
Vet-Listed Birthday: May 2, 2014
Hmm, this little girl does need creative thinking when planning methods, doesn't she ?
I have always used similar method to number one but I can see why this is not the best for Miss Ember so my mind goes to modifying that. With your height any bending forward might exacerbate her spacial sensitivity because you might appear to be above her as well as in front of her.
I have physical limitations I have created what I call a training stool. It's just a small office chair I got from a thrift shop. It is on rollers and I have removed the back and arms. The hydraulic lift is lowered as far as possible. This allows me to be mobile, pulling and pushing myself along with my legs. It's not pretty but I get the job done. If you could devise something like this, you would be sitting upright and intruding less on her space while still being highly mobile.

I hold a high value treat in both closed fists and reach out to both sides of the dog while moving forward. As soon as even one foot moves back I reward and then work on building the backward movement. You can release the treat to the floor and immediately push yourself away from her which in the case of a space sensitive dog offers a second reward. A gently, gently approach so that you don't push her too close to her tolerances

My dogs are not overly space sensitive but they nevertheless do seem to be more comfortable the closer I am to their level. I probably wouldn't use the target idea because maybe it overcomplicates things i.e.: she has to learn one concept before she can learn the behaviour you are after.

That's the best I can come up with but then I did just wake up LOL
Don't step in.
I may have a video somewhere, if I do I will post it to you.
Get a mat or a bath mat. Have your dogs back feet on it. Lure her if need be by getting her to walk over it, and stop when the back feet are on it. Stand in front of Ember put a trea down in front of her she will bend down so to speak to get it when she lifts her head back up with you standing in front of her she will naturally step back click and treat. Very and I mean very gradually step a little further back.
Ha I found something
So you will be a lot closer initially, even starting where Embers feet do not even come off the target to get the treat.  Probably wouldn't start backed into a wall she may feel a little trapped and you will find it more difficult to lure her on it, you want the dog straight

Yes okay that is what I have been trying to do with a rear target ( I have a HUGE bath runner mat folded over about 3 times to make a very thick target platform with the grippy side out). I will keep working on this. We have been stuck in "back feet on" for several weeks (on and off training, of course), and she will still step forward in eagerness (even though I am close) and then sit instead of repositioning herself on the mat. I will keep at it and see if she can make the connection somehow. I hear this is the slowest process.

Trifan, she's so "special" LOL! I love that she makes me think and hate that I'm not creative enough (yet) to work around her. I tried a few variations of what you suggested. Was able to get something of a response.

Here is a 5:45 video of today's sessions compiled (ignore the text editing, apparently it didn't all take). Tried it both of your ways, sort of. Throughout the day of course. You can see a few of the issues I'm getting. 1) Downs whenever possible (had to bring myself a little higher). 2) Back feet refusing to move any direction but forward (this is very evident if you look for it in every session - I did get 1 back step with 1 paw and when I tried to reward it she wasn't paying attention). 3) Tuck sits off the mat when not given immediate food.

Oh and a few fails and proof that this is a very "special" dog with a somewhat "special" trainer in tow Tongue

[Image: e5Qmm5.png]

Gotcha Day: November 14, 2015
Vet-Listed Birthday: May 2, 2014
Draco was not trained to know a rear foot target, so I didn't get hung up on it. But I started where I stayed so close as soon as he stepped back he had both feet on. Initially they didn't even come off, then just one came off for him to reach forward enough for the treat.
Watch the timing. I place a treat on the ground in front of him he takes it I am still low myself because he come to get as I am still placing it. This positioning is crucial because he will naturally step back slightly as he picks the treat up, I click. I treat for the click by placing in front of him, he will be moving in as I place it because it is his treat for the click. Do not rush trying to add ANY distance.
How is this? I think something clicked in both of our brains. She was the most deliberate I've seen her with those back feet on the mat, and I remembered to get closer about halfway through - and bam, backwards sway! Sweet! I think it helped to think of the treat on the floor as the reward. I have to remember that it is now okay to get in her space, carefully and thoughtfully of course. You can see that she keeps a very constant distance from me but allows me to move in - when I stepped forward while she was out getting a treat, she didn't return all the way. But this is something I think I can work with!

[Image: e5Qmm5.png]

Gotcha Day: November 14, 2015
Vet-Listed Birthday: May 2, 2014
Decide what you are working on
Back foot target or back up.
When you are working on back up, you are "marking" a backwards movement at the moment you are marking her dropping her head, Lol. By the way if I am having trouble I always video and see where I am going wrong. Lol
As soon as I have time I will try and video Flyn who has never done this. He also has no history of shaping, Should be interesting, lol
Slightly more progress.

[Image: e5Qmm5.png]

Gotcha Day: November 14, 2015
Vet-Listed Birthday: May 2, 2014
I wish I was more adventurous in respect to making a video for utube LOL. I have a go-pro but really only use it for my own viewing in respect to tracking. It makes it so much easier to explain things and also see achievements but I just don't think I can bring myself to publicly publishing, yep serious introvert.

I have never taught Jasper to back up, poor little guy suffers a little from second child syndrome, his bag of tricks isn't nearly as full as Max's.
Max will back up over and up anything, walls, trees, lounge, etc, also back up, onto and over the other side of the ottoman. Your efforts inspire me to have a go with Jasper today, I'll let you know how I get on.

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