Monday, August 23, 2010

Nose bridge

Haven’t posted a training video in a looooong time but we’ve been doing lots of inside stuff because of the atrocious weather. Here’s just a short clip from a while ago of us starting to clicker train a nose bridge – it’s the very first two sessions we did. The start is literally the fist time we tried. She picked it up straight away. I thought it might take a while as she already has a nose “touch” (to touch my hand with her nose and get close when in heel) and apparently when training a bridge dogs can get a bit confused and frustrated and just keep bumping and touching your hand instead of holding and pushing for a bridge. But I think it was easier for her to understand as she has already learnt to push against a target for closing doors and cupboards. Anyway, I was able to increase the threshold extremely quickly and she was giving me good nose pressure as well. Easiest thing I’ve ever had to train! I was watching some “professional” trainers videos on you tube about training this and many of them suggested to do away with the clicker and manipulate the dogs head into position (using one hand to hold the collar under the dogs chin and one to hold either side of the muzzle) and hold them there for a period and then treat/reward. I think plain old clicker training works better for me.
There’s also a bit in the video of us playing our eye contact game. Basically just holding out a treat and then rewarding for eye contact to teach the dog they are rewarded for looking at you and not for sniffing/licking/looking at the treat. I do this a lot especially in situations like sitting round waiting at training, where she has tendencies to bark (read scream/squeal) at me if she’s wired and bored and doesn’t have something to do. It’s just so easy and really helps with focus. We’ve started doing it with the ball too but the ball is still just so exciting that the wee eyes go like pinballs back and forth between me and it.

I hope someone appreciates the music hahaha.

And here are some more beautiful beachy pictures. We have to drive a bit further to do to the beach at the moment because people have found poisonous “Sea Slugs” one of the beaches close to us on the east coast – last year a couple of dogs died and lots more got really sick after eating them so to stay safe we’re making the trek over to the west coast beaches to get our fill of surf and seagulls (and to be honest they’re much nicer, bigger and wilder than the ones close to home)


  1. The music was perfect with the video - LOL! Pepper is doing great! I like that nose bridge - I don't know how to do that yet - maybe mom will teach me.

    Beautiful beach photos! I think it would be awesome to live near the beach!

  2. I agree with Ricky, music is perfect for the video. Looks like you are doing a great job, keep it up!

  3. Ha we saw a Border T clip with this music last week. Very cool, we have yet to train this trick. You can't beat those big West Coast Beaches.

  4. Ohhhh...,.at least you've got a big, empty dog beach to go to!! I would drive however long it takes it we had something like that here in bloody Brisbane! I really miss the West Coast beaches...

    I thought the music was perfect too! What a cute idea! Can I ask a stupid question - what is the nose bridge for? Like - is it a step towards doing something else? Or is it just an exercise in itself to see if the dog will keep its nose on something?


  5. Great progress with the nose touch... be careful though, in the video it looks like you were clicking as you were pulling your hand away after the nose touch! I have just got Brody holding the nose touch, and now I'm trying to get him to hold it while I move....
    The 'eye spy' game and nose touch are games that we learnt at the Kamal Obedience seminar - check out my blog post about it! (