I posted a while ago with some training questions and no one answered so I really really hope someone is able to help with this.
I've been trying to teach Cooper to 'bow' (But have had to change the word to 'pray' as I thought he was thinking I was saying 'down' which he knows how to do.)
I have had 2 sessions with him already and he still isn't getting it at all (everything else I have taught him he has gotten the hold of in one or 2 sessions only), so I must be doing something wrong to confuse him.
I don't have a clicker and have only been doing praise with reward (food) instantly when he does it right.
First off the first method of putting food to his nose and trailing to the ground never works and it never worked for 'down' either, instead I used my leg as a bridge and put the food under my leg so he would have to get down/low/bow to get it. This is how I trained him 'down'.
When I first started I was physically putting my arm under his belly or giving his belly a little poke to keep his butt up. So he 'did it' so I rewarded. The thing is he tends to just do any trick he knows when he doesn't understand what I am asking.
So if I don't give a gentle poke or put my arm under his belly he will just lay down the minute I say pray, or he just sits.
Sometimes he has bowed a few times in a row and I reward the very second he does it (I know how important instant rewarding is) but then it goes out the window and he lays down again and looks at me like hes done the right thing.
I have no idea why he isn't getting it, it is almost like he thinks the trigger now is my poking his belly and he won't do it until I do that or have my arm under him. As in the trick is, I touch his belly and he bows. But even that he won't do consistently and most of the time just lays down.
But then sometimes he does it all on his own.
Is he just being stubborn? (He is very stubborn hehe) What am I doing wrong?
Another thing I find with Cooper is he is much better at learning visual cues than he is learning verbal. If I tap the ground he instantly knows that is 'down' but if I just say it, I may have to say it a few times before he does it. Or he won't do it at all depending how he feels.
Thanks so much for anyone who replies I would love some input!