Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Unintentional Consequences

Well I've pulled myself together and we're back on track with focused efficient lesson layouts. The problem was I was recording all the data from our Levels work and none from our Rally work...duh! No wonder I was getting confused.

In exciting news our Level 2 Trick is on cue!!! It's taken about a month to get from "touch fork with nose" to the end result which is on the cue "Can you clean up?". I am very excited, it was by far the most difficult thing I have ever taught in that it had to be split into SO many tiny little increments, but the lessons I have learned from going through this process are HUGE. Training this trick is what guided me through our new session structure, and helped me focus on little stress signs like an open mouth or frown lines instead of letting her get all the way to whining or flinging behaviors at me.

So at long last here it is...

Now something I didn't count on was that she would transfer picking up the fork to handing me things in general. I was in the kitchen one day, there was a towel on the floor, she looked at me, looked at the towel and out of the blue picked it up and handed it to me! Of course I rewarded her!!! I dropped it again, she picked it up again....she quickly decided that was a default behavior and now if she wants my attention she actively searches the house for things to bring. If I'm holding any kind of cloth she trots along behind me on the off chance I might drop it and she could then pick it back up for me. I started asking her "can you hand that to me please?" and behold a silly fork in the bucket trick has created something actually useful.

The efficient dog that she is she tries to pick up all three at once the first go 'round and the second is her default..."excuse me, I believe this belongs to you"

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