Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Training Tuesday: Trick 1

Trick 1 of 12 is complete!



Okay, so maybe I cheated a little on this one, as I didn't start it from scratch. We actually started working on this trick years ago- 2009, maybe even 2008- but I never got around to putting it on cue (story of my life). As a result, it's a trick that she offers up on a regular basis, so it was pretty easy capture it. Once she knew that's what I wanted, she kept offering it, and offering it, and offering it, so it was pretty easy to give the cue just before she did it.

We did this for several nights, probably burning through 200 or more pairings, and still she didn't seem to understand. Looking at the video, I would guess that part of the problem is that I have two things going on at once- the hand signal and the verbal. I'll need to make sure to sort those out separately.

She seems to have it now. I've tested the cue "cold" (that is, giving it outside of a training session) in every room of the house, on a walk, and in the parking lot of a pet store today. She nailed it on the first try every time. However, in the manner of herding breeds everywhere, if I give the cue more than 2 or 3 times, she starts... well, let's say improvising. That sounds so much nicer than "doing it wrong."

11 comments:

Robin Sallie said...

"Improvising?" so that is what it is called.

Laura, Lance, and Vito said...

Yay Maisy!! What's next for this month?!

Crystal Thompson said...

We've been working on go-outs (sorta) and scent articles (kinda). I haven't decided on the next trick. Maybe speed bump or flat dog or crawling?

Susanna said...

Maisy's "improvising" sounds like what we call "offering behaviors." If the dog doesn't think she got it right the first time, or isn't clear about what you want, she'll keep trying -- until she either gets it or gets too frustrated to keep trying.

Crystal Thompson said...

Yes, Susanna, she is offering behaviors. My understanding is that this is pretty common among herding breeds especially. They just don't seem to understand why they have to do it again if they got it right. That's a broad generalization, of course, but that's why I avoid drilling.

What's interesting is that she doesn't usually do this during the learning stage, only once the behavior is complete and being named. Then again, maybe I just don't see it during the learning stage because we are shaping! :)

It is also possible it's pain related- Maisy has some back issues, and it might be that the repetitions hurt.

Ninso said...

Sweet!

Laura, Lance, and Vito said...

Speedbump should be pretty easy! Crawl is harder for our short legged friends to do without butt high in air but is possible!

Crystal Thompson said...

Speedbump will be super easy, just a matter of attaching a cue. She offers the behavior a ton already.

Crawling... we played with that today, and got a lot of butt in the air stuff. Which is sort of funny and cute on its own.

Joanna said...

Great that she can do it cold! Next step is asking her to do it once or twice, and then rewarding her for NOT offering it off-cue. Can she do that?

What is "speedbump"?

I think I once saw a dog who was taught to crawl with his butt still up and it was called "commando". Very cute.

Crystal Thompson said...

Joanna, stimulus control? Really? It's like you think I'm good at this training stuff. LOL

"Speed bump" is just lying on the ground and putting your chin on the ground, too.

Joanna said...

I have faith in you!!

My friend's dog does that on the cue "Sad dog. Saaad dooog."