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A Good Dog's Life Blog
- Created: 16 March 2015
Video: Tayt's Trick Training #2
[more to come, so check back!]
The other day in agility class, I noticed Tayt leaving me more than usual. It wasn't his fault, it was mine for not creating a connection throughout the week prior to class. I wasn't training wisely. Rushing through and not making an authentic effort to connect, is what I was doing. If I want a connection in the classroom, it starts in Tayt's "real" life. It starts at home, not in that hour class.
Watching the video, you'll see me break down the goal behavior (Tayt moving behind me so that he can come between my legs, sit, and look up into my eyes).
When teaching a trick, it's easier for the dog if you can break it down into small component behaviors. How small will depend on the dogs success. If you don't break it down enough the dog will struggle too much and if you break it down too much some dogs will get bored, so know your dog and don't create a task too hard or visa versa. It's a balance of creating a sure-thing and a challenge.
Another way to look at it ... you are trying to build desire and drive. The dog wants to work with you because it's easy to succeed and fun to be successful. The feelings irrupt into a confident connected dog that hasn't had a chance to devalue the motivation chosen, because you set the stage for success by rewarding good choices in a timely manner.
All the right answers to those important questions ... when to reward, what reward should be used, where should the reward be placed ... are delivered so that you become the most efficient, effective and connected trainer ever!!
In the video, that doesn't mean I cannot be a gambler. If fact you'll see me wait to see if he can think through the different components. You'll see my hesitation, not to rush in to help, that created a chance for Tayt to rise to the challenge and solve the "problem"of sticking his head through my legs. Dogs that learn to think and problem solve are the easiest to train because they have learned to never give up.
If you want to know more about tricks, contact Gail Hubbard. Look into the Cross Training class. There you will be introduced to connection games that will enhance any sport or therapy work you are thinking about getting into. The class will show you how to take care of your canine athlete through stretching, strengthening and body awarenessexercises. Impulse control games and tricks to maintain those highly driven dogs in class as well outside in the "real" world is essential and talked about.