Thursday, February 26, 2009

One step forward, 2 steps back

Hey all,

Today was kind of an interesting day with the training. Dempsey seemed to decide that wiggling thru the poles was really hard, and started experimenting with different behaviors to see if he could get the cheese some other way. Happily, Joe taped this session for me, and its here: for all to see :). It's a heck of a session, it looks like a little bit of a disaster as far as progress goes, but i suspect he needed to do all those other things just to find out what would happen.

Peepers had session #2 of 101 things today. Today's behavior was picking up the block with his left foot. He had started doing a bit of that yesterday, so today he picked that behavior right away when picking it up with his beak didn't work. He did stop to think for a few seconds in the middle of the session, but this is different than the newbie pause, in that the animals new to the game actually walk away from the object, while in this case Peepers stayed right there, and to me obviously was still fully engaged in the game. I can't get this vid to successfully download, so I'll come back and link it when I finally get it going.

Sparky got to play a bit with the block too. She was very interested in Peeper's training session, but when she saw the block she attacked it. Of course, since she touched it, it was click/treat time :). In real short order, she was touching the block with her beak without all the aggression. I should have taped this one, but I didn't think to turn the camera in her direction to capture this. She's pretty aggressive towards anything strange, so I'm sure I can find something to replicate the situation and film that at some point soon.

All the animals will be getting a break from training for a few days, as I am going to aravaipa canyon this weekend. I expect Dempsay to take a few steps backward with this break, and Peepers to pick it up just like I had never left. I dunno what Sparky will do, she's already surprised me by getting back into the training game so quickly this time around.

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