Thursday, June 18, 2009

Lots of learning, little bit of progress

Yesterday was a pretty good day for the birds, at least it was informative for me and gave me a lot to think about. I planned on doing a longer session with Peepers to work on different aspects of his harness training, so I split the training into 2 videos.

In the first video I spend most of my time working with Peepers on putting his head through the loop of the harness. I was having trouble with it, because he wasn't really interested in doing it. I was wondering why he had such a change of attitude, when it dawned on me to dump the clicker I was holding. That seemed to help him immensely, he started sticking his head through the loop immediately. Hmm, I guess he doesn't like the clicker making that noise directly in his ear :).

When I thought we should be done with that stage, I stopped and restarted the video. Then I began to work on wing lifting. I am not veru happy with the attitude I see with Peepers on this. I think using my finger to get him to lift his wing is a little too aversive for him, and I need to consider alternatives to show him what I am looking for. But, I will still need to be able to handle his wings to get the loop over them, so this is a bit of a problem.

Sparky is getting more comfortable on the table, and it may be time to teach her something new. She still doesn't want to move too much on the table, but in this session she stayed engaged in the training for quite a bit longer than usual.

IMO these videos are getting more instructional as far as watching the birds, and getting attitude for each step. The 2 of them are very very different, and my training has had to adjust a lot for each bird.

The dogs are starting to cruise through their new behaviors. Bungee is learning to hold onto his dumbell and move (that's hard!), and also to hold onto anything I ask him to (that's easy!). Sophie's just showing everyone up, and holding onto whatever like a little pro. Dempsey is learning to keep his mouth over the dumbell for more than a millisecond for his goodies, which he finds very difficult. And Sidney has it going on - he just hangs out and gets cheese :).

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