Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Clicker Training

I did Clicker with Chrome this evening after work. I went armed with only the clicker and a pocketful of treats. He did so well! He's started slobbering when he's eating the treats which is kind of gross, but he's taking them well. He still drops them sometimes and lunges at my hand but he isn't biting or anything.

First I worked on having him look away while I was standing on his left side, because we've been doing that only on his right side lately. He was confused at first and was curling his cute little neck around to see if I had anything. Once he figured it out he was great.

Then I decided to work on head lowering with my hand on his poll because I was just shaping it yesterday. Once I get him doing it well for my hand I'll put the halter on and do it that way too. The one thing I've learned from my books is that the more different ways you teach a behavior the more reliable it will me. It's almost like proofing for dogs.

Anyway he did awesome!!! He was going so fast he couldn't even finish his treat before he had earned his next one. I got him almost to the ground again. About six inches. I'll work on getting the last bit later. It was cold so I didn't really want to stand around anymore lol.

Then I worked on whoa. I was walking and would say whoa just before stopping, but he doesn't remember the word so he was stopping about two or three steps past me. I was clicking him if he stopped with me by his barrel (although I really want to be at his shoulder), but not if I was by his haunches, especially if they were turned toward me. In hindsight I realize he needs a cue, so next time I'll touch his chest as the cue (and add the vocal cue later). :) That's one thing I love about clicker training. You can hardly mess up. :)

Then I worked on backing. He did one step at a time and was fairly good at it. Zep was distracting him a bit though. That could be a problem when we start working on more complicated things. It was distracting me too!!! Those cute little donkey eyes begging for a treat . . . melt my heart. Then I stood by Chrome's left side, facing forward, and put my hand on his chest to have him back alongside me. He did great the first couple of times, but then he started paying too much attention to Zep so I called it quits there. I did his head lowering a couple more times to end on a good note. :)

While I was talking to my husband, standing next to Chrome, I looked back and Zep was standing like right on my heels!!! I was so proud of him. My husband took the rest of my treats and fed them to Zeppelin, but only if he let him touch his face first. :) Good donkey. So all in all a fantastic session!! I can't wait to work on it more tomorrow. Especially on the whoa, although I think I need to work on backing a little more first. He's really rusty on that for some reason. I would have expected him to remember it since he does it so well at dinner time. We will see how it goes. Maybe I can get a little more organized and stop being all over the place.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like he did great with the head lowering!!

    Mary

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