Saturday, March 13, 2010

Jolee's new trick - Rocking Teddy

Jolee and I have been working on a new trick. I'm trying to shape a behavior to rock the chair. This has been good practice for me with the clicker. And, even though I am sometimes (often) way off on my timing with the clicker, she seems to know that getting a treat has something to do with touching the chair. We've just had a couple sessions, but thought I would post short clips of how we're doing. We have a ways to go, but I think we're making progress. She's fun to work with because she offers behaviors. Hmmmm, I wonder if that's because we haven't done a lot of competitive obedience training?

This is our first session where I started out rewarding for any touch or interaction with the rocking chair.

This second clip is our next session.


Kasha The Dainty Great Dane said...

Great Job Jolee!!

I just love the clicker...even though I'm an older rescue dane...I have learned so much from it.

AARF Kasha the Dainty Great Dane

Laura, Lance, and Vito said...

looking good!!! I'm confused on your comment though about Jolee being more likely to offer behaviors because you haven't done a lot of formal obedience training...

Kathie R said...

Laura, Good question. I don't know. I haven't really required from Jolee the level of reliability I would expect of her in obedience competition. Her attitude seems to be, 'I'll do it if I feel like it or if there's a high enough value treat in it.' I think if I demanded compliance and the reliability needed in formal obedience, I would need to use some compulsion training with her, and I'm not sure I want to go there. It's more fun to do things where you only reward what you like and ignore what you don't like, which is how I view clicker training.

Jolee is different from Jackson, but I know that Jackson would not be at the obedience level he is now without some compulsion training, and I'm wondering if that's what makes him more reluctant to offer behaviors. He doesn't want to be wrong. (and by compulsion, I don't mean harsh physical corrections - I just mean letting him know and showing him (hands on) what is the right and wrong way to do things.)

I could be all wrong about this. I know there are a lot of trainers who are very successful training formal obedience without compulsion. Maybe I don't have the dog for it - or the patience for it :) I would love to hear your thoughts on it!

Laura, Lance, and Vito said...

Well I don't think I'm really qualified to answer. Lance is my first dog and we are training obedience with the clicker and shaping but we're both babies with it comes to obedience. I've made a lot of mistakes and now we're trying to fix them.

But Lance is a dog who HATES to be wrong. In the earlier stages I tried to do some molding with him and it completely shut him down to simply put my hands on him to have him stand. If I force him to do something he knows he was wrong and just melts. Even sometimes when I'm not upset and he wasn't wrong he can get frustrated and quit. When he quits he goes and hides, or refuses to move. I've gotten better as a trainer so these moments are less and less. I see it as confusion, anxiety, and/or frustration rather then being hard headed.

But this is also why shaping works so well with us. I can be hands off and he can think, everything is HIS idea. I just have to make sure that I break things down enough so that I have a high rate of reinforcement.

Once he has learned something, and he fails I look at it first as a proofing problem (or attention issue, but rarely anymore). So I modify it slightly, have him work through it, and then go back to try it at the previous harder level. Only when I'm positive that he really really knows it, in that situation, will I apply a consequence. My consequences are usually a loss of opportunity (mini time outs, turned back, train the other dog).

But I think that even if you did do more traditional obedience training a dog can still be willing to offer behaviors in a shaping session. It's a completely different context. It is hard for a dog to "Cross over" though as they are afraid of being wrong in the beginning. But a high rate of reinforecment and clicking MOVING helps. I throw treats a lot after I click and that really communicates I don't want the dog standing and waiting around for a command.

Kathie R said...

Thanks for the comments Laura. I may need to rethink this as far as Jackson is concerned. Maybe I'm just approaching it all wrong. I'll keep trying :)

Honey the Great Dane said...

Hi Jackson & Jolee,

Haven't seen you in ages! How come you don't come to visit me anymore? (sob!) :-)

Jolee - I loved watching your video - what a neat trick to learn! You caught on really fast! I noticed that your human was better with her timing of verbal praise than the click - hee! hee! Like she would often say "Good girl!" or "Yeah!" just the moment you touched the chair - but then not click until a moment afterwards, when you weren't pushing it anymore. Maybe she just needs to swap her verbal praise & click around! :-) But don't worry - it just takes practise - the more clicker sessions you have, the better she'll get at the timing! Anyway, it doesn't matter - you were getting what she wanted anyway! :-)

You know, my human trains me with a mixture of positive type (eg. clicker) and also more traditional stuff (what you call compulsion training, I think!) so I don't think it matters - you can mix them. I get the compulsion stuff when I have to learn really important everyday manners that could save my life kind of things - like not going out my garden gates without permission and not lunging on lead - but then when we do dance training or obedience for the ring, Hsin-Yi just uses clicker & reward-based stuff. I seem to know the difference. So like when I'm just Heeling past other dogs in the street and supposted to ignore them, I can keep my head down, as long as I stay by Hsin-Yi's left knee...but when I'm Heeling during training for dancing or obedience, thenh Hsin-Yi likes me to Heel with my head up, looking into her eyes and for this, I get lots of treats & positive stuff and so I'm in a different attitude.

Maybe it can help also if your human has a special word which means "Wrong - try again" but is not actually a reprimand? My human uses this sometimes when she is doing clicker sessions or in training - so that I understand I'm not doing what she asked for but she's not actually mad at me - so I'm not afraid to try stuff and offer behaviours. Whereas for everyday life training, if I misbehave, then I get a different kind of telling off - the serious kind!! THat does make me scared of doing things wrong - but that's OK coz in those situations, it is better that I do less! :-)

Anyway, really cool to see you doing more clicker training! HOpe to see more training videos soon!

Honey the Great Dane
ps. did I tell you that my human is thinkign of starting Obedience trials with me?

Kathie R said...

Hey Honey, I have been visiting your blog! In fact you inspired me to try to shape the rocking chair behavior after I saw your pushing the ball trick :) Thanks for the comments and I can't wait to hear more about your obedience trial work!