CHAIARY – TRICKS: 4 PAWS IN A BOWL (part 2)!

July 26, 2023

Session #1:

Only bowl #4, different angles, no cue. Chai is being a superpuppy!

Session #2:

Only bowl #4, different angles, re-attach “Four!” cue.

I couldn’t be happier with this session! What a good puppy! Short and sweet for the win! (Plus a mirror, tape and a non-slip surface! Chai hasn’t been tempted to sit anymore either!)

Plan for the next two sessions:

+ Start with only bowl #4, no cue.
+ Add bowl #5 into bowl #4, no cue.

July 28, 2023

Since this looked so good, my plan for the next two sessions is:

+ Session 1: only bowl #5; different angles; no cue.
+ Session 2: if I’m happy with the previous session, re-attach the “Four!” cue.

We did the first session I had planned – but it was physically challenging for Chai! I won’t do another one today but repeat the plan for both tomorrow! Below the first session:

Notes for next time:

+ Repeat the last two sessions I planned.
+ Reposition the mirror for this bowl.
+ Make sure I know how to hold the bowl perfectly stable.

July 29, 2023

Bowl #5 was still physically difficult. We did 2 sessions with different treat-toss angles and no “Four” cue. I’ll stay at this stage until Chai has as easy a time with this bowl as she did with the previous one.

For now and the day(s) to come: two short sessions, one treat in position and one tossed at a different angle each time (to build a little duration for holding the position). I’ll always give her a break between the two sessions. Today, the break was playing with Game and a pee loop.

Next time, I might try switching the clicker for verbal markers so I get a better grip on the bowl.

August 2, 2023

Bowl #5. First session – holding the bowl with what is usually my clicker hand; having a better grip on it because I’m experimenting with holding the clicker between my lips! Session two (same video): re-attaching the “Four!” cue and using verbal markers.

This was difficult for Chai! I’ll make it easier by means of changing my home position for the next round: instead of behind my back, I’ll rest my treat fist on my right thigh. That way, I’ll be faster with the second treat (“Get it!”) after the room service marker (“Good”) and Chai will have to spend a little less time balancing in the bowl.

If this looks good, I will move my home position back behind my back in the next session after.

I also did the third session today (no video because I accidentally deleted it after reviewing). Chai did well but I want to work on my mechanics some more. I’ll repeat this and make sure I keep my home position consistent on my thigh and don’t mark “Good” too early. Then, I’ll move my home position back behind my back. However, this will have to wait for another day! Three sessions of “Four” in one day is more than enough!

August 3, 2023

3 sessions with home position on my right thigh! Here’s the third one:


(The cross-blur cut in the video is when I had to refill my treat hand, ended up pulling out a string of poop bags and making a mess.)

August 4, 2023

I was going to do one session with home position behind my back, good and get it, transition behavior blink and then take it from there. However, this turned out to be difficult for Chai today:

Because she struggled quite a bit after the first few reps (struggled with balance, that is – the behavior is clear to her but it is difficult to put four paws in the bowl), I’ll stay at this bowl size for another round. Next time, I will repeat what I just did but keep the session shorter (10 treats total, making for 5 reps). I will also pay special attention to my “Four” timing and make sure I cue when she is about to or has finished eating the previous “Get it” treat rather than earlier than that (as I accidentally did in the session above). For now though – Chai gets a well deserved break! No two physically difficult sessions in a row!

For our next session after a long break, I stuck to 5 reps. Chai did GREAT!

August 7, 2023

Except for the very last rep – cut off because it was preceded by a search for a piece of kibble under the mattress I needed to help with. It took a while and threw us off our game – this session went beautifully! Either 4 (rather than 5) reps are all I should ask at this bowl size OR the escaping treat threw her for a loop. In any case – I’m happy! We’re ready to go down one size!

Bowl #6 – the smallest one!

In the video below, I am working on bowl #6 – my very smallest bowl! – in bowl #5 for the first time. I’m not working on a perfect position and not asking for any duration – I just want Chai to be confident about this new set-up and her ability to squeeze in.

Notes for next time: since this went so well, our next session will be 50% bowl #6 in bowl #5, then ditch bowl #5 and try with #6 only! #6 is my smallest bowl! We’re almost there!

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