August 8, 2023

I was going to start out with a session of 4 in with bowl #6 in bowl #5 and then remove bowl #5 – but Chai let me know it was too difficult today by lying down. So we ditched bowl #6 and just had a few reps with #5. Look at the lovely conversation we’re having in the video below! Chai is teaching me which bowl needs to be used here.

Next session: start with just bowl #5, then add bowl #6. Slow and steady!

August 9, 2023

Session 1

I started our first session with 2 “Get it” treats and just bowl #5 (and the familiar “Four” cue). I wore bowl #6 like a hat to have it ready to put into #5 right as Chai was chasing her second treat. Then, we did two more “Get it”s with bowl #6 in bowl #5 and ended. She did great! Building back up slowly! No video of this session but will record the next one: I’m planning on starting out with two “Get it” treats with both bowls and then removing bowl #5 and only leaving the smallest bowl. We’ll see how it goes! I am not going to use a cue in the next session.

Session 2

Chai says, “This is too hard!”

I’ll have to think of an in-between step before we try this again … or just repeat today’s session-1-set-up a few more times … I’ll think about this some more to set Chai up for success next time!

August 11, 2023

I repeated the last successful session – and Chai did brilliantly again. Next time we work on this, I’ll do two sessions the same day. The first one will be just like this and the second one start with bowl #6 in bowl #5. We’ll see how it goes!

(The cuts in this video are when I tossed the “Get it” treat under the couch.)

August 12, 2023

Session 1:

For today’s first session, I repeated yesterday’s last session. Chai did great again. (No video.) After a break, we did …

Session 2:

I started out with bowl #6 in bowl #5 from the beginning of the session. Chai quickly realized that this was too hard, so I changed approaches on the fly and shaped things back up this time (rather than removing bowl #6 like I did yesterday). She did great! The cut in the video is when I tossed a treat under the mattress. Furniture! It’s always in the way!

August 15, 2023

Session 1:

I didn’t realize Chai would be thinking of the 1-object-in-another trick! When I realized, I eased up criteria (and briefly messed up my marker cue) and shaped back up to 4 in. Superpuppy!

Reviewing the video, I noticed: I need to focus on my transition behavior so my marker cue and hand movement don’t bleed into each other. When we want to train with clean mechanics, we’ve got many balls in the air!

Session 2:

The plan: start with 4 in – no shaping if she’s able to offer 4 in right away – and then start to shape with only bowl #6 in the same session. Keep it short and sweet – say 8 treats total, max! Remember my transition behavior (blinking). Let’s see how this goes and then take it from there!

This looked good! I forgot my transition behavior half the time, but otherwise, we’re golden! I’ll bring my clicker back out for the next round and repeat the shaping session, starting with bowl #6 (blue) right away. I haven’t been using a clicker when I had one bowl in another, but now that I’m only holding on to one, I can easily keep it steady AND click. So that’s what we’ll do next:

+ Bowl #6 (blue) only.
+ Clicker in bowl hand (practice holding it stable before adding a dog – check).
+ Set up mirror to watch back paws.
+ Remember transition behavior (blink).
+ Shape up from the beginning but do not go for more than 4 reps of all 4 paws in (if we get that far).

The video below is my practice session without a dog. I highly recommend doing this on a regular basis/anytime you switch something up in terms of reinforcement! It will only take you a few minutes (and that includes videoing yourself and quickly reviewing the clip on your phone) – but you’ll be a better trainer for it!

Below is the session WITH Chai I did right after my practice session! I love that very last rep where she tries for ALL FOUR PAWS!

Notes for next session

Repeat today’s last session; see if we get more confidence and then take it from there!

August 16, 2023

Session 1:

I love how this session went!

I’ll give Chai a break and then try starting with all 4 paws in right away for session 2. If she does it, 4 reps is all I’ll ask for in this session.

Session 2:

Chai rocked today’s second session! For the next one, I’ll ditch the clicker and go back to our “Good” and “Get it” routine to build a tiny bit of duration in position. I’ll use 6 to 8 treats total, depending on how things go, and then end.

Session 3:

This was the most difficult session of the day for Chai! I’ll rewatch the video and then repeat the same session tomorrow with home position on my right thigh (like I did here in the last rep) rather than behind my back. This will allow me to deliver the “Get it” treat faster after “Good.” This means I will still be asking for duration – but a little bit less of it!

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