August 7, 2023

Session 1:

I’m keeping the container the same but varying the objects that go in when I get 2 successful reps with each previous object. In this session, we make it through a paper cup, a roll of tape, a flip flop and a plastic bottle!

I’m also figuring out how to best mechanic my mechanics to make switching objects as smooth as possible. Going forwards, I will toss a “Get it” treat anytime I need to reach over my suitcase (aka kitchen door) to grab another object.

Session 2:

In the session below, I keep the crate the same and stick to our last two objects (flip flop, plastic bottle) and then add two new and smaller objects: a highlighter and a clicker. Chai is being a superstar!

August 11, 2023

Today, I’ll keep the last two (smaller) objects the same but change the container back to something smaller: the water bowl.

Session 1:

Session 2:

Session 2 showed me that the highlighter is more difficult than the clicker. In the next session, we’ll stick to the highlighter and focus on getting it into the bowl consistently!

Session 3:

Woohoo! She’s got it with the marker!! You can really see her understanding in this session: when the unwieldy highlighter doesn’t end up IN the bowl, she picks it up right away and tries again. Go Chai!

My plan for the next session

Move this container around a bit and lift it up higher. Then potentially shape a “deliver to hand” behavior from there … or go down in container size. Or try with the water bowl and a difficult small object like a coin! I haven’t yet decided; all options are exciting!

August 12, 2023

I decided to go with a clicker and a new object – a coin – with the water bowl in its familiar position. Chai did great with the clicker but didn’t see my 10-peso-coin as a pick-up-able object. Even going back and forth between offering the clicker and the coin didn’t do the trick.

After this session, I thought about how to teach Chai to pick up coins. I tried playing the 2-ball game with two coins – and it worked! Soon she cheerfully chased thrown coins through the living room. Notes for the two next sessions: start with another round of the 2-coin game. Take a break; then repeat clicker and coin with the water bowl!

Note to self: put the camera closer to the bowl so the coin is visible!

August 14, 2023

We started out with a 2-toy fetch session, using two 10-peso coins instead of toys! It was informal, playful, joyious fun for both of us. Take-home message for Chai: coins are easy to pick up and fun to play with!

I LOVE how Chai’s toy skills (above) come together with a trick I’ve been shaping to enable her to put the coin into the water bowl in our next session below. It’s a beautiful example of how different tricks and behaviors are connected!

For our next session, I am thinking of using a smaller container for the same exercise. I’ll start out with the clicker and the coin in the water bowl and then switch to clicker and coin in a ceramic bowl (a bowl I haven’t used for the 4-in trick to avoid confusing Chai).

August 31, 2023: our first session in a new location

Returning to this trick after a little break! Since I’m working on the 4 paws in a bowl trick simultaneously, I am creating a contextual difference for the two: one object in another has been moved to the roof while 4-in stays an apartment trick. This is to keep the probability for confusion to a minimum.

In our first session, we needed to shape back up to our last two objects (clicker and coin) in the water bowl: the break and the new environment were too hard to bridge without a little help. But after only a few clicks, Chai was back on track!

For our second session, I did what I had written down the last time we worked on this: I kept the pick-up objects the same but changed the water bowl for a smaller ceramic bowl mid session. I’m happy with how well Chai did!

Notes for the next session:

+ Go down one more bowl size and use my small tupperware treat container.

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