Distractions as cues, day 14: a break from the distractions-as-cues project, and remedial marker cue work

Today, while still thinking about how I wanted to change my distraction-as-cue strategy and considering various options, I did some remedial marker cue work rather than using the kibble pile as a distraction. Since I’ve already mixed marker cues into these sessions, I might as well use today’s day off the distracion-as-cue project to clean up the strength of my markers! (The cut in the middle of this video is when I get up for a kibble refill). Tomorrow – back to distractions as cues!

My rule of thumb for this learner is to change strategies if I don’t see results in about a week. I’ve been more stubborn with my original approach, and stuck with it longer than I normally would, because it worked so fast and so well indoors. This reinforcement history on my part caused me to try once more yeserday, for example. Had I not seen the results in the first location, or if this was my first location, this would likely have shaved 2-3 days off the time I spent on this approach.

It’s good to stay aware of our own tendencies in this respect! Do you tend to abandon strategies too early, before giving them time to work, or do you tend to stick to the same approach for a long time, even in the absence of tangible results?

It’s not only that every human trainer has their own tendencies in this respect – so does every learner we work with. Knowing both our learner and ourselves well is what gives us the best results. In real life, getting to know a new learner takes time. But we can meet them with an awareness of our own tendencies – that’s half the battle dance party!

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