The Norbert Experiment, part 12: from cat watching right to kibble scatters

Ready to go from cat watching right to kibble scatters?

Video 1

First session – and Game is being a superstar! Go Game!!!

Notes:

  • Door status: glass door closed.
  • Let’s repeat this with the door open!

Video 2 – door open

Notes:

  • Door status: glass door open
  • I LOVE that Game looked at the cat and then at me (that’s what I mark)! There is a moment of looking back catwards before the last treat though. We’re going to repeat this again; I want to see her succeed without looking back at the cat before the treat magnet or last scatter treat.

Video 3:

Notes:

  • Door status: glass door open!
  • Game status: SUCCESS! Wheee! Go Game!

The Norbert Experiment, part 11: from cat watching right to a high value scatter

The hope is that at this point, the cat’s arousal level is only moderately high – ready to be met with a high value scatter!

Video 1

This was hard! Game had to go back to watching (at 00:05) and couldn’t finish the first scatter right away, even though she responded to the treats cue at baseline speed. She went back to eating quickly – but I want that first scatter to be eaten without interruptions before I proceed to kibble scatters. So we got some excellent new information here, and I conclude: we’ll stay at this level until I get a no-latency response, and Game finishes the entire scatter without interruptions before following my treat magnet to the bedroom.

Notes:

  • Door status: glass door and screen door open.
  • Two scatters because Game didn’t finish the first one without interruption (at 00:05 in this video, she briefly looks at the cat).

Video 2

Several sessions down the line, Game is rocking it!

Notes:

  • Door status: glass door closed
  • I want to repeat this with the door open and see the same response before moving on – but in any case, REALLY happy with this one! I could have marked looking at me at 00:01/02 right away rather than waiting for Game to look at the cat again, since looking at me was cued by seeing the cat.

Video 3: high value scatter, door open, Game rocks it!

Notes:

  • Door status: glass door open
  • Upwards and onwards – we’ll try kibble scatters next!

The Norbert Experiment, part 10: from cat watching right to kibble from hand

Same stair case – but kibble rather than high value treats!

In the video below, Game and I are having a long conversation about the cat (it’s the red cat and it starts out on the chair to the left of the umbrella). I aim for 5 treats from hand in a row before going to the kibble scatter, and have to start counting over again multiple times because Game needs to collect more information about the cat and its whereabouts before being able to give me 5 reps of eye contact in a row. That’s totally fine: she can earn the same treat in two ways: by looking at the cat, or by looking at me.

Notes:

  • Door status: glass door closed
  • I will stay at this step for a few more cats until it is easier for Game to offer 5 reps of eye contact sooner. I will also want to see this on an open-glass-door occasion before removing the kibble-from-hand step from my staircase.


Also, here you go, another (and I promise this will be the last) round of – wheee! – self-promoting, which I dislike – feel free to stop reading here!

Registration is still open for the December term at FDSA, and I’m teaching Finding Five.

It’s a class about …

  • finding five minutes to train your animal (of any species) every day – you are welcome to continue with a previous training project we started together in a different class, or try something new. This class has been taken by dogs, cats, birds, and a Bactrian camel. This time, we’ll be having … wait for it … a horse at Gold for the first time!
  • Time management and self care.
  • Improving your relationship with your animal.
  • Playing ridiculous games (because life does not have to be serious all the time).
  • Retreating to a virtual island in case you need a break from this holiday-infested month or the looming new year. What gets shared on the island stays on the island.

I’m also trying a different kind of “just in case you’re in the mood for it” background fun every time I run this class. This term, we’ll be having a book club.

Come, join! (Finances and time allowing, that is – if they do not, no worries whatsoever. The class will come around again, and you’ll be just as welcome in the future as you’d be today. No need for FOMO. Please put yourself first!)

The Norbert Experiment, part 8: From cat watching right to kibble tosses!

Here’s our updated staircase! Still 5 steps – but kibble instead of high-value treats:

Today, I am going for 5 subsequent reps of eye contact (rather than cat looks) before doing the scatter. Yesterday, I only did three – from now on, it’ll be five! I have to start over a few times. However, note that looking at the cat is being just as click-and-reinforceable as looking at me. I just don’t want to do a scatter when Game needs to go back and forth between the two (since for Game and I, scatters are ideally eaten without needing to look up).

Sorry to be out of the camera for most of the eye contact reps. The video is cut short, but the last two seconds of relaxation are right after getting to the bedroom and closing the door.

Notes about this video:

  • Door status: glass and screen door open.
  • Number of eye contacts pre scatter-for-eye-contact: 5

The Norbert Experiment, part 6: more adjustments to the plan

I’ve decided to make a couple more adjustments:

  • I will keep going down the staircase once and then giving Game a break. She is doing really well with this.
  • I will measure progress by looking what she can do with a cat at average distance – the distance the cat was at baseline, which is where most cats show up. I will not count closer cats (like the one in part 5) or cats that are further away (like the one under the white table in part 2). Baseline distance is here is anywhere in the area I circled, and includes cats sitting on one of these two chairs:

Steps of progress from baseline with a single cat at baseline distance

  1. Skip tugging, and go from cat watching directly to tosses high value treats.
  2. Skip tugging, and go from cat watching directly tosses with kibble.
  3. Go from cat watching right to food from hand high value treats.
  4. Go from cat watching right to food from hand with kibble.
  5. Go from cat watching right to a high-value treat scatter.
  6. Go from cat watching right to a kibble scatter.

In addition, I may add some Give Me A Break CU game sprinkles anytime I toss treats, and it seems like a good idea. Will explain why it felt like I good idea in the commentary going along with my video.

It would be neat to start with a closed glass door, go to a closed screen door and then to the door open – but this may not be possible because the door is already going to be in a certain position (which will be different throughout the day) when uncontrollable cats are being spotted by Game, so I’ll make my life easier and not going to factor this in.

I may not be able to get all of the above on video – note to self: prioritize training – but I’ll video what I can and share. I suspect that by the time I get to #7, I’ll be moving out of this AirBnB – so that’s where we’ll stop. It seems a realistic goal for the time I’ll be here. Whether I get there, don’t get there, or get further than that – we’ll be having fun, and there are going to be treats. “The sun is chirping, the birds are shining, the water’s wet. Life is good, sweetheart. Life is good.” (Bonus points if you randomly happen to know where this quote is from without googling. It just popped into my head – and life is good.)

No video today – but here’s a pic of one of the cats (who would be further than baseline distance):


PS: Note that there are cats several times a day. I just don’t record most of them – my external harddrive is dying (sniff), editing takes too long, and I want to keep this fun for myself.

The Norbert experiment, part 5: a session with the new adjustments goes well … even though this cat is being difficult!

This cat is closer than the baseline cat. It’s not always visible, but Game knows it is nearby, and is tempted to go back and figure out exactly where it is. I think today’s video is fairly self-explanatory since I’m chatting about what’s going on throughout. If it isn’t – ask away in the comments.

I’m keeping this video short – cut out a long part of our tug play and the end, but: I could easily guide Game into the bedroom (which is a small dark room, and that’s the reason we don’t usually hang out there), close the door, and relax with her on the bed for a bit, heading back out into the other room when the cat was gone.

In part 6, I’m going to share how I will try and keep something resembling data on these sessions. Not as clear cut as I’d like, but it’ll have to do, and I think it will work for our purposes. Stay tuned!

The Norbert Experiment, part 4: adjustments

So much to learn from yesterday’s session!

The reason I ran out of both high-value treats AND kibble is that I did not expect to go more than 2 or, at the most, 3 sessions. But such is life! I learned:

  1. As long as the toy is out, Game will keep going.
  2. Game is indeed able to choose the toy over the cat after running down the staircase several times (her motivational state is likely different at that point due to being hot and tired because neither of us is used to this climate).
  3. Game can take kibble within this staircase marker game – at least starting at the 4th round.
  4. Once in the bedroom after the 7th scatter (no sight contact to cats or toys), Game is able to relax right away.

Based on this, I will adjust in the following way:

  • Remove the toy during the scatter (leaving it on the floor until then will give Game the option to grab it if she needs to earlier on).
  • Only go down the staircase once.
  • Move swiftly to the bedroom after the scatter and take a break – no matter whether there are cats or not.

Making it measurable

I’m going to do a session like this, and then decide how to best measure our progress. I also realize this is not necessarily going to be easy to measure because there are different cats, and the distance at which they appear often differs, too. Sometimes they move, and sometimes they are stationary. Sometimes there is only one at a time – and sometimes there is more than one. Sometimes, they stare at us (we are in a display window at this AirBnB – for people and cats). This means the sessions are not directly comparable, which is a shame. We don’t live in a lab!

If anyone readong along wants to throw their suggestions of how they’d measure this at me, go right ahead! I’m writing this up more slowly than I’m training, so by the time I read our suggestion, I will likely already have implemented whatever I came up with myself. But if you want to think along and decide what you would do in my situation – go right ahead and have fun with this in the comments, and I’ll be sure to get back to you there!

Since I have no video for you today – take one of the cats instead:

The Norbert Experiment, part 3: a long session filled with information!

I’ve dug the harness out of my luggage – still looking for the longer line (when you live a mostly off-leash life, you tend to lose track of your lines). We’ve been on a long walk, it’s hot (significantly warmer than at the previous place we were), and Game and I are both tired. Lazy play is just right for both of us today!

Here’s Game’s marker/arousal staircase image, with time stamps for each of the steps below.

Video A

Round I

Step 1: Consider the lobster cat

00:00-00:10 Considering the cat (longer than ideal but I wanted to show you all the cat)

Step 2: Tug

00:10 Tug marker. Game responds well!

00:30 I realize I had closed the glass door and can unclip Game from the tether.

01:05 A quick look at the cat, and then Game disengages and keeps playing! Yay!

Step 3: Chase high value food

01:37 My first tossed treat cue. Game is slow to let go of the toy here! These are the things I pay attention to: does she respond to marker cues at baseline speed or below? This response is below. I may have caused it by my teasing tiny tugs on her toy right before the marker though. It is not clear whether the latency is cat related.

01:45 I remember I was going to leave the toy out, and see whether Game will gravitate towards it if she needs to sink her teeth into something after the first run down the staircase.

01:50 I was not planning on tossing the treat at an angle that would let Game see the cat easily right after eating – she does really well though, and does not get stuck.

02:13 Team work!

Step 4: Eat high value food from hand

02:16 First click for eye contact!

02:25 That look may have been at the cat (who is still under the white table) or the person walking past. I can’t tell.

02:29 This look is clearly at the cat – the person has passed already. This is okay: looking at things in the environment/pointing them out by looking is just as clickable as looking at me. This is a both/and, not an either/or paradigm.

02:34/35 Another one for looking at the cat! You just look where you need to look, Game.

02:37 I shift a little to make the different directions of looking more salient. Now, looking at me is clearly looking away from the cat, and looking at the cat is clearly looking away from me.

Step 5: Scatter

02:46/47 First scatter cue, marking eye contact.

Round II

Another round! Game is looking at the cat again. Calmly so – but she’s looking. For now, I will take this as a cue to restart the staircase.

Step 2

03:32 Tug cue. Game is looking at me (she knows what’s coming), and I can mark that. If she were to continue looking at the cat, that’s what I’d mark with “Tug!”

04:27 By moving away and allowing Game to bring the tug toy back to me, I’m giving her the opportunity to restart the game. This is how I keep things cooperative.

Step 3

04:40/41 That response to my “Get it” marker was perfect: that’s Game’s baseline speed, and what I want to see! As soon as I said, “Get it,” she let go of the toy.

04:45 Again, tossing into the cat corner is not what I had in mind when coming up with my training plan.

04:47 … but Game handles it well! So well, in fact, that I might want to add a sprinkle of the Give Me A Break CU game to our cat sessions!


Sidenote: this is what Give me a break looks like: the treat can eventually be put down close to a stimulus, and the dog will dismiss, like Game dismisses the police person in the video below:


Step 4

04:56 Click for eye contact.

04:58 I’m moving to give Game more of a choice in terms of whether she wants to look at the cat or at me – now we are obviously in different directions.

Step 5

05:11 Scatter cue for eye contact.

Round III

05:37 The cat is still there, and Game is watching again. She is not in predator mode (which may be because of the scatter … or because she isn’t used to the heat. Being hot (or cold) influences motivational states.

We start over with step 2 after video A ends.


Video B

Round IV

Step 2

00:00 The last part of toy play. Game went back to cat-watching after the previous scatter, and I started over at step 5.

00:08/09 You can see she’s tired. She isn’t super fast and intense, and holding the toy gently rather than hard. But keep going she wants, and I want to keep experimenting – so we keep going.

Step 3

00:26/27 Realized the treats from my pocket were gone; had to get them from the counter. At this point, we are using kibble – I have gone through all the high-value treats I cut up already.

00:37 Game doesn’t mind chasing kibble – this is good!

Step 4

00:58 Waiting for Game to offer eye contact …

Step 5

01:11 Scatter cue for eye contact. Kibble again. Game doesn’t mind.

Step 6?

01:39 She starts circling here – she considers laying down for the first time!

Round V

Step 2

01:43 Then she circles past the tug toy. This is a training toy, not a toy I usually leave out for her to disembowel. She can’t resist it, and asks for another round.

This is good information for me: she did not look at the cat, and then choose the toy. She was going to do step 6, then saw the toy and changed her mind. I’m going to need to adapt this approach (leaving the toy out) since this is not what I’m aiming for.

01:50 I mean it’s a good decision to bring me the toy rather than get sucked into cat watching. But watching this video back, I can see that the decision she made was not “do I stare at the cat or get the toy,” but “do I lie down or get the toy.”

We continue down the marker cue staircase again after video B ends.


In round 6, Game looked at the cat, and then channeled her cat thoughts into the toy unprompted – that is awesome and exactly what I was going for! Good girl! I’m not showing you video of this because by that time, the camera had fallen over.

There is a 7th round. Rounds 4, 5, 6 and 7 were all played with kibble rather than high-value treats. By round 7, I run out of kibble as well (I only got her portion for the day from the car, and have no refill at hand). So after the round 7 scatter, I encourage Game to follow me into the bedroom and close the door (no sightline to the cats). She is able to relax right away.

Lots to learn from this long session! Tomorrow, I’ll share the adjustments I’ll make based on what I’ve seen in this session. There is lots of room for our cat experiment to grow!

The Norbert Experiment, Part 2: cats happen faster than expected

This is a short one, just showing you how messy real life is! I filmed the baseline pretty much right after getting to this AirBnB and seeing the cats. Then I tethered Game to the couch and opened the glass door so there was only the screen door because it was HOT inside! I was still getting set up here myself, but managed to prepare some of what I would need for cat sightings (chop up high value treats) by the time this cat – the next one after the baseline – walked past. Both the longer leash I’d rather use for Game’s tether and the harness I’d prefer to tether her on (as opposed to a collar) are still doG knows where in my luggage or in the car. They’d have been up on top had I known how cat-y this AirBnB was going to be.

So life happens, and we make the best of it!

Below, as I was still digging through my luggage, a cat walks past. I record the cat (rather than attending to Game right away), and then I quickly run down the marker cue staircase.

The good news: it works well and Game is able to respond to the tug cue right away.

The not so great news: by the time I took this video, I had not had time to think through the details. For example the tug play you see in this clip is not what I later decided I wanted, and then described in part 1 (cooperative tug): here, I am reaching for the toy way more often then I’d like. The leash is too short to play on well, and I end up tossing a treat towards (rather than parallel to) where the cat used to be – outside of Game’s leash radius. And for most of this, Game’s not even in the frame of the camera. Oh well!

But after that scatter, the cat was gone, and Game was indeed ready to move on with her life. So while by no means perfect, the basic structure is working – and we’ll be better prepared next time! (With the camera set up in a good spot and ready to record, high value treats and toy ready to go, a longer leash and a harness!)

In the video below, I pick up the toy when moving to “Get it” treats. I might experiment leaving it on the ground next time so Game herself can restart the game if she needs to channel some more cat feelings into it.

The Norbert Experiment, part 1: Game’s cat baseline

We got to a new AirBnB the other day. Turns out there’s a lot of cats in the shared yard space the apartment opens out into! It’s also warm here, so for the most part I’m only closing the screen door, but not the actual glass door. Screen dors are not Malinois-proof barriers, meaning I need to tether my dog to keep the risk of cats (or screen doors) being harmed as low as it can be.

I’ll be here just long enough to turn this into a fun little training project. I’m finding this project particularly intriguing right now because I’m also working with someone on household-cat-acceptance using a different (tried and true) approach – more in that below. The approach I’ll be using with Game in The Norbert Experiment (1) is a bit more experimental, and it’ll be fun to compare the two.

Baseline response to tongue click, treat toss cue, and “leave it”

Today, I’ll show you Game’s baseline response to cats outside the apartment (glass door closed here, not just screen door). I know she wouldn’t be able to take the treat from my hand (this is kibble; I can usually work with it on almost anything). I’m only clicking and offering it to her to demo to you all that she can’t take it, not because I expect her to take it.

I was not sure if she would be able to chase kibble. Chasing food is higher value and higher arousal for Game than the same kibble from my hand, and she is able to do so in many situations, even when she can’t take treats from my hand. Game says, nope, can’t do.

I am surprised that she is able to respond to my “Leave it” cue – twice, no less – in this clip, but maybe I shouldn’t be: I have reinforced “leave it” as well as recalls with permission to chase cats, and that is the functional reinforcer Game is after in this situation.

From this clip, I learn two things:

  1. I need higher value treats for this project.
  2. I’ll want to consider adding toy play to my reinforcement/arousal shifting approach. I suspect (but will have to ask Game to know for sure) that tugging is equally high value as considering out-of-reach cats.

Speaking of reinforcement value and dogs who like to move their body …

Game could not chase treats here, but Keeshond Via below sure can. I love this clip because it shows that for Via (who just saw a deer), chasing treats is possible even when taking treats from Allison’s hand (“Yes”) is not. I love marker cues! I also believe we are severely underutilizng them in the dog training world. (Keep your eyes out for anything Karen Deeds has to say about this topic!)

Thank you, Allison, for allowing me to share your clip!

Chasing as a reinforcer (for coming back, leave it-s etc.)

With the cats in the alleys of Guanajuato, I used chasing as a reinforcer, just like I do with birds or squirrels who can easily get to safety. Guanajuato’s alley cats are dog-savvy and know that they just need to jump up a wall or roof and can give Game the finger from up there. I did not feel like I was adding substantial stress to their lives – just a single jump, which is something they are used to doing in their environment. I know this is an ethically foggy area. Personally, I’m okay with chasing as a reinforcer as long as it does not (and this assessment will be subjective, too) unduely stress the animal(s) being chased.

Here’s Game chasing birds (I don’t have a video of her and an alley cat). You can see how when I start the video, she is not mindlessly going after the cattle egrets. Quite the contrary: she waits for me to ask something of her so she can earn egret chasing. And as the video continues, she gravitates towards focusing on me rather than the birds. It is SO powerful to harness your dog’s greatest distraction, and turn it into a reinforcer! It removes the conflict of either/or (either I do what my human wants, or I do what I want) and replaces it with a both/and paradigm.

LAT on a mat for cat acceptance

The team I mentoned above is currently doing LAT from a mat, with the ultimate goal being acceptance of the household cat: the dog is on a mat, and gets marked and fed in a specific way for either pointing out the cat to her human or offering eye contact to her human. We keep the sessions to one minute and track the looks at the cat versus looks at the owner, and have a certain threshold point where we reduce the distance between cat and dog by one carpet square. This method is tried and true, and should also work for the goal of the dog learning that she will never chase that cat (anything CU means there will be no direct interaction with the stimulus). Once the dog is aware of this, it removes a lot of uncertainty from interactions. Uncertainty is stressful for many dogs, which is one of the reasons CU can be so powerful.

This is what this looks like with Heather’s cat Vignette and her Dutch Shepherd Saphira:


Sidenote to stress the beautiful training in the LAT clip above

Note that there are a several foundation behaviors that go into a training plan like the one Heather, Karl, Saphira and Vignette are implementing. If you don’t know what to look for, this may look effortless – but it is, in fact, amazingly complex and based on strong foundation behaviors, clear communication, and an excellent dog trainer (Heather) working with an excellent cat trainer (Heather’s husband Karl). Not only are they really good at what they are doing with their animals – they have also managed to build a habit for themselves: the habit of working on this together every evening they are home.

A training plan that requires time usually also requires us humans to develop a strong habit to keep at it. We can trick our own minds a bit here by clearly defining when that habit is going to happen, and turning an already established preceding event or behavior into our prompt for that new habit. Heather and Karl have been making great progress because they have committed to working on this at a particular time every day. The more we make something a habit for ourselves, the easier it feels to make time for it, and the more progress we are going to make.

Saphira’s foundation behaviors that need to be in place before a session like this is even possible:

+ A strong station-on-cot behavior

+ Understanding that the marker cue “ground” means a treat will materialize on the ground in front of her (in this case, on her cot bed, between her paws). The reason this is the marker cue we chose is that it resets Saphira: when taking a treat from between her paws, she is looking away from both Vignette and Heather, and can then make a new choice: does she want to look at Heather or does she want to look at Vignette? Both behaviors get reinforced equally.

+ The LAT game in easier contexts (knowing that pointing out a stimulus in the environment is a reinforceable behavior).

+ Knowing that eye contact with Heather is a reinforceable behavior.

Vignette’s foundation behaviors:

+ Relaxation in the presence of dogs.

+ Wearing a harness.

+ Walking on a leash and harness voluntarily. Karl isn’t pulling Vignette up to Saphira – they are just walking up together.

(The leash and harness are for safety, to make sure Vignette doesn’t run up to Saphira, just like Saphira is wearing a leash that Heather holds for safety. We don’t plan on needing them, but it’s good to have them – like seat belts.)

Shout out! Heather, Karl, Saphira, Philo (their second cat) and Vignette – I LOVE the work you’ve been doing, and the progress you’ve been making! You make a fantastic team!


Back to the Norbert Experiment!

Since I don’t mind sending Game to chase some of the time (I just need it under stimulus control), I don’t need (or even want) a purist CU approach here. Instead, I want to marker-cue her down every time she sees a cat outside of this particular apartment.

The idea is that eventually, seeing a cat through the screen or glass door will become a cue to ask me for a toy. This may not happen before I move out of here – I’ve got about two weeks. OR it just may. We’ll have to find out! I enjoy playing prediction games with myself, so I predict that I will see some kind of progress in these two weeks.

The image below is what I suspect Game’s hierarchy of arousal and reinforcement value looks like. She might proof me wrong, which is okay. I’ll have to ask her in order to find out if we’re on the same page about this! I suspect that considering cats is as arousing AND as valuable as tugging with me. The shift from step 1 to step 2 is therefore a horizontal one. It is not a shift in reinforcement value or arousal level, but a shift in attention (from cat to toy/me).

From step 2 onwards, I can then – theoretically – go down the arousal and reinforcement value staircase, shifting vertically down from one step to the next lower one until we are at step 6 and can move on with our lives, not thinking cat thoughts.

I may be wrong about the value of considering cats outside the apartment versus the value of tugging in their presence. That is okay – I am going to ask Game if this reinforcement hierarchy is indeed hers, and adapt based on her response.

I’ve used this method with different dogs in the past, but this is the first time (and I might misremember because human memory is not reliable) that I consciously include a potentially competitive toy game: tug. Tug can easily turn into a zero sum game, which would further increase arousal. I’ll try hard to keep it cooperative rather than competitive. I do not want Game to fight me for the toy. In order to keep it cooperative, I will make sure to keep letting go of the toy and allow Game to restart the game. I will also push back against her chest at least as much as I’m pulling on the toy, and I’ll work with her on the floor rather than standing up. This way, I hope to play Game’s calmest version of tug.

Should there be toy play around cats?

I’ve thought about whether tug is a good idea at all, because it will likely keep Game’s arousal at cat-level, and it is directly related to sinking her teeth into a toy – someting I would very much not want her to do with a cat.

Since this is my own dog who I like to experiment with (and know I can keep the cats safe from), I am going to go ahead with it and find out what happens. I believe, based on Game and my history of toy play, that this is going to increase her impulse control around cats – and that’s what I want. I don’t need relaxation right away, but I want cats to mean tug.

So at first, I will take her focus vertically from cats to a tug toy. Then, I’ll bring her arousal level down horizontally by switching from tugging to chasing high value treats, from chasing treats to treats from hand for offered focus (“Can you offer a behavior with a strong reinforcement history?”), and then to a scatter. Sniffing for treats is a relaxing behavior. Seeing whether Game can or can’t engage in it will make an excellent gauge of whether she is able to move on. Since most (not all) of the cats out there walk past rather than staying right outside staring in, by the time I’m all the way down to the scatter, the probability that Game will be able to move on (because there is no more cat) will be high, too. If not, I’ll do another round.

Keeping data

I’ll need a way to track my progress or lack thereof. My preliminary plan is to switch from high value treats to kibble every fifth time I go down this staircase. Will Game be able to do it with kibble or not? I’ll also keep recording video after the scatter to see what happens, and find a way of coding her body language to know how long it takes her to truly move on (maybe how long it takes her to lie down in a relaxed position and not stare catwards.)


(1) I’m calling this The Norbert Project because I just met Kayla’s cat Norbert, and sadly, I could only invite Norbert into my previous AirBnB when Game and I were out. It would be nice if the next time Norbert and I crossed paths, he could actually be inside at the same time as Game – even if only for a little bit. Also, meet Norbert, travel cat with Kayla of K9 Conservationists. A shout out to Norbert for inspiring the name of this training series, and for being his amazing van life travel self! Cats don’t get much cooler than that!