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:
- As long as the toy is out, Game will keep going.
- 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).
- Game can take kibble within this staircase marker game – at least starting at the 4th round.
- 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: