Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Trick 2

Dog Blog Post #199: As you might recall from last Saturday, that whole Kisses thing didn’t work out, so…

This week’s showcase trick became:

Touch (a target on the floor)

I picked this trick because (a) I tried this when he was a wee pup and knew he would at least interact with the target (unlike my cheek!) and (b) it uses Shaping, which makes it different than last week’s lured trick.

This is a great beginner trick. I took my “target” (a cheap rubber mouse pad) and got my clicker and treats ready. Then I put the target on the ground.

Most dogs are curious, and Henry is no exception, so as soon as the pad hit the floor he was all over it.

Click – Treat!

“Cool!” thinks Henry, and then goes back to sniffing the pad.

Click – Treat!

“Nifty!” thinks Henry, and then goes back to sniffing the pad.

Click – Treat!

“Hmmm…”, thinks Henry, “it's not a mouse pad, it's a cookie pad!”

… or not. I obviously don’t know what he was thinking. but I can say that in no time at all he was spinning circles every time the cookie pad came out!

In the beginning, he was rewarded for any kind of interaction with the pad – a look, a sniff, a touch – but over time I started only clicking for paw touches. Today, when testing him (he passed!) I started holding off clicking for a fraction of a second, and he soon started standing on the pad instead of just tagging.

In just a few seconds I was seeing the start of a very nice, “Go there and stand!” behavior, which was not part of the original trick, but which I liked and will probably nurture.

And that’s it!

(Zachary is quite familiar with this trick, as well as it's more advanced relative "Push the Easy Button"!)


houndstooth said...

I like how you break down what you do into small bites that make it seem accomplishable! :)

greygirl25 said...

I love how you break down your technique. 'course, I think Henry is adorable, anything he did would impress me.

Carrie, with Tanner and Oliver said...

Good job, Henry. Tanner and Oliver learned "target" in agility training and sure did think it was fun to find goodies there! You sure are a cutie.