Sunday, September 19, 2010

I may need to purchase this photo!

So I have this image forever in my head!!

Why? Maybe because I need encouragement? I need reinforcement, positive reinforcement and looking at this picture is that. Positive reinforcement that I CAN teach Spur to run his contacts. That it IS possible.
OK, so it doesn't really DO that for me, but it does show me what he CAN do. Whether I teach it to him or not, we will see.

Here is what I learned today. I CAN make it clearer to him if I remove toys from the picture. Why? I think there are several reasons. One - we reinforced too many misses with toys. Two - he gets too mentally unfocused with a toy.

Today I tried really hard to be very patient. I set up our planks in the back yard. They are about 8" off the ground. Essentially one long plank with a contact zone. I set up both hit-it boards to beep. He jumped, he jumped, he jumped, he jumped and I then had him do some a little slower and he hit it - JACKPOT!! Jackpot and smoked turkey sandwich meat all the way back to the start. Run again, HIT = JACKPOT!! This continued successfully for about 10 reps. We rested.

Tried later and had one jump, then 8 successes!! At OK speed. Not as fast as he would go for a toy, but running and adjusting his stride to hit the contact. YAY!!!

Later out in the agility yard on the full dog walk. 10 reps = 100% success. Still not the speed we get with a toy, but running and adjusting stride. I would prefer faster and no stride adjustment, but at least we have some sort of understanding. This is all with food only. I may have to resort to that for a while and settle with the slower speed, but greater success.

Have I mentioned how hard this is?

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