Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Dog training update and a silly filly

Today will just be a quicky, as time is not on my side today.  Vet is coming at 3:00 to re-xray Sassy and I have much to get done between now and then.

The training classes went great last night.  It is all completely different than what I learned about training dogs back in the 80's.  No choke collars allowed, no pop corrections. It is all clickers, and treats.  Pure madness I say!

Actually it works really well, especially with two dogs who are highly motivated by food.  The first thing we learned was the "Its yer choice" game where we hold a handful of treats closed up in our hands.  Naturally Mason put my whole hand in his mouth trying to get too them. When he back off I open my hand, if he tries to snatch one I close it. The minute he waits quietly without stealing the food I use my other hand to give him one of the treats. It was not long before he was waiting patiently for each treat and I never had to close my hand.  The second thing we learned was "Loading the Clicker"  which is simply Click= treat, over and over again for 5 min straight. click, treat, click, treat.  In Masons case, a clicker is useless but the trainer came up with a brilliant idea...use a little light. As it happens Tom always has a little flashlight, so we used that. Brilliant I say! I did read on line yesterday that they make collars with little vibrators in them just for deaf dogs. you push a button, they feel the vibration, and they know to look at you because a treat is coming. I may have to invest in one of those.

Now here is the silly part.
The other day when I went out to my pick-up which sits in the pasture hooked to the trailer at all times, I noticed this:

In case you can't tell, those are nose prints.  Horsey nose prints.  They are on every window.  It seems as though someone wants to get in side the pick up.

I'm pretty sure I know who it is...

Me: Sassy come here, and let me see if your nose matches these prints
Sassy:  Who me?  Why do you always assume it is me?
Me: because it usually is
Sassy: That is Equine Profiling!

Silly Filly

1 comment:

  1. It's great that you've been introduced to the clicker, because when you posted about wondering how to get your boy to come back to walk better I was going to suggest that that sort of thing is so easy to teach with a clicker and a clicker savvy horse, but I didn't feel up to trying to explain the whole thing. I'd at first just reinforce the walk, any walk, more than any other pace, then eventually only reinforce a calm walk, and before you know it he'd be loving that calm walking thing and offering it easily, and in the end it would become self reinforcing because he would associate it with good things. If you want to learn more about clicker and horses, Alexandra Kurland is the person who introduced it into the horse world and has books and does clinics. I love clicker! I had good dogs and horses before clicker, but now I have a way to communicate with them much more clearly and it is amazing to watch those dull eyes begin to brighten as they learn they can earn treats instead of just wait to be made to do things.