Posts Tagged 'stand-stay'

Quickpress Reminder: Blog Carnival (+ Barnum Passes Another Test!)

I have really been enjoying reading and compiling all the submissions that are coming in for the Assistance Dog Blog Carnival. For information or details about the carnival (what, when, where, how, etc.), also see the carnival announcement post.

Please remember to post the link and title of your submission in the comments section of the Announcement. Posts must be up and your link submitted by 11:59 PM (of whatever time zone you’re in) on Tuesday, October 19.

If you have written a post for the carnival, and you don’t post it at After Gadget, I won’t know about it, and I won’t be able to include it! (I stumbled across a post for the carnival that I otherwise wouldn’t have known about, and would have been sorry to exclude; I don’t want to miss any others!)

Now I have to write my own blog on “The First….” I’ve known what I want to write for many weeks, I just have to coordinate my weary body and mind to do it!

Barnum Training Update: We Passed L2 Stand-Stay!

I decided to test us on Level 2 stand-stay — 10 seconds, no more than two cues (I used a verbal and a hand cue) — and no leg/paw can move at all. I wasn’t wearing a watch, so I just guessed when to click/treat, but watching the video, I see we did 12 seconds! Hooray!

I’ve been very sick, plus trying to keep up with the carnival and squeeze in a few minutes of training now and then, so I haven’t been up to transcribing or captioning the video that I’m plopping in below. My apologies. In the future, I’ll round up several videos — including this one — and do the captions and transcripts.

This one starts with a funny bit where Barnum is offering me a behavior I didn’t expect (confusing “watch” with “bark,” then the stand-stay, then a tiny bit of LLW practice.

. . . Can Watch and LLW Be Far Behind?

We can now also do 10 or more seconds of eye contact on a pretty consistent basis (despite the funny confusion that occurs at the beginning of the video above), and I have also been able to add in our cue, “Watch,” without it distracting him anymore. So, I think we are finally almost done with the 16 behaviors on Sue Ailsby’s Training Level Two. When we pass the loose-leash walking and eye contact tests, there will be a PAR-TAY!

Eye Lock Log Update

If you’re looking for information on the Assistance Dog Blog Carnival, please visit my previous post.

Meanwhile . . . training has continued, even though I have not posted daily training logs. I wanted visitors to find the info on the carnival first. But, here’s an update.

We hit a learning dip or plateau a couple of days ago, when Barnum suddenly seemed unable to go for 10 seconds on any consistent basis, or at all. Fortunately, I was able to see it for a blip, and just end sessions quickly on a high note as much as possible and have faith.

He has certainly been giving me more eye contact and even eye lock throughout the day, so the training is making an impact.

I’ve also started to try to incorporate more thoughtful, planned-out recalls, with the goal of 10-20 recalls in the house or yard per day, with a variety of high-level reinforcers. Reinforcers are cooked liver, roasted chicken, raw beef heart, cheddar cheese, tug with his favorite toys, and praise and cuddles (when he is most affectionate, in the morning).

We’re continuing to train stand-stay, and last night we did a couple of ten-second stand-stays, so I think we are almost ready to test! I think he is just now getting that stand is a “thing,” like “sit” or “down” are “things,” and so the idea of stand-stay, even though he has a concept of sit- and down-stay, is new. However, I have started to incorporate sit-stay and down-stay into daily life now and again for actual useful purposes! I think he might actually be on his way to a SDiT (service dog in training)!

His recall out in the world is improving, too, as he was actually coming, sitting (uncued), and accepting treats when I called after he’d worked out his initial puppy zoomies at the pond on Friday. Amazing!

This morning we got to a count of 15 for eye contact twice in a row (which is probably about 12 seconds), and we were able to start right off the bat at six and work up. The stare is really a stare now, more intense. Truly eye lock! It’s great! Didn’t have to start at one. Then I got overconfident and did that great clicker-training no-no and asked for “just one more” 15-count eye lock, and the behavior collapsed. I ended for the day and went to the bathroom.

He saw his spider on the freezer in there and stared at me, so I built us up from 6 seconds with kibble to 10 and then rewarded with spider-tug and spider-fetch-and-tug. I also actually said the cue, “watch me,” once during our longer session to get to 10 seconds, but it seemed to make him uncomfortable, and he broke the contact. In the bathroom, I tried just “watch,” and he didn’t notice that, and that went fine, so I think I might be trying our THIRD cue and see if this one sticks (“look,” then “watch me,” now “watch”). I think he associates the earlier cues with his confusion and looking away, so I gotta come up with something and use it only when we are really solid on ten seconds. We’re getting there!

I think when we can start at 7 or 8 seconds and then do 10 consistently (5 or 6 reps at least in a row), I will reintroduce, “watch,” and then hopefully we’ll be rolling. I’ve never had to work so long and hard to get a behavior. It’s usually putting it on cue that’s the work. Here, as with LLW, I think it’ll be both!

I’ll try to get some video of our new duration behaviors as soon as possible (sit-stay and the blossoming stand-stay, LLW, and eye contact).


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