Benny and Mazzy at the Gate - Benny's 1st Lession

Part One:  Benny & Mazzy are featured here during their very first visit where the topics were learning to be handfed, associating clicking and food (reinforcement), and, as always, impulse control around gates, doorways, and openings.  They are learning that an open gate does not mean go through.  Waiting for the release is the trick that gets reinforced!

Part Two:  Benny's very first training session (during his current visit) where foundational behaviors will be the focus.  This session is about the target stick but the target mat is close behind and these important foundational tools must be taught before other behaviors can be developed.  Ultimately, I am wanting to train the cue "Goto Your Place" to produce the behavior of Benny getting on his platform and sitting nicely.  Of course, he does not know this cue (certainly not in this environment or with these props) and you can see he has no inclination to comply when preliminarily asked to do so.

To ultimately get Benny on the platform (without force, pushing, pulling, lifting, touching), I will first teach the target stick.  Once Benny is consistently attracted to the target stick, I will use that to lure Benny to the target mat.  I will then reinforce any behavior that Benny exhibits towards the mat, eventually getting an almost magnetic attraction to the mat: wherever it is placed Benny will immediately and happily jump right on it.  Finally, the target mat and the target stick (foundational tools) will be used to train the first real behavior:  "Goto Your Place."  I cannot say how long it will take train the foundational behaviors since pups are individuals.  I can say that once those foundational tools are in place, the teaching of the cue "Goto Your Place" will be remarkably fast.  I will video every intervening step for your learning pleasure.



Collective Targeting, Distracted Recall, Learning to Wait until Released with Benny and Mazzy

Okay, Day Two.  We continue our work towards excellent Targeting behavior and throw in a little Recall Under Distraction for good measure.  Finally, we end with amazing 1st time wait until released work over an evening snack.  All training today took place over regular kibble during meal time.  You can see how extraordinary service behavior can be developed in just a few minutes a day, yes?  Every single morsel of food is earned in a clear and fun fashion and a good time was had by all!



Working our way to the Platforms

Here, Benny and Mazzy take turns and work together being lured onto their platforms with the now usable Target Stick.  Of course, the more time the target stick is used and the more treats are earned by nudging it, the more magnetic it will become.  Already, however, after just a day or two of enjoying treats over the target stick behavior, we can use the target stick to lure the pups onto their platforms.

From morning to evening, you can see the substantial progress towards getting on and remaining on the platforms until released.  I am going to continue to reward that platform behavior to strengthen its reliability.  Notice at the end of the video how I put the platforms up when I am not going to monitor them for reinforcement potential.  I don't want the pups standing on them and failing to get the attention such behavior deserves so I put them up and eliminate that outcome.  For now, I only want them available when I am paying attention to reward the selected behavior.

This is just a few days of constructive, thoughtful, fun work around meal time.  We are just enjoying routine kibble in a creative, constructive, manner which rewards the pups for solving our arbitrary learning puzzles.  There is no force whatsoever.  No pulling, pushing, lifting, or even touching of any kind.  There are no "corrections", no compulsions, no electrical "stimulation", and no verbal scolding or even the use of the word "no."  Training takes only minutes a day (of thoughtful, constructive work) and is absolutely fun fun fun for everybody involved!

The End

Benny & Mazzy

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