Friday, April 15, 2011

Grab the Pole - Part One

This week’s Trick has multiple parts.
In reality, all the ‘Tricks’ have multiple parts;
or multiple behaviors that need to be learned before the
‘whole trick’ comes together.  Sometimes, we forget this.

Back to this week’s Trick. 
 Remember the “That was EASY” button? 
Hopefully, you either taught that trick, or your dog knows how to
 target an object with his paw. 
If not, you’ll to shape him to that first. 
There’s a short segment on the video showing that.

The goal for this week is to get the dog to grab, and
securely hold a bar with a front leg close to his body.

Now we’re going to ‘generalize’
this paw/lid behavior to a bar or pole.
I’ve used both jump bars and in the video a weave pole,
so it doesn’t really matter.

So, you’ll need a dog, treats, clicker and a bar/pole of some kind.
The dog can be in any position, hold the pole in one hand with one end on the ground near the dog.  C/T any movement toward the bar, even just looking at it counts at first.  C/T with cookie near, or on the bar.  Remember, placement of reward!!

You’re shaping the dog touching the bar, just like you did the lid.
Move the bar around to different locations so he has to reach for it, or move to get to it.
Once he has a good understanding of what you’re asking for, C/T for duration. In other words, we want his foot on it for a bit before we C/T. 

Then raise the bar up off the ground a bit.  Again, we’re looking for him to confidently put his paw on the bar.  Be careful you or your dog doesn’t get hit with the bar! Seeker pushes and pulls pretty hard.

At this point you’re going to want to ask the dog to sit.  You are going to place one end of the pole on the ground a bit more vertically than before, in front of the dog.  You’d like to make it secure enough that the dog can’t easily move it.  Again C/T any touches of the bar with his paw.  For me it’s easiest to hold the bar in my left hand and the clicker and multiple treats in my right hand.  Today we’re using our infamous mini marshmallows!!

When they are confidently putting their foot on the bar, be sure you are using your placement of reward to reinforce the desired behavior.  At some point they will twist their foot in order to grab at the bar.  JACK POT!!! 

Remember Susan Garrett’s awesome “It’s Yer Choice” video!!
I dump my treats on the ground! 
Yep….right there!!

As the get to gripping the pole harder, let him pull it into his body.

Once he’s really hanging on, give it a little pull.
Watch how Seeker pulls it back to him.
This is exactly what you’re looking for.

That’s it for this week.

Part 2 – Will be next weeks Trick

Part 3 – That might take awhile. 
Seeker doesn’t have that part down yet.

HAVE FUN!!!!!!

1 comment:

  1. Ok... you've inspired me... we're going to give this another try. I have some better ideas now!!