Monday, October 31, 2011

Nettle's Second Retrieve Lesson

Okay, so this is a few months ago!  

Sometimes things just get pushed to the side!
I'm just glad I still have the video! 

Nettle had her first retrieve lesson shortly after I got her, in the middle of June.  We’d just starting our ‘shaping/clicker’ learning, and it wasn’t stellar, so I just put the retrieve aside for awhile and worked on some other behaviors.  Hindsight, I sure wish I would have taped that session! 
In a nutshell, the session went something like this: She would look at it, and I’d click and place my reward on, or near the object.  She would push it with her foot, and I would click that.  I was clicking almost any interaction with the article, then she'd walk away. Finally I just put it away, what is the big hurry!  We'll come back to it once she's learned more about learning, and I've learned more about how she learns.  I think we need to do this a little more often.  Why is there a time line when things need to be learned?   
Two weeks later, I pulled that article back out, and what a difference.  We’d learned more shaping behaviors by then, and she’s learned that if an object was present, then chances were I’d want her to interact with it.  Latent learning at it’s best!  She acted like she’d been doing this for awhile.  I even decided to see if she’d take it from my hand, which is something that’s required at Apprentice level of water work, and she did.
I added a metal spoon, and there wasn’t any problem there either. 
I taped my whole session; it’s 5 minutes in length, and longer than I’d normally work one behavior.   It’s rather a boring clip, but if you’re struggling with your dog’s willingness to retrieve, it might be helpful?  
Most importantly, don't be in a hurry! 

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