Sunday, January 1, 2012

Goals for 2012

I’ve agreed to follow Stacey Braslau-Schneck’s idea to train our dogs for 12 minutes each day for the entire month of January.

As a way of finding out WHAT I will be training during those 12 minutes a day, here’s a list of my goals for this year.

1) “Zitten!”
2) Whistle Sit; ‘Piew!’
3) “Lie Down!”
4) Down on Hand Signal (From Left shoulder to Right hip & from Right shoulder to Left hip)
Default behavior (in a training session, when not asked to do something) should be STAND.

1 & 2) A solid RECALL to whistle ‘tu-tu-tu-tu!’ on the Acme 211,5 and voice cue; “meisje kom!”
3) RELAX on cue
4 & 5) Solid SIT STAY, able to stop her anywhere on voice cue “Zitten!” & whistle ‘piew!’
6) Solid DOWN STAY, an immediate drop, able to stop her anywhere on voice cue “Lie Down!” & hand signal (can then be combined with Sit whistle)
7) DEFAULT ZEN; food in hands Zen, food on tables Zen, food falling Zen, food on the floor Zen, open door Zen, CAT ZEN(? we need it, but I'm not sure I want to commit to it...), tossed balls Zen, food-lady Zen
8) CUED ZEN; verbal cue for Zen is “No.” I will train this behavior up to L4 before I start asking for it in daily life.
8) DEFAULT LOOSE LEASH; if she ever starts to think of pulling, I will back up at least 3 steps, have her Sit at my side, wait for calmness, then continue on. If she spots someone or something she wants to go to, I will make note of where we are at that moment, and if at any time toward that focal point she thinks of pulling, I will walk all the way back to our starting point and ask for a Sit at my side. Then we try again. NO EXCUSES!
9) NAME RESPONSE; any time I say her name, I will pay her. Any time I say her name, I want her to Look at me.
10) COLLAR GRAB; conditioned to the point of happy response (smiling face, bright eyes, pricked ears, tail wag) whenever I reach for her collar

1) If I need her to stop doing something; I will EITHER say her Name (and then offer an alternative behavior) cue Zen or ask for a Recall ONCE. If she responds by MOVING HER FACE AWAY from the thing she was engaged with, I will click and pay handsomely. If she doesn’t respond to ONE request, I will walk up to her and remove her with a Collar Grab, then give her another chance to do what I asked. If she needs my help twice, I will put her on leash and pay her for a Sit Stay at my side. I might then later give her another chance.

2) Train in Real Life; In the company of other people and/or dogs, instead of ignoring Luna and allowing her to practice reinforcement stealing and making her comply, I will take that opportunity to TEACH DEFAULT ZEN, NAME RESPONSE, LOOSE LEASH, SIT STAY, DOWN STAY, RECALLS.

3) I will always have a handful of other treats mixed in with her kibble, to offer a random surprise. I will use these treats whenever I happen to grab one, and not to specifically reinforce special responses. They should be a surprise, not a planned event. If any are left by dinnertime, I will take them out and use them the next day. She will not get the special treats for dinner.

4) Train by the handful, no longer than 3 – 5 minutes per session, 4 sessions a day.

5) I will TEACH a behavior ‘in the lab’, get it fluent & under stimulus control, then start integrating it in daily life.

6) After teaching a behavior, I will pay for EACH AND EVERY correct response for at least 30 days before I start asking for a little faith.

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