Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Manners and Object Discrimination

In the spirit of teaching manners, I've been working with all three dogs on taking treats GENTLY rather than alligatoring my fingers off. They all KNOW how to do this. But when we're working on something other than taking treats nicely, the behavior goes away, and I end up with sore fingers. It's my fault, cause I don't demand it, cause I really don't care that much. The giving the treat part is boring, I want it to be quick and on to the next training thing. That is, until somebody chomps my fingers particularly hard, or until Elo manages to wedge one of his needle-sharp canines under a fingernail, which he does often. So my criteria has changed (for now, we'll see how long this lasts) and the dogs are now required to take treats gently, every time.

In FUN training news, I've started some object discrimination work with Jun. Having never done this before, I'm making it up as I go along, as usual. Two things I would like her to be able to pick out by name, for starters, are my keys and her leash. I started by putting two objects on the ground (keys and another random object) and clicked for a nose touch on the keys. Then I switched to keys and a different random object, then I added more random objects, varied the location of the keys, put other objects on top of keys, put all the objects in a pile, spread the objects out, etc. Right now, she is pretty reliable at picking the keys out of any set of objects, and retreiving them. I would like to be able to send her on a hunt for the keys, thus setting her up to be able to find my keys when they are lost, but that's a way's off. I started the process for the leash last night. The hard part, I think, will be having the leash AND the keys out together and having her reliably retrieve the correct object. I'm hoping it will be a little easier than the nose/paw touch distinctions which I am still working on with Elo.

1 comment:

  1. sounds like fun! My dogs know to pick up both keys and leash but I haven't yet taught them to distinguish between the two. It should be a ton easier then the nose/paw though as it's not a different behavior with one object!