Sunday, November 28, 2010

A little training journal...

I'm working on teaching Gypsy to put socks in a laundry basket. I started 6 days ago, so to catch you up...

Day 1: Shaped behaviour using 4 socks of various sizes and colors. Begain clicking for attention to sock, touching sock, mouthing sock, and finally picking up sock. This took 3 sessions lasting under 5 minutes each.

Day 2: Shaped behaviour as per day 1. She began picking up the sock after a few clicks for touching it, and then I started waiting for her to hold it for a few seconds. By the end of day 2, she was carrying the sock a short distance. I attempted to introduce a box but she spent her time climbing into the box, so I left it during subsequent sessions. (this was our 101 things to do with a box, box, so she'd received much reinforcement for being in the box)

Day 3: As I was busy with other things and had training class in the evening, we did only one session today. Worked on duration with the sock in her mouth and distance carrying it.

Day 4: Chris had worked with Gyp using a laundry basket placed close to him with some success. Today I followed his procedure and started with the basket between Gyp and myself. She picked up socks immediately, and eventually managed to drop all 4 into the basket. She did attempt to get into the basket herself a few times. When I jackpotted a successful drop, (any part of the sock in or on the basket) she immediately attempted to pick that sock up again. With no 'click' she got frustrated. I clicked only for interaction with the socks that were still touching the floor. I did not click for interaction with socks dangling from the edge of the basket, but she did manage to get each one that was not completely in the basket in, just by attempting to interact after her jackpot. She began to understand that the socks I wanted her to interact with were the ones on the floor, and made less attempts with the ones already in the basket. After all 4 socks were placed in the basket, I tossed them in a pile back on the floor. She got them all back into the basket in less than 2 minutes. Still many partial carries and attempts to pick up basket socks, but much improvement.

Day 5: Was out all day again. Took Gyp for a ride to pick up a lamb (for us all to eat, not to play with) so she was in her crate in the car all morning. Then I took Mom shopping, so she was in the bedroom and crate most of the afternoon. When I got in this evening we worked a short session, and did 8 socks into the basket (2 sets of 4). She was much quicker tonight, and spent much less time trying to pick up socks already in the basket. She did get hung up a bit with a sock that ended up between the basket and the bed, but after many clicks for picking it up, it finally fell into the basket. I am pretty sure that she still has no clue that the job is to put them in the basket, but I expect that light will come on soon. Some whining and scratching of her neck when things weren't moving along quickly, and at one point she pulled a sock back out of the basket when there were 3 in. She seemed reluctant to pick up the 4th one for some reason. After a verbal cue and hand point (get the sock Gyp), she picked it up, got clicked, and soon had it in the basket. I am tired, so one set is all we are doing today! Good thing there are lamb ribs to make up for the boring day!

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