Atticus and Trailer Standing and Backing, 3-28-13

It was an interesting day with Atticus today. I thought I’d move our practice into the driveway/chute where the trailer is. I could have been quite a ways from the trailer or in the middle or quite close to it. I chose to be quite close to it. As it turns out, I think that added to Mr. A’s distraction or possibly confusion as the environment seems to tell him to back onto something instead of just backing. Yes, he tried to do that the other day with the post, but today he seemed even more focused on trying to back onto the post.

We practiced standing some more and then moved to backing and using my transitional verbal cue of “pickles”. There was also some grass in there that distracted him as well and he tended to walk off to munch it.

Then we switched to the trailer and he has standing so well now that I have a devil of a time trying to get him back off!

He did want to load each time (about three I think) and was quite happy in there eating hay. In between asking him to stand, I’d ask him to target the boat bumper. I’m working on my turning away as his cue for him to stand (new cue, old cue, behavior, click, treat).

That was working very well so I needed to switch to backing to see if I could get him to back off. Without giving the verbal cue to stand, I just turned away and walked to the back of the trailer, said “pickles” and tugged his tail. No response! Waited five seconds and asked again. No response. Walked to the front and asked him to target the boat bumper, which he did. Walked to the back again and asked with “pickles”, tail tug, “back”. And basically just waited. I figured he’d want to get off eventually.

We were able to finish on a good back on a tail tug cue. 🙂

About Laurie Higgins

I play with clicker training - with my horses, dogs, and cats. I also attempt to grow vegetables with the hope of one day being able to feed my family from my garden. My daughter and I are learning ballroom dancing. Well, we were. But she left me for a paying horse job, so now my husband and I are learning ballroom dancing. I'm also now helping Peggy Hogan, of Clicker Training Horses (and The Best Whisper is a Click) to teach people how to train their own horses using "clicker training".
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