Sophie, the Foster Dog

Thursday, March 28, 2013:

I planned to give Sophie another bath today. Actually, I’ve planned this for the past several days. The last effort a couple of days ago ended when she didn’t even want to come into my bedroom, much less the bathroom.

So today I planned on teaching her to go into the shower. I started by tossing treats into the shower for her to get. Originally, I planned to have her go in, get clicked, and then treat her outside. Ha. That didn’t work very well.

So I had to go into the shower and sit on the bench and toss treats inside. Then toss treats outside. Then lure her in, get a treat. Click for being in and toss the treat outside.

After awhile, I started waiting to see if she would offer anything. A look, click and treat. Hm. All I got was a look. No attempt to step inside. Back to luring. Click and toss the treat outside.

The second time I tried waiting to see what she’d offer, she offered more. Click and treat outside.


Maybe someday she’ll get another bath.

Friday, March 29, 2013.

Another session with Sophie and the shower. The session included luring, tossing treats outside, and shaping to come more forward into the shower. I only had to lure a few times then switched to shaping.

When I saw her yawn, I tossed a treat outside to give her a little break. (Yawning is a sign of stress.) She yawned two times and each time she did, I tossed a treat outside.

I did manage to shape her to come all the way in. Then I fed her several treats over a fairly long period of times (10 seconds or so). The I’d throw another treat outside so she could have another chance to come in.

We finished on one where her butt never left the shower! I liked that! 😀

Saturday, March 30, 2013.

I started as I did the other days, but then switched to standing in the near corner rather than sitting in the far corner. This was actually a HUGE change in criteria. Knowing that, I started over in way by tossing treats into a far corner and luring by placing a treat on the bench. I clicked when it seemed appropriate, and fed jackpots in a “fine-dining” manner as I have previously. (“Fine Dining” treating is lengthening the time it takes to feed a jackpot (large treat) out over several seconds (10-15) in order to prolong the eating.) I also tossed treats outside so that she’d have opportunities to come back in.

We did finish with her entirely in the shower. But this still needs more work.

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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