Feeding for Position, Redux, 4-21-15

Soccer+Accessories+Cones_s_645I’ve been to three Chicken Workshops with Bob Bailey and Parvene Farhoody.  One of Bob’s more well-quoted aphorisms is:  “Click for behavior/action; feed for position.”

There are many applications to this idea.  One is, if you’re shaping for forward motion, click for any indication that the animal is moving forward.  Then feed out in front of the animal in the direction it’s already going (or slightly off if you want a turn), making sure you’re far enough ahead that you don’t cause the animal to hit the brakes suddenly.

Another is if you want the animal to turn its head, for example, click for the turn and then feed it where you want its head to be.  Or tossing the treat away from the mat to set the dog up for another try at finding the mat.

The one that smacked me upside the head today is this:  I’m working with my horse, Atticus, on color discrimination.  I’ve set it up to be the same as we did with chickens in my first Chicken Workshop.  (See my previous blog on that here.)  I had been having some trouble with this and I’ve varied several things in order to make it more clear to Atty.  Then suddenly, an image from the Discrimination Workshop appeared in my head.  Feeding the chicken over the correctly colored disk when the bird pecked it!  Gosh!  Why didn’t I think of that before!

After a long hiatus on this project, I started up again a couple of days ago, reverting back to my original plan (duplicating the chicken set up).  Then today I had that revelation about feeding Atty at the correct soccer cone.  This did seem to help a lot and we’ll check again in our next session.

Are any of you out there trying to teach color discrimination to your animal?  Please tell me your stories – successes and failures.MyChickenColors1-300x200

Related Blog:  Color Discrimination

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".
Gallery | This entry was posted in Clicker Training and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Feeding for Position, Redux, 4-21-15

  1. Jody Anderson says:

    Good Job! Isn’t it funny how we ask our animals to figure things out, or to make right guesses. And sometimes, hard as we try we don’t get it, even when the answer is right infront of us or in this case, right in front of them. So your reward is a bowl of chocolate ice cream, enjoy.


  2. Pingback: Color Discrimination, 10-20-14 | Clicker Chronicles

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s