Ollie and Trailer Loading and Teetering

Atty on Trailer PHOn the trailer loading skills front, I’ve been working more with Ollie than with Atty lately.  Atty seems to be pretty solid on the loading part.  What I need to work on with him is having the trailer move and Atty gets used to it moving.  The weather, however, is not particularly cooperative right now.  It’s too cold and it keeps deciding to dump some snow on us.  I’m not going to try to work on desensitizing Atty to moving trailers when there’s snow around.

Ollie had been doing very well on the loading and getting better on the backing.  Until a week or so ago he scared himself while in the trailer and nearly fell rushing out backwards.  What scared him was that I left the front of the trailer to get more goodies.  Disappearing apparently scared him half to death.  It’s been a bit of a struggle trying to get back to where we were.

Here’s a video of Ollie backing off the trailer in snow where the snow is providing a sort of pedestal for him:

In the meantime, though, I got a new teeter that my neighbor made for me.  Atty took to right away and had a little Pilates fun with it.  It is seven minutes long, for which I apologize, and you can fast forward through it.  But I think it’s fun to watch him choose to play on it.

Ollie, of course, takes more encouragement.  As long as I have Stud Muffins, he’s game for the game.  If I switch to Alam cubes, he’s less likely to be brave.  Biting the SMs into smaller pieces so that they last longer is hard on my teeth.  Cutting them requires proper prior planning and some effort.  I’ve managed it once so far.  I need to decide if I want to continue using the cut-up SMs or if I want to continue shaping (infinitesimally slowly) with Alam cubes.  The Alam cubes probably give me a truer vision of how Ollie is doing with the behavior.  But the SMs get more progress faster.  Hmm.

To help Ollie ease into the teeter, I’ve blocked both ends so that it doesn’t rock quite so much and I stood on one end of it to minimize the rocking.  Although you won’t see that in this clip.

For Atty, we’re currently working on walking forward when he chooses to using a “mand”.  I wait for him to decide to go and follow a split second later.  I click and treat after a couple of steps.  Sometimes I let him go several steps before I click.

Please be aware that this is only the second time I’ve worked with him on the walking on his right side and we needed to work out how I deliver the food.

Now is the time to start slowing down and clicking for the stop.  Then I can add a cue for both the “walk on” and the “whoa”.

Some time ago, I had been working on putting the color blue on cue.  I’ve let that one go for now while I try to get my overweight Atty-boy some exercise.

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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