Miss Diamond and I practiced haltering yesterday and today, in spite of the heat. I’m trying to take it slowly, but sometimes I don’t succeed in going as slowly as Miss D would like. And she’s very quick. If I’m not fast enough, we get “superstitious behaviors” mixed in with what we do want. (Superstitious behaviors are now called “unintended reinforced behaviors”.)
I’m going to share a couple of videos that I hope show the progression of what we worked on yesterday and today.
* Target the halter.
* Target the open halter.
* Target the nose into the halter.
* Use the targeting of the halter to signal that D is ready for the next repetition.
* Touch the neck near the shoulder.
* Touch the neck halfway between the shoulder and the ears.
* Touch the neck near the ears.
* Raise my arm.
* Touch the crest.
* Raise my arm and reach across the neck.
* Reach across the neck and touch the other side with my hand.
* Reach across the neck and touch the other side lower down with my hand.
* Reach across the neck and lightly “hug” the neck with my arm.
* Hold the halter by the side rings and shape for D putting her nose in.
* Hold the halter by the side rings, shape D to put her nose in, and flip the crown piece over the poll.
* Hold the halter by the side rings, shape D to put her nose, flip the crown piece over the poll, and hold both parts of the halter with one hand.
* Hold the halter by the left side ring and the top of the crown piece for D to target.
* Hold the halter by the left side ring and the top of the crown piece for D to put her nose in.
* Hold the halter by the left side ring and the top of the crown piece for D to put her nose in and cross the crown piece over the poll.
There were several places in our practice where D either thought she was supposed to bring her head and neck to the right (unintended reinforced behavior), or she was going after flies, or she was trying to let me know that she was uncomfortable with some aspect of the halter training.
I tried to limit our sessions to ten reps and then a short break by dropping treats into her feed pan. She always came back to play.
In the part where I’m holding the halter by the crown piece. D made it clear that she was quite comfortable with my arm in the air and having to kind of duck under and in to get to the halter. Really cute. 🙂
This needs to be practiced more and the training loops cleaned up to eliminate the extra behaviors and make sure that D is comfortable with all aspects of the process.
I think we are making good progress.
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