We had a glut of video footage. Nothing special really, just a couple days of filming casual training sessions and life here at Pvybe HQ. There was nothing really special enough for it’s own video, so I slapped it all together into a long form YouTube video and really liked what I saw.
This episode here is what started us going down the path to creating a full blown half hour dog training show.
Here’s the chapter navigation that you experience if you watch the video on Youtube and navigate from the description. Since You’re already here you’ll probably just scrub your way to the proper timecode in the youtube player from the featured image above.
0:00:10 – Ball Intro with Reggie
Here’s Reggie working the ball. This was his first session with the ball after a very quick introduction where it became quite clear that I needed a camera…
You can see that he’s a kuttle shakey to start, butit’s an aggressive ball. The tire is too small. You can also see that I pay the heck out of him creating a desire to be on the ball. On his second rep, I hold the ball to make it more stable for him, paying him the whole time. This is key. You can see that he doesn’t want to get off the ball. That’s desire.
At 0:01:30, Reggie gives Unsolicited eye contact or Attention is a great way to hook up with a dog. If you have something the dog wants he should give eye contact in order to get access to it. This quickly becomes akin to asking permission for things that the dog wants. If your dog offers Attention when they see something they want, most dog... and I reinforce with the presentation of the cue for the A Stall has the dog leaping up and chilling out on the handler’s back. Stalls are great for showmanship and for presenting a dog to the crowd. They create a dramatic or emotive pause amidst the craziness of a disc dog freestyle routine.... behavior (jump up and chill). This is what we call rewarding with action, and is a really nice technique for making things happen. You mark a behavior, like eye contact, and then reinforce with the presentation of the cookie or the Stall cue.
An Around, or a Go Around is the traditional disc dog set up move. The dog goes around the handler’s body in a clockwise or counter clockwise fashion allowing dog and handler to develop a sense of timing and team movement. Arounds usually start in front of the handler and have the dog circling close to the handler’s heels.... the 1:35 mark I move to Ballwork is a vault and localized collection drill that we do here at Pawsitive Vybe. A fixed and stable exercise ball is used as a vaulting platform to create verbal discrimination between the linear vault, Stall, and rebound (aka: reverse vault) concepts. Food is used as motivation to keep the dog stable and under threshold and to deliver precise reward.... I’m randomizing “Top” – the linear vault cue, and “Stall” – the jump up and chill cue. You can probably see that Reggie is biased from my left to right. Offering the vault when moving towards the camera and balking when moving from my right to left, or away from the camera.
This left and right handed bias is really common. Reggie is moving towards the camera because he’s moving towards the right hand. Lots of cool things happen in the right hand. The left handed cue is not so strong and should be cultivated.
0:02:38 – Retrieve with Parkour
Apryl is working with bones. She’s trying to make the bone an opportunity. Using dismissal (If a dog is dismissed, it means the handler is "off limits". Dismissal does not mean the dog has to leave, just that the handler is not available. Dismissal is a valuable drive management tool. Used to great effect on both high drive and low drive dogs, Dismissal turns environmental management into a freeshaping opportunity....) to push the dog away from the handler, Apryl helps Parkour realize that working with her is an opportunity. You can see the results of this at 0:03:40. He hops on that dumbbell and is happy to use it to get access to Apryl.
A little bit of play with the object and some restraint on the collar helps to cement the idea that the dumbbell is an opportunity. When Apryl ups the ante to the PVC Pipe, it’s a no brainer. Parkour’s down on this game. A little teasing with the object keeps Parkour engaged.
The position that Apryl is using is approximating the positon of the object sitting on the ground. It also can be faded into a simulated tossed object. It’s nice work.
0:05:27 – Ball Intro with Lexi
You can probably see that Lexi doesn’t have much experience on the ball, but she’s a gamer. Apryl pays liberally, about 15 cookies, and then makes it to the release. Making it to the release is key when it comes to duration behaviors. Build desire to do the behavior then cue and pay the release.
Apryl moves to the Top cue, which means to vault in linear fashion – jump on and off in a line. This should be contrasted with the Stall cue.
0:09:47 – Advanced Ballwork with Reggie – Landing Ramp
The idea with this drill is to get the dog to focus on the landing instead of the jump itself and also to over jump, or jump up and then fall down upon the object. Then we take it a bit further and work on vault discrimination.
When I was a kid, I was a good bike rider. We jumped monster jumps – 3 cinder blocks high – but we landed on flat ground. We could only do so much. As I grew to be too large for BMX bikes, the landing ramp became the norm. Kids were now not only jumping their bikes, but strategically landing them. Enter the X Games.
What we are talking about here is a localized landing. Asking the dog not only to leap over an object, but to also select a proper landing Spot is a “go to a place”, or “go to a mat” behavior. This means that the dog seeks out and performs a duration behavior on a spot of the handler’s choosing. A Pedestal is a raised spot. Anything a dog can leap onto and perch upon. Spots and Pedestals are important dog training tools.... is a big deal when it comes to understanding the leaping behavior.
I really like the leaping off over the jump as well. In fact, if you place enough value on the ball and get the leap off over the jump, the dog will jump on the ball, over the jump cleanly. It’s spectacular.
0:13:12 – Intermission – Group Stay
A downstay session with Kiva, Harpyr, Prima, Ska, Si, EZ Ryder, & Reggie (look at the rescue dog looking like part of the pack…).
0:15:29 – Backing Up with Jericho
The idea here is to use the channels to keep the dog in line and then to use the alternate surface as a signal to the dog that the behavior is over. At this point in time, Apryl is clicking the alternate surface being touched with a rear foot. This will be changed to a verbal “terminal cue” later.
If you’ve taught backing up with pressure, notice the way Jericho’s feet are lifting up and reaching back looking for the alternate surface. It’s different than a pressured back up.
Apryl changes to the welcome mat half way through this session to generalize the alternate surface. Also notice that Apryl is really generalizing her body position, making it easier for Jericho to handler the backing up from the wheelchair.
0:21:31 – Advanced Ballwork with Hops – Landing Ramp
We push the landing ramp idea pretty far with this little crazy man Hops. The ball is too high and the bars are too far. But he’s a Jack. He’ll be fine… lol
The break in the action when a bar is dropped is a feature not a bug. That down time helps the dog realize that dropping bars is probably not a great idea.
We go rather quickly to the vault discrimination, as Hops has a pretty solid history on the ball.
Towards the end we get a little nutty by adding a get out to set the skill.
0:24:13 – Object Targeting with Reggie
Reggie could not take a lure when we got him. He’s a really nice young man.
Here he works on object targeting with Ron.