Sorry No Video Available… It’s really old. 🙂
This is a typical Bitework Application session. There is a plan, in this case, we’re going to develop a Hoop, skill where the dog leaps through a hoop made from the handler’s arms. Working this skill with Bitework yields a loose a sloppy understanding and performance of the skill. It works, it’s fast, but if we want to teach this skill well, cookies would be a better method. Teaching this skill with Bitework will yield a ‘quick and dirty’ trick.
Executing the Plan
The first thing we want to do is to get the dog warmed up and prepared for working this skill. We warm up the dog both mentally and physically. Moving the dog around, getting the blood flowing is combined with a bit of Atttention, using the Bite as Cookie is a metaphor for reinforcement with a disc or a bite on a toy. Handler’s often do not treat the disc or the tug toy as a cookie, and focus on the disc or tug as criteria to be hit or a behavior to be performed. Give the Bite cue as you would a discrete, food cookie.... is how we get warmed up. The first minute is a simple warm up.
Once we have the dog warmed up we are going to set the base level understanding of the skill. Once we deliver that baseline understanding, then we want to try to slip that understanding into a trick or sequence that the dog already knows and understands.
Teaching the Hoop
With the A Hoop is an Over or Vault that travels through a hoop made from your arms or body. A Hoop expresses great teamwork and connection between dog and handler.... skill, a major part of it is the dog understanding that they need to get over an arm. Leaping over an arm is not something that most dogs are familiar with, and if the dog leaps over the bottom arm, the rest of the Hoop becomes the responsibility of the handler – make a hoop with your arms. It simply happens.
This is a hallmark of Bitework is an activity or a game that consists of biting and dropping a toy on cue. Cued Bites and cued Drops (and Gives) can be used to teach and reinforce many behaviors. Bitework is the framework to use to create a high rate of reinforcement and the repetition necessary to teach and hone skills. There are 3 rules in... – the skills we are working on happen as a product of the biting and/or dropping behavior. All we have to do is create drive for the target and place the target in the appropriate place and the skill should happen. Understanding this means that a quality plan is a necessity.
It doesn’t have to be a complex plan. This plan is very simple: get over the bottom arm and bite the target. Once that is happening, a slight adjustment by the handler like making a hoop with the arms, the skill happens.