So far in this series I’ve used a metaphor to explain the complex and interrelated nature of behaviors and behavior chains – behavioral problems are knots made out of little strings of behavior. This metaphor fits the confusion and frustration that we experience when trying to solve problems with our dogs. It also brings into […]
The last two installments of this series outlined the behavioral strings and knots metaphor and examined 5 ‘strings’ of behavior and their relationship to behavioral knots and to each other. I am going to continue to stretch this metaphor and cover some less tangible behavioral strings that are precursors and requirements for engagement, interaction, and […]
Yesterday’s piece was about how solving behavioral problems is kind of like untangling knots. Today I’m going to talk about the strings that make up the behaviors and how they can be used as well as what happens to other strings when you tug on them with bitework.
Learning a foreign language from a conversational angle is all the rage these days. Instead of focusing on grammar, syntax, and vocabulary, the very concepts that fluency in language is built upon, the teaching is focused on creating competence: pronunciation, common situations, verbal repetition, and vocabulary supplements. contextual understanding in dog training is like conversational […]
Rate of Reinforcement is well understood in dog training. We consider it one of the Four Principles of Positive Dog Training. Below we focus on Rate of Reinforcement as Cookies Per Minute (CPM) via some training and disc dog jam sessions and relate Rate of Reinforcement to the teaching, handling, and performance of dogs.
This is a few minutes of a human clicker game we played at a recent Discdog B&B. The idea here is to teach a person to perform a skill using a clicker and to talk about some of the nuances in communicating and teaching your dog.
Performance can be based upon conceptual or contextual understanding. How does a handler communicate conceptual understanding to the dog and avoid performance based on the context of the situation? It’s simple, but not easy…
More lessons in this series: Human Clicker Game Context vs Concept Performance is not understanding. Just because a dog has done or is doing a behavior doesn’t mean they understand what it is he is doing.
I ran across this great article on Clickertraining.com. This is how it’s done. It’s a long article written by Clint Matthews about overcoming an early adolescent fear that was having an impact on their hunting/gun dog performance in 15 short clicker training sessions:
In our business, teaching people to do cool things with their dogs, we rely on metaphor all the time to communicate complex ideas. A metaphor can be tailored to a specific client or a team and can be used to help them succeed with their dog. Sometimes that means just simplifying the situation and placing the focus on the things we need to succeed, and sometimes we try to completely reframe the handler’s understanding
Dog Frisbee is just dog training with a slightly different focus. It’s easy to forget that. When you’re talking about how shapes and patterns develop, the Xs and Os, it can be helpful to fall back on what you know about dog training.
Disc dogger’s have a problem. We all want to play this game so darned much that it’s hard to remain consequent and focused on the component skills that build our game. Once our dogs start to approach the realm of performance potential, it’s hard to keep our focus on being successful because of the handler’s expectation of performance. This is classic putting the cart before the horse behavior and can be very detrimental to a team’s long term potential.
…dogs that vault well but do not leap well do so because the vault is just a simple foundational leaping drill with concrete and easy to achieve criteria…
I learned this lesson not too long ago with Hops. Focusing on Paying and Rewarding this little Jack Russell Terrorist for good work meant that I never get to reinforce anything. It just wasn’t working…
When a Bite is offered as a cookie the dog has earned the right to attempt to Bite that object. It’s a very empowering experience. The dog learns that he can make the bite happen by showing some Patience, giving Eye Contact, offering a Back Up behavior, or whatever.
Leashes make good Tug Toys.
Most of the behaviors that we create with our dogs are really chains of small concepts and chains are only as strong as their weakest link. Dog trainers and dog sport handlers need to be able to break down complex behaviors, isolate the weak concepts and mark and reinforce them to make them stronger.
A zoomed out look at the game of Bitework focusing on creating an Infinite Reward Loop where every thing the dog does is successful and creates more opportunity.
Ron Watson’s original Three Rules of Bitework.
Apryl and I have had the pleasure to work with Sue Sternberg both as a student and as instructors. She’s an amazing lady and her tireless and well documented work with rescue dogs is something to be admired. Here’s a great site for some much needed information on canine behaviors. Sue Sternberg’s Dog Ethogram.