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Marty and Apryl have a sweet back stall. He’s got a great sit pretty, and he switches sides fairly reliably while in a stall in super cute fashion. It’s not quite finished, though.
If you have tried to teach Sit Pretty in a back stall, you might know what I’m talking about… Not at all an easy skill.
Given the difficulty of reward placement and extreme generalization, it often takes an additional person or many, many reps to bring this skill together.
It’s how we started it, but then I remembered something…
Work Smarter, Not Harder
Apryl asked me to come out and help her deliver cookies. She marked, and I paid. But Marty was paying too much attention to me, my treat sack, and the cookies in my hand.
Normally, you just deal with this and fade out the secondary handler. But then I remembered our Foot Stall stuff using a pedestal from 2012. The idea back in the day was to simulate the relative position of dog and handler and get the dog comfortable with duration and receiving payment with the handler below the dog. This is a major hurdle for most dogs — it’s just weird to take cookies while sitting above your handler.
And here we are. No cramps from bending over. No dumping the dog off when trying to give a cookie, and no pressure or risk of damaging your actual back stall.
Apryl added in the Switch behavior and the sit to keep things interesting and help generalize and gain stimulus control over the main skills used in the Back Stall position.
We’ll be giving this a shot actually on Apryl’s back tomorrow. It should be a quick Boom — Pow operation. Check back soon to see how it went.