Monday, February 01, 2010

Conditioning

I don't watch "The Office" all the time, occasionally I catch an episode when someone else in the house is watching it. There are often parts we need to fast forward, so it's not my favorite series, but there is one clip that always makes me laugh. Jim began an experiment. He made a computer sound, like the chime when you get an instant message. Then he turned to Dwight and said, "Altoid?", and handed Dwight an altoid. He did this consistently without making any mention of the computer chime. After getting an altoid every time the computer made a chime, the next time the chime sounded, Dwight reached for one without even being asked if he wanted one. Jim of course, acted innocent and said, "Did you want something?". :D

So I have started this same kind of conditioning with Sally. :) Uncle G. mentioned that if he were to get a big dog, he would get an airedale like Sally. What I started to tell him, but didn't finish, is that terriers are a difficult breed. Everyone who owns a terrier will tell you that they are very stubborn, and breeds like Sally are difficult to train. Some people call them "terrors" instead of "terriers". If you get a terrier, you have to be prepared to have a struggle on your hands. But lately I have started "clicker training". It's basically the same as the conditioning Jim used on Dwight. This is how I do it. Randomly throughout the day, I click the clicker, and hand her a treat. I don't have to say anything, I just click and treat. I've only done this a couple of days, but have had success already.

In the past, I would make her sit to get a treat. I was mainly training her to sit. But I could never get her to come, so I decided to try the clicker method. Today I treated her once before leaving the house for our walk. Then when we got outside, I clicked again. When she heard the click, she automatically sat. lol That shows that she is associating the click with a treat, because she already associates sitting with a treat. I think this is going to work! When I got to the park, I let her off leash and tried clicking, but she ignored me. So finally I called her name to get her attention, then clicked. She came! In the past I have tried rewarding her coming, but without success. I think the clicker is working, but I also think that the treats I am using are also an incentive. Instead of normal dog treats, I cut up a hot dog. She didn't care about the dog treats, but she loves the hot dogs. Whatever works, I will try! I'll let you know how this goes, but it already looks like it's going to be successful! Yay!

Now, what could I do to condition people to read my blog? ;)

3 comments:

Amber said...

That's a great idea! Maybe after she grasps that one you can use it to train her on other things too!

Inklings said...

I read it every day without a treat....Good, Inklings! :0)

Um, I meant, Reading your blog IS a treat! :0)

棗子 said...

被人揭下面具是一種失敗,自己揭下面具卻是種勝利。..................................................