I need to work on treat delivery and training mechanics. I have been to a couple of puppy classes where I got to work with adorable munchkins, and I am slow and clumsy (ha ha, just like the puppies!). When I take pnut+cone for walks and need to give him counter conditioning treats, it is such a mess, with him jumping up and smearing food all over his cone or getting it stuck to his chin. I knew that usually he sort-of jumps up to get treats while we walk, but I didn’t think it was a big problem. I have certainly heard that mechanics are crucial and treat delivery, especially for counter conditioning, should be straight to the mouth.
When we are out walking, he is almost always far enough away from me that I have to call him to me in order to feed, which changes the situation from counter conditioning to operant conditioning. This is bad. For whatever reason, during today’s walk, he mostly stayed right by me, making things a lot easier. Also in the last day I have seen improvement in terms of him keeping “four on the floor” for treats while walking, which I gleefully attribute to my realizing that I feed too high and trying to keep it lower.
A friend of mine is attending Chicken Camp with Bob Bailey, which I would absolutely love to do. Though at this point it would probably be more than I can handle. I read through the descriptions for his courses, and just as I pretty much knew, they are almost all about mechanics – speed, coordination, cutting out “noise”. I am so sure that I have awful mechanics, but I get away with it because my dog is a genius. For this reason, I am extremely grateful for the chances to work with puppies, with short attention spans requiring high rates of reinforcement and constant engagement.


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