08 February 2008

Training contacts-a primer.

All right. First you start with an operant dog. Your dog is operant right? Riiiiiggghhht. Ok. I sometimes say my dog isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer. Maybe he is a spoon! We need spoons. We eat Ben and Jerry's with spoons and cereal and peanut butter. Try pouring butterscotch schnaps over that whole mess and have THAT for dinner. Spoon! As dog trainers go, I am more of a spoon than knife or fork. But again, nothing wrong with a spoon, I am SORRY Susan Garrett.

Right. Operant. Click / treat. Then keep doing it, NOT running through fence to the neighbor's cat yard. Dog, not me. But dog should not get through the hole in fence. Put a brick there. Bastard small dogs. Operant dogs do not go through the fence for the cat. Good dogs stay there nose touching their targets. Operant dogs are offering you tons of behaviors. Not chasing the cat. Does not count as operant behavior. Please someone (knife, not spoon) come help me train my dogs.

We run up and over the contact trainer now for a Two On Two Off. That is 2o/2o in cool dog training shorthand fyi. Dog hits nose on a target, keeping his muddy little back paws on the yellow, and gets a treat for holding that position. Please reward with the hand CLOSEST to the dog. Keep your eyes on the dog please. Ham in a can.

I know you are doing this on your grassy dog agility field. Lucky you. Bitch. We just throw stuff under tarps around here because we are all SO Busy with dog training. Driveways are a great place for teaching dog agility except maybe not for jumping. Which is a large part of dog agility. We just do stuff like this. Gustavo excels in cat chasing and nose touching. Sort of.

Once we parked our junker truck here on the dog training field. Now we park it in front of the neighbor's house in the name of dog agility training! Sorry neighbor! We are the neighbors known as The-Ones-With-the-Wife-That-Has-All-Those-Little-black-Dogs AND The-Weird-Obstacle-course-In-the-Driveway-With-the-Goddamn-Truck parked out front. Which, let me point out, that we just have a small street and almost everyone on our street has a junker car or their bigwave jet skis or camper/vacation house/rental unit or something parked out front.

A quick tour of the closest junker cars to our house.

Can your dog stay there and keep hitting his nose on the target? While you dance around? I prefer House of Pain's Jump Around as a theme song for this. Would also accept OPP by Naughty by Nature or Hollywood Swinging by Kool and the Gang as an answer.

Get ready because now we're going to Throw the Toy to get Drive Off the Contact. Forward! Fast! Not to CAT!

My dog won't bring the toy back to tug. I should be going back to square one. He really, really wants another treat and runs back to the target. This drives me crazy and makes me feel like a bad dog trainer. Susan Garrett, just take me out and kill me now. I take him on the other side of the gate and he tugs there if it is away from the target. Only Otterpop loves toys more than food. Ruby and Gustavo really, really, really want to eat until their stomachs explode.

Repeat, repeat, repeat. Millions of times.


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