Sunday, November 28, 2010

Gaining Control?

Griffin is adorable. Exceptionally adorable. He has the opportunity to get a lot of environmental reinforcement because he is so cute doing so. That's not to say he can do whatever he wants... we have rules and I maintain criteria. But it's not always set where it probably should be.

So, in an effort to prepare for our competitive endeavors, we've changed a few things.

- More training in public and various places.
- Increasing the variety of food reinforcers we use.
- Increase toy/play reinforcers
- Adventure walks: Walking even without attention or polite walking. no frenzied pulling etc... we feed and walk when passing people or dogs. Vary the locations every time.
- ONLY letting him off leash if I'm VERY sure he'll stick with. No being pressured by instructors or others.

And after a week, how's it going? Our adventure walks have been great. Today we were able to use a toy as the reinforcer for most of flyball class. The exceptions were food for the resting in between turns and at the beginning of class before I pulled out the toy.

Griffin didn't run away or think about it during flyball. I felt safe enough to let him get the toy and bring it back, rather than only tug from my hand.

So... something we're doing is working. I just wish I knew which pieces were making the biggest impact!

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