Sunday, 19 February 2012

The Project...A complete revolution...

With the dog walk back in action mid Jan 2012 - I thought time for me and Rivi to try it out. But as some had predicted Rivi's newly retrained behaviors had not transferred. So I thought work through it, but I was not convinced. Too much stuttering and not enough running...not enough success...its as if the retraining since Oct 11 had never occured. There was no generalisation of the learning on the carpet or the plank.

I will confess, at this point I reached a bit of a low, how would I be able to support Rivi in my goals? So I decided to put aside instructions from the on line course. So basically: -
1] I decided to listen to myself
2] out went the manners minder
3] back in as the conditioned (secondary) reinforcer of me saying 'Yes' and pairing it with her beloved cool kong and me playing with her = The premack principle (And initially she did look back for me to throw the toy. But she kept moving, which is what we need to achieve)
4] plank balanced on table between medium and large dog height. Not elegant, but does the job
5] we have trained every day where possible for 5 minutes

Two weeks later on the 13/02/12 -  I have reached an eureaka moment. Rivi 'thundered*' the plank and the half of an aframe. I don't wanna be all excited, but I can't help it. It could happen again.

Since starting 'The Project' last October, I have gained more in two weeks than the previous four months. Some detour!!!! Then on Thursday, the 16th I realised I am now training her as I retrained Zev last summer!

How many light bulb moments is one person allowed to have??? It is very early days. Watching the video, it shows we have a way to go to achieve the ultimate performance criteria, but 'by jove' at last 'The Project' is moving forward.

The thunder* as I call it, is when the dog literally thunders (drives) down the plank, definate and swift, and clearly targets the contact zone at speed, whislt driving through.


  1. Hi Christine,

    Very thought provoking post.

    I have found the difficulties with teaching a running from a well established 2 on 2 off seems to have two separate elements to it unlike teaching a new dog with no 2 on 2 off history.

    a) teaching the dog to continue to run.

    b) getting the right footwork.

    So after achieving the pain staking stages of breaking the stop to a run, one then has to train the correct footwork. What I found most difficult was when the dog was corrected for the wrong foot work the dog thought it was the running part I didn’t like and so reverted back to the stop behaviour. Abit of a dilemma!

    However I am now putting the toy out too and I have found that this has created a low head style and at the same time achieving correct footwork some of the time.

    So here’s hoping.


  2. Hi Heather
    Thank you that is really encouraging to know and I agree here's to hoping.