Sep 25, 2011

Advanced Behavior Study Academy, AKA Geek Week!

I just returned from an amazing week working with my Mentor, the amazing Pat Miller, in Hagerstown, Maryland. I, and a handful of other seasoned Positive Dog Trainers got to "geek out" for a week and have in-depth discussions about different Behavior Studies and published Papers on behavior. In-between the science stuff we each worked with a dog on teaching behavior chains and on shaping behaviors for our final practical exam. This is a work-in-progress video of me working with the Scottie Dubhy, one of Pat's owns dogs (no pressure...arghhh) on our behavior chain. . On the verbal cue "Are Ya Sleepy?" Dubh has to sit upright and rub his eyes with his paws, then walk over to a little stool and "say his Prayers", and then finally walk over to a blanket on the floor, grab the corner, roll over and wrap himself in the blanket. In this video I still mark each part of the behavior and reward and use a lot of body prompts (positioning, pointing) but on the final day the goal was to have him do the entire chain only on the verbal cue. I wish every dog owner would play more with their dogs and do fun stuff to challenge them and let them use their problem solving skills. You'd be surprised how much fun it can be.