Saturday, May 7, 2011

Flash, 'charging the whistle', at Misha May's UD Class and Apprenticeshi...

Exercise Goal: to provide a novel cue in conjunction with a novel high-value treat that will create a strong recall.

Flash has been an escape artist from the beginning of his life. He likes to play 'keep-away' and does not respond to the typical 'come' command. ‘Come’ was neither thoroughly taught nor consistently reinforced, so it became an overused, irrelevant word for him.

To 'charge the whistle' or give meaning to it, Lorraine gave Flash a piece of cheese every time she blew it. Flash did not need to do anything to receive this cheese. He didn't have to sit or pay attention. He is learning that no matter what he is doing, if the whistle blows, he will receive a reward.

The practical application will be that instead of playing 'keep way', he will choose to come to the whistle person for a reward. You could see him begin to respond faster and even anticipate the whistle and the reward. We stopped while he was successful, before he lost interest or got too tired.

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