Saturday, May 7, 2011

Flash, On Leash Polite Greeting, at Misha May's UD Class and Apprentices...

Exercise Goal: to allow Flash time to make the association between the new specific 'greetsit' cue, sitting for calm on-leash greetings, and receiving reward for that choice.

Flash already knows the 'sit' command, but it hasn't been effective for calm greetings. We are teaching a specific 'greetsit' cue which means when he approaches someone and greets with a sit, he will receive something good. Since he does not yet know the cue 'greetsit', Lorraine named the behavior as he offered it. Once he understands the association between the word and the behavior, she will ask him to do a 'greetsit'.

We motivated him today by showing him his favorite treat and then rewarding him with it. Lorraine was very patient with allowing Flash to figure out what we wanted from him. When dogs are allowed the space to try, and even make mistakes, while learning, their grasp of the new behavior is powerful.

Flash did not jump up or get overstimulated at all. He did offer a paw sometimes. Today was focused on learning to be be calm and sit - acquiring the behavior. As we continue to practice, we can phase out the paw if we don't want that, by not rewarding when he does it. Or we can name it 'cutepaw' and ask for it only on cue.

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