Thursday, February 25, 2010

Shaping breakthrough

So the shaping with Sage on the contact board has been going very well. I have been experimenting with different ways to mark behavior and had the idea of trying one of those old fashioned clickers (the obnoxiously loud kind that nobody uses anymore). I had found one when I was cleaning out the closets several days ago and had set it aside to throw away. I use the quiet click (designed by Karen Pryor) and have never had Sage respond to these.

She did respond to the loud metal clicker! I wondered why I hadn't thought of that before (she has some hearing in her right ear and can hear higher frequencies - voice, herding whistles, etc.).

So last night we had a short session and it was much more productive. It didn't take her long to figure out the new marker.

I ordered two sets of  2 x 2 weaves (two weeks ago after the seminar). They are supposed to arrive today and so even though there is still snow on the ground (too icy to train outside), I'll be spending time training entries with both dogs in the sunroom with the 2x2's.

I am using the revised version by Mary Ellen Barry (which I learned from her during the Weaves session at the seminar). Its a slight modification of SG's method.


Kathy said...

I love the 2x2 weaves-hope they come on schedule!

I was reading the new book by Karen Pryor, reaching the animal mind, anyway I am pretty sure that is where I was reading and she had some research that suggested that the good old fashion loud clickers do indeed work best, something to do with the area of the brain that using a clicker affects-how do you like that for a truly scientific explaination? All I remember is loud clicker=good!

Morganne said...

That is good to know Kathy. Yes, I was really pleased when she responded to that obnoxious click. I think the quiet clickers are mor for the humans than the dogs :-)

I have Karen Pryor's new book too. Just started reading it.

Astrid said...

You can get the noisiest Clickers at PetCo. Dang, they wake up the dead!
They are huge, too.

Morganne said...

Astrid, That is where this clicker came from. I bought it years ago for Emma and by the time I got Sage, I was using the I-click and had put the big metal click away in a closet. The I-click was too soft a sound for Sage and she couldn't hear it so I stopped clicking and used timing to reward behavior. I'm so happy that she can hear the metal clicker! Makes training so much easier.