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Notes about these videos:  these are videos started just a few weeks ago (we started this project just before Bitser came to live with us, we're working again on them)... note how short they are (5-6 minutes each), and that they happen several times per day...

Notice in this one that I'm almost starting at the very beginning with Tory... when she first came here, she had no clue what I was trying to do with her ; she acted as if all the rules had changed... and I'll bet that's just how if felt, too.  So, whenever I try to teach her something that has trust as a basis, I go back to the foundational stuff, making sure that she understands that this stuff causes a PARTY to happen.

You'll also see in these videos that I use all kinds of ways to make what I want happen... I use mostly luring and shaping, and very rarely capturing and modeling to get behavior.  I am not above using a treat or "the kissy noise" to move an animal into the position I'm looking for, then using other means to progress from there.  Every thing is fair game... some methods are less labor intensive or less fraught with fallout than other methods (which means that there is  less "clean-up after the fact), so they're less desirable as the "go to" method... you'll find your favorites as you get into it. 

Be sure to notice that I talk a little about 2 big concepts here: stress, and how it can be detrimental to the learning process; and how the concept of the leash lying on the floor represents a promise at the end to go for a walk... Tory's favorite thing in the whole world (i.e., the JackPot!).

Time-wise, 3-4 days, 4-6 sessions are represented here... less than 10 minutes per session.  All told, less than an hour spent training.  This stuff is awesome.

Session 2, all kinds of stuff happened... just goes to show you that my sessions aren't  choreographed. lol  I am happy to see how well-behaved the cats were. 

Right off the bat you'll see me toss a tiny treat on the floor (and I did this throughout the first video)... the only purpose of this is to move Tory out of the "sit" position so that I can ask for it again.  Otherwise, I think she'd just glue her butt to the floor, looking for that constant feed. lol

At one point, also, you'll see Tory get confused (when, I ask her to "down"), and she walked away for a few seconds... this is normal, but it's important to note in your head when these kinds of things happen, and think about how to handle them.  Video-ing a session is very good for looking at it later to see where problems might be lurking.

 Also, it creeps Tory out when the cats RUB on her... so far as I know, there has never been a cross sound or action between the dog and cats.... any of them.  She just doesn't like them as much as they like her.

The following is a little remedial down work that I did with  Tory (and the cats lol) that same day.

At one point in this video you'll see me deliver an NRM (no reward marker) to Tory, telling her that her behavior at that point doesn't earn a reward... then I furthered this point by offering that treat to Achmed instead of to Tory.  

This video is outlining a problem developing with Tory...  for some reason, she lures readily into a sit if I lure her to me first.  I had thought earlier that it was a problem more with having the cats in close proximity, but that doesn't seem to be the case in this one.  I'll have to play with this more to see what the deal is...

This last session is presented in 2 sections (I couldn't upload the whole video at one time, so I had to break it up).  Compare this video, taken 4 days after the first, and the sessions seen here are the only sessions we had in those few days... this is more work on "sit" and "down" with changes in locations and some other factors.  Note how much more confident and happy Tory is, because of the practice she's had.

Part 2

Note that the focus of these videos (desensitization to nail trimming) got side-tracked... this is often how these kinds of projects go... you start out moving in 1 direction, then realize that you had to take this side-street in order to get there.  It's okay... we'll get there.  We'll resume the nail trimming videos when Tory is more comfortable with the tools used to get her there...She's enjoying the journey, and that's important.

Brenda Rushman CCBC

Nail Trimming Desensitization 1
Nail Trimming Desensitization 2
Remedial "Down" Session 1
Remedial "Down" Day 2
Nail Trimming Desensitization 3


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