Wally's Color Flashcards and "All-Positive Monday" III Results | Exploits of an Amateur Dog Trainer: Blog Edition

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Monday, March 28, 2011

Wally's Color Flashcards and "All-Positive Monday" III Results

Yellow vs Blue - Wally's first two colors

One of the things we did for "All-Positive Monday" III is the start of color recognition. Started with the blue one because that was the first one he touched. (Hey, let the dog decide! Why not?)

Every time he touched it, he got a click and a reward (used the clicker as the marker for this one) and then told him the name of the color. He touched it as I said the name, and then got a reward for doing so. So it stayed with the "all-positive" theme and introduced the first color to him.

This is the beginning of trying to teach him the start of teaching him color recognition. Hopefully, we will be able to start of on the right foot and figured today would be a great day to start.

The rest of day was great - a BIG difference once the objects were brought out. It's like the objects gave him ideas for what behaviors to try out. This made it really easy to mark and reward behaviors and at some points, I was marking and rewarding about as fast as I possibly can. Everything from opening and closing doors to working with going to the mat (using "go mat" of course to stay with the idea of trying to teach him "language") to working with an object he got a scare from during the holidays, a remote control car.

The idea to get him doing one thing and then taking him a place where he usually does another worked well for opening and closing the door. I got him nose-touching objects and then took him to the door. Usually, he's trying to use his paws, which makes opening the door hard (if not impossible) but this time, he was all about the nose, which allowed him to make a breakthrough! He saw how easy it was to open and close the door that way, and he ran with it. Excellente perrito! Er, I mean, great job, Wally!

Outside, he was focused on me, and when he looked at something, it became an exercise in playing the "Look at That" game which we played a long while back to help with his fear issues. (Remember, I mark-reward everything [safe] that he does, including turning focus from me). It shortened how much he would look for most distractions, eager to come around for the reward. This is one time where I DON'T want duration, so I try to capture the instant he turns away. I want him to think the behavior is "super-quick look, then back to my person".

Worked in fronts and finishes of course and those are going better with the re-teaching in general, as well as his "go around" that worked well too.

Another great and successful Monday! I can only wonder what to try for next Monday!