"All-Positive Monday: 13: Object Discrimination, Wally's Choices | Exploits of an Amateur Dog Trainer: Blog Edition

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Monday, June 20, 2011

"All-Positive Monday: 13: Object Discrimination, Wally's Choices

For this All-Positive Monday, I did some object discrimination, but this time, I let Wally make the choices.

Really, I didn't do anything except just observe. What would Wally choose when allowed to interact with which ever object he wants. I put out some of his toys and other objects out and rewarded him for touching/picking up any of them.

I did this kind of thing a long time ago where I just said "go get it" and he went to a pile of objects and could get any one he wanted, but for this he'll have some objects all around to choose from.

I'm interested in seeing if there's some kind of indication or preference he might have for certain objects, or what's going through his mind if ALL the objects are "legal", what will he pick, and if there's any sort of pattern to his choices.

I also changed up the objects, leaving the one he seemed to like the most and replacing the others with different things. I went with three objects.


He often picked out his new ball. After that, he picked out the soccer ball the most. So the balls seemed to be his preferred objects this time around. I took the balls away completely and put his dumbbell out, and he went for it exclusively. This choice I can understand because he and I have worked retrieving with it frequently, so the object "suggested" to him what to do, go pick it up. When the balls or the dumbbell weren't there, he choices were much more random, and it became difficult to tell if there was any favorites among them or if there's any kind of pattern.

This tells me to try this again, but without the balls or using the dumbbell. Give him more time with the objects he showed no clear preference for (or against) and see if there's any kind of pattern that emerges. Also, I'll go with three essentially unknown objects (he might have seen them, but they don't have any names or much of any interaction with. I'll also try with the colors again, the blue and yellow cards, and see what he might pick most often.

I'm always interested in seeing how he thinks when left completely up to his own choices (in case you couldn't tell that by now). Hopefully, I'll learn something that can tell me how he thinks/relates to objects, and maybe give some insight on why he makes the mistakes he does during the "real" object discrimination training.