"All-Positive Monday 19" - Reading For Wally? | Exploits of an Amateur Dog Trainer: Blog Edition

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Monday, August 1, 2011

"All-Positive Monday 19" - Reading For Wally?

I got an idea from this post on a dog forum I visit often, and it made me want to see if Wally could get started with this.

I figure that it could be another way to teach object discrimination to him as well, and who knows what other cool things.

First, though, we have to start at the beginning. The first thing to do was make him look at the paper. So, every time he looked at the paper, he got a click and a reward. I kept working on this where he got a click and treat every time he looked at the paper and did nothing else.

Hopefully, this will be both a reward history around being shown a sheet of paper (gets him anticipating doing something for the reward) as well as draw his eyes to the paper instantly and with focus. This is going to take some time in all likelihood since a piece of paper is not going to be the most exciting thing ever.

This is a good thing to work on for an "All-Positive" day, since there's nothing to really correct. If the dog isn't looking at the paper, then just move the paper around to get his attention with the motion. He'll get the point over time. I don't want to rush this step because this is the foundation of the whole skill. It would be like trying to read a book without having enough focus to read the pages or motivated enough to read the book and your mind and eyes start wandering.

With some patience and time, maybe Wally can start 'reading' :)