Welcome to my blog - a diary about living with donkeys, notes about care, my training sessions and the absolute pleasure of donkey companionship.

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Saturday, February 6, 2010

Ringo - Behaviours on Cue!

I have been realizing for quite awhile now, that many of the behaviours I have taught the donkeys are, well ... sloppy!  They do it ... or they don't, or maybe they wander away ... hmmm, not good.

So after Clicker Expo and after having heard and watched Alex at work, I think the light bulb finally went on (for me!) and I am bound and determined to "fix" the problems!

First - foundation lessons - too important to skip over - I really get that!

So putting some foundation behaviours on cue for Ringo - I worked first in the barn then outside the next day.
Here's what we did:

- extend closed fist on outstretched hand and say "target" - Ringo approaches touches my hand, click, treat.
- make backwards motion with my hands, palms towards Ringo and say "back" - Ringo backs, click, treat
- hold one hand up, palm facing Ringo like a policewoman, say "stand" - Ringo stands, click, treat

Next day: 
- use halter as the target (he hasn't had his halter on for awhile) hold it out, say "target" - Ringo touches it, click, treat
- put halter on him, click, treat for standing still
- off we go:  use outstretched fist, say "target" - Ringo walks beside me for a short distance (no lead rope attached) I try to stay at his left shoulder
- then say "and ... ho!" - Ringo stops "good boy!"  click ,treat
- palm up say "stand" (this is Alex's Grown-ups are Talking)  -he stands quietly beside me, click, treat
- off we go again, using fist and the word "target"
- change direction by offering treat with near hand - this is harder as he doesn't like me on his right side

Need to keep all the cues straight in my own head and practice them away from the donkey!  Ringo is doing great - hope to capture it on video!

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