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Saturday, September 4, 2010

Saturday morning - ears forward + soft muzzle

So now it's morning and I have worked with the same lesson as last night (see previous post.)

Situation: other donkeys were not in sight (situation improved from last night)
Ringo had just had his hay for breakfast but still seemed hungry.

Time:  7:30  - 7:40 AM

Goal: Trying to combine "Ringo resting his muzzle under my open hand" (I will call this soft muzzle) which he knows well with "ears forward" which is new.

Results: Same behaviour as last night - much agitated pawing, I disappear, pawing stops.  Many good combos of the two behaviours I want but it seemed random.

Observations:   Ears are always back when pawing, always forward just after he stops pawing.  I have been capturing this (click & treat) but cannot capture the two behaviours together UNLESS I leave and return!
Ringo is showing me that he is frustrated and doesn't understand what I want him to do, so ....

Plan: Break this down smaller! Good clicker trainers work in baby steps - they "split" behaviours into teeny tiny chunks instead of "lumping" them into large chunks.  I need to work backwards to keep Ringo feeling successful - he can't learn if he is agitated. 

I will back up and try to teach "ears forward" on it's own using targeting.  One behaviour at a time, put it on cue, then try to combine.

Reference:  The Click That Teaches - A Step By Step Guide In Pictures by Alexandra Kurland
Happy Faces (Ears Forward) page 36

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