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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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A training weekend

Sola was just here from Seattle - her second visit and an action packed weekend of training for all three donkeys. There's lots of notes to share here, but first a few photos:

Siog is learning to enjoy grooming - she has been very squirmy, hunching her back and moving around when being groomed. 

Here, Sola is introducing the curry comb. If Siog moves, Sola moves with her but as soon as Siog stops, Sola will wait a second or two, then click and treat her for standing still. Waiting creates a break between the unwanted behaviour and reinforces the behaviour you are looking for. If you clicked as soon as she stopped, you might be creating a behaviour loop - "donkey always moves before stopping."

Adding a bit of space, helps to discourage the "unwanted" part and more clearly defines the part that IS wanted, i.e. standing still.

Once Siog was standing still, we added the curry comb and then decided to count backwards to increase the length of time she was standing still.  We did this so that Siog would always hear the count "ONE" and know that a click and treat was to follow.  So initially, we would start the count at "ONE" then click and treat if she was still.  Then "two, ONE!"  click and treat,  "three, two, ONE"  and so on.  If Siog moved during those increments, we would reset the count and begin again.


She was a quick study and was soon standing like a statue! 

And here is Deenah, watching over the fence as Dorica is busy working with Sola.  Deenah gets very anxious when separated from Dorica but here she is doing so well, just watching with interest!


1 comment:

  1. I LOVE your blog!!!!!! And.. have to admit a soft spot for Deenah (ok, BIG soft spot :) ). I didn't even know donkeys 'til i was walking in the country recently, and saw 2 horses, 2 donkeys, 1 came towards me. She had a sore? on her front left leg (bright blood with a lot of flies :( ), so i told her i would find someone to tell them, found the farmer, told him and told me he was going right away to see.. I continued my walk, but just HAD to go back to see her again; so i turned around, went back.. and when she saw me, she ran to me: i think she is a Deenah, my heart melted!! I googled donkeys when i got home, found you and come see you since: thank you!