Monday, November 28, 2016

When Training Just Clicks

Now I know what you are thinking, as a Clicker Training Animals professional you service your customers needs one click at a time.

More often than not day one someone from the group relaxes as the express their distaste for the device they tried once or twice, and tossed to the counter like a cheap party favor, and noise maker.

The common misconception by those who didn't read up on the subject Pryor to delving hands first into an attempt to mash the button, and somehow the clicking sound; and their hand jolting forward as if the confused handler is surfing their television for something to keep the racket down. A different channel with a more well behaved furry companion perhaps?

In this article I want to explain the important roles of primary reinforcement, secondary reinforcement, and even tertiary reinforcement, and transitional reinforcers. These are all defined and described in Classical Conditioning theory; also known as Pavlov’s Theory.

So,  I'm sure we have all heard the story of Pavlov’s dog, but if you haven't. Here it is Treat Fairy style.

Dogs are domesticated animals. They like to play, eat, chase, ect. These are drives; but also referred to as conditioned reinforcers. When we pair those stimulus (things) with a specific tone or word. An associating step to learning behaviors is made. Applying a consistent primary reinforcer, or in this case the Clicker; with a targeted secondary reinforcer dedicated to deliver great results, and progression; as the team proofs their skills. Into establishing strong bonds off communication, obedience, tricks, and more.

Most commonly progressive, positive, and modern dog training professionals and technicians alike use food as our go-to secondary reinforcement option. This is largely due to foods innate ability to keep subjects focused, and allow recurring behavior frequently in a short period of time.

Now that isn't to say you cannot train a dog with alternate secondary reinforcement options, but you have to apply something; paired to that primary marker, or you will struggle with a timely and consistent progression.

Many professional and developing trainers around the globe are making great strides in Canine sports, performance, working, assistants, service dogs, protection, and more with just a click, and a cookie, or a yes and a ball.

Now it's not often we hear the word tertiary, let alone in reference to reinforcement or animal training; and ... well I wouldn't be the tiara toting Treat Fairy I am without bestowing a little word wisdom. Tertiary is to be provide in third order e.g. Primary (First), Secondary (Second), Tertiary (Third).

When larger behavior chains are made progressive training and educating professionals may instruct handlers to offer tertiaryi reinforcers or Jackpots. Ordinarily one is correct in the assumption of a few extra morsels after that trick, but I picked up something moons ago; providing transitional reinforcers.

As we understand Jackpots alone can be useless. I encourage you to think from an alternate perspective. What a better way to consistently deliver; and develop en•guage•ment. To understand your partners current understanding of the program being asked of them in that moment, and for them to either agree, or disengage.

Can you See a potential distraction. Offer a Leave It cue, apply a reward before the distraction reaches you to pass by, and the dog maintains a heel to the end.

I asked the dog to leave it. Not knowing if he understands; more focus through this obstacle, or not; but I assume he does to assist in transitioning necessity for a heel cue, but still using my technical ring skills in the normal public.

Being able to supplement extra pets, treats, toys, games, or even in some cases kisses. Check in with your partner, and make sure you guys are on the same page, and reading the same book.

Always set your team up for success, and always pair those clicks with a secondary reinforcer. Apply those 3rd reinforcers, and don't be afraid to pop quiz (Separate Blog Article, coming soon.) those fur•panions.

~ the Treat Fairy
@treatfairy.dog

Training Fudge Recipe

Training Fudge Recipe

This tantalizing treat offerdigestive support, and quick draw consistency of its whole wheat competitors, but for Trainers like myself who tend to toss back a few packs of edible secondary reinforcers; precisely measured; for optimal calorie intake.

With its harvest seasonal alternative ingredient options. These one of a kind soft chew morsels really go a step above to help rotate ingredients; to potential expand the palette. To better keep the game of training motivating, and progressive.

Mix
½ lbs of Gluten Free Flour (Tapioca or mix that of works best.)
4 large eggs
4 ripe bananas (optional compensate with one additional egg.)
1 lbs of peanut butter
15 oz of pumpkin or sweet potato puree

Preheat your oven to 318 degrees. Lay batter in 9x13 baking sheet.
Bake on 318 degrees for 25 minutes or until cooked thru. Let it cool overnight.
Cut; bag and store in the fridge or freeze what you don’t want to use.

Guest Authored by Christine Broadhurst. Empowered by the Treat Fairy.

Edible Secondary Reinforcement; Training Using Treats

Edible Secondary Reinforcement; Training Using Treats

When training your dog make sure you have different types of treats. It will be easier when you have different options to offer your dog. Such as hot dogs, cheese, chicken, kibble, veggies and dog treats. Make sure that the portions are made up small morsels; average size of a pea for a 50+ pound dog. Get the most out of a training sessions with frequent reinforcement, and untimely Jackpots.  Always keep the calories within the recommended daily amount for your dog. Consult your Veterinarian to discuss your dog's body index, diet, and nutritional, or supplemental needs.

When teaching your dog by lure; you are simply luring the dog into a sit, down, stand, etc. And thus your dog will follow the baited hand, and your dog should move accordingly into the desired position to then be marked; with either your Clicker, Marker Cue, or Consistent Primary Reinforcement option chosen. Once the dog maintains a 80 to 90% accuracy. You can begin to fade the food lure, and begin to add a cue to the behavior. Again, proofing the skills to hand signals a vocal cues.

If you capture your dog's desired behaviors outside of the training session, or out of turn from the topic at hand. For this you simply mark the behavior or action with your primary reinforcer, followed by the secondary scrumptious delight cleverly awarded.

Offer a mix of both targeted skills and dedicated training time towards your canines lifestyle while in your charge, but also Listen with Your Eyes, and capture those behaviors; unlock those progressive ambitions.

~ the Treat Fairy
@treatfairy.dog

This article was inspired by Training with Treats, an American Kennel Club manual. Related links.

A Guide to Dog Treats by Woofipedia powered by the American Kennel Club.

From inside the Treat Fairy's kitchen my favorite easy make Dog Biscuit by Christine Broadhurst Empowered by the Treat Fairy sponsored by Committed Canines Dog Services, LLC.

Best Dog Treats According to Trainers by Woofipedia powered by the American Kennel Club.

From inside the Treat Fairy's kitchen my favorite Gluten-Free Dog Training Fudge by Christine Broadhurst Empowered by the Treat Fairy sponsored by Committed Canines Dog Services, LLC.

Two Dog Treats Recipe You Can Make From Home by Woofipedia powered by the American Kennel Club.

House Breaking Your Dog; Learning the Life Lesson of Patience.

For over approximately three years; I have been bogged with the idea of writing my blog. All my colleagues are pushing me to express my experiences, journey, and knowledge of Positive Psychology, Behavior Science, and Animal/ Pet Care.

As I sit here writing this blog I am reminded that it’s okay to take a step out of your comfort zone, and do that  thing you always wanted to, but feared the consequences from ridicule, or the cruelty we see and do nothing about online and the bullying around the world; Remember to Be Kind Online.

I have always been known as the guy that is busy typing away on his keyboard, or on his phone non stop, but what you don’t know it is always for the “greater good.” My thoughts wander frequently; answering clients questions, and always returning customer inquiries. Through my career I have relied on those articles published by other “behavior professionals” to help guide, and educate my clients. But why can't I produce honest educational materials of my own to share and be proud of. This is that change. This is my announcement; and in the words of Donna Summers, "I'm coming out!"

I have been writing everything out for years, but never before let anyone inside to see, read, or experience my world of words. It was recently I remember hearing a trainer say we “Teach” Do As I Say, And Not As I Do. Well That Just didn’t sit right with me. I feel like I always need to be instructing exactly how I work with my own dogs, and all other species. I am a Clicker Training Animals professional, and find that this method of training, both encourages the team handler, and the animal partner. As a Companion Animal Behavior Professional I strongly encourage all my teams with positive reinforcement; alternate solutions for Problematic Behaviors, and basic obedience; through freestyle tricks, and Rally Obedience.  I even use these training techniques with felines, equines, and pocket pets too. Because they work, and because I don't want my pets to feel like a chore, but rather the enjoyable companion they are.

Being a Modern Business Professional. I have a Business Consultant to help guide my growth, publicity, decision making, and skills to always adapt, and become a better person, and business; to build a strong team, and brand. It just so happens my consultant; is my company's Director of Operations, and I am undoubtedly sleeping with my boss; and married.

It’s very important to realize that patients are crucial. Being able to debate; about business, and still be a fulltime homemaker. Caring for and performing with my own animals, and teaching fulltime. Lots of emotions will fill you frequently, but you need to wear figurative hats, and literally take them off, and put them on; be able to overcome a problem; offering complete education solutions to your market, and subjects. Whether I am consulting with a single client, or a commercial client; everyone deserves a chance to progress.

While its no secret; My husband was an active duty Marine Corps officer. Recently his separation, and resume landed us back in New England, and in our home town of Bethel, Connecticut. My experienced senior Doberman Pinscher adapted well; but my young performance candidate had some serious settling issues. That resulted in some potty and other elimination failures. Feeling damned as i did everything right, and too the protocols. But where those failures my fault, did I set him up for success?

I reached out to my fellow animal owners in Positive Pet Advice group on Facebook, and even remember having more struggling thoughts on my decisions to train in a Positive manner. I was defeated. Lower than I could ever be.

I remember telling interns that handled my dog. Stay true, and he will teach you something. I felt like I knew him. I had him mastered. Nope. It was then I realized, He taught me something, and he might yet again.

Back story living with Chrons disease for almost my whole life the porcelain throne sat on passed much time in my life to the detriment of my jobs, and supplementing income. I don't like to be rushed to shit. Do you? He understood the schedule, but just needed a few more seconds, and he would abide. We are a team, and i needed to check in with him. To find out where he was, and if he was adjusting accordingly. and I need to give him a moment to let his bowels take their course.

15 seconds to failure; a lesson I taught, and was reminded often; but in this case; he might need a bit more time. (Guiding Principles Blog mini- Series Coming Soon!) Spend some more doing something for them like an extra long walk; or just a sprint a round the block with some tricks in between. So I adjust my morning routine, and when he is ready. He will let me know. Can you notice the signal? We always notice “Bad” behaviors, but are they notification. Step back, and learn to read your dog instead of always trying to control them. You can teach them great things. In due to of process, and education.

Our time with our partners; can be short, and we should admire every minute of it. Living with animals is my mission. Welcome to my blog. Welcome to my thoughts. I hope you enjoy it, and I hope I can help you on your journey through life positively.

I accepted the patients. I accepted truth. I accepted honesty. I won’t hide anymore. I am a comfortable character. Flamboyant, Unique, Confident, and Exciting.

~ The Treat Fairy
@treatfairy.dog
www.neilhutchins.com

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Balance Beams

The idea behind building this set of beams; was based on a platform training video i watched.

I wanted an option to be able to better proof position, and form for my cruckid canine. being able to modify the space more effectively to build better posture, and confidence at the same time. This is my home parkour building experiences.



Dog Sense (information) by Neil Hutchins Resto 'Clicker Training Animals': Canine Horizontal (platform non slip) Balance Bea...: Instructions coming soon!

Where did Loki come from?

When we got to the rescue; we where informed that our short list for adoption was under quarantine due to kennel cough. So, we decided to take a look around the ranch; to see if a dog that maybe wasn't listed online was available.

As we met our tour guide a weathered senior woman came up to us with a pop of a step. She put her cordless phone in her pocket, and reached out to shake my hand. She asked great questions about: location, lifestyle, education, employment, ect. I was amazed.

When you tell a shelter worker you are a dog trainer they just shutter. Aren't we all rings thru their head, and so she began to tell us about a Doberman, who had a Separation Anxiety issue, and was zealous. So, they adopted it to another trainer, and she needed it to be returned, when it went after small dogs.

Interesting to meet this beautiful gray coated male that was estimated to 14 ... months. Well anyway came barreling towards us from the opposite end of the multi dog exercise area. Not a foot in-sync. He dive to the gate bounding about.

I answered politely as they fumbled to leash this bobbing bafoon. I wanted a Service Dog. She piped back; if you are a trainer. This dog needs a job, and you need to give him one. Further on she proclaimed; when you have been at this as long as I have. You just know! She nodded her head, and walked away.

The dog dragged all the way to the introduction zone, and had places to be and things to smell. But no. I wanted to see a few more, and the dorkly #doberman was rinsed off to come back later.

The old lady had her turn. Was introduced to a few candidates; to make sure we would be on a little easier path for the ride home. And then it was time for her to meet the chosen one. Immediately he tried to play, amd she ignored him, just like the maternal momma she is. He played and jumped, and romped, and flopped. From side to side, and knocking into everyone. Saw me and came to lay at my feet.

This one wasn't a cute my dog chose me, or I wanted the scared one in the corner. This was a brilliant woman who matched a dog that needed a job, and a person; with the person that needed the support, and a dog. Who would have known he would grow into the strong boy he is today. Assisting me around. Helping me up, and just being their when I need to redirect.

I adopted my dog, and he works for me, and he is cherished, cared for, and maintained. He has flaws we work on, and he has strengths we praise. He is my partner, my Companion, and my friend.

What should I need for Puppy Class?

What will I need for class (sessions)?
Your classes won't be complete without the proper equipment. Below is a list of all the required essentials. You are welcome to sway from the list by brand if you are currently using another product, but use of electronic collars, remotes, pinch, prong, or choke collars are strictly prohibited. Thank you.

1. Treats. Three Types. Grade A; highest value. Grade B; generic value. Grade C; base value.
*As a clicker trainer I highly recommend a low calorie reward like cheerios; for your class C, and Kibble for your B. So, you veterinarian should like me too.

1B. A Good instructor will always suggest a toy, ball,tug, or all of the above; to help motivate  the training session; to the next level.

2. Stop the pulling while using an Easy Walker or Gentle Leader; from premier pet products. The both offer great benefits, and of course easy to come by. No special websites. Just the store.

3. Not just one lead. All good training programs will work a close range, and distance education program. Our does that. This is why we require a short lead, no less than 6 feet; unless suggested by the trainer, and a 20 to 30 foot long line for stay, recall, and others. No retractable leads.

4. Treat bag. You wouldn't be complete without having the secondary reinforcement close at hand. Having a treat bag helps you to proactively teach your dog how to be a Canine Good Citizen; and you are a Responsible Dog Owner for teaching them.

5. Your training toolbox isn't complete without a clicker. I provide them to all training clients, but for those of you joining us for the first time. I highly recommend; use, and distribute iClick large button clicker from Karen Pryor.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

An SDTA compliant team

How to become an SDTA compliant team
The Service Dog Trainers Association™ aka Committed Canines DOG Services, LLC; uses the American Kennel Club© curriculum’s and evaluations for the timeline of testing and training a Service Dog and its Public Access.

We do require that the handler and dog complete:
• STAR Puppy course and evaluation (if the candidate is under one years old), 
• the  handler and Service Dog candidate must also complete a 6 week minimum group training course geared towards Service Dogs or public access and the Canine Good Citizen© evaluation,
• the handler and Service Dog candidate must complete a 6 week minimum group training course geared towards Service Dogs or public access and the Community Canine© evaluation,
• and finally must complete a 6 week minimum group training course geared towards Service Dogs or public access and the Canine Good Citizen Urban© evaluation; in order to be eligible for our Public Access Test.

As a Service Dog trainer compliant with the Service Dog Trainers Association™; it is important that you understand this process, and agree to train and test by it.

Any team (NOT TRAINED BY COMMITTED CANINES DOG SERVICES, LLC)  wishing to enroll in our membership; must first complete the application process.

Once the application process is complete the team must supply their SDTA counselor with copy of all required American Kennel Club© STAR Puppy©, Canine Good Citizen©, Community Canine©, and Urban Canine proof of evaluation ONLY, all teams not trained by Committed Canines Dog Services, LLC are not required to retake any training unless the so choose.

If additional training is needed to complete the above mentioned evaluations; it must be conducted by an approved Service Dog trainer, or using ONLY modern and progressive dog training protocols such as those written in ‘The least intrusive effective behavior intervention (LIEBI) algorithm and levels of intrusiveness table: a proposed best practices model. Version 5.0’ and outlined in the Progressive Dog Trainers Manifesto . This means the use of physical molding, harsh corrections, fear, intimidation, electronic collars of any kind, pinch or prong collars, and currently slip leads or choke chains.

NOTE from the American Kennel Club©; that all evaluations pertaining to the Canine Good Citizen© programs conducted on a Service Dog, and their handler, must accommodate the Service Dogs regular gear.

There is a $250 non refundable application fee.