Several years ago I watched a person train a dog is a sport I’m very familiar with. For the life of me, I could not figure out what the human wanted the dog to do – that’s pretty bad when it’s my own sport. The dog was paying the price with every type of correction imaginable, from emotional abuse to very hard physical corrections. Poor dog.
Since that time, I’ve given a lot of thought to communicating as clearly as possible with our dogs.
In the following video I’m working on several behaviors with Raika. These behaviors come from the Ringsports, so it’s very likely that most of you will have no idea what I’m looking for.
Here’s a game for you to play.
Can you figure out what I’m teaching? In fairness, this dog has had many many lessons in some of the base behaviors, so she has an advantage over you.
I entered the training yard with one main goal – can you see what it is? (here’s a hint; I focus on it for the first five minutes. here’s another hint; to succeed she must perform two behaviors at once).
I’m working to reinforce two skills she’s already mastered – can you see which ones? (Hint; there are two of them)
Can you see where I changed my training focus in the last minutes of the video? Do you know why I did that?
Do you know what “transport” means? If you don’t, then I wouldn’t expect the dog to know.
Do you know what the whistle means? Do you know why I frequently put the whistle in my mouth even when I don’t use it?
This is an extremely difficult challenge for several reasons, the primary one being that you haven’t watched her training over the last few months where she has built her base behaviors. For those of you who play in the ringsports, if you cannot identify my training interests, then I’m doing a poor job.
Have a ball. I’ll give the answers in a few days.