Week 5 homework:
–Clearly identify the initial reliable alert: This is Mo placing his paw on the target. I see this alert primarily in situations where it would be difficult or impossible for Mo to perform a nose touch, including a couple of points during our homework video.
–Describe the behavior in the alert chain I am currently shaping: A nose touch. Often Mo goes right to the nose touch. Whether he does or not, I reinforce this behavior once or twice after he correctly alerts on target in each trial.
–Advanced indoor box, rewarding only the desired alert I’m shaping: I did this early in this week’s homework, and Mo so quickly started offering nose touches at each target placed in a box that we progressed to the advanced indoor hides (without boxes).
–Video: this shows each trial in a single session of work. I used several rooms this week, and this session was conducted in the largest and most complex space I’ve used thus far. After each trial, I do an embarrassing hop or dance out of the training area while praising Mo–this seems to amp up his enthusiasm. I give the command “come” when I am in separate room and click and treat. (We’re working on that with light distractions and in different contexts right now.) I close the bedroom door, leaving him inside, and place the target for the next trial. Seems to be working–when I release him and say “houby,” he’s excited and waiting to push through the opening for the next trial.