Thursday, October 8, 2009
I did a session of clicker training this morning, but it didn’t go very well; The puppies were way too tired. They had been in the house playing with mom then with their toys and each other for several hours, and by the time I cut up the treats, I realized that they were too tired.
While I was cutting up treats, however, Screamer jumped on me for some. I waited until she had all “fours on the floor” then clicked and gave her treats. She offered me a sit and I clicked and treated her for that. She really enjoyed her session.
The second session in the night went much better. Turbo Puppy and Screamer were most attentive; again, Little Darlin chose to explore on his own. I didn’t force the issue because I know that when he’s ready he will participate. One of the things I truly appreciate about operant conditioning is that behaviors become strong when the animal offers it himself rather than being coerced. So, I just let Little Darlin be a baby and explore as much as he wanted. He has a lifetime ahead of him for formal training.
So far the lessons still consist of clicking and treating with the puppies as a group. Beginning sometime on the weekend I’ll start working with them individually. Right now I’m loading the clicker. So far I haven’t noticed any sound sensitivity issues with the pups, and I’m really happy for that. My pomeranians were afraid of the clicker and I had to use one with with a muffled sound. It was months before I could use the regular clicker with them.
There’s still so much that I want to do with the puppies before they leave for their new homes in two weeks’ time. I feel as though I’m rushing against the clock. Oh well…tomorrow is another day and another opportunity for these puppies to learn new things.