Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Tatsu's Shoe Chew Experiment
Chewing shoes--that's a favorite experiment for virtually every puppy I've known. The trick is being so vigilant with supervision and management that you can be there to catch the first puppy-shoe-chew attempts to give well-timed feedback, and to notice the good dog every time a puppy is near a shoe-chew temptation, but resists and makes a better choice.
In this video clip, you'll see that I chose to allow Tatsu to play with his toy near the shoe pile so that I might have an opportunity to reinforce this lesson for him. This wasn't his first shoe-chew attempt, but he really hasn't tried again since I shot this video a few days ago. Still--I know the behavior of chewing only one's chew toys and nothing else will undergo much, much more testing before Tatsuya is behaviorally mature (that was at nearly three years old in Toffee's case!)
Note how I used "happy chatter" as a "keep going" signal and how my "AhAh" sound is short and sharp by contrast. In this clip, you will not hear an actual "click" which is our formal reward marker. "Good boy" is not a reward marker for us, but rather a part of our "happy chatter" routine. Tatsuya has learned the meaning of his no reward marker, "AhAh," in various other contexts prior to the moment captured here, and has been "clicked and rewarded" many times prior to this for simply chewing on his own toys.
To learn more of the "How To" of dog training, contact Bette Yip to learn about the various group and private dog training services available from Picture Perfect Pets in the Boston area.