Sunday, January 8, 2012

Transitioning Rewards

The last few weeks I've not been using any treats at all with Simi's training. We've been working on her down with the tug as a reward, offering behaviors in general, and Friday we went to the vet and she was offered her tug instead of treats throughout. She's been doing really well and she's really doing well with tugging in general. I found her to be a little leery in her tugging before. She wanted the tug, but she wasn't going to fight you to get it, but as we've worked with no treats her enthusiasm is getting better and better! She's "fighting" a lot more to keep the tug and that's what I like to see.

Anyway! Today I was working on holding her back while I threw the tug out ahead. We've done it a few times before, but she usually just saunters over, grabs it and plays with it by herself. Today the first time she RAN to the tug, got it and came about half way back to me with it, so not wanting to let this be a session where she learns she can run to get it and dink off bringing it back, I went and grabbed four treats. I was only going to try with the treats because I fully expected her to just lose interest in my tug when I had treats. She got a treat for giving me the tug the first time, and after that we did three reps. Driving towards the tug and bringing me the toy back. She wasn't crazy fast about bringing it back, but by the third rep she was catching on.

But the cherry on top is that she was fine with bringing the toy back, getting a treat, tugging some, then setting up to do it all again. There was no loss of interest in the tug, and honestly, at one point she wanted to keep the tug, not take the treat. Can't say I'm going to complain about that one!

Just a very small victory, but worth enough to me to share!

And that said, Simi did very well at the vets office. She got her last round of shots and is a "big dog" now. Time to start getting out and about even more and meeting new dogs! At the vets office she was very keen to play with a lab that was there (but did NOT want to play with her) and really, she was being flat out obnoxious trying to play, so I've got to start getting a handle on that. She happily met all of the staff, though, and gave kisses to all. And at one point during our actual visit with the vet she pranced over to where I'd sat her tug, grabbed it and started playing with it, so while I talked to the vet we tugged. I was VERY pleased with that. New person, new place, new smells, new situation, and she still wants to tug with me? Score!

Anywho, that's about all for now. I'll try to get some fresh video of her soon.

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