Sunday, February 9, 2014

Clicker Expo 2014: Hannah Brannigan: Break It Down To Build It Up

get better at practicing to get better at performing
deliberate practice
how you practice matters most
understand weaknesses
invent specific tasks to address deficiencies
more repetition is useless
what are your challenges? be specific - don't just practice stuff that's easy for you
push past barriers and grow

mix skills practice (deliberate) with occassional tests

prevent accidntally rewarding poor behavior within chain
introduce proofing more safely out of context
preserve performance cues so they don't get poisoned during proofing (split, get it out of context, or use alternate behavior); ie target to practice go outs without poisoning cues of "go", "sit", "jump", etc

ingrain success - superfluency

"it's fine" + ring stress/pressue = behavior breaking down

review priorities:
1. emotional state
2. engagement (dog wants what you have, understands contingency, capable of giving you his attention)
3. train behaviors

more to less specific:
concepts <- across="" and="" applies="" b="" behaviors="" big="" here="" improvements="" multiple="" results="" skills="" small="" state="" yield="">

concepts: offering behaviors, stimulus control, focus, impulse control/access to reinforcerment, distance, speed (shaping for speed, that it's something the dog can vary), body awareness

skills: targeting, jumping, retrieving, positions, platforms, heeling

behaviors: front, finish, go out, etc

make a plan
which task is needed?
how can I isolate that piece? (design training plan that focuses on the specific skill you are trying to teach)
what are my criteria?
how will I reinforce?
how will I respond to mistakes?

drop on recall: (incomplete) map of concepts
sit - distance, duration
come - speed, duration
down -  movement, distance, latency
come - speed, distance
front - precision
finish - precision

increase complexity
starting with simple isolated behaviors
gradually increase difficulty
add distractions
add distance/duration (if applicable)

once the piece is fluent by itself, put it back into context

* take out sits when isolating something else. no sits!
* heeling = lots of muscle collection = fatigue

This is the training approach that is most widely supported in the online R+ competition obedience groups I'm in (of which Hannah is a member of, of course). It was still great to see it laid out in a presentation rather than trying to piece it together from discussions. Hannah is definitely on my short list of presentors to follow whenever I can.

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