Sunday, February 9, 2014

Clicker Expo 2014: Sarah Owings: Wallflower Dogs

Susan Friedman's Unlabel Me campaign:
label dog as damanged -> feeling guilt, pity -> can't help as well
two was to create a wallflower dog:
1. accepting your dog's limitations
2. not accepting your dog's limitations - living in denial

understanding pressure:
too close for comfort
performance stress
fear of punishment (anything dog finds punishing - may be eye contact, looming, etc)

is your dog having a "wallflower moment"?
1. "low wattage" - taking treats, moving, but it's all low energy
2. avoids eye contact
3. feeling of being "blown off"
4. stress signals
5. split personality (ie indoors vs outdoors acts like a different dog)
6. gives up easily
7. refuses food
8. unnatural stillness

action plan for change:
health check
stress check (appropriate outings, not too many)
reality check (does your dog really want to do this?)
life enrichment (know what your dog wants - games indoors, dog friend?

where is your dog's bliss?
let yourself grieve for dog you don't have
"our biggest enemy is expectations" - Helix Fairweather

recognizing thrive:
relishes life
moves freely
asks to work and play
does naughty things like real dogs
eats with gusto
sleeps deeply
rare stress between housemates
"sparkly dog"

best practices:
safety before obedience (dog's sense of safety)
what is your dog's safe space? train there/start there
careful of poisoned cues - even poisoned treats - don't make it "look" like training - change entire context - low wattage is signal of this
strategic reinforcement - make the food really cool
1. food precisely to mouth to prevent any confusion at all
2. predictable movements and food placement on target
3. click and place food and walk away
4. toss treat away
5. jackpots
6. jackpots on cue
7. wrap food in a towel
8. food in glove/objects
9. face plant in bait bag

don't cheap out - expensive behaviors require high pay - fresh meat, lickables, forbidden things (like cat food)

capitalize on the high point of your dog's day - put emotions on cue, do high energy training when dog is feeling up

ritualize the training game:
make it predictable, consistent
very clear criteria
clear starting and ending points
GMAB from CU

wallflower threshold model, like bite threshold model - stacking triggers = dog shuts down

redefine "short" sessions - maybe even just 1 rep at a time

forget "quit while you're ahead"

trust -> empowerment -> movement
clicker training!

trust building games:
treat and retreat (give treat and leave, let dog eat; then treat, click when dog starts to eat; then click and leave)
treat treasure hunt
engage/disengage (like BAT), for approach-avoidant dog
there and back again (like BAT), cause use car as safe "home base"

empowerment games
eye-contact activate (capturing eye contact, GMAB)
beginning object interaction (may be better to use lots of novel objects to capture more interest; can use food under object to prompt/lure interaction
advanced object interaction - push it, paw it, move it, bang it (provides clear focal point for action; dog is in control of noise, movement, etc; intensity can be built up slowly; don't use 101 things to do with box - not enough structure/consistency)
body puzzlers

movement games (change body position)
targeting - hand target most frequently used
go to mat / get it!
shaped playfulness
captured excitement
jackpot rituals
"find your mat" game - seeking and movement

side effect warning - will act like a normal dog!

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