May 18, 2011:
Training front with Riemu continues, I have added the cue ‘tänne’ to the behavior. I switched to using the verbal marker ‘bra’ instead of a clicker so that I can treat her with either hand. We did 3 x 10 repetition training blocks, and in each sessions I gave the sit cue a couple of times, then took a step back and gave the front cue ‘tänne’ again. A few times Riemu offered me downs as well but by waiting for a while she corrected herself to the front position again. She did two fantastic fronts from a sit :-)! She has learned that sitting in front of me is not enough, she also has to be straight to earn her click and treat. The problem sometimes is that if she offers a crooked front and does not get her reinforcement, she becomes frustrated and starts to shift around. Therefore, I have started to add duration occasionally as well, in other words, I clicked and treated her for just staying in a sit in front of me.
Below are two movie links, in the second one I am attaching the cue ‘tänne’ to the behavior.
June 8, 2011:
The front is looking good now! I am testing the stimulus control for this behavior by alternating the front cue ‘tänne’ with the finish/heel cue ‘fut’. We were training in 12 repetitions sessions, where I gave the cue ‘tänne’ four times and on the fifth trial gave the cue ‘fut’, instead. We have been training in 4 x 12 training blocks on three consecutive nights and Riemu has learned the concept very fast. It was amazing to observe how she really understands the ‘tänne’ cue and if she made the mistake of offering me a finish she quickly corrected herself to the front position again.
June 21, 2011:
I gave training front a one week rest, on Saturday I started testing the stimulus control between front and finish outside. I realized that we’re not quite there yet. But I’m nevertheless quite happy with it indoors. Yesterday we trained 3 x 12 repetition sessions, of which I recorded two, the movie links are below. IN the first movie Riemu partly mixed ‘tänne’ and ‘fut’ but corrected herself very well. The movie ends tragically when Riemu knocks the camera over :-). In the second movie I dare say, the stimulus control works very well, Riemu makes a mistake only once after she hears noises from the front door.