I’ve done a little clicker training with Glee. She learn go to your mat pretty quickly so I thought this time I tried teaching her to retrieve a basket. Glee decided to give me a few challenges to work with.
- She’s a shark with treats. Giving her a treat by hand could involve blood letting.
- She’s got long ears and a huge dewlap. These get in the way of her finding a treat I place on the floor.
- She’s got a little bit of an attitude. I don’t call her the diva bunny for nuthin’. You can hear her grunting in the video (she’s the most vocal rabbit I’ve ever had).
- She gets bored quickly. I can’t do too many reps during a session or I lose her.
What she didn’t realize is how much I love the challenges that come up with training. It’s why I love clicker training. When something isn’t going as planned you have to stop and think about what you need to change to get the behavior you want. It’s my favorite part of training.
Some of the things I decided to do to help with the above behaviors were-
- I used a plastic lid as a treat station to help with the sharking and long ears. This gave her one place to go and get the treat.
- I tried to set the basket a distance from her as she seemed to get upset and cop a ‘tude when I set it too close. The basket would end up all over. I’m on the lookout for a small plastic basket that will be more stable.
- In the first video, you can see she stopped training toward the end. That was 2 reps of 5 treats each which was too much for her. For each training session I went to 1 repetition of 5 treats for each training session and that worked much better.
We don’t quite have the completed behavior yet. No one would want Glee as their Easter Bunny the way she’s throwing that basket, but we’re getting there.
The videos below are a bit of our practice. Please excuse the mess under the dressers! The first video is our first session. The second one is our latest session. I’ll be sure to share the video when we finally get finish the behavior.