kinds of drugs and its side effects

Training Tuesdays: Owners need reinforcing too

Positive training can be frustrating. We all want to see results RIGHT AWAY — which is why certain programs that show behavior changing dramatically in a single (highly edited) segment are very popular. I’ve been discouraged because I’m a clicker clutz, because my body positioning is off, and because I’m an impatient person who doesn’t quite understand how we’re going to get from A (clicking approval when Frankie taps my hand with his nose) to Z (getting Frankie feeling comfortable riding in a car), theories be damned.

But Crystal, our trainer, is no dummy. First, she captured a key aspect of the problem, Frankie’s fear of street noise, on film:

Then she instructed me to open the door progressively wider while Frankie was eating, so he would get eventually get accustomed to the noise. Opening a door before putting food down — that’s something even I can do!

And the results?

Sure, Frankie gets the food, but notice who’s really getting the positive reinforcement here: “You’ve done your homework, I can tell,” Crystal says. Good girl, Edie!

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  1. Posted May 18, 2010 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    You and I may have to arm wrestle over who is more impatient! But … I can see most of the positive results in Ty and Buster’s training have come through modifications in MY behavior. BTW, Amy is a saint … she says so.

  2. Posted May 19, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    That Frankie is a brave one! I thought your observation that the trainer rewarded *You* for doing your homework was spot on. How we react, how we approach, how we give up our resistance/worry/negative mantras of how our dogs can’t/won’t/ or will never learn or modify a behavior is really an essential part of the training/reinforcement process. Boy, trainers have a lot of work to do, don’t they;-D

    • Edie Jarolim
      Posted May 19, 2010 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

      You’re right! And I think trainers who go into the business because they love animals but don’t care for people aren’t going to succeed for that reason. I’m definitely being trained as much as Frankie — maybe more because he doesn’t have any preconceived ideas about success and failure.

  3. Posted May 20, 2010 at 1:46 am | Permalink

    Hi! I am sharing the Versatile Blogger Award with you! Thank you for a great blog! Jana

  4. Posted May 20, 2010 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    Awesome idea with opening the door with feeding! Creating new associations! Was just recommending Stanley Coren’s Dog Companion videos to @FangShuiCanines, her dogs have problem with fireworks. These videos include desensitization track, where sounds of thunder, fireworks, gun shots etc are mixed into a sound track … so same idea really.

    Genius with the door!

2 Trackbacks

  1. […] Edie Jarolim has Tuesdays set aside to showcase the positive dog training helping Frankie (yes, the star of Jarolim’s book Am I Boring My Dog? and cutie pie poster dog for her blog “Will My Dog Hate Me?”) lessen his fear of the traffic and noise of life that persists on the other side of their front door.  There’s a great video report that captures Frankie in his misery, but also overcoming some of his trepidation. The trainer’s remarks at the end of the lesson will make you laugh! […]

  2. By Training Tuesday: Will Not Work for Food on May 25, 2010 at 6:59 am

    […] portion of the get-Frankie-into-the-car-comfortably program is going great. I demonstrated last week how our trainer, Crystal,  is accustoming Frankie to street noise by having him associate it with […]

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