Through my circus I am devoted to clicker training - but I have to admit that it is hard to my temperament...which means that it is good. If you don´t know clicker it is about "positive operant learning" meaning that you do not instruct the animal, you just wait for it to do something in the direction you want and then you click and reward. The click is because you need to reward the exact moment the animal is trying the right thing.
The benefit is that the animal learns that it can make a difference, it starts looking for things to get rewards for. But it takes a lot of patience for me to wait for my dog to figure it outinstead of showing hi what I want.
We have been practising sitting in a suitcase... the goal is that I should be able to carry him on to stage in that suitcase.
We started with a box with low edges. He knows buy now that I want something when I bring the clicker so it was not before long he was sitting in the box. Then I changed to the box he usually rides in on the bike... not very easy. It took 14 days before he climbed in it...first me clicking when he looked at it, next when he put his head over it, next when he lifted a paw (scraping in frustration) next when he climbed in with fornt paws ans finally he got inside...victory? As the suitcase is about the same size and height I thought it would be easy-peasy to change into that...not! He just looked at me and the cae in total confusion and it was starting all over again. Antoher foruteen day and I can tell you that this is sooo hard on my patience, seing no progress at all but still just doing it...
But two days ago:
I am SO proud of him. Since then I have also been allowed to raise the sides and lift him up, he will be carried before long!
Today I will be trvelling noth after work to my sister. It is her birthday tomorrow and I want to be there in the morning to sing for her.
When shw saw my hula hoop and experienced being able to hoop with it she wished one for herself so I have made a beautiful blue and silver for her. She is skinnier than me (or should I say less fat, neither of us are skinny)
For new readers I started last summer to try to hulahoop - something I could never do around my waist as a kid. Kept trying in vain all autumn and was really desperate - until I read a post from sparkfrined shirley who talked abou "fluffy hoopers" needing larger hoops. Eureka! I made a GIGANTIC hoop and lo and behold there I was...january 2012 I learned who to hoop and I have been practising since then. I can hoop in both directions, I can do the vortex and for my birthday show I plan to do some fire hooping...
It will be interesting to see if my sister will be a devoted hooper as well... to be honest I am not, my hooping comes and goes. My daughter in the process hs bcome a very good hooper, she is slim and young and are picking up many tutorials from the net, learning new tricks.
This year I hope for us to do something for "International hoop day" 12 of december when people around the world record themselves doing the same choreography and then it is cut to one movie..OMG it´s up! The choreography for 2012 is up! I have to start practising!