Friday, November 19, 2010

2 On / 2 Off (Videos)

Yesterday Jessica worked with Gilda on her 2 on / 2 off (2o2o) skill. This skill requires the dog to have 2 front feet off of the equipment and 2 back feet on the contact area of the equipment. The dog holds this position until released by the handler (in Gilda's case, a verbal cue of "OK"). The dog needs to learn to hold this position regardless of what the handler is doing (running by, turning, etc.). The 2o2o skill is used on the A-Frame, the Dog Walk, and the Teeter.
To teach this skill, Jessica uses a clicker and some of Gilda's favorite treats. When Gilda performs the desired skill, Jessica Clicks and Treats (C/T) to reinforce the behavior. (You can hear the cues and the clicks if you adjust the volume)

In the following video, Jessica works with Gilda on a raised board. She first transports Gilda to her starting position using a treat held in the hand closest to the dog (Gilda can sniff or nibble at the treat but she does not get to eat it). Once she is on the board, Jessica gives the verbal "Two" cue. This cue tells Gilda that when she reaches the end of the board, she should perform her 2o2o. On the first attempt, Gilda comes off of the board before performing her 2o2o so Jessica simply starts over. Gilda gets no clicks, no treats. On the second attempt, Gilda performs the 2o/2o which Jessica C/T but Gilda doesn't hold the position when Jessica walks away from her. Again, Jessica simply starts again. On the third attempt you can see that Gilda starts to break position as Jessica walks away but then 'chooses' to stay. What a Good Girl!
{Jessica works with Gilda on a 2on/2off}

In the next video, Jessica works on teaching Gilda to hold the 2o2o position until she is released. You can see that Gilda has progressed enough to work off-leash and no longer needs transported to the start. Jessica continues to use a (C/T) for correct position. You can tell that Gilda is really starting to understand that no matter what Jessica does, she must follow the "Two" command until she hears her release cue, "OK". Notice again that while Jessica moves around, she maintains eye contact and never turns her back to the dog.

{Jessica works with Gilda on holding her 2o/2o until released}

These videos were recorded one right after the other and are in real time. This gives you a feel for how effective clicker training and good handling can be! Also... Notice that in both videos Jessica rewards desired behaviors and ignores mistakes (she is truly the ultimate patient handler). This is very important for novice handlers to learn and practice because this is the foundation to making Agility training positive and fun.

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