Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Cleaning up my RM act!

Now that I've started teaching,  working towards my CPDT-KA , I've got to be careful about technique.

My faux pas is after the cue has been established, I'll use the word "yes" my RM, but truly that's NOT what its intended use is all about.  I noticed it in videos, but I didn't realize how often I did it!

RM=Reward Marker, Event Marker, Bridging Stimulus, Conditioned Reinforcer...using something audible, visual, tactile (ie...sound from a clicker, whistle, your voice or gesture like a hi-five, peace sign, even a facial expression when you're teaching the dog something new) ... that is paired up with a primary reinforcer like food, something the dog LOVES without you having to condition them to LOVE it.

This one consistent signal to the dog, because it is paired up with something they LOVE, will eventually teach them to think about what they just did, so they can repeat it and be rewarded by it.

It's to be completely separate from praise.  We want the dog to identify that signal and pipe up...learn to STOP what they're doing and take note.  So they learn..."HEY, I heard that "word, click, whistle" which means that I need to remember what I just did, so I can repeat it and eventually I'll learn a new word to associate with this behaviour."  It identifies a snap shot in time.

Normally it's used when teaching a dog a new behaviour that you have not put on a "command' or "cue' or under "stimulus control".  Something brand new that you would like to teach and before they understand what the word or handsignal means.  I'll go into fading the need for a RM after a cue is established in another post.

Now when I watch past videos I swear it sounds like a romantic comedy..Yes, Yes, Yes ...then someone walks in on the couple...

I'm not going to delete them and start from scratch because the whole point of this blog is to share our imperfect lives, challenges and how we work to turn things around.

So rather than this post being about my dogs, it's about me and how I can improve my communication skills.

This video I made a conscious effort to clean up my act.  I forgot balls at home, but we had fun anyways!  It always amazes me how simple it is to have fun with my guys.  They've got a great sense of humour and make me laugh all the time.  Kee is such a pain to Daizy, it's funny to watch them communicate with eachother.  She's so serious, a keener.  He's the slacker, who just wants to joke around and have fun.

Break= release word and power forward we're doing some agility work
Hup= jump up on what's infront of you
Zoom= my group recall, if I say it without identifying who specifically I'd like to come to me

I'll always be perfectly imperfect to my dogs and LUCKY for me, they'll always do a great job of picking up my slack and making me look good.


Kristine said...

Awww! I like your hand signal for "wait". I've just used the same one I use for stay which is probably not good since I mean different things. Mind if I try to incorporate yours?

Zoom is an awesome command as well for multiple dogs. Love it!

Daizy, George, Taiki n Keegan said...

definitely use it! It was a toss up between and perfect signal and peace :)

The zoom came after a dog park incident where my Daizy recalled to another owner :P

Plus it reminds me of reading cartoons, zip, zoom, kerpow..makes me smile.