Monday, September 17, 2012

The Right Reinforcer Makes all the Difference

Tessa and I have a rather strange difficulty.  She works best in highly distracting, energized competition settings.  She tends to lag a bit when we are training on our own in private.  Kind of backwards, but that's how it is.

On one hand, I don't mind this.  After all, she brings out her best in the situations that count the most.  On the other hand, it can make rehearsal difficult.

Last week at Monday night Agility, our Thursday night instructor had some kind of dog jerky (not the stuff made in China - this was from a local person) and Tessa went nuts over it.  She gave me a bit and I brought it home.  Tonight I got it out when Tessa was having her training session and she was enthusiastic, engaged, and really into the session.

The right reinforcer makes all the difference.  No matter that I thought I was using high enough value reinforcers.  Apparently I wasn't!!

We had fun in our training session tonight.  We did some heelwork through the house, both sides.  We practiced switches and twirls and spins and circles.  Tessa actually did one twirl on verbal only!!  We started just a smidge of distance works in preparation to go for her Expert Tricks Title.  And we started to train "under" (back under my leg).

I am really anticipating our November competition.  I think this is just going to be the best performance we have ever done!  We are going to be ready!

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