|This is, clearly, not a photo of Cookie doing a play bow.|
I still have to get a photo or a movie of that somehow.
Positive emotions are at the foundation of good dog training.
What makes a reward a reward?
The happy feelings it brings.
Cookie loves our training games. She looks forward to the sessions and gets quite excited every time. I use treats and praise generously. I enjoy doing this with her because I can see that she enjoys it. We have a great time.
How much my emotions play into hers?
It seems that our happy feelings feed off of each other. One thing in particular made me realize how important my emotions are to Cookie.
To keep things fun and interesting, we work on different things and throw in a new trick every now and then.
I decided to try to teach Cookie to play bow as a trick.
I chose a time when I knew she was likely to offer play bows to solicit play from me. There are times through the day I KNOW she's going to do that. I had my treats ready and when she offered a play bow I marked and rewarded.
To encourage another play bow, I crouched down, stuck out my tongue and panted (I did that before to indicate I was ready to play with her; you see, I'm trying to speak dog--it does work, btw). Worked like a charm. Cookie did a play bow and I marked and rewarded.
Took all but couple of repetitions and Cookie started offering play bows.
I was so excited. To me, this was so special. Then we played, of course.
Every time I asked for the play bows and got them, I was beside myself with excitement. Don't ask me why but this particular trick just makes me so happy.
Fast forward a little bit and Cookie now offers play bows every chance she gets.
So much so that I often have a hard time getting her do other things.
-come and play bow-
I know that when I ask her to sit I should only reward when she sits. But how can one not reward a play bow? Because I still think it's the neatest thing ever.
So I have to be really careful now how I do things in order to get the actual sit or other behavior I want her to be doing.
The only thing that makes the difference between the play bow and any other ticks is my emotional response.
Cookie always gets a treat and praise for every trick. I am always happy and excited doing these things with her. But, apparently, the play bow makes me more happy than anything else.
And so Cookie wants to do play bows for me all the time.
Nothing made me truly realize how important emotions are in dog training than this experience.
Did you notice the role emotions play when training your dog?
From The End Of A Lead Line To Casa Jasmine: Meet Cookie, Our New Adoptee
Creative Solutions And An Incidental Product Review
Taming Of The Wild Beast: Cookie's Transition To Civilization
Staying On Top Of The Ears: Cookie Is Not Impressed
Who's Training Whom? Stick And Treat
Observation Skills Of Dogs
If You Want Your Dog To Do Something, Teach It
Tricks? It's Not Just About The Tricks
What Constitutes The Perfect Dog?
Are Dog Training Classes Really For The Dogs?
Look Where You Want To Go: Finding My Reactive Dog Training Zen Zone?