Hi Everyone! As promised this is an update on Wycked’s wacky mealtime behavior management.
She has come a long way in a week! She now goes to the stool on her own and waits for the food to be put on the floor with a release of “okay” and then she can get it. It is still heavily reinforced as you will see in the video.
One note about the video. I put a title in there saying “no cues were given” but there is a physical or environmental cue which is the presence of the stool. The stool is put away when it is not meal time, so its presence is in itself a cue to do something. I kept finding her hanging out on it and waiting for food and I did not want her behavior to diminish through lack of rewards. An older dog I would maybe let learn that if it wasn’t asked of you don’t do it, but this is a baby dog and I want this behavior strong, therefore the stool goes away when I am not ready to reinforce her for going on it.
Next steps. I think she will outgrow this stool, and when I travel I don’t want to have a problem because I didn’t bring a stool. As a result I will change the behavior to sitting on a flat target, and then transitioning to just a sit stay. I will do this by putting the flat target on the stool and then on the ground. This will make for a better long term behavior that travels with us to different locations.
If you are interested in how this looks as we get older, Let me know! I’d be happy to send you an update.
Our next adventure is working on nail trims. She’s already developed a high fear of the clippers and dremel. Stay tuned!