Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Building Confidence

Next week in our agility class we are supposed to start working on some rear end awareness and one of the tricks we need to work on is Kobi to back up on command. So I did a quick youtube search and found a video suggesting to make a narrow passage using barricades and placing lower value treats at the back and rewarding them for backing out of the passage with a higher value treat.

 Great idea, except one problem. Kobi is nervous of tight spaces, but I wanted to try anyway. So I started tossing treats in, and he wouldn't go near it. So I lowered my criteria, tossed treats about a foot away and as he got more comfortable I would toss them closer. I took him less then a minute to figure out treats came from inside this place. Once he started taking a step or two in I stopped the session and went to finish cooking dinner. After dinner I just wanted to see what would happen if I tossed a couple more treats in, and what do you know! He went in! No problem.

 So I pulled out the camera and filmed the rest. I wish I filmed the first part to show that his total training on this was maybe three minutes with a break in between. But you can see from the video he eventually was just hanging out waiting for his next treat and even stretches towards the end. In the first session he back out as soon as he got the treat!
Once I stopped the session he actually went in on his own a couple of times to check and see if any treats magically appeared!

I'm hoping agility will help boost his confidence, and with that he will become less reactive because he won't beso scared of things any more.

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