In this post, Angie @fun4Fido is the typist as dictated to by her handsome ‘learning partner’ Harley. Today Harley tells us about a wonderfully simple and most of all, useful clicker trick he has learned – so GET CLICKING!
Hi, I’m Harley! Some of you might already know my human buddy and learning partner @fun4fido on twitter, I say learning partner because we learn from each other everyday. It started with a “click” and something called “shaping”… not quite sure why she does this because I think I look fine just as I am, anyway the great thing is I now know so many ways of turning her and other humans in to dispensers of all good things.
I thought I might share my experience of learning a very useful trick called “go settle” and I think it’s a very good trick to know, you’ll soon see why.
So one day my human buddy called me over, she asked me to sit, then she said “It’s clicker time!” I always love hearing these words because I know I’m in for some fun and games, I get to use my brain to figure stuff out, oh and of course food is normally involved!
So, my buddy put something on the floor and being a curious sort of fellow I looked at it, she clicked and then threw a tasty treat on the floor away from the object, so that I had to go get it (something to do with re-setting me). I thought to myself, well she clicked when I looked at it before, so I’ll try that again, it worked, she clicked and threw another treat. I looked again, another click and treat.
We went on like this a few more times and I thought, she’s making this too easy. I looked at it again, no click. Huh! I looked at my buddy and inside I said “hey did you miss that?” She was just standing there still, arms by her side, ignoring me as she does sometimes. Ok I thought, I better try really hard this time, so I took a few steps towards it to get a closer look, “click and treat” aha, now we were getting somewhere.
As we continued I got closer and closer to the object on the floor (which I now know is a mat), then I stood with all four paws on the mat, this worked too, she clicked and this time instead of throwing a treat away from the mat, she threw a treat and it landed right at my front paws. My head dipped to eat the treat, while down there before my head came back up she clicked and threw another treat to the same spot. She did this a few times so I decided I might as well take the weight off my paws and get comfy to eat the treats. I lay down and well, Christmas came early, she clicked, she whooped, she said “good boy“, and delivered several treats one at a time.
After this nothing could stop us, we continued… she clicked and threw a treat away from the mat, I’d go get the treat and hurry back to the mat and lie down. We repeated this 10 times and I got it right 9 times. Then the next time as I lay down she said “go settle”. I knew from our previous games that this was an important moment, I started to pay even closer attention to my buddy. We repeated this 10 times. Then while I was stood away from the mat she said “go settle” aha, my concentration paid off. I ran over to the mat and lay down on it. Christmas all over again!
Over the course of two weeks we worked on making sure I was really good at this trick, and why is this such a good trick to know. Well when other humans visit and they’re busy doing stuff, my buddy will say “go settle” and while I lie down on the mat these visitors will come over now and again, pet me and give me a little doggie biscuit, and all I have to do is lie there, how easy is that! Best of all when my buddy needs to go out without me she says “go settle” and leaves me with a stuffed Kong.
P.S. (We kept our clicker time sessions short, I learn better this way, just 5 to 10 minutes a couple of times a day).