Monday, May 2, 2011

Success, Close-ups, and a Near-Death Experience

But first, as promised, the "S" in DASH.

So far, we've got Desire. As in "I can't wait to train". And we have Accuracy. As in "I'm very carefully executing the behavior".

The next step is to add some Speed to the mix. In any behavior, performing it quickly is usually what you want. From waving your paw, to fetching a toy, to weaving the poles, it's all about doing it quickly.

Once I'm doing my behavior pretty reliably, mom starts rewarding only if I do it fast. Depending on the behavior, that might mean a little faster each time. Or "do it fast or you won't get a treat." Usually, with confidence, comes speed. Remember the car driving example? Kind of like that. As you're muscle memory kicks in, and you get used to the behavior, you start to speed it up. But if mom only rewarded the slower version, I'd never know that faster is better.

It's important for mom to remember to ONLY reward fast, once I've got it down. It's pretty black and white - no gray area. Kind of fast, once I've done it fast, just won't cut it. And if I really kick it into high gear, I get a jackpot.

We went to an agility trial this weekend, and there's a lot to tell you about. But that will have to wait until I finish H tomorrow.......HABITAT.


  1. Gracie,
    You can't leave us haging for another day with the tease "near-death experience"! At least tell us that everyone is ok...
    Hope you guys kicked some agility butt!

  2. Alive and well. You'll hear all about it tomorrow. About how we kicked agility butt, too.