Due to the sky raining treats in return for them doing nothing but eating them, Maizey and Meeka have had a fun couple of days!
Why has the sky been raining treats? Because we have been playing at a contest on the Training Levels Yahoo Group.
The contest was to test a handlers click/treat (c/t) abilities. The rules were to time how long it took to c/t 15 treats. All the dogs had to do was start to eat each treat as it hit the ground and the handler could c/t again. Trust me this was more challenging than it sounds!
For those of you not familiar with clicker training it is not difficult, but it is a skill. As all skills do, it takes some precision, good timing, and great observation skills. So this was a quite clever way of showing most of us that we had room for improvement in our c/t abilities.
But how to improve with out confusing our dogs? I am so uncoordinated that I am not even allowed to play games where round objects must be propelled into circles for points, so timing and accuracy has been a challenge. Especially when shaping you usually have something in mind as an end goal for your pup, so the c/t are timed very carefully. If not timed correctly you may sabotage your pups understanding and success. Thus the skill part is important. More precision means the pup gets better information and is more successful.
This is where the contest showed me a new tool. Because all the girls had to do was eat and that pretty much guarantees their success, I could turn my ‘observation skills’ towards myself. At the same time they still thought this was the greatest game ever invented!
But it also taught us all a lot of other lessons. Everything from dog size to treat size and type was examined. And if you really want a treat click over to the group and watch some of the videos-very creative trainers they are over there!
What was the winning time? A three way tie: 15 treats in 8 seconds! Congratulations to those machine gun click/treaters! And our score? Maizey: 15 treats in 17.9 seconds. Meeka: 15 treats in 17.6 seconds.
Congratulations to our Big Girl! So what about you? Want to see your 4legged friend think they are in treat heaven? Then give the contest a try and let us know your results!