My little red tether is my anchor in running with my friends. A beautiful guide dog has been my tether/anchor in mobility and independence for 17 years: 1. Pantera 2. Cricket, and now my beautiful 3. Georgina (Georgie). A life of family and friends is my joy and anchor in life.

The human spirit is stronger than anything that can happen to it. CC Scott

Monday, May 18, 2009

Clicker + Cricker = Fabulous

The refresher on using the 'clicker' for those key training moments is working well. I left the Agency today with my high reward treats and the clicker in my pocket. I was ready when Cricket veered to the left instead of straight to the door to avoid the prickly rug. I put her harness down and we walked over to the rug. She stood on it - I clicked and she received a nice nibble of jerky! She was pretty excited (and I was a little embarrassed as there were several people in the waiting area- this new clicker is a much louder version ... I'll be searching for a quieter one). We walked back to rework it and she walked straight to the door! Another nice piece of jerky for Cricket and we proceeded. Its Cricket's lucky day because the other area where the princess paws were a little concerned has been resurfaced and is now nice and flat with bright cross walk area! Oh Cricket, did you work your charm and get them to fix the parking lot?

I was reminded that just as this little tool is so effective for Cricket (and one I hadn't been using as I could of done) ... There are helpful tools in my life that I sometimes forget to use. One of my favorite and so simple tools for blindness is to keep what I am working with on a tray. For example, when I am out planting flowers or weeding take a tray out with me where I keep the little shovel, the weeds, the flowers, etc. When I do this it helps me so much not spend hours crawling on the grass searching for my missing shovel that could be right next to me! It makes my life so much easier - in the kitchen too. If Steve is reading this - he may ask when was the last time you did this? Be watching for a tray to be coming back out, honey - oh but don't be waiting for dinner - that event might not be coming out for a while!


2 labs 4 me said...

Clicker training is the best! I've dug mine out to work with Dakota on dog distractions during our daily walks. In less than a week, Dakota is focused on the clicker & his treat & less on the dog distraction.

katztales said...

I'm just curious: does Cricket know that if she avoids the prickly rug for a few days she'll get a clicker and treats :-)

Lacey said...

That tray thing is a great idea. I've had several experiences of searching for that little shovel in the grass that was right there below my nose!

Becky said...

Debi - It is amazing -

Katz - I think its supposed to be the opposite - she keeps going for the target by chance that this is the time for the treat :>

Lacey - Yes, doesn't it get exhuasting at times 'searching' for things - when they are contained it does help!