Friday, January 11, 2008

Mojo's journey

Last nite was nite number three of the Mojo Clicker Training Experience (sans clicker).

We started with treating him when he came to me, which he remembered. I could tell he was not going to go for the clipping on of the lead rope, so I tried something Holly's other idea of getting him to target my hand.

I held my hand out with it full of grain in an attempt to get him to touch me, rather than me trying to touch him. He wanted no part of that. I tried several times, and he would just look at me.

So I did what she said, and I left. I put his bucket of feed outside of the round pen and walked out to doctor eyeballs. Boy howdy did he not like that, I could tell by the way he looked at me.

It was kind of like this. Yes, I realize that the camera made his eyes red, but I am not convinced that he was not shooting fire out of them anyway.

But, by God, it WORKED. When I came back, we started again. While he would not take feed from my outstretched hand, he would approach it and breathe on it. Occasionally, a whisker would touch it. He did not want to approach if I looked at him, so I had to look the other way and wait to feel his breath. When he did it, I would bring my hand in slowly and put it at the edge of the feed scoop---shake feed to the end of the scoop and into my hand and wait for him. And HE DID IT! He ate feed out of my hand! He got braver and braver as we did this for about 10 minutes. This is what he looked like when he did right--I wanted to take a pic of him eating out of my hand, but I could not since I only have so many hands and did not want to scare him when he was doing so good.

After he would take a bite, I would walk off, call him to me, and we would do it again. Once or twice, he would even take food from my hand when it was not at the end of the scoop. If he took too long to take his feed from my hand/scoop, I would say OK and walk away and he would follow me and do better the next time. Considering how terrrified he is of being touched, it was amazing.

This is really wild. Maybe when I describe it, it does not sound like much, but if you could see how sensitive he is about new things (including people, who are not so much new). yo uwould understand how amazing that in three days, he is following me like a puppy all around the round pen.

I guess this clicker trainer (sans clicker until tonight) is not so different than anything else--you have to put in your time. It does make things black and white though.

I am really enjoying it.

Holly says to just do this for a week or so. She anticipates a little setback when I bust out the real clicker, as he is so sensitive, it may scare him. Our next goal will be to touch him at my will,. and not his. After we get that down, I bet he takes off like a firecracker.


Lorna said...

That's is super progress! And I'm sure it feels good to be able to document it as well..

Keep us updated!

Holly said...

You can't see it but I have the biggest fool grin on my face right now.

Clicker training works BEST on those subjects that can't seem to "get it" any other way. The fearful ones, the sensitive ones, the ones who have had a bad experience in the past. For whatever reason, it just makes it more clear to them and they come to trust the handler. Probably because it forces the handler to be 1)clear and 2)honest.

You go Paige, I'm at least as proud of you as I am Mojo.

Robin Sallie said...

Well done, Paige. Holly is teaching you well. If he is afraid of the clicker there are ways to soften the sound.

Jamik said...

Sounds like you are doing great with him. He sure is a stout looking little monster. He's a cutey!

Paige said...

I got the clicker tonight, and I cannot wait to tell you about it---stay tuned for a new post!

Holly--for the first time, you are wrong about something!

Photo of the Whenever I feel like changing it

Photo of the Whenever I feel like changing it


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