Monday, March 5, 2012

Videos for our class with Silvia Trkman

Here are the first videos we submitted for our online class with Silvia Trkman. I'm also including some of her observations on Stout's videos (Porter is technically not in the class, therefore his videos are not submitted to her).

First video - Paw Touch:

This was the longest video I submitted to her, mostly because I wanted her to see how I got to the result (to make sure I was doing it right). It was also a good thing because I learned I am working him for way too long! I need to keep the sessions short & fun.

Silvia says:
Stout is adorable! And sure trying really hard! He gets a bit frustrated at times and asks for help instead of offering action… Did you try exercise 3 yet? How is he with that, how much action he offers there? To get more action in first two sessions, I wouldn’t reward on a plate, but away, so that you could click more then (for nearing the target), keep frequency of clicking higher and avoid frustration. I’m sure he will figure it out soon that way or another, but that would get you to the goal even faster. – Just an idea for your next trick, he seems to master that one already!

This is the video for exercise 3 that she requests:

I hadn't realized that we were supposed to still click for action, not just ignoring the treats.

Silvia says:
Good, he actually is offering action. Just staying back is not ideal, but do click for any other action but barking.


I had started with the smaller box originally, but he was having trouble. So I switched to the larger one until he got the idea then went back to the smaller one. I think this was over 2 or 3 sessions. I currently have him in a slightly smaller box! Video will be coming later this week.

Silvia says:

It’s always better to start with a bigger box to help them succeed! Just make them smaller&smaller gradually, to keep the successful rate high.


This is supposed to end up being what people call the "flying squirrel position." She uses it as a good stretching exercise. I think I will have to wait and "capture" it as he does it on his own. I don't think our skills are good enough yet for me to trick him into it!

Silvia says:
Yes, just keep working like this + try to capture (mark it with a voice if you don’t have a clicker at hand) anytime he does it on his own. I think he will get it soon!

And a "bloopers" video (which I did not submit to Silvia):

Damn cats!

And Porter's video:

In Porter's defense, I didn't really do a lot of free-shaping with him (which is why I'm doing it with Stout now). He never learned to offer behaviors. Everything I've done with him has been luring. And he knows a lot of stuff - he's just waiting for me to tell him what stuff I want!
But everything Porter has learned has been through positive methods (no compulsion). So that is one plus  :)


  1. Stout is very handsome and smart amd cute. Great puppy!

  2. You have tons of patience, Merinda! Wow.

  3. It has definitely been a lesson in patience!