Friday, April 17, 2009

Focus, Food, and Fun Philosophies

Focus, Food, and Fun Philosophies by Patty Ruzzo

  • Ever forward, slowly.
  • Reinforce means strengthen.
  • Behavior that is reinforced (while it is occuring) will increase in intensity, frequency, and duration.
  • Be quick, generous, variable and unpredictable with reinforcement.
  • Food is a powerful reinforcer. Be generous! Pair delicious food with smiles, compliments, touch, applause, and appreciation.
  • Dogs learn by association--Pair all things wonderful with Obedience.
  • To maximize results use a variety of high-magnitude, delicious treats. ie small pieces of (cooked) roast beef, pork, chicken or turkey, cubes of cheddar cheese, toast or leftover pizza, and cheese tortellini and homemade liver, turkey or salmon brownies. How about peanut butter to reinforce stays, or several small pieces of bacon. Yum! Yum!
  • Continuous use of reinforcement, lasting 7-17 seconds, while the dog is in an Obedience position, really makes an impact.
  • Soft textured food (rather than crispy) works best. Faster to swallow and no crumbs falling to the floor.
  • Cookie viewing is not reinforcing to the dog. Give him/her the cookie!
  • In the sport of competition Obedience, there is a process (training) and a product (showing). Enjoy both.
  • Be a handler who is clear, concise, and consistent.
  • Got a problem? Put a cookie on it!

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