Java had a very nice surprise for me today at puppy school: she showed me that she can skip the final stage of teaching pivoting exercise because she already figured out where the exercise is headed. In fact I think she might be wondering why I didn’t let her do it a week ago. I am so happy with my clever and always ready Black Magic 🙂
Pivoting exercise (or perchwork) is great for rear-end awareness if taught using free shaping and is also used to teach a nice heeling position. Here’s how I taught it:
Step 1: At first I clicked for looking at the bowl or interacting with it in any way, then for standing on it with front feet.
Step 2: Once she would stand on the bowl pretty reliably I started clicking any movement of the hind feet (but I still clicked just for getting on the bowl as well).
Step 3: At first I was clicking any steps to the side, but it soon became apparent that she loves the frontal position (12 o’ clock) a bit too much. So I decided to add some value to the opposite position (6 o’clock) and not click when she is in her favorite position anymore… well, sometimes I clicked despite my good intentions 🙂
Another problem was moving my hand. Whenever I pulled it away she seemed to “reset”, so I was thinking perhaps it would be better if I left my hand there but keep it steady as to not lure her into moving hind feet (the idea of this exercise is that the dog moves her hind feet on her own, not because she was lured into such position).
Enjoy! I will post the rest of the steps over next few days.
Oh and she taught me a new game on today’s walk. It goes like this: she walks about 10m ahead of me, stops and looks back. If I crouch or run away from her she will sprint after me having a blast. Then she will go ahead of me again, stop and pointedly look at me like “Run, Rabbit, run!” I just love this girl!