I learned a great deal about positive training from taking Susan Garrett’s “Recallers” course. I learned that the criteria for training was JOY and FUN. And, I learned that I must become Myst’s favorite cookie being the most fun to interact with and learn from. The recallers course continued to show us how there was always a positive solution to all of our training challenges.
When Myst was about 6 months I learned about Silvia Trkman (http://www.lolabuland.com/ ) and her fun, positive training for agility and tricks. Silvia started agility in 1992 and is famous worldwide for her methods of training. She runs Border Collies and PyrSheps.
I ordered all three of her DVDs and was fascinated by CIK&CAP, heeling is just another trick and tricks for a great bond. This summer when she opened online registration for her puppy class I signed up. We traveled virtually to Solvenia to learn from Silvia.
Some of Silvia’s assignments I had started previously from her DVDs but most of the lessons were a challenge for me. One lesson was teaching “sit pretty” and then hug a toy or object. When I tried this with Myst she could not sit up and I had to think of creative ways to help her be successful. It took us 8-9 training sessions teaching her to balance and feel comfortable sitting up --- always there were high value reinforcements for the correct behavior. In the video you will see a few weeks ago her “sit pretty”; this picture shows how much her balance has improved and now she finds this easy to do. My Puli, who has ZERO work ethic, was able to sit up for treats in one session.
What I continue to learn is that some dogs have an easier time with learning certain behaviors or tricks than others do; part of training and shaping is to find where you can begin and have success.
This is our graduation video from Silvia’s puppy class. We will continue to learn new tricks that we had not been able to learn during the class.
After posting this video on Silvia's graduation page for the puppy class she responded with this post:
FROM SILVIA: "So cool to finally meet Myst! Great job with the tricks, that were sure great cik&caps and I really loved the heeling too! Let me know which video you want to get for graduation!"