I was giving the dogs their dinner the other night when I realized Talos didn't have any idea how to wait his turn. Easy enough to teach, wait, so today I decided to teach him wait using his lunch. If I'd have planned this session (like a good trainer should), I would have had my clicker handy, I would have created a short training plan, and I would have reinforced the tiny correct steps.
What did I do instead?
Everything that I shouldn't do. I winged it. I didn't use a clicker. And I lumped behaviors together. In short, I made a mess of the session, but around 53 seconds in, I salvage it and actually pull it off.
Not one to show you just the good stuff, I thought it would be interesting to show you how not to do something. In the end it all works out, but it would have gone faster if I'd done it the right way.
Watch how Talos gets a tad frustrated. He goes through several behaviors he thinks I might be looking for. He backs away once or twice, clearly confused. Finally, I wise up and start to incrementally reinforce the appropriate behaviors (backing away from the dish, waiting just one second, two seconds, etc.).
I haven't added the cue yet "Wait," because we're nowhere near ready for that. I'll add the cue once I'm ready to bet $50 that Talos wont' go for the food bowl until I release him. Once I have the behavior I want, then (and only then) will I start to call it something.
It won't take many sessions for Talos to master the Wait - especially if his trainer gets her act together!