Two powerful things: Kong Wubba & The Premack Principal. Ok, so the first one may not be powerful at your house but it is at mine. However, the second, Premack's Principal, is powerful for many dog training successes!
For the past 2 weeks I've been a little at a loss. Not sure why I didn't feel this way before but Jazz gave me a real inspiration to get out and work my own dogs harder than I have in a long time. Poor fellas need it, especially my Aussie/Border Collie, "Noah" and my Jack Russell, "Trevor". They need stimulation and they haven't gotten it in the way they have needed it since my daughter was born almost 3 years ago (November of 2008).
So this week I drop my daughter off at school, go home, feed the other dogs and then load up Noah and Trevor in my car. We live 60 seconds from the River Legacy Parks in Arlington. It's quite handy and it's a gorgeous park. You may recall numerous photos of Jazz that I had as I trained her there a lot.
Today I decided to take just Noah to the park as he needed my one on one attention. I'll alternate days for the dogs so they get the undivided training attention they need. Take note of this if you have a multiple dog household. Dogs should be separated for training, it will boost your success rates and your relationship with each dog.
Today I decided to practice Noah's off-leash skills. I've not actually focused on doing this before. He's been good off-leash but I've never taken him and trained him solely on this. Naughty dog owner that I am! Trevor used to compete in Flyball so his off-leash skills are great and have been for many years. Truthfully all I need is a tennis ball and he's not going to leave my side! Crazy little terrier.
So if you follow my Facebook page (You don't? Well get on it!) you've seen me mention and show a few videos regarding Premack's Principal. Only discovered it not too terribly long ago. Love it. It's magical when utilized consistenly and it's quick! We all want quick don't we?!
Basically Premack's Principal is best described in a blog I found--
Desirable – or high probability – behaviors are those behaviors which the animal wishes to do when given the choice. Undesirable – or low probability – behaviors are those behaviors which, given the choice, the animal seldom, if ever, does.
Premack’s Principle states an animal will perform an undesired behavior in order to engage in a desirable behavior. When a high probability behavior is contingent upon the performance of a low probability behavior, the outcome is the increased frequency of the low probability behavior.
Here is a video I did of Noah and I at the park this morning. I have not edited it at all, you'll notice as you watch it's very raw. I was videoing and training at the same time, not super easy!
And another video using Premack by my favorite clicker trainer, Emily Larlham of Dogmantics Dog Training in California.