Regarding the long range commands, what we need is a way to deliver a variety of audio cues to Ari, reserving one to be associated with her one remaining drive, praise. The trick is how to get the cues to her. Her G3 collar only generates only one, and that’s already associated with recalls. Yes, a project for research students is one possibility, but I do have some concerns about the reliability and ruggedness of what they come up with. That’s why I keep hoping I can find somebody at Tri-Tronics who is able and willing to experiment with us. Unless I’m very mistaken, a G3 collar already has all of the hardware we would need. It would just be a matter of revising the software to oscillate the itty-bitty piso-electric speaker at different frequencies when certain messages are sent by my Field 90 transmitter.
The challenge is getting Tri-Tronics to recognize that such a product or feature would be an uranium mine for them! As I recall, the special forces have something that does this and much more, but it’s not available to lowly civilians. I shudder to imagine how heavy demand would be once civilian law enforcement and any handler who works dogs over any distance discovered it existed.
From: Alvaro Longoria [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Tuesday, December 11, 2012 15:11
To: Scott Royall
Subject: RE: Ari
I think that after a week or two more of giving her two opportunities to do it correctly that we should consider going to only giving her one opportunity to get it right. I would like the criteria to move up to the next step to be that she can get it right 5 times in a row without a reset.
In regards to long range commands, I feel that is an excellent way to go. I need to think about how we are going to communicate that she is giving us the correct response so that we can reinforce this particular behavior as quickly as possible. I would like to be able to help her solve this problem without having to compel her so it will require a bit more though. I am confident that I can find a fair way to help us achieve this.
I feel we are doing okay. The difficulty with this dog is the lack of desire for primary positive reinforcers. However she has made progress with the problems we have presented and shown an increase in confidence.
We still have two more sessions to go before this set is up. Let me know if there are specific things you would like to work on. I am going to design a small scale test for her on our final session to see how she handles these skills we have worked on.
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From: Scott Royall [mailto:royall]
Sent: Sunday, December 09, 2012 9:57 PM
To: Alvaro Longoria
Well, she did six down-stays yesterday, with only one reset. That’s three long range, and three short range/longer duration. The reset was on the first longer duration. I probably won’t practice her again before Wednesday because of weather.
Of course what we’re doing right now is just drilling patience and obedience into her. I don’t see a lot of practical application for down-stays yet. However, I have been slipping in some additional things when we’re working with you to just expose Ari to some new ideas that we’ll be building on later. For example, she usually looks at me while you’re trying to down her any distance from me, and I’ve been using the opportunity to show her the down gesture. The idea being to get her used to the idea that the gestures don’t just apply when she’s by me. That’s sort of preparation for the commands to direct her over a distance.
The other thing I’ve been doing is giving Ari a quick blip of the lowest possible electronic correction if she requires two resets consecutively. Just enough to communicate, “that’s not what I want.” It seems to work, because we don’t see three resets in a row, and the fact that you haven’t noticed me doing it indicates I’m not overdoing it. Ari is very sweet, but that doesn’t preclude the legendary GSD stubborn streak. By the way, Lilly also could be willful.
I believe we’re at the end of the first set of sessions. How do you think we’re doing?