Saturday, February 21, 2009

Training . . . Who?

Days pass. Training continues. I video record some of our sessions. Naturally, it's never the ones where breakthroughs occur.

It took Angel two days to habituate to the camera on the lamp. Given a few more days, he probably would have learned to operate it himself. What he did not appear to learn was the cues and responses I planned to teach him. The whole "toy" thing went over just fine. He gets "toy". That's not new to him. But attempts at chaining "take toy", "get toy", and "give toy" resulted in what you will see in the video below. The first segment shows the bird in his natural state demonstrating the behaviors he is used to performing. The second is a brief training session. The third (assuming you last that long) is the result.

After this recorded session, frustration took over and I quit for several days. Of course, that's when latent learning happens, and so it did. The next time I approached Angel with the "take/give" thing, he did it perfectly. Just not on camera.

But yet another critter has twisted my brain. As I sat typing this morning, the Maine Coon cat, Tuft, followed his invariable path to my insanity. He watched me for a while, then went to the office door and meowed. Actually, being he's a Maine Coon, it was more of a gurgle, and the word "OUT" was fairly clear. Regardless, and recognizing that he would only want to be let back in shortly, I explained "Not now". So he escalated. The door to my office has a window with a shade which is always slightly open so that Tuft can check the weather while he weighs his in/out options. The pull is at his level. He batted it against the window until I let him out.

Not very exciting unless one notes how thoroughly he has trained me and what an apt student I am! The partly-opend shade, the series of cues, and my responses, I realized, are a daily routine that was not of my creation. Ha! Trainer I may not be, but trainee I most certainly am!

Hoping for better days.
Peace out.

1 comment:

Crowzma said...

Humbling,isn't it?