It is absolutely amazing to me how in training its the littlest things that can make the biggest difference in getting the behavior you are asking for. For instance one of the new behaviors we worked on was L2 Stand. I have never taught this before so my friend was a great help in explaining it to me. During our second session I got two really good stands out of Maizey, but then on the next two she would stand and immediately sit down. Since 'stand' is a duration behavior that leads to L2 'stand-stay' the sit is something I certainly don't want to reinforce. Well I tried a few more times, but kept getting the immediate sit following the stand. So I asked my friend about it and she reminded me of one to the fundamentals of clicker training:
Treat while in position, and where you treat is key to reinforcing the behavior you want. Turns out the way I was positioning my cue was leading her head up to grab the treat which of course when her head goes up her hind end goes down producing the instant sit. Another example of this is when we walked up the canyon to take some photos of the pups. Of course I would position her to sit and and wait but of course in a new environment with lots of distractions it was hard for her so she kept breaking the wait very early. The solution? Again treat in the position you want. If I wanted her in a sit-wait I had to be fast to get back to her to c/t and reinforce the sit-wait while she was still sitting and waiting.
So for me it worked like this:
Put her in position, cue: "sit, wait!"C/T
"Hmmm that treat was good!"
Then walk straight backwards several steps.
Our furthest distance was about 10' back.
Then walk back to her and while she is still in position waiting C/T and have a party!
Eventually with enough practice and the help of a good friend with a nice camera you can get a really pretty "sit-wait" photo-op!
Maizey loved all of this training because of course she get really good training treats! We used everthing from 'chicken liver cheerios' to turkey hot dogs and of course we always use her breakfast and dinner kibble for the easy behaviors she already knows. I think we need to switch up her treats and one I have been wanting to try is the Zukes salmon flavored treats. I thought they would work easier for us since Meeka can't have the chicken or the turkey and it gets hard to keep the "Meeka treats" and "Maizey treats" separate. Salmon is something they could both have! Plus I've read you can use these to "marinate" with cheerios and get "salmon cheerios!"LOL