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Efficient Service Dog Training

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Hi everyone this week I want to pick up where we left off last week talking about what makes for really good training, and start talking about how to create a super effective and super efficient training session using the idea of loopy training. Now what exactly is loopy training? well loopy training is something that I heard Alexander Kurland,1 a phenomenal horse trainer talk about at clicker Expo and it’s the idea where we’re going to view our training not as a linear model where we have cue, behavior, marker treat but as a cycle because there’s actually a lot more going on in a training session than meets the eye. So, viewing our training in the form of a loop or cycle is actually a much more complete picture as to what’s going on.Everything that happens inside the loop matters and the loop contains the cue, the behavior, the marker, and the reinforcement and the first cycle ends when the second cycle begins and everything that happens inside that loop matters, so what we want is a really clean loop. There are three things that make for a clean loop, the first is that there’s no extra behaviors going on. There’s no extra sitting, barking, or anything extra going on. There’s no hesitation on the part of you or the dog, meaning your dog responds to the cue, he responds to the marker by orienting towards you for reinforcement, he then eats the reinforcement, if it’s a treat, and is instantly ready for the next cue. And everything thats going on in the loop should be nice and smooth well here are two clips of me working with one of our service dogs, now you can see in this first clip that the loop is very sloppy. He responds well to the marker but then he becomes distracted after the reinforcement. Now that hesitation, that distractibility, that does not make for a clean loop. So, what I want to do as a trainer is step back and look at everything we talked about in the last video: rate of reinforcement, setting criteria, setting up the environment, things like that, and see how I can create a cleaner loop.Now watch this second clip of me working with the same dog and here you can see that there’s no hesitation anywhere within the loop, the behaviors are offered quickly and smoothly. That’s what we want to see in a loop. Now loops can be as short or as long as we need them to be, so if I’m working on a new behavior and I haven’t added a cue yet – it might be behavior mark treat behavior mark treat in this short loop.If it’s a behavior chain I might have behavior cue behavior cue behavior cue behavior treat. But you know loops can be as short or as long as we want, and we want to remember that everything that happens in that loop is being reinforced. So, if my dog gets distracted after the marker and starts to sniff, or if my dog eats his treat and then gets distracted, or if my dog eats his treat and hesitates to respond to a cue, all of that stuff is being built into my final behavior. It’s my job as a trainer to step back and change something about the training session to create a nice clean loop. Now one of the goals of this channel is to teach owner trainers like you the science behind dog training and how to better use that to effectively train your own service dog, and as you can see there’s a lot more going on in a training session than meets the eye. So starting next week we’re gonna break this loop apart and we’re gonna talk about each part of the loop because how each individual piece of a loop goes has a huge effect on your training session and therefore the final behavior. So if you like this video make sure to hit the like button and share it with your fellow owner trainers, if you’re new here hit the is subscribe button below and the little bell to get notified whenever we post a new service dog training video, which is every week, and then if you have any questions at all throw them in the comments below and I will answer them for you. Make sure you tune in next week because we’re gonna start diving into each piece of the loop and I’m going to show you exactly how to set up a really clean loop and how to use each piece of the loop to create super effective and super efficient training sessions see you guys next week. .

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