Solving a Training Problem with Antecedent Arrangement

This is a script of a 2-minute movie located here:

BEGINNING OF SCRIPT

Narration: My dogs are “supposed” to get in their places and stay when I approach the back door. We get it right a lot of the time, but the behavior is not reliable, thought we have practiced it a lot. Here’s an example of Clara’s “Get on your mat at the door” behavior not working very well.

Scene: Eileen is approaching a closed door. Summer, a sable dog with a medium coat, is following behind her. There is a thumping noise coming from the side which is Clara’s tail wagging, but we can’t see her. Summer sits at the door. Eileen says “Good girl, Summer. C’mon Zane.” (She is calling a third dog.)

From the right of the screen, Clara, a tan dog with black muzzle and tail, plunges forward all the way to the door, her muzzle going up as her momentum carries her into the door. She has knocked Summer out of her sit and to the side. Zani has come up behind. Clara trots back to her mat area and we hear Summer growl. Eileen is walking away from the door. Clara comes forward again and trots in a circle in front of Eileen, tail wagging frantically, winding around two hanging curtains and managing to push into both of the other dogs again. As the clip ends, Eileen walks away from the door area and Clara shakes off and follows her. The other two dogs are already out of the frame.

Narration: And here’s an example of Summer’s “Get on your mat at the door” behavior not working very well.

Scene: The camera is showing the same back door, but from farther back. We see two white rubber in-tub bath mats. One is on each side, about 12 feet back from the door. Eileen says, “All right, here we go,” and walks toward the door. Clara goes and lies down on the mat on the right. Zani follows Eileen almost to the door. Summer goes to the mat on the mat but stands on it.

Narration: Summer is supposed to lie down, not stand.

Scene: Eileen walks away from the door. Summer and Zani both follow her out of the frame, while Clara stays on her mat until called.

Eileen says: “Clara come on; good girl.”

Scene: Clara follows Eileen out of the frame as well. Eileen says: “I know you want your toy; here we go.” The same thing happens: Clara goes and lies down on the mat on the right. Zani follows Eileen almost to the door. Summer goes to the mat on the mat but stands on it. Summer is pleased with herself, wagging her tail. Scene fades out.

Narration: Here’s an example of nobody’s door behavior working very well.

Scene: The scene is the same as before, with the door and the two white mats. Eileen approaches the door. Clara follows and walks toward her mat on the right, then follows Eileen all the way to the door.. She is carrying a black ball and her tail is wagging furiously. Eileen says, “Summer, you coming?” Clara turns in a happy circle right at the door, practically on top of Eileen, still holding her ball.  Zani trots forward, then Summer heads for the left side. Summer has a large heavy plastic bone in her mouth. Summer and Clara drop their objects simultaneously, Clara while turning back away from the door. Summer’s bone clatters and Summer watches Clara’s ball bounce by, then Clara. At the end Summer is standing behind her mat (the toy bone is in the middle of it), Clara is chasing her ball in the direction of her own mat, and Zani is walking forward.

Narration: “But with a simple change…”

Scene: The scene is the same as before, with the door and the two white mats. There is a magic wand sound effect, and the white rubber mats morph into soft plush mats: pink on the left and lavender on the right.

Narration: “These mats are comfortable and have a huge reinforcement history.”

Scene: We can hear Eileen say something to the dogs. She walks forward, followed by all three dogs. Summer and Zani promptly lie down on their respective mats as Eileen keeps moving forward to the door. Zani lies down with Clara on her mat. Eileen pauses with her hand on the door handle, says, “Very good girlies” and turns back to the dogs. She gives each of them a treat in position while they are lying on the mat, then goes around again with a second treat. Clara’s butt raises up temporarily while she moves forward to get her treat, then she plops down again.

Narration: “I get some great behavior that I can reinforce for next time.”

Scene: Eileen walks back to the door. She opens it and says, “OK, come on.” Summer and Clara leap up the instant they are released, Zani pauses for half a second, and all three dogs run outside the door as Eileen says, “Yay!”

Narration: “Thanks for watching!”

END OF SCRIPT

Return to the Antecedent post.

© Eileen Anderson 2015                                                                                                                               eileenanddogs.com

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2 Responses to Solving a Training Problem with Antecedent Arrangement

  1. Pingback: What’s an Antecedent Arrangement? | eileenanddogs

  2. Pingback: Dog Training Basics: Getting the Behavior - eileenanddogseileenanddogs

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