Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Viva and the behavioral chain - Part 2

We have practiced and practiced this behavior chain without D'light and Catty present.  All went well and it was time to incorporate D'light. Viva gets along well with D'light which makes him the dog to invite into the training. 

Here goes the behavioral chain with D'light at the top of the stairs.  Now one might worry that D'light is on the mat that Viva is working her way towards.  But, no worries because when we practice go to mat in the kitchen the dogs all run in wanting to get on a mat and often sit next to each other.  It's because we have all that practice and behavior under our belt that we've been able to do the "musical mat" game with positive outcomes.

Good Girl Viva!  D'light comes down the stairs while we are in the middle of working our way up the stairs.  Back when Viva arrived in foster care, she would have growled and gone after D'light/Catty for coming down into her space.  Again, we've done lots of work, giving Viva new behaviors to use and all the environmental management we did when she arrived has helped us get to this point. 

I take the mat away since Viva understands the behavior chain!   You will hear my "yip" (to mark the end of the behavioral chain) once she's at the top of the stair and looking at me. Viva you are amazing!

Lovely and now I'm not marking once she's at the top of the stair. Just reinforceing her with food for doing all I've just asked of her.
Viva loves this game and this is the power of using positive/force free training!  Watch her focus even with D'light getting in her way.  Viva has made huge progress with being able to be going up and on the stairs with another dog there. 

Viva is a true joy to train with!

Way to go team!

Next step is with including Catty and D'light so stay tuned.


  1. Viva seems like one amazing girl - she always looks so alert. She's lucky to have you for a foster mom! And the photo of the two of them at the top of the stairs is very charming. We look forward to your blog every morning, and we always learn something...

    1. I'm glad you enjoy the blog! Obviously I like doing it and it helps me evaluate my training plan with Viva. Happy to hear you find it a good learning tool. I put all those links in to help people find the information that I spends lots of time looking for!