Tuesday, April 22, 2014


OK - a couple of epic fails.  grin.  This is just for grins and giggles so no worries about failing here.

Speck knows when I come into her pen with raisins and the clicker.  She will follow me, come to me etc.  I take her out 2x a day for milking anyway.  Decided to see what would happen if I let her out without taking her collar.


She ran away.  Sigh.  She didn't care I had raisins.  She isn't "self-rewarding" as far as I can tell - she isn't grazing or jumping and playing with that look of goat mischievousness on her face.  She is trying to find a way back into the pen and she runs the fence length of the pen... which is a rectangle so she can go around and around with me behind her.  Frustrating.

I caught her, but it sort of reinforced me being behind her and pushing her away... I'm not running to chase her or making any noise etc.  Just calmly walking her down. 

Then I thought - oh!  I will put a "leash" on her so she just can't run away and see how that goes.  I can just keep it slack but will stand on it or whatever so she can't run away at least... I can reward her for any steps toward me or for staying in one spot.


Once she realized there was a leash?  All she did was pull away from it and then didn't care about anything else.  Just that she has this gawd awful restraint on her OMG OMG OMG. 

And of course since those two things happened on a whim as I was thinking it over, I didn't capture them for your viewing enjoyment... grin.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Introducing Speck the test goat....

Here is our third click and treat session.  It's less than a minute.  The dogs came in the pen which was fine til it remembered raisins are poisonous to dogs and they are small and hard to treat with when you have slimy goat slobber on your hand and you drop them on the ground.  Whoops.  

You can tell she is excited cuz she stands on her hind legs which she doesn't normally do around me.  The blog post I read of someone who had trained their goat this way said that would happen.  I just ignored it.  

I like that when Furry Husband came in to give another flake she was distracted but then remembered, "raisins!" And came back to me...she got a larger chunk o' raisins from my hand for that.  

Not sure how many sessions to have like this to cement that a click equals a reward for it to be permanent in her goat brain?  Will just play around with it.  HAPPY EASTER!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Animals iz cool!

Ok, I am weird.  Y'all know this.  I've been thinking.  My agility diva friend in Fairbanks is going to this agility workshop, and they will spend some time clicker training chickens.

Yes, chickens.  She sent me a blog posting someone had about it.  Seems it really helps you figure out timing as chickens move much faster than dogs...and it helps you figure out how to break stuff down, sequence it and get a desired behavior.

Before this, my milking doe, Speck, has difficulty going to the milk room.  My other goats will go on walk about when I let them out of their pen but once I head in for milking, they come a'runnin.  Not Speck.  She plays keep away.  It's time consuming and annoying.  I've been thinking on it....  I have her coming to me if I have a bowl of grain IN the pen.  I take her collar and lead her out, lead her into the milk room and all is fine.

If she gets out of the pen...no dice.  Even with a bowl of grain.  I mean, eventually the grain looks good enough I can get near her to take her collar....but it isn't the instant come running like the other does.  It takes a lot more time and is still annoying.  

And I know training is about making the wrong thing hard and the thing you want the easiest path.  So I've just been sort of mulling it over in my head.  

Then with my friend going to this chicken-clicker thing.

And I saw a vid on FB with a cat doing dog tricks.  I googled clicker training a cat.  Read about it.  Interesting.  Seems if you are patient and break things down and use short sessions you can indeed clicker train your cat.  The idea is the same as I read on the chicken blog post...

And you figure all sorts,of ani-mules are trained this way in movies, places like Sea World etc.  how else do you train the odd animal?  Good boy Spot and a happy pat on the head  for a dog just doesn't translate to all other species.

I'm no genius or amazingly gifted at anything...but I am gonna try to freaking clicker train a goat.  Am gonna see if I can't teach a cat a trick or two.  Just wanna play with it and see what happens.  I'm excited about it.


Session 1 & 2 tonight with Speck, the goat.  Simply click and treat.  20-30 times.  Let her associate the sound with the reward.  She digs raisins in a big way and that is a treat that isn't ever on the menu.  Figure it's a "high value" treat.  So far she is all about it.  She was excited about them.  

I'll take some vid to show you step by step which hopefully doesn't bore the pants off anyone....or if it DOES bore the pants off you, have some FUN with that while they are off and let's just see what happens.  So interesting!