Thursday, October 10, 2013
Thunder the Wonder Cat – Clicker Training Update
I have been only doing Thunder training a couple times a week. I am going to try to do it more because he really seems to enjoy himself.
I made him a little box tower. I had 3 very sturdy boxes that I got from work. I used 2 as the base and put the third on top. This way, he has steps to get to the top. He is a very careful cat—not the kind that would leap up from the floor. No, he likes to step up. To make it even easier, on 2 sides of his box tower, I placed 2 even lower boxes alongside. This way he can go up 2 steps to get to the top.
He likes to go on his box tower even if we aren’t training, but he really likes when I incorporate it in his training sessions. Sometimes, when he hears me get the clicker, he goes to the top of his box tower to wait for me.
The training is simple I tap the top of the box, and he walks up. I click and treat him. Then I ask him to come down—then go sit on the coffee table—then back to the box tower. You get the idea. I will throw in a few “sit ups” and “touch nose to target” for variety.
Well, the other night, I took a small scratching post that he never uses and laid it on it’s side to turn it into a jump. He has done jumping in his training before, but here is what got me so excited about this. On my first request, he jumped down from the box tower and leapt over the jump in one command. When I tapped the top of the box tower, he leapt the jump and then jumped up to the top of the tower. It wasn’t a fluke. He did it a number of times. He was so cute.
At the end of the session—which can only go about 10 minutes because his tummy gets full—I realized that Maggie never moved from my side. I give her a treat with every click, but in the past, she was so excited, she would get up and I would have to reposition her. This time, she didn’t move. No wonder my session went so well. Maggie wasn’t distracting Thunder.
That only inspires me to do more training. If Maggie stays still, we can train over a larger area.
When Thunder was finished, I spent some time with Maggie practicing her jumping through her hoop.