P2Objective – To take you through a series of games which will enhance your communication and relationship with your dog whilst providing you with the skill set necessary to play the canine sport of Treibball competitively or just for fun.
Prerequisites – Knowledge of marker based positive reinforcement training and the ‘Are you R.E.A.D.Y.’ protocol. (see below)
A word about marker based reinforcement training.
For this course you would find it beneficial to be somewhat familiar with ‘marker based training’ as used with positive reinforcement. There are many books on the market about ‘marker based training’.
Clicker training is a type of marker based training. I will be using a clicker as my marker in the training videos throughout this course. This course is not intended to teach you how to Clicker train. Please research marker based training further if you would like more information on the subject. A lot of useful information can be found at the Karen Pryor website; www.clickertraining.com
Briefly explained; you will use a marker, it may be a clicker or it may be verbal, or some other short, unique sound. It might even be visual if your dog is deaf. Your chosen marker must have been conditioned by associating it with something your dog values and enjoys; food, a toy or preferably both if your dog likes food and/or toys. Please email me if you need help with this.
When I mark a behavior using my clicker or verbal marker (a clicking sound made with my mouth) I ALWAYS follow it with a reinforcer, often food treats, but sometimes a toy which I have also conditioned following a click and which my learner loves.
My marker means…….. ‘Yes, that, that which happened at the same time as you heard the sound (my marker), is what has earned you this *reinforcement’. (*reinforcement is something that increases the likelihood of a behavior.)
My marker happens at the SAME time as the aspect of a behavior I wish to see repeated; it does not happen after that behavior.
I need to have a training plan. I need to know exactly what I expect from my learner. I need good observation skills and good timing. If my timing is accurate sixty to eighty percent of the time, I will get the behavior I am trying to mark. I may need to practice my skills before I start to train with my dog. I need to be consistent, patient and thoughtful. I will try not to use a verbal cue until my learner understands the behavior I am trying to train. I cannot ask my dog to do a behavior with a verbal cue before he is able to offer that behavior.
I keep my training sessions short, usually about ten to twenty trials (1 c/t – [click/reinforcer] = 1 trial) or two minutes, whichever comes first. I take a brief break from training to evaluate each session and then continue for further short sessions if things are going according to plan and my learner is still eager. If my dog/learner does not understand the lesson I am trying to impart, I make adjustments to meet my learner where he can be successful and gradually increase criteria as my learner dictates. Practice and small skilled raises in criteria help my learner and me to be successful.
I will be helping you with your training techniques as I critique the videos you send me. Don’t worry, none of us is perfect, me included. You will probably be able to notice a lot of things that might need some improvement by watching your videos too. Please take the time to notice the things that your training team does well. There is nothing like having first hand evidence of what actually happened during a training session as opposed to what we think happened. There are two learners here, let’s make that three, me included.
OK…… enough chatter. Treibball here we come. I look forward to working/playing/training with you all as we go through this course together.
Please feel free to email me with any questions pertaining to the material presented in this course at
Visit our website http://www.doglogictraining.com or our Facebook page DogLogic Training Happy Training Journey
The … ‘Are you R.E.A.D.Y.’ Protocol
You will be seeing this acronym a lot. It stands for…
R- Rearrange the training environment to remove distraction and set up for success
E- Know Exactly what you will be marking/clicking? Have a training plan and know where you are in your training plan.
A- Always have your clicker/marker and appropriate size, color and value of reinforcer ready. Know where and how you will be delivering that reinforcer to best compliment your goal behavior.
D- Dog, is your dog ready to train? Is he in good health, not already exhausted from a long play session or overly excited? Are you in the right frame of mind to have some fun with your four footed companion?
Y- You may now enjoy your training session, knowing that you and your dog are set up for success.
TREIBBALL COURSE – LIST OF LESSONS (1-12)
- Introduction – A word about marker based reinforcement training.
- Lesson 1 – Building a history of reinforcement for nose touches and introducing the Treibball Staff.
- Lesson 2 – Learning to foot target and how to follow the trajectory of the staff to a specific location.
- Lesson 3 – Orienting to handler behind an object in preparation for directional pushing.
- Lesson 4 – Selecting for harder nose touches and putting push on cue.
- Lesson 5 – Distance, direction and speed. Introducing the verbal cues ‘Come By’ and ‘Away’.
- Lesson 6 – Point Ball discrimination and Start Box Stay.
- Lesson 7 – Cue comprehension and a discussion on Fluency and Stimulus Control.
- Lesson 8 – Pushing a ball on cue and the concept of ‘get the ball to the handler.’
- Lesson 9 – Stimulus control practice, directed pushing and fading the channel.
- Lesson 10 – Working on Lateral movement from ball to ball
- Lesson 11 – Working on movement from ball to ball when they are behind each other.
- Lesson 12 – Fluency, persistence whilst pushing the point ball and independent thinking games.
LIST OF TRAINING GAMES (1-19)
- #1 – Hand Touch
- #2 – Treasure Hunt
- #3 – Island Hopping
- #4 – The Pie Game
- #5 – Push It
- #6 – Round ‘em Up
- #7 – From Start to Point
- #8 – Mix and Match (Part One)
- #9 – Push It
- #10 – Channel Surfing
- #11 – Mix and Match (Part Two)
- #12 – The Funnel
- #13 – Push One and Done
- #14 – To and Fro
- #15 – The Peace Sign
- #16 – Squish Ball
- #17 – Jacks
- #18 – Tic Tac Toe
- #19 – The Ball’s in Your Court
LIST OF SUPPLIES
It is not necessary to obtain all of these supplies at once. Hopefully you will be able to find many of them laying around in your garage or basement. Cost should be minimal. That is another nice thing about this sport.
A marker (I use a clicker), many hundreds (LOL) of training treats and a toy or two if your dog likes toys.
P 1 – Clickers – Treats – Toys
Several inexpensive props
A staff of three to four feet in length. Anything will do. I will be using an Hog Stick in my videos but a piece of dowel or narrow gauge pvc pipe with a small golf ball on the end might work well or just a stick of suitable length would work fine.
P 2 – Treibball Staff Options
Some foot targets
I have used an inexpensive Yoga Mat cut into small squares. You may use lids, pieces of paper, old tiles, anything that your dog is not likely to pick up in his mouth and run off with. These targets will be faded quite quickly.
P3 – Foot Targets Options
Between 5 and 8 ball sized objects
I use storage bins, flower pots, buckets or clothes baskets. These will be used as ball substitutes in several games.
P4 – Ball Substitute Options
A means of forming a channel/passage way, about 6 to 8 ft. long and roughly the height of an appropriately sized ball (in relation to your dog’s height at his shoulder).
Outside, I use electric fence posts which can be found at your local Tractor Supply store or at any Lowes home improvement store. They are easy to stick in the ground as they have spikes on the end. Two posts with some fencing material or an old sheet, or chicken wire fixed to them. My channel barriers are about four feet high but that is not really necessary. I have used two agility tunnels face down (to prevent the dog’s from running through them), or a series of jump wings. You could purchase some low, scalloped fencing for borders that is available at the dollar store. You just need a way to make a channel for the ball to be pushed through when first learning to push the ball towards you, so that it does not become too much fun to push wildly all over your training area.
P5 – Channel Options
A number of different items which can be used to shape nose touch behavior. You can have a lot of fun finding all sorts of suitable items at garage sales, Good Will or The Dollar Store. Here are some items that I have used for this purpose in the past.
P6 – Miscellaneous Nose Touch Items
Some Treibballs. Treibballs are simply exercise balls or toy balls, sized appropriately for your dog. At first you will only need one. In the actual game of Treibball as set out by the American Treibball Association, you will play with eight balls. Balls should be minimally the same height as your dog at the shoulder. The best place I have discovered to find balls is the ‘Five Below’ franchise. You can also often find them quite inexpensively at Target or Wal-Mart. For small dogs, I have used balls from the toy bins at such stores.
P7 – Treibballs For Different Sized Dogs
You will also need access to a YouTube Account or similar way of sharing videos for my evaluation. You will need the means/ability to upload short example videos for my review.
Let’s begin: Lesson 1