1% difference Kay Laurence

The british are starting to become more successful. They put out a whole lot of myths about the new wheel. It's about putting small details under the microscope and making changes to 1% of what we're doing.

So does 1% make a difference? In my opinion, absolutely. We like to look at the big events. You're familiar with this. Even though when I look at it, it's not even just that. Antecedent, behavior, consequence. Is antecedent ever singular? The dog will sit when you are looking at it, and you have cheese in your pocket, and you... and they sit in front of you. And you say something and you get a sit. We think Antecedent is sit. No he doesn't just do sit, he recognizes the antecedent under those conditions.

Is the behavior ever just behavior? When the dog sits, is he sitting on his right hip, his left hip, is everything hanging out or is everything hanging in. Any variety of sits. No daylight on the dog.. I will describe 17 different kinds of sits. It can occur in 46,000 different places. It is hardly ever a single behavior, even if you are trying to train a full movement.. that's part of behavior as well. Antecedents, behaviors, and the last one is consequences. It can't be singular. It's a multiple of things happening all the time. When we start, we see what we want to see.

20 years ago I used to do mountain rescues. Mountains in South Whales are regarded with horror among people who climb proper mountains. You climb up a little bit and you think that you're getting progress, but then you see 90% more to go. So what we see when we're training is a little bit of much, then you realize that there's really not that much and that there's even more to go. And the minute you think you know that much, you're in trouble. There's always a hill just another peak. Dr. Pike introduced us to that next mountain waiting for us to discover it.

What about the bits in between? My learning curve at the moment is called Windows 8. If I have trouble plugging it in, risk analysis... which risk do you want to take, the public embarrasment of the PC not working, or... Okay, so, I am now looking at the bits in between become more interesting than the events themselves. Each section, I am just going to go around the clock, I am going to start with section Y. One of my favorite quotes comes from... who... it wasn't quite a guy I ever wanted to meet, but I respect his words, he seems to be an unusual gentleman, the voyage of discovery is not blah blah blah but having new eyes.

It's not about seeing new places, or reading new books, but most of the stuff your dog has been telling you all the time, you just need new eyes. So section Y between behavior and consequence. If you are a tea drinker that has relevance. If you are a coffee drinker, you're standing there going "and?". If you are a tea drinker, these are sometimes known as ... an English kettle. Every household in England has a kettle that plugs into electricity and switches itself off when it boils. So you hang out around the kettle, you're waiting for the cue. As a tea drinker, you have to put freshly boiled water, not a... it has to be freshly boiled water. So if you are gasping for a gup of tea, which is a consequence of this boiling, you are waiting for the cue to go off, and you have to respond extremely promptly, otherwise the tea is not going to be made properly. So I can actually drink real tea because when in restaurant that brings me tea that boiled 5 minutes ago, and then bring me stuff with bags in it, that's just bad. When the kettle goes off, that's the cue, that's the..

So, our click on that cycle is a cue to orient to the source of the reinforcer. Some of you call it a marker. A clicker is a cue. It might serve the two purposes. As soon as the dogs hear the cue, they will look for where the reinforcer is going to come from. Just the kettle switching off is the source of my reinforcer, then I.... click is a cue to orientate to the source of the reinforcer.

What I want to look at is the different opportunities to look at the cue to have different significance. When we click, there is a cue that will tell the dog what reinforcer I am going to give. There is a pattern with how the food is actually delivered. Different reinforcers have different suitability. And different behaviors have different patterns... and the other interesting part about this is whether it interrupts the behavior, or whether it influences the behavior.

So my first click cue; my dog has been doing something, they get a click; they orient to me and they see me lean towards me. They will recognize that food is coming to them, it's breakfast in bed. If anything else, the food is coming towards them. They are going to remain in position. That's the delivery pattern. The suitable reinforcer is either treats, or physical or social contact, like petting. In the UK, petting might be taken to mean foreplay. It's suitable for passive behaviors, opening for next behavior, waiting, stillness, husbandry. I wish the dog to remain so that I can go to the next behavior. I might require the dog to stand at my side while someone on a skateboard goes past. Any time I want to do husbandry on the animal, I will expect the animal to remain on the position. I use a tongue click for husbandry. If I want to put eye drops into the eye, I want the dog to remain in the calm state, and I will use a tongue state. Nail trimming. We still use the old fashion nail clippers, and the girl is having problems because she was clicking the dog for having had his nails clipped. The behavior is click the nails, and then go still. So instead of snip, click, it was snip, clipped, relaxing him, clicking him and that was the behavior. The behavior was the behavior after getting the nail cut, not getting the nail cut. I need that calmness, I need the dog to remain still. And you do realize that a tongue click is just one, not two clicks. Does it interrupt a behavior? Probably not.

Now we show that as the first one because the interesting thing is that in England and in America they learn different things. We have never really been poisoned by the cue called release okay and free which is a common policy over here. If you want the dog to maintain the position to hear the cue, once it hears it can move. The cue on the click was just leaning over to the dog. So you can see the same dog in the same session doing a different reinforcement protocol.

So the next one then is the click and cue which is the flick of my hand, which means I throw the treat and you are free to go and get it. Delivery pattern is run, go self collect. Suitable reinforcer is visible treats, toys. Suitable for building energy, monitoring return for next cycle - focus, interrupting chain. Yes it does interrupts the end behavior.

The treats need to be contrasting from the ground, and they need to be able to see them. Brown treats on a brown carpet is not going to work. Why would I want to use a hand flick? It will build energy of the behavior. You are not going to do it every time; you will like the dog to run to put more energy into the next behavior. I want the reinforcement pattern to compliment my behavior. Your reinforcement pattern will cause them to relax. When they sit, you will see their pelvic muscles sink. Breakfast in bed, why would you get up? But if you want a dog to sit in preparation for walking forward, can you afford for labradors to let it sit and let it .. and then boom. So if that's sit, where is my reinforcer going to go? The dog reads sit, relaxes, sit stay, we're going to go forward, different context different energy.

So what I also love about toss treats is that I get to see whether the animal wants to carry on training because they will come back by choice. How much do you have evidence that they want to carry on? You assume they do because they love treats, but they might be getting tired. We need some signals. And you will see the dogs coming back. What's not attractive before with the first 8 repetitions becomes more attractive. If I am always going to be in a feeding position, I will not get information about the dog's desire to continue. Taking the treats away from the behavior will allow me to monitor the dog's desire to continue. Do the students come to the next test or not? Send them away and find out.

The hand flick will interrupt the behavior that is going the wrong way. Say you want the dog to run off to the target; if they have too much momentum they will slide into something, overshoot or something, that click and flick of hand, that treat will go backwards in the opposite direction. When they hear the click, they will shorten that behavior. The next time they do that behavior the food will keep them..... so there is a pattern of reinforcers affecting behavior.

This is the same guy that was just about to sit and wait for me. Now he is watching her hand to see what the hand does. So we need both strategies. You can't say one is right and one is wrong. It depends on what you want to teach. Okay.

This little man had a predisposition of not letting go of the toys. So it was becoming a bit of a drama to get the toy off the dog. Linda that is training there, so now we are trying to adjust the pattern of reinforcement so that we can get more reinforcement per minute rather than having a drama about getting the toy off of it. So I can't be the videographer without being the teacher, so I'm prompting her while standing behind the camera. She comes back with a toy, the minute she lets go, the next toy goes. Now if you have a dog that was not good about carrying the toy all the way in, the bend over is the cue is that you will pickup the dog and throw, so the dog will just bend over and spit out the toy and come over. So the timing of you bending over is critical.

Teach the delivery pattern and then I will put the click in front of it. So Linda is just learning her delivery pattern. Then there will be a click on the dog letting go of the toy. But I wont use it while she was learning the pattern. Once that is done, the click will be used, the click is the cue.

Next pattern. This is open-handed take. It is a specific here is where.. if I am learning a behavior. This is my lure hand. This is a cue for.. not a cue for bite, but a cue to follow. The delivery pattern is end of lure, precision for reset; suitable reinforcer is treats or social contact. Suitable for micro shaping, re-setting start point for next behavior; interrupts end behavior in a limited way most likely.

So if I am asking the dog to follow this how is he going to know when to eat and when to follow. So my hand would change when I want him to eat. So there's a clear cue followed by eat. We also use a different placement to start up the behavior. So my open hand is lure, and if I am putting his food, it is specifically placed to start his next behavior. You can use treats or social contact (petting).

No running, no spitting, and no petting. Those were the rules of swimming back when I was a life guard. So the behavior is get on the mat. rAnd how's that going to work? And you see she's putting the treat just behind the mat so that the dog naturally steps forward. Everything that was relevant to her was in front of her; so she was going to step forward on to the target map. Placement very much starts the next behavior.

This one is direct throw for a catch. The click-cue is the direct throw. Not every dog is going to catch. But that gesture means that the food is coming some distance through you. The delivery pattern is catch. Suitable reinforcers are large easily seen treats. Suitable for distance maintenance and chase behaviors. Interrupts or ends behavior.

It's useful for maintaing a distance or any time you want a chasing behavior. This is Alex's favorite pony. We use ponies to see how many target behaviors a dog can discriminate. Not goal behaviors, but targets, but the foot on the pony, the nose on the pony, the nose on the side, and under the pony, around the pony, over the pony, how many behaviors can a border collie do with a pony. We are up to 17 now. She can also hump the pony as well.

I also have another cue after the market which means "got o the reinforcer station, open box, kitchen!". Let's run to the kitchen, get the treats out. If I hear the delivery .. and the dog gets .. and then I say kitchen, and all 7 of them will run to the kitchen and not to the gate where the delivery guy is going. Delivery pattern: travel with trainer. Suitable reinforcer: unprepared; toy box, treat box; massive change to environment. Suitable for move away from location of mark, jumping, unsafe location. Interrupts or ends behavior.

Running to a toy box. What I like about it is that it's a massive change to the environment. This is probably one of the important factors; as they accelerate to their benefit; the impact it has on the behavior that follows the next time around is one of deep impression. It's not just yeah this gets the food, it's the person running to get to the food. When they hear the click and it's a surface cue, that dog will get there before you. It's anticipation. The treat has to be delivered within 3 seconds. So I can keep the dog from getting on the table, but I have to travel to the other side of the room, that process started within 3 seconds. It is now a 22 second process of reinforcement. Not click tongue click. It's significantly different.

So, these are patterns that I want to teach, and you have to think your patterns through. Passive behaviors: opening for next behavior, waiting stillness husbandry. Building enerngy, monitorign return for ocus, interrupting chain; micro shaping: re-setting behavior.

So in conclusion, where to deliver the reinforcer sets up the start of the next behavior. How we deliver the reinforcer affects the energy of the next behavior. Keep the click clean. Don't shut your fist or take bake the treat. If you have trained your dog to snatch, then you deserve that. The dog should not be trained to jump towards you. If you click and you're going to get bitten, then suck it up. The bite is going to cause more issues, don't click and then go "oh yes, but". You can't have it that way. If you want the dog to maintain the behavior, as you deliver the treat, and it comes out of the behavior. You want to teach the dog to do the heel position, click, where's the treat, where's the dog coming for the treat. Smack yourself on the head and start again. If you have got a mucky process, clean the process up. Don't let the click be the promise of "yes but". "Yes you can have some cake on your birthday but you have to make it first."

Now there is a section between consequence and the antecedent, "section Z". I can't make it go full screen easily. Is the dog ready to do the next behavior? You will see why in a minute. At this point, shouldn't she be saying "good behavior"- no. Something happened in the environment behind me; the dog needed to watch it. At that moment, it was more important than doing behaviors. He had a right to say let me just watch this for a moment, a person's walking past, ah Linda, okay I'm ready now. He's not the sharpest knife in the drawer so he needs to watch things. He has the choice to say I'm ready. Very rarely will the dogs say never. They will sometimes say "just give me a moment". It doesn't make you less compliant, most dogs will just say "let me just check that for a moment, okay now I'm ready". Now the cue for that behavior reinforces being ready. Being ready happens more often. In an emergency they will respond right away because they have a history of being ready.

When the dog is... eating the food and being ready for the next antecedent. If there is an increase in that time, then you are probably looking at mental fatigue and he's probably going to get tired. Eat, sit, then you never know when they get tired. You put fatigue further out of the cycle, so now you have an antecedent and a slow response to the behavior. I would rather not have the antecedent until they are ready. By waiting for the animal to say, hey, can I have another one of those? You are driving them to look for the antecedent. The more I want the cup of tea, the more I am going to stop the conversation and go over there.

Competition and the environment. I might just know that ... the dog wants to evaluate that for himself. You might be pisspoor at evaluating the environment from his point of view. The dog doesn't like the other dog walking down the street; he doesn't think that you're evaluating the situation right. Competition in the environment is ... does he trust you? Mr. Williams black lab, he is saying things that your dog might find uncomfortable. So of course he has the right to say no I'm not going to sit nicely and be friendly because this dog is coming along who is not friendly. They are not only getting tired, but they are trying to.. or learn what that behavior is. They have to keep pairing lots and lots of antecedents, and it can get to be too much effort to work that out. Sometimes it might be too costly. If the dog is doing something that in his agenda is reinforcing, and you're asking to do something else with that reinforcer, who gets the cohice on which reinforcer? The dog. So the dog is watching, ... and you've just said, watch me. I'm going to give you a treat. That's too costly. I want to watch.. something go down the street. So you're asking them to give up something that might be reinforcing, which might be their own survival, and now the black lab is off leash and without any intention to be friendly, and you just said don't aggress, and the dog says I need to do that, it's going to be costly to me to comply with your "be nice". The dog has a choice.

So it's always the dog's choice to seek the next cue. Just the kettle switching off. If you are a coffee drinker, it has no significance to you. The cycle as a whole belongs to the dog, not to us. The dog gets to control the pace. I have a dog, Kent, golden setter, he's not the sharpest knife in the drawer, well he's not in the drawer. His planet revolves very slowly. He is not a fast thinker. When Jesus came over... something.. something. When Kent is going to do something, you know it. His learning pace needed to be much slower. Every one when you are playing Windows or the computer, you learn at the speed that you want to learn at. So your dogs should be taught at the speed that they prefer. Border collies make people click. So in that case, the speed of going, the dog's speed is not necessarily the best thing, because you will end up clicking for what they want you to click. So the cycle is theirs to control.

1% difference. One small thing to change, just waiting for the dog to orient to yourself, or taking to you, or waiting for him to wait for the cue, it can significantly change the whole cycle. You can give control to him. The lack of choice is not reinforcing. The more choice they get, the more they learn and the more they enjoy the process. For me, now I'm part way up the mountain. The way a behavior is carried out is more important than the behavior. It's like trying to be as good as your oldest brother; you can never be because when you catch up, he's already still older and doing other things.

It's not just sit. Does the detail matter? Everything matters. It took me a long time to realize that everything matters. It may not have significance when I look at it. Does it matter that your right hand treats your dog? Yes it matters. Does it matter that you always ask your dog to stay in position on the click, yes that may matter. Don't just dismiss something. The small things need your attention. At the moment you might not have time for it, but put it in the book to come back to later with more attention.

At precisely this time, Jesus, Alex, and I, will be signalled to.. just casting off.. to go on a 7 night carribean cruise, you're welcome to join us. Ken Ramirez, Alex Kurland, Kay Laurence, Jesus Rosales Ruiz.  "Five go to Sea". The good thing is that this is a child-free cruise. It's not children climbing up rock faces and so on, it's celebrities for adults. I am sure there is topless sunbathing somewhere. Thank you very much for listening.