A bit of comic relief this week at the expense of poor Justin Bieber and friends. Brita already knows how to target a red circle, so I changed it up and made it a vertical target that she has to knock down. After watching this video several times I realised that I am making a fundamental error here - my timing sucks, to be blunt. Instead of clicking for the action (pecking the target) I am clicking the result (the target falls down). So I would like to do a bit more of this and fix that mistake and start shaping her for not just a peck but a strong, pushing peck like the one she game Kim Kardashian (at least I think it's Kim, I don't know one of those girls from the other honestly). Brita sometimes pecks and pulls the target towards her, then it slowly falls to the ground against her body. I would like to see the targets go down hard and fast and then get her up to doing several in a row - maybe the whole cast of Jersey Shore?
On another note, I spent all day at the BC Animal Health Technologists Association Annual Conference and got to listen to Dr. Sophia Yin speak all day. I have the option to go to another 2 days of lecture by her and I'm going to do it. She is a remarkable woman and great behaviourist and I am so glad I have the option to hear her speak for a whole three days! Today she spoke about the basics of behaviour including operant and classical conditioning, desensitisation and counter conditioning, and low-stress handling restraint for cats and dogs (the subject of her latest book - which Brita used as a prop [literally!] in her last video). Dr. Yin tossed me a clicker for answering a question. I'm more than a bit of a geek - this was kind of like meeting a rock star for me.
Unfortunately I missed the trade show part of the conference which is my favourite part, but I discovered one of our clinic cats to be very sick and he needed medical attention. By the time we got him fixed up the trade show was over! I enjoy speaking to all the veterinary product reps and salespeople so I am very bummed out - but thankfully our kitty should be okay.