Outrageous Circus Animal Training!

Video Evidence of Circus Training!!!

It’s been fun times over at the Circus Chickendog Studios. I’ve been recording some of our training sessions and here’s a short video of Skeeter learning to put his foot on a wood block that I salvaged from a friend. My goal with the block is to teach each dog to put four feet on separate blocks and then I can position them in desired patterns-kind of like the idea of stepping stones in a river-and get them to learn to hold any position I want them in. Anyway, I added a puppet playing an accordion into the video to provide some entertaining background music. There was supposed to be an announcer puppet, but there were technical details that killed that dream.  In this hopeful time of your philosophical choosing, look for it to be resurrected in the next video.

This video is instructive if you’re looking for some training tips. Note that I don’t tell my dogs what to do when they’re learning a new behavior-you can see Skeeter exploring the ring, trying known behaviors that are quickly given up as they go unreinforced, and generally going through a process of trial and error to figure out what today’s game is. Another thing to note is how at first any approach to the block is considered a success, and how quickly the criteria is raised until he actually does hold his foot on the block several times for quite a bit of time. My goal at this stage is for him to use his right foot so watch him as he figures that part out. At first any touch is accepted but that is quickly changed to only the right foot. The whole training session represented in this highly edited video took only three minutes and fifteen seconds.

Our upcoming show this Saturday, April 26th, 2014, is sure to be a smash-I got an email warning me that one of the audience members who seems to be a zombie fanatic will be in attendance. I have referenced his past show contributions in previous missives as you might remember, and with him there expect some suggestions so entertaining that it’ll be worth coming simply to hear the premise to our improvised skits. As always there will be lots of proven circus routines as a fallback just in case we can’t come up with any better directions to go; unlikely with zombie guy around.

We will also have amazing pianist, Content Love Knowles who writes and performs original circus music for us, as well as a very gifted improv actress, Angie Sardina-Fernandez, who has tons of accolades that I don’t have time to write out. Trust me, the work I’ve seen her do blows me away and I’m thrilled to have a chance to work with both of these artists who just have creativity gushing out of them all the time. They are so good they are thrilled to have a chance to play with you on a Saturday morning.

Of course-if you’d like some training tips or need your dog let out for a comfort break during the day with some training rolled in to the visit, shoot me an email or text. I love recording sessions and talking you through my observations later on.

Down The Road!