Those are the three factors that can be used to up the ante when you’re teaching a behavior. A trick that Chico can do at home becomes instantly harder when he’s asked to do it in front of someone visiting us, even harder if he’s asked to do it out in public. That’s one reason we can ace difficult agility challenges at Julie’s but get defeated by much simpler courses when we’re at a trial.
We’ve been working on backing up on cue. In a fit of in-originality, I copied many others and called it “beep-beep,” like the noise a truck makes when it goes into reverse. We stopped by a store in Tamworth yesterday, the store where the young women who work there sometimes squeal like Chico is a rock star when he comes in, the store where he gets a cookie for tricks, and he was more than willing to do beep-beep. Not only was he willing to do it in the store, but he did it on a cue from someone else. That’s right, he did it for Marena. How cool is that?