Sunday, November 9, 2014

Playtime with...

Ringo is like Onyx extra special I had to trained him for deaf people commands with snapping fingers sounds and signs... Why? Because sometimes when my alarm clock might not work (my husband) and we need to wake up to get ready to work (BTW: my husband is not deaf, it happens that some days he's tired than usual) here's when Ringo's training pays off. When he was just 2 month old my husband and I decided to train him to wake me up like Onyx does. 
First, my husband wanted to see to what song of the alarm clock Ringo will react better and that song will be the chosen one for the training. Ringo liked the Star Wars soundtrack he reacted like as if a bomb went off inside the house! He sat down like a soldier with his ears pointed up so high we thought he was about to board the Death Star!Therefore, my husband set up the alarm at 5:00 am everyday when this alarm started ringing Ringo immediately woke up and sat down in front of us, with this behavior, my husband gave him a treat. As a second part of the training I was part of this Operant Conditioning experiment; my husband woke me up after Ringo was awake by the alarm and I had to call Ringo snapping twice my fingers and giving him a rub in his head. We repeated this exercise for a month until the behavior we wanted to reinforced was consolidated. Nowadays, when our alarm clock starts ringing at 5:00 am Ringo wakes up with a big kiss and leaves his head in my pillow for a while, like if he is saying to me: five more minutes with you... Literally he don't give me enough space to put my head on my pillow... LOL!. For me is important that my dogs know the basics commands sit, down, stay, come in signs and snapping fingers because you never know when you can run out of batteries and you are at the dog park needing they come to you. They also know those same commands in the ''normal way'', they know how to work with an owner who is deaf and cochlear implant user, and can talk to them most of the time but when it is need it they are my other set of ears.