Saturday, April 16, 2011


For reasons I haven't yet fathomed Ranger greets our Schwan's delivery guy with wild exuberance. He is the only one who receives this kind of greeting from Ranger. He does bring treats which he gives to Ranger but he doesn't give them to him until Ranger is sitting politely. When Ranger jumps on him all he does is step back then when Ranger sits he fishes in his pocket for a treat. I haven't tried to retrain Ranger from this behavior because I think that secretly the Schwans delivery guy enjoys being the only one for whom Ranger goes crazy. And perhaps that's the reason Ranger does it. Even though he doesn't get an overt reinforcement there's a covert one that I'm not recognizing. That's neither here nor there. I wanted to mention what I saw during our last transaction. Ranger greeted the delivery person with his usual exuberance, including jumping on him. Then he immediately sat and started rapidly signing Food over and over until the treat arrived. He's definitely embraced the idea that the lift and set down of the left paw means food.

We've been working with him on the signs for Chicken and Cheese. My goal is to get him to the point where there is a general category of chicken and the same for cheese. I may be making progress. When we were at Naturally 4 Paws I noticed the treat they were about to give him was labeled chicken so I asked Ranger what it was. He signed Food. I asked what kind of food and he signed Chicken. The clerk was so impressed she had the other staff watch while he did it again. Of course later when I asked Ranger to identify a toy he was excited about he immediately signed Chicken. I asked him if he thought it was food and he switched to the Toy sign. We haven't asked him to use the Toy sign a lot lately but we have been working Chicken and Cheese. The stuffed corduroy bear with lots of squeakers was a huge hit with Ranger so I'm sure he'll find ample opportunities to use the Toy sign in future.

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