Cat Trick Training – Starting with climbing to shoulder, jump, and using a skateboard

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So, this week we started on training Boris to climb up onto my shoulder. So far, the closest we’ve got is him leaning against my shoulder, and that’s not a bad start. The plan is to gradually move the lure (treat) to the front of the shoulder, so that if he wants to get it, he has to climb over my shoulder.

This is the first time I’ve filmed the skateboard interactions, but we’ve done this one a couple of times before, so it’s not entirely new, but new to this channel. Right now, I’m luring him over the skateboard with his favourite treat, and giving him a small reward if he puts his paws on it, and a bigger reward if he moves it with his paws. Once he gets that he’s getting the reward for moving the skateboard, we’ll up the ante a little, stop giving treats for just touching it and give more reward for pushing it further… And take it from there.

I appreciate that these videos aren’t too great for showing you how to train your own cat, but hopefully you can learn something by watching. The plan is that once he’s “mastered” a trick, I’ll put together a video with all of his training from the start, and commentary on how to train a cat to do that particular trick. He’s still very young (14 weeks), so it might be a while before he’s mastered anything to the point where I can make a tutorial, but they’re somewhere down the lines.

Comments

Erin Delic says:

Awww such a sweet adorable kitty~ Black cats are the best! <33 I was in Puerto Rico a couple weeks back and I found myself in the Save A Gato: Cat Santuary. Dozens of stray cats hang there for food and shelter and most of them are friendly toward humans so you could sit down and within minutes, you'd be surrounded by like 40 cats. I had never had a cat climb on me before so I was very surprised when a chatty lil black cat hopped up on my shoulders. I thought for sure he'd accidently scratch me but he never did! He was very gentle when he was climbing on me. What else I thought was cool was that, after handling all those cats…I didn't find a single flea! :D

M Hung says:

garry and boris ..  terrific work!  I belong to cat-clicker on yahoo and many times have expert animal handlers advised a member that it is OK to substitute the clicker itself with a CONSISTENT mark at the exact time of the wanted behavior.
 This can be a Hand-Clap or a Whistle or (as in your case) a Word (you use GOOD sit/weave/roll over/etc) ..  so you are doing actual clicker training. 
come check out our group ..  great learning files availalble  .. you will learn a lot, and we will from you, and boris will end up benefiting.

Sue Gilsdorf says:

he is being an animal who sits and jumps and climbs and all the things  cats do! Smart kitty. But I know cats are smarter than just luring . How about clicking with small movements with the weave starting with two cones? Join the cat-clicker yahoo group and you can go a level further.

tomdagoy says:

man… let him be an animal

Toyboat Toyboat says:

sometimes i think cats are geniuses! 😀

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