Bed and Breakfast Lesson: Chaos vs Consequent Game

Session I – Getting Played

At the beginning of this session, Lindsay was getting played by Juicy. We can see that Juicy is doing her biting independent of Lindsay’s cuing.

Lindsay says something to the effect of,”I’m too slow…” others see it as the dog being “too fast”. Neither of these versions of reality are correct. It’s true, Juicy is moving too quickly, and Lindsay is a bit too slow, but that is missing the point of Bitework and a Consequent Game which is that the handler sets the pace and the dog follows the cues of the handler.

Playing the game, as Lindsay did in the first session, is reinforcing the dog for acting on their own. It is reinforcing a lack of thought, planning and cooperation.

This is a place where most people get their butts kicked with Bitework. They wind up reinforcing the dog for flying around biting stuff, and that’s it. Not bad for Drive building, but not good at all for operant behavior.

Session II – Flipping it

In Session II, Lindsay comes out with a bit more control over the game. We talked about not falling into the game that the Juicy is playing, and requiring Juicy to conform to Lindsay’s pace of the game.

If Lindsay wants to slow down, all she has to do is to slow down. We can see that Juicy, nearly immediately, settles in to Lindsay’s game.

Another way to think of this is to add a pause between the Mark and the Bite Cue, but that’s not really the fix. The fix is for the handler to assume control over the pace of the game and dole out positive consequences for appropriate behavior on our terms and at our pace

We can see a huge change in way the game is being played.

Session III – Mark for Opportunity

In this third session, Lindsay gets a bit thrown at first because we add a new skill to the mix.

Immediately, Lindsay starts to let Juicy play her. Juicy knows the object of the game is to get over that leg, and if Lindsay allows her too, the game will quickly devolve into chaos as Juicy creates her own opportunity and seizes it.

We can see the negotiation take place in the first couple attempts at the over and Lindsay’s frustration at not being able to control the dog.

As soon as Lindsay starts to fall back into a Consequent Game, marking for the behavior we want, presenting opportunity as consequence for the successful performance of the behavior, her and Juicy settle into a really nice and controlled game.