PLATFORM WORK
..or "the statue game"

THE METHOD I'M USING

Merely an obedience exercise this. I use a small oblong platform, about 8" high and the aim is to get the off-lead llama approaching, climbing on and standing squarely on the platform, longways. I practice approaching both from the narrow side and, much more difficult, from the long side. The verbal cue is "Go to your box". The hand cue is a double-thumb point, a bit like thumbing a lift. The exercise evolves from using a mat of the same size as the platform top, but flat on the ground. No climbing. Clicker training is invaluable here as standing on the mat begins with touching it with the foot (C/R) and gradually, gradually building the exercise up in scores of tiny steps, if you'll forgive the pun!

Once the act of going to the box is well secure, I introduce some of the behaviours I have described in my Movement to Cues section.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you can add anything to my work or have any questions or comments, please e-mail me.

HOW WE'RE DOING

The story so far: Oscar is now going to the platform, standing still, turning a circle, sitting down, playing dead and rising...all to hand signals and/or verbal commands. Toby has not been introduced to this work as yet. Banksy, the new alpaca has taken to it well! He is already sitting on his platform!

May'10

RECENT NOTES ON PROGRESS

Well, Banksy, the alpaca, is doing quite well in this work. He gets confused at times and throws in a lot of off-cue stuff, but in general he's going to his upraised box on cue, standing and sitting down (kushing) on command. He's not being too sensible about" arranging himself", however, and his back end tends to spill over the back of the box at times.. I do wonder about this animal's vision; he seems very short-sighted. Does anyone out there know anything about 'packer eyesight?