Hannah and Freya

Freya the Fierce
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Freya is a American Staffy and German Shepard mix who loves making new friends and getting all the love she can.

Freya's word inventory

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Learner Name: Freya

Age:
Either 9 months or 1.6 years

Teacher Name: Hannah

Started Learning Word Buttons:
03/12/2021

Number of Words
: 7


Words
  • Play
  • Walk
  • All Done
  • Mom
  • Dad
  • Bed time
  • Pet

Pictures
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Question about button logging

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I currently keep track of Freya's button presses through the Google Sheets method that Lindsay created but I'm wondering if I also need to do the above button press logging. Freya uses that buttons SOOOO MUCH and if I have to log a seven-minute survey for every time she presses Play or Mom throughout the day, I won't have time for anything else. Are the Google Sheets sufficient or does the research team only use the above links?

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Firmly in Stage 1!!

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Referencing the Early Learning Stages, we are in Stage 1!Β 

https://www.theycantalk.org/getting-started/early-learning-stages

Freya has been using All Done for pretty much all communication needs. She brings me her toy and presses it against my side or arm when she wants to play. I ask her to use her words and she presses All Done.Β 

I see this as progress instead of a roadblock, because it means that she is associating the buttons with rewards or actions. Now, we will focus on modeling, modeling, MODELING so that she begins to associate the specific buttons with their actions! PROGRESS!
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Target training exhaustion

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She's amazing and is doing sooooo well but I have to remember that my interest sometimes exceeds her own. I want her to get this so badly that I fail to listen to her cues so I need to work on curbing my own excitement and remember to make this fun and interesting for her as well. We're learning together!Β 
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Rejection via All Done

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I was absentmindedly petting Freya while reading a work email and she hit "All Done" and then walked away. This was her first time using the button intentionally in an informative way and OF COURSE it was to reject me haha.

I experienced an odd mix of elation that she used the button in this way and disbelief that she was done with my love.Β 

Any one else been rejected by their learner?Β 
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Started target training

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I kinda started out of order, because I just joined the project on 03/12/2021 and have been learning all new tips and tricks. I started with Play on Friday, modeled and reinforced, then added All Done yesterday. It's hard to tell what is a fluke and what is progress, but we're still early.Β 

Freya and I started target training today. She's a very paw-y dog and is naturally inclined to use her paws. This was reinforced by my sister teaching her "Paw (shake)", "High Five", and "Wave". Since then, she's just been all too eager to use her paws. We try to discourage this, as she has a tendency to punch you in the face, but I think the damage is done haha!

This is only too helpful with the buttons, as she has that natural inclination. For target training, I had a dummy button that said "Beep" and we treat-trained with that button. It took a while (and a couple of scrapes) for her to move from hitting my hand to hitting the button, but she caught on quick. Then, we moved to adding a toy alongside the button. I would point and say "Target" and she would only get the treat if she targeted the item I pointed at. I'm still not sure if it's because she's catching on to the idea of targeting or if she's just punching at my hand.Β 

At this point, I'm settling for her getting near what I'm indicating. If she touches the button, but doesn't press it, she still gets a treat. If she hits it with her nose or lay's her head on it, she gets a treat. We will work towards accuracy once she progresses.

She did start to spam hit the button after a while, because she equated button touch with treat so I moved on to praise with intermittent treats for targeting the correct item. She's highly praise motivated so it's not difficult to transition.

I think the trick will be consistency and learning when she's becoming overstimulated. After a while, I had to keep repeating "Target" and pointing progressively closer each time so I decided that we were "All Done". She's napping on the beanbag chair, full of all the well-earned treats. I'll keep posting updates!
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Least favorite button and we're only on day two

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I just joined the FluentPet/TheyCanTalk team on Friday, 03/12/2021. Freya's already starting to get Play and I received the instructions today for the project. One of the recommended beginner tips was to introduce All Done beside Play so that the learner can grasp contrasts so I introduced All Done to Freya today. After modeling it a few times after Play, she came to lean against my chair for some petting. I pet her for a while and then modeled "All Done", pressed the button, and turned back to my computer. Freya stood there looking at the new button and then slapped at it and walked away. Either it was a fluke or she is too smart and already hates the All Done button!
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