I am fortunate to remember the good old days when I worked in this industry sans a whole of lot of theory. Good days. I have learned a great deal over the years - theoretically. Sometimes the theory took away my feeling. I lost my intuition and got very in my head. Recently I have been looking at learning hormones that can become stressful. and realising once again that there is nothing more important than the relationship between the animals and their trainers. If the animals keeps failing and also has nowhere safe to go and be redirected or feel positive, it must be very stressful. In those good old days these moments would have been titled "ah shame, they tried" and I would have rewarded the animals less than normal. If we go only on the theory, perhaps we have to not reward and then redirect. Or not call the animal away from his failure and let the behaviour finish without that bridge or redirection.
Mmmm. Not saying don't be clear. Just saying - maintain relationship at all costs. Make sure that animal finds you reinforcing. Be the best place to be. How many times do the animals need to fail for you before you become a symbol of that failure. Know the answer to this and rather than insist or get stroppy or take their failure personally - keep having fun. Just take a step back in the training. A step back from the need to succeed. Stay in love with what you do - rather than be prescriptive about what you do -
whew - the lessons never end
Thank you to the animals that keep teaching them.