Instructor: Julie Daniels
There are no scheduled sessions for this class at this time. We update our schedule frequently, so please subscribe to our mailing list for notifications.
Registration will begin at 10:30 AM Pacific Time.
Enrollment limits: Gold: 10 students, Silver: 15 students, Bronze: unlimited.
Gold Level includes access to all course materials and the ability to post questions and videos to the course forums. Students will receive instructor feedback on written and video assignments.
Silver Level includes access to all course materials and the ability to participate in the discussion forum. Students may ask GENERAL questions about course materials and may submit two, one-minute videos for instructor feedback. Any questions specific to your dog MUST be accompanied by a video.
Bronze Level includes access to all course materials and the ability to read all questions and answers posted in the class forums. Students will not post questions or submit written or video assignments.
For more details, refund policies, and answers to commonly asked questions see our FAQ page.
The goal of Cookie Jar Games is to help your dog want to choose delayed gratification over immediate gratification.
We use our positive training skills to develop good behaviors, and then we can use CJG to separate those behaviors from direct access to the reinforcers. Check out the sample lecture for a look at the system and what it can do for you!
Does your dog work better if you have his favorite toy in your hand? Does your dog demonstrate impulse control when you are holding cookies but take off and run amok if you are not? Do you have a great recall only when there is nothing better to do? Does your dog behave well on leash and badly off leash? All these issues will be addressed in Cookie Jar Games!
Any dog of any age, size, or breed can play and learn from this program. All pet dogs and sport dogs can play. Different handlers will choose different concentrations of study, beginning all together with foundation relationship and impulse-control work.
You will not need a lot of space to begin this program. It's a terrific indoor project. Depending on your choice of goal activity, you might need more space later in the program. But there will always be games for small spaces.
There is fascinating science and a variety of reinforcement choices for the handler to learn. And the dog's learning is all fun and games! You will have fun learning to think smart and train smart with your dog's reinforcement hierarchy in mind.
How does it work? The reward at the end, along with all the work it takes to get there, becomes more appealing than the immediate release and gratification of disconnecting right now. Much is known these days about using the reinforcement hierarchy to create interest in later better reinforcement, the power and value of delay. And we can use delay to raise the reinforcement value of individual rewards as well. So what the dog decides is "better" reinforcement will change as we go. It is truly a fascinating process!
Dogs are not hardwired to choose delay. There are many humans, too, who are predisposed to value the immediate, smaller benefit over the delayed or the longterm, larger benefit. There are many studies showing the difference in behavior choices among people with different “discount rates,” as they are called. There have also been many studies which demonstrate how important the items which are “free” can seem and how powerful the call of “now” can be. From humans to birds and mice, so much good information is available about choices based on perceived rewards.
Dogs? Everyone values larger benefit, and anyone can learn to prefer the delay over the immediate when the end value is high enough to be more desirable in the face of a strong temptation. Even animals (and we are all animals) who have developed a high discount rate can change behavior choice patterns and prefer to wait rather than jump in.
This is a dog's choice program which starts with fun simple relationship building and impulse-control games. Some of these you might know and some of these you have never seen played this way! The program progresses game by game all the way to very good choices in the midst of very bad opportunities! Every game we'll play is a win-win game.
Gratification is hardwired. Delayed gratification is learned. In Cookie Jar Games you will learn win-win games to guide your dog's learning to choices you both will love!
COOKIE JAR GAMES, by Julie Daniels
A Class for Learning to Love Delayed Gratification
The Study of Delay
Intro to Cookie Jar – Value for Jar
Target the Cookie Jar
Take It, Step 1
Magic Mat Step 1 - Love the Mat
Wait Without Words – Get Behavior First!
Games with Context Cues – “Happy Place” is Real
Cookie Jar Goals and Benefits
Cookie Jar Recalls
Wanna Trade Game
Take It, Step 2
Magic Mat Step 2 – Seek the Mat
Wait With Words
Using Your Order of Events
Cookie Jar Recalls
Take It, Step 3
Magic Mat Step 3 – Own the Mat
How Later is Better - Discount Rates
Cues and Rewards: What Predicts What?
The ABC of Operant Training
Cookie Jar Triangles
Take It/Leave It - A Better Deal!
Magic Mat Step 4 - Send to Mat and Add Cue
Practice does NOT make Perfect - Use Learning Effectively
Human Cookie Jars
Cookie Jar Games – Take it to Your Sport Venue
Taking Turns with Distraction
Cueing Emotional States in Training – Using What You Have Conditioned
Cookie Jars Galore – Using the Obvious to Cue the nonObvious
Differential Reinforcement – Timing and Delivery
How Do I Use that Ping-Pong VI Reinforcement Schedule Now?
Cookie Jar in the Middle - Circle Work
Taking Turns with Noise and Motion
Cookie Jar Practice in the Venue of Your Sport
Combining Behaviors and Cues – Creating and Using Chains
Getting More – Raising Criteria Again
Keeping More - Improve without Losing Behavior Strength
Any age, size, or breed of dog can benefit from this class. If you are working toward performance in any sport then you will be able to make use of your own equipment as the class goes on. But any dog is welcome in this class. I will be playing along with three dogs in my own family: a very experienced competition dog who was raised this way, my adolescent who took this class last year and is ready to pick up where she left off, and starting from scratch with my friend's 4-year-old who has delay issues which I am supposed to fix!
Please contact Julie Daniels directly for more information on this class.
COOKIE JAR GOALS AND BENEFITS, by Julie Daniels
LOVE THE JAR! CHOOSE ME!
Our dogs place high value on their cookie jars now, and they also know how to be paid for continuing past the CJ. There is no penalty for being distracted by the jar, except that the dog is only delaying his own cookie. But, as we discussed in Week 1, it is much better for him to learn this by himself. He cannot learn this if we interrupt him and “remind” him that he is “supposed” to be coming to us instead of the jar. Can he perform the behaviors if you don't let him choose for himself? Yes. But the result will be weak if you tell him what to do and not do. Your dog will be a different partner if he did not choose the path for himself.
My way takes a while! The way I let the choices develop, there usually is no stone left unturned by the time the dog buys in by choice. The result is SO much stronger by letting the dog explore his options. I want early “fails,” they are very important feedback for the dog. We are establishing our operations carefully so that our dogs can learn what we want them to learn. Please let your dog learn these concepts for himself, through these games, because that way the foundation will never crumble.
When your dog is allowed to examine his options and make choices all along the way with these games, you will end up with a partner who is IN with you in a completely different way from a dog who is told what to do and what not to do. I know that you understand this line of reasoning. The option of dog's choice training creates a strong team relationship, a dog who loves to work. That's why we all love training at FDSA.
HOW to USE the COOKIE JAR in TRAINING
The Cookie Jar is the new man on your team! If you argue with your dog about the CJ, it can seem like your worst enemy. Just like the distractions which might get the best of him in the world. But if you play these games as dog's choice options, the CJ will become your best friend, a terrific training aid on your team. And the concepts your dog enjoys here will generalize easily to your own sport, as you'll see in later weeks. The desire to work will become part of each of our games. Soon your dog will choose to work in spite of many other distractions in many other environments.
When you are in the early stages of CJ training, the dog SHOULD be distracted by the apparent availability of the CJ. Don't be nervous about this. Remember I said that the dog who breaks off and disengages with you in order to interact with his Cookie Jar today will probably end up ahead of the pack when we get to more difficult challenges later. If you allow your dog to investigate the CJ now, you will reap the benefits of a dog who knows how to win the “choose work” game.
You have seen examples of dogs investigating their jars every which way. This is a video of my youngster Koolaid at 1½ years old, showing how it looks when the dog no longer needs to investigate the CJ. She wants those salmon treats for sure. “Let's go to the training ring!” she says. I can't convince her to investigate the CJ, she doesn't need that anymore. She is on a mission to EARN the CJ. That party feels very different to her. She will not forget where the cookies are, and she does expect to be paid! Sometimes there is a toy in her CJ, this time it is wonderful salmon treats. The CJ is tied to work in every good way. Our foundation gets stronger and stronger.
Koolaid Loading CJ Ready to Work
The more difficult the early choices are for your dog, the more he needs these games we are playing, and the more benefit you will derive from them.
HOW to BUILD your TEAM
Koolaid's picture of desire to earn the CJ only takes shape if you give your dog a choice! You can create in any dog this desire to work with you. But these games will NOT work along with demands or force or coercion. As soon as you put yourself in conflict with the CJ, you lose. It seems natural to call your dog when you want to start working. But even if he stops what he is doing with the jar and he comes to you when you call, you still lose. Even if it looks good to you that he looks wistfully at the CJ but does not go to it, you still lose. Go to the CJ instead and invite him to check it out, as I do with Koolaid. You do not benefit from an “either/or” relationship with the CJ. Let's keep talking about how to put that jar fully on your team. Especially if you want to increase your dog's desire to work, I ask you to allow your dog to make friends with the CJ.
You want it all. You want your dog to decide for himself, in his own way and in his own time, that the jar is way cool and he has the tools to make that jar pay. You benefit from the dog's secure understanding that he owns behaviors that win him the jar, and those behaviors create a better jar. Those behaviors have to do with you, to be sure, and so now you WIN because he wants in with you. That's the short story.
WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE in COMPETITION
My Sport is 8 years old, and he has known the CJ his whole life. This is how Sport operates on his cookie jar:
He and I put it somewhere together. There is no need for me to hide it. He looks just like Koolaid when we place the jar. He takes note of where we have put his jar, and believe me he knows exactly where it is. And he wants to work. Whether he is hungry or not, whether others are running around or not. CJ work is just the best.
So now he turns his attention to me. By choice. He is fully engaged and he begins to drive me to work. It makes no difference where we are or what is going on around him. Just ask him, this is better. Just try to take him off task. No, this is better. In the context of competition I use CJ on every single run. Our sport is agility but that makes no difference. Any sport, or any list of behaviors, can be put in place, and as you go forward you can expand. Once the concepts are there, you have a fabulous tool which improves your game and changes your working relationship forever for the better.
I have had the opportunity to test Sport's understanding of where we put his CJ. We trial regularly at a facility where I teach, and there is a certain table where we all put our treats while we run, and we return there to reward the dog after the run. It's crowded, it's the “place of many cookies.” Sport and I had put his CJ there on that table certainly a hundred times. I had never put it anywhere else in the context of a trial in that facility.
But one day I had the running order wrong in my head and heard Sport called to the ring and I didn't have time for the treat table. I had his CJ in my hand. I said “Sport, Cookie Jar” and we put it under a bench in the hallway and we ran for the ring. When we finished I did my Collar On ritual and said “COOKIES,” and that dog dragged me right past the treat table and down the hallway to the bench where his CJ had never been placed before.
BUILDING THAT CJ FOUNDATION
There is a LOT of dog's choice learning that went into Sport's relationship with the CJ. Do not worry about whatever step you are on right now. You have begun, and you have made progress. I ask you to keep on thinking about it and keep on playing these dog's choice games with me. If you go partway, then you will get partial benefit and it will be a good thing. And if you keep on going you will continue to increase the benefit. I hope you will still be playing with dog's choice Cookie Jar Games long after you are finished with this course. And I hope you will come back and take this course with me again so we can keep on expanding these concepts for you and your dog.
A sampling of what prior students have said about this course .....
What a brilliant way to learn at your own pace and with lots of support. I love the lectures, the forums and the discussions.Julie Daniels was organized,clear,thought provoking,kind and quirky.What a great blend of attributes so learning can be non stressful and the handler and the dog feel like winners. Thank you
CJ games is a great class and applicable to all dog sports. It is a fun way to teach your dog the concept of "delay" of reward. Once your pup understands the basic tenant of the CJ, he/she will be happy and enthusiastic to train.
What a great time we had! Fun for the trainer and the dog, which means a win for everyone! When we saw this class offered for the first time, we had to take it - great life skills, not just for performance! Noah even started to refuse his dinners, since kibble was his training treat in the home. He boycotted in lieu of training. He'd enthusiastically eat for games, but turn his nose up if he knew a bowl of kibble meant no games that evening. Highly recommend this class! Robin A.
I signed up to the Cookie Jar games course to try and help my dog with her self-control. Although I don't do any dog sports with my dog as she is fear aggressive to people and dogs I thought this course might help with her confidence and self-control and give us something fun to do during the miserable winter weather. The course was so much fun for both of us and the instructor's enthusiasm and joyful approach to training was infectious and really came through in the comprehensive lecture notes and videos. I have seen real improvement in Bella's self-control while we have worked through this course and a huge increase in her enthusiasm for working with me. She loves her cookie jar now and can't wait to get started, we will keep using these games to help us moving forward. The ability to view the Gold students progress and discussions was very valuable as I managed to pick up some useful tips which really helped us. I would definitely recommend this course to anyone whether they are involved with dog sports or just want something fun to work on with their dog.
Cookie jar games was awesome for my high drive dogs. My 6 yr old dog that's always been pretty good about impulse control benefitted as much as my youngster who is just starting to trial in agility. I loved how my dogs quickly understood how much using some self control paid off and how much they enjoyed these games.
I am a huge fan of Julie's classes. They are all about making the handler think about how to best build confidence and empowerment in the dogs. Julie goes out of her way to consider the specific needs of each dog as she learns them. The games are all great fun, simple to play yet complex in what they teach.
I'm looking forward to all the ways the cookie jar concept can be incorporated into my training for multiple sports! It is such a versatile concept and SO useful for teaching the dog self-control and how to WANT to work when the handler doesn't have rewards on them. Chris P.