austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Put your right foot forward; put your left foot out

bunny_hugger and I have a pet rabbit. He's started as her pet, for obvious reasons, but I'm trying to take a reasonably equal share of the responsibility as long as that doesn't involve litter box-cleaning. I'm not crazy. Still, he's a rather smart rabbit, and fairly forceful when he wants something, which, since he's the size of the rabbits in Mark Trail, can be pretty substantial. I believe I've caught him trying to knock me over, and it's really inevitable he'll get a running start someday and succeed.

We're hoping to give him some training. Nothing fancy and no kaninhop stuff; we'll be content if we're able to get him to stop chewing bunny_hugger's lovely devil-and-angel-bunny hoodie, or to stop chewing her, really. The basic gimmick from the book we're using is to start with a clicker, of the kind used as a useless signalling device for the board game version of Jeopardy! back in the 80s, and to click it as we feed him, so he gets to associate the sound of clicking with something good about to happen. This leads to training him to do stuff by association, you see.

Early indications are that he's certainly sharp enough to pick it up. He isn't yet following where we click, so it hasn't got him moving. But he's certainly got the idea that if one of us clicks the gadget then he's probably getting food or some kind of treat pretty fast. His noticing one of us has picked up the clicker makes him perk up and hop up to receive whatever it is he's expecting to get. Possibly I need to get into chapter two of the training book.

Trivia: In 1839 the United States produced 378 million bushels of corn. In 1859 it produced 839 million. Source: An Empire Of Wealth: The Epic Story Of American Economic Power, John Steele Gordon.

Currently Reading: A Game Of Inches: The Stories Behind The Innovations That Shaped Baseball, Peter Morris.


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