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MLA Full: "Baby Cavy's 1st Training Session!" YouTube, uploaded by Animal Wonders Montana, 6 June 2019,
MLA Inline: (Animal Wonders Montana, 2019)
APA Full: Animal Wonders Montana. (2019, June 6). Baby Cavy's 1st Training Session! [Video]. YouTube.
APA Inline: (Animal Wonders Montana, 2019)
Chicago Full: Animal Wonders Montana, "Baby Cavy's 1st Training Session!", June 6, 2019, YouTube, 09:31,
Our new baby cavy gets her official name (thanks to all our Patreon patrons and viewers!) and then has her first training session on camera.

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 (00:00) to (02:00)

Hello and welcome back to Animal Wonders.  Today, we're talking all about this little lady.  She's a Patagonian cavy, about seven weeks old, and we're ready to give her a name.


We asked our Patreon Patrons and all of our channel viewers to give us name suggestions for this gentle but energetic gal and we got so many great ones.  Thank you everyone for sending your love to her.  She definitely deserves it.  We have decided that the perfect fit is also a perfect fit for her companion, Chili Pepper.  Okay, are you ready for it?  The big reveal: this is officially Cayenne the cavy. 

Cayenne is doing really well.  She's completely weaned and she's starting to eat with Chili Pepper and the guinea pig herd.  We're slowly introducing fresh produce so she can have a well-balanced diet with plenty of nutrients to go along with her fresh grass, hay, twigs, and guinea pig pellets.  She's growing so fast and it makes this time with her so special.  She's looking to her family and herd to teach her what life is all about.

Right now is the best time to get her out and exploring everything she's going to encounter in her life as an animal ambassador, so alongside going on fun walks outside in a harness, she's traveling and exploring new places and meeting new people.  She's already a professional at wowing audiences and bringing awareness to her species and what makes Patagonian cavies unique.

This early exposure is priceless, because as adults, Patagonian cavies are quite skittish, and being comfortable in front of an audience is extremely challenging to teach later in life.  Back at home, she's loving the romping room.  The romping room, which is right back here, is a large indoor space that's filled with very diggable dirt, specifically designed for Chili Pepper's needs, which means it's perfectly suited for Cayenne as well.

 (02:00) to (04:00)

She's been keeping really busy digging in this corner for the last few days.  She even closes her eyes and just goes into autopilot.  I love seeing her so content to just do what her instincts tell her to do.  Chili Pepper and her have been getting along great.  In the wild, Patagonian cavies are monogamous and spend a great deal of time interacting with their partner.  Since Cayenne is still young, her and Chili Pepper haven't formed that kind of bond yet, but they sure are comfortable being close.  

One thing I think is super cute is that she's learned how to sit on top of this box by watching her big buddy.  Chili Pepper loves hopping up on top of this box to keep a watchful eye on everything going on.  The boxes were initially intended for the guinea pigs to hide under, but Chili Pepper loves them so much, we now just keep one stationed right here just for him.

When he isn't keeping a lookout, we now see Cayenne perched up here like she's a miniature version of him.  Okay, the last thing I wanted to do with Cayenne today is a training session, so let's go get set up for that.

So I have done no formal training sessions with her at all.  I haven't even introduced the clicker to her yet, so the first thing I wanna do is make sure that she knows, this is gonna be fun, she knows (?~3:20) really good.  She likes being rubbed right here.  Yeah, it's good stuff.  The grumbles and the whistles mean that she is happy and now, I'm going to try and teach her what a clicker means.

So the first thing I need to do is, good, you're excited about something.  Gonna click and deliver her reward or reinforcer right away.  It's always fun to see how an animal responds to their first training session.  Sometimes they pick it up right away and sometimes it seems like there's no connection at all.  I don't know how it's going to go, but let's see.

Alright, so, I am clicking and delivering, then I'm waiting about 20 seconds before I do it again.  

 (04:00) to (06:00)

Right now, she is definitely interested but I want to see her responding to this clicker and by responding, I mean I want to see her like, turn her head, move her body toward maybe my treat hand or me, flick an ear, something.  Let's see.  So right now she is still just begging for treats.  Ooh, did you see that?  It might have been a reaction to my hand, but she definitely moved her body, oriented her body toward me.  Let's see if no hands.  

I think that she is not quite responding to the clicker yet.  I want to keep doing this for a while and it might take a while.  The first training session is sometimes just clicking and treating and clicking and treating and that's it, and then you move on, but I think she could move past this first step because she's so motivated, so when she finishes this food in her mouth, I'm gonna see--I think she's close to responding to this clicker.  Let's see.  

She's just--she's just moving toward--she knows my hand gives her the treats, so what I'm gonna do, I'm gonna move on to this next step of training her to target, so the first behavior that I train an animal is target, and target basically means they touch a part of their body to an object and I'm gonna ask her to touch her nose to my closed hand.

So I'm gonna move it real close to her and as soon as she touches it, I'll click and give her a treat.  Alright, so I'm just gonna continue this and every time she touches her nose to my fist, she gets a click and a treat, and right now, she is begging.  She is so motivated, I love it, so I have gotten her favorite treats for this, which is actually little flakes, dried flakes of kangaroo food and pear and apple pieces, so I'm gonna make it real easy.  Ready?  Touch, and she goes and gets the treat.  

 (06:00) to (08:00)

I'm gonna move it over here.  She can smell the treats in my hand, so that's a huge motivator for her to come and touch it, but if you notice, I'm not like, just handing it to her.  She has to do the behavior of touching her nose to my fist and timing is super important, so as soon as her nose touches, not just gets close to smell, as soon as it touches my fist then she gets the click and the reinforcer.  

Good girl!  She's picking up--she is blowing through these steps.  She's doing it--let's see.  So I gave her a test there.  She had to move away from me to get the treat.  Let's see if she can find my fist.  Good girl.  So she's going so fast, I am just ready for the next behavior, which is following my fist and moving the target so it's following the target, basically, and I'm gonna move into trying to teach her how to turn in a circle, and let's see if I can get a full turn.  Good girl!  And follow that through.  Nicely done!

That was pretty sloppy, but we're going to refine it.  Ahh, I love first training sessions.  I love this.  I love training so much.  It's like creating a new language that just you and the other animal get to kind of live in this in-between language.  Let's try it again.  Can you turn all the way around?  Good girl!  Nicely done.  

So what I really want to do is I wanna click right when she is committing to turning her body all the way around.  Good girl, and then she kind of just finishes off to look for the next treat.  Oh my goodness.  I'm going to change it up just a little bit, make sure she's got this.  I'm gonna move my legs out of the equation, so she has to just follow my target. 

 (08:00) to (09:31)

Good girl!  See how I clicked right when she committed?  Okay, that went really, really well.  I'm going to end right there.  I'm going to give her a big old jackpot.  She can just eat it.  I don't like to keep training sessions going on for too long.  Short and sweet so everyone stays really happy and there's no frustration, and we'll definitely continue our training sessions.  The more we practice together, the better we'll both get. 

I think using positive reinforcement training as a tool to build trust is a great way to have a strong foundation for a long term relationship with any animal.  Cayenne, you are amazing.  Thank you for giving me your time and thank you for joining us.  I hope you enjoyed getting to know Cayenne a bit more and I'm so happy with her name.  It's so perfect for her.  

If you would like to show Cayenne your love, you can get her a special gift from our Amazon Wishlist.  I've put the link below.  Right now, she's really into willow balls, but Chili Pepper keeps stealing hers.  Apparently, we need more to go around so everybody's happy.  Thanks and I'll see you next week with another animal adventure.