I recently decided that I would like to train a synchronized porpoise with Chuck and Cayenne. When you choose a behavior to train, you must first decide what you would like the finished behavior to look like. Otherwise, how will you - know when you are done? In this case, I wanted to give the signal and have Chuck and Cayenne porpoise (jump up out of the water) at the exact same time until I gave them the signal to stop (bridge). Once I figured that out, I was able to plan out the steps I would take to get there. Since porpoising is a behavior both Chuck and Cayenne already know, I chose to start here. I give Chuck and Cayenne their porpoise signal (rotate my extended right arm in a circle backwards up over my shoulder) and blow my whistle (bridge) only when they jump up out of the water at the same time. The idea is that they will start to realize they are only being bridged when they porpoise together and will start to offer it more.
In this video, you will see that they both respond to the signal immediately, but that in the beginning, they are jumping out of the water at different times. Once they jump out of the water together, listen for the whistle sound, that is the bridge. The whistle bridge is very long and loud because it didn't seem like they were listening to it. I wanted to make sure that they heard it. Once they have stopped and returned to me, I reinforce the behavior with a lot of fish.
Stay tuned to see our progress.