Engaging Consistently follows Exploring the Touchpads, and is designed to make sure that your dog is touching the touchpads actively enough to proceed to the next challenge, Avoiding Unlit Touchpads. Engaging Consistently is the first challenge that doesn’t offer free food, and so provides an extra incentive for your dog to engage.
Lucy the mixed breed is on task! After getting her first food reward by pressing a touchpad, she continues attending to the Hub and its touchpads because she's learning that she has the power to get another reward soon. Even though she takes a moment to check her surroundings, she reengages quickly once the next puzzle is presented.
Checking in for free food
Toby the Corgi still hasn't made the connection that he's in control of the Hub. He's still looking to the food dish to provide him with his reward, and when it stays closed he is unsure of what to do next. He opts for waiting for the Hub to open. Though Toby checks in on the Hub periodically for food, he'll need to start employing some new strategies in order to move forward.
Is your pup's strategy to wait for free food? Maybe he presses a button every so often, but doesn't stick around after he gets his first reward? There's a few things you can do to help! Sprinkle some high value treats in with your dog's food, to help increase the motivation to explore. Also be sure that there aren't any other sources of food around — dogs are very efficient, and may not be as interested in engaging with the Hub if they already have a full belly. You can also help orient your dog's attention to the touchpads by pointing to them, or even placing treats on them — just be sure not to touch them yourself!
Your dog can demonstrate they are engaging consistently by touching the touchpads multiple times within a ten minute window. We measure this repeatedly, to make sure the game does not get harder before your dog is ready. Typically, dogs take one day to one week to complete this challenge.