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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Never Get Bored!

I am never going to get bored with this trick training!  It's simply not possible!  I've got 4 dogs and a cat at home, and there are different things to teach each one of them. Here's what they have been working on this week.

Kirby: "Fetching a beer from fridge'.
We began with having Kirby target a tug toy that is hanging from the fridge handle. I've also been asking him to pick up empty soda cans to get familiar with the material of the can. I do wonder how he will fit a full one though. Can coolie maybe?  Or bottles with the coolie on it?  Not sure, haven't gotten that far yet. I certainly don't want him getting hurt and will scrap the trick if the cans become a safety hazard.

Maggie: 'Clicker Comfort'.
I have no goals with Maggie yet except to get her comfortable with the clicker sound. She is offering downs and sits though!

Jake: 'Spins, Targeting & Belly Crawling'.
Jake is the most fun to work with, possibility-wise, but also the most frustrating. Frustrating because for one, he has one of those mammoth-vacuum-Labrador mouths, so every time I offer him a treat, he is inhaling with a super wide open mouth. So 75% of the time he misses the treat (it falls out of the gaping hole of course!) and the treat will roll under something and then his attention is lost until he finds the food. And for two, he's already got an arsenal of tricks that he knows so if I attempt to shape something, he's launching through the entire arsenal thinking that one of the tricks is going to get him what he wants.  Usually it looks like this; sit-laydown-play dead-launch into a couple of vertical jumps-sit pretty-left paw-right paw-left paw-sit-playdead-verticle jump, all the while whining and barking.
We've begun working on his treat taking. I'm holding the treats in my hand until he nicely nibbles them from my hand, which gets a click and another treat.  We also started trying the above 3 tricks!  He will spin counter clockwise with little luring, but he seems determined not to turn clockwise. He did it twice with some serious luring, but it has me thinking maybe it's uncomfortable him to do so.

Frankie: I haven't tried anything with her yet. But think I will use her to work more Frisbee tricks, like dog catch without a disc, hoop, etc. All can be done using a clicker.

Sylvester: 'Sit, Stand, Laydown'.
Syl seems to enjoy the clicker training!  Probably mostly because of the food involved. Syl is very greedy. He's got a nice sit, but I think it's a fluke. He won't sit on command unless he knows I have food. Fluke. I can lure a stand and a down, but haven't put any words to it yet.

I wonder if I should try clicker training Red...

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