Vito 17 &18wks

Yay! And I finally got Vito to put all 4 feet in the dish. I don't know why this trick is so hard for him, but he really has to think hard. I suppose I should have started with a bigger bowl, but I couldn't find anything bigger that he could still easily step in.

He also is making some progress with his dumbbell work. I think I'm going to use a different method with Vito than I have used with Lance and on different than I have read about, but it seems to be working well. Basically I started the (positive trained) traditional way of clicking for touching, and then biting the dumbbell held in my hand, but of course I soon ran into the stumbling block of teaching the dog to actually hold it in their mouth for a tiny bit. So with Vito I decided to just start putting it on the floor and clicking him for lifting it off of the ground. Well this quickly evolved into Vito deciding to roll the dumbbell back to me with his nose! Not what I'm looking for, but I thought if he is aiming for my hand, why don't I slowly raise my hand off the ground a little bit. And viola we have a tiny little retrieve to my hand! Now this may come back to bite me in the butt since I was rewarding rolling the dumbbell, but I guess we will wait and see!

And outside of training sessions, Vito is doing pretty good with bringing back toys I throw. He still sometimes tries to run by me, but at least when I try to encourage him (by acting absolutely insane and talking in the highest pitch voice ever!) he brings the object instead of dropping it and running to me. I play a lot of tug after he brings it back which Vito seem to love. I even started doing this with his bumper and frisbee. I'm trying to keep those 2 objects very special for Vito so I keep them out of reach and only do 2-4 throws at a time, but Vito goes insane for the bumper. When I'm doing all of this Lance (and Adam) look at me like I'm crazy, but Vito loves it! I even showed Lance the bumper to play with and he just gave me this dumbfounded look like he could not believe I would even ask him to play with a hard plastic tube!

Vito also started his first skateboarding lesson the other day. I think I may have to postpone it more till we can outside again though since he already is doing great on the carpet!

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Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.- Roger Caras

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