I finally got the dogs a tricky treat ball. I've been meaning to get one for awhile in hopes that I'll be able to use it on Vito's SA sessions. Well today I figured Vito should learn how to use it. I put 1/3 cup of his dog food in it and set it down. At first Vito kept wanting to retrieve it to me. He would pick it up and bring it to me, but I folded my arms and ignored him. Even when he stopped bringing to me, my little retriever still wanted to pick it up and carry it around the house. Then he tried whacking it with his foot, which he clearly liked but didn't give him that much kibble. Finally Vito settled on the proven strategy of rolling it around with his nose and only occasionally picking it up and pawing at it for fun.

I also gave Lance his dinner in it tonight. Lance was very very excited. He very quickly figured out how to get the treats, and then figured out that picking it up and putting it on the dog bed prevented it from flying all over the house. Unfortunately for Lance, when he nosed/pawed the ball it also went underneath the bed cushion and he had a difficult time trying to get it to roll. This did not seem to deter him from continually putting the tricky treat back onto the dog bed. I have never seen Lance so happy and determined.

And in other news I did some more retrieval work with Vito in the backyard. We attempted our first double with a thrower today. We've only worked with a thrower a couple times and so far our only doubles have been when I've thrown them. Vito failed twice, the first time picking up the 2nd dummy and then heading for the first (I called him back, he dropped the dummy, and we then did the 2nd throw), and the 2nd time heading straight for the 1st dummy. So I decided to try it one more time and then go back a step if he failed again, but Vito did it perfectly! He went for the 2nd dummy, returned to me, and then went out and brought back the 1st mark. I am working very hard though on having him sit and wait before taking off. I can tell this is extremely difficult for him to be patient!

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