Little helpers!

Today I posted my response to Rogersmmr (from youtube) training challenge. Just for fun, dogs were supposed to 1)open a drawer 2)put socks away 3)close the drawer.

Since we apparently have zero drawers in the house that have knobs or anything to attach a rope to, that eliminated #1 for me. Since I still wanted to teach a behavior chain, I decided to have the dogs grab a sock from the laundry basket (which I ended up flipping on it's side for Lance's stubby legs) and then have them hop on a stool to reach the drawer.

They each had 3 sessions of training so far to produce the video! Lance learned the fastest, but for a long time was stuck on actually putting the socks IN the drawer, not on top. As you can see in the video, he then could not believe that I also didn't want him jumping on top of the drawer! Once he got it though, it was smooth sailing. He still needs some help and rewards often, but it was also nice that the drawer was too deep for him to "cheat" and pull the socks out once they were in!

Vito took quite a bit longer to learn how to close the drawer. He really thought that he was supposed to stand on his legs and rest his paws on the lip. I ended up having to start with the drawer on the stool so that it was too tall for Vito to rest on it. Once he got the closing part, that is all Vito wanted to do! Several time he tried to chop of my hand as I went to take the socks out of the drawer :P

ClassyChassy  – ( July 3, 2009 at 6:51 PM )  

Hey, that is very good! Glad you showed the 'bloopers' - now we know that they weren't BORN that smart - their mom had to TRAIN them! Great little video!!!

ClassyChassy  – ( July 3, 2009 at 6:54 PM )  

Say - email me - you were a runner up in the weasel naming contest - I need your full name and mailing address to send you a little prize!!!

Esther  – ( July 3, 2009 at 7:39 PM )  

I already commented on the video, but I absolutely love your bloopers! Great job with the training!

Mango  – ( July 5, 2009 at 6:20 PM )  

I've been watching your movies and now I see you have a blog too! Fantastic! I really like seeing the tricks and watching your technique.

I am working on freestyle (sort of) with my mastiff and just getting started teaching my 18 month old lab some moves beyond obedience. You inspire me!

Mango Momma

Honey the Great Dane  – ( July 5, 2009 at 8:52 PM )  

Hey - what a great challenge! The boys did so well - just LOVE the video! (Although I agree - it's nice to see the bloopers so that we know there is some hope for the rest of us who don't have "superdog"!! Hee! hee! :-)

What a cool idea - I must try it out with Honey once our competition is over...although I have to say, generally we have discouaged her from picking things up with her mouth as it then gets soggy and disgusting and covered in this menas I have never really developed her retrieve very much... but I suppose if I use some dirty socks, it won't matter so much! :-)

You and your dogs are always so inspirational!


dewdana  – ( September 12, 2009 at 11:36 AM )  

Hey there boys! You pups are pawesome! We heard about you from Honey. Moose and I are working on 'pick up your toys' so she told me about your laundry trick! My Moose tries to cheat too by picking toys that are already put away so it was nice to know that is kinda a normal response. He is getting better but we have some work to do for sure! I would love to know how you use commands in this process and how you handle those blooper moments (like hoping on the drawers- boy was that cute though!).
Moose + Dana

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