Chuck 4.5 months

It's been awhile since I've updated on Chuck.  He just turned 20wks today and weighs 35lbs.  Still a laid back puppy with extreme wiggle butt.   Chuck also still loves to pick up anything and everything around the house and wiggle his butt all the way to you with his prize. This dog just needs something in his mouth at all times.  Vito is similar in that he loves carrying around his toys, but Vito does it because when he gets excited he needs something to mouth and wants someone to play with him.  Chuck just does it to have something to carry.

Here is our list of what we've been working on so far,

First the boring obedience stuff:
  • Verbal cues for sit, down, and stand.  He still gets confused about stand sometimes and we still practice the transitions on a platform at times to keep it a kickband stand instead of jump and wiggle butt everywhere.
  • Stays for all 3 positions.  Just recently started the stand stay and are working on putting pressure on his sides to teach him to tighten up.  Love the oppositional reflex!  Sit and down stays are great with any handler movement, thrown distractions, and a tiny bit of out of sight work.
  • M&M's (heel-front-side) are mostly verbal only cues.  I still do a bit of a lure once he starts moving in the right direction to get a good position.
  • Go Mat can be sent from a pretty far distance, auto down, and auto stay.  But he isn't good at relaxing into position to just hang out for a while and pops up a lot if you ignore him.
  • Great loose leash walking even around distractions.  I rarely need to stop and do penalty yards.  I used the pop treats in mouth continuously method and now rarely give treats for walking.  We also practice a lot of walking towards things on the ground and rewarding eye contact.
  • Starting to work on pivoting in heel, counter clockwise.  He understands the pivot portion from our perch work and does ok with this.  But Chuck's default position is front so if you don't move quick enough he pivots the opposite direction from what I want!
  • Settle on his side and allow me to manipulate him into whatever position I want without complaining.  I'm kind've teaching him to come into a settle whenever I sit on the floor with my legs open in a V.  So far he's had the easiest nail trim I've ever done!  Lance and Vito allow me to do it without a struggle but they aren't happy about it.  But Chuck seems to just smile and take it all in. 

And the fun stuff:
  • Tugging!  Chuck tugs open light cabinets and drawers.  He also will tug a basket to me and we have worked him putting the rope into my hand.  He will tug a basket across the room to bring to me and really likes this game.
  • Nudging on a light switch held at nose level with a small tube over the switch to make it easier.  I just started o take off the plastic tube and Chuck is doing great with flipping on the light still.  I've also done a little bit of playing with him "rising" on a low stool to flip the switch on.
  • Touching a target with his paw.  The target is now taped on the wall, but low enough so that Chuck doesn't have to jump up to do it yet.  Eventually the target will be transferred to a push plate.
  • Nudging a target in my hand.  I just started this and am using a different target this his paw touch one.  I might eventually teach him the real discrimination between nose and paw cues, but right now I'm just trying to get the two behaviors and make it easy.  
  • Retrieving objects to my hand, even when my hand is held way out to the side.  Chuck has generalized pretty quickly to any objects I try, even awkward canes and metal objects.  I am currently playing around with the hold, but haven't really settled into how I want to teach that skill to him.  Thankfully he isn't yet mouthing objects when he's grabbing them off the floor and turning to me.
  • Clean up.  Teaching Chuck to drop objects into a basket instead of bringing them to my hand.  Currently the basket is right in front of me while I'm sitting on the floor.
  • 2 back feet on an object.  I've just done a little bit of this so far and it took him quite awhile to get this concept.  He got one back foot but just couldn't get both on at the same time!  Right now I'm trying to get Chuck to back up into position instead of doing his climb and turn back to me.
  • Rollover, bang, and beg are our 3 tricks.  Rollover still needs a small lure and sometimes Chuck skips the bang and does rollover instead.
  • Tug-Kennel-Tug is our newest trick!  Chuck tugs open the kennel, runs inside, and then closes the kennel while he's inside.  Super cute :) 

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