Trkman- Tricks pt 2

In part 2 of the trick seminar Lance wasn't doing quite so well.  He was more hesitant to offer behaviors and more likely to start shutting down on me.  I know my reward rate was not high enough which was probably the biggest contributor.

1. Holding an object with feet- we started off with this trick again, but this time Silvia wanted the dogs initiating the behavior.  No more holding it for the dog, instead put it on the floor and have them manipulate it into position.  She said most dogs will choose to pick it up with their mouth but it was fine to paw it into position as well.  Lance thought I wanted him to dig the waterbottle and got really frustrated with me.  I would reward the digging if he dug it back towards his other paw, but many times he would roll it behind him and then would just be kicking it backwards.  An ok trick but not what I wanted to teach!  So I went back to holding it but then Lance wasn't always wrapping his paw around it, just touching it.  It was hit and miss.

(2.) Silvia talked through a whole bunch of tricks and how almost all tricks with an object are variations of each other. The dog just needs to figure out if you want him to nose it, paw it, or mouth it.  She did give me some great ideas for teaching a hold and the rise/drop of an item onto a surface!

3. Limping- Since Lance already knows how to limp with both front feet I wanted to work on back feet.  Unfortunately we didn't get anywhere at all.  Like all other tricks, Silvia really likes pure free shaping.  The corgi however did not get what I wanted at all.  I couldn't get him to offer holding his back foot for more then a second without anything behind him.  Even when I cheated and pointed with my finger (which I was trying to get rid of last session) he started shutting down on me.  So then I put my shoe on the floor behind him and he immediatley perked up and knew what I wanted even with the shoe not in reach at all.  But I think the presence of the shoe greatly hindered forward progress since if anything he was more likely to back up.  Finally I had an idea of teaching him to lift his hind leg and do a nose target to my hand at the same time.  I'm hoping that if I can then get him to start stretching to my hand we can get the tiniest limp.  If I just lure Lane becomes fixated on my hand and doesn't think at all.  I have no idea what to do still.

4. Side legs lifts- We propped a board against a pole and taught the dogs to put both right and then both left legs on the board.  I had done a tiny bit with Lance on lifting his right legs at the same time before, but not the left.  Lance perked up a lot on this trick, probably because it once again involve a prop and a high rate of reinforcement.  It wasn't long before Lance was doing both sides pretty well with using the board.  Often he offered only the back foot on the board with the front foot hovering in the air.

5. Backward weaving- Since Lance knows how to weave backwards but can't do a backward figure 8 without me moving my leg back each time I worked on cleaning that up.  He seemed tired but by the end of a little work he was starting to do the full figure 8 without me having to move my leg.

I then got out a platform to work on him pivoting around with back feet on the board, front feet off.  This is one that I practiced a few times since Tuesday and have been happy with the results.  But today Lance sucked and decided he was done with it. 

6. Feet in a dish/Jumping on your feet- Another trick where stubby legs really don't work! But we did get out a box and teach Lance to jump in it. He was ok with the big box but once it got smaller then his body he really had a hard time.  I flipped it over and Lance was much happier climbing on top with all 4 feet. 

Lindsay  – ( February 1, 2011 at 11:23 PM )  

I do have to say that I am terribly jealous that you're able to do her seminar. That would be an incredibly experience!!

Dawn  – ( February 2, 2011 at 8:17 AM )  

I can understand him getting tired, it sounds like that was a lot of thinking work as well as the physical. And I agree, short legs/long backs make several tricks much harder. Maybe you can help me figure out tricks to train the Magic monster.

Ninso  – ( February 2, 2011 at 9:40 AM )  

Oh cool! The lifting a paw + nose target is a great idea to start to get the forward movement on the limp. I will try that when I get to that point with Jun!

Muttsandaklutz  – ( February 2, 2011 at 7:24 PM )  

Holy mackerel -- I would be in total information overload by now, but what a fantastic opportunity to get all this info and feedback from Silvia, everything from tricks to handling to running contacts. Awesome awesome.

achieve1dream  – ( February 3, 2011 at 8:44 PM )  

Don't get discouraged. I'm sure he was just tired. Jackal has days like that and I just give him a break. It's no fun to have an off day at a seminar, but what can you do? Did you get to tape the seminar? It would be nice if you did because you can go back and watch it to remember what she said. Like watching a movie and picking up things you missed the second time around. I never really thought of the challenges of stubby legs. They sure are cute though!!

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