February Tricks!

 I've been trying to start up/finish more tricks the past two months.


Fiona
Fi has been working mainly on being a frog.  This was actually surprisingly easy for her even though she never lays with her back legs out just on her own.  I used a pillow and was able to get rid of it in 1.5 sessions.

I've also never actually taught her to cross her paws yet so we started.  She still needs a target out in the beginning of each session but I can take it away for a few reps in the middle before she needs it again.
 
Vito
Vito's been working on itching.  I suck at capturing things as that would actually require having treats and a clicker handy, so I decided to shape it.  It's progressed weirdly and I wasn't sure I was going to get it but I think he's just starting to get the idea!  For awhile I just had a touch nose to back foot behavior; that was odd.

His main other trick has been cleaning up his cross paws behavior.  While I taught him it as a puppy I never got it on cue and it was more of a stretch your foot as far as possible rather than put one foot on top of the other.  It was bad.  I'm pretty sure I've tried a few other times to clean it up but this appears to be one trick I've never stuck with for long.  The good news is we've made much progress and I haven't stopped trying yet.

Other tricks I've been working on off and on have been a japanese dog catch and standing on a small box.  The dog catch is going so-so.  Vito already knew a back stall and is targeting nicely to my lower hand but doesn't want me to hold him on the side.  I'm not entirely sure why since he has a normal dog catch he loves.  So we're taking it very slowly.  The small box work is hopefully to help my goal of getting a foot stall.  Vito already knew to stand in small dish, but once again I sucked at getting a clean behavior so he has always done a lot of dancing around.  3 feet in consistently with the 4th one going in for just a tiny bit before popping out.  We now have duration.  But since I originally taught it as get the back feet in and then step backwards with the front feet, he cannot walk onto the little box cleanly without stepping over and then backing on.  I'm thinking that won't work for a foot stall!

Lance
I haven't been working with the corgi as much as the other two.  His new trick this month has been attempt at getting frog legs.  Should have been easy since he does it all the time on his own but it has been the opposite of that.  I said I suck at capturing!  The pillow has not worked that well as he is extremely good at lifting up his back legs to stand on the pillow or tries to crawl with them.  I think we have finally made some progress the last two sessions even though I don't think he realizes it.

We've also been doing some strength work of beg-down-beg.  The corgi thinks it's great fun.  And trying to get a tiny bit of duration to his side leg lifts. 

Luke
Cats.  I don't know how we make any progress.  The good news is that even though he still acts like he has no idea the clicker means anything, he is starting to actually offer behaviors.  Sometimes.  We have been working on a little distance on our tunnel, sitting on a little box, our stupid back stall, leg weaves (ha!), and a stay.

Berts Blog  – ( February 26, 2012 at 8:52 PM )  

You simply amaze me. I love watching your videos and am shamed at the lack of training I do with Bert.

Keep it up and maybe, just maybe some of us will be inspired to follow your example.

Laura, Lance, and Vito  – ( February 26, 2012 at 9:06 PM )  

Thank you Bert's momma! But training doesn't need to be a big time commitment! I train with their dinner about 3-5 times a week for 5-10min each and that's it besides agility class. I like having multiple tricks I'm working on at once so that way I can pick and choose what I want to work on each session and also to make sure I don't spend more than a few minutes on any one thing. The nice thing is that each new trick they learn makes the next trick come faster and faster :)

Ninso  – ( February 27, 2012 at 9:28 AM )  

Jun will never have a foot stall. Her balance and coordination aren't good enough. Despite tons of working standing with all 4 feet on tiny surfaces, jumping up to small surfaces, and balance ball work, she still is too much of a spaz to get it right.

Kathy  – ( February 27, 2012 at 9:57 PM )  

YOU GUYS hAVE BEEN BUSY!!! GREAT work, even the cats look like they have been doing great. I love the frog trick, we found that a little hard to get here it took us some time but you guys look like naturals. I am impressed.

achieve1dream  – ( March 5, 2012 at 9:55 PM )  

I LOVE Fiona's cross paws. Adorable.

Luke is really getting the hang of his tricks. He's so smart. Keep up the fantastic work!

Watching Vito try to do the scratching was hilarious. I loved it.

Lance is really good at the beg-down-beg! He's gonna have some killer abs lol. I love your trick videos. :D I need to get back into training. I've been so busy getting myself back in shape, getting Chrome ready to ride in May and getting my house ready for a yard sale that I just haven't done anything with the dogs! Makes me so sad. We will get back to it though.

Honey the Great Dane  – ( March 6, 2012 at 12:54 AM )  

Oh...I LOVE coming to visit you coz you always inspire me to get training again! :-) I've been feeling very jaded with Honey and can't think of anything new to teach her - and doing a few things half-heartedly (partly coz this bloody new house in Sydney is SO small, training anything is a pain, esp with a giant sized dog!) - but now I feel inspired again! Oh! And especially watching Luke!! I'm so impressed! I haven't been doing so much with Muesli - we only tend to do 1 trick at a time with her. The latest thing I'm teaching her is to nose target to my finger (hoping to then use that to teach her leg weaves) but that jumping on the back trick is so cool - I must try to teach Muesli that!! She sort of stopped wanting to jump into my arms but maybe she would be happier to do this, since it's a more solid base for her to stand on. Also, that standing on a box is a great idea! You're full of great ideas!

I've been trying to teach Honey to "hug" something to her, like Oreo & Chewy did with their bottles & Stuffies (do you follow their blog?) - but it's going VERY SLOW. Again, I never know if some of it is a physical disability with Honey coz her legs are so much longer in proportion and she is much less flexible than a smaller dog...and now that she's older, I don't like to force her too much...I've seen other dancing dogs do it and it's very cool - when the handler leans a pole against the dog's chest and the dog sort of wraps one front leg around it...(well, Oreo & Chewy actually sit up in a beg and wrap both front legs around it but Honey could NEVER do that!) - oh well, will have to just keep slowly at it.

Funny - I really enjoy capturing things and find that quite an easy way to train!

Hsin-Yi

Honey the Great Dane  – ( March 6, 2012 at 12:55 AM )  

Oh - I forgot to say also, it was hilarious in the video when Lance was going the begs and Fiona kept popping up & down in the background! :-)

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