Vito Tail Hold

I've actually been working on teaching Vito a new trick!!!  I saw a trick on youtube several years ago and it's been on my to do list.  Long to do list that only gets longer and not shorter.  I wanted to teach Vito to grab his tail, hold onto it, and bring it to me :)

Kinda new in that I actually started the trick 2 years ago with Vito but gave up.  At that time I did actually do quite a bit so my groundwork was already laid.  With a few reminders, Vito remembered how to mouth his tail while lying down and I held it.  I remember getting to that point was a pain in the butt as Vito quickly learned to target his tail with his nose, but then actually opening his mouth never occurred to him.  I tried just pairing bite the pen I held at his tail with nose targeting his tail didn't make progress.  At one point I even tried wrapping his tail in vet wrap to see if I could get a bite.  That helped a ton once I left a little flap to hang down and then got rid of the flap and eventually the tape.  But then I was stuck as Vito would either just mouth it or try to "tug" it with a quick bite and pull back.

So starting in late December I resumed work.  At one point I had an epiphany that Vito did not know how to hold an item that 1) I still had in my hand (as I don't teach hold that way) and 2) at an angle where his head was not directly facing me.  The first fix was really easy and I just went back to an object.  The second fix was really hard for Vito.  He has such a strong retrieve and reorientation to me that it was hard to convince him otherwise.  Eventually did :)

And then I finally added back in his tail.  I forget about my project often so I think I've done maybe a grand total of 10-15 sessions in the past 2 months.  Today I did his very first session of grabbing his tail on his own from a stand (with my help in holding his body still) and holding.  Once that step is better I have no idea how I would progress it to walking.  I originally planed to do walking before a hold, but Vito just had such struggles in not biting and immediately letting go that I did the original switch.  I'm not really a plan ahead type person anyway.  I typically just start training :)

Just for fun I compiled this video of some of his lessons.  I managed to find one old video of Vito from January 2013 when he was just starting to understand some open mouth criteria.  The rest is current.

Unknown  – ( February 28, 2015 at 9:27 PM )  

we always told Flekket to get her tail and she would run in circles after it. she could even go in reverse when we told her to try the other way. she never got it.............

achieve1dream  – ( June 15, 2015 at 2:05 PM )  

Oh my goodness that is so cute!! He's definitely getting the hang of it. :) Are you going to teach it on the other side too once he has mastered this side? Looks like it would make a really good stretch lol.

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