Hugging Tollers

Earlier this month I decided to have another go at Vito learning to hug a toy.  Gracie learned it very well, Lance learned it to the best of his stubby paws ability, but Vito just could not hold his bear without spiking it to the ground.  Vito learned to wrap a paw around a toy very nicely as long as he was in a sit and only needed to use one paw.  And Vito has a very nice beg.  But Vito has always begged with paws straight up to the sky, a clearly incompatible behavior with hugging his new friend.

So I resumed training this month and new that it would be difficult to get Vito to learn to beg with his paws down.  I went back to using a pole that I had used with the other dogs.  But Vito was back to clawing and just being more frantic than actual thinking.  Definitely couldn't balance in a beg position while wrapping feet around it.  As I went back to training just a single paw I tried some reverse luring to help calm the franticness.  Improvement.  And then I switched to using my leg for a thicker object to grab, but one that he didn't need to actually balance with.  More progress.  At the end of a few lessons I did try briefly using a stuffed toy again and we had much better success!  That being said, I know Vito is not yet ready for the toy and we will keep up practice on my leg and gradually making my leg higher and higher.  Video for those who like video!:

Zumi is also learning to hug a toy and during one session when Vito was close by she offered whacking him :)  I seized it and now we have Hug Your Brother!  Her third session of training this trick is below:

Ximena  – ( March 28, 2015 at 12:33 AM )  

Haha omg Zumi is so funny. And Vito, such a tolerant boy!! Loved it. Congrats on getting a very difficult trick!

Achieve1dream  – ( June 15, 2015 at 2:42 PM )  

Awwww Zumi hugging Vito is sooooooooo cute!!!!!!!!! That is going to be a crowd pleasing trick!

Vito was really getting the hang of hugging. He was doing it perfect on your leg and the last one with the bear was awesome! Good boy!!

I love how Lance was sitting still as a statue in the second video. He is such a good boy!

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