Today is a late post for Training Tuesday. I meant to run out to stock up on some more training treats after Indiana demolished the last of his puppy crack yesterday. But, Denver got whopped with a morning storm of several inches and the city seems to have a moratorium on plowing in my neighborhood. So, I eventually hunkered down and went through the fridge and cabinets for a replacement wet treat that I could feed him in bits. I ended up with some grated cheese, which Indiana, of course, loved.
Because I know that Indiana won't yet "listen" to me when I want him to stop doing something, I like focusing on tricks that are entertaining to build that bond. And I love a good play dead.
Breaking it down-
1. I start with Indiana in a "Down" position, where he tends to sit like a sphynx.
2. Then I shift him into his "Settle," so he doesn't have his legs tucked underneath him.
3. With my hand shaped like a gun (that sounds pretty bad), I gently nudge on his head until he puts his head on the floor and rolls totally over onto his side, hoping for a tummy rub. It's important that he mostly moves by himself and is just getting a bit of pressure from me. I want him to figure out I'd like him on the floor!
4. When he is in full begging for a tummy rub position, he gets his audio reward (either a "click" or a "Good") and treat!
|Mostly just posing. We're not to the point where I can be that far away.|
As we keep practicing I move my hand less and less, keeping it more still, so just seeing my signal is enough for him to know to roll onto his side. Eventually, I'll be able to move my hand back and not start with him in a "Down." I'll add the verbal "Bang" once he's got that down pat. Indiana tends to mix up his verbal cues in excitement.
If I keep that up, one day, he'll listen to me without the promise of a treat! The hardest part is not expecting too much from him and knowing when to slow down and go back a step when he is confused.