Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Teaching the dogs to salute

I was puttering around on the internet late yesterday, waiting for someone to come up and see me or respond to an email or something, and I googled 'cute tricks to teach your dog'.

The first one that I found which I was interested in was to teach them a 'salute'. The method was to put a piece of not-very-sticky tape on the dog's head and then ask them to sit. They then lift their paw to get the tape off their head, and you click, then treat.

Seemed pretty simple and I thought it would be a good trick for Bender because his sits are solid as a rock.

Bender is a strange dog though, and sometimes there's no accounting for his reactions!

I called Bender into the bedroom first, and shut Barbie out. I attempted to put the tape on his head. It really was not sticky as I'd stuck it to my jumper first. I told him to sit. I went to put the tape on his head. He ducked and dodged. I tried again. He ran away, put his tail between his legs and started grovelling.

Oh, dear.

I can't teach Bender salute that way, then.

I swapped dogs to give Barbie a go. Barbie was almost the opposite. I got her to sit, put the tape on her head, and it was like she didn't notice it was there! I touched it a couple of times, and she lifted the paw and swiped it off. So we got 3 successful salutes, click, treat. Then she stopped noticing it was there at all. I took it off her and we did some 'commando' just to finish on a positive note.

'Touch' is coming along OK. Bender is actually better at it. Barbie seems to lose interest. It's not challenging for her. I think we shall progress to touching objects.
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