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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Treasure Trick Photos

Some photos of Treasure practicing some of her tricks!
Spin: depending which side I tap, she will spin in a circle in that direction.  Here she is spinning to her left.

Put her feet up on a prop: she's getting pretty good at this and will quickly step up onto new items.

The shell game: she is super quick at finding which cup has the treat under it!

Walking a balance beam: I keep the "beam" on the ground just for safety reasons, since she can't see how high up she is if she were to slip off. 

Shake hands: if you look closely, you will see me shaking her hand.  She lifts the paw when I give the cue, but she can't see where my hand is, so it's up to me to grab the paw once she lifts it. 

Which hand has the treat?  Another favorite treat finding game for Treasure!

Unrolling a carpet: Treasure is learning to unroll the carpet.  We still have to work on this one, but it was a great picture, so thought we'd share anyway! 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Jasmine Turns One Year Old!

Jasmine is celebrating!  She is celebrating that she is one year old!
And she is celebrating Thanksgiving!  She has a lot to be thankful for!


I take no credit for the music in this video. 
I chose it because it fits Jazzy's personality perfectly.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Nosework - Getting Ready for Christmas!

Today at k9 nosework class, the dogs searched through wrapped Christmas packages to find their odor.  Treasure found all of her hides quickly, with an added bonus that I hadn't counted on.  With all our work recently with Treasure putting her front feet up on objects, she stepped up on many boxes that she ran into while searching.  I knew right away why she was doing it.  It's not something she has done at class before.
Treasure pinpoints the source of the odor ... holes drilled in the top of the box letting odor out.
I hadn't thought about the implications of teaching her to step up onto objects on her nosework activities.  I was happy to see that she just kept searching.  She was not waiting on the boxes for treats or a release.  She would step up and then just kept walking on to the next box. 
After their searches, the dogs got together for a photo shoot which had been set up for them.  It was great fun and we got some wonderful pictures!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Feet on a Bowl, and Other Fun Things!

This week we continued to work on Treasure putting her feet up on an upside down bowl.  I started to move the bowl a short distance farther from my legs.  At first, she put her feet up on my legs a lot, but she realized that she wasn't on the bowl and would hop down to look for it.  If she is nearby and I tap on the bowl, she seems to be able to find it easier.  When she is close and facing it, I gave the feet up cue.  It seemed to work pretty well.  Sometimes she put her feet up even without the cue. 

I also introduced a different upside down bowl, but put it very close to my legs where we started with the first bowl.  At first she was confused.  This bowl is lower to the ground than the first one.  She put her feet up on it, but fell forward over it a few times as she was anticipating a much taller step.  Think about if you are going up steps and you expect there to be one more, but there's not!  And you fall forward.  I hadn't thought about her doing that, as she usually sniffs the bowl before stepping up.  I thought she would notice that it was shorter. 

After a few repetitions, she was much more comfortable stepping up on this new bowl.  We will need to work with both bowls and other new items, so she learns to generalize and get better at judging heights.  While putting her front feet up on a bowl is a trick in itself, I have other plans for what this trick will turn into!  This is only the first step! 
I also introduced another trick this week.  I want to have Treasure roll out a carpet.  I started with a small mat and rolled it up into a tube shape.  I placed a treat near the roll and let Treasure eat the treat from right up next to it so her nose would touch the roll.  At first, of course, she ate the treat and had no idea what to do with the mat.  But by placing the treat farther and farther under the mat, I had her unrolling the mat in no time.  She really liked this new game, and I had to be very quick to roll up the mat and get the treat in place, or she would get impatient! 
I am trying to incorporate working on more than one trick at a session.  I give her a quick break between tricks, picking her up and giving her some loving.  I hope this will become a cue that we are then going to work on something else.  I also want my props to become cues for each trick.  Because she is learning so much and she works with touch cues, I am a bit limited on how many cues I can use to mean different things.  

Monday, November 5, 2012

Dog Tricks!

Now that Treasure and I have earned her CGC, we need a new project to work on.  Treasure and I love our one on one time training together, and having a goal keeps me on track and motivated with things to work on.  With winter coming up and the sun going down earlier, I decided that our next goal will be to work on some new tricks.  I hope to be able to earn a Novice Trick Dog title with Treasure.  She will need to show that she can do 15 tricks from the list of novice level tricks.  There are many to choose from, so I read through the list to see how many I thought she could learn to do without vision and hearing.  There are eight that she can already do ...
  • Come when called
  • Lie down
  • Find hidden treats (Yes!  A favorite of hers!)
  • Sit
  • Spin in circles (she can spin in both directions)
  • Stay (Yay!  We just perfected this for her CGC.)
  • Walk on a loose leash
  • Find which hand contains the treat (Another favorite of hers!)
The other ones I have chosen to teach her are:
  • Walk a balance beam (a low, safe one, of course)
  • Crawl
  • Put her paws up on an object (may be hard for her because she can't see the item, but I want to try it and see how far we get)
  • Roll out a carpet
  • Shake hands (We started this one a long time ago, but haven't worked on it so it's about time we finished it up, wouldn't you say?)
  • Go through a tunnel (she likes to play in tunnels, but I now need to teach her to go through in one motion on cue without stopping to play in the middle!)
  • Go through a hoop (this one may also be challenging, but I have an idea to help her feel her way through, so we'll see how it goes.)

We have started working on Treasure putting her front paws up on an object.  For our first object, I chose a large plastic bowl turned upside down.  It's not too high.  She can feel the bowl against the bottom of her chest when she's standing, so she can tell how high up it is.  At first I made sure she was lined up right in front of the bowl and I used a food lure to get her to stretch upwards until she stepped up onto the bowl.  I pet her and let her have the treat while her feet were still on the bowl. 
We've been working on this trick for about three weeks now, but I haven't been able to work with her every day.  She will now quickly put her front feet up on the bowl.  She is beginning to be able to find the bowl from a short distance away, but not consistently.  I am using a cue which she responds to when she is already next to the bowl.  I no longer need to use a lure to get her up onto the bowl.  She knows what to do. 
I hope to continue with this trick adding other variables and experimenting to see what else we can do with an upside down bowl!  Watch for updates and pictures as we progress!