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.