Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tricky T-day...shy

Yes, Oreo is a shy dog. Timid. Lacks confidence. Term used most in our house - freakboy. "Shy" is a nice way to describe his shirking behavior around strangers.

I've been trying to teach Oreo the shy trick, where the dog puts his paw over his face, for almost a year.

Seems to me that all methods to teach this trick involve annoying your dog. Putting a piece of tape on the snout, so he will brush it away. Using a post it note, a band aid. Putting a hat on your dog.

I tried tape & a post it, and it did work, but I couldn't seem to fade the tape being on his nose. Besided keeping Scotch in business, I felt like I was wasting my time.

One night, Jeff blew on Oreo's face. My dogs hate that! Oreo swiped his nose!

"SHY!" I shouted. "That's how I can teach him!"

Jeff said, "I want credit for that."


The next day, clicker/treats in hand, it took one puff in his face, a click/treat/cue word and Oreo had "shy" down.

All those wasted months and rolls of tape......

Yes, I was still annoying my dog, but I only had to do it once or twice.

I'd like to get Oreo to hold his paw on his nose, because right now the trick looks more like swatting flies, than playing shy. However, I figure if I push for more, it may qualify as torture. We'll keep practicing....with our cue word & clicker....no more annoying stuff.

Strange, dogs love wind blowing in their face. They stick their heads out car windows. Yet, they don't like it when we blow air at them. Wonder what the difference is?


Lian said...

Ah Bless! He is so cute!! And keen!

Honey the Great Dane said...

How interesting! I've been trying to teach Honey this trick too and it's one of those that's been relegated to the list of things that she never fully gets but sort of knows and we try out from time to time but never really consolidate...

Like you, I tried the tape method. The only other method I'd heard of was wrapping their leash gently around their muzzle...

And like you, I have problems with Honey holding her paw on her muzzle - in fact, I have problems with her actually touching her paw to her muzzle - most of the time she looks like she is trying to smell her armpits! I don't know if this is because she is lazy - or if it is just physically too difficult for her because of her size and long legs and the relative angle she would need to bend her elbows to reach her muzzle while sitting (haven't tried it lying down) - so I haven't really pushed it.

Hmm...I've never heard of the blowing method before - must try it!! :-)


Ricky the Sheltie said...

That is just the cutest video ever! Mom has tried forever to teach me that trick too - she tried with the tape on the nose and I thought the point of the trick was to remove the dreaded tape. I am afraid of her blowing air in my face. And so my shy trick ended up being me turning my head to the side for a fraction of a second and lifting my paw a fraction of an inch off the ground. So Oreo's doing a much better job than me!!

Dawn said...

Somehow I never consider Oreo as a shy kind of guy. He just seems so full of energy when I see him on video! Katie is really shy too. It's a sheltie thing I think. We're working on it though with classes and walks and going to the pet store for lots of noise and new experiences. I think agility is really a good thing for him! Cute video!

Cool Design Shelties said...

Oreo is such a charmer :o)


Diana said...

Love the music you picked with the video. Hey maybe you should change the trick to "clean your face". That way he doesnt have to hold his paw there. You can ask him "what do you do after you eat". And he can do the trick. lol Diana

Sara said...

That's a good idea! Boy, he'll look brilliant!