Tuesday, January 19, 2010

tricky t-day ~ hug your sister

When teaching the double dog wave, Oreo decided he wanted to put his front paws on Misty and "hug" her. Being it was kind of cute, I decided to put it on cue.

We've been practicing here and there, and I thought we would use it as our trick this week.

Boy, when I watched the video, I realized how stressed this trick makes Misty! She's usually pretty laid back and tolerant of Oreo's antics, or so I thought.

Misty was doing a lot of tongue flicking (not to mention showing her teeth!) throughout the whole thing. I've always given her lots of treats for allowing Oreo to touch her, but now that I see how she really feels, I think we'll call it quits on this trick! I want to embrace Oreo's creativity, but not at the expense of Misty's tolerance level!


Oreo and I are working on "limp", and sending him forward and then having him walk backwards through my legs. He's doing well, but not video ready. We're still working on doing a handstand, but I don't know if he'll ever be able to do that without support. It seems so hard. Even when I was a gymnast with good upper body strength, handstands were tough. It was much easier to do walkovers, than to steady yourself in one place.

There are a slew of tricks I'd love to teach Oreo that involve taking something in his mouth. I'd LOVE to teach him to put his ball in a basketball hoop! However, as soon as I get the clicker out, he refuses to "take" anything except a treat. Any ideas? I'm going to try and teach the ball in a basket without treats, but I'd also like to teach him to roll himself up in his Hawaiian blanket.


Sam said...

I don't know what's more impressive - your trick training skills or your insight into how your good feels!

Good for you for noticing that Misty wasn't exactly feeling the love.

Diana said...

You could shape him with the ball. Just put the ball out and then start clicking when he get close to the ball, then he has to touch the ball with his mouth , then the ball in his mouth ect.. Diana

Ricky the Sheltie said...

Poor Misty - but cute trick none the less! She is sweet to put up with Oreo.

How are you teaching limp? We've been working on that off and on for ever! We started with kikopup's tutorial on YouTube (I think) and then lately we tried this method - http://www.caninehorizons.com/LIMP.html - kind of, but it's not really working. I limp only if mom is supporting my one front foot.

We also don't know if I will ever be able to do a handstand.

Mom really wants to teach me tricks where I hold something in my mouth and we're having the exact same problems as you! Even when we tried to shape it, I immediately drop the item for a treat and think that is all there is to it. The duration of the hold seems to be impossible to communicate.

madcobug said...

I don't believe Misty quite understands what you are doing. Maybe she thinks you are telling Oreo to do something to her. That would be a cute trick if it didn't stress Misty. Helen

Priscilla said...

I've learned a lot from reading your blog as it always gives me some ideas what I can do with Eva when she's bigger. Your tricks are so interesting and innovative. Thanks for sharing.

Orable said...

double-dog anything is great! (used to be our way of life!) Have a great week

LauraK said...

You always have the best songs for your tricks :) That's a cute trick, too bad Misty doesn't appreciate it much! Limp is a hard one to teach, but it's super cute once they get it. Although sometimes I feel guilty when Riley limps for real!

Sara said...

I'm teaching limp by first teaching Oreo to hold up his paw for longer and longer periods of time, using my clicker. He's really holding it up for a good while now. Then, I plan to have him walk (holding up his paw)toward his target stick, since I've been teaching him "forward" with the stick.

We'll see how it goes.

We are doing shaping with the ball, but we only get to the part where he puts his mouth on the object... I can't get him to hold onto it. Maybe I'm just impatient! I'm so accustomed to Oreo learning fast.

Kathy said...

Misty is so sweet and Oreo is such a smartie! I am working with the Clicked Retrieve book, will let you know how it goes but I have heard great things about it-all about shaping picking up things, going and getting them, etc.

Kathy said...

Just thinking for getting Oreo to hold something, keep the clicker hidden and back chain so you get him to hold something for a micro second and teach the drop it, get him excited about that and make sure it is on cue so he knows he gets treats for dropping on the command, then hold it for longer waiting for that and longer and pretty soon you can work back wards to the take it command.

Sara said...

That's an interesting idea, plus Oreo REALLY needs to learn drop it. He doesn't do that reliably at all.

Honey the Great Dane said...

Oh, that IS a cute trick! Shame Misty doesn't enjoy it much! Maybe you could get a big stuffed toy and get Oreo to "hug" that instead? Or your knees? That would look cute too! :-)

I was going to suggest shaping like everyone else for picking up the ball - that's how I taught Honey - first clicking for looking, then nosing/sniffing, then mouthing, then picking up (even for a second!) and then gradually extending the time she has to hold it before she gets the click. I don't know if it helps that I use a release word with Honey ("Ok") for lots of other things and so she understands that she must keep doing whatever action she is doing until she hears the release word. So in the beginning, I would say "Ok" & click almost the split second after she picked the ball up - and then gradually waited 1 more second, then 1 more second, etc...but because Honey understood that she had to wait to hear the "OK!", it helped encourage her to keep holding onto the ball. I would also use a tone of voice - like extend the command: "Hooooooooollllld...OK!"

If she dropped the ball before I wanted (and she did quite afew times in the beginning), I would just not click and just point at the ball and direct her to try and pick it up again. If she won't, I go back a step and reward again for just nosing or mouthing....sometimes also I say less commands and just let her "free-shape" it and work it out herself. I just keep rewarding her for any interaction with the ball and then withholding the click every so often, to see if I can get her to interact more with it...I find this often has faster results than if I'm trying to guide her too much.

Good luck!