Monday, March 26, 2012

New Toys and Tricks

At our last training session we were taught how to play with our dogs in between obedience exercises to keep them happy and engaged.  The problem is, Luna doesn't really know how to play.  Our trainer suggested we encourage her to chase a toy.  Last week I found the perfect toy; a small fuzzy squeaker on the end of a whip.  Mike has been very excited to try it out so we gave it a shot tonight.

A problem we ran into is that Luna is very good with "take it" meaning take whatever object I am holding or pointing at.  She is very comfortable holding pencils, cups, beer cans, and other strange objects.  So right off the bat she thought I wanted her to take the whip I was holding.  She paid very little attention to the squeak toy at the end of the whip.  Go figure I trained her too well on that one.

We didn't have much room for her to run so she was stuck running in circles, which you can tell got very boring very fast.  We'll have to try again in a field where she can run a little bit.

Luna has also become very vocal since her accident.  I believe that she figured out the value of barking when she was injured because anytime she made a noise we (or the vet techs) would come running.  Now she barks anytime she wants us to pay attention to something she needs.  Usually she will start barking when she wants to go out or be fed.  She is so funny when she barks that I decided to make it a new trick tonight.  In this first video I have not introduced the command "speak".  I was just trying to get her excited enough to bark.  The video had to end because our washer got too loud.

In this second video I have introduced "speak" and a hand signal to help her understand that this is a trick and not something to be done all the time.  She caught on to "speak" very quickly and I'm sure it will become a fast favorite of hers.  You can tell Mike really liked the toy on a whip game as he reintroduces the game at the end.


Sue said...

Luna is so good. I am trying to teach Song a few basic commands. At the moment sher just about has down, but she is rather slow to pick the commands up:)

gyeong said...

Luna is one smart cookie. My guys don't know any tricks. Think I will go teach my kids how to shake paws or something now :)

Jay at The Depp Effect said...

that's so sweet! I need to make a lure pole for Jeffie. I'm sure he'd love it!

I taught him to speak last week. He was doing it naturally when I came downstairs so I taught him the word for it, and by asking for 'quiet' and then 'speak' repeatedly, made it clear to him what we want. You do need to be sure to teach 'quiet' at the same time, because it's so much harder to teach later, after the 'speak' trick is solid.