Tuesday, 9 September 2008

dog learns the hold it trick

Penny tried a new trick today at K9 Kompany - pulling along a cute little toy cart of toys. But we didn't have any luck.

The idea was that she would use her mouth to grab a ball on a string attached to the handle and as she pulled it the cart would move behind her. However, I realised she had forgotten the trick we practised last year called 'Hold'. If she doesn't get the idea that she has to 'hold' the ball as she comes towards me, then she'll let it go as soon as she feels the weight of the cart.

So, tonight it was back to basics in our 'kitchen training' schedule. I used a clicker as my marker instead of the more usual 'Yess!" because I found it difficult to mark the exact moment when she was still holding the object.

(By the way, the thing she was holding was a strong, flexible toy made by Aussie Dog - I think it's probably manufactured from fire hose, but I'm not sure. We've had ours for years and it's as good as the day I bought it.)


Amber-Mae said...

Nice job Penny! Okay, my Mommy would like to give your Mom some of her advice. Hope she doesn't mind.

Hi Parlance! Melissa here...

Penny is doing a nice job there however I noticed some things that she may need to work on a little. This is just my 2 cents. She tends to chew on that object like a bone. It's very important that she doesn't chew when holding an object. Say, next time you would like to teach her to fetch your handphone. She can't be chewing on that or else, there'll be teeth marks all over it. Hehe! So all you have to do is to hold her mouth firmly but not so hard & ask her to do the same thing. Ask her to "hold" just for a second long & then click & reward. The moment she starts chewing, correct her softly by saying "No." Just keep doing this everyday & she will eventually get it. It's important that she's corrected now since she's still in the learning stage of holding. And the 2nd thing is, when you click, she's not supposed to drop the object. Clicking is not a releasing sound/command. When you click & she drops it, don't reward or praise. Just ask her to hold it again & then click whilst praising but she can only drop it when you tell her so like, "Okay, good girl!" For me, my release commands are sometimes "okay" or "exercise finish." And one more thing is, try teaching her to put it in your hand. Not dropping it on the floor. I used to tell Amber to put drop her ball on the floor when later I realized how hard it was to get her to hold her ball in her mouth & then sit in front of me & then put it in my hand. Amber's OB teacher was not very impressed so I stopped allowing her to do that. Nowadays, she sits in front me & gives it to me. The moment she drops it on the floor, I ask her to pick it up again. So that's mainly the three small things she may need to work on but otherwise, she's doing quite fine. Atleast, she is holding it. Hehe!

Keep up the good work! Can't wait to see what else Penny can do.

Butt wiggles,
Solid Gold Dancer

parlance said...

Amber-Mae, thanks for the help. I consider myself very lucky to have stumbled across your blog so many months ago. I have learned heaps from you.

Regarding the click not being the release, thanks for reminding me! At the K9 Kompany Cindy always reminds us that 'Yess!' is not the release and that we need a release - I use 'okay', but seeing I'm not so good at training I tend to be inconsistent.

I'm going to print out this advice you've given me and actually have it beside me as we practise.