When we used to go to K9 Kompany - I won't lament again the demise of that wonderful venue - Cindy was teaching Penny the command 'dig'. We would do it by hiding a treat under a towel and when Penny started to use her paws to move the towel aside to get at the treat, I'd say 'dig'.
What is the point of the 'dig' command, you might ask. Well, if I remember correctly, it's intended for film work. The dog learns to lie down and then do the 'dig' movement, and it looks as if the dog is dying. I wouldn't want to see any films where dogs die, so I guess I'll never find out whether I've remembered this correctly. But I seem to recall some movies where horses got shot and lay there moving their legs like that. (Not that I want to see dying horses in movies either, by the way!)
Our attempt at the trick wasn't all that successful, to be honest, maybe because, when we first got her and I read all the dog books, they recommended discouraging digging. So she now has to unlearn the fact that digging is not desirable.
However, when Penny went to stay with Cindy for five fun-filled days, Cindy sent us some pictures of Penny digging in a sand pit up there in Healesville, so I thought we could try the command again at the beach this morning.
And yes, she's learned to dig on command. Or has she learned to dig whenever she wants to? I guess time will tell on that one.
Here she is digging on command:
It's a rather energetic activity, as you can see from this photo: