Friday, June 25, 2010


I now officially hate the bumper (see Just a Golden and Just a Golden (update))

Yesterday, I could almost see promise, but today I've decided it was just a mirage. The method of me holding/them holding is just not working. The method of them picking it off the ground might actually work, given enough time, but I'm not sure it is worth the time it appears it will take.

Tonight, after Zachary dropped the bumper on my scantly clad toe for the third time (the same toe - the second toe on the right foot - with the pointy end of the plastic bumper... ouch...) I decided to call it night.

I think it's time to take a step back and figure out where the forest went.

All I really want is for at least one of the dogs to be able to HOLD something, in their mouth, quietly, for long enough for me to take a picture of them. That's all. Really, this shouldn't be this hard to teach.

Ok... anything that requires Zachary doing something quietly is due for a rocky journey, but what's up with Beau??? Mister stoic himself?

The only thing I can think of is that they think it's rude to be holding it while I am holding it at the same time. Now both dogs will happily play tug, so I'm not sure that theory holds much water, but I'm at loss to explain it any other way.

Beau absolutely, positively will not hold the bumper if I'm holding it.


Zachary will put his mouth on it, and he will now try to grab it from me (I shaped that) but if I offer any resistance he lets go. He'll also pick it up and drop it in my lap (awwww.... sweet, but not what I want.)

Maybe I need to switch to another object. Perhaps I should try a tug toy instead....


At this point, I'm at a total loss.

1 comment:

Wendy Krehbiel said...

I have to confess - I spent months trying to "shape" a hold with Zack. Finally resorted to putting toy in his mouth (physically, but he wasn't hating it), closing his mouth and telling him to "stay". He had a strong understanding that stay meant not move a muscle no matter the position. It clicked and we had it. For ren, I spent a while doing what you were doing - practicing in a room he wasn't allowed in regularly. At one point he "snuck" into the room and I came in to catch him "holding" the dumbbell. Luckily had treats and it seemed to click from there. Both boys had weird, random "ah-ah" moments that were not as planned and training from there was easy. I suggest just changing things up and trying to find what "clicks" for your boys - instead of a strict plan...