Thursday, December 30, 2010

Trick of the Week

Dog Blog Post #186: I've decided to "challenge" myself and my boys to teach/learn one new trick each week. The tricks don't need to be fancy or hard, just something uniquely cueable and not already known by at least one of the dogs.

Since Henry is still a babe, the early tricks will probably be ridiculously easy (shake, high-five, jump over a pole... etc.) but as I need to come up with 52 of them, they will undoubtedly get harder as the year progresses and I run out of easy things to teach.

While I will probably list the trick to be taught on the Weekly Worksheet, I reserve the right to change my mind as to what we will be working on, as you just never know what will prove easy and what... won't. (sigh)

(We won't discuss how long (calendar time) it took to get Zachary to Push a Cabinet Door Closed... but the units were in months, although when he finally figured it out it took just a few sessions. I think Beau learned it all in one afternoon. It also took him forever to learn to push the "Easy" button, while my son (who never teaches anyone anything) taught Beau to do it in 5 minutes. Of course, Zachary learned to Unload the Drier in a month, but Beau was challenged to simply put a rag in a basket. And we aren't even going to mention how long it took Zachary to look at me for Ten Seconds. Double Sigh.)

Anyway, I threw together a list of tricks from my Just For Fun pages plus Susan Garrett's Ideas List for Shaping plus a few thoughts that just popped into my head, then created a Trick of the Week page over on BZDogs so I could easily add additional things as I think of them.

Feel free to pop over and take a look. Feel even freer to offer up additional suggestions here!


    Crystal (Thompson) Barrera said...

    Oh, man. When I post my 2011 goals, I'm going to look like a slacker: I was planning one one trick PER MONTH.

    BZ Dogs said...

    I figured if I was going to go down in flames on a goal, I should do it with style! One a month is probably much more realistic, but if I make the tricks small enough, or break big ones down into small enough parts, it might be possible... maybe...

    Crystal (Thompson) Barrera said...

    Hahaha- you go, you stylish trainer, you!

    Seriously, though, you probably can break a lot of tricks down into small pieces: teaching rollover, for example, could also include lie flat on your side and lie on your back. Lying on your back could include both lying still (dead dog), and then a sudden movement (twitch!).

    It also depends on how well you train the tricks. At a trick a week, I would not expect them to be on reliable cue, much less under stimulus control, which I am hoping to do with my trick a month (although we'll see- I have NOTHING under stimulus control right now).

    houndstooth said...

    Ha ha ha! I'm going to enjoy watching you do this! I know there's no way I'd be able to teach a trick a week, although I think Morgan could learn one if we were both motivated enough to work on it! Good luck!

    greygirl25 said...

    I'm so impressed. I just ask my gang to make me laugh every day.

    Looking forward to your progress.

    BZ Dogs said...

    My boys might well get a laugh out of my efforts, we'll see. As a trial I tried to teach Henry to shake tonight and he just turned sit-n-stare to max and wagged his tail.

    Not a good sign.