Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Trick 8

Study in Brown

Dog Blog Post #244: At last, the trick you have all been waiting for...

Just kidding. But it is one of the Two Dog tricks they have been practicing. This is by far the easier of the two, as it involved a skill both dogs learned very young in life.

Now, now... I'm not cheating in my rules. See, the hard part this week (and bits of last) were to get them to do it together.

And now, without further ado, I present:

Tandem Spin

Wow, did I learn a lot about how (my) dogs think trying to teach this one. First off, the skill itself (spin) is admittedly one of the easiest ones out there. I've always taught it with luring. Have cookie, show it to dog, move arm in a big circle while the dog follows the cookie.


Now repeat a few dozen times (with the occasional break to keep the dog from getting dizzy) and you have the basics down.

One would think that to do this with two dogs requires nothing more than, well, two dogs, two cookies, and two arms.

And one would be wrong.

It seems that my boys were conditioned to only notice my right hand for this trick, even when the left has cookies. And so either both were trying to be the right hand dog (and falling over each other in the process) or only the right hand dog would spin, turning this simple trick into a strategic nightmare.

My solution (after spending way too much time thinking I could just "fix" what I had) was to go back and teach each dog to spin, again, paying attention to my left hand. At that point, I could put them together, and each would look at the hand closest to them.


On to The Daily Shoot assignment:

Who are you? Make a self portrait today and show the rest of us what you look like.

Ugh. I'm way to self-conscious for this sort of thing, and so I totally wimped out...

ds463 - Self Portrait?

... my description for it reads, "To my dogs, at least, I am a hand with cookies..."

© 2011 BZ Training - All Rights Reserved


Annieke said...

LOL! Great way to 'fix' the Daily Shoot!

houndstooth said...

I'm giggling over how hard they can make things for us sometimes! You'd think a spin was a spin. I'm glad you got it to work, though!

I rather like your Daily Shoot picture! The boys obviously see the beauty in you. :)

Ruth said...

Neat trick!