Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Grab The Pole Trick Part 1

I've seen a few people train their dogs to do this and I thought it was pretty cute! The goal is to get the dog to wrap their leg around the pole and hold it upright against their body. Here's our attempt at the trick:

I really had fun teaching the dogs this trick! It took a few sessions for Bess to really understand that I wanted her to nose touch the pole. We did enough of the eye contact work previously that when she's not sure what I want her to do, her fall back behavior is to bore holes into my head. Because of this, she took longer to move along with this trick than Heffner did. Heffner actually started to sort of wrap his leg around the pole after two sessions. By the third training session he was for sure doing it on purpose.

My biggest hang up with both dogs was getting them to hold the pole tighter to their bodies so that they could hold it upright fully on their own. Heffner got the closest, but Bess had a harder time with it. For her, she might have also had some difficulties because the primary leg that I was getting her to grab the pole with is the one that has the scar tissue from last year's chest laceration. I'm not entirely sure if that would play into it, but it might. So if anyone has any tips on how to get either dog to hold the pole tighter to their bodies, I would love to hear them and try them out!

Part 2 of this trick will come next week where I demonstrate some of the "practical" applications of the trick that we tried out!;0)

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