Trick Progress

In a previous post I talked about Sandy & I’s current trick – walking through my legs and standing on my feet. We’ve made some nice progress and she’s targeting my actual foot now as I fade the physical targets. She’s much more focused, calm, and not adding in a bow from which I conclude she’s targeting with purpose as opposed to guessing, which you can see more of in the first video from the previous post. Our next step is getting both paws at the same time.

I always start this trick with my feet way too far apart, thinking my feet are so close together when in fact it’s quite a stretch for Sandy to reach both my feet at that distance. In order to get her to balance on both my feet I’m going to need to move my feet closer than I perceive is close. Maybe I’ll be a training nerd and measure the distance between them!!

Trick fun!

Sandy loves learning tricks, she especially loves doing things with her paws

What dog trainers do when they find basketballs on the road.

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So I figured we’d work on the trick lots of trainers do – walk through my legs & target paws to my feet.

To my surprise, she struggled with this, specifically using both paws at the same time. I conferred with my excellent trick-training friends: Julie of Cat School and Lauren of Lauren’s Leash for some ideas.

(Here’s a photo of Lauren doing this trick with her dog Grayson when I visited them in NYC!)

Through discussion with them, I got Sandy targeting two yogurt lids side by side, then moved them to between my legs. Eventually I will get them further and further apart, but not until it’s clear she is targeting them simultaneously. The video below is our latest progress. She’s also added in a superstitious behaviour – can you see it in the video below?