Okay – we are finally back on track with Project 52 Weeks. Dan’s getting better at “hold it” all the time. We ended up using the words “take it” with a “stay” cue for now, because he already understood the “stay”. But later I am going to transition to “hold it” with the meaning of “take” and “stay”. I found that the type of object we practiced with really matters. Soft, small objects (like a tennis ball) are easier for him to hold for longer periods of time. So, we have started with those types of things and will continue to practice holding different textured, weighted, and shaped objects.
The next trick we will work on is “Pull” – this will be pulling on a rope or towel in order to open a drawer or door.
Here are the shaping steps:
- Take your rope/towel by itself first – don’t attach to a door yet.
- Hold it near your dog and click/treat for any interaction with the object.
- Hold it near your dog and click/treat for mouthing or biting the object.
- Hold it near your dog and when he bits it, tug slightly and then click/treat.
- Now let him be the one to tug on the object to earn a click/treat.
- Next attach the rope/towel to a door. Take your dog near the door and hang out. When he pulls a little, click/treat.
- Next wait for him to pull increasingly harder to earn a click/treat. Work up to enough strength in the pull to open the door. Drawers are likely to be more difficult, especially if they are full – We are going to start with doors and then try drawers.
- When he can open the door/drawer all the way, add the cue “pull” or “open”.
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