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Tricks for living

I was working on the take-the-toy-dog-for-walk trick again today. Its been years of getting use to the rolling sound the "dog" makes when it moves. Plus the concept of not just picking up the leash but pulling it and then pulling it so the "dog" moves and then theres that sound its wheels make and the bells and finally Stel is getting it. I had abandoned it for a long time.
That Stel can make things happen herself has been slow for her accept. She never liked the sound of slamming cupboards or doors but eventually she will do it with a lot of coaxing and only the tinyest bit of gusto. This morning the husband brought me coffee bedside while i was still asleep (ive been oversleeping since i had the flu) and closed the bedroom door and when i woke up the coffee was cold and i could hear Stel chewing her toy right outside it... Her morning ritual of saying good morning to me all topsyturvy. I could hear her worry in the toy chewing and i told her to bang it--never would have ever have occurred to her to try to open the door herself--and it took her awhile with a lot of encouragement and specifically telling her to use her paw... And she was so thrilled to open the door and burst in to say good morning!!!
Anyhow This afternoon i came across this in Kathy Sdao's book Plenty In Life Is Free and thought its good to share:

We can allow our dogs to perform their best trick of all--cracking open our too-defended human hearts--without sacrificing any of our training goals.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 17th, 2013 01:29 am (UTC)
nwwwahhh isn't she sweet? How funny that she doesn't like to be rough?! Darling Stella. It really makes you think about adjusting things to the dog's temperament doesn't it? That is what I took from your post. There are some things that always going to challenge them.

Lovely post, thanks
Jan. 17th, 2013 09:40 pm (UTC)
i wonder if her boldness and initiative would have been stronger if I'd known about shaping when she was a puppy... her early experiences were all about obedience
Jan. 18th, 2013 10:30 pm (UTC)
I think the boldness or lack of boldness has to do with temperament. Matilda also would not push a door open. If I'm in a room and close the door to just a crack, she'll stand outside until I invite her in. Joey on the other hand thinks nothing of pushing doors, scratching at doors. I must say Matilda is learning. If I go out in the back yard with Joey and close the door, but it doesn't catch, she has now a few times pushed it open to come outside to join us. So I guess it can be learned.

But Stella has plenty of initiative, don't you think?
Jan. 19th, 2013 12:38 am (UTC)
ahhhhk! I hope they don't start pushing open the door in CT!!!
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )