Friday, October 11, 2013

old dog, new trick

When Bunny and I got together Jethro had just exited his puppy stage, and was pretty much trained. Oh, he still doesn't heel as perfectly as I'd like him to, but he can do all the basics and he's got his obedience down. I still remember Bunny showing off the first night we spent together making Jethro run around in circles and sit up and lay down over and over again on command.

So I never really got to teach the little guy anything. And at this point, he's well into his middle age. But there's one thing our very well behaved dog doesn't do that I'd always wanted to see: balance a treat on his nose. Clearly it was time for me to set out teaching him how to do that.

It took about a week to learn the basic, and now after a month of practice this dog has it down. He can leave the treat on his nose for a full minute. When I'm not watching him, even. I can leave the room and he'll do his trick. The hardest part was actually coming up with a command (we use "hold" for the verbal command, and a single raised finger for the hand signal).

he can even pose for pictures!

Just in the past week he's started to really get the best part of the trick down, the bit that's just too cute for words ... getting the treat right in his mouth when I release him. Mostly he'd just been flicking his head backwards and sending the treat flying which has the added benefit of letting me get to it first if he hadn't held the pose long enough. He's started to figure out the exact motion that lets it land directly on his tongue now, which is my favourite.

He also hates this trick. I get the biggest, saddest puppy dog eyes when I make him do this, and he tries to refuse to give me his nose when I'm setting him up for it.

see the stink eye? well ok it's just the flash, but he hates this

It's also just gratuitously cute. So there's that.

No comments:

Post a Comment