Tricks Challenge 2011 – Update #1

In February, Bear and I started our own personal tricks challenge.

We have been hard at work here learning new stuff. By working hard, I mean working smart. I am a big believer in working for frequent, short periods instead of one long session because I find short sessions are more fun for both of us! If you are like me and have perfectionist tendencies, you are always tempted to try it “just one more time” and sometimes you do it “just one more time” 20 more times and end up becoming frustrated! Our regular routine has been that Bear comes to work Monday and Tuesday and earns his breakfast throughout the day. The rest of the week, he works at home for his dinner throughout the evening as I take a break from paper work, writing or TV shows.

The wonderful side effect of all this work is less:

  • stealing laundry from the basket (or anything else) and showing us so we can chase him down,
  • chasing of the kitties
  • trying to dig in the litter box for “treats”
  • less staring out the window and consequently, less barking at the window

What I AM seeing more of is this….

Lots of this…

And plenty of this…accompanied by snoring and Bear doesn’t EVER snore!

Since last time, we have learned 7 more tricks and you can see them below…someday I’ll have a super duper camera and video will be of better quality…

Most of these tricks build on behaviors Bear knows if it involves his head, his chin or his feet, this dog can do it! What is becoming apparent to me is that holding things in his mouth is not a natural behavior for Bear so we are going to have to work very hard on the retrieving of the newspaper, the phone, the remote and the keys.

I have received a couple of props from you folks out there but there are a few left…if you see any of these things around town on sale, let me know! If you have any of them in your garage collecting dust I’d be glad to take them off your hands in exchange for a discount on your next daycare visit or pass purchase (depending on the size/value of the item). These items will be used to teach Bear tricks but they will stay here at the daycare and also be used to demonstrate how to train tricks to others.

  • Skateboard
  • Bike horn
  • Carpet Runner (Doesn’t have to be anything special – just long!) Thanks Donna!
  • Barrel
  • Toy dog on wheels
  • Old TV Remote
  • Keyboard/Toy Piano
  • Wagon
  • Mailbox (the kind you see in rural areas out on the road)
  • Basketball Net (child sized)
  • Step Garbage Can (any size)
  • Toy Box/Storage bin (just needs a lid on a hinge)
  • Cordless phone Thanks Donna!
  • Beach/Sand Pails (need 3 that are 6-8 inches wide at the brim)

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