Thursday, April 20, 2006

Always Make Sure Your Dog's Brain Cells Are Intact

Jake has never been the brightest pixel in the doggie display. It sometimes makes for challenging training. For one thing, he's perfectly content to wait for a thousand hours for you to tell him what to do rather than experimenting on his own, which makes shaping a hard thing to do with him. Actually makes training him to do ANYthing hard. I don't know how we ever managed to do agility. Actually someone else taught him most of what he knows.

I fixed his tunnel inconsistencies by putting a tunnel in our driveway and doing 50,000 tunnel commands with a tennis ball at the end.

So I'm trying (for the 2nd time) to work with him with a vibrating collar. What I want is something that will get the largely deaf dog to look at me when he's trotting off across a field and not looking back. He's wearing the collar. I started by just vibrate, treat, vibrate, treat, vibrate, treat, about 40 or 50 times. You'd think that then, when he looked away, and then I hit the vibrate button, he'd look at me to get his goodie. But no. Nuthin' at all. No reaction. Oblivious.

I did manage to catch him a couple of times looking away from me, and did the vibrate, and he looked at me (I think sheer coincidence) and he got a treat. Now he has apparently figured out that, if I have the control and dog goodies, he's likely to get treats. So for the last 25 minutes I've been sitting here at my desk, typing, trying to ignore him, and he's lying there, staring at me. I can't test the vibrate-look-at-me thing, because he's ALREADY looking at me. Every time I carefully peer over my shoulder, there he is, staring at me.

Wait! Ha! Got him! He was starting to doze off. Vibrate. Pops eyes open and of course he's already got his head pointed at me. Cookies! If I do this too often, though, he'll NEVER dare go to sleep in case he might miss some doggie junk food.

Dang dog.

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