a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Zorro Takes His Own Weight

Sunday, November 01, 2020

Zorro Takes His Own Weight

SUMMARY: Well--Human Mom still has to read the display.
From Facebook on 10/31/20

To weigh any of my dogs--35 pounds to 60--I have always first weighed myself, then stood on the scales holding the dog. In the last half dozen years, my back has disagreed with that strategy. So they mostly go unweighed. And how can a dog survive without knowing his own weight?!

It occurred to me a year or so ago [doh!] that dogs should be perfectly capable of weighing themselves. And that I know how to train dogs. And so I should teach them to do it. All I needed was: internal motivation. I found it a bit at a time over a year or more.

I had trouble getting them to put all 4 feet onto the scales. It was plenty large enough, so I decided that the problem was that it wasn’t high enough for them to consider it to be really “up”. So I started Chip and Zorro getting onto a small stool for the clearer elevation change, And if they could stand on that tiny surface, they should be able to stand on almost anything. I did not pursue this doggedly (heh). But Zorro loved it (treats) and after a while would pop right up with all 4 feet given half a chance even if I didn’t ask him to. Video from February this year, our first day of stool work: 

So I switched back to the scales. Which is much wider than the tiny stool. But it is also a little slippery. 

I signed up for Circus class in Sept./Oct. this year, and I used that as motivation to focus on getting him to “take your weight“ (all 4 feet on without luring or assistance). Then I needed him to get on straight (facing the display) and not touch the buttons to change the display, and stand or sit completely and calmly still so I could get a measurement. This week, finally!  Reliable enough to actually take his weight. I am a very happy Human Mom.

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