Monday, November 1, 2010

Quarter of a Century

Today it's my 25 year old birthday and it was a pretty good Monday. I started by paying the final deposit on my apartment and signed the ownership transfer. It feels a bit unreal as me and the fiancé have been living here for 11 months now. Now we're officially responsible.

I was a bit lazy with training this weekend but yesterday and today I had taken a few short sessions with Bella reinforceing the sit and lie commands. She sits like a pro most of the time but as I had mentioned, lying down isn't as natural to her. She always obeys in the end though and I can now make her lie down from a standing position. I have also been teaching her to stand up from the lie and sit positions.

Bella was however very kind to me -and I'd like to consider it a birthday present from her to her worried dog owner- regarding the 'take' command we've been working on. I have a chik-fil-a cow that a US friend kindly sent to me ages ago and is now an indestructible toy Bella has claimed. I asked her to take it for me and she did so I decided to reward her with food even if I had sworn not to do that for a while. She got excited about the food and I decided to lie down in the sofa and dangle the toy a bit. She wasn't going to bite first but then she took the cow twice. Like the proud owner I am I got super excited, praised her and gave her more food. Then I was going to call it a day and let the toy on the floor. Bella wasn't quite content and did what I hadn't managed with the clicker alone, went and tried to figure out what I wanted her to do with it! She picked it up! yay! I got even more excited and gave her more food and put it again on the floor which triggered the same fumbling which resulted in her taking it again. Not once but twice? woohoo!
Looks like the mix of play and treats is paying off. We're both learning to tune ourselves to the same wavelength, it's exciting!

The interesting thing is that I have been using dog food as treats lately. We are mixing two foods as we plan to change feed and I'm intrigued with the idea of giving the dog its food as treats and making it work for its dinner. So she gets the new feed as treats and old food as meals. She's really keen on the dog food as treats, although I still use hot dogs as a point of interest around other dogs!

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