20 November 2009

Training dogs to do tricks for no better reason that because I am so very, easily amused.

So the last couple weeks, when I go out to where I practice with the dogs, pretty much all we do are a bunch of tricks. Because it is just too funny teaching everybody tricks right now. If you want to crack up for no good reason, get out a clicker and some dog treats and a bucket and see what you can do. We've been doing hybrid circus agility because I stick a bucket and a dog bed and a block of wood out there and agility is way funnier when someone has to go from the dogwalk to their bed to spin around a bucket and then over some jumps.

I think have a really short attention span. Or an off sense of humor. Or I need a more exciting life. But right now, this is far more amusing than going to a 6am cross fit class. Which was what I thought I was going to try last week and get all ripped and buffed and instead, I'm throwing little bits of cheese at dogs for acting like maniacs. So much for eliminating the donut gut.

Today, the funniest trick dujour was sending Otterpop out to an upside down bucket, she pops her front front feet on top and spins around in circles, hopping her back feet like some kind of weird, rabid bunny. Like the Donnie Darko bunny but shrunken and barking frantically.

I'm teaching her to do this right now with her back feet on the bucket, and front feet rabid bunny hopping, but she's still on a little low block of wood. Maybe will have a therapeutic pilates effect on her crappy leg? I think what cracks me up so much is how hysterical she is to get the right thing, and the bizarre things she tries. I believe nutty trying out of stuff is called shaping. I just stand there and click when she does the masterful thing I have envisioned in my mind. Rabid bunny of Satan. Although I think she knows when she gets it most right because I laugh the hardest. With you, Otterpop, not at you.

Ruby's bucket trick is smashing her feet on it like she's playing a drum. A really LOUD drum. Like Ruby is Lars from Metallica. SMASH SMASH SMASH and if I don't click when she thinks I should click then she grabs the bucket in her teeth and flings it around. Actually, Ruby IS Lars from Metallica. I need to teach her to do this in a hotel room and then throw the tv out the window. We might have the most E's in Agiliteeee, but our E's go up to 11.

Gustavo's bucket trick is very cute. He is learning to lean on it with his arms and lay his head down on his feet. Like he is saying a prayer. I would like to point out, not one to assassinate Obama. Geez, weirdo conservative ultra prayers and their bumper stickers. I just learned this one today. Psalm 109:8 is like secret Christian code for presidential assassination? Holy smokes, the drama. You are all safe to buy t-shirts from where I sell them on cafepress and no one will support Obama assassinating there now. Gustavo will pray to the baby Jesus that this trend continues. Everyone is fine. And Gustavo is working very, very hard to make this happen.

I'm really not a very great trick trainer. We don't always finish the trick. I move on to something else. Attention span. I'm sloppy. I show a great amount of emotion because I laugh and I encourage and the most scientific I get with my learning theory is wondering if Gustavo can stay balanced on that bucket long enough for me to lead all the way out to those weave poles over there. I just like doing it.


patti said...

I taught my dog to sit, but you can't tell because his legs are too short.

Elf said...

Me, too, short attention span. OK, Tika sort of kind of is doing something like the behavior I had in mind. Time to try something else that I have no clue what to do about. I'm pretty sure our Es don't go up to 11, so you definitely have the loudest Es.