Lilly’s New Trick: Clean Up
Allow me, please, a brag. In just a few clicker sessions, Lilly learned a new trick we call CLEAN UP. We were inspired by this video of a ridgeback putting away his toys. Lilly got the idea in just one session, but she tossed the toys into the basket with such oomph that they bounced out, which was against the rules. She caught on fast, though, and began holding the toys down with one paw, which is just about the cutest thing.
I’m thrilled to report that we overcame the issue of Lilly not generalizing the behavior from soft toys to food-delivery toys. Once I really honed in on rewarding her for interacting with a Kong, she got it in about five clicks. That’s it.
From there, she easily transferred the behavior to other non-plush items. In fact, one night when she kept missing a dirty old tennis ball because the lighting in the kitchen was low, she tried picking up her stainless steel food bowl to put in the basket. If that isn’t a solid generalization, I don’t know what is.
I shot this video below myself, while clicking and trying to give treats, so you have my apologies for the roughness of it. I gave up on treats and just clicked for the last few toys, and Lilly gives her opinion on that at the end. She also decides to play at bit at first, but that’s fine with me.
And, yes, I know I’m likely talking too much, but she is still learning toy by toy. Eventually, I hope to cue the entire CLEAN UP with just one verbal cue, but for now, I cue each one and cheerlead as necessary. As one of my early trainers said, “It’s a good thing you have a dog with a big vocabulary.”