Dog Training Update: Teaching Lilly to Look “Guilty”
Remember my rant about the viral “guilty dog” video? Well, I promised then to try and teach Lilly to look “guilty” without feeling bad about it, including a wiggly-wag, dropping her ears, squinting, and curling her lips.
We got somewhere early on with wagging and stopping on cue, but it wasn’t a wiggle-wag … just a regular thump, thump, thump. And, I found it hard to put “stop wagging” on cue.
I’m sorry to say that I’ve failed so far for two reasons:
- These behaviors are hard to capture in regular life.
- For Lilly (at least), they are tied to emotion … so it’s hard to get them without trying to influence her emotional state (not for the better).
I found that interesting because another book from which we drew some fearful dog advice (Click to Calm) specifically recommended teaching dogs to:
- Look away
- Look down
- Lick their lips
Lilly picked up those three things easily, but we’re finding the rest of these behaviors much harder to teach.
My original plan to video tape what we have so far on these tasks failed. You see, the only time I had time to try last week, Tom and a neighbor were both using chainsaws to cut up firewood for winter.
In other words, it was @#$#@ noisy around here. So, the only thing I learned was that you simply CANNOT ask a sound-sensitive dog to work amid that much noise.
I try hard not to be a quitter, but I think I’m quitting on this task. I just don’t have the shaping skills to pull it off. Anyone else want to give it a try?