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Weekly Training Update (Nov 20)

Wow! What a roller coaster of a week this has been. Suffice it to say that all emotional extremes have now be exhausted, which is indeed exhausting. So, I only have a couple little training notes to share about our  CLEAN UP trick work.

Somehow, I’d forgotten that Lilly needs more mental work in the winter than at other times. It has been quite cold, and I have been quite busy, so she needs time to think and work and be rewarded even more.

In fact, on that subject, please check out my latest piece for HealthyPet. It’s called Making Dogs Think: 5 Great Ways to Engage the Canine Mind.

So, we’ve started playing and doing tricks while I make dinner. (Hey, a girl needs to be efficient with her time.) I pull a bunch of toys out of the basket and scatter them around the kitchen, then I ask Lilly to put them away.

We’ve had some trouble because I’m letting Ginko mill around too. Normally, when Lilly is learning something new, he needs to be out of the room. Now that she knows this trick, I figure he can be loose. So, between him trying to steal the toys, steal her treats, and generally getting in the way, we’ve had some funny CLEAN UP sessions.

Laughing amid everything is good.

Then, last night, Lilly made up a new game. I’m not sure what to call it, but she decided it was MORE fun to pick up the toys, jump up onto one of the kitchen chairs and sit there smiling with the toy in her mouth.

Clearly, I was NOT clicking for that behavior, but she did it again and again. Silly!

She also decided it was hilarious to pull toys out of the basket, instead of putting them in.

I am VERY tempted to teach that as well and call it MAKE A MESS. It’s probably a terrible idea because that’s not a behavior I want her throwing at me just for fun, but how much would you laugh if I told her MAKE A MESS and let her be a wild monkey with her toys, THEN asked her to CLEAN UP and put them all back.

Good party trick? Maybe so.

***
Poga NEWS!

I posted the update on Adopt Poga Social Media Blitz, and I fed the news into our Twitter feed, but just in case you haven’t heard, Poga got adopted last night. She was noted as being “on hold” Thursday afternoon, then by about 7 pm, her photo had been pulled from the humane society site. That, we assume, means she was adopted.

I haven’t heard anything, so there is no way to know if the attention we got for her this week is the reason she was finally adopted, but I’m and going to assume so.

I could NOT be happier.

Roxanne Hawn

Trained as a traditional journalist and based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA, I'm a full-time freelance writer for magazines, websites, and private clients. My areas of specialty include everything in the lifestyles arena, including health and home, personal finance and other consumer interests, relationships and trends, people and business profiles ... and, of course, all things pet related. I don't just love dogs. I need them in my life. Seriously.

Meredith Resnick - November 21, 2009

I love how you mention that in colder months Lilly needs more mental work because it is more proof of the “realness” and depth of our pets. They are affected by the elements, the season, their moods, our moods. Does that make sense? It does to me.

Maery - November 20, 2009

What a funny girl! Isn’t it great the way dogs entertain us? It makes it hard to be rigid with training when what they do is so darn funny.

I printed out your article to read. Since we’ve lost so much daylight, I’ve been struggling with how to run off Java’s energy in the evening. I wish there were indoor gymns for dogs that you could buy memberships in. One of my friends suggested a head lamp to walk at night but that’s still kind of spooky on our unlit roads.

Dog-geek - November 20, 2009

Awesome news about Poga! I wish her the bestest happy-ever-after!

And I so totally vote for teaching the command “make a mess.” I’m sitting here giggling just thinking about it. Do it! Do it!

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