Saturday, October 17, 2009

Current Tricks in progress

Mika and Wall-e have both been learning to back up onto a book. I've tried teaching this to Wall-e before without much success (he would back up until the back of his hind legs touched the book, then stop). Then I read the Clean Run article ("Tricks for Agility" I think, by Sassie Joiris) in the October 2009 issue and it helped a lot.

I tried it with Wall-e first and after 5 minutes he could back up and step onto the book about half the time (the other half he would miss and back up over it without stepping on it).

Mika actually did incredible with shaping this trick. She's not a thinker and gets "stuck" easily (when she doesn't know what to do she'll lie down or sit and stare at me). But she only got stuck ONCE in this 5-minute session! By the end of the 5 minutes she was backing up onto the book every time. She barked through the entire 5 minutes, hahaha!

Another trick I've been teaching them both is weaving between my legs while I'm walking (harder for me than the dogs, especially since Mika want to zoom as fast as she can!). At this point Mika can weave through my legs as I take two steps...if she can concentrate on the trick while still barking her head off, that is! :) This dog is crazy, but I LOVE it. Wall-e's learning this trick too. He can go through my legs when I take one step. (I started teaching Mika this trick before I got Wall-e, but never finished.)

They've also both learned how to run around a barrel. I didn't even have to teach them -- with Mika I just pointed to the barrel and said "Gogogogogo" (a general cue for just about anything that involved running) and she raced around it. Then I increased my distance from the barrel. And Wall-e? He learned by watching Mika, and I could send him around the barrel at a distance right away! They can both send to it from 20 feet now.

So much fun teaching tricks. We'll be doing a lot more in the winter during the 5 months of no agility.



  1. Your trick training sounds really good! I love to learn tricks - I get lots of treats for doing them!

    Thanks for your nice comments on my blog too! So I guess it may take a LONG time working with the hoop to create muscle memory for the running DW. I just didn't have any idea how many repetitions it might take. I hope you take some video of Wall-e's training so we can see how you do it!

  2. Thanks Ricky!

    It's different for every dog, so it might not take as long for Ricky :) Amazing how much dogs learn differently!


  3. Ring around the barrel. That sounds like a fun trick.

    Essex & Deacon