Forgive the lack of pictures of Teddy. I'm using all my camera's memory to store the last pictures of Talos. I can't get enough of him. He'll be gone in…well, I can't even talk about it.
So let me move on, quickly, to another subject before I can't see the computer screen anymore. I've been working with our new little prodigy, Teddy, the Golden Retriever. He's now 10.5 weeks old and one smart cookie.
He knows: sit, down, touch, kennel, leave it, and just today we introduced shaping in the form of paw targeting. You don't know paw targeting? It's where the dog learns to do stuff with his feet. In Teddy's case, this will be a key skill for a service dog.
But your dog can have fun with paw targeting, too. I'll do another post all about paw targeting, I just want to talk a little bit about Teddy's training in this post.
I'm always skeptical about how much the dog knows. Teddy's been running to his crate (kennel) at mealtimes for the last two weeks. But does he really know "kennel?" Not necessarily.
Here are the clues that he didn't really know "kennel." He ran when he saw the food, not when I said "kennel." He ran to the same spot every time, regardless of whether his crate was there or not. He wasn't very good at finding his kennel if it was out of sight.
So I started working on all those different variables. For two days. And don't you know that little stinker now knows "kennel." Two days.
I can have the food in my hand and ask him to sit. And he will. I can ask him to down and he will. When I call out "kennel," he makes a bee line for the kennel!
So I moved the kennel. Let's see if the little smartie pants can get it now!
Yep! The little smartie DID get it! I said "kennel!" and he ran to where the kennel was last. Uh oh! Not there! His face was priceless!
He searched for the kennel (it was in plain sight) and when he found it, ran in, turned around and sat like a champ right there in the kennel.
Click and treat!! Yay Teddy! You'll never be as cute and lovey at Talos, but you're pretty darn smart, little guy.