Friday, June 7, 2013

Thank you junk mail

For a couple of days I have been trying to teach Ice push (opening and closing doors, cabinets, etc by using his nose to push them in the direction needed).  We weren't getting anywhere.

I first tried with the push board (a clear piece of plastic with holes cut into it).  He would just stare at it.  Eventually he would touch it but when I would put it near a door or cabinet he wouldn't go anywhere near it.

Then I tried sitting on the other side of a partially closed door and calling him towards me.   He would just sit on the other side of the door and whine then eventually body slam his whole body into it.  Or he would be wagging his tail so much it would hit the door and open it.  Neither of which is a "push".

I tried the door approach this morning and ended up with a very frustrated puppy, Serena getting frustrated that no matter how many times she tried to push the door the other way I would ignore her and focus on the puppy, and a very frustrated me.  This wasn't working.  I thought about it and figured I would try just target training, where all Ice has to do it touch his nose to something and he gets a treat.  I wanted something that is somewhat sturdy but could be taped to doors and cabinets.  Thank you junk mail...


What a handy little flyer!  Within 5 minutes I could hold the flyer anywhere and Ice would run over and put his nose to it.  I then taped it to a cabinet and TA-DA! he started pushing.  He then got really into it and liked hearing the cabinet slam and would try to close it with his paws.  This is a big no-no.  We don't want dogs pushing with their paws as they could scratch and damage things that way.  I walked a fine line today with correcting the paw slamming but  rewarding the nose pushing.  Here is a video of Ice pushing.  The paw touching the cabinet at the end isn't ideal but we can work on that tomorrow!


video

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