Ray is two lessons into a four lesson Summer School program, where the focus is on play during times when outside is not practical. His activities to date have focused on three areas. Scenting, touching, and picking up!
How’s our boy doing? Well he seems to be everybody’s favorite, because of his chill out position with his front paws crossed. He settled in really well, partly because whereas three other dogs were enrolled, only two showed up and they were both a lot younger than Ray. It also helped that he remembered the trainer from his B.A.T. program.
The scenting was fascinating to watch as he had to pick a correct container (food inside) out of three, and those three changed position regularly. He also needed to not attack the containers! The latter expectation was going to be a potential challenge… and it was, but he’s getting there!
We had to reduce him to two containers to get him started, and at first we thought he was doing so well. When we thought about it a bit more, we realized that he was simply meeting the 50/50 expectations of getting it right. He was guessing! He did eventually catch on to the routine, by us giving him closed hands to choose from. If he picked correctly he got a treat**. We then told him to sit, and then he got the treat. It was not long before he would go directly to the “treat” fist, and then go into a sit…. and wait!
His homework is to get him up to speed with five containers!
His touching is pretty good, but we have always encouraged that, and picking up an object is not real problem. However Ray, in his own special way, will control the games. If the incentives are not to his liking, then he will not cooperate. If the treats are of borderline interest, but there is distraction in the room, then forget the game!
Given Ray’s obvious aversion to hot and humid conditions, and given the chemicals used on the sidewalks over a winter period, having some way of tiring him under those conditions is invaluable.
** clicker was used throughout.