For Benjamin!

Benjamin is the 3 1/2 year old grandson of a regular Follower, who has apparently been quite taken by the movies of Ray so….. Benjamin….. this one is for you! If you watch him eating his pieces of banana, you will see how much he enjoys it!

The hand waving was because there was a wasp hanging around, no doubt hoping to get a small piece!

It is interesting that Ray avoids looking at me and the banana while I am eating, but totally focuses on the banana when I lower it. This is probably him simply responding to my habit, as he knows that there is a good chance the next piece will be for him!

If you noticed me touching my nose? It was to get Ray to make eye contact. He would avoid any direct eye contact when he moved in with us which we felt should be changed, not only so he could be comfortable in that situation, but also to assist in training. If he was not looking at you…………………!

39 thoughts on “For Benjamin!

  1. I have banana dogs too! They aren’t allowed to have any until the end, and they can’t beg. Charlie, the puppy, is working on this. But I love how you use this as an opportunity to continue to train “look” or whatever command you use. I have to do work on that a lot with Callie a lot as a former mill dog.

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    • We use every opportunity to train (and refresh training) as he quickly picks up on habits that are contrary to our original direction. Making eye contact was initially critical because Ray would not hold eye contact, which was an obvious problem with giving him instructions. He soon caught on and, on the basis of reduced need, we moved on to other things. Those “banana moments” were conducive to refreshing his memory about eye contact.


  2. Ray is so well behaved now. GOOD job! Tink adored bananas as a little guy, but not so much now. He also prefers certain treats to others – and it seems to change day by day (except for chicken!) But he’s gained a pound in the last year (A LOT for a small dog), so we’re having to cut down on the calories overall.

    Going through his diet with his vet, it turns out I was over-feeding a particularly nutritionally-dense kibble. His “treats” are mostly okay – but we’re gonna’ be heavy on the veggies for a bit and laying off the fruits – with longer walks and frisbee-playtime.

    btw- your tips about getting Tink to stop barking at other dogs were right on. He’s getting MUCH better, so I owe you a big-time thank you. We’re not quite there yet, but well on the way, thanks to you. You were right about the timing of the treats. I was confusing him.

    We were early for his well-dog check last week so spent a great deal more time in the lobby than usual, with dogs coming down the stairs from the treatment rooms and in two doors (front and elevator). Even without treats he responded to “quiet dog” issued before the dogs got closer — and lay peacefully in my lap as I brushed out a few tangles while we waited for our appt. He totally ignored the cats, but most of those were in carriers. TONS of compliments from the staff.

    Happy Belated Dog Day to Ray.
    xx, mgh

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    • Great news re Tink adjusting. He has to be so much happier knowing that he does not have to scare others dogs away! I don’t know whether you know that dogs do not need treats every time they are expected to behave in a certain way. They are apparently opportunistic individuals so once the desired behavior has been grasped, you can use treats intermittently. From Tinks view of the world “I didn’t get treats this time! Oh well… I’ll probably get a treat next time!” Many humans would do well to adopt the same perspective on life! 🙂 …….. and “WOOF!” from Ray.

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      • Thanks, Colin. I wish we could read their doggy minds – as they seem to be able to read ours.

        Tink is an extremely well behaved little guy otherwise – sans treats (he’ll do a lot for love and attention). I am still working with him about the barking, both at dogs and and anyone passing by “his” front door on their way through the lobby and upstairs to their own digs. Since we are on the first floor I don’t want to eliminate a warning bark or two, but I’m trying to train cessation at “thank you.” As long as they don’t linger, talking on the landing or sitting on the steps, he’s getting pretty good now. High turnover here (college students), so there are new “strangers” every quarter.

        “Drop it” (his toys here) is taking a bit of time too. He’s got fetch and bring down pat (even by name of toy), but he still seems to think “now chase me” or “tug of war” is the next part. lol Sometimes that still takes a treat in trade.

        He does seem to understand he’s not allowed to pick things off the ground as we walk, however – a quiet no-no is all it takes and he’ll walk by even chicken bones and pizza crusts.

        We play with two frisbees – and he also understands that I won’t throw #2 until he drops #1. It takes time to train, but it is fun for me too, and SO worth it to be able to live with a happy dog that is a joy to be around.

        Thanks always for sharing your experiences with Ray.

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    • It seems a natural way of keeping Ray’s saliva, drool etc to my left hand (note I eat with my right), and partial biting a piece first allows my left hand to take it without touching the rest of the banana! It’s a little selfish in that he gets my germs/bacteria etc., but I don’t get his! 🙂

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  3. Nice to see Ray again (and you of courses… lol) thanks to Benjamin! I thought it was interesting how you both left the place synchronous although you did not get there together. I did not notice you saying something to him that made him leave.

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  4. Benjamin is ecstatic…”for me from Ray, my new best friend!” I’ve read your message to him and he said “I am a follower!” He noticed how gently that Ray takes the pieces of banana from your fingers. Thank-you for making his day so special, mine too!

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