I’m excited to share today two new tricks that Luke has learned since our last post! It’s been a few months since I first taught him “spin” and I decided I wanted him to spin the opposite way, even though I knew it was going to be challenging. Luke is apparently “right pawed” or whatever the official word is, so getting him to go to the left was not easy. We saw another blog share that they used the word “twirl” for the reverse spin, and decided to use that (sorry I can’t remember who shared that now! – let me know in the comments if it was you so I can give you credit).
Once again, our handy Clik Stik* was the tool that really helped us along. It did take some time, and even though it still needs practice, we’re getting there!
The second thing I wanted to teach Luke was to carry something for me. I had this crazy idea that I could get him to help me by carrying the plastic cup that I always have with me for water around the house. I’m usually juggling several things in the morning when getting up and going downstairs, so I thought I could get him to carry my empty water cup.
As with many other things, it didn’t go as planned. He had trouble picking up the cup at times, and then once when he dropped it on the tile floor it startled him, so that set us back a bit too. I saw a video online with a dog using a basket and decided that might be the way to go. I didn’t have any baskets with handles on them, but luckily Auntie Sheryl came through for us and gave us 3 to work with!
I started back in the beginning, using “shaping”, which means rewarding him for every new thing he would do with the basket, from looking at it until finally picking it up and carrying it. We started with the smallest one, and once he got that down we moved up. It only took a few short tries to work up to the 2nd basket, which you’ll see in the video. We didn’t have luck with the largest basket, but I think it’s because the handle kept falling over and he just couldn’t get a hold of it easily.
The biggest challenge with this trick was the same as when I trained him to pick up his toys….getting him to hold on to it and walk with it when he was prepared to drop it to get a treat. But as I moved further and further away from him, he caught on that he had to carry it all the way to me before dropping it. See how far he’s come:
I want to work with different objects for this trick, though obviously nothing breakable! I might try a water bottle before possibly trying a cup again (you could see in the video he still has trouble with the cup). We will also start working on more distance….I have already gotten him to follow me up the stairs with the small basket once! I’m also considering trying to put something inside the basket to have him carry it. We’ll keep you posted on what we try and how it works out!
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We are joining the Positive Pet Reinforcement hop this week. It begins on the first Monday of every month and runs all week long. The hop is hosted by Cascadian Nomads, Tenacious Little Terrier, and Rubicon Days. Please visit them as well as other blogs through the links below for more positive pet training tips.
Luke is doing really well with the basket – that was a good idea for getting him to carry things.
Lara Elizabeth says
You and Luke are doing so well! We use “spin” and “twirl,” although at some point I inadvertently switched them! I was watching an old video and saw that we now use the cues for the opposite direction. Sweet Ruby for keeping up with my ineptitude. I love the “bring it” trick. I would love to teach Ruby to pick up her toys.
Sometimes I get the spin and twirl confused too! But I’ve found Luke really responds much more to my hand gestures anyway, so he lets my slip ups slide. 🙂
Luke can pick up his toys and put them away too…that was a fun trick to train!
Luke is so cute carrying those baskets! I love it. His spins and twirls are really cute, too–I love how he keeps his head up so he can stare at you the whole time. I love retrieving behaviors–there’s just no limit to the cute things your dog can carry around for you. I’ve been trying to teach it off and on, because I would like Nala to learn to find and fetch my glasses for me whenever I lose them, haha. We’re a long way off from that, though!
Callie, Shadow, and Ducky's Mom says
Suddenly Ducky is terrified of the treadmill again and I’m not sure why. She was doing so well and then last weekend she freaked out – she literally jumped off of it (and into my lap) while the tread was moving. So, I’ve been
s l o w l y getting her used to stepping up on to it, sitting on it, and then stepping off of it without it moving. I don’t want to force her to get used to it again, but I do want her to get comfortable again eventually.
Oh no, poor Ducky – and you. It’s so tough sometimes when you are making such progress, and then something happens and you don’t even know why.
I’d love to get a treadmill for Luke one day, but I know it will be a big challenge for him, and there are so many other things we still need to work through!
2 Brown Dawgs says
Those are great tricks. He is doing great. With our retriever training we use fetch, hold, here or heel no matter what they are retrieving. As training progresses we drop hold. They know to hold and fetch drops off too (we would point and send on heir name for an object). We use “here” for all things when we want the dog to come to us. If walking next to us it would be “heel” whether they have something in their mouth or not. Less commands to remember for old folks. 🙂 Some of the basic/beginning retriever training principles may be helpful for carrying training.
Love watching Luke doing trick training. He looks like he’s having a great time. Good job to both of you.
BTW, maybe you need to use a water cup that has a handle on it. If you wrap a washcloth around the handle, it would be softer in Luke’s mouth.
On the other hand, that might be overkill. He’s obviously doing great with the basket handle.
Actually, that’s a good idea about a cup with a handle – I think that might work. I’ll have to see if I can find one and then keep you posted!
Good job Jan! He’s doing great.
I loved watching him try and figure out the cup. Did I see him stick his nose in it? You gotta love those labs, they sure are a lot of fun.
Thank you, Jodi! Yes, you did see him stick his nose in the cup! It is so fun to watch them try to figure things out.
Tenacious Little Terrier says
Go Luke! It’s great to see how he’s enjoying training. We have Mr. N “deliver” mail back and forth to us sometimes for entertainment purposes.
The Island Cats says
We think Luke is pretty smart to learn those tricks…even with the blooper. 🙂
Cascadian Nomads Bethany Clochard says
I like Emma’s idea about carrying boxes! My boys learned “spin” and “unwind” as one direction and the other. The nice thing about this is it means they just have to go the other way, it doesn’t matter which one they do first or last. Which is nice because besides not proofing or ever practicing this trick, I wouldn’t be able to remember which direction was which! Thanks for joining the hop this month and great job with all the work (fun!) you and Luke have done (had) together!
I love this hop because it always gives me something to shoot for – getting something done by the time the next one comes around!
I do get confused sometimes and forget which was is “spin” and which way is “twirl” – so that was a good thought on your part! I also know that Luke is following my hand direction more than the word anyway, so if I screw up I don’t think he even knows it!
It is so fun to teach them things and spend that time together. That is funny that he goes to a different trick if he is unsure what to do next. It’s like, look at me I am doing something cute so give me a treat!!
It’s really funny when he starts doing various things, and just looks at me after he does each one, wondering if that was the right one or not! Spin has become his favorite “go to” move lately, before that he’d always do the “back up”. If all else fails, he’ll try to jump up and give me a kiss! LOL
Sharon Seltzer says
My puppy Bailey just started learning to spin. You do your spin a bit different and I might see if that works better for us, but in either case my dog really enjoys are training time together.
Lauren Miller says
Good job, Luke! Those are great tricks! 😀
Forest Poodles says
This is great! He’s doing a great job with that basket! Teddy will carry things (on cue) to and from each of his humans, providing it fits in his mouth ok. I like the addition of a basket for those awkward things.
Two French Bulldogs says
Good job! Momma said we will do learning too
Lily & Edward
Sand Spring Chesapeakes says
good job mom and Luke, love the blooper!
DZ Dogs says
So much fun!!
I hope you join our flashy friday blog hop!! It’s a hop to show off a weekly trick of your own or to join our weekly trick challenge. We just did spin last week, this week is balancing something on the nose. 🙂
I am definitely interested in joining that! I’ll probably have to wait until we get moved and things settle down though. But once that happens I am definitely looking for some new things to work on with him, and that sounds like a fun challenge. I think balancing something on the nose would be a tough one for us – but something to strive for!
I love these videos. It’s so fun to see Luke in action and I really like what you mentioned about him wagging his tail and having fun. He’s so talented and I can tell he really enjoys learning new things and spending time with you while training. Go Luke!
Thank you, Elaine! We both enjoy it so much, and it really has created a special bond between us as well. It helps him with his confidence, and it’s helped me to learn more patience!
M. K. Clinton says
Wildly clapping paws! Those are terrific tricks and I thought the blooper was pretty darn impressive too! BOL!
easy rider says
ha! you probably lifted your paw to find the right paw-sition, right Luke? you tail works like a gps while spinning around… it always shows in the egg-sact direction :o)
You are quite busy with the trick training and he seems to be a dog who enjoys it for the most part. Better teach him to carry boxes next so he can help you with the move!
Now that is a great idea!! 🙂