Saturday, January 17, 2009

21. Other Tug-based Tasks

Removing Socks, Gloves and Other Clothing

Make the object easier to take by pulling it off your body. Allow your dog to experiment to find out where you are under that material. Use a yelp if she makes tooth contact to show her that you are under there! To avoid potential injury, (especially if you have circulation issues with extremities or have a hard-mouthed dog), place the clothing on a dummy hand, foot etc (using a rubber or wooden stick covered with a sock for example) and c/t for only gentle takes. Ask another person your dog knows well to practice this a few times to test how gentle she is or use your hand in the sock to practice before trying your with your foot.

Target the object (sock, or rope) with your finger or target stick and cue your dog to tug. Next slowly decrease the amount of sock material extended.

For longer tugs such as needed for pulling a laundry basket, try using a series of shorter tugs and ask for two tugs before c/t, then three etc. With practice, your dog will be able to pull it quite a long distance. If he gets frustrated or quits, you are asking for too much too soon.

You can apply these skills to any pull-related tasks or combine them into chains for a more complex behavior.

Pulling up the Blankets

How would you shape your dog to pull a blanket up and over you?
Here's a start, you fill in the dots!

Blanket folded in pleats on the floor
Move blanket to foot of bed.
Blanket pulled up to your chin on a bed, chair or couch

1 comment:

  1. Question: My dog has learned many tasks, but they are all motion things. Do you have ideas for how to get her interested in more stationary activities like tugging a sock?

    Here's an idea how to make the sock pull into motion, then shape it back to no motion.

    Tie a 3 foot rope on the end and swing the rope
    around to add motion. That should catch her attention. C/t for chasing it, then grabbing it. Give that a cue when she is consistently grabbing it 8/10 times.
    Using tiny steps for your criteria, shorten the rope inch by inch which will decrease the freedom of movement until you can remove the
    string and place the sock loosely over your hand and go from there.

    Periodically, lengthen it back a little to keep her excitement. Once you get to this point, you can wiggle to sock to get her interest. Then when its of your foot, wiggle your toes.

    If your dog is a grabby/mouthy kind of dog, you will want to shape your dog's interaction with the sock (selecting for less and less grabbing vigour) until she is being careful not to hurt your hand before you try your foot.

    Hope that helps!


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