4 Months 6 Days- Stomping a Spot

Nov 3, 2004 | Stitch's Story

I divide lunch in half. We start on the targets. Second-from-smallest target lid she remembers right away, stomping it decisively from anywhere in the room. X10. I put the little pink lid on top of it, planning on working that setup X10, but she stomps it so hard she sends the pink lid spinning across the floor, then stomps it twice before it stops. So I take the other one away and we work pink X20. Then I get a pair of scissors and cut the pink lid into two plastic coins, one 2″ across and one slightly smaller.

Bummer. I put the larger coin down and she picks it up. Tosses it around. Spits it out, catches it, chews it. I let her work on it. Eventually (fortunately before it’s totally dead) she drops it and starts searching the room for something to do, whining. Finally she comes back and accidentally touches it with a paw, c/t. OH, YEAH! Stomp. Stomp, stomp, stomp. I have a problem now. Whether she’s going to mouth it or stomp it, she approaches it with her head down. It’s so small I can’t tell whether her foot is touching it or not. I put it on the rug in the dining room and I sit 2 steps down in the parlour. That’s better, I can see it now, but me sitting below her floor unsettles her. She stands on the coin and offers me bows and a down that has her chin plastered to the coin. 20 more clicks and she’s back to clean stomping. Maybe next time I’ll put it on a semi-vertical surface.

Then we try the Get Lost game we did so poorly at several weeks ago. She’s much better at it now. She makes excellent eye contact with me standing up, and there’s no hesitation. As I turn, she turns with me. We have a problem, though. She remembers that she thinks the point of the game is to turn circles faster than I turn circles. She doesn’t think about watching me as she turns. On the good side, when she thinks she’s gone far enough, she grabs contact again. Argh.

I move close to a wall, and turn very slightly. As she starts to go around, I step into the wall, blocking her, and click when she looks up to see why I won’t let her play the game the way she knows she should be playing it. X50, and she’s still not quite watching me as she comes around, but she’s correcting herself when she goes too far. Stationary contact remains excellent.

When we reach the end of the meal, we’ve got 30% correct responses. Next time I teach this, I’ll wait for 10 seconds of good contact before I try turning.

How to stay humble about the amazing progress of your puppy. This is Stitch helping with the laundry, a job that Scuba could do in her sleep.