17 Weeks 4 Days- Toenails and Retrieving Pile

Nov 8, 2004 | Stitch's Story

Very good breakfast. First we go to the grooming table and practise Sit and Paws Up X10. No problem. When I grab her elbows to lift her up, she stays standing calmly with her paws on my knees. On the table we practise Stand, Sit, Down, Sore Paw, Princess Paw, and show stacking. She can’t quite remember the cues for the tricks, but everything else is excellent.

Then I lay her down on her side. I do this manually. Up to now, she’s been fussing a bit before she realizes I’m trying to lay her down, but this time she just rolls down and stays down. X10 for Head Down, great. Then I pick up the nail clippers and do her nails. 16 nails, 16 clicks. Ee hah I can cut her nails! I know, I did it before, but this is without a lot of puppy fussing, talking her into it, etc, I just lay her down and cut her nails. I’m thrilled.

Then we go to the parlour and I dump out her retrieve bucket. I add one more thing – a gardening kneepad. She brings everything back, the kneepad last. I start something new – it still takes two or three clicks before any particular item gets from the pile to me but now, when I pick the item up, I put it back in the bucket and give her a kibble. After the third one, she watches me put each thing in the bucket and waits for the kibble. I think it helps. Her holds are getting longer and longer, the items are getting back to me more smoothly. Another new thing – I only click if she’s facing me with the item in her mouth. Next time, I hope I can click only if the item is in her mouth and she’s walking toward me.

I approached Scuba from the other direction – a little bit of how-to-bring-it and a lot of how-to-hold-it. That was a totally successful way to teach the retrieve. I’m just doing Stitch another way to see if it’s as successful. So far, I’m happy with it.

Finally, I get out her touch spot. She’s really into it. We work it X20, she’s thoroughly stomping both front feet onto it no matter where I put it. So I get some duct tape (the Trainer’s Friend) and tape it to the upright part of the couch about 3″ off the floor. She can’t find it. I have to get the second spot and lead her across the floor and up to it. This is a little tougher than I anticipated. X30 to get her from the floor to the vertical surface and offering to hit it without me drawing her attention to it each time.

Her retrieve pile – collar; dumbbells in wood, leather, metal; nail clippers, 4 clickers and a bug clicker, pen, felt pen, hairbrush, roll of dimes, toothbrush, scissors, Flexi, book of matches, bracelet, harness ring, tennis ball, roll of VetWrap, toy head, knee pad.

The red circle stuck on the couch is her vertical paw target.