Monday, April 19, 2010

Adventures in Leave it + watch Me

I realized this is the perfect game for Fozzie. Tonight, we worked on it in the back yard with his second favorite thing, a stick. He has already learned that he needs to sit before I do anything he enjoys, so he sat as I lifted a stick above his head, said Leave It, then seductively, slowly, waved it in front of his face. He stared at the stick, then the eyes flicked toward mine and I said Yes! and immediately threw the stick. He got it, came right back and we played again, and this time his eyes went toward mine almost immediately.

I am amazed at how quickly he learned that the eye flick was what I was rewarding! I have always had difficulty with Watch Me, but I was practicing with Lamar--a far less biddable dog, and one who has fear of trying things to boot.

On our walk this evening, Fozzie demonstrated that he'll need more work before he'll listen to Leave It when he's doing his first favorite thing--playing leash tug of war when he gets stimulated. There was no Leaving It once he got into that leash tug, while we were on a busier street and I was stopping to talk to everyone who admired him and asked about adopting him. After those episodes though, we did get to a quiet street where he started to go for his leash, then responded to Leave It! Victory!

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