Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Joy of Learning New Dog Tricks

Ever since I was a little, little pup, Mommy has had this thing about me learning new stuff. It makes sense, I suppose, because she was in school (learning stuff) when we first found each other, so why not get educated too. I mean, we DID get our bachelor's together, and besides...how else could I do this blog when Mommy's at work? I used to help her on projects and was even in a few of them, like the movie she did for an advertising campaign she worked on. I was very good in it, even though I was just a puppy...but I digress...
The way we/she teaches me is that she takes something I do on my own, and 'trains' me to do it on command. I am not sure if she really knows that I am training her, but whatever helps her feel good. We always have a blast working on them. She gets sooooo excited each time I do something and I get lots of praise and a little treat for it. The first photo here shows me doing my 'sneer' trick.

My newest trick (I think this will make #14) is called, "How does a car go?" My mom flips out every time I do it now...she asks me the question and, after giving the treat she is holding a good 'BOLT' stare, I make a couple of low pitch "grrrr's," just like an engine running! Mommy goes crazy with praise every time I do it, and I LOVE that!! It took me a while to train Mommy to do it right...haha, but I think we have mastered it now. I usually like to throw in another of my tricks, like a 'sneer' or a 'whisper', before I 'make the car go' but I only make her wait for a few seconds before I let loose!
She says her secret to teaching me is to make a word or action for something I do, like a sneeze, and say it or do it every time the pup does it. So every time I sneezed, she would say or do the command and give me a treat and praise. Pretty soon I would associate a good thing with me sneezing, then I would do it to 'get' the treat or praise. Some things took longer than others for me to learn, for example, the 'How does a car go?' took a long while, but patience is a wonderful thing they say. And she never made me do it or pressured me...it has always been just a fun game. That is the best way to learn I say!

I suppose I should list my skills in case anyone is curious, so here are all the tricks that Pixel Blue Eyes can do:
  1. Sit
  2. Sneer
  3. Smack (high five)
  4. Sneeze
  5. Whisper
  6. Ask (Paw on your knee)
  7. Twirl (Pirouettes galore!)
  8. How does a car go?
  9. Kiss (Dog lick on the face)
  10. Kiss (Mouth touch)
  11. Down (lay down)
  12. Catch
  13. Wait
  14. Praise the Lord (Arms go up in a full wave)
I can also take your pulse and do other nursing skills, since I am a nurse Pixel, but that is more second nature and a very important job, not just a parlor trick.
Now, does anyone have ideas for my next trick to learn? Only clean fun tricks that a 13 pound dog can do. Please leave a comment with your idea, I would love to hear it! Also, I promise to get some videos up soon...if Mommy can only find where she put them..

2 comments:

  1. That first photo is so funny! Thanks for stopping by my blog... nice to meet you. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I would like to know how you cured Pixel's tail problem. My schnauzer ChaCha has this problem and it nearly drives her crazy at times. Please help us. ChaCha is taking gabapentin but it is only a temporary fix.
    thanks. Donna Roumagoux droumagoux@q.com

    ReplyDelete

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