Gettin’ Tricksy With It
For our last Paw Target trick, we are going to do Wave! You begin this kind of like Shake, only you position your Paw Target a little on the high side. As your dog starts offering touching the Paw Target up high consistently, you start to move it back so they are making a waving motion (since they are not then making contact with the object). Then you interchange having the Paw Target and just having your hand out.
You can see that Saga is a little confused at times and offers hand touches. That’s OK! I just move my hand position to help make it more clear for her that I do not want a touch. It might be a little trial and error, depending on what your dog already knows. The eventual goal for me is to use my waving as the hand signal for my dog to wave.
Next up is more work on our Sit Pretty! The goal for this week is to work on duration by either waiting longer before marking/rewarding, feeding multiple treats one after another while your dog is in position (or a combination of the two!), and also independence (so not having to help them!). Again, for young dogs, please don’t do this too often! And always make sure that they are in a proper sit position - you will see if Bubbles starts to rock back a bit I release her from the sit and have her chase a cookie to reset.
Some of my favorite tricks involve jumping. But with something athletic like that, we definitely have to keep safety in mind! I use Ground Targets (described in the Materials section) to teach dogs to go out away from a location to help get them moving safely over jumps - both for PVC jumps, and for doing jumps over arms/through arm hoops.
To start, this, you are just presenting the Ground Target on the floor with a treat on it. That’s it! Practice holding your dog back and getting them excited to rush to it to build a little speed.
Wave: Get your dog to wave without the paw target present.
Sit Pretty: Work towards two to five seconds of duration without your dog needing any help. Continue to be mindful of how they are sitting!
Ground Target: Get your dog pumped about going to their ground target.