I wanted to build on the first Trick of the Week (check it out here) by teaching “Carry”. “Carry” is having your dog hold an item while moving, usually at the handlers side. Variations would be “Bring”-carrying an object to you and “Fetch”-sending the dog out to pick up the item and then bring it to you.
Why train the “carry”? Not only is it the basis of the really impressive dog tricks like “Walk another dog” or “Tidy up your toys” but it is also used by service dogs to retrieve items, for their elderly or disabled owners.
While I had attempted this trick before, in reality Thor learned this trick all on his own! I was asking him to hold an object and realized I forgot my treat bag and phone (camera) in across the room. I ran across the kitchen to grab it and when I looked down he had followed me, still holding the wallet. I could not believe it! I started racing around in little circles, praising him with “oh your such a good boy” “what a little man” ” your so smart, your so smart” all at some time around midnight. I’m sure if anyone saw me they would think I was mental. I was even more shocked when I took the item from him, gave it back, walked a couple feet and after just a moment of hesitation he trotted over with it like he had done it all his life! Continue reading →
Last week Thor earned his Intermediate Trick Dog Title! I am so proud of my little man and am SO excited for the next round of tricks. At this point he has the basics down and building on them only leads to cuter and cuter tricks. Between our computer being out of commission and family visiting there is a ton to catch up on, but for now check out his ITD application video.
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One of the tricks Thor is learning for is ITD (intermediate trick dog title) is Directional Casting. I wanted to choose this one from the list of possible tricks since it is a valuable tool for him to use in his modeling/acting career.
What is directional casting?
Just like the name suggests it’s sending the actor in a specific direction. For the trick title he needs to go to the location that I as his handler/trainer send him. Directional casting is used for animal acting, search and rescue (SAR) dogs, and in field retrieving as well as dog sports like agility and canine freestyle.
This is a new trick for Thor although he does have some experience with “go to mark”. I started by folding up two blanket into smaller squares and placing them about 3 feet apart. I had him come into position on my left hand side and starting just about a foot from one blanket I held my arm out straight leading towards the blanket. This is similar to what we do if we we’re pointing out a missed treat (#messyeatingbulldogs) or pointing to a toy to bring to us, so he already knew to look in that direction and see what I was leading towards. Once he took a step or two and was on the blanket I tossed the treat in front of him. Gradually we started further from the blanket and then I started sending him to the other blanket as well.
I decided to start the journey to earning a Champion Trick Dog Title by starting where we left off- at the Novice Title. Thor earned his NTD on July 25th 2013. He earned it on his last day of his first ‘Tricks Dog class’ at Club Doggie (http://www.club-doggie.com) with Champion Trick Dog Instructor Kama R. I was a little overwhelmed with managing Thor, treats, clicker, ect and only had bits and pieces of it recorded.