Friday, March 4, 2011

Take A Nap - A Trick!

This has got to be one of my favorite tricks thus far!   
Just slightly ahead of “How to Bag a Cougar”.   

It’s probably all the cuter with a 12 week old puppy is doing it.
Way to go Peggy and of course, little Olivia!

I actually started with a smaller mat/blanket, for a smaller Olivia.  I began clicking and treating when she looked at the mat, when she walked toward the mat, when she stood on the mat, and when she sat on the mat.  I actually then lured her into the down on the mat, but it may have worked better to just shape the behavior for the down on the mat.  I got a little impatient.  I'm not sure if I always treated Olivia on the mat.  In thinking back, I may have just treated her from my hand.  I think it would have been clearer to her if I had consistently treated her on the mat surface.  Using the lure may have slowed down the process because she was waiting for the lure to do the down at first.  I did end up waiting for her to offer the down. 

The finished behavior was Olivia getting on the mat and lying down to get a click and treat.  I then rolled up the mat with a dog biscuit in it.  She unrolled it to get the biscuit, ate it, and then looked at me and laid down, for more clicks and treats.  I think that behavior earned a jackpot!  I only rolled the dog biscuit in the mat a couple of times before rolling the empty mat.  Olivia unrolled the mat, sniffed it, and laid down.  About that time, she had grown a little big for her mat, so I had to switch to a larger mat and roll the biscuit in the larger mat again because at first, she did not unroll it all the way before lying down.  She made us laugh when she first unrolled the mat only about six inches and laid down on it.

Meanwhile, we had an additional thought:  Wouldn't it be cute if we could get Olivia to lay her head down on her paws?  I guess that will be the next step.

Great job Peggy, just keep on adding new behaviors!   

That’s what training is all about!   
Building on skills you already have!   
If you can imagine it, you can DO IT!

After all, it’s Only a Trick!


  1. She is SO cute!!! Peggy is going to need a bigger blanket pretty soon!!!

  2. So cute!! Any tips for puppies that would EAT the mat? You know, just curious!! :)